Skip to main content

Blogging about Teaching Blogging

This is the photo that I always project before the class.
Nine days ago I taught two classes about the mechanics and craft of blogging to twelve adults at the Interlochen College of Creative Arts. The first class, which I've taught several times before, was a day long session exploring the ins and outs of creating a blog, playing with the layout and template, establishing a preliminary design, using Google's Blogger app. The second class was a new one called Crafting Great Content, in which I took my years of blogging and put them together with the creative writing and process classes that I have taught at Columbia College and elsewhere. I hope the result was satisfying to the participants. I think that the combination of direct advice and the sort of generative, in-class writing that I've learned to use at Columbia led them to explore some new ways of writing in a blog. I will be very interested in getting feedback from their evaluations, so that I can tweak the class format if necessary.

One person wrote a hilarious anecdote that she said she's been telling for years, and decided for the first time to write about during the class. She sent me a link to her blog, and here is a link to the blog post that resulted from the in-class writing: Be careful when you tell that story.

Here is another good use of the short blog post, ending with a question, by someone else who took the class: Winter won't break me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Two Chicago Exhibitions

In the last week, I saw two terrific exhibitions of work in and around Chicago.

The first was at a small but beautiful gallery space in Evanston. The work on display consisted of prints by Socorro Mucino and Janet Webber, who took one of my printmaking classes at the Lillstreet Art Center nearly two years ago. The title of the show, Paper Dolls, suggested a pun on the fact that these were works on paper depicting either a child's play-doll, or women as objects of desire (as in "hey, doll!").

Janet Webber's pieces were altered images of mannequins, ball gowns, and beauty queens, presented in rows or in combination with overprinted images and text. Very often the faces were obscured, and the image itself subjected to deterioration in the printmaking process, perhaps as a way of interfering with how these images of banal and old-fashioned female beauty would normally be seen by the male gaze.

Socorro Mucino's images of dolls struck me first as sweet and childlike, …

How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.


A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…

A List of Every Drink in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises"

I first read Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" when I was a teenager, and immediately fell in love with it. For the last couple of years, I have had the incredible privilege of teaching a class based around Hemingway in Paris -- while living and teaching in Paris itself, close to the Boulevard du Montparnasse, where most of the action of the novel's first half takes place.

Of the many things that one notices about the book, the colossal amount of drinking is something that stands out. These people didn't just drink like fish: they drank like whales, as if the ocean they swam in was alcohol and they had set themselves the task of drinking the seas of the world dry of it. During my read-through of the book before class started last year, I tried to underline every mention of drink in the book. And now, purely in the interests of science, I am listing the entire menu of booze mentioned directly by name. Some preliminary observations:
Most of this is…