Showing posts from May, 2012

Obama's haircut

Image Children's books represent, but so do people, and this photo captures an amazing moment when a young boy asked President Obama " if the President's haircut felt like his own."   Obama responded by letting the boy feel his head for himself.

reading becomes us

In what Geoff Kaufman and Lisa Libby term "experience-taking," it turns out that reading about characters can actually influence us to become more like them.  The effects actually seem to persist and even influence some real-world behavior.  There are as many questions raised as answered by these findings, but it's intriguing to consider. So we become what we read.  Sounds an awful lot like the old adage "you are what you eat." (If so, I am comprised of much more kale than you might suspect just looking at me.) More fun links on this phenomenon:

summer reading plans

Summer reading plans fall into two categories:   1) children's literature and resources, in preparation for teaching LIS403 in the fall 2) media studies history:  sources that tie together communications and children's reading, in the present and historically The rest of this post will be lists of texts, so perhaps less interesting than book reviews. Media Studies/History: possible journals... Skim current media studies by MacArthur and Kaiser: Best Apps for Kids: thinking about aesthetic comparisons and connections to children's literature Children's Literature (this is most of the required texts list


Presence, as opposed to distance.  This time of year, even presence of mind is scarce. In the Presence of Each Other:  A Pedagogy of Storytelling  by Johanna Kuyvenhoven presents a study of a classroom with a storytelling teacher.  The definition of "presence" shows up late in the book, but offers much to think about: "The pedagogy of storytelling entails its medium of presence.  The medium is the sounds of words, the faces and gestures of one another, and the warm contact of each other's bodies in physical place." (187) Which leads me to wonder about what removing one element might mean.  When does presence become distance?  What about time, being simultaneous, but at a distance?  What about removing the sounds of words?  What about telling stories back-to-back? There's an interesting diagram that illustrates Kuyvenhoven's model:

memories of dissertation writing

Looking back to my notes on the dissertation process, I stumbled across this little gem to describe how the experience felt: " like trying to get my arms around an elephant made of jello." Back in 2005, that was indeed how it felt, on a daily basis.  Changing research directions and embracing new ideas doesn't feel quite the same, but a real commitment to learning probably always leads to, at some point, encountering a jello elephant.