Thursday, September 29, 2011

Multicultural "Bread"

One of the cool things about teaching is the chance to, as Dr. William May put it today in a faculty forum, collaborate with students in the learning process. I had one of those moments today in Persuasion Theory class. We were talking about symbols and their arbitrary nature and how they come to have meaning because a group of people agree on a conventionalized meaning.  I used sort of a canned example by putting the word "bread" on the board and talking about how, in English, we've agreed that combinations of marks represents the physical thing we know as bread. Then I put up "pan," which I knew is the Spanish symbol (thanks, 9th-grade Spanish class!).

But that's when the class took an interesting turn. We have a Vietnamese student in the class, so she added their symbol for bread. These's also a young man from Costa Rica who has a Japanese heritage, so he put the Japanese symbol on the board. Another student added the word in Nepali, and finally, a Jewish student gave us the Hebrew word. This is the first time I've ever had such a diverse collection of symbols to use for this exercise, and I don't know if it will ever happen again. But it certainly added to the discussion -- from my perspective, anyway!

(The bottom word above is the Nepali one, and the original one was not in the list with the others. I copied it, and I hope I did an adequate job.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Such Creativity!

Today was the last day of the Introduction to Adobe Photoshop class, and students presented their final portfolios. The assignment was to create six images using the different tools they've worked with over the past weeks, then to present those images to the class. Students had a choice of how to present the images; some chose to create a paper portfolio, while others presented their images via a PowerPoint show. Regardless of the format, the students also had to give the class an overview of what it took to put the final image together.

Here is a sampling of the presentations:
Michelle Loving

Brittany Brantley

Phuong Do

Rafael Luna

Alex Chandler

August Laue

Patrick Otto

Monica Linares
Tomorrow, you can get a better chance to look at their work. Each student is sending me one photo to post on the blog. Get ready for some awesome images!

(Something else that's coming up this week - Channel 6 is putting together Ozarks Weekly, and producer Malisa Mat Sani will give us an inside peek with a video blog!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Out on Their Own

The News Writing class has been working on summary news leads, and I think they are beginning to chafe for something a little more exciting. So today I gave them an assignment that requires them to gather their own information to write a brief news release about an event on campus, like the Halloween organ concert and the Historians at the Movies series. Each student drew an assignment and is responsible for meeting with the contact person, conducting an interview, and writing the release for a Wednesday deadline.

Some students seemed a little apprehensive, but I think they were all eager for the chance to write something besides another set of summary leads from a worksheet. I'm looking forward to seeing their stories!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Off and Running!

The past couple of weeks have been busy ones for the RTV and Strategic Communication majors at Ozarks. We've had some combined events for our students, one of a social nature and one of a more educational type.

All-Communication Gathering

Students majoring in either field were invited to mingle at a Communication program gathering at Greta Marlow's house.  We shared BBQ from Fat Daddy's and made s'mores - a new experience for some of our students!

More than 35 students made the trek to the party, and we had a great time eating, sitting out on the deck, and standing around the fire ring. And of course, setting marshmallows on fire and eating them anyway!

Professional Development Workshop - Liz Chrisman, Photographer

Three days later, we took advantage of the classes cancelled on Assessment Day to host a workshop on photography with Liz Chrisman from Russellville. Liz is the featured artist in the Walton Fine Arts Center gallery this month. She gave students tips on composing shots and advice about getting down and dirty - no, literally down and dirty! - when taking photos.

We have a great group of students this year, and we're looking forward to sharing them with you through this blog. Come back often!