Reinventing Oneself

    This is the beginning of a new era--at least for IdeaWarehouse! Here I am in Boston, one of the most concentrated capitals of higher education, and for a long time I have identified myself as an academic, though it took me a long time at the beginning to really feel like I was, and it's the first day of classes either today, yesterday, or a week from today. Yet this is the longest time (since I was 14) that I have ever been without a full-time job. So it's time to re-invent myself (btw, does that require a hyphen or no hyphen?--I wonder what Grammar Girl would say?). I need to OWN my job as a writer and writing consultant. 

    Long before I established WW Writing Services as my own writing consultant company, I was doing free-lance jobs in writing and editing. I edited Dr. Dan Shelley's book for K-12 educators on using computers, way back near the time the WWW was being invented (makes me feel like I am from the stone-age era). Then I helped another professor with a master's thesis, which in fact, needed a complete overhaul. Unfortunately, this person must have thought I was doing it just to be nice or because I wanted to be friends or something, but I never got paid! Somehow we got our wires crossed, and I'm sure I could have done something more to have gotten the money, but it was a touchy situation because we had both started working at this college at about the same time, and I had to continue working with this professor throughout the years, so I sucked it up and decided never to make that mistake again (have someone mistake my hard hours of work for "just being nice" and trying to "be friends," especially when there were never any more overtures of friendship being extended after that.)

    Then I had several other miscellaneous projects--for which I always got paid, but the totals never amounted to anything more than extra clothes money, which I always welcome. When I was living in Slippery Rock and commuting 70 miles to Edinboro, I ended up purchasing my own paper for handuts and syllabi, file folders, and any office supplies I used at home, since I did so much there, rather than at the office. So, since Staples delivers for free to businesses, I decided to become WW Writing Services. Ahh, how I miss my spacious office!  ....Okay, I won't go there! I DO have own room within our condo that IS my office still. It's all mine, even though it moonlights as a guest room when people visit. If I didn't have a ROOM OF MY OWN, I'd go crazy, I think. Here in my "Office"--the official home of WW Writing Services, I crank out my projects:

The 1st 3 projects are the most official WW Writing Services projects, while the others are personal writing projects or academic ones, focused on first-year composition and writing center pedagogy. I plan to keep plenty busy and expect to post on this blog at least once a week (usually between Sunday and Tuesday) from now on.


MIT job

Having just started my job analyzing data for Story Workbench, I realize once again how humbling it is to begin a new job and have to feel your way around, so to speak. As I wrap my mind around the new concepts, some of which I know about, some of which I have to learn about in a new context, I can almost feel my neurons bending and stretching with the effort of learning. It's good, though. I felt better Friday night after having reviewed some things about what I needed to do differently.  I felt like I was "getting it" a little better, finally. I knew I could, but it's all vaguely familiar things but within an entirely new context. The "discourse community" of knowledge in which I have to read some background to get the material down in my head better is so different from the humanities-like writing I'm used to. This scholarship comes from analytical thinkers with a computer background, who skip many steps in explaining things. Luckily, I can usually grasp the concepts after a while. I think I make it harder than it is. Thank you, Mark Finlayson in selecting me for your team. Thank you, Jared Sprague, for being so patient with me in this training phase.

(And thank you, God, for giving me this job! :)  yay!)

Wednesday Workday

168584595_629c04b602_m  By the way, that's NOT ME up there! But it's my name, at least part of it. I like her jacket, though. I wonder which Wendy Warren it is: the one who writes romance novels, the Irish newscaster, the doctor?.....there are a few of them I've encountered on Internet searches. This is actually me.Image006

Looks like I may have to post some pages to this blog for my ENGL 102 classes in Research Writing. I haven't been able to post material to my webstorage account at school, which stinks because that is how I organize my units and post material so as to reduce "my carbon footprint." Maybe it doesn't really do so, because students print out the material, but if just one student does not, then I guess I am. I like this unit the best in my classes because it's fun and follows all of my own advice from my articles and dissertation. I wish I didn't have to teach so many students (100 per semester; i.e., 4 classes/sections per semester, but considering they're all full very quickly, that must mean that I'm not a terrible professor.)

Crazy Apps and Taylor Swift

Joachim's off to college now--wow, hard to believe all of the kids are officially out of the house. With Dan's new Droid X, I'm getting a few pictures along the way even, which is kind of neat. I was just reading about some neuroscientist who wants to explore whether technology makes us dumber (hasn't he read Nicholas Carr?) This information revolution is simply making things different; why can't people accept that? At any rate, it seems to be for me. I read about 5 apps that help make us healthier: opower, imoveyou, glowcaps, withings, and hybrid cars. I'll investigate those in my so-called free time. But as soon as I exercise with my ipod, I have it set up so that it will automatically go to twitter (my stats). It'll be pitifully bad at first, but I think I'll appreciate it. I didn't feel so good today because I took my shot last night, and I felt sick all night and all day. But now it's easing off, so tomorrow I'll try to exercise in the morning. On another note: I can't believe I have been listening over and over and over to Taylor Swift's Fearless album. It is really good and/or I must have a hidden country-western music gene. Maybe it was those 8 years in Texas. Confession: I actually had some cowboy boots and a hat and went to a Moe Bandy concert. Still, I love "The Best Day" and "Breathe" and "Fifteen." Wild.

The infinite USB

I read/scan Gizmag pretty often, and noticed a neat little gadget that makes absolute sense, until the USBs start falling down and coming apart from the weight of them. I wonder if each one has the same power? Cool, huh?

Welcome to the newsletter for gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine.

These are the headlines for March the 23rd, 2010.

Infinite USB proposes an elegant alternative to hubs

For anyone who has ever lamented those clunky USB hubs, there might be a far more elegant solution around the corner. Thanks to clever design student Jiang Gonglue, we might not be too far off from seeing something like this 'Infinite USB' connector, which allows an unlimited number of devices to plug into one USB port. Read More 


I'm sure you can find it on the web if you type in gizmag........


p.s.Am back to blog on a regular basis after a long hiatus.