UMW Blogs: A Forest of Feeds!

Today it really hit me that UMW Blogs is back and roaring. I rolled through the jungle filled with RSS and picked lovingly from the fruit of connected people thinking about wild stuff. And I knew it for sure when I read Jesse Kopp’s first blog post of the semester:

From the makers of last summer’s smash hit “The Stove That Ate Sylvia Plath” comes “When Dishwashers Attack”–so blood spillingly, bone chillingly thrilling that you may never feel safe with kitchen appliances again. Anne Scaldwell (Sigourney Weaver) and Peter Boilsworthy (Matt Damon) are excited about renovating the kitchen in their newly purchased and well-isolated beach house, but soon after moving in, they discover their old Kenmore dishwasher has very different plans… Coming to a theater near you this September.

Jesse is an amazing thinker and blogger, and his work with Carole Garmon last year in her Video Art class was awesome. In fact, she had some wonderful folks pushing the boundaries, currently missing the Roblog, but loving the rise of a whole new year with new discoveries. Shannon is back at it and will be discussing William Faulkner an Toni Morrison for literature and Grapes of Wrath in her US Film History course with the great Jeff McClurken (who is all about honor). And Serena proves her literary acumen by caricaturing the mighty Reverend, and her sharp and exacting voice makes me marvel at her ability, and feel a bit self-conscious about my WordPress habits 🙂

And professor Sue Fernsebner pushes the boundaries with a full blown FeedWordPress site for her Historical Methods course.  And already the students are taking their research sites and the ideas to the next level, check out how Nick Ford’s imagines his own vision of history and teaching which is punctuated by a punishing quote from Orwell’s 1984:

“He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.”

That’s right, school is back in session, and everyone’s getting ready to imagine. And that is what Gardner Campbell nails in his presentation at the UCEA pre-conference; it’s a masterpiece of the first order, and in it he notes beautifully that on top of and between every open course resource is not only content, but the mindface of the people you think with. The pushing of ideas and the experience of learning that makes it intoxicating. He noted the openness as not opposed to or at odds with the resources, but an integral part of the design of education and a faith that puts us one step closer to a manifestation of a kind of real school. He’s on to something. The interstices of experience, the moment that happens between structures and beyond localized routines of learning. A commitment to the life of the mind and a sense of comunity, not to some abstracted notion of excellence. I makiing my committment, I’m gonna read Faulkner’s The Wild Palms (maybe my favorite of his, maybe), watch some John Ford, re-visit Toni Morrison’s Paradise, and promise myself I will get at Marx’s Capital sooner or later.  The year’s begun, and just like every Fall of my life til now, I’m excited to learn.

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