Thursday, August 23, 2007

school begins

the first day of classes are always full of possibility, but this semester feels even fuller than usual. maybe it's because i am teaching two sections of intro to media studies, a course that takes as its topic the vast, vast world of media, from newspapers to newsreaders, from film to facebook. or maybe it's because such a large portion (50%? 60%?) of my students are freshmen, a genre of human beings that embody the very concept of possibility. or maybe it's because i feel so comfortable in this department, on this campus, within this city. whatever the reason, despite summer coming to an end, i'm excited about fall beginning to begin.


Lanny Arvan said...

David - if you have optional or supplemental readings, I'd encourage your class to take a look at this review by Russell Baker. I thought it was a good read, though somber.

david silver said...

lanny, thanks for the great read. i printed it out and read it on my bus ride home.

i think it's an excellent overview - for both novices and those who have been following the subject - of the perils currently facing traditional journalism. it is difficult to find a way out of the profit-driven mess that journalism has become and all of us have suffered and will continue to suffer because of it.

i deliberately designed some wiggle room in the syllabus and may assign it. or perhaps i'll save it for the next time i teach digital journalism.

anyways, thanks for passing it along. oh, by the way, one of the authors being reviewed, lance bennett, is my former UW colleague. he does great work.

Anonymous said...

david silver, i hope you also felt extremely comfortable in seattle and at the UW because you taught the most engaging and enlightning class i've ever taken (good old COM 201 in Kane). since school is starting in San Fran right now and no doubt your students have read this blog, let me say to them that you all have an amazing teacher who is deeply missed in the communications department of UW, so enjoy the ride.

david silver said...

dear anonymous, thank you for the super kind comment: it makes my day.

the most comfortable i felt at UW was when i was in the classroom. here's to COM 201 and give me a holler, whoever you are, the next time you find yourself in san francisco.

Crispin Thurlow said...

New quarter? Yay! (I've just started teaching my early fall start class on tourism and global communication.) I'm also on a mission to stop referring to fresh*men* - call be politically correct or what. In South Africa - yes, even under apartheid - there's always been such an earnest desire to rework the social repertoires made available in our naming practices. (Sometimes, it felt like the only thing we could control.) Anyway, the term "freshers" was always used as the more gender-inclusive term. Just a thought. Hope you don't mind being caught up in my mission? :-) Enjoy the energy of the freshers!

Samir Chopra said...

Hi David, your school web page link isn't working, so I can't find an email address for you. Anyway, I'm not sure if you remember me (I'd written a book review for RCCS). My book, Decoding Liberation, has just been released by Routledge in their New Media and Cyberculture series and I was wondering if RCCS would be interested in carrying a review. Here is a little information page for the book.

Beth said...

Hi David, The new semester begins tomorrow at AACC in Maryland, I just wanted to wish you well in your new academic year. Your presentation for our college's orientation was so high energy and full of thought-provoking information, I can only imagine how wonderful your classes must be. I'm sure your students will be enticed by your lecture to think critically about the subject matter and then participate in the intellectual exchange.

Best wishes for a productive school year.

Beth L.

david silver said...

samir - yes, my college is launching a new web site and there seem to be a few bugs in the system! thanks for the heads up.

your and scott dexter's book sounds fascinating. please send two review copies to the following address:

David Silver/Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies
University of San Francisco
Department of Media Studies
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080

and for those interested in free and open source software, check out samir and scott's blog, decoding liberation.

david silver said...

beth - thanks! and right back atcha: i wish you well in your new academic year, too.

Tanu Sankalia said...

David - I've been sending some of my freshmen students to your Intro to Media Studies class, especially since is fulfills Core E. But, more than that, I just thought they should begin their college lives with an exciting, well-taught class. I'd like to attend one...Can you send me your syllabus please? Thanks.

david silver said...

hey tanu - the morning class is entirely full, due in part to you sending your students my way. thanks!

regarding the syllabus, there's a link to it in the original post. or, better yet, here it is again. let me know if you plan to drop by ...

Samir Chopra said...

Hey David, thats excellent. I've asked the publisher to send on the review copies. Let me know when you get them.