Down the Rabbit Hole: A Link List

I’m not sure when I started using the phrase “down the rabbit hole” to describe the process of reading an article online, then clicking on link within that article, then reading that new article, then clicking on a link within that article, then….you get the point. I could look up this phrase and its origins online, but that would take me down another rabbit hole. And I can only handle one hole at a time.

Well shit. I couldn’t stop myself from looking it up. After scrolling through over a page of links to a playboy bunny’s memoir about living with Hugh Hefner, I found a New Yorker article by Kathryn Schulz, The Rabbit-Hole Rabbit Hole. I enjoy her writing. I will resist the urge to read it now because if I did, I’d never get to the actual point of this post. 

Online rabbit holes are pretty easy to travel through. Easier, but maybe not quite as fun or physical as the library rabbit holes I used to fall into as an undergrad and grad student. I would pick up books off of my favorite shelves (BJs and HQs), skim them, read the footnotes, find a new source, pick that one up, read the footnotes, find a new source, pick that one up, etc. This method sometimes required traveling all around the library, searching the catalog for the book, then strolling through long rows of musty books to find it.

But, back to my current online rabbit hole. It all started when Cathy Davidson tweeted about her latest course:

Since my current writing project features syllabi (taught and imagined) and since I enjoy Davidson’s work in digital humanities and her experiments in pedagogy, I was eager to read her post. So I did. Here’s a link list of different directions that my path down that experimental pedagogy rabbit hole.

A Path in List Form

Okay, as I review this list, I’m realizing that my reading and clicking process here might not be the best representation of going down a rabbit hole because I returned to my original article and clicked on more links from it instead of just traveling from one article to the next. Oh well. I still like the idea of going down the rabbit hole and the time I’ve taken today thinking about it has inspired me to experiment with it as an exercise in practicing curiosity. More on this exercise later…

UPDATE: Cool! I just found this awesome site: Alice in Dataland 2.0

Alice in Dataland is an experiment in critical making created by Anastasia Salter. This is an exploration guided by the question: “Why does Alice in Wonderland endure as a metaphor for experiencing media?” The project leverages material from the University of Florida Afterlife of Alice & Her Adventures in Wonderland collection as well as a range of Alice adaptations and remediations.

Lists!: What and Who is an Education for?

What is an Education for?
  • To develop new languages for understanding mySelf and the world.
  • To connect with ideas, authors, other people.
  • To cultivate and practice being curious and capacious.
  • To be exposed to new ideas, new worlds, new ways of being.
  • To harness passion and direct it in meaningful ways.
  • To develop resources for processing and healing.
  • To acquire tools for resisting and reimagining.
  • To engage in/with LIFE.
  • To contribute to and sustain ongoing conversations that are bigger than any one individual or institution.
Who is An Education For?
  • Everyone.
  • Everyone.
  • Everyone.
  • Everyone.
  • Everyone.

Troublemaking Bookmark: Why Read?

On Thursday I happened to see a bookmark that my 4th grade daughter was using:

My future is bright—I read every day, and I know reading is cool! Being a good reader will help me succeed and do my best in school.

Yes, reading is cool and it can help you succeed. But, reading is more then cool and the success it allows for is not just about doing your best in school (which is currently too closely tied to the Test and to getting a job that makes lots of money). What would/could a bookmark that went beyond “reading is cool” look like? I want to create one for Rosie that reflects some other, equally (or more) important, descriptions of the awesomeness of reading.

As I think about what that bookmark might look like, I’ll start with a list (that might make into my Lists! for my latest book project):

Why Read?*
  • To Enter New Worlds
  • To Dream
  • To Recognize that Other Ways of Being are Possible (and already exist)
  • To Exercise Curiosity
  • To be Recognized
  • To Resist
  • To Escape
  • To Increase Understanding
  • Adventure!
  • To Retreat and Be Restored
  • To Witness Humanity
  • To Listen and Learn
  • To Be Challenged
  • To Light a Fire
  • To Encounter Mystery
  • To Solve a Mystery
  • To Relax
  • To Join in Ongoing Conversations
  • To Feel, To Laugh, To Cry

*Some reasons, other than being cool, being a Success!, or acing the Test.

What Students Are Not: A List

What are students? Admittedly, I haven’t been in the classroom, meeting with students, for several years now. But I’m inspired to think about them as I work on my troubling teaching portfolio and as I encounter articles, blog posts, Facebook status updates, and tweets about students-as-problems.  Here are a few of the articles that I’ve encountered about students in my current format-of-choice, the list:

Students Are Not…

How to Get Unstuck, Some Suggestions

which may or may not work…

  1. Reread your sources for inspiration.
  2. Cry.
  3. Explore the question: Why am I stuck?
  4. Move your body.
  5. Get fired up by listening to a motivational song. I always like the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  6. Write in a different color.
  7. Do something anything else.
  8. Swear…a lot. I’m partial to fuck, but shit works too.
  9. Distract yourself by composing a list.
  10. Be brave. Feel the force of your resistance. Work with and through it (not against it) and start writing.
  11. If that still doesn’t work, move on. Return to it later…or not.