Sunday, July 1, 2007

I'm substitute-teaching for one of the instructors in our summer program tomorrow. I'm really pleased. It'll be my last class at the University of Basketball, and I do want to say goodbye, especially since I was a writing tutor with this program for five years. It was a lovely job -- sixty incoming freshmen here for seven weeks, usually their first time away from home, most of them first-generation college students. You get to see them grow up right in front of your eyes, and that's magic. Tutors spend evenings in the dorm, and everybody pitches in and helps the kids move in on the first day, so you get to see a lot of the students. I don't want to lose touch with that; I remember wondering, when I was an undergrad, whether any of my professors had ever been inside any of the dorms on campus, and it's nice to be able to say that I have been, and I've even carried TVs and microwave ovens up the stairs in 90-degree heat. And the closing ceremony is lovely, with all the parents coming down to collect their long-lost children.

Apparently I'm supposed to be teaching about gender and advertising, which should be ... interesting. (I've spent most of the afternoon trying to educate myself about gender and advertising. Oh well, sometimes the best classes are the ones where I don't have a clue. Incidentally, I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that YouTube is the best teaching tool ever, and I'm looking forward to using it more often. There are even 11,200 Shakespeare videos on it, although some of them are very weird. Oh, and a little searching on YouTube reveals that the current crop of undergraduates at my alma mater have recently written and staged a musical-comedy version of Titus Andronicus. I can scarcely express how proud this makes me.)

Right, that has nothing whatsoever to do with gender and advertising, does it? Back to planning.


Sisyphus said...

Musical comedy Titus Andronicus?? Rock on!

I hope you've seen the Cat Head Hamlet.

Hmm, gender and advertising? I knew my pathological love of bookmarking things would help _someone_ out eventually!

Try this: Retouch

and this: Semiotics and Media

(I don't think the second one is a really strong one, but it does explain some stuff.)

Most of my other stuff is more possible readings, potential books to check out, definitions etc. But if you want more stuff, let me know!

Ooh, and google "scitex machine" (hunh, I think that's how you spell it) for more about body manipulation in photographs.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Well, to be quite honest, this is a freshman comp class, and the instructions I got were along the lines of "collect the papers, go over the current assignment, show them an advertisement of your choice and talk a little bit about how it represents men and / or women, then let them work on the new paper for the rest of the period." So I don't think we need to talk about semiotics so much, and I REALLY don't think I'll have time to read any books on the subject between now and 8:30 tomorrow morning :) I do appreciate the suggestions, though!

Oh, and yes, someone linked me to the Cat Head Hamlet a while back.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Ooh, the retouching site is neat, though. I'll have to show that if we have a few extra minutes.

Sisyphus said...

Ah, I didn't realize it was a "heyo, five minutes to prep!" thing.

Yeah, with freshmen you're often making huge progress if you can get them to the, "wait, this could have additional meanings?" level. But oh well.

Fretful Porpentine said...

I was pretty impressed with them, actually -- they seemed to be picking up on how women were being objectified in both of the ads we looked at (not that they actually said "objectified," but maybe that's a good thing), and they had some good ideas about light and color and how different images draw the eye. Good group, especially considering that the class is Basic English, one level down from regular first-semester comp.