Category Archives: PhD

I am…

Landing in Los Angeles

I am a walking citation
of words and ideas that were not mine to begin with
picked up along the way like shells along the ocean
my mutiplex of words are best understood as a portmanteau
of all I’ve read
or watched
or heard
or lived.

I live on the internet – not quite enmeshed, not quite detached
a conglomeration of bickering ideas
shouted through a cacophonous  imaginary garden
– it’s the planet that anchors me to this world.

My eyes change color.
Some days they see the past
Other days they see the future.
When they’re blue they see the composite of connections of my life.

I was given a name that fits
in its confounding of expectations
and connects me to places I’ve never been
but would like to visit.

My first question was never spoken
though I speak it still
“Is this right?”

I wrestle with the discomfort
of never quite fitting
of being a quarter-beat off
of refusing others’ boxes.

I am becoming comfortable as just myself.

Art interpretation for data collection

May Day

The above poster is from a calendar the professor of my Arts Based Research brought in. It is a 12inx12in poster, any my scanner is around 8 1/2inx11in, so the image is a little wonky. But the important elements are there.

As I mentioned in class, I picked this poster, because I love the imagery that references traditional Western European fertility celebrations surrounding the first of May, while simultaneously referencing the Haymarket Massacre, and the Occupy Movement.

What I didn’t mention in class, because I felt like it would require too much additional outside knowledge, what that I also picked it because it reminded me of Molly Crabapple‘s art.

We discussed how the explanations of the art could be used as a means of data collection, as each of us interpreted the various pictures we held.

As I think about the final project for this class, I find myself with too many questions and too many artistic aspects that I want to investigate and play with. But I keep thinking of the #29DaysofBlackCosplay on Twitter, and Laurenn McCubbin‘s work she discussed during the 2015 DragonCon.

What is art when it comes to academia?

from _Art Ops_ (2015) #1.

Today’s last first day of class was Arts Based Research. It’s a methodology that uses art to collect data, or analyze data, or present data. From what I’ve read so far, it seems like a very useful way for me to better understand how to work with video games in an academic setting that better fits them.

I already have some ideas I want to run past my professor to see if they would work for some of the projects we have in class. I’m still thinking through the actual logistics and the question I would use with them, but I have thoughts. Perhaps I’ll ask the various online communities to share a knitting pattern that relates to lesson learned from video games. Or their tattoo designs inspired by video games and their reasoning for creating permanent pieces of them. I have lots of ideas….

But tonight I also noticed a thing, and it’s been bothering me since class. There seemed to be a general feel that essays and written texts that enters classrooms are not art. And not just that they are not art, but the class seemed to conclude that they cannot be art because they are texts produced for other purposes.

Now, I’ll grant that most of the essays produced for formal classroom settings are not aesthetically pleasing and generally produced under duress.  But to categorically dismiss many textual documents because they are not in the category of art that fits the default assumption seems limiting to me in ways that I feel like rebellious art shouldn’t be. Continue reading What is art when it comes to academia?

Final Curriculum Theory Course Reflections

This class has presented a broad overview of the various theories, perspectives, and approaches to the development of curriculum. The text has covered the various historical shifts that have occurred in the United States in regard to the attitude toward public schooling along with the purpose of educating the populace. Continue reading Final Curriculum Theory Course Reflections

Common Core

Common Core. These two words together have created a very divisive conversation regarding education in the United States. From the news reports, to the Facebook posts of the type of assignments, to the reaction to the new testing formats in schools, the Common Core has many who see only the negative elements of these standards. There is, however, space within the new standards for teacher freedom that has not been available at all since No Child Left Behind was signed into law in 2002, especially with the new education act removing the high stakes testing as the sole measure of improvement and funding.

Continue reading Common Core

Types of curriculum

The first 4 chapters of Contemporary Curriculum ( McNeil, 2015) identify the 4 most common types of curriculum: Humanistic, Social Reconstructionist, Systemic, and Academic. Humanistic Curriculum focuses on the playfulness of learning and puzzling out the problem at hand to develop innovation and flexibility of thought in an uncertain future (pg. 1). Social Reconstructionist Curriculum presents the social conflicts to students as topics, despite disagreement on whether they are fit for a classroom setting (pg. 21). Systemic Curriculum has rigid set of goals and standards and pathways to achieve the goals measured through standardized tests (pg. 41).  Academic Curriculum follows more closely the Liberal Arts College curriculum, where students study a variety of disciplines and learn how they interact and affect each other (pg. 61).

Our class conversation regarding these various curricula was wide ranging and passionate. Some of the class felt that the Systemic Curriculum functions only to damage students’ learning and add power to multinational  corporations. And some felt that the only true and important curriculum is Humanistic, because of the value it places on the whole person. We never resolved the discussion, we merely ended due to time.

Each of these curricula seem to be most effective for specific desired ends. While the class never came to a consensus, I think that each of the curricula works well for different settings and that none are inherently evil. I also think that using a blend of the best elements of each might serve as a way to ensure a quality curriculum for all students. Having some goals in mind for what students learn can help teachers develop lessons. And if 1 of the goals is to see how the interconnectedness of what is learned in the classroom plays out in social situations, this blends together several of the best parts of the Humanistic Curriculum and the the Social Reconstructionist Curriculum.

Deciding what should be taught

This chapter in Contemporary Curriculum  ( McNeil, 2015) focuses on the various elements that go into deciding the content for the curriculum. Touching upon some of the various theories guiding crafting of the content, the chapter focuses predominately on the rationale behind the content choices. “Rather than avoiding responsibility and mandating curriculum purposes without justification, those at all levels of schooling should constantly question the purpose of curriculum” (McNeil, p. 84). The chapter presents some of the history on how the curriculum developed and what information has generally been accepted as important for students to know. That process has been greatly influenced by the economic and other political factors, which then are rarely remembered or presented again.
Continue reading Deciding what should be taught

The Politics of Curriculum Making

This chapter, 10 in the Contemporary Curriculum ( McNeil, 2015) book, brings up the conversation regarding the political nature of developing curriculum. Politics are broadly considered here in terms of the impact of policy on curriculum decisions, while also narrowing the focus to the local level of parents and teachers when discussing the specific information to be included in the correct curriculum.

Continue reading The Politics of Curriculum Making

Curriculum Theory

One of the 3 classes I have this semester is Curriculum Theory. Basically all semester we’ve been ready about the different ideas and philosophies that people have used to create the content that we teach students. We’re focusing on U.S. curriculum theories, so that makes the learning curve different. It also helps explain some of the rationale behind my teachers’ decisions while I was in K-12, which is always fun.

I’m going to be posting a series of journals that connect to the readings we did for class. I’ll be connecting my initial thoughts to events that have happened outside of the classroom, as well as to the discussions we had in class. Yay reading and learning!

Comics as Social Change

Comics as Social ChangeAwhile ago, I posted about an event that was in the works. Well it’s happening!!!


So on April 2, 2015, I will be co-hosting an event where we’re talking about comics as social change.  (see the embedded poster for more details)

What I wasn’t expecting as part of this event was the opportunity to present a 10 minute speech-type thing on how comics can be social change. I’ll post the draft here when it becomes more of a concrete idea. (it’s currently very nebulous and evanescent)

I am working on gathering my ideas and focusing on not freaking out. I’m not sure how successful I will be.