This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fieldnotes chapter 4 in Ruffield

Abdul tuned the radio to radio Ruffield, sat back and lugged his copy of Archbold 2006 on to the steering wheel and started to take notes, every so often letting out a loud 'Yeah!' when his favourite team, the Ruffield Slides, or United, scored.
They were on the up, as was Abdul.
Studying part-time at Ruffield el-Salaam University (the other University) while doing taxis for his uncle was perfect as a solution.
Abdul's eye's were set on becoming a criminal lawyer, specialising in home-grown terrorism.
It simply was not fair that the London lawyers got all the big cases.
The Ricin Case, Zacarias Moussaoui, Abdul had followed them all and thought he could do better than the Southern gits from London in their sharp suits, who defended them...
His cousin, Zainab, was keen to go into partnership with him as a family lawyer and set up their new exciting law firm Abdul Khan and partners.
It would be a beacon of good practice in South Yorkshire.
Abdul sat and dreamed when suddenly...
The door opened and a high heel came into the taxi followed by a tired looking woman,
'Say' the woman demanded, 'Is this Ruffield?'
Abdul admitted that it was.
'I have been travelling for 24 hours, Ruffield is no where near London and I have not yet found a Laura Mercier lipstick counter'.
Artemis glared at Abdul, her jet lag getting in the way of a normal politeness.
'And now I have to go to some place called Sunmore Conference Centre. You know it?'
'Sure love,' said Abdul in his most calming voice.
He was working on his air of quiet authority for his visits to high security prisons to meet his most exciting clients.
'Take me there,' said Artemis. She was near breaking point.
When she had demanded at Heathrow for a taxi to take her to Ruffield they had taken her to a place called King's Cross St Pancras station and showed her the ticket office.
After queueing (Artemis hated queueing) she had to go on yet another journey (pictured here)

which took her through endless dull places mostly beginning with L and finally to Ruffield where she woke up with a start and found herself staggering out with her large suitcase to Abdul's taxi.
Abdul decided to humour this wierd woman by cheering her up.
'You know, love the best thing about Ruffield' he said cheerily as the taxi idled in the usual Ruffield snarl up in the roundabouts.
'What?' said Artemis wearily.
'The Slides, love, best football team we have ever had, and do you know, they might go into the 1st division....'
Abdul continued happily.
Artemis woke up. This was soccer, right, she thought hopefully.
'But I thought,' she began, primed by Brian,
'That Ruffield Thursday was the the best team, surely?'
Abdul was amazed. How had she been so misinformed, he wondered.
It was his mission to set her right.
'Winning' he explained to Artemis as they began the long haul up to Sunmore,
'Is the most important thing in life, love,'

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fieldnotes: Karen meets Crystal on the plane

Karen nervously adjusted her seat belt and blinked at the screen on the seat in front of her, twiddling the confusing menu to find the movie.
Unused to flying (Ruffield University had a series of complex grants mostly named after people's elderly aunts which you had to apply for, and Karen had never managed this) Karen realised she had too much stuff around her.
Her CD Walkman and CD's of Laura Cantrall and Lou Rhodes plus ofcourse Bob Dylan, several novels and her trusty copy of The Long Revolution , which she always took on long journeys as a safety blanket all sat on her lap.

Karen managed to sit back, open her book and look out at the seemingly endless ice fields behind her, (pictured here) and wonder whatever happened to global warming when all she saw was ice, when she was aware of a small scuffling beside her...

Greenland From the Air
Originally uploaded by Uiah.

A blond woman with cropped hair was staring at her book with awe and delight.
'Hey' she said. 'You read Williams in the original!'.
Karen blinked. Who was this person?
'Crystal, University of Western Australia, Williams is SOOO contemporary!'
Crystal enthused.
Karen stared at her, astonished.'Where are you going?' she asked rather pointlessly.
Crystal continued.
'I am going to the WIRED conference in Santa Arabella then the Digital realities conference in Singapore, then the Beyond post modernism in the context of post colonialism symposium in Cape Town... what about you?'
asked Crystal with enthusasim.
She beamed at Karen through complicated spectacles.
Karen couldn't think what to say.
'What's your subject?' she ventured.
Crystal's eyes gleamed. 'You really wanna know?'
Six hours later, it seemed to Karen that Crystal's subject was hyper-modernity, with airports as her speciality.
She did ethnographies of departure lounges.
Crystal's life seemed to be continual global flow, trailing Appadurai and Bauman behind her in a fluid, liquid whirl.
Crystal barely noticed her home town Perth, but circled the world on the conference tour, clutching her lap top and her trusty memory stick (wrapped in bubble wrap) which held everything Crystal knew within it.
Crystal even had memory sticks as dangly earrings for back-up.
They flashed now, in the sun reflecting off the ice flow.
It was only when Crystal moved on to Beck's risk society that Karen started to feel a bit nervous, and made a bee line for the overhead locker muttering about her need for Marxism and Literature and she could escape to the toilets.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Fieldnotes chapter 4: on the plane

Artemis leant back in her window sheet, pulled her pashmina around her and put her ipod onto her favourite play list which including the best of Joan Armitrading and kd Lang.
From time to time she wafted over her fellow passengers a strong ginger type mist which Hope had given her to ward off the toxins which inevitably lurk in aircraft.
Artemis had had her vegan meal early, and was now reflecting on the emotional farewell she had experienced at the Laura Mercier Lipstick counter in the department store in San Paradiso where she had done her fieldwork.
She was at this very moment planning the article to come out of that encounter to be called 'Breaking up is hard to do: A reflection on leaving the field and the narrative of the unfinished journey' and at the same time rifling through the advance publicity the University of Ruffield had sent her to look busy,
when a male voice disturbed her reverie.
'Sorry love' said the male voice, 'is it Ruffield you are going to?'
Startled, Artemis peered at the male voice through her haze of ginger travel mist, Joan Armitrading and inward thoughts about which journal would be suitable for the article. 'I'm sorry' she said politely
'Brian's the name. Pleased to meet you er..?'
'Artemis' said Artemis faintly. She had not reckoned on men on aircrafts.
'You see I noticed' said Brian, sitting back in his chair comfortably, 'That you were going to Ruffield and I thought here's a young lass going to a city she might not know about see, and here am I, knowing all about it, and I thought I could give you a few hints, see, about t'neighbourhood.'
Brian was proud of his communication skills.
Sent to San Paradiso by his hospitality company, who ran Sunmore Hall, a conference centre for university and non-university staff in a leafy district of Ruffield,to find out more about the famed Customer Care of the United States, Brian's visions lay in the field of expansion.
More delegates, more service, US style catering, visions had opened up for Brian in San Paradiso.
He thought he could offer a jogging route for delegates and power breakfasts.
He started to tell Artemis about his new ideas, but she didn't look enthralled.
There was only one thing for it.
Brian had to tell her about his one love, his passion, the light of his life.
'Have you ever', he said, leaning forward with excitement,
'Heard of a football team called Ruffield Thursday?'.
'No' said Artemis faintly.
Six hours later, as the plane flew over the Hebrides, (pictured here)
Islay from the air
Brian was still talking.
'You see, love, its the passion that counts.
United may be a big team but Thursday is about the commitment, long term.
Remember I told you about that time in '68
well it was in the late 70's when I began to realise this was no ordinary football team'.

The rest of the passengers snored on.
Artemis sat in stunned silence.
She had no idea that she was going to a city where one of the soccer teams was named after a day of the week.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fieldnotes: an update on Artemis and Karen

pack through the night, in different time zones, against the clock.
Artemis sits on her suitcase to make it shut.
Karen reads her Trinny and Susanna bit in what Not to Wear for the 14th time and consults the packing section.
Both of their partners have gone to bed.
Their flights leave at 6 am the following day.
They have checked and re-checked their passports.
They are both Desperate Women.
They might look a bit like THIS if sketched.
But it is dark so there are no pictures.

Karen: Shopping for San Paradiso chapter 3

Karen peered at herself in the mirror as she tried on this outfit.
She felt it was important to purchase a whole new wardrobe in advance of her impending trip to San Paradiso.
When she pulled out all her clothes in order to pack them, she was confronted with a jumble of Marks and Spencers supposedly 'cool' cardigans with nappy pin dangly ties and skirts that screamed 'sensible'.
Dull dresses dominated (pictured here).

Karen had an epiphany.
She must become a new person.
Someone focused yet floaty, assured yet with a hint of English winsomness.
Only Ghost had the necessary clothes and to this end she had gone to the local posh store 'Betty's' and was kitting herself out.
Kevin, ofcourse, thought she was mad.
'The dollar is so low, baby' he yawned. 'You should shop over there.'
Keven yawned a lot these days, as he was trying to not be jealous of Karen.
Karen meanwhile was taking a sneaky look at her new colleagues on the internet.
They all had marvellous names like Wanda Pillow and worked in wonderful acronyms like NYPD blues instead of real academic departments.
It all looked very thrilling but she felt a make over was called for.
Never mind the dollars, she wanted to be ready when the time came.
She wanted to turn into an expert shopper.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Packing for Ruffield Fieldnotes Chapter 3

Artemis's room was a tip.
Shirts, skirts and make-up were strewn all over the floor and right in the middle stood an enormous suitcase.
At first, the plan was to take a capsule wardrobe, on the plane, and have the rest shipped over, but now she couldn't decided which capsule wardrobe to take.
Should she do Hippy Chic and take her favourite Co-existence T shirt with its peace and love logo made by digital artists from Los Angeles
and stun the Ruffield academics with the strength of her anti-Bush sentiments?
Or should she go all board room and Anne Klein and draw on her many years of Union Square shopping to get her through staff meetings and intimidate her male colleagues?
She also had a few rogue pieces (one pictured here)

that she would draw on if necessary, which she hoped would give a European Edge to her wardrobe (Artemis last visited Europe on an Italian exchange in 1979).
Thoughtfully she lined up her Laura Mercier lip glosses and placed beside them a bottle of her favourite perfume (L'Instant by Guerlain).
At least she wouldn't run out of Make Up she thought.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fieldnotes: Chapter 3 In Ruffield

Stan looked wearily out of his window onto the Ruffield rain (pictured here).

The RAE was looming and he felt depressed.
Never was so much expected of just one person, he thought gloomily.
A knock at the door made him start.
"Come in"
he said. "Ah Karen. You want to go off to San Paradiso for one year on the Hilary CLinton Travel grant. Does it pay overheads at 46%?".
"Yes" said Karen nervously. She always got nervous with men.
Stan brooded.
Obviously Karen would be a loss, but he needed an IT person, and this A Schoper was it seemed an IT person.
An email from one K. Grand talking of his initiatives QUEER and SILY and possible links with the University of Ruffield and the consequently large sums involved had alerted Stan to the need to do more joined-up on-line work locally around digital technology.
(Added to that, his apparently IT savvy colleagues seemed to spend their time blogging and even, he suspected, writing imaginary novels on-line not while not attending to university needs.)
"Where's the form?" he grunted.
Karen showed him Artemis's C.V., accompanied by a ravishing picture of her set against the San Paradiso skyline.
Stan's eyes widened.
"Did you say overheads?" he said. "You're on honey".

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fieldnotes: The novel and update

Due to burgeoning debts after a trip to San Francisco, Dr Kate is writing a novel, set in the imaginary (totally imaginary) cities of San Paradiso and Ruffield which bear no relation to San Francisco and Sheffield.
The main characters are Artemis (San Paradiso, partner is Hope, a plant therapist) and Karen (Ruffield, partner is Kevin, a regeneration expert).
These two women academics have applied to the Hilary Clinton Travel Fund to CHANGE PLACES (no relation to David Lodge). Now read on.....

"You might as well lie down and die honey" said Hannah, Artemis's dean at San Paradiso University.
This was her favourite expression when confronted with academics wanting anything yesterday, or who presented her with unfeasibly costed research proposals.
Artemis looked depressed.
"But Hannah, you would get such a wonderful subsitute! Karen Singleton is world famous for her ethnography, she is an expert on communities and she was taught by Raymond Williams!"
Hannah looked thoughtful. Just last week, she had an an email from one H. Dubois, asking her if San Paradiso could offer community courses, specifically, this H. Dubois suggested, community courses in Plant Therapy for Women of Colour in the bay area.
Hannah was conscious that San Paradiso, while attracting a certain kind of moneyed student, was not famed for its connections to the community of San Pardiso.
She could do with a new member of staff prepared to co-ordinate such a venture.
She went to her window, and lifting the blind, peered out at her view over the bay (pictured here).

One day she would retire to her vineyard on the Sapa valley and make the most fantastic wine.
Until then, she must do her duty by the University.
"OK honey" she said "Let's take another look at those forms".

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Fieldnotes Chapter 2 in Ruffield

Kevin lifted a Rosemary Burger
(home made, with fries in an authentic looking tin jug) to his lips.
"San Paradiso eh?... sounds good".
"It would only be for one year" urged Karen. "And it would be so good for my Esteem Indicators not to mention the RAE".
Kevin took his PDA out and tapped it thoughtfully.
Kevin was ready for a change.
Kevin had risen on the backs of the collapsed coal industry of South Yorkshire, he had emerged sharp suited and with a keen eye to Europe to found the Quality in Enterprise with Education and Regeneration (QUEER) project, which soaked up money from SRB 5, Objectives 1 2 and 3 of the European Union Enterprise and Industry grant programme not to mention CEDTOP and SILY,
initiatives requiring on-line e-learning, virtual mobility and set to produce keen call-centre workers who were to be the result of these wonderful initatives.
Fuelled by the new Right Here! Right Now! basic skills initiative in Yorkshire,
Kevin found himself the Favoured One in New Labour meetings, all sharp suits, Blackberry's and endless talk of re-skilling and up-skilling.
Kevin's workplace, pictured here,

was on the banks of the River Rother.
However, recently Kevin had been growing bored.
He looked across the Atlantic and saw even more call centres.
More funding methodologies.
He saw a real regeneration opportunity in Hurricane Katrina.
He longed to stride into a new scene of devastation and offer his mix of basic skills, call centres and be-suited PDA-equipped saviour-type men.
He might even be able to wear his cowboy hat and boots.
"You're on" he said, taking another bite of his burger.
Karen gulped.
"I thought, Kevin, I would do this on my own." she quavered.
There was a stunned silence.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Field notes Chapter 2

Artemis sat opposite Hope in the Juice Bar drinking her Wheatgrass Shot.
"It would only be for one year" she pleaded.
"A year!" Hope almost shrieked.
"But think, I might even get tenure" said Artemis wistfully.
She did feel bad however.
Hope had just settled into her job as a plant therapist and Hope's passionate
veganism had finally extended to include fresh vegetables
(but dead ones were just too too sad, like dead meat said Hope with a shudder).
They had a lovely sunny apartment on Russian Hill (pictured here)

and were regarded as the Mona and D'orothea of San Paradiso's upmarket lesbian community.
"But honey" said Hope in her nicest voice. "I could come with you".
Artemis got out her Laura Mercier lipgloss (her article on Positionality and reflexivity in the lipstick counter: a counter hegemonic narrative had been one of her most important pieces).
"Don't you see..." (she paused and took a gulp of wheatgrass so strong she nearly choked)
"I have to do this on my own..."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fieldnotes chapter 1 In Ruffield....

Karen sat in her high-up room in Ruffield, staring miserably at a vista of the city from her window (pictured here).
It was raining again.
She sighed and continued to wander through google while wondering why she felt so depressed.
Her career as an ethnographer of objects, artefacts and stuff had begun well with: Ways with objects: An ethnography of three sites in South Yorkshire and it had been praised for its original take on materiality as a communicative practice and the important role of objects in homes as conduits of emotion.
Post doctoral work had included an article, You Mardy Bum: the role of the vernacular in playground discourse of the Rother valley' which was well received by the usual suspects most of whom worshipped Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams and Paul Willis, but had not picked up the reference to the Arctic Monkeys in her title.
But she was fed up.
Fed up of trying to pass off her Marks and Spencer clothes, bought in the neighbouring mall Rotherhall, as Karen Millen.
Tired of Cole Brothers, the local department store and its tired offerings.
She had even grown tired of the Arctic Monkeys.
Idly she googled an article by one A Schoper, whose ethnography of the on-line activities of kindergarten mothers in San Paradiso she rather admired.
Karen secretely yearned after the high life of the digital experts.
In her department they all huddled together, blogging madly, while she earnestly walked the streets with her tape recorder in hand.
She wished she could inhabit heterotopic spaces and places where the local could be global and the vernacular could be cosmpopolitan.
She wished she could be nearer to sparkling luminaries from further afield who talked of geo-ethnography and spatiality.
As she googled this academic in the West Coast her eyes widened.
A notice had flashed up.
Interested in an exchange? it said.
Do you live in an area of gritty realism and are interested in material culture, shopping and on-line spaces but yearn for something a bit more cosmopolitan?
Karen could hardly wait. She read on.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fieldnotes chapter 1

Artemis sat in her usual cafe on Washington Square, scowling at her lap top, sipping her first skinny latte of the day.
Life at San Paradiso University was not quite as glorious as she had hoped.
Despite excellent feedback on her dissertation: 'I shop therefore I am: an ethnography of a department store in central San Paradiso' with particularly good attention paid amongst her peers to Artemis' reflexive stance when it came to the Laura Mercier lipstick counter, her career was not going as well as she hoped.
Stuck in an Education department, she had managed to get a grant on whether parents' on-line shopping habits correlated with kindergarteners' reading scores, with a spatial-literacy dimension, but her second proposal, a geo-ethnography of a primary school, tracking A list San Paradiso mothers' shopping habits and relating these to their children's interaction with artifacts, had not been accepted.
'Face it honey' said her dean. 'You need gritty realism, something more close to reality'.
She had tried getting access to the public high schools in New Orleans, to do a time and motion study of jazz and school attendance, but Hurricane Katrina had intervened.
What Artemis needed, she realised, was to find a site with both a department store AND a mall, lots of hills, places she could jog, cafes with wireless, a carb free diet on tap and gritty realism ALL in one place.
Where could this be?
Wearily she scrolled down her emails, wishing she was more like Paul Willis, a hero of hers since she read 'Learning to Labour' at Graduate school.
She wanted to be there, amongst the pits, the class ridden world of the North of England.
Also, a place that offered free healthcare and did not have continually poor homeless people on every street corner would be nice.
Suddenly a message flashed out at her.
It said
Bursary offered for one year to Ruffield University education department.
Must be prepared to do ethnography and be interested in material artifacts.
Corresponding person must then take your job as arranged.
Travel accommdation provided.
Apply to the Hilary Clinton travel fund.
Artemis shut up her lap top.
She must do something.
it was raining again, and the view from the cafe (pictured here for realism)
was depressing her.

She would apply.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I have decided I am going to write a novel

It will be called Fieldnotes and will naturally involve:
1. A University town not dissimilar to this university but called Ruffield to invoke the immortal Rummidge in this book which is ofcourse the original on which my pale imitation will be based.
2. The central character will ofcourse be a female academic who changes places with another female academic in an institution not dissimilar to this university but called San Paradiso University.
3. Key events in the book will involve air travel,

conferences and shopping, combined with an amazingly exciting plot.

4. Much of the humour will involve the above.

However I need help.
First all of all, what happens in the book?
Who is my main character?
And where is my six figure advance?
(this is a desperate plan to cover my appalling overdraft after returning from San Francisco).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

so confusing

to have jetlag and find that Dr Joolz has moved to here.
Everything is topsy turvey.
I will have to change my links.
I can't locate anything ...
there is washing everywhere
and while it feels the middle of the night
I am reliably told it is tea time.
Plus everyone is relentlessly eating chocolate.
Happy Easter everyone!

Originally uploaded by ∑d.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What I love about Britain

Tony Blair!!!
(No really from America the Labour Party is brilliant DESPITE IRAQ)
Socialism is even better.
The Coral
The Arctic Monkeys
Franz Ferdinand
Eliza Carthy
Topshop! YES!
The NHS! Free Healthcare! So original.
Public Transport
especially Midland Mainline, the 73 bus and the 60 bus in Sheffield.

The Guardian!

The Tate Modern!

Shabby Chic.


The MI.

Can't wait to get home.

Out of here

today and I ofcourse missed ALL the key sessions.
OK. I missed:
Eisner (ground breaking)
Susan Wright (amazing)
Judith Green (twice)
Shirley Bryce Heath (on too early)
I never went to:
The Castro
The Mission
The Golden Gate.

I failed to network with:
Eva Gold (who I adore)
I missed hugely:
Brian Street
The Jazz
Bill Frisell
and I never experienced:
I missed seeing:
MY NEW NEPHEW! (born Tuesday)
Now I am going home.
I am so relieved.
I am outta here.

Travel Notes

from the New Literacy Studies: the symposium
went very well.
Here is me presenting (taken by Guy)
Guy was brilliant and we all mourned Dr Joolz and she was much missed.
Jackie is moving to San Francisco permanently she likes it so much!
Michele and Colin stunned us with their blogging paper and
I said the best thing I have ever said on blogging which was:
You are only as good as your last post.
Guy and I argued about affinity spaces
(I think blogging is an affinity spce
and he thinks it isn't) and here is me drinking coffee.

Oh and in the morning I learned about
geo-ethnography that is, spatial ethnography which provides theoretical and
practical tools connecting the study of place with visual and lyrical representations of the socio-cultural.
Isn't that neat (see I can talk American).
I also heard about how you can't hide an ethnographic site when it is the public high schools of New Orleans.
I learned to develop multiple lenses and to listen to the voices of the community
and finally, I get to do an auto-ethnography.
Here it is!
This is it!
Hurrah for blogging.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Today I thought about

listening, as well as doing a lot of it.
Kathy Shultz talked about uncovering modes of listening and an embodied mode of listening in her work in Banda Aceh working with teachers after the Tsunami.
Stanton Wortham talked about listening for identity, how we draw on tacti knowledge when listening.
Listening is within practices.
Betsy Rymes and Stanton talked about the word 'that' and how when you use 'that' it shows you have been listening.
(like: I liked all that you just said).
I wondered about the relationship between listening and learning and asked that question (which was brave).
Lots of reflection.
Then we had the two big moments.
You will recall I described here how I was prevented from seeing Elizabeth Moje and Luis Moll at AERA last time I was there by Jennifer, who insisted on us buying tights.
This time, I was in the front row at both events.
You can read more about Elizabeth Moje's project here but it was utterly amazing
with huge data sets and longitudinal analysis.
Luis Moll was stunning.
I can't describe it all, but I have met this new wonderful person who is setting up an inter-agency collaborative project based on funds of knowledge which is based on the idea of learning for collaboration.
Here is Jennifer looking very nice.
I have forgiven her now.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Kevin Leander

plotted our days on a space time continuum chart.
He showed a woman (possibly me) starting out at home, then going on the internet
to shop, then going to her office, then going to the real shop where she
looked on the internet to shop and then doing something else.
It was a three D diagram with space on one side, along the bottom, and time up the top.
All the time there was this fuzzy 'sea-weed' like line which was her thinking of
other things while doing one thing.
This is how I am - which is always thinking of something (should I buy that skirt)
while looking attentive.
He also did a hilarious diagram of people's emails and how people email their colleague in the next office and also in Australia
(which is very far).
But it was very interesting and space and time are very important.
Joanne Larson talked of heterotopias and children engaging with other children in virtual learning environments, and I went up afterwards and said Dr Joolz was the expert on this.
After the spatiality session I went here which was hugely wonderful and cheered me up about America which is shockingly full of homeless people living in dire poverty on the streets.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

complex artifacts

enable boundary crossing.
They can be tecky sorts of stuff and can enable new kinds of boundary crossing
for example, we heard about Orlando, who used digital technology as a way back into education, through an after school club.
More about that here.
Michael Cole was the Chair and the session was framed with the activity theory lens, whereby objects and especially artifacts generated the boundary crossings.
The other session I went to was about spatiality and classrooms and ways in which you can customise classrooms so they becomeorlike homes.
This was obvious to me, and Courtney Cazden stood up and said, well this is what I learned in teacher training in the 1940's.
She also talked about identity and structure of feeling.
Back to Raymond Williams!
Joanne Larson, Kevin Leander and others today.
Guy has my camera cable so no new pictures but this is where I am:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

last night

we went out for dinner with Guy and Jackie and Donna and Sue.
It was very nice.
Here is Jackie looking wonderful...

and here is Jennifer and Guy!

Today I am going to a session called 'Beyond School' whiich sounds hopeful, a session on artifacts with Michael Cole and a session on hybridity, third space theory and Homi Bhaba with Kris Guiterrez.
Being a material culture sort of girl, I was fazed at first by this conference's insistence on school and education, but like Allan Luke I have found my nodal moments and the gaps in the discourse.

Allan Luke

talked about nodal moments when you can open up the space of discourse.
He said we need to move beyond Critical Discourse Analysis to creating our own productive pedagogies.
Guy was there and Sarah and
lots of other people.
Like Dr Joolz I have been looking at discourse in spaces and places
and trying to understand meanings in contexts.

so there are sites of resistence in the US.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tales of the City

was my favourite ever book in the 1980's.
Like Mary Anne Singleton, I lived in a communal house with wonderful housemates.
But it wasn't as nice as this.
here is Barbary Lane.
And here is Jennifer!

We shopped!
Remember to do your tasks for the day and work out which session I am going to.
Here is the programme.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

San Francisco

is just like Sheffield.
It has lots of hills:

open views

and trams

It is very hard to tell the difference.


I forgot to show you because I was so jet lagged yesterday the MENU for my meal here.
I had a lovely salad and the view from my table was wonderful.
Welcome to San Francisco!

hello and welcome

to your new Virtual Leanring Environment (VLE NOT VPL CONCENTRATE now)
brought to you uniquely from the Hotel Griffon, San Francisco, California.
From this hotel you too will be able to experience the magic of AERA.
You can even do a course.
All you have to do is to look up every day the AERA programme here, and then you must PREDICT:
a) What sessions I will go to and
b) What clothes I will wear.
it is easy. You go here for the programme and here for the clothes.
However, you will be MARKED DOWN if you either
a) Deliver late (50% off) or
b) Do not network enough and therefore do a session which is NOT USEFUL.
Later on if you get good, you can do stuff on menus and shopping.
But not for now.
After a 10 hour flight that is enough.
new course venue:

neat eh?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

feminist blogs

Tearing myself from the daily ritual that is packing and unpacking my suitcase and worrying if I have followed Dr Joolz' mini break rules, I am considering the feminist blog phenomenon.
Bitch Phd is a very good one and fits with all the other transgressive ones like the well-known CityB.
This one is even more far out and makes me want to RUSH to America on a plane tomorrow (which I am doing so that is good).
And here is a completely American Feminist blog.
Nearer to home, this blog is still reeling from all the media attention the Guardian article started.
But my favourite is this one, which is both tecky, feminist and post-modern.
Yes!! we are all Gendergeeks!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Being a hippy

I have decided my essential look for San Francisco is to be a hippy.
To this end, I have purchased a pair of Skinny Jeans from Gap
a green floaty shirt, looked out my sunglasses
and a copy of American Beauty by the Grateful Dead.
I plan to wander round Haight Ashbury with my ipod, gray hair
straggling in the wind,
in a blissed out hippy space.
here is another great image for hippies everywhere.