I recently received an e-mail from Kelly Sedinger, the guy from New York State who linked Mind Muffins to the Pie in the Face Forum. Turns out the guy has a blog of his own over at Byzantium’s Shores. I’ve spent a little time lurking his pages and have checked out his online novel a bit. I’m intrigued enough to return, I’m sure.
Of course, my own version of Jiminy Cricket conscience is telling me “Now, Belladonna, you have a full time research job at one college. You teach two online classes for another college. You are enrolled in three graduate courses at yet another college. You honestly do not have time to be reading yet another blog.”
That’s probably true. But isn’t that the beauty of the Internet? There are no library due dates. I have no obligation for how often, how long or how much I read. I can dance in and sample whatever I may choose in small nibbles or delicious long reads and then disappear for however long I may find needful to take care of my various duties and obligations. Granted, there are a few I check on an almost daily basis. They have become part of my routine throughout the day. But most I pop in an out of, lurking sporadically when mood and opportunity coincide. Admittedly, there are one or two I wrap around me with a sweet sense of belonging and familiarity, like wearing my favorite fuzzy corduroy bathrobe. But most are like blind dates, approached with wistful apprehension mixed with a healthy dose of cynicism.
This whole blog community thing is something I find rather fascinating. I’ve thought of proposing a new course at one of my colleges on the “sociology of community” which would address the various social functions of community, the way norms are established and enforced, then comparing and contrasting how different communities are similar or different. Of course one major aspect of this would be exploring how cyber communities have evolved – what needs they meet, what shortcomings they have, and how they are perceived and utilized by various subcultures.
Then, just for fun, it would be great to offer that class as one piece of a three course “Learning Community” – something many colleges are doing these days, including my own. In a learning community the same group of students take multiple courses together so they develop into a common cohort of learners. In some the curriculum has cross over and others it doesn’t. Here’s my idea for mine:
COURSE 1 – Geography of Oregon
COURSE 2 – “Hand Held technology” (dealing with PDA’s, iPods, digital cameras and of course, GPS receivers.
COURSE 3 – Sociology of Community
Then, one day a week all of us would meet together – students and faculty of the three courses – for a collegium of geocaching and talking about how the three courses are inter-related.
Yeah, that would be a blast to do.
But who has the time to design yet another class to teach when I’m out chasing geocache and reading yet another blog? Sigh. Maybe someday.
Anyway, nice to meet you Mr. Sedinger. If we ever do happen to have opportunity to say hello in the real world rather than cyberspace, shall we agree that rather than the standard introductory handshake we will greet one another with a pie in the face? I prefer Boston cream. What would be your choice?