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Monday, 30 March 2009

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Stephen Frug

So are you always going to link to pdfs of cool comic books?

Adam Roberts

Is that Megatron on the left hand side of the page banner, there?

Rohan Maitzen

Very nice--and I like your theory about reinforcing instead of introducing.

PS: I think you mean you write "every day"? Unless you write just plain old "everyday" prose or something. :-) (This message courtesy of Pedants-R-Us)

nk

So this is a course on "How To Entertain Morons"?

SEK

So are you always going to link to pdfs of cool comic books?

Are you on UCI's campus, Stephen? I was told those EEE links would only work locally.

Is that Megatron on the left hand side of the page banner, there?

It's Not-Superman. (It would be Superman, but as he's a licensed property of DC Comics, Not-Superman was the best I could muster.)

I like your theory about reinforcing instead of introducing.

As do I, but it's a thin line . . . and it puts more pressure on them to produce better material in class discussions. Means more pressure on me too, but that's not altogether bad, as one can never be too prepared to teach an 8:00 a.m. course.

So this is a course on "How To Entertain Morons"?

More like "How to Ruin Entertainment for Students," what with my forcing them to analyze how cultural artifacts produce meaning, organize their analysis into coherent arguments, then communicate those arguments such that they appeal to an academic audience. I'm teaching writing through film and comics---it's not "What does Batman symbolize?" (which would be a literary analysis) but "How does Christopher Nolan's film work to have Effect X on Audience Y?" (a rhetorical analysis).

Ahistoricality

I'm nowhere near UCI and I had no trouble opening the pdf.

"How to Ruin Entertainment for Students"

So true: though it didn't happen for me until graduate school, really, at which point I became humorless and hyper-analytical about mass entertainment. Except for the stuff I liked before, which remains a golden age of....

Jake

How are you going to keep spammers and other anonymous people not registered for your courses from commenting on the blog? Manuel IP blocking?

Stephen Frug

No, I'm not on the UCI campus. But I clicked the pdf & it downloaded the book. (I was just curious, really: I own a dead-tree copy & don't need a pdf of it.)

P.T. Smith

"How to Ruin Entertainment for Students"

Is it bad that I read "How to Entertain Morons" as us, the readers, being entertained by the frustrations of your students? Is it worse that only a year away from being an undergrad I still think of myself as a moron, yet undergrad students as even more so, with their suffering a source of entertainment?

SEK

So true: though it didn't happen for me until graduate school, really, at which point I became humorless and hyper-analytical about mass entertainment. Except for the stuff I liked before, which remains a golden age of...

It depends, though, on the quality of the material. I'm sure they won't appreciate Twilight quite so much as they once did, but they'll gain an appreciation for The Dark Knight or at least the artistry of Nolan's direction. Scratch that: the occasional artistry of Nolan's direction, because for every masterful sequence, there's a paint-by-numbers must-keep-the-narrative-moving scene. Most of these involve Caine, which leads me to believe that Nolan thought he could lean on Caine's charm, which, really, is a fine assumption. But the direction of those scenes just falls plain flat.

How are you going to keep spammers and other anonymous people not registered for your courses from commenting on the blog?

Lack of visibility, for one. My other course blogs maybe receive a spam once a year, if even.

But I clicked the pdf & it downloaded the book.

That's odd. I uploaded it to the EEE servers, and only UCI students and assorted faculty are supposed to be able to download those. Being that the error's not on my end, I'm of a mind to let it stay up there.

Is it worse that only a year away from being an undergrad I still think of myself as a moron, yet undergrad students as even more so, with their suffering a source of entertainment?

This cycle never ends. I consider the February SEK substantially dumber than March SEK, while January SEK can barely stop drooling long enough to wipe his ass.

Ahistoricality

It depends, though, on the quality of the material.

Sort of. I would expect that Twilight is probably pretty well done, in a conventional sense, drawing on the techniques developed by Bram Stoker, Joss Whedon, et al., combined with centuries of romantic literature. It's highly derivative, I'm sure, but that doesn't mean that it can't hold the attention of the audience.

(I forget: did you discuss Kugelmass at IHE here, or is the triangle giving me flashbacks to when I once helped hire a comp/rhet person?)

SEK

I avoided Joe like the plague on that one. At least, I did online. He and I have very different opinions about the purpose of composition, and even on those points on which we agree, we differ on how the ends are best achieved. For one, I think that teaching a comp course as pure rhetoric will lead students to an appreciation of artistry, which will, in turn, lead to an eventual appreciation of the literary. In my admittedly small sample size of students who have requested reading lists at quarter's end and drop in quarters later to discuss the latest novel they read, it seems to work.

As for the triangle, it's a composition standard: students are so fixated on writing to their own fictitious idea of what an academic is that their prose develops tics no mortal man can fathom. By having a clean visual that they can tape to their monitor, they'll remember to look at the academic essays we've read, see what techniques they employed, then use them instead of the detritus of misguided over-thinking when they write their essays.

Ahistoricality

As for the triangle, it's a composition standard...

I know. Whatever works, I guess.

SEK

Scads better than what doesn't.

Patrick

Hey Scott,

You know that IANAL, however, considering what I do, I thought I'd give you the heads up that the pdf is still viewable from off-campus (by me at least). And even though UCI is hosting it, you uploaded it, so you could still be exposed to S&D harassment from DC. Moreover, Fair Use probably isn't applicable, since it's the entire work out there.

Blech. I hated writing this.

-Pat

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