Friday, July 29, 2005


A rare coincidence is when two very different classes happen to touch upon the same question in a given day. In one, a woman brings an article about the emergence of color therapy, and the way colors can affect your mood, change your day, give you strength or take it away; a question arose whether this is a completely cultural idea or whether this could be true for anyone, even if he/she or his/her culture had no awareness of the concept. A lower class, with more limited English, chooses travel webpages and tries to decide if color and design are appropriate for the target market. Naturally, the question: if color associations are cultural (pink=femininity, black=power), are ideas of what clashes or not also possibly cultural? I have begun to wonder about these so-called associations, though there's no doubt marketers and advertisers take them quite seriously. But as a web designer
in the process of converting hundreds of pages into a new template, I am always reflecting on this, have been reading up on it a little, and even wonder if I shouldn't just let go of any cultural assumptions, and use a more universalist approach to choosing background, etc.

Which brings me to the idea of the web marketing survey, which is just now being developed (go here, scroll down to #6). Who knows these things? Perhaps it's time to find out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Goodbye, Marie!

I now understand that our colleague, Marie Poteete, is leaving and going back to Charleston, IL. She'll be back but only to visit...and graduate!



We'll memorialize you in pictures, I hope! Congratulations!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Joi Ito

Thanks to a friend of a friend, I have recently discovered the Technorati popular blog list, and furthermore discovered that Joi Ito is on there at #54. I have always been a fan of Mr. Ito's blog, although he lives in an entirely different universe (not to mention, a different city). My favorite part of his blog is a roll made of his use of what I presume are his own photos, cropped, made into links, and leading to interesting places; I'd like to do that. He runs a technology enterprise in Tokyo; I'd like to meet him sometime. Wonder if he'd come to Carbondale?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

celebrity weblogs

I've been doing a little research on celebrity weblogs as part of a class project...we are looking at them and telling what we think. Of course stars are all image and rampant commercialism (selling cd's etc.) is part of the game. Still, it takes some courage to take the media into one's own hand. It takes more to speak directly to one's audience. It takes still more to do it all yourself, AND, still more when, as a celebrity, you have a lot at stake (there was a famous incident, apparently, involving Mariah Carey, in 2001). More on this later...

Monday, July 11, 2005

what must be said

I don't get too political in this space, but I have a brother on the London transit routes and a sister in New York City, not to mention a son about to turn 18, who has to register by US law for the selective service. So I'm beginning to take all this pointless violence a little personally, and I hold the people of my own country as responsible for it as anyone. Let's end this now. Occupying Iraq does about as much to solve the problem as blowing up a double-decker let's stop. Enough said.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Jessie Yeh

Sometimes you meet someone who really lives life to its fullest, who changes your life just by coming near it. I feel that way about Jessie. She was a student of mine a while back, but she has remained a good friend, and continuously supplies me with photographs of all this interesting stuff she does. Grand Canyon, Chicago, Cardinals baseball, fireworks, etc. On an off week she goes camping or to the dragonboat festival...I'm just now sorting through my email and pulling out fantastic pictures. But what I really like is:

1) She took up blogging in English, on her own, long after she got out of any writing class I ever taught (some of my students seem to think blogging is just a "CESL thing" and give it up soon after they leave, being busy with studies & all);
2) She's a great photographer, and I've found the pictures great to put on the web;
3) She really does get around the country with her friends; she's seeing the whole thing and documenting it;
4) She's sharing her pictures with me;
5) And, apparently, she's still keeping up with her classes! Go, Jessie, and thanks! I feel like my life is better, just by looking at yours!


picture by Jessie

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

celebrity weblogs

And now, a few words about article in the Orlando Sentinel, tells about how celebrities are making their own webpages and weblogs. The best example is Jeff Bridges, whose webpage is airy, arty, pretty. You have to hand it to him. He's controlling his own image. Maybe he's tired of having the National Enquirer do it for him...

My question is, how did they miss ME? I'm a celebrity. I have at least TWO weblogs!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

adios 053

Barely finished with CESL Today Volume 58 (051), students have just created what amounts to volume 60, by finishing 053. They aren't rushing to publish, one could say; they are conservative, as international students tend to be, and rightly so, as publishing is forever, deep in the annals of weblogs as these things tend to end up. Forever is forever.

It's history; it's a picture of this era, it's our program, here and now. That's why I say, help them make it good. Make it look good, put pictures on it, make it worthwhile. Congratulations to Young, the poet; he's at least putting himself out there. More than some others, I think.

I have some ideas to stir up the pot a little...make things interesting...see you soon, and have a good holiday!