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John Mayer-Why Georgia

http://blog.wired.com/music/2008/08/composer-says-b.html

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Being the idealist that I am, I have always been drawn to this quote.  It reminds me that tackling the problems  of the world usually comes down to an individual, and personal, effort.   When enough people put forth that effort, true change eventually comes to light.

 

This is one of my favorite images by environmentalist and photographer Andy Goldsworthy.  In all of his works, he only uses natural materials, sometimes utilizing thorns and even urine to make items adhere to each other.  An interesting aspect of his work is that aside from when a piece is commissioned, he allows the artwork to be “retaken” by the elements, so the work eventually vanishes back into the sea, or air, or Earth.

http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/

juju \JOO-joo\, noun:
1. An object superstitiously believed to embody magical powers.
2. The power associated with a juju.

[David] Robinson, sounding confident and sure, said that the time for juju and magic dust had passed. ‘To be honest with you, I think it’s beyond that’, he said. ‘It’s very hard to come up with magic at the end’.
— “Knicks Find There’s No Place Like Home”, New York Times, June 22, 1999

‘You ever heard of juju?’
Skyler shook his head.
‘Magic. You talk about this and it’ll be the last talkin’ you do. You’ll just open your mouth and nothin’ will come out’.
— John Darnton, The Experiment

We are told, for example, of the Edo youngster, apparently both Christian and traditionally African in his beliefs, who was heard to mutter ‘S.M.O.G.’ over and over when he and his companions were threatened by ‘bad juju’. When questioned he replied, ”Have you never heard of it? It stands for Save Me O God. When you are really in a hurry, it is quickest to use the initials’.
— “The Spirits And The African Boy”, New York Times, October 10, 1982

On any terminal she is using, a co-worker puts up a sign proclaiming, ‘Bad karma go away, come again another day’. When she was pregnant, she said, she crashed her computer twice as often — she attributes that to a double whammy of woo-woo juju.
— “Can a Hard Drive Smell Fear?”, New York Times, May 21, 1998

 

Juju is of West African origin, akin to Hausa djudju, fetish, evil spirit.

So we are going to give this a try, even though I, as the instructor of this blogging/composition class project, have some serious technological handicaps.  I strongly believe in reciprocal learning and student-centered learning, so what that will mean more than anything this coming semester is that my students will have to show me the ropes of this unfamiliar cyberterritory!  Engaging students in the classroom and in their own learning is my top priority, so me becoming more comfortable with this new genre of writing is essential in my viewpoint.  And yes, blogging IS now viewed as a legitimate writing “genre,” …”genre” being one of those words that us English/Composition folks love to overuse! 

What we are going to do, anyway, is nearly all of our writing assignments here, in WordPress, so that the audience of our work can extend beyond the usual Composition class audience…which is normally just composed of the teacher (and sometimes a few others if the class workshops papers).  I really like the idea of this particular venue for writing, a place that seems to have the capacity to make writing more of a collective, inter-textual, and social process.  Writing always involves a depthy exploration of our selves and our world, so why not extend it beyond our selves and our world, into (cyber)space as well!

That is my conviction as of today, anyway; we’ll see over the course of the next two weeks (when classes begin) how tech-savvy I become, and whether or not it is viable for me to really conduct the project this semester.  My daughter is currently fascinated with the moon, and based off of a well-known children’s book, she likes to tell me that she, “Loves me all the way to the moon and back.”  Right now, the task of learning all i can about blogging in two weeks seems about as improbable as getting to the moon seemed in the early 60s.  BUT, have you SEEN the view of the Earth from the moon?!  If we do get there, we’ll then have to figure out if we want to come back or not!

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