Computers & Writing, Days 3 & 4: Another Bulleted List

  • I was planning on attending the 9 am session on Saturday morning, but things around the house and traffic held me up. These things happen.
  • Went to a session called “Mediating Literacy: Plugging Latour into Computers and Writing.” I learned a few things about Douglas Engelbart and his invention of computer interfaces, and also about a student project involving partially cooked chicken, but I didn’t learn a whole lot about Latour. Oh well; I did work on my presentation during all this.
  • Met up with Bill HD and one of his grad students for lunch, though we cut out before the presentation to do a little roaming about and shopping. I bought a lovely T-Shirt.
  • Went to a round-table on Ong to celebrate the 25 years after the publication of Orality and Literacy that was pretty decent. Hawisher and Selfe were sitting behind me and making me feel inadvertently guilty about multi-tasking.
  • Steve B. and I took off the last panel and went over to the Detroit Institute of Art, which is getting ready to close for the next six months for the final stages of renovation. As a result, there wasn’t much of the collection open. But we did spend a fair amount of time with the Diego Rivera mural “Detroit Industry,” which was worth the minimal admission. Pictures don’t really do it justice, but we did take a few. Pictures are forthcoming, I promise.
  • We went over the the African American History museum after this, quite a bit early, but we didn’t have anything else to do. The folks setting up the dinner said we could take the tour, so we did. It’s one of these museums where you have to go through a linear/historic path: first Africa, then the slave trade, then the Civil War, etc. Pretty interesting exhibit.
  • By the time we were done, the crowd was gathering for the banquet. Excellent food for this, too.
  • The room/lobby/whatever where this was being held was a dome/rotunda sort of structure, and the acoustics in there were bizarre. Conversations taking place halfway or more across the room bounced off the ceiling and marble floors/walls so that it sounded like it was right behind me. I thought I was hearing voices. I mean more than usual.
  • Ended up sitting with a lot of BGSU folks, which was good, especially with Kris Blair winning a technical innovator of the year award. What’s interesting to me about all this is that C&W was my first presentation, back in 1994, and I remember that me and Mike/Mick Doherty, John Clark, and Bill HD road-tripped to Missouri from BGSU. We were it. This time around, I’ll be there were 10 or more current and former PhD students there. Things have changed for the better.
  • Congrats to everyone who won various awards, but once again, I have not won anything. Actually, I’m not sure who the person(s) is/are who won the ward for best blog, to be honest. But congrats to them, too.
  • The keynote speaker was Richard Doyle, and he was, um, interesting in places. I think he was anticipating having internet access; I’m not sure. Doyle was pretty entertaining and funny, but as far as saying anything that was important or interesting or whatever: I thought he vacillated between making some good points and just rambling. Maybe he was hearing voices in his head from the dome/rotunda too.
  • Thanks to the directions from Nancy A., I didn’t get lost on the way home, which was nice.
  • Up and at ’em this morning, I drove back in and moderated a panel, “Virtual and Audio Teaching: Three Instructors’ Tales: Creating Environments for Varied Student Populations,” also made up of former BGSU grad students. A small group, but a good conversation.
  • Then it was time for my spiel. Funny story about tech and about the conference: there wasn’t a projector in the room I was presenting in. This was not good. So I went down to the check-in table and very calmly said “I need a projector in the room where I am presenting.” A couple of Wayne State-types show up with a projector and a computer, feverishly pushing buttons with mixed results. They leave. I hook up my computer, push the power button on the projector, and we’re in business. A link to my presentation is coming soon, I promise.
  • Kudos to Robin Murphy (BGSU) and Kimberly Lacey (Wayne State), the PhD students I prsented with and who did great things in their talks. And congrats to Robin on defending and going on to join the ranks of the tenure-track, too.
  • And then time to go home. All and all, an okay conference. I got a lot of good book project ideas, and a lot of inspiration for getting my act together on all that very very soon. The “home game” aspect of the conference was fun, though I have to say that I’m looking forward to C&W in Athens, GA next year. Bill HD and Steve B and I are contemplating road-tripping down there and playing golf along the way there and back. But that’s next year.

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