Last week, as I was trolling google images for pictures of Solzhenitsyn, I was surprised at the number of odd photos I found of him shaking hands, laughing, and basically doing anything at all except being in a gulag and speaking truth to power.
Here, for instance, is Solz smashing a massive forehand from the service line while wearing loafers.
Solz crushes a forehand winner.
Here he is signing autographs for some shirtless guy. Read more »
My students have their first paper due in two days, and there’s more than a bit of panic going around. They have to write a three- to five-page personal essay that explores some aspect of their relationship to new media literacies. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that many of my students have chosen to write about their phones. And this past week, while discussing their paper topics, an interesting point kept cropping up.
My students, you see, are annoyed that their parents don’t text in complete sentences. “I hate it when my parents just send me a text that says, ‘k,’” says one student. “Yeah,” says another, “they use more texting lingo than I do.”
Let’s pretend here, for just a minute, that I actually believe that there’s a generation of college freshmen out there who text with their words spelled correctly and all sentences grammatically correct. (Wouldn’t that be amazing?) While I’ve never shortened you to u, even I have been known to leave out a comma. Just last week I chose not to go back and fix a word I’d forgotten to capitalize. But even if their claims aren’t true, I was still startled to hear just how annoyed my students were by the language—or lack there of—their parents use. Perhaps it’s that it feels strange to them to have their parents using language that seems stereotypically designated to them—like the mother who shops at Abercrombie right alongside her daughter. Or perhaps my students really are moving back toward real communication, having gotten the Internet-speak out of their systems while their parents are still discovering it exists. In either case, it’s a nice counterpoint to the stories you see about teachers grading papers littered with u and r and lol. Now I just have to get them to learn your and you’re.
I’ve been thinking lately about Shira’s discussion of blogging and introducing high school students to a world of Internet communication wider than Facebook, wondering if they (or I) even really have Facebook nailed yet. Two weeks back I posted a link to an infographic on my Facebook that, due to the content that had been analyzed and designed, riled a few feathers (to put it lightly). The comment left on my post was sent to my email and came through while I was at work, which meant that I had all day to think about what to respond but couldn’t actually go on and craft a response until I got home. And I admit, I stressed more than a little bit about it.
On the one hand, it seemed so silly to me to be worrying about it. I mean, it’s Facebook, for heaven’s sake! People write articles about how to handle Facebook breakups and whether or not you should friend your ex. And here I was wondering how to respond in a way that people visiting my profile would (1) see me standing up for myself and my views and (2) doing that in a respectful and logical manner. Judging by the articles across the web, not the concern of your average Facebook user.
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