Because I know you’re going to ask…

Some of you will ask what *time* these final blogs are due, so I might as well be honest: I’m not going to start checking them until Saturday morning. But, I have to be able to tell that these were in on time, so the date-stamp function on your entries is very handy.  I’ll accept any blog entries that are date-stamped for Friday, but not for Saturday.  So, 12 midnight on Friday night is the cut off point—blog entries submitted after this point will be ignored.  

Spurious Correlations

Something fun to distract you from finals, and, also, the reason I discouraged cause/effect papers.  It’s too easy to do something like this:

Childhood Throwbacks: My Own Album


In order to prove my point that albums are a more complete method of releasing songs than singles, I decided to make an album of my own. Unfortunately, I did not have the musical talent or the equipment to perform this task, so I made a compilation album. In some ways though, it is even better…

One of my students created what I think is a surprisingly clever expression of his final argument in multimedia. By creating an album of his own, he provided primary and creative evidence that an album makes a further range of tools possible for the musical artist to build an emotional experience for the listener.  I particularly appreciated how creatively thought-out this project was—the student didn’t merely restate or record his argument, he demonstrated it.  Very cool.

The Grim Reaper




At first I thought that the Radiolab “Dead Reckoning” would be somewhat of a stretch in relation to my topic, aside from the striking similarity of the topic of dying - discussed in the Radiolab, viewed in many medical dramas. However,…

Wow—a really thoughtful connection from a Radiolab episode to this student’s blog.  I particularly like how the student didn’t just limit her critical engagement to agreement or disagreement, liking or not liking, or what was good/bad about the show, but explored very specific connections to the show and questions she had been engaging in her blog.  She reflected that, at least for one example in the show, reality was more far-fetched than TV!

When Worlds Collide



E. H. Smith argues that a person’s race/nationality decides if they are treated like an expatriate or an immigrant. There is definitely a nicer connotation with the term expatriate than there is with the word immigrant. Smith supports his claim by saying that he himself, a Caucasian…

This is an excellent post for a few reasons.  First, it bravely tackles an uncomfortable and tricky subject: race and immigration.  This student’s blog is on European trends, but she had the guts to go outside of her comfort zone and see this really unfortunate but complex stereotype as another “trend” she could expose.  Second, this post deals with this difficult situation in a complex and sensitive way.  It would have been easy to take one side or the other, or even not to deal with the issue at all and say “that’s too bad” but she shows understanding for all sides of this complex issue, while not shying away from asserting her own voice and interpretation.  THIS is scholarly work. 

The “best” posts

I’ve been skimming through your simple argument using “best” posts and I’ve noticed that quite a few are missing standardizations.  Make sure you include this at the bottom of your post (and not in the comments, or I won’t see it) so that you receive full credit for this post.


Ever wonder how blogs get noticed, and attract comments?  Do you wonder what that strange “pound” symbol is at the end of tweets or other social media? Have you ever wanted to be “Tumblr famous”?  

Hashtags are your answer.

Underneath your blog post text box (where you type or paste in your post) there is a little box that has a small tag symbol that looks a bit like this:



In this box, you can type keywords that would allow Tumblr readers to find your post by subject.  For example, in a post talking about how the Radiolab podcast on “Bliss” relates to the NBA, you might have the hashtags #NBAbliss #NPR #NBA #basketball #happiness #radiolab. These keywords or phrases should generally be short so your reader can search for these words easily.  

When you put your hashtags in the box, don’t type the # sign—Tumblr will put it in automatically.  Separate the hashtags with commas.  

In future posts, try to include hashtags, and you might find that your post is seen and commented on by a greater audience.

Double Wild Card Rule Unfair



After the 2012 season, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced a new rule that would allow two wild card teams from each league (instead of just one) to play a one game playoff where the winner would advance to the actual postseason. This rule was instituted last season. As much as it seems like…

This is an excellent brief post on how the MLB recently incorporated a new rule which would allow another wild card team into the playoffs.  The author does an excellent job of laying out how this new rule has potential harm for the game—not merely how he doesn’t like it.  The author addresses possible reasons for the rule, and how those reasons fall short, which sets up a logical and credible position that convinces me of his side of the argument because it really seems like he understands the opposition. 

Trigger Warnings?

So, there’s a recent article in the New Republic called “Trigger Happy.”  The author argues that the rash of “trigger warnings” on blogs have gotten out of control—they’ve spread from blogs to news media and even college classes!  What do you think?  Has this trend gotten out of control?  Or is this sensitivity warranted in some cases?  As a blogger, are there any subjects that you would include trigger warnings for?  Any subjects that you would feel limitations on your freedom of speech if I said you had to include a trigger warning for?

Blogging Tips and Tricks: Liking Posts and Following

I’m loving all the new avatars!  This week, I’m focusing on “liking” posts. 

On your dashboard, you should be seeing your classmates’ posts as they write them.  At least once a week, I skim over the posts, and often I see amazing stuff.  If a post catches my eye, I will read it through more carefully.  I love learning new things from students, appreciating a well-written passage, and seeing all the creativity!  

So, when a post impresses me, I “like” it, or press the heart button next to the post.  This shows the author some support and appreciation for his or her hard work. 

I want you to do this too!  When you see a post you think is awesome, “like” it to show your classmate support.

Also, at this point in the semester, you can “follow” more than just ten blogs if you wish to—you aren’t stuck with following just the ten you picked on the first day.  Maybe you heard about a really great blog from a friend, or saw it reblogged here—you can follow these compelling blogs as well.