Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I'm ready to go home.--Chris, whose stuck in NYC.

(spot the connection to Penn GSE)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Multicultural Issues in Podcasting.

Comedian W. Kamau Bell steps into the garage for the kind of conversation he says doesn’t happen enough - an honest discussion about race. Marc and Kamau try to deal with racial identity in comedy and they explain why it would help if white people would be more open about their whiteness. Plus, Kamau explains how he got hooked up with Chris Rock, leading to his show Totally...

Episode 325 - W. Kamau Bell

Class Assignment.

"In the next 20 minutes, we would like you to create a digital story using the devices at your disposal to relate to your poem." Dr. Amy

Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sympathy.

I KNOW what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals —
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting —
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings —
I know why the caged bird sings!

Monday, October 15, 2012




and when you finish inquiring...

Inquire some more.

The RWL department of Penn GSE breathes practitioner inquiry. It is the life-blood of the program. It is our filter.
  • It is the ham to our burger... 
  • It's the butter to our popcorn...
  • It's the paper to our printer...
  • It's the electric to our computer...
  • It's the sugar to our Kool Aid...
  • It's the tires to our car...
  • It's the battery to our phone...
  • It's the carbon to our molecules...
  • It's the dipping sauce to our chicken nuggets...
  • It's gravity to our earth... 
  • It's the lead to our pencil...
  • It's the ink to our pen...
  • Its the ....I must inquire for more.
Yes, practitioner inquiry is that important to our program. You will unlearn what you know and relearn through it. Unfamiliar with Practitioner Inquiry?  Please read up on the "mother of" Practitioner Inquiry: Dr. Susan Lytle.

Practitioner Inquiry and the Practice of Teaching: Some Thoughts on Better

By: Susan Lytle
Date: February 2008
Summary: Susan Lytle, founding director of the Philadelphia Writing Project, observes that teacher-researchers aim primarily to teach better, a theme she finds illuminated in a physician-written book about the practice of medicine.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Last night was awesome. Mayer Hawthorne gave us a great $10 concert.
(his tickets are usually close to the 20$ range so I feel his effort matched the decrease in price)
....now watch the BEST VIDEO EVER.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Writing Ritual.

My writing ritual.
  1. Log on Computer.
  2. Open water bottle.
  3. Visit Facebook.
  4. Check my Flipboard.
  5. Go to the bathroom.
  6. Open Microsoft Word.
  7. Close Internet Explorer.
  8. Find perfect mix from RBMA Radio.
  9. Check my Facebook from the Phone.
  10. Take a sip of water.
  11. Customize Microsoft Word.
    1. Set Font to Times New Roman.
    2. Set Zoom to 90%.
    3. Set Line Spacing to 1.0.
    4. Set Paragraph Spacing to 0 pt.
  12. Open Internet Explorer.
  13. Check SBNation.
  14. Close Internet Explorer.
  15. Open PDF's on IPad Adobe Reader.
  16. Look outside.
  17. Type name on top right-hand corner.
  18. Hit the Enter button twice.
  19. Find assignment directions.
  20. Take a sip of water.
  21. Begin writing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The Weingarten Learning Resources Center provides academic support services and programs for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at the University of Pennsylvania through its two offices.


I have my 2nd appointment with Brian Cuzzolina tomorrow to work at becoming a better writer. Our first session was OK. --He didn't understand what my problem was. My writing was "fine."  Tomorrow, I want to break through this "fine" with him. Fine is something you tell a student when you just want them to be done. Not really something that you are excited to see. I want people to be excited to see what I have to say.

One of my major goals this year is to improve my writing.  I know I can get across a coherent idea.  I just don't think it's me when I'm writing.  I want to be able to hear my voice when I write and still be able to play the academic cocktail party game.

The Academic Cocktail Party = citing theories from all those important people in your field.

It's great that Brian went through the same RWL program that I am going through now and can tell me some of the favoritisms of my professors.  I would recommend everyone that goes to Penn to check out the Weingarten Learning Resources Center.  The appointments do take a while; undergrads keep it booked. However, your sky-high tuition pays for them to help you. Take advantage. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Golden Moment.

...you make a comment during class...and it goes over with eyes turning up to meet you. uh-oh.

[internal debate] What just happened? Why is everyone looking at me? What did I say? *stomach tenses a little*...Do I really believe it? Why? Where did it come from? I know I can explain it better...here we go...*gestures to continue*

Class which started off very somber ended with Dr. Thomas asking a student to hold on to her reading until next week because our current discussion was "too important." It was one of those moments where you break out from the routine reflection and recitation of what you highlighted and actually engage a topic.

Exciting! You are working on your toes. Navigating personal identity, academic theory, and inquiry.  These are the golden moments of learning.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Today, I met with Dr. Amy Stornaiuolo. (check out her in action with this faculty colloquium).

“Composing For Global Audiences: Opportunities and Challenges for Literacy Instruction in a New Media Age”Amy Stornaiulo,  Ph.D.
Faculty Search Colloquia: Scroll down until you see this heading. 

She's awesome. She has a research specialty of Digital Literacy and is teaching a class next semester on the subject.  I'm so excited!

She's one-half of the duo that teaches EDUC 629: Teaching English to Adolescents which is a core requirement of the Reading/Writing/Literacy course of study. For class, I have Dr. Ebony Thomas.

Dr. Amy and I went back and forth about our interests and synergies which proved to be quite the intriguing conversation.  Dr. Amy is new to the area, coming from California's Bay Area. Being a local who's very familiar with the rich arts (and arts education) scene of Philadelphia, I was able to share a lot of guiding information to her.

She's poised to start a research group around digital literacy.  For those who are unfamiliar, digital literacy is all about merging technology with a multi-modal approach to learning.  Manipulating audio, video, computer programming, etc. to form new ways of forming, critiquing, evaluating, analyzing, etc. learning. Its a growing field and only looks to get more influential given our lives being ever more connected to devices and screens.

I want to play a big role in her research group.  I'm looking to see where I fit into this academia puzzle, determining if Ph.D is for me or not. We'll see.  It shall be fun.