White Space is Your Friend

•November 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Internet. 

Unfathomable amounts of information, every sort imaginable, is available on the Internet. Advice, how-to’s, consumer goods, and entertainment of every kind—aid every faucet of our lives—available on the Internet.

One website has grown to become the tool to access this invaluable resource bank. The English language has even adopted its name for use as a verb in honor of its ascent. Google logoNo. Users don’t just search the net; they: google, googled, or are googling it.

Try approaching a stranger and advise them to “Go ‘Ask Jeeves’ yourself” or “Yahoo it” and the response will likely be a blank stare, possibly even a slap in the face. But a suggestion to “Google yourself” and everyone understands the implied message of vanity.

There have been other search engines—WebCrawler, Lycos. . . . Even Bing is currently in the midst of an unsuccessful marketing effort to verbicize itself, but only the annoying jingle persists. Google, alone, remains the clear-cut leading resource deserving “verb” status. Continue reading ‘White Space is Your Friend’

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Reading Series Audience Responds with Range of Emotion

•November 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment
GGC Students at Reading Series

GGC students read their original written work at the Nov. 17 reading series. Click to view additional photos from this event and previous dates.

Tears, chuckles, and surprise concluded the series, Readings, Writings, and All That Jazz in the Cisco Auditorium on Thursday afternoon. GGC students J. Blair Sanders, Jordan Sevier, Essence Jordan and Abby Vaughn read from their original poetic works, Kristin Ward shared an excerpt from her nearly completed memoir, and Adi Katkim spoke of heartbreak in his short story. Most authors drew from personal experiences to capture the audience with their talents.

VoxArtis’s Managing Editor Laurie Hudson announced the GGC club’s first magazine, due out at the end of the semester, and encouraged GGC students, including the series presenters, to submit their original written and visual art examples before the Nov. 21 deadline. Submission details and information about joining the group can be found at GetInvolved.ggc.edu.

VoxArtis, as well as GGC’s School of Liberal Arts and Pearson Publishing sponsored the event. Stay tuned at the start of the Spring Semester for news of the next series, which features GGC faculty and students presenting their current scholastic efforts.

Extreme Topics Discussed at Reading Series

•November 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

GGC English instructors Drs. Jason Mosser and Rebecca Flynn closed the faculty portion of the Fall 2011 “Readings, Writings, and All That Jazz” series with extreme topics.

As a self-proclaimed nerd, Mosser loves delving into literary reference works. He shared some of the findings outlined in his academic paper, “Literary Reference Works and the Construction of Knowledge in the Discipline.” According to Mosser, none are entirely objective.

“Relying on any one is risky business because chances are, they’re going to tell you different things,” stated Mosser.

Flynn prefaced her presentation “Painting the Double Negative: A Closer Look at John Currin’s Subversive Nudes,” warning of its explicit nature.

Assistant Professor of English Dr. Rebecca Flynn reads her academic paper at reading series.

Assistant Professor of English Dr. Rebecca Flynn reads her academic paper at the Nov. 10 reading series. Click to view additional photos from this event and previous dates.

“You might want to shield your eyes,” she advised those who might find nudity offensive.

Flynn examined American painter John Currin’s provocative body of work and discussed his attempt at satirical figurative paintings, arguing that the work is not pornographic in nature, but expresses an absurdity at the objectification of the female form.

The reading series concludes next Thursday, Nov. 17, 3:30pm-5pm in Cisco Auditorium where GGC students will share their creative endeavors. Reading their original poetic works are: J. Blair Sanders, Jordan Sevier, Abby Vaughn, Essence Jordan, and Alexandrea Le. Reading an excerpt from her memoir is Kristine Ward, and Adi Katkim is sharing one of his short stories.

The visual and literary arts group, VoxArtis, co-sponsors of the reading series, encourages GGC students to submit their original written and visual art examples before Nov. 21 to be considered for the fall publication. For submission details or information about joining the group, view VoxArtis’s Web page at GetInvolved.ggc.edu.

Professors Odom and Reid, Teaching by Example

•November 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Assistant Professor of English Dr. Jan Odom reads her academic paper

Assistant Professor of English Dr. Jan Odom reads her academic paper at the Nov. 3 reading series. Click to view additional photos from this event and previous dates.

The Nov. 3 reading series event, Reading, Writings, and All That Jazz, featured Dr. Jan Odom, GGC assistant professor of English. Odom teaches by example, reading her academic paper, “Identification, Consubstantiality, Interval and Temporality: Luce Irigaray and the Possibility of Rhetoric,”  which analyzes perceptions of women in a man’s world.

Representing the School of Education, Assistant Professor of Special Education Dr. Tess Reid reflected on her grandmother in her poem entitled, “Nana’s Hands.”

The reading series continues next Thurs., Nov. 10 at 3:30pm in LVIS, featuring Assistant Professor of English Dr. Rebecca Flynn reading her academic paper, “Painting the Double Negative: A Closer Look at John Currin’s Subversive Nudes” and Associate Professor of English Dr. Jason Mosser sharing his academic paper, “Literary Reference Works and the Construction of Knowledge in the Discipline.”

GGC students share their creative endeavors Nov. 17, 3:30pm-5pm in Cisco Auditorium. Reading from original poetic works are: J. Blair Sanders, Jordan Sevier, Abby Vaughn, Essence Jordan, and Alexandrea Le. Reading an excerpt from her memoir is Kristine Ward, and Adi Katkim is sharing one of his short stories.

The visual and literary arts group, VoxArtis, is co-sponsoring the reading series and encourages GGC students to submit their original written and visual art examples before Nov. 21 for the fall publication.

Get in the Mood: Dark Poetry for a Dark Season

•November 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

GGC students listen to Abby Vaughn, VoxArtis prose editor, read from her favorite author, Sylvia Plath. Click to view photos of the event and join the VoxArtis facebook group.

GGC student Abby Vaughn readsMad Girl’s Love Song” by Sylvia Plath during the Nov. 3, VoxArtis event, Get in the Mood: Dark Poetry for a Dark Season. Vaughn, also the Prose Editor for VoxArtis, questioned audience members about the poem and facilitated analysis and discussion following her reading.

Brandon Hopkins, GGC student and VoxArtis Poetry Editor, also read during the event. Hopkins posed poignant questions about Robert Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover” and encouraged a rich discussion from GGC students.

Further darkening the mood, Peter Klinect’s portrayal of Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Raven” ended the event with a chilling “nevermore.”

Submission deadline for the literary and visual arts magazine, VoxArtis, is Nov. 21, 2011.

GGC Instructors Share Creative Works at Reading Series

•October 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Dr. Daniel Vollaro, GGC assistant professor of English

Dr. Daniel Vollaro, GGC assistant professor of English. Click to view more photos from the reading series, Reading, Writing, and All That Jazz.

The ongoing reading series, Reading, Writings, and All That Jazz, continues this week where GGC instructors share their academic endeavors in an effort to teach by example. 

From his creative non-fiction, “Tyler Durden’s Fanny Pack,” Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Daniel Vollaro shared his personal experiences as a youthful, idealized protester in the late nineties, meeting anarchists and rock stars. Vollaro brought us to the present on the topic of Occupy Wall Street and fielded a few questions on the movement at the end of his presentation.

The program shifted, featuring Elizabeth Champlin, who shared creative writings that reflect her graduate school experience in Tuscaloosa, and her return after the recent tornadoes destroyed areas where she used to live.

The reading series continues next Thursday at 3:30pm in LVIS, featuring Dr. Jan Odom, who will read from her academic paper, “Identification, Consubstantiality, Interval and Temporality: Luce Irigaray and the Possibility of Rhetoric,” and Dr. Teshami Reid, who will share her poetry entitled, “Nana’s Hands.”

Come early for “Get in the Mood: Dark Poetry for a Dark Season,” starting at 2pm, when the mood is dark and the poetry is too. Featuring Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” read by Peter Klinect, Robert Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover” read by Brandon Hopkins, and Sylvia Plath’s “Mad Girl’s Love Song” read by Abby Vaughn. Discussion will follow, facilitated by Assistant Professor of English Dr. A. Keith Kelly.

Contemplating a Meme

•September 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Let’s start simply with a definition. According to Wikipedia, the term “meme” has its origins in social evolution… blah, blah, blah, and… skip to the good part. Considering a meme in its current usage, I’d suggest it as a composition, using pop-culture imagery juxtapositioned against a short line or two of text, often in an attempt at irony. Utilizing pop icons and their respective culturally-shared references allows for generous assumptions. Therefore, a meme, at a quick glance, essentially is like a shared joke. Yuk, yuk, nudge, nudge.

A cursory browse through KnowYourMeme.com or Memebase.com suggests an audience with an infinity for geeky things or possibly My Little Pony. Another consideration? Perhaps I’m a tad out of touch and longing for the intelligence claimed by the geek. So I sit down to a couple of MLP episodes in hopes of understanding the background behind MLP memes.

My Little Pony Memes

Oodles of rainbows, cotton candy clouds, fields of popcorn, chocolate rain, global unrest, teenage girl drama and a smidgen of tolerance later—I’m not loving the shit out of anything and I’m craving a chocolate bar. But, the show is about magical friendships and like any worthy television program, whatever problems arise are tidily resolved within thirty minutes to an hour.

What can be deduced from the MLP meme example shown, like it or not, is that friendships are magical, and love and tolerance are key to their existence. With furrowed eyebrows and a downturned mouth, Rainbow Dash illustrates focus in her determined expression and drives the message home, “I’m gonna tolerate and love the shit outta you.” In other words, BFF.

Baby Godfather Memes

MLP memes may have furrowed my brow with misunderstanding, but the memes depicting “baby godfather” caused eruptions of laughter.

I friggin’ love the one that demands revenge against the SOB who took the little guy’s nose. Honestly, retribution should be sought against the guy that started the “I got your nose” scare tactic with children. A similar idea emerges from BG’s bias against nursery rhymes. Just because you sing-song a frightening story doesn’t mean the violence turns cutesy.

The expressiveness of BG works brilliantly to convey the depth of his anger and his position on the injustices children suffer for the sake of amusement. No longer an adorable baby in a tux, BG’s knitted brows, urgent downward pointed finger and wide challenging stance serve as an apt portrayal of a mob boss, instead. Even though I’ve never seen The Godfather (yes, I’ve just crawled out from under a rock), I instantly understand the humor in the baby godfather memes—I’m finally “in” on the joke.

View my meme creations on my Web site or the alternate site. And let me preface your journey by informing you that the Web site you’re about to visit is based on an assignment using only basic HTML and tables. I’m looking forward to learning CSS and an opportunity to use more advanced methods of Web site creation.