Because I Give a Shipka

Part 1:

This is a GPS watch and heart rate monitor.

Running Multimodal
Running Multimodal

 

 

You can hear me tell you how it works.

 

 

 

The thing is somewhat intuitive which means I don’t know how to use everything on it – my birthday present from 2012. My parents spent a bit more on my birthday than usual ($100) because they have always been very supportive, sometimes overly supportive of my running. Sometimes I think using a GPS watch (and sometimes heart-rate monitor too) is a bit like getting the old approval from the parents, or peers, or coaches, (the latter two my previous collaborators) that I might not get from just going for a run. Other times I purposefully go running without my watch – I need to be liberated from data and instant feedback.

In addition to it composing my running, the data can be used to reflect the running culture that I sometimes live in. "Always Improving"

Like any popular sport, stats has taken over. Even in my collaborate, community of runners, The Palouse Falls Beer Chasers, we have a data driven, lightly competitive record.

PFBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

And if my watch had the feature that some of the more expensive ones did, I could hook it to my computer and get data in alphabetic text, that might look something like my Beer Chasers stats:

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 5.48.31 PM

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 5.48.18 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 5.49.21 PMPart 2:

Shipka would say that how I run as I reflect is a key part of my process toward my end-goal or final product. The process behind making part one in this posting, involves thinking critically or differently about my running culture: I got my watch in place of a human coach and teammates; my present teammates and I collect data, compose our Wednesday workouts and drinking habits in multiple modes – remediated – after said run. And our workouts combined create collaborate data. I suppose it is no accident that the way scientists communicate, data, has shown up in our group of runners that includes a decent amount of scientists, students and professionals. And that we would have a narrative, alphabetic text remediation also makes sense as the founders of the groups were both professionals with an English degree (or two) and creative writers.

Here is the modes and processes and mediation: 1) meet at Birch and Barley on Wednesdays, (or don’t) then run, bike, walk, or do some kind of workout for at least 25 minutes. After working out, return (or arrive) to Birch and Barley. Order a beer. While drinking a clipboard goes around where we write down our data that one of our fearless leaders later puts into the website he built to house and display our data. It used to be a google doc/spreadsheet but as we’ve got a computer scientist in the mix, we remediated to a more impressive medium and end product (where you get the screenshots from of my runner data, for example).

Sometimes we also talk about the run we did, or a race we’re training for. Sometimes we talk about relationships. Sometimes work. Sometimes we cover all of the above and sometimes we do it while running before we even get to the drinking. So we’ve remediated, improved upon an arguably bad habit: drinking. We’ve gained an outlook of how others communicate and prioritize information. And this end product or result would most certainly not exist without different modes in the process.

Part 3:

Here are the parts toward a whole:

Toward a Composition Made Whole by Jody Shipka

Intro: Here Shipka states the overarching theme and caution in multimodal being equated solely with “new” technologies as well as the ongoing stigma attached to multimodal assignments, particularly with concern to the finish product.

Chapter 1: The title almost says it all with “The Problem with Freshman Comp.” We are constantly attempting an impossible task with English 101. We cannot teach the breadth and complexity of writing in one semester, for all fields of writing: impossible. Similarly, we cannot focus solely on the end-product quality or even usability if we are going to teach multimodal. Process and checking in and grading that process along the way.

Chapter 2: Shipka discusses the philosophy and theories that support multimodal learning. A “sociocultural approach” with analytic mediated action and reflection can revolutionize our classrooms and the way our students think about communicating and writing. Shipka reiterates the “always multimodal” concept of writing by keeping the idea that technology is not the only mode of writing as a major part and pushback in this chapter.

Chapter 3: Here Shipka gets multimodal, including images of multimodal writing process assignments. Ultimately, Shipka recognizes that both the planning writing or creations and the final product are equally important. Awareness of how we communicate and others communicate will obviously make us better communicators, including writing.

Chapter 4: In this chapter Shipka returns to more theory based information as she unpacks how she has scaffolded multimodality into her classroom over the years. What really struck me is the ability and power of being able to sit with, include, the unknown. It’s okay if we don’t know what our students’ ideas might look like or be assessed.

Chapter 5: Shipka gives practical ways to incorporate multimodality in the classroom. I especially like her idea of “flexible rhetoricians” (113) and grading accomplished in part by the students writing out and justifying why they made the choices they did. In this way, you could potentially not grade the final product at all but still give students grades for it via grading the process and choices – emphasis on the why, the rhetoric, intended, and achieved effect of the choices. Maybe a project turns out just awful but the student is able to write and identify why in such a way that they ultimately improve their critical thinking and communicating skills; even better to have a way to learn by hard knocks, but without having to have a failed grade to accomplish it.

Conclusion: Shipka sees the best writing as only accomplished after consciousness has been raised. And as teachers, we can only best cultivate this somewhat moral philosophy as well as multimodality projects if we practice what we preach. As a creative writing major in undergrad, I didn’t really know how to write a research paper. Now I know how, I don’t do it particularly well but well enough, and in the failures and consciousness and I better teach how-to write a research paper. If a teacher doesn’t know how to incorporate or grade a multimodal project, make something multimodal!

Part 4:

My questions for Professor Shipka:

Can you talk more about modes or mediums as an addition versus a replacement? How do you make this case to external parties in academia and English department? In a English 101 class, does this end up replacing an assignment to go alongside traditional text-writing? Or, do you feel adding multimodal works (best?) as a remediation of a text they already created or will create?

After sending out my questions, I actually read the book; so now I feel that my second question is pretty well addressed by chapter 2 and 5. So I would focus on my last two questions.

Oh shit, and other Mountain-life lessons

The mountain helps you realize that no one really cares about what you are doing.  Even when you are being watched and laughed at from the chair lift above.

“You’re turns are looking really nice,” I tell my friend ‘S’.  We are standing in the snow half way up Silver Mountain.  Well, we are really standing in ski boots, which are bound to fiberglass popsicle sticks with a sliding slick underbelly designed to induce near death visions.

“Oh yah? I kinda don’t feel like I’m doing that well,” she tells me. We’ve stopped to let the internal muscular burn of lactic acid production fade a bit before skiing the rest of the way down to the designated ski lift.

“Ya, when I went skiing with my dad he told me I was looking pretty good on the moguls and I was like, ‘really?  I feel like I’m in control, maybe, half the time.’”

“Ya, that’s how I feel too!” ‘S’ laughs and produces one of her elfin smiles, the kind you have to smile back at no matter what.

We go quiet so we can just breathe.  It isn’t the first ski of the season for either of us, but we can’t make it quite often enough to stay in shape for our near death experiences that for the same and different reasons, we both love.  We didn’t think the rain was going to turn into snow but kept the faith and about half way up the Gandola ride, much to our relief, snow.  We’ve skied for four or five hours now and I don’t know about ‘S’ for certain, but my burning quadriceps are starting to accrue a strange sort of squishy feel.

“Well,” I say after a few moments thought, “I guess that’s the secret, everybody’s just pretending, faking it.  They really aren’t in control half the time either.  “ ‘Hey dude’ “ I change my voice and act out,” ‘that was so awesome!’ ‘Yeah man, it’s cool, no big deal but uh, I got to go to the bathroom now cause I shit my pants.’ “

We laugh about this for a while before skiing the rest of the way down the mountain.  It’s the call back joke for the rest of the day, because I guess poop is just funny.  Thinking of the oh-so-cool trick snowboarders shitting there pants, is just a satisfying, goofy thought.

But I’ve discovered that this assessment of my fellow sliding-down-snow-lovers applies very well to the big picture, life, being an adult.  All adults and grown ups, (and this includes me now, much to my shock and awe) are faking it.  They’re pretending.  They’re scared shitless.  Which is the only reason why they don’t actually shit themselves until the effects of the bran muffin that is Time kicks in after retirement.

So I laugh at my dorky crashes and awkward pole versus skis moments and don’t care what people think because I love skiing, period.  Why can’t I do the same with life?  Mmh. Well, shit.

Before it wipes away

Page three of the very first journal, third entry.  The pencil is smudging and some of the words I can barely make out.  My significant other says how I really need to transcribe this stuff and I agree.  Not sure the best way and when I’ll get that done, but for now I’ll make sure June 15, 1992 is preserved:

Today I facqumed the stairs for a doller and now I have six

dollers and I’m going to put it in the bank.  And there is

something about me today that I’m wering today and that is

I’m whering all red and even my shoo’s are red too.  If

you really want to know wat hapen this week really

not innything icsiting.

The next entry because it makes me so happy, and really is parallel to where I’m at now 18 years later–in August I will be super senior, king of the school:

July 9, 1992

Today I wish it was Agust |. becase I’m so icsidid

for school becase I’m going to be king of the school.

And allso it | u will be cool to be a secent greder.

I was king of the school as a second grader because of all the new schools being built.  Smithfield, Utah was growing like crazy.  Sunrise Elementary is where I went to Kindergarten, then I went to Summit Elementary for first grade.  The building was once a high school a long, long, time ago.  Perhaps really it just was THE school of Smithfield, I dunno.

But while I was going to Kindergarten they were adding onto the building.  It was finished for my second grade year, so I went back–to a brand new school.  Sunrise Elementary, last I knew is Kindergarten through second graders.  Summit Elementary also was added onto and lost one of it’s buildings because it was no longer safe to survive any of the quakes from the fault lines in the area.  My middle school middle suffered the same fate.

I went to back to Summit Elementary again, before the add-on but after demolishing its external building (SO cool).  But I was only there until 5th grade when I headed to the ever evolving middle school situation.  So I guess I’ve always been a mover, 15 moves since graduating high school and without moving homestead once, five different schools, six school changes before getting to that graduation of high school.

Slave Trade

One of the first out-of-the-classroom lectures the Trio group had in Liverpool this last June, was a tour of the inner city, downtown area.  We saw the town hall, trade buildings, a court house, churches, prominent houses, and several statues.  Most of these were built mid-to-late 1700s.  I’m doing my best to remember the dates here, but if I remember right, before approximately 1730s or so, Liverpool was more or less a little fishing town.  The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade changed everything.

The town hall had ornate door handles of Poseidon riding the ocean waves, wall carvings of Neptune/Poseidon standing by two little black boys holding bags of money were on either side of the doorway.  A stunning, intricately carved fireplace greets you in the first room.  The lavish qualities of this building were built with the wealth that came from the slave trade.

The influence of the trade can be seen everyone, whether a person recognizes it as such.  For example, many of the street names are after prominent men in the slave trade.  But the slave trade ended, and Liverpool began its adjustments and decline; the city is all about the Beatles after all.  Though it could be argued that the Beatles were a part of what helped saved Liverpool, what with tourism and all.  More significantly, in 2008, Liverpool hosted “The Capitol of Culture”.  Art was everywhere, it was everywhere before they were nominated for Capitol of Culture.  Besides the Beatles museums and sites, there are an incredible amount of museums, theater everywhere.

After three weeks there, I decided that Liverpool was the best of two worlds-small town friendliness and big city diversity and access.  Access to all of the arts, different kinds of foods to eat, awesome small local shops as well as the monster company shops, and fantastic public transportation.  The Beatles may have put Liverpool back on the map for US citizens, but I don’t doubt it would have risen without their help.

I sincerely hope I’m able to return to Liverpool because I am very much aware of all the holes there are in my knowledge of the place; of what makes breathe and the soul of it, as perhaps this post illustrates to those who do know Liverpool.  I wanted to note the price paid for the original blossoming of Liverpool-and I welcome any and all Scousers to correct and add to the information I have here. I should have written this when it was fresher on the brain.

The Travel Quote Post of the Slightly Less Renowned

“We are social animals. The only reason we aren’t extinct is because of this. Individual isn’t the most important, the group, the broad collectively…is how we find our true stature.” ~Paul Adams, University of Liverpool, Educational Opportunities Manager

“White people, Black people, Indian people–all here together in one place. This is the future.” Daby Toure, African Goya concert Sefton Park, Liverpool, June 21, 2009

“I write for fun, but it’s no joke
because what I write
is to make the thought provoke.” -Patrick Graham, Black Out Productions

“What is your favorite passion?” -Candid

“What’s your happy ending?” -InLove

“We are superficial and profound” -Vixen

“I’m this unique human individual now” -Vixen

“There are two kinds of Americans; those who can cry for their country and those who can’t” -Vixen

“She seems the most studious of our group” -Me
“No, she just does it a different way” -Pensive

“History is NOT to develop the memory at the expense of intelligence,”
“The best kind of history is pulled into the present,”
“Education is also about citizenship,”
“Lecturing is a lecturer passing their notes to the students’ notepads without it passing through the brains of either,”
“We live life in details, but think in generalities,”
“Words are elastic, always question, pin down the meaning,”
“Isn’t education about getting confidence?”-All from Professor Ron Noon’s lecture, July 8, 2009

“The trouble with words is you don’t know who else’s mouth they’ve been in.” -Dennis Potter, playwright