Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#SoL15 Day 31: moving on from the last slice

…my last post, March 4, on precarious faculty signaled a return to a blogging routine that dipped during the buildup to and during National Adjunct Walkout Day (and week and all the other names it went by) that did not happen. This post is about what happened between then and now.

Monday, March 30, 2015

#SoL15 Day 30: automatic writing

André Masson. Automatic Drawing. (1924). 
Ink on paper, 914 × 818" (23.5 × 20.6 cm). 
Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Missed slicing yesterday when sleep caught up with me at 8 pm. Today it took me down in the around 4 pm in the afternoon: I was up again at 8 pm. There is a odd and annoying symmetry to that. I may (am) not in the mood to write but don't want to miss the final days. That's part of the writing challenge too, isn't it? Being in the mood doesn't matter. Write on anyway. Now if I could only manage writing in my sleep — a practical application of Surrealist automatic writing
"Pure psychic automatism" was how André Breton defined surrealism, and while the definition has proved capable of significant expansion, automatism remains of prime importance in the movement. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

#SoL15 Day 28: #Caravana43 & @AnaMFores

Today I worked on collating links and a post about the Caravana 43 project organized by the families of the 43 murdered Ayotzinapa student teachers and supporters in the U.S. My friend Ana Fores and her husband Andres helped organize the DFW Caravan event. Here's my most recent post on Tumblr about the Caravan, #Ayotzinapa #Caravana43 News Roundup March 24-28, and Ana's blog, Adjunct Justice: Fores Forum, which has more posts and gorgeous images. 

Adjunct Justice — 8th Global Day of Solidarity with Mexico: Dallas...

Below is a brief description of the project:

Friday, March 27, 2015

#SoL15 Day 27: writing to machines

I did not, after all ~ thought or not, post to precarious faculty last night, although today I added to the Reading Room thereThe omission was more about garden variety procrastination and running out of focus for the day than nothing to blog about. If anything, there would be too much.

 I have been writing mornings (at least one good habit getting set as I still cannot say the same for positing), starting the day with 750 Words. Today I realized I have two accounts. Do I finish the month on this one or the other? Can I transfer this month to the other? I wrote 750 Words about the problem after retrieving the password for the original account. "Accounts correspondence" is the ultimate genre of modern frustration.  On top of  everything else, machines read it, not humans. 

This morning I had to write two such "Dear Machine" letters ~ another about computer software not activating. That problem I solved on my own ~ fortuitously so. The machine has yet to write back. By comparison, keyboard workarounds are frustration free.  It may also be best not to think too long or too hard on the implications for audience or reception theories such as reader reader response.

Slice of LIfe I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: trying to blog a slice a day for all of March.  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Visit the site to read some slices

Thursday, March 26, 2015

#SoL15 Day 26: endgame, takeaways, postSoL

Thought about #SoL15 and today's post (this already way too meta): commenting; pushing through vs leaving or staying on your own terms. That means don't sweat stuff: you decide what is or not for you. Design participation expectations to fit your projects, plans or just personal inclinations ~ not the other way around. Turn (any) Blogging (or writing) Challenges (not just this one) into connectivist moocs.

Posting just under the wire or missing it aside, the commenting requirement has been the most useful part of SoL. The challenge revived a fading comment habit, making March more of a commenting refresher than a posting one.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

#SoL15 Day 25: unplanned movie binge

Image result for moviesI'm not sure why except not being in the mood for anything productive and down, in need of distraction ~ not to mention escape. I started out with watching The Razor's Edge (1946) again (last time was around 1961) and was going to let it go at that and be productive, get to work, but ended up watching The Sleeping Car Murders (1965), The Ruling Class (1972) and Father Brown The Detective (1954).  A strong personal activist thread runs through most of them ~  individual resistance to group-think as well. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#SoL15 Day 24: Workarounds & Back to Whatever

Workaround ~ still about the keyboard or keyboards since I am using two ~ the one built into the laptop and the On-Screen Keyboard, under accessibility options, One hard and the other soft. More keys are working better; plus, I'm not as slow using two as I was yesterday. Being more accurate typist would help too. Corrections take more time. A spare keyboard and mouse are overdue and not expensive. The right click on the backup laptop doesn't: a mouse will make it usable...something you want back-up anything to be.

Back to .... whatever. Posting: two Precarious Dispatch posts completed ~ one posted and the other, a
full Updates, from scratch to finish and dropped in queue to go out at 10 pm, 750 Words completed before noon, albeit copy/paste dependent. If I stay awake (it's only 7 pm),  I'll even finish the day's slicing much earlier than usual. No guarantees, but I might even make it to a post on the hub blog ~ getting closer all the time.

Plus after a day of no comments to speak of, I posted a substantial number. No, I don't know how many. At least double the minimum three. Counting does something to spontaneity, so I don't ~ or I start and at some point just forget. Commenting on SoL (or any other) posts is not the only option.

There are other ways to interact with posts and blogs besides just commenting. Like, up vote, star, ❤ or +1 ~ depending on the platform. Share, reblog. WP and Tumblr are the easiest. Anytime we can add value with an introductory comment or paragraph and customize the post for a specific audience. Follow. Bookmark. Add rss to reader or blogroll. Syndicate to FB page. Widgetize to blog or website. Bundle links, add bundle feed to widget for your blog or webpage. Cite, quote, incorporate material into another post. Keep on using, sharing, remixing and getting the word out about content and content creators.

Slice of LIfe I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: trying to blog a slice a day for all of March.  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Visit the site to read some slices

Monday, March 23, 2015

#SoL15 Day 23: movietime

…a teacher movie, Good Morning, Miss Dove, plus links to more. Typing is challenge today and requires using a combination of the regular and on-screen keyboards for keys not working on the other. Slow going but hopefully temporary. Necessity can be a real mother.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

#SoL15 Day 22: blogging / curating

Social media and mobile plays a large role in Millennial news consumption…today I had a go at a morning post (aka anything to put off posting to the precarious faculty blog). Unable to let go of multi-tasking, I was also commenting on TWT blogs now and writing 750 Words (my other deadline for the day).

PS: Posted at midnight EST -- so much an early start

Taking time off from posting to the precarious faculty blog does not mean time off the Precarious Faculty Network, which includes related blogs, social media and feeds, mine and others.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

#SoL15 Day 21: Spring Blog Festival

...March is indeed the month of blogging. Today was Nellie Deutch's 13 hour Spring Blog Festival. I watched Stephen Downes, whose site, which includes OLDaily, could be called the ultimate super-blog for for techies and wired educators. I missed most of them. A full day of blogging presentation can be more than a bit much. They are archive if you missed: here are links for the archived presentations

Vance Stevens likes to play with multiple blogs too instead of having one big one. He was also a connectivist before connectivism...and perhaps a blogger before blogs. His presentation, which I am watching now, is a 15 year perspective on online learning and blogging. 

Slice of LIfe I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: trying to blog a slice a day for all of March.  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Visit the site to read some slices

Friday, March 20, 2015

#SoL15 Day 20: patterns and remembrances

detail from Dali's The Persistence of Memory
Another night and even day of intermittent sleeping and waking. I've been unable to stay awake evenings, slipping into sleep early, before posting, then waking way too early in the morning and sleeping again about the time I'd have wanted to wake up in the first place. The pattern is the same but the times vary. The effect on my daily routine, memory and general state of mind is surrealistic, extending beyond quotidian minutiae. Nothing, not even memory, looks or feels quite the same through this lens.

Monday, March 16, 2015

#SoL15 Day 16: random notes

Today it's random notes from 750 Words. No, I am not doing two challenges in one month. One year, I used 750 Words for NaNoWriMo but drifted away and re-started because I was writing too much in my daybook file (txt)

4:30 am was way earlier than I planned to start my day's writing -- hit the cyber deck commenting and tweeting or doing anything. Too bad the swarm of silly #NAWD twitter bots don't make themselves useful with #PARCC, #Pearson1984 and other #peepingPearson tags.

It's either more coffee or crash again very soon. That low grade fever and respiratory some I've been trying to dodge caught up with me.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

#SoL15 Day 15: midway & blogging through

…today is midpoint in Two Writing Teachers' annual month long blogging challenge (a post a day plus at least three comments on other blog posts) and the Ides of March to boot. Everybody in else in the challenge already knows this. For anyone else who might drop by, it's a quick recap and segue into the day's post. St Patrick's Day is Tuesday, but I'm Welsh and St David's Day was March 1.

"Midway" also speaks to midways at state and county fairs, carnivals with rides and cotton candy.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

#SoL15 Day 14: on the move & places along the way

When stuck writing, make a list. Here is a partial list of times in my life and places in my life that I would write about and want to get down before they slip my mind again. It's the story of how I got from all those theres to here.

Fragments. The thread that connects them, jotted down in no particular order, is moving and living in different places. Here they are ~ volume 1 in a manner of speaking ~ put in a semblance of order:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

#SoL15 Day 12/13: time to slice again

…yes, I missed a day, two actually since I just posted this 16 minutes after midnight EST. That's it. I've had it with running on someone else's clock.

Tuesday's nap was not enough to set me back on post-time-change course for Wednesday. Cursor freeze didn't help either. As with blogging, I should keep at it (napping) and just push through, so I has another one today. That still leaves a gap in the continuum where March 11 should be.

To restore balance and harmony in the blogiverse, I will seek out just the right something — graphic, fine art, video, Feghoot, or fabulation — for a  back-dated post to fill the void. But that's another post: call it "the slice that never was."

This one is turning into a reflection on time. The gap fill post will be probably be about time too but artifacts/illustrations. Neither will dwell on Ben Franklin's proverbial lost time like pennies spent not saved (except that you can't really save time, it passes no matter what. Time (if not timely) topics include perception, productivity, how spent or experienced, and literary tropes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

lost time… #SoL15 slices that never were…As time goes by

…a lost time and slices series...one for every missed post...

As time goes by....
Rick’s Café is a restaurant, bar and café in Casablanca, Morocco. It was founded in 2004 by Kathy Kriger, a former American diplomat in Morocco, and was designed to recreate the ‘gin joint’ made famous in the 1942 movie classic, Casablanca. 
It is housed in a 1930s courtyard-style mansion which is built against the walls of the Old Medina and filled with architectural and decorative details reminiscent of the film: curved arches, a sculpted bar, balconies, balustrades as well as beaded and stencilled brass lighting and plants that cast luminous shadows on white walls. There is an authentic 1930’s Pleyel piano and an in-house pianist.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

#SoL15 Day 10: Digital Identities and Slicing

…but I enjoyed the long nap, needed one and hope it restored if not my work/life balance then at least my sleep/life balance. Yesterday, I got a flash about what wanted to reminisce on next but already forgot what it was.

Two others, both writing/blogging related and reflections on the now -- connected too, hung around: identities and slicing. That would be digital identity or identities -- throwing social media into the mix. Although neither bot nor digital puppeteer with a string of sock puppets, I have more than a few of those. I am hardly alone in this practice. Some are personae and others are entities -- organizations or projects -- I represent or handle social media on behalf of. Some manage with just the same identity across multiple streams and platforms. The boundaries between mine are more porous than they used to be -- OK for personae to mingle, tricky for the other.

Digital identity

Monday, March 9, 2015

#SoL15: Day 9…chaos or a post in search of a topic

…or theme. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, this one is worth at least a monograph. Plus I'm going to re-blog the original post elsewhere. My normal day usually looks a lot like this...and then multiply that for the month of February going forward through this past week.

The Ultimate Social Media Diagram? by Tom Cunniff, 2008

Sunday, March 8, 2015

#SoL15: Mar8 #IWD2015 social media project

Happy International Women's Day
Photo from Katkura HT Frances Bell
…Today's project, plus slicing it, word-weaves a number of threads: using social media in a positive way, doing something for 2015 International Women's Day, adapting Raul Pacheco's  hashtag as response to the intrinsic misogyny embedded in social structures, represented here by "academic scholarship" but not limited to it.

For those unfamiliar with 's popular hashtag, here's his original post via

My use started this morning when I re-blogged "Why People Are So Mean" from Μια εσωστρεφής to As the Adjunctiverse Turns.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

#SoL15 Day 7: #IWD is tomorrow

Today has been another disjointed day. It's been a long week. I'm too tired to unpack and debrief, not even as a therapeutic slicing topic. Instead I want to think about something else.

Tomorrow is International Women's Day. I'd rather think about that. Another friend (the three of us worked on walkout day together) pointed out how misogynist the harassment so upsetting to our third was. Her own recent run ins with misogyny in a service organization have fine tuned her radar. Sorry about the pronouns -- each reticent in different ways, neither friend is comfortable with being named. I'll think about making up names, writing about identities/public and private personae

I'll try not to ask, why just one day? We have to start somewhere. The 2015 theme is "Make it Happen!" or more formally (especially if you are an academic), "Empowering women."

Slice of LIfe  I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Visit the site to read some slices

Friday, March 6, 2015

#SOL15 Day 6: so far the topic is still "whatever"

Updated Update: comments were closed because I went to the wrong page. I saw late posts on the right page, so checked: comments were still open. It's been a strange day. Update #1 posted here at 11:59 pm but comments were closed on the TWT page,. Maybe I can link this post in tomorrow's

Slice of LIfe  I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Visit the site to read some slices
…and so late that it will be a very short "whatever" at that. Once again my good intentions for morning writing gang awry. A friend had an emergency and called on me for help. That trumped writing, not to mention using the time I would have spent writing about it. Unlike yesterday, I did not have much in draft notes. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

#SOL15 Day 5: more #NAWD @InsideHigherEd

I was wondering what to slice for today. Reflecting on Two Writers Teachers' thought (inspiration?) for day five, I seem to be slicing on two tracks: memories and current preoccupations or whatever is currently on my mind. Because I already post so frequently on adjunct news and issues, reminiscing would have been my first choice.

That was until this appeared first thing this morning: Unnamed Adjunct Behind National Walkout Day Isn't Hiding Her Identity Anymore via @insidehighered 

That made today pretty much all about NAWD or #afterNAWD as the latest hashtag would have it -- more like #afterNAWD/sploitation, this time centering around Colleen Flaherty's piece about National Adjunct coming out and identifying herself -- and revisionist comment trolls coming out from under the bridge to...well, you know what trolls do

When will the flying monkeys arrive?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#sol15, Day 4: Car Talk at LuxCar in Las Palmas

In the early 60s, between the University of Zaragoza and the American University in Cairo, I worked for a car rental agency (the LuxCar of the title) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The office was over the Ford dealership and service center because one partner was the owner's son (not just oldest but only son). The other partner was a retired professional soccer player (formerly with Madrid Real) who also owned and ran a small hotel near Las Canteras (picture below) beach with his brother. Ricardo was as pleasant a person as Jose was not -- and remarkably progressive for that time and culture.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Day 3, #SOL15: on writing, blogs, blogging & bloggers' block

…About writing and blogging. Yeah, it's so very meta but so what? This blog's name, Work and Life, is not without irony. Although still alive, I am retired in a culture that defines and values individuals occupationally, by their work. In a sense, blogging and social media extensions, albeit uncompensated, have become my work or work-equivalent (which like being female, invites patronizing attitudes). But which define me, my digital media or the interests they explore?

So I keep asking myself why I have a selective blogging block over Precarious Faculty blog. Telling myself -- or being told -- to "keep writing" is obvious but not much help. I do keep writing, just not there. Why not?

Monday, March 2, 2015

#SOL15 Day 2: the week before this one

Last week -- and to be honest -- months before, I was involved with an advocacy project that you probably read about if you work in higher education; if not, then maybe not, although it did make Slate, The Atlantic, Washington Post, the PBS News Hour and local news. National Adjunct Walkout Day. Not that there was that much walking out -- more like coming out, teaching in. An anonymous California adjunct, tweeting as @NationalAdjunct (AN), started it in October by asking what a day without adjuncts would be like -- and setting a date.

That was last Wednesday. It's not really over yet if you count the reflections and wrap up. It was a lot of different things to different people ~ tl;dr. I'm still collecting and organizing links and stories to make sure as many as possible get shared and archived. Mainstream and local media, Facebook pages and blog posts. Links harvested from Twitter.  I won't miss the signal boosting, post churning or chasing sound bites and quotes.

Did I walkout?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

And so #SOL15 begins

Motivated by Kevin's example, I tried the March challenge last year -- or was going to and either got sidetracked early or fell off the wagon -- but can't remember which. Then there was a daily blog challenge in November. I was holding on until my internet went out for a week. 2014 was not a good year for blogging challenges. It was not a good one for writing challenges. Going on 13 years of NaNoWriMo, 2014 was the year I threw in the towel. Chalk that up to the number 13.

Maybe 2015 will be better. I've done blogging challenges before although not recently. They are a good way to recharge or break through a blogging block. I've got one of those too.