Monthly Archives: September 2008

Watson preview

This email, from one of the featured speakers at Watson:

Jackie Rhodes (CSU-San Bernardino) and I are delighted to announce a sneak peak of our multimedia installation for the upcoming Watson Conference.  We’ve been keeping an installation blog-as-archive, which you are invited to check out:

Enjoy!  And hope to see many of you as possible at Watson!


Jonathan Alexander
Campus Writing Director
Associate Professor of English
University of California, Irvine

remember when we were joking about bad news?

After class I went to book the Ramada we talked about, not even having realized in class that the price had jumped from $45 a room to $80 a room. Obviously, with the cost having doubled since I looked at it (the day before!!), the new total would have put us well over our $1100 budget (of which we really only have about $900 to spend on hotels). Actually, fwiw, here’s our estimated budget:

  • ISU van rental: ~$50
  • gas for van: ~$300
  • hotels: ~$985 (5 rooms)
  • registration: $480 (waived)
  • per diem (meals): $1350 (~$115 per student for 3.5 days)

TOTAL: $2685

Actually, for 12 students (averaged), this is a prety cheap trip! 🙂 The school is not covering your meals, so you will need to bring money to eat. (The hotel I’ve booked includes a continental breakfast.) The school is covering $1100 of the rest of the expenses ($1335), so we’re almost covered and I’ll worry about any overage we may have. (The school may help some more, or the other grant I’m applying for may help. Or there’s still kegger/bakesale fundraisers 😉

OK, so for the hotel: The Ramada would have been over $1300, so I spent some more time looking for an alternative that would satisfy my and your requirements: clean, safe, as close to the U as possible, cheap, free wireless, breakfast, parking, pool/fitness area, and possibly an onsite restaurant. After weighing some pros/cons — like distance vs. pool :: cheap — I found the Howard Johnson’s right by the Expo Center/Six Flags. It’s about 3 miles (driving distance) from the conference building and the public bus system goes right by it (in case you don’t want to wait for Andrew to drive you back). The only drawback I could find is that they don’t have a pool. Sorry Tom. 😉 There’s also no restaurant on site, but there are plenty of restaurants in walking distance of the hotel. They also have an airport shuttle, so you may be able to ask the driver if they’ll go to the U (and maybe tip him a few bucks…). (Oh, and I see from the conference schedule that they also have breakfast and lunch available. It’s part of the registration fee, so those are meals you don’t have to pay for. Also, any “Reception” held at night will have hors d’oevres. So there won’t be too many out-of-pocket expenses for you on this trip.)

OK, so good news/bad news… it all works out in the end, eh? See y’all next week.

UPDATE 9/25/08 — As discussed in class today (re multiple vehicles), our budget has exponentially increased. I’ll post a revised copy after I’ve finished writing up the CTLT grant I mentioned in class today.

reminder about CFP revisions

Hey all,

Just a recap about the YouTube part of the assignment: Make sure that you treat the upload of the video as if the entire Internet (via the YT site) and specifically the Watson conference attendees are your audience. Make sure to provide some kind of citation and/or more information in the “more info” section of the upload. As well, give your video a good title that reflects its genre/purpose.

NOTE: Something I forgot to mention in class — make sure you export a BIG version of your CFP from MovieMaker/iMovie. Use the largest format available: in MM, this will be the “playback on my computer” setting (or similar). On iMovie, this will be the “CD-ROM or DVD” quality. This is so there won’t be any pixelation when we play these on the BIG screen in Louisville. 🙂 So — KEEP this large version handy (for me to compile later, after we do any more revisions, if necessary). When you upload this large version to YouTube, it will compress everything to their needs. K?

Finally, just a reminder that Y’ALL TOTALLY ROCKED the CFP assignment. I am seriously impressed with your first drafts and am excited to see the (near) perfection that next week’s drafts will be. Yay!!!


open lab hours

Here is a schedule of when our classroom is unoccupied and available for your use outside of class time. Keep in mind that this schedule may change weekly, as our secretary sometimes schedules meeting in the lab during open hours. Posting these hours does NOT coincide with when Andrew or I will be there; it just means the lab should be open for you to use.

  • Mondays/Wednesdays: 8-9am; 3:20-5:25p
  • Tuesdays 8-9:30am; 5pm-
  • Thursdays 8-9:30am
  • Fridays 8-9am; 2pm-

For your CFP revision, I’m not sure that we’ll be able to have consultant hours next Tuesday; we’ll let you know. I will be at school Friday afternoon, tho, but in a meeting, but could help from 2ish-3ish and then maybe a little after 4pm. Come find me in my office (STV 421g), or I’ll pop in/out of the lab.

lab times & URL update

Hey all. I will stop by the lab today around 4:30, but it might be closer to 5ish. Also, we will have lab hours, with Andrew’s help, from 2pm-8pm tomorrow. We may not be there the whole time, but the lab WILL BE OPEN for you to use.

Secondly, for those who wanted a permanent-ish URL for the book CFP, use this one:

It’s not live yet, but it’ll prolly be what the actual URL is. And we can always change it later, especially seeing as what’s due tomorrow night is your first draft, so revision will likely be in order before the conference.


Submit multimedia pieces to campus literary magazine

Info from Euphimism:

“The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” — Please join the Euphemism staff on Wednesday Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in CVA 145 for an open-mike reading. We invite writers to read from their own work (you choose where your poetry, spoken word, flash fiction or experimental writing fits our schema!). We ask that you read for no more than 4 minutes; how you delight, horrify, or challenge us during this time is up to you. Meet other writers from across campus and learn more about Euphemism, ISU’s online creative arts journal. At the reading we will also raise money through our 2nd annual chalk-off. For 25 cents we’ll immortalize your short poem, flash fiction, or aphorism on the quad.

The submission deadline for the Euphemism Fall 2008 issue is October 17. We accept fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, new media, short film, original music, sound instillation, graphic design, photography, spoken word. We also now accept comic strips!  Please go to for submission guidelines.

Euphemism also seeks review essays of university sponsored readings, plays, concerts and films. We accept essays of varied lengths (no more than 5,000 words); we are interested in thoughtful and generous responses to creative events here at ISU or in the community.

assignments page & resource updates

Hey all. I’ve added a new page to the class blog, which includes details about all future (big) assignments (it won’t include in-class-assigned blog posts or small stuff; just, um, more detail-oriented projects that will involve some time). Currently, the VIDEO INTRO and the SCREENSHOT ANALYSIS assignments are posted there, with links to instructions made whenever possible. On the Resources page, you’ll find links to tutorials to support you through various stages of these projects. I’ll add Resources as you suggest them and/or we need them. If I’ve overlooked some part of the assignment(s), please let me know by commenting here or on the Assignments page.

I suspect that you might run into some VPN problems with uploading and/or embedding your videos. If you can’t get it working, default to uploading your videos to YouTube and embedding them that way and also bring your playable (wmv) files to class on a jump drive so we can work out any kinks at the beginning of class. (But please don’t wait until then if you’re having problems. Imagine the classtime lost if *everyone* needs 5 minutes of help.)

Finally, the thing about Moviemaker (moreso than iMovie) is that it’s very difficult to move an editable (mswmm) project from one computer to another. So for this project, plan on sticking to one computer and if it’s not your home, personal computer, or a lab computer in STV 408 (which is open when classes aren’t in there during the day — I’ll get a schedule soon), then plan on finishing the project in one sitting (if, for instance, you’re in a public lab like the library). We’ll talk about moving MovieMaker files from one computer to another in a week or two.


permissions forms

Hey all,

I’ve (finally) updated the permissions forms. They have a lot of questions, but it’s to help give you options and to explain all the ways we might be using your project texts. If you have any questions about the forms, please either post here in the comments or let me know in class. The permissions forms are located on the page labelled Resources, which is linked on the right side of this blog.