Ms aposiOpesis

Ms O’s troupe of tangents, affair of asides, multitude of meanderings, bevy of blatherings.

We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.*


Boing Boing (and Xeni and Cory) has long been one of my favorite daily stops in the corner of the web where design, geekdom, politics, freedom of speech, cute animals, and computers hang out and have adult beverages together. It’s kind of like taking a walk through one’s favorite boho University neighborhood–if it were filled with hackers‘ nooks, steampunk, and used bookstores.

Fairly often, I find something there that I bring to the attention of students, especially when I’m discussing Creative Commons or Lawrence Lessig (or, of course, using Doctorow’s writings in class). And, even though today is in July and I won’t be in front of students until September, one of the finds on Boing Boing today immediately suggested a fabulous first-week-of-school project, perfect for a teacher new to the district who doesn’t know any of the kids.

Boing Boing has a contest for desiging the most boring magazine cover.

The Winning Entry, from Boing Boing dot net

The Winning Entry, from Boing Boing dot net

While I don’t think my upcoming students are boring–far from it–the whole idea of using design and rhetoric (with a healthy dose of humor and pastiche) appeals to me.  I’ve been thinking of ways that I could get to know my students (and they, me) quickly and in fun, that will also incorporate writing and thinking.  This is perfect.

My students do not yet know it–or, well, *me*–but they will be designing their own magazine covers for *themselves*. Not only will I get to know them by the real magazine they might choose (I suspect I’ll see a lot of Seventeen and Sports Illustrated parodies, but who knows), but how they choose to portray themselves.  How they write headlines. What design choices they might make.  What *materials* they choose (as I often do, I’ll leave the digital vs. hard copy up to them, I believe). It will tell me a lot about who the individuals are in front of me, and a lot of what makes them tick (and how they write and complete projects).

It will also provide me with something to hang  up on my massive, bare white walls, right away at the beginning of the first quarter!

My New Classroom

My New Classroom

I’m very excited. And yes, I’ll be having to create my own, of course…I suspect I’ll be using Mother Jones or Smithsonian or Discover for mine.  This. Will. Be. Fun.

Thanks, Boing Boing!

*From John Hughes’s The Breakfast Club, of course…wanted to use the “demented and sad, but social” line, but that was a bit insulting…

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The opinions, views, words, thoughts, and commentary contained herein are those of the author and are in no way officially connected to her place of employment, her family and friends, her cats, or any other establishment. We are all thinking people, with our own perspectives, and we should be able to celebrate our differences and feel free to share them. After all, I teach AP Language. :)



Ms aposiOpesis

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Karla Olson is my name; Kj to some, Ms O to others, Jane Girl to my parents, Food Lady to my cats, Sweetie to my husband…

Teacher. Cat freak. Fan of tie-dye and Birks. Believes in laughter, irony, the power of ice cream, and topography. Traveler of doctors’ offices and hospitals. Will read Gaiman for food. Wants to be Laura Roslin when she grows up.

For the left-brained among us, I’m a high school English teacher, former Mock Trial coach, former Speech coach, transitioning from living and teaching in SW Minnesota to living and teaching in East Central Minnesota, which is a good thing. I’m a trees & water person who’s been on the desolate prairie for nearly a decade. It’s done horrible things to my psyche, but fortunately, teaching keeps me busy enough so that no one notices.

I’m married, I have a houseful of cats, I love to play chess and Trivial Pursuit™ and just about any card game (known or unknown), I love politics and debate and social commentary, mystery novels (literate) and all types of music (except modern Country) and literature (except for Victorian). I love the Twins, and I’m learning about American football and International futbol. I occasionally act in community theatre and I would travel non-stop if I had the money. Oh, and I try to knit and garden.

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