I bring you to the third titillating glimpse of Grad School as seen and experienced through my own eyes. And body. Yes, mustn’t forget the body. For those who are visual learners, I have pictures so sit back- no, don’t. You won’t to read if you do. This past week was a whole lot busier than the first for many reasons which I will probably get into soon. I got rum cake from one of the admin people at SLAIS (which stands for School of Library, Archival and Information Science though they are encouraging us to call it by the snappier name of iSchool but SLAIS sounds funner, like Buffy Slaysss…yeah, you get the idea). Anyway, we were talking about rum cake. They were handing out cake and I never say no to cake. Since I don’t do rum (or anything alcoholic for that matter), I gave the piece away to Stephie (who is a fellow MACL student).
Classes were very interesting. Really, I’m not just making it up. In New Media, we discussed about the changing landscape of education and why (or even why not) media itself is not a fundamental part of the classroom itself. This is interesting stuff, you guys. Even if you don’t have any children, you may have some in the future and even if you don’t, this is fun to think about because the way it looks, humanity is moving, no running, towards a future that is completely dependent on technology and if this technology were to fail, hello Dystopocalyptic novel come to life! So here’s a question if you are reading this, what dystopian novel would you most want to end up in? I mean, just in case you have to. Just in case there’s no choice? I’ve been thinking a lot about this, okay?
In Creative Writing class and in Contemporary Children’s Lit, we talked about picture books. Oh yes, picture books be all the rage in my life right now. Both my professors have authored several picture books between them and it is only now that I understand that rather than it being easy to write a picture book, it is actually quite a complicated procedure. You do not just have to write something engaging, using language to draw the reader in and keep their attention, you also have to be aware when writing the story that children do not necessary parse information in the same way we do.
Oh and the illustrations of your precious picture book? Depends entirely on the publisher. The publisher does not usually want the author to illustrate their own novels as they have their own stable of illustrators ready to take on the job. The typography, the colours, the text break in the pages, everything matters. It’s very cool.
Then yesterday, I attended a Symposium on Reading Digital. It isn’t Digital Reading, mind you, it’s Reading Digital. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand what the difference between the two was until I realized that Digital Reading is more to do about the process while Reading Digital is more to do about the content.
I like taking pictures of food so that when I am hungry, I can remember I ate this! And feel hungrier. Yes, I have been told that I am quite bizarre! It’s okay.
Anyway, lots of interesting things happened at the Symposium. The last picture above is of the note that I and a friend passed between ourselves while listening to a presenter being very awkward while presenting. His ideas were all so sophisticated but poor dude was just…awkward. Yes, we do things like these.
According to recent studies, IPad users who read before going to bed often find that sleep is an elusive mistress. Yes, reading on your IPad before bed causes sleeplessness. That is very concerning since parents may be using IPads to “read” to their children. Just pick up a picture book, please!
We also attended an exhibit of historical to present tablets/reading devices which included clay tablets from eons back (these were very cool), a braille book (beautiful), a clunky 1998 Sony e-reader (amazing, it looked like it belonged to the age of dinosaurs) and a sleek IPad which will probably look as old as the Sony e-reader does in a few years. It was all very interesting. I do think that Reading Digital in an academic setting may be seen to last longer as new apps and technologies come out that facilitate an ease in research techniques but we’ll see.
I also believe that physical books are going nowhere no matter how dire the predictions of the naysayers.
The week was interesting and I have an inordinate amount of work to do this weekend. First paper is due on Tuesday (eek!) and I must get on with it. But first, two pictures of the place I spend (perhaps) the most time at.