Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mission Impossible

You teach a blogging class at the local library. The class is tonight, but your boss tells you the internet is down for the rest of the day, but the class is still going ahead as scheduled.

Your mission:
You have 1 and 1/2 hours to build a new 1-hour curriculum still based on blogging WITHOUT using the internet. Go.

So when I was something like 12 years old I lived in San Diego, and I was lonely (frowny face). So one day my brother came to visit and I asked him how his college classes were going. He told me that he learned how to make web pages, and I asked him how. He realized that he could show me how to do a few simple things on my computer.

So he had me open up Notepad (of all programs!) and showed me how to save a web page file right on my computer. Then he taught me little html codes that I could type in, and when I opened it in Internet Explorer - voila! Italics! Underlining! Titles and headlines! Images and links! Oh, I felt so special.

When I got to high school and there was a web page creation class I thought, "Awesome, I'm practically a pro already." So I took the class and learned how to do even MORE stuff and create even fancier pages - like with borders and dancing images, the best 1999 had to offer!

Then I got to college, and it turns out some of that dinky "web experience" meant that I could do little odd jobs at my brother's office. So I did that, and I learned how to do more and more and more... with a lot of help. And then I flexed my web-page-creating muscles and felt so powerful, mwa ha ha!

And then one day I had to teach a class on blogging with NO internet. And I remembered those very early days when I was just typing in puny html codes on my computer and watching them come to life in Internet Explorer - without actually needing to use the internet.

And that's how I figured out how to teach a WHOLE HOUR of blogging with no internet connection.


(Some notes if you feel like you need some explanation: understanding even very basic html codes can help you understand blogging better. Most of the time creates html code for you, but knowing what html code looks like and how it works can help you to fix problems, edit things, and even add code from other websites - like adding videos from YouTube. VERY handy. By the end of tonight's class, my students could recognize what the code looks like when Blogger adds an image for you, and the knew how to move it around or add text before and after. They also knew how to tell the difference between what code looks like for an image, what it looks like for a link, and even what it looks like for something big like a YouTube video. I was so proud.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I really do fantasize about this

I know. I know if you know me and you've ever seen my office you're eyebrows are up right now and you're like, "THIS is your fantasy?" But it totally is. I fantasize about having everything in clear plastic boxes lined up neatly on shelves that span the entire wall. With LABELS. And I would totally dance around like that, even PREGNANT, if that's what my office looked like.

**Deep sigh**

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blogging Class

Tonight we started another 7-week series of the blogging class at my library... which I'm teaching. So needless to say now that tonight's class is over, my hands are swollen and I'm still a little shaky.

Can I just tell you how baffling it is for me, how utterly confusing and startling it is, when people laugh at my jokes? I think I must react like a surprised animal, snapping my head back and looking from side to side trying to figure out what's going on. I just don't feel like a funny person - I think I assume that when people I'm talking to one-on-one laugh, they are being polite and saving me the humiliation of just staring at me when I make a joke (thank you, people). But in a classroom situation, you are one of a group, and you don't have to do anything you don't want to do (and believe me, people don't... the phrase, "Please wait until everyone catches up" is useless in a large group). So it's startling when not just one, but SEVERAL people start chuckling and I realize it's in response to me. Nothing freaks me out more. And I mean that in the best possible way. Pleasantly baffled, you could call me.

We had 19 people there tonight. When I taught the blogging series last time, I had a grand total of 8 people through all of the classes. This is 10 people more. And there were CHILDREN. (Actually they did awesome, and supported my theory that maturity is higher in children than young adults). But it all went well. No one glared at me or threw anything or walked out, and that has to equal success, right?