A tardy semester wrap-up

Posted on Posted in Blog, Main

Like in the fall, I completely fell off the blogging bandwagon at the end of the semester. I guess that’s just the nature of the beast – writing so much for your courses that there’s not much desire (or anything interesting to talk about) to blog. What I was up to (scholastically) this April & May:

  • Attending CCCC (which I posted about here and here)
  • Presenting at the 2nd annual CRDM Research Symposium, “Environments, Risks, and Digital Media
  • Completing research for my three graduate seminars (which I will talk about in a separate post) – 
    • “Big Power, Big Controversy: Duke-Progress Energy Merger and Environmental Controversy in the Carolinas”: An analysis of discourse about an upcoming local utilities merger completed with Ashley R. Kelly for a course about communication in a networked society
    • A methods theory paper about studying social media in the humanities, also completed with Ashley R. Kelly, for a course in communication and social change
    • The WPA’s Guide to the Hybrid Writing Classroom, a website designed for writing program administrators to help them think through the process of adopting hybrid writing courses in their first year composition program, for a class on being a WPA
  • Grading three course projects for my ENG 101 class and holding their final research presentations
  • Submitting research presentation proposals to next year’s CCCC and this fall’s SIGDOC (in Italy!)
  • Starting my research assistantship with Carolyn R. Miller 
  • Completely re-designing my online portfolio

I’m going to blog more specifically about a couple of these things – particularly about doing collaborative research, which you can see I did for two of my projects this semester. It was a highly rewarding experience and worth sharing (or at least, I think so). I enjoyed the end of this semester in terms of teaching. I had some really bright students this spring, and they tackled some great final projects (for which their task was to identify a problem within a social issue and propose a solution). Many students discussed environmental issues in some aspects, whether it was clean energy, greenhouse gases, preserving marine life, etc. I am very pleased at how much environmental issues seem to be on the radar of freshman students this year (in both classes I taught).

Finally, the first “summer” project that I tackled was redesigning my online portfolio. I had initially completed the portfolio last spring for a course in online information design. When I got my new Macbook Pro last Christmas, complete with the whole Adobe Suite, my plan was to completely redo the look. Redesign accomplished! (Though I still have to update some of the information.) But overall, I’m quite pleased with the look – fresh, simple, easy to navigate. To me, minimal still rules in site design, and I wanted my portfolio to reflect that.

My revamped online portfolio

Hopefully I will be back before long talking about my web project (the WPA guide) and my collaborative research. What was the end of the semester like for you?

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