Meet the Authors Series


November 17th 1997


Hosted by: Response Editor Jennifer Bowie

The following is the log of the session.

-- Start log: Monday, November 17, 1997 7:07:28 pm LinguaMOO time --

@join Kaiors


A large room with distant light walls and lots of hazy, but too bright, light. There are several large pillows on the floor, and in the front of the room there is a small platform stage with a group of comfortable chairs. Type 'up' to step up on the platform stage.

Jennifer says, "Welcome Everyone"

nickc says, "ooh, recorder's on."

Matt-Kirschenbaum wrestles with stagefright

nickc slips stagefright a Mickey

Jennifer says, "why don't we all take afew minutes to get settled and introduce ourselves?"

Joel will be glad to tag-team in and beat stagefright to a pulp for ya, Matt-K

DDD settles

The housekeeper arrives to cart Mick off to bed.

Matt-Kirschenbaum nods to Jennifer

Jennifer says, "Doug is here"

Cynthia says, "I'm Cynthia@LinguaMOO :)"

Jennifer gets up from her seat.

Jennifer tiptoes out.

A small swarm of 3x5 index cards arrives, engulfs Jennifer, and carries her away.

Jennifer quietly enters.

A small swarm of 3x5 index cards blows in and disperses, revealing Jennifer.

DougB wipes his brow and throws down his car keys

nickc is Nick Carbone,

[PANEL] DougB says, "sorry, I'm running a tad late"

DDD says, "I'm ddd@linguaMOO"

Joel :'s Joel @ Ball State U.

[PANEL] DougB says, "Mountain Time you know"

DDD copies

Jennifer is Jennifer Bowie

Janice is Janice Walker, U of South Florida, Tampa

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "matt from U Virginia"

Joel . o O (that didn't work quite right)

Bil is Bill Ruhsam, of nowhere in particular,

Jennifer says, "I'm at Rensselaer polytech."

[PANEL] DougB says, "Doug Brent from University of Calgary"

julia says, "julia ferganchick-neufang from UALR ("

Jennifer says, "doug would you like us to join you there or would you like to join us here?"

DougB finds a seat in the panel.

julia swats at a pesky index card

Jennifer shows slide #1.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Welcome to the Second KMTA -- _K_airos _M_eet _T_he _A_uthors MOO Series!

The Meet the Authors Series is a Lingua MOO forum in which the Authors of Kairos webtexts lead discussions about the issues raised in the texts as published. MOO Logs for these texts will be edited for publication and reaction in forthcoming issues of the journal.


Author/Teacher Matt Kirschenbaum and Author Doug Brent

Hosted by Jennifer Bowie

If you have any questions on how to MOO contact Jennifer (type 'page Jennifer your question or concerns') or type 'help introduction'

Thank you for joining us.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

nickc finds a seat in Kairos.
nickc gets up from its chair.

[PANEL] DougB says, "well, Matt, I think we're on and Lee isn't"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "I think so"

DougB gets up from his chair.
DougB steps down from the panel and onto the main floor.

Matt-Kirschenbaum doesn't know how to respond to pages

nickc says, "right, Doug, it's you and Matt. I misinformed Cynthia and she made exquisite programs for the wrong night"

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: type 'page player-name text'

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: without the quote marks :)

Jennifer [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: just type page person's_name message

Cynthia quickly erases the program :)
Cynthia erases the program for Kairos
Cynthia dusts off her wizardly hands

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "thanks"

Joel sneezes cynthias dust

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "we call that whisperin' round these parts"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "paging i mean"

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: why don't you fill us in a bit, for the record, about your Kairos classroom spotlight?

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "well, i'll try to type what i can shorthand"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "the main part of what it is is a collection of 11 student hypertext projects"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "completed for an introductory lit. seminar called Literary Narrative in an Information Age"

DougB says, "So Matt! I read your Kairos feature and looked at some of the student's web texts though I am sorry to say I didn't have time to read them all as thoroughly as they deserved. I was amused by Al's sendup of hypertext essays in his beta test. Did anyone else have a chance to read through some of those texts?"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "I wanted the students to do hypertext projects so that they could get a feel for a medium they had read _about_ and partly in for part of the semester"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "there are associated reasons why I thought publication was an important end point for the projects, which I discuss in the wrapper"

nickc wonders if Matt's students share some of Doug's ambiguity about hypertext

DougB wonders the same

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to nickc]: nick absolutely; I called this the hypertext forgeign legion syndrome in my wrapper intro

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: maybe you could also mention how/why Doug's prior article in Kairos figured in your plans for your class?

Jennifer nods

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to Cynthia]: cynthia well, for one thing it offered an excellent intro to basic issues related to writing for/on/in the web

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "it also gave them a specific position to respond to, rather than just the generic notion of hypertext; because they were encountering one specific argument, there initial responses to the issues raised by the medium were very focused, in what were useful ways"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "most importantly of all, it let them know that they could participate in a scholarly dialogue on (perhaps) equal footing"

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: good idea :)

nickc [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: and I imagine that their focused changed as they actually started to write in the medium

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "i have reservations about how far i would push that last claim, reservations not related to the students' abilities but rather the institutional settings of scholarly conversation"

nickc wonders what equal footing really is?

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to nick,]: nick, yes, there first hypertext essays were replies to doug, which he generously commented on

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: how did the institutional settings affect your class?

Jennifer [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: what do you mean exactly by that?

Jennifer smiles at Cynthia

nickc says, "Matt, don't try to answer everything--you'll go nuts"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "institutional settings: well, one of the core claims of orthodox ht theory is that everyone is empowered, the classroom is decentralized, right . . ."

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "but our professional conversations are still mediated"

Jennifer nods

nickc [to DougB]: what was your sense of the student webs as literacy artifacts?

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "my students, for instance, are published, yes, but in a highly contextualized setting"

Jennifer says, "its hard for everyone to step outside their "roles""

Joel [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: I understand your hesitation to push the claim that the students can really *become* equal-footed participants in the professional dialogue after just a semester-or-so, but the point seems to be that they truly do *begin* engaging not only in professional dialogue, but dialogue in the profession! It's the real thing. And that's an important power.

DougB says, "I agree. We shouldn't pretent that a new technology wipes away political/institutional context overnight"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "that's not a critique of the classroom SPOTLIGHT, just an observation about how there work is framed in the larger web of discourse"

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to Joel]: joel yes

nickc nods Matt

Matt-Kirschenbaum flexes his fingers

DougB says, "Student writers find it hard to claim the same authority as professional--whatever that may mean"

Jennifer says, "I believe students can become equal-footed participants in the professional dialogue, depending on the dialogue and how the others see the students. "

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to DougB]: doug not only that, but many (most) of them were frightened by that authority

nickc [to Jennifer]: those are big depending upons

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "they had been conditioned to think that their writing was an exercise, not a contribution that others might take seriously"

Jennifer look down at herself and sees herself having professional dialogue

Jennifer says, "Well nearly professional since I can't spell/type"

Jennifer says, "SEE!"

Cynthia laughs.

nickc [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: I see students who are very hesitant to address, let alone challenge, what they perceive to be authority; hypertext sometimes adds confusion to that fear

DougB says, "Some of the texts, though, were very good, I thought. But there is more to authoritative stance than the "actual" merit of the text..."

Cynthia [to Jennifer]: typos go with the territory :)

Jennifer [to Cynthia]: yup :)

Joel says, "one of the reasons, it seems, that students may not be able to claim the authority of professionals is they simply don't have a mastering of the language...the terms...the discourse of the discourse community yet. It seems though, by reading and engaging in the discourse, they can begin to become a part of it more than if they were simple passive watchers. 'Course, they can also embarrass themselves in the process. But I spoze that's part of it."

Bil says, "In my opinion , professional dialogue happens when the dialogee(?) contributes something worthwhile, not necessarily new or infomred."

DougB says, "or rather, following Foucault's "author position", the author is an intergral part of the authority of the text. You can't step outside that just by using a new medium" Bil has been running across that a lot

Joel . o O (Must type smaller chunks)

DDD says, "I find this interesting because I've watched the problem go the other way. I want my students to be a little more CAREFUL, assume LESS when they take on other authors. But they jump in and feel free to say YO, you just aren't thinking clearly, bub. "

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "Joel raises a key issue . . ."

nickc [to DDD]: when they do that, how are they read/heard?

Bil [to DDD]: I agree, but mistakes are the only REAL way to get something into your head...

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "part of the democratizing rhetoric that surrounds hypertext/the web, etc. also sometimes seems to suggest that there is no prehistory here, i.e. not set of skills or terms one needs to have _some_ knowledge of to discuss the medium in a responsible way"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "witness Sven Birkerts"

Jennifer says, "Students are taught from kindergarden to bow down to the teachers and other "authority" whether it be autor or what. Its hard to step outside that. Trust me"

DDD says, "typically, they are read/heard by the authors signed up for listservs or on the web GENEROUSLY. I'm all embarrassed but b/c the authors are already being generous, the authors engage the conversations. It's really fairly remarkable..."

nickc says, "authority doesn't just come from authoring, but also from being read/heard as an author with authority, something that is conferred upon the writer by the reader" Jai quietly enters.

Jai arrives.

Cynthia says, "I wonder how/if it would be different in synchronous hypertext, like this now, we are engaging with the 'author' of this spotlight wrapper thingie :)...and dougb's prior article...are we more/less careful? the students in this group are fewer than Matt's peers, but what do ya'll think?"

Bil [to nickc]: But now you're getting into "preception" which is a dicey subject

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to nickc]: nick yes: back to institutional settings/circumstances

Jennifer says, "for those who have not please annouce yourself and where you are from"

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to Cynthia]: cynthia my students met with michael joyce in the moo after reading *Afternoon*

nickc [to Bil]: yes, it is dicey. and Matt's right, we rely on institutional settings/discipline's discourse/frequently cited articles, etc. to shape percepts.

DDD . o O ( these students have been reading foucault on 'self disclosure' )

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: kewl :)

Jennifer says, "From my own experience I think students are careful in the beginning but once they realize the authority is a real person they relax some"

DDD says, "that is cool. How did it go, Matt?"

Bil [to nickc]: Well, atleast we get away from physical stereotypes when doing all of the percepting on the net.

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to Cynthia]: cynthia the dynamics of that meeting were an interesting contrast to their writing on/about hypertext

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: in what way(s)?

nickc [to Bil]: I don't, I bring them with me and imagine bodies and faces to go with words

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "they challenged him quite bluntly on a number of points, which I don't think they would have done had they been responding to him in an expository essay"

Cynthia chuckles.

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "presence diluted his authority"

Cynthia says, "maybe that corroborates what DDD was saying?"

Bil [to nickc]: Yes, but altleast everyone, to start gets a blank slate. It is entirely up to your eloquence to bring across the point. Now we are leaning toward literate people. :|

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "thought not his wit and insight"

Jennifer hands bill some cold medicine

DDD says, "sounds like it."

DougB says, "I noticed that some of your students felt empowered to write quite critical material in response to my work..."

Jennifer agrees with Bil

DougB says, "I'd say that's positive"

nickc nods Bil

Bil wonders who the bourgeois of the net are...

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to DougB]: doug yes . . . but I think they were also aware of you as a Critic, i.e. someone whose business is argument

Cynthia checks DougB's authority gauge and sees that it's still full even after students' critiques :)

Joel [to Bil]: cynthia, jan, and ddd

Cynthia . o O ( just kidding :) )

DougB says, "But there is no blank slate as long as people are identified as students and teachers"

nickc [to Bil]: anyone who orders something with a credit card?

DougB grins

Bil laughs.

Jennifer smiles

DougB says "I wish I'd had more time to engage some of the students more at the time Matt invited me to respond

nickc nods Dougb on slates not being all that blank

Bil [to DougB]: Well, there we go with this thing. The only thing a I know about this group is that Jenn is a student, Cynthia is a wizard and you and Matt are featured authours. The rest could be off the virtual street for a ll I know

Jennifer says, "So don't identify them, if possible. The net (MOO) can allow people to be who they want, limited by their own knowledge and writing abilities"

Cynthia laughs.

Jai is most definately off a virtual street corner. Ahem.

nickc [to Jennifer]: and limited by MOO code and their knowledge of that

Janice . o O ( so that's why i'm covered in tar... )

Jennifer smiles at Bill

DougB says, "I think that this environment is really interesting because few students would have the opportunity to raz an author directly in any other mediu,\m"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "in general, I tried to stress that the moo, email, the web, etc. formed a spectrum of communicative possibilities"

the_knight quietly enters.
the knight arrives.

Jennifer [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: I really agree

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "that we shouldn't evaluate these various technologies in binary better/worse than terms"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "this is an issue that"

DDD has to go grade a ton-o-pulp papers. waves nighty night to all ...

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "this is an issue pertinent not only to undergrads, but our broader professional circumstances"

DougB says, "What about the point some of the students raised--that ht is not a good medium for argument?"

DougB says, "A number of them were quite sceptical, as Matt points out"

DDD gets up from our seat.
DDD tiptoes out.
DDD goes home.

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "Doug my response would be, not a good medium for _certain kinds_ of argument"

Jennifer [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: Why?

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "an excellent medium for argument of other sorts"

DougB says, "What kinds?"

DougB nods agreement

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to Jennifer]: Jennifer well, I suppose I'd say that if we're to take the web seriously as a writing/speaking space, than we have to acknowledge limitations

nickc [to DougB]: depends on which part of the medium. Email exchanges can offer wonderfully sustained and complex arguments; MOOs are like a list of opinions quickly stated

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "the web is a material technology that enables some forms of discourse and disables or at least delimits other forms of discourse"

Bil smiles emotively :) It just doesn't really bring it across as well as face to face

DougB says, "One problem is that we are stuffing old sorts of argument into new media. It's like criticising print because it's such a bad mediym for epic poetry."

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "doug can probably parse those rhetorical forms far more adeptly than I could"

Bil charges back to get a scarap of vellum

DougB says, "As Ong points out, Plato had no idea that his mindset was conditioned by writing"

DougB says, "We've come to value the writing mindset so much, though, that I doubt we can give it up easily"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "nor should we give it up -- this brings us back to the hypertext foreign legion"

nickc [to DougB]: nor should we give it up easily

Jennifer says, "will we be giving them up?"

DougB says, "HT seems in danger of producing pointless meandering"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "the reason many of my students were skeptical of HT was that they thought they had to choose: EITHER print OR hypertext"

Jennifer [to DougB]: yes it does along with just the opposite

nickc hi fives Matt on simultaneous thought

DougB says, "I found that as a writer of HT I was always tempted to add one more link undercutting what I had said before, but seldom motivated to come to a point"

Cynthia says, "this may spill over into discussion next week of Libby's article on hypertext, but she said that in hypertext, one part of information is not REALLY more important than other parts...but I'm with Matt I think, in that some arguments may need more logical, sequential organization than hypertext lends itself to"

Bil thinks that HT would be the *perfect* addition to thrte corporate boardroom. It would enable even more vacillating

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "but at the same time, economic/social factors do place various technologies, including the web, and say, printed matter into competition with one another"

nickc [to Cynthia]: or you can write a logical, sequential hypertext

Cynthia [to nicks]: touche...yes, good point :)

Jennifer says, "sequential hypertext?"

Eric quietly enters.
Eric's stream of bits swirl in and make themselves at home.

Bil says, "HT allows the author/writeer to sculpt his thoughts with greater care, given the at he does not (sorrye jenn, ) she does not know what context it will bear for the read"

nickc [to Jennifer,]: sure like a flow chart

Jennifer picturing a flow chart, nods

DougB says, "I think that HT may be more suited to fiction than to argument. How did you find your students reacted to the HT _fiction_ they were reading? And did any of them try their hand at it, instead of essays?"

nickc says, "we tend to think of hypertext in the extreme--Moulthrop's natives on a bender--but a lot of it is print-paradigmed still; links as footnotes kind of thing"

Bil laughs.

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to DougB]: doug most of them were very taken with *Afternoon*, though interestingly, the highest praise they seemed to feel they could give it was to say that it would have been impressive even if it were in print

Eric wonders if that means the dominant mode of expression in the academy might be shifting from argument to narrative?

DougB says, "re the flow chart--the writer does exercise a lot of control in ht but its a different kind of control"

nickc [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: well Joyce is a compelling prose stylist

Jennifer says, "I can't imagine *Afternoon* in print"

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to Eric]: eric new historicism . . .

Eric nods matt

Jennifer thinks on Eric's comment

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "they seemed to feel they were doing afternoon a favor by rescuing the content from the form"

DougB says, "I see more narrative around in some fields than there used to be."

Jennifer looks amazed at Matt

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: interesting observation.

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "some of them, I should stress . . . others swam headfirst into the flow of it"

nickc [to eric,]: well ever since those ethnographers got a hold of things . . .

Bil [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: that's like rescuing the yolk from the shell

Cynthia laughs.

Jennifer laughs

Joel quietly hi5s eric

Matt-Kirschenbaum missed the yolk

nickc [to Bil]: might work for hard-boiled detective fiction

Eric grins at nickc

Cynthia LOL

Bil groans.

DougB says, "Partly I don't think that anyone including us really has a clue how to read ht yet"

Cynthia eggs Matt on

Janice agrees with Dougb

Bil says, "STOP!"

Jennifer LOL

Eric agrees with doug on that

Bil chuckles.

DougB puts on raincoat to protect himself from bad yolks

Joel says, "good question, dougb."

Bil glares at dougb

Cynthia hopes no ONE way to read ht emerges

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "we also read lots of non-HT -- or stuff I'd call proto HT"

Eric says, "thank gooodness. as soon as we *know* how to read it, reading it will be a little less of an adventure :)"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "Delillo, Borges, Acker, N. Baker, Gibson"

nickc [to DougB]: well, one link at a time, and the sequence becomes the path, becomes the way

Jennifer agrees with Cynthia

DougB says, "Its part of a forming genre--we don't know how to read it because we don't know how to write it etc"

Eric says, "the luxury of ignorance ;)"

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to DougB]: doug but there are lots of expressive forms we don't _know_ how to read . . .

Joel nods Eric. As soon as someone tells us how to read hypertext, that person will prolly say, "hey...I just thought of something. Why don't I just write my text in a book?"

DougB says, "Yes--we are inventing genres all the time"

Jennifer says, "its with this ignorance that we can discover so much more and *play* with the new medium"

Bil [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: could you give an example of a form we don't know how to read.

Cynthia says, "I had my class recently read Joyce's print article going in our High Wired collection...they mostly didn't like it...why? because it 'drifted' too much...he used big words like "preliminary" and didn't have a point"

nickc nods Matt and thinks of opera

Cynthia says, "go figure"

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to Cynthia]: cynthia points are important, i gues

DougB says, "pomo is happy with text as play but what happens when we want to get serious?"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "can't have an article without one"

Jai [to Cynthia]: But our student population wiull be changing

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "well, afternoon is nothing if not SERIOUS hypertext ;)"

nickc [to DougB]: like all serious games--we get a league, some referres, some teams, pay some money, suit up, listen to coaches, and compete

Jai [to Cynthia]: I have much the same problem with students who have never (eek) touched a keyboard.

Bil says, "excuse me, Pomo? What's that?"

DougB says, "Right--there's serious and serious. "

Cynthia says, "to add insult to injury I asked a mostly MOO-illiterate class to discuss Joyce's print essay about the MOO while IN the MOO...what a disaster!"

DougB says, "pomo=postmodernism for lazy typists"

Bil ahhhhsss

Eric [to DougB]: or what happens when getting serious means getting down to play (not instead of 'business' but 'business-as-play')?

Jai [to Cynthia]: But get some kids who have grown up on 'puters, and we have a whole different game

nickc [to Bil]: Cole Porter called it "anything goes"

Joel [to Cynthia]: yup. too much too quick (too pomo)

Bil [to nickc]: that's almost the definition of anything "modern"

Jennifer says, "If you have yet to annouce who you are for the log please do"

DougB says, "It's interesting to see how uncomfortable students can be with this play space"

Cynthia says, "we then had a big discussion of Geoffrey Sirc's Computers and Composition article of some years back about productive and non-productive discourse online"

Cynthia [to Joel]: TOO TOO exactly

Jai sighs the productive/non-productive dichotomy.

DougB says, "a lot of what we do in education is socialize people not to play: stay in your seat, don't chew gum. Maybe people have to learn o\how to play?"

Cynthia [to doubg]: good point

Jennifer says, "maybe"

Jai [to DougB]: Zactly

Joel heard that, when Joyce was asked, "aren't some of your puns trivial?", he responded, "yes, and some are quad-reveal!"

Eric says, "hey Cynthia, these kids just wanna get their grades and get on with life (many of them). you pull tricks like that & it throws the fear o' god in 'em (how can I get an A talking on a MOO! about a guy like Joyce!)"

nickc [to DougB]: you got that right--how to play and how to learn from playing

Bil [to DougB]: Wow. That's cool. That makes soo much sense.

Eric nods doug

Cynthia [to Eric]: exactly! freedom is not liberating...I actually asked them that and they said yes, it's NOT!

Eric grins at cynthia for shaking em up

Jennifer says, "what about the students who care? Are there large amounts of them?"

Bil [to Bil]: I know too many people who do not know how to put "it" away. Just chillin' while working is impossible

nickc says, "Play is why I like Britton's Language and Learning so much, and the metaphor of the map he opens with, which presages ht in many ways"

Bil is talking to himself

Matt-Kirschenbaum is catching his breath

Cynthia [to Bil]: what "it"?

Jennifer [to Bil]: having a good conversation w/ yourself?

Cynthia smiles.

DougB says, "And play is dam' hard work. It took me eight months to write Rhetorics of the Web. I'd planned this cute little article and I couldn't stop."

Cynthia laughs.

Jai [to Jennifer]: Sometimes it is disheartening how many students are tied deeply to the seriousness of WORK...just enuff work to get the more no alongs comes a Joycean moment and they have no clue what to do with it

Bil [to cynthia]: "whatever chip happens to be resting on them. Too serious while working. Not enough objectivity. Too much focus. Whatever Eric says, "we could segue this conversation right into tuesday cafe tomorrow!"

DougB says, "Just one more link... just one more and it'll be complete..."

nickc [to Cynthia]: well freedom without limits is chaos, and that's not liberating--you spend too much time wondering. Marriage, for example, has been very liberatiing for me

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to DougB]: doug did you write Rhetorics in Storyspace?

Jennifer [to Jai]: I am actaully a student who was in a webbed class and I fell in love with ht. Even wrote an award winning story for the class project. I care.

Cynthia [to nickc]: ah, I see :)

Eric [to nickc]: but does freedom-without-limits even exist? I sometimes think it's mainly a bugaboo of the puritan imagination that still infiltrates white western culture :)

DougB says, "Actually I wrote it with a text editor and an html cheat sheet. Although that's not what made it take 8 months"

DougB says, "Now I use netscape's editor"

Jai [to Jennifer]: Ya hafta pray for those moments

Bil [to ]:

Eric cheers jennifer

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "just curious about how you organized and kept track of things"

Bil growls at himself

nickc [to Eric]: no, not really, but the fear of it is paralyzing.

DougB says, "I started out keeping most of it in my head..."

Jennifer [to Bil]: maybe the cold is affecting you

Eric [to nickc]: indeed

julia has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove julia.

Cynthia [to Eric]: Nope, it really doesn't...I should have prefaced my freedom comment by saying that I was giving them freedom to choose a topic after reading Joyce...didn't have to be 'about' his essay or a response to it. But, they wanted me to feed them a topic, tell them what to write, tell them how they felt about writing, etc

DougB says, "I found that as I worked back and forth through the nodes I got a slowly evolving 3-d map in my head"

DougB says, "But then it got too big..."

Matt-Kirschenbaum nods to doug

nickc [to Eric]: the real fun is trying to get students to take the freedom you give them to take risks and make mistakes--so afraid of mistakes, egg on face, and crossing authority

Jennifer [to Cynthia]: was that an undergraduate class? would that make a difference?

DougB says, "so I started making tree diagrams on pieces of paper, clustering nodes and writing little arrows."

Joel [to DougB]: wowzers

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "air traffic controllers call that loosing the picture"

Eric says, "but be careful agreeing with me. last time I said that in public geoff sirc called me a dirty modernist "

Eric laughs

Jai [to Cynthia]: It's terribly hard to break that cycle....way scary for them...

DougB says, "the 2-d medium helped me keep track"

Cynthia [to Jennifer]: yes it was, but it's not terribly different with my graduate students, right the_knight? :)

the_knight says, "cynthia's graduate class loves the Jopyce article"

Cynthia [to the_knight]: right on cue :)

Bil [to Cynthia]: I've always found in the writing classes I'm in (not that many but some) that the majority of the students do not want to be creative. They want to produce and be done. Hmmmm...a product of the culture? Or a product of a certain type of person?

Jennifer says, "so those of us who can take the freedom end up here talking about it?"

Eric [to nickc]: yeah, students got so many psychic chains holding 'em down that running amok with freedom is probably the last thing we need to worry about, the first thing we do. Humph.

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to Cynthia]: cynthia have you seen Aarseth's _Cybertyext_?

Cynthia says, "although they loved the article, some of them are having a hard time honing in on a project...but not's an exception :)"

Janice [to Bil]: yes, and they want to get it "right"

DougB says, "I suppose its the same in most classes--I doubt that there are many student s in math classes to appreciate the play and aesthetics of math. But we worry about it more"

Cynthia [to Bil]: yes, it's always shocking to me...I always give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are interested! then I get shocked back to reality :(

Eric [to Cynthia]: yeah, fear of freedom may not be well-founded, but it's mighty powerful anyways, that's true.

Cynthia [to Jennifer]: you go grrrlll!

the_knight says, "cynthia's graduate classs loves the aarseth, too"

Bil [to Janice]: The best writing mentor I had didn't grade. He just encouraged. At the end of the class he did a sit down with each student and they agreed on a grade

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: Just finished it...he's a good friend of Jan and me

Eric says, "that's it, jennifer"

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: he's actually Jan's supervisor of his PhD

Eric [to Bil]: me too

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "small world indeed"

nickc thinks if college weren't so damned expensive . . .

Janice [to Bil]: not all students will let you get away with that--they want to KNOW grades up front

DougB says, "Matt--did you go nuts trying to grade those hypertexts?"

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: yup...I'm headed over to Norway to give a talk to his department in December, as well as bring my hubby home :)

Bil [to Janice]: Well as long as the sylabus states it... who knows...

the_knight says, "I'm not here to cheer cynthia, really. I'm just amazed that I'm understnading any of this. A little learning is a dangerous thing"

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: so what did you think about Cybertext?

judi quietly enters.
judi arrives.

DougB says, "It's hard enough grading formats which have centuries of expectations to guage against"

Jennifer says, "That's the reason I care about college, because its so damn expensive. But I have learned that I learn best when playing, or doing something I love"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "not really; partly because I didn't let myself, i.e. I figured the process was more important than the final assessment; most of them ended up pretty happy I think"

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to Cynthia]: cynthia "I liked CT

Jennifer says, "Please make sure to indroduce yourself for our log"

Matt-Kirschenbaum still can't seem to get the stage-talk quite right

Eric says, "let's not talk about college expenses. I'll be paying for a degree I'm not going to get until I'm old and gray"

nickc [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: can I email you about the grading?

Eric grrrs

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: hard to believe this was his dissertation and 2 weeks after he defended he got the book contract

Matt-Kirschenbaum [to nickc]: nick sure

Bil signs check. Another one.. and nauseam

Eric says, "I mean, I'll be paying until I'm old and gray(er). The degree is not in the cards"

DougB says, "Last year I tried to grade hypertexts. This year I'm just giving a particpation mark because I found that grades--guess what--spoiled the play"

judi is judith kirkpatrick, technorhetorician from the tropics.

Cynthia thinks Eric should be given a dozen phd's for all the work he does for our field!

the_knight says, "If Jennifer was talking to me, I'm Harold, a graduate student t UTD."

Tari quietly enters.
Tari arrives.

Jennifer says, "I was talking to everyone who hasn't"

Joel nods DougB

Eric laughs & wonders if Cynthia would mind forwarding that sentiment to the university of missouri english dept.

Tari says, "hi hi"

Cynthia [to Eric]: would be happy to!

Eric waves tari

Tari says, "I'm here, I'm late, log me, quote me, etc."

Tari bows

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "I need to take off soon; is there anything specific we wanted to cover?"

nickc [to Eric]: well, if you wait long enough, you'll get an honorary degree; then again, there's always hacking since records are computerized

Jennifer says, "this was great and since its after nine we should be closing up"

Cynthia [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: We're glad you came even though there was a mixup :)...great session :)

nickc [to Matt-Kirschenbaum]: how many of your students are continuing to work in ht now that they're out of the class?

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "thanks for having me; I had lots of fun"

DougB says, "So did I"

Jennifer says, "thank you everyone, especially our two authors"

Bil thanks everyone. It's been educational

the_knight says, "I have to give up the computer to my partner. Thanks, y'all. bye"

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "nice to take off from the diss and um, play . . ."

the_knight has disconnected.

Eric [to nickc]: or I could take the (convenient) position that degrees are bogus anyway & try to make a badge of honor out of the bare spot on the wall over my desk :)

Matt-Kirschenbaum says, "night all"

-- End log: Monday, November 17, 1997 8:03:54 pm LinguaMOO time --