Sunday, May 8, 2011

What My Students Learned This Semester

Taking inspiration from Jo(e), I passed out index cards and asked my students to write down one thing they learned in class this semester.  These are the anonymous responses I received in the order in which I received them.

I learned how to think more objectively when dealing with an issue or concept.

I learned that anyone can interpret theories and come to a conclusion whether it's love, pain, or rape.

What a Prezi is and how to do one.  I hate PowerPoints and so I'm excited to use something else in the future.

I learned how powerful language can be.  Sticks and stones can break your bones, but maybe words CAN hurt you.

I learned I hate classical rhetoric.  Also, I learned and now love Prezi.

I learned that "rhetoric" (as almost all things, like pain or love) is undefinable and therefore extremely interesting to learn about.

Through observation, an example of an excellent, thoughtful, and flexible teacher who is adept at guiding students through difficult assignments in a way that allows them to achieve their highest level of success.

I learned that I'm going to really miss having you as an RPW teacher next year.

I learned that I might, perhaps, probably a good writer, and reading theorists and rhetoricians challenged me academically and as a writer.

I learned that visual rhetoric is a lot more fun than writing a paper (and potentially more effective).

The more explanation the better!

I learned that classical Greek rhetoric isn't boring to read (I liked it, especially Gorgias).

I learned that there are teachers out there that don't go by the book.  There are great professors who like to have fun and dress in togas.  And I learned much of ancient Greek sophists and Platonists, duh.

I learned how to form arguments and really support and develop them.

I learned so much about the technical side of my creative writing major.  I feel like I can dig deeper and look at the persuassive aspects of my writing.

I had never even heard of the Sophists before I came to this class.  It was great to focus on a much lesser known group and go in-depth with them.  My philosophy class didn't even teach me about it.  Classical rhetoric is probably my favorite unit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Action List for the Rest of the Semester

Your final Action List!
  • On Thursday, April 28, class will again be an open-lab with time to work.  Those who show up with get credit for DWA #24, though most of you do not need it.
  • On Tuesday, May 3, I need to have access to your Prezi by 10:50 AM.  If it is public, email me a link to it.  If it is private, invite me as an editor (though I will not edit anything of course).  We'll look at these in class, and I cannot accept late Prezis for any reason.
That's it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Action List for Tuesday, April 26, 2011

  • Email any optional revisions to me by noon on Friday, April 22, 2011; remember that I will not take late revisions for any reason.
  • Decide on how you will approach the Visual Essay and start collecting photos and brainstorming text.
  • Remember that DWA #23 will take place during class; since I intend to keep most of class time open for you to do your own work, all who show up and hang around will get credit.

In-Class Activity for Thursday, April 21, 2011

At this point, the only three things I want to make sure you know how to do in Prezi are 1) how to create frames and group different items together, 2) how to create a path for presentation, and 3) how to invite me view your Prezi if you are keeping it private so that I can grade it.  There are lots of other tricks you can do with Prezi, and you should feel free to try them.  Just know that I am not expecting you to do any of the fancy stuff.  If you can do the three things here and the things I listed last time, then you can do everything I expect you to do for this project.

One thing you may want to do is explore Prezis by other people.  Even if they are on completely strange and bizarre topics, they might do something in such a way that inspires you or teaches you something.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Action List for Thursday, April 21, 2011

  • Read "Resisting Images" by Marianne Hirsch (PDF); this is our last reading of the semester!
  • Remember that DWA #22 will take place during class.
  • Continue revising Essays One and Two since revisions are due on Friday (no late revisions allowed, no exceptions).
  • Since we are not actually going to be reading Presentation Zen, you can trade it in on (whether you bought it there or not).  Again, I apologize for any inconvenience, and I do think everyone should read this book, but it just doesn't fit as well as I expected back in January, and I think this is better in the long run for you.
  • Watch the second help video from Prezi's learning center.

In-Class Activity for Tuesday, April 19, 2011

By now, everyone should have watched the first video on Prezi's learning page (and linked to in the last Action List).  By the end of class today, you need to make sure you know how to do the following things:
  1. How to create a new Prezi.
  2. How to give your new Prezi a title.
  3. How to give your new Prezi a description.
  4. How to add text.
  5. How to delete text.
  6. How to edit text.
  7. How to insert an image.
  8. How to move text and images.
  9. How to change the size of text and images.
  10. How to move text and images.
  11. How to move around the Prezi canvas.
  12. How to make your Prezi private or public.
If you can do these things, then you are right on track to knowing what you need to know to create the Visual Essay.  I am always happy to answer questions, but this is also a chance for you to learn how to find answers on your own by using Prezi's help pages and ordinary Google searches.  This is an opportunity for you to impress yourself with how much you can learn about something new!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Action List for Tuesday, April 19, 2011

  • Read "In Our Glory: Photography in Black Life" by bell hooks (PDF).
  • Remember that DWA #21 will take place during class.
  • Sign up for a Prezi account (remember that using your EDU address means getting more features for free) and watch their first video on how to use it; you may also wish to play around on an empty Prezi space.