I’m sitting with my Newswriting class in A309, because everybody is getting a blog today! To the newbie bloggers, a blog is like a sofa. You have to get used to it, you have to break it in, and eventually blogging will become comfortable. Sometime I think my fellow students are intimitated by blogs, but they really aren’t scary. Think of it merely as a online notebook that the whole world can see(that’s the catch). Anything goes in the world of blogging, almost anything.
Academics, Spots, Clubs, Personal stories…feel free to write about anything. Please keep it clean, use proper netiquette. Don’t make personal attacks, do not purpously try to offend others. We’re all mature adults here, although not every blogger may be. You have to respect everybody, even if they’re disrespectul to you (try to defend yourself in a tasteful manner).
A blog is a place for your thoughts, your questions and your comments. Please do not feel what you write may seem stupid. If what you say is important to you, others will see the importance in your writing as well- even if it does take a little time.
This morning I introduced the first class of newbies to their academic weblogs. The class, “News Writing,” is big, at least by SHU standards, and it’s big for a writing class anywhere. I think we’re at about 34 students now.
About a third of the class has blogged for me before, and a third will also be blogging for me in other classes.
This is probably the least stressful “intro to blogging” class I’ve ever run, in part because I’ve got a good handout that I’ve tweaked over several semesters, in part because there were so many experienced student bloggers to offer help, and in part because I split the class in half and took them to the lab in shifts.
The other half of the class paired up and practiced interviewing each other, in preparation for writing a peer profile.
While slipping between the long rows of computer stations, at that moment, I was thinking about what I was going to say to the whole class just before dismissal — I wanted to emphasize the value of quoting selectively, rather than writing down everything your interview subject has to say.
At that moment, my hip bumped a monitor, and a student said, “Dr. Jerz, when you bumped the computer, it went blank!”
Without thinking, I blurted out, “Behold the power of Jerz’s ass!”
That provoked a strong reaction. The incident has already made it into a student weblog.
I stayed up late marking papers, so guess I was feeling a little punchy.