Archive for October, 2006

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My students are getting creative again

October 27, 2006

Talon Marks Sopranos adA few years ago a couple of my most creative students started what is becoming an annual tradition. They decided to create a house ad promoting our program in the form of a replica of some famous pop culture image. First up was The Sopranos. The ad was designed for bring-in competition at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ bring-in competition for student designed ads. I got to play the role of Tony Soprano. Their effort, shown here, blew away the competition. We made it into a poster and gave copies to all staff members as a souvenir.

Talon Marks Journalist adThis effort was followed a year ago or so with a second ad that parodied the TV show The Apprentice where I was cast by the students as Donald Trump. Our version was called “The Journalist.” As with the first ad, we could not include the whole staff, so the other roles were cast by select editors and my instructional lab aide at the time.

Grand Talon Marks adThird up was a takeoff on the computer game Grand Theft Auto and was called “Grand Talon Marks: Write City.”

The Latest

Today we shot the next in line. My students have warned me against spoiling the surprise, so I can’t reveal the pop culture image yet. But I was cast as the lead role again and this time I had to temporarily lose my hair. I look weird bald.

What has this got to do with journalism? Well, part of what we encourage is experimentation that helps develop the skills we use in putting out our pubilcations. In all the creations so far students have learned about creative ways of expressing a message (albeit by copying someone else), developed photographic and lighting skills and practiced extensive photoshop skills. In each case photos of individuals are taken individually and the final package is put together in PhotoShop. It expands the graphics arts skills. And this time around they shot still and video images of the behind-the-scenes action and I overheard that they plan to put together a video story about the project.

Watch this space for the final project. They hope to have it completed in time for the upcoming JACC Southern Regional Conference next weekend.

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Watching my students 7

October 11, 2006

We’re 90 minutes into the interview and a couple of times already I thought it was winding down, but new questions keep coming up.

Comm director calls time. Has to get her to next interview.

All done.

Glad I can type quickly. Nice to be able to do some research on the fly. Hope I learned something I can pass on to my students and my colleagues.

Oh, and she didn’t take the pillow.

Added after-the-fact to facilitate reading. Blogs post in reverse order: Watching 1Watching 2Watching 3Watching 4Watching 5Watching 6Watching 7

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Watching my students 6

October 11, 2006

She’s talking about how important young peoples’ vote are. Marching is great, but that doesn’t change policy. Voting does.

Attacking the MinuteMen now.

No notetaking. No more photos. I think my interruption of the photographer stopped him. I don’t think he’s taken a single shot since he came back into the room after uploading the photo for me.

Talking about the fence along the border and comm director has to share some specifics on costs. Glad to see her focus on issues and rely on staff for details.

Oooh, The House has just passed a voting bill that would affect students’ voting. Students should look into that.

Ahh, one of the women reporters asked a question about whether the wall will work. It’ll work at getting people to the polls. First and only question so far from one of the women students.

Dr. Pepper Pillow imageAssemblywoman wants to walk off with my Dr. Pepper pillow. Will have to watch her on the way out.

Added after-the-fact to facilitate reading. Blogs post in reverse order: Watching 1Watching 2Watching 3Watching 4Watching 5Watching 6Watching 7

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Watching my students 5

October 11, 2006

The students are back to the one questionner. He’s asking some good followup questions about how Congress works. Still waiting to see what happens next.

Not too many students writing anything down right now and the assemblywoman keeps tapping the table right in front of the tape recorder. Will probably render that portion unusable.

Next: Who will be the next Democratic nominee. Crowded field, but refuses to share her favorite. Has some good things to say about Clinton and Dodd. John Edwards, too.

“Ladies, any questions?” So far the female students have been silent.

Dau chimes in: Wants to mobile younger students. Biggest difference between 2004 and 2006? Republicans campaign on fear and students are more analytical than that. And while the Demos lost the San Diego election, it was close and that is a strong Republican district. A moral victory.

Immigrants: A sideshow to deflect the real issues. A fear issue. Terrorism is not the issue. All efforts are at Mexico, but the terrorists we’ve caught sneaking in have been from Canada.

Another student has wandered in and is asking questions on the fly. Not too bad, he’s our awestruck cartoonist.

Time 3:27

Added after-the-fact to facilitate reading. Blogs post in reverse order: Watching 1Watching 2Watching 3Watching 4Watching 5Watching 6Watching 7

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Watching my students 4

October 11, 2006

Oooh, the strategy changes. The one student is through with his questions and the next hits with questions about Darfur. I noticed ahead of time that one of the students had printed out a news release of Sanchez’. BTW, I’m scrambling to find links on the fly. Ain’t Google great.

What can students do about Dafur? She says that it came up on her radar when students asked her about it. She mentioned that student actions got the University of California to change some of its investments in Sudan. She says to get local groups to do the same.

Second student is done with questions.

Time is 3:12.

First student asks if things have changed since the 200 election. Set up the old “Are you better off now” answer.

Took a break to process the photo. Here it is. But a great question has been asked, “Why do Democrats keep losing.” Part of the answer is conservative media.

Time: 3:18. I’m faster than my students, but this shows you can work quickly with and while blogging.

Added after-the-fact to facilitate reading. Blogs post in reverse order: Watching 1Watching 2Watching 3Watching 4Watching 5Watching 6Watching 7

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Watching my students 3

October 11, 2006

So far only one of the students, the one who has been here the longest, and certainly the one most politically savvy, has been asking questions.

Next: Iran and Korea.

(North) Korea is a bigger threat than Iraq was. I’m not writing the story, so I’m not going to go into all the detail. Guess I’ve been doing too much of that so far. I’m more interested in watching and commenting on the work of my students.

Their strategy seems to be to have one student ask questions and three of them write answers. A fourth snaps a picture every once in a while. Just asked my photographer to take a shot of the table and upload it. Will see how long it takes for him to get it on the server and for me to process it and load it. Time is now. 3:06.

Added after-the-fact to facilitate reading. Blogs post in reverse order: Watching 1Watching 2Watching 3Watching 4Watching 5Watching 6Watching 7

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Watching my students 2

October 11, 2006

Okay, took a break to post part 1 and send a note out to JACC faculty in case they want to come in and watch my experiment. So I missed a question or two.

Now she is giving the stories a great story on why young voters should pay attention and vote. She found a young smoker who was passing on his chance to influence smoking laws and taxes.

The character of elections is the next discussion. Negative ads about personalities turns voters off, she says. Her communications director points out that one purpose of negative ads is to also make sure that some voters stay home. That affects outcomes, too.

Next question: Iraq.

She has some issues with Bush’s reasons for staying in Iraq. He has been stubborn and steadfast. Anyone who has sailed will tell you that if you stay the course and don’t make adjustments you’ll run aground, she says. More Iraqis have died in the war than under Hussein.

Are Iraq and the war on terror related: No.

Added after-the-fact to facilitate reading. Blogs post in reverse order: Watching 1Watching 2Watching 3Watching 4Watching 5Watching 6Watching 7