CUWiki: my summary

It was a little awkward starting out; I did not know anyone at the meeting and we started a little late and not much was said amongst those of us just sitting around. It was one of those meetings where a lot of people have laptops. Except me. 🙂 Even after we went around the table to introduce ourselves, I still didn’t get about half the names and relationships. I’ll blame that on my bad ears.

So overall, Continue reading “CUWiki: my summary”

Some titles I have read over the past few months

“We make the road by walking” Myles Horton and Paulo Freire (ISBN 877227713)

I love the way these two gentlemen think; just the title itself is ingenious. They “spoke” this book, thus it is more like a recorded conversation that we get to sit in on. Memory thoughts; we need to be more like children, always questing, always learning. Modern education too often grows us up by destroying that thirst, the curiosity. Speaks to the fact that we must engage with those around us, not in an obsequious manner – never being afraid to ask questions and challenge “truths”. Lots of talk about dialectical discussions.


“Teaching for Social Justice” William Ayers, Jean Ann Hunt and Therese Quinn (ISBN 1565844203)

I did not realize that William Ayers had such a colorful history when I started to read this collection of stories, vingnettes, papers and articles. A number of ties back to Champaign-Urbana. Quite a collection of different ideas, a sharing of experiences. Wonderful for being eye opening and helping me to vicariously walk in someone else’s shoes. Shows how important it is to be involved, engaged and eve politically active. Not in the sense of running for office, but more importantly, having and using your voice.


“The Critical Middle School Reader” Enora Brown and Kenneth Saltman (ISBN 0415950708)

Again, another collection; presents many sides of the Education argument, well-balanced in my opinion. Discusses the pros and cons of the current method of teaching. I found myself leaning towards the small groups, collaborative learning side of the aisle. The book also reminded me that some children (and some learning types) actually do quite well in the current system.


Read a couple chapters from Freire’s “Pedagogy of Oppression”, but never got my hands on the book. Emphasis on critical thinking, the need to think through what you are being taught. Speaks to the oppression of the current style of knowledge transfer.

so it begins

I toying with the idea of auditing (and perhaps enrolling in) a class at Parkland, GDS 108. I have had a couple email exchanges with the Department Professor, Paul Young, and I persuaded that this might be a good class to help me fine-tune and hone my web skills in the artistic direction. Another mischievous (devious?) part of me is silently challenging Paul’s assertion: “to teach non-artists that visual communication works just like written communication: it’s just a language with grammatical rules that anyone can learn.” This is a test to see if that is true or not.


One of the first assignments is to create a blog. I have several blogs around the webs (1, 2, plus others I created and have since turned into compost); another aspect of creating a new blog is to try to consolidate blogs and start using some of the partition/segmentation features of WordPress. My previous blogs were all specific to a subject – this one will be an “umbrella” in which I hope to clearly define, well… at least better define, me.


Somehow I am supposed to keep a visual diary. I already think this is going to be a huge challenge. We are to develop a “process” of analyzing what we see and experience, but the more daunting aspect is cataloging the process from cradle to grave. This can be a great thing if it actually does become a tool by which I can evaluate and critique my own work (and even open up my inner workings for comment from others). I sincerely have my doubts this will happen. 🙂 But like I said, I intend to face those doubts and march forward just to see what happens.


The first assignment also suggests that we do a lot of doodling. I don’t doodle. I am supposed to discipline myself by drawing something on my 5th limb (a notebook of some sort). I think in the past 20 years I have probably drawn one picture. Maybe it was 25 years. But hey, if this is the assignment….


More to follow. I hope.