Friday, May 25, 2007

Interviewing the Man Mirrored in the Computer Screen

For this week, I assigned the 109.02 class to write blogs based on truncated interviews like the ones found in Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-workers. While not part of the blogging elite after a mere nine weeks of publishing their thoughts online, the students can speak from some degree of experience, and—let's face it—have immersed themselves in the wonderful world of weblogs by writing, reading, linking, analyzing. I am asking my students to defend (or decry) the blog topics that they chose in week one, and I am asking them to ruminate on the past nine weeks of public journaling. Should be a hoot to read the replies. Following is my—very brief, for a change—response to the assignment.

Why did you choose to have the class read and write blogs for the quarter?

I feel that a lot of great expression and rhetoric can be found online, in increasingly specialized texts. For example, I was thrilled to recently discover a well-maintained blog on baseball cards, an interest in which I have never been able to shake from my starry-eyed youth. Blogs are fresh, organic texts that lend voice to those who may otherwise not be heard in public. Thus, I feel that they are wonderful texts for freshman writers, particularly those who have had some struggles with writing in the past. They give a chance to get real, instantaneous feedback from people who are not paid to read their writing. Plus, there is a lot of liberty for the topic and content of any individual post. By linking, students get an idea of the importance of using resources and synthesizing their thoughts with that of the resource. And hey, it’s been a blast.

How has blogging changed your life?

I’ll be extremely careful not to omit verbs when posting comments to other blogs.


Elizabeth said...


Given that I was the chief nitpicker on that one, you'll be amused to hear that I just noticed that I said in an email, "he's very happy not to be surgery" (when of course I meant "he's very happy not to need surgery"). Of course, he may be happy about both.

Bonnie said...

By the way, thanks again for using my book in your class. I'm honored that you found it so useful.

For more info on it, please also refer here on my site

As well as our Myspace profile for the book:


- Bonnie Burton
Co-author of "Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers: Best of Blogs"