Sitting in B Bar watching my brother rifle through Tinder is, like, as close to that sequence after the monkeys touch the obelisk that I’ve ever gotten.
i got into grad school BP
this is lyle’s way of being way too modest can we get a party up in here
Literally could not be happier and most prouder.
I like the articulation of excess as an overcoming because then excess is about movement. We overcome ourselves here too, this space moves.
So, things are real, as always, but I’ll just say that one of the incredibly beautiful and intense things about this weekend was helping a woman fairly fresh out a 13 year bid create a digital story. A lot of folks talk about privilege round here and rightly so, but like, this woman’s story was about forgiveness and bank robbery and prison and reform and learning about things like wi-fi and google and having a grandkid. Right? Like, there are people who went into prison before this internet existed and came out after all that and we’re teaching digital literacies and she’s talking about robbing for food and I’ve got so much to learn about difference.
Trigger isn’t really an adequate word for what you can do to a person when you treat them a certain way. The difference between talking at someone and having a dialogue with someone means that the relationship between two living beings of different and excessive subjectivities prevents the trauma from going all out, because, well, there’s someone there who cares for and respects you on the other end. Hopefully. It’s when the other person doesn’t respect your difference, when they treat you like you’re less than, that trauma snaps to in an instant. And that’s like shooting a gun at some thing—an erasure—not pulling a trigger.
I Love U (Like I love My Drum Machine) - Atom TM feat. Jamie Lidell
Look, we all deserve this, because really, we made it through another goddamn day.
I’ve written a bit about the CUNY C3IRG grant here and wanted to do a quick write-up of my experience. The three of us are executing the grant this week. Our proposal was to do a two day workshop where we taught a group of 24 students how to write, create, edit, and show their own digital story in order to measure the impact of digital storytelling on their public speaking anxiety and communication motivation. I’m not gonna get too technical with what/how we are actually measuring but basically they will have all completed a speech of introduction in their public speaking courses by this point in the semester and we are going to measure their anxiety and motivation doing that speech against a digital story where they talk about themselves. The idea is that working in a digital environment with a bit more control over their message and comfort with the tools might impact the speakers in lots of ways. We’ll see.
We proposed the workshop, and a series of interviews before and after the workshop. Here’s a breakdown of what everything looks like right now as I mainline coffee at 7:00am Monday morning:
- We have 24, one-hour interviews scheduled over the next five days where we will have students sign a consent form, fill out a few surveys, and then be interviewed and audio recorded by one or more of us to supplement the answers from the surveys. They will also be given an assignment sheet to prepare for the workshop this weekend which includes a reading, a writing prompt, and instructions for presenting the speech of introduction they did in their public speaking course.
- Each of us also teaches either 4 or 5 classes a piece, depending on how we’ve broken up our course loads, which we are working the interviews around.
- This weekend the workshop will run from 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday: Introductions, group lecture on the “7 Step Plan” of digital storytelling, the students present their speeches from their public speaking classes, a story circle where they share their writing prompts they received at the interview, time to write more and edit their stories with guidance, another story circle where they share the “final” draft of their stories, recording session for each student to record their stories to use as the audio track in their digital story. Sunday: working session to assemble the digital stories using WeVideo, a cloud/browser based video editing tool that gives them acces to all the media in their various social media accounts. It’s pretty slick if a bit basic. Then they present their stories to everyone.
- Next week we do the exit interviews where we have them fill out more surveys and then interview them about their experience doing the workshop vs. their speeches etc.
So this is the next two weeks in a buttshell. Right, and that’s just the actual execution of the proposal. We also have a shared google doc folder containing 15 documents varying in size from 2-30 pages, teaching a full load, and I’m wrestling with the budget and procurement stuff which has been an absolute nitemare. There has been one person who has been very helpful from the grants office but she can only help me so much. The budget has been approved and finalized since December but nothing has been ordered yet because both CUNY and my institution have completely fucked policies for buying shit even if it’s through grant monies. So, like, we are buying some equipment to sort of make a digital storytelling teacher kit that includes voice recorders, digital video cameras, a scanner, an apogee mic input for laptop or ipad, and then each student gets a book and an ASUS tablet for participating. Basic stuff, something like 5k total. I’ve been approved and reapproved by circles of administration and am still meeting resistance from absolutely everyone I’ve talked to. I have to get three quotes from state approved vendors for EACH ITEM we are ordering. There is no list of vendors, there is no manual for faculty to figure out how to do any of it, there is no appointed person whose job it is to guide me gently through this all. Like basically, I was told, here is your budget code, happy hunting, except I can’t actually purchase anything and have to get five different types of permission to be able to request someone to make the actual purchase. It’s totally wild how little guidance we’ve been provided.
Plus I’m seeing St. Vincent on Wednesday evening and my brother gets here in a week or so for a 6 day stay.
So, I think the reason I wrote all this before my 830 is because I want to hold myself accountable to this space, to my desire to not burn out, for anyone else who teaches and gets lucky enough to work with/from a grant (because trust me, I know how fucking lucky we are to have this opportunity), and as a way of engaging others. Plus I’m goddamn ripping with excitement to see the actual stories the students make. I’m sure I’ll have more things to say later on, but I’m out the door.