Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Class Log February 24th

Headline News from Class Log:  E-mail Dr. H or Robyn with top 3 choices for work assignment groups by noon February 25th.
Work Assignment Groups, with number of students needed for each
~ 2 electricity & cooling
~ 3 heating
~ 1 solid waste
~ 1 refrigerants & other chemicals
~ 2 offsets
~ 6 transportation (with survey focus divided as follows)
- 2 will learn Qualtrics
- 2 write/revise questions
- 2 research/ blog review
All 6 work on PR/possible incentives, etc,; decisions about who will handle transportation research beyond the survey will be decided within the group of six.
Other Notes on the Survey
~ We will be giving copies of the survey draft to review to the architects working on the Campus Master Plan, and also to the Clean Commute Initiative, and to the Parking-Transportation ad hoc committee.
~ Survey will close at end of week before Spring Break
- Going live on the March 15th
- Testing the survey the weekend before the 15th with Qualtrics.
- Draft of questions by March 1st (Monday), Review on March 3rd.
Dr. H introduced the opportunity for two students to write and edit the final report with Dr. Jim Boulter, Dr. Kim Pierson and Dr. H this summer.  If you are interested, E-mail Dr. H ASAP.

For Dr. H - Andi and Dan brought up the idea of an e-mail notice when a comment has been made on the blog.
~ How frequently should we check?  (Remember that Dr. H noted we should check at least once a day--this was at the start of the semester)
~ Comment to comment posts

First order of business
Went through final introductions of CNT 2010 members

Transitioned into a discussion on the comments within “The Curse of Akkad”: Questions for the Class blog post.
~ Wally started out by saying he liked the contrast in the first two initial posts.
~ Dan – Thought it was more of an essay response, and not a “discussion” that CNT 2010 blog is going for. Only 15 posts, one for each person. Need for more interaction.  Can we comment to comments?
~ Jason – Stated he enjoyed the chapter and wanted to see more revealing responses from others.

Addressing the word “like”: what do we mean when we say we "like" something we read?
~ Is it an emotional response?

~ Liv commented on the motivation that the word holds
~ Heather discuss the boredom that “like” gives off.
~ Dr. H posed the question “What responsibility does a reader bear?”

- Steph said that if she doesn’t enjoy reading a book she can be turned off by it and not be motivated to read more critically. Andi thought that Kolbert changed styles in chapter 5.
- Dr. H suggested that she didn’t change styles, and that a critical reading (careful, more than once) would reveal this.  
- Andi suggested that Kolbert was writing to persuade us, and noted that she wasn’t persuaded by this chapter.
- Liv thought that Kolbert's goal is not really persuasion, it’s more of a reality and more informative addressing this topic of climate change. She also brought out the argument that if this drought happened to one civilization, what will happen to the whole world today?

Dr. H discusses Liv’s comment on blog and compliments her on the quality of her post.
~ Dr. H stated that she hopes that we as a class follow Liv’s lead and post actual quotes in our post and then analyze those individual points
~ Dr. H addressed the ending of the chapter when Kolbert brings in the piece of pottery, to bring reality and home-value into her writing. It made us think, “These people were like us, they used pottery just as we do."  [note from Dr H: I was responding to Dan's point from our first discussions of Kolbert, that her technique of introducing us to specific scientists in effect creates characters, makes more of a narrative of her reporting.  So I suggested that Kolbert's use of the pottery fragment in the closing of this chapter was her manifestation of this same technique, just in a way that could work in the confines of the great gulf of years between her readers and Akkadian civilization.]

Robyn likes the blog because it allows us to speak freely without being put on the spot. She also addressed the gap between the “here and now” and the “past civilizations.” Robyn also said that we need to exercise “re-reading."

~ Dr. H backed that point of re-reading with an example from her own life in reading to her son.  When we re-read something--especially something we've read for pleasure, like a novel--we often realize that we've missed things the first time through.

~ Dr. H noted that Joe’s post, in mentioning the detail that the drought's severity even caused the death of earthworms, illustrated he was really thinking about what he was reading.

~ Dr. H also remarked Andi’s use of the phrase “paradigm shift” in her comment to the blog, and noted that the phrase is not accurately used to talk about one individual's response.  Dr. H. briefly explained the origin of the term (Thomas Kuhn, 1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions), and why it only properly refers to large changes affecting a whole community--e.g., a scientific community.   Dr. H noted that the concept of a "paradigm shift" is one that college graduates should be familiar with, and directed us to check the Wikipedia entry (which in this case is "pretty good").

~ Dr. H expects that we set aside the "like, dislike" dilemma [note: I'd even call it a distraction from critical thinking] when it comes to reading. Kolbert addressed the careful choice of places and locations of chapters. We need to try to understand why she did this and relish the points she’s making. "We need to work to understand Kolbert’s writing."

Dr. H also said the blog is the place to introduce another side of us. [I did?]

Dr. H said, seriously, watch The Daily Show link on the blog.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Wally, for taking on this fairly complicated log! I've made some additions and other editorial changes. If anyone else from the class wants to add or clarify something, please do so by posting a comment.


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