Virtual Notebooks

Assignment: Virtual Notebooks [10%]

As part of this class, you will keep a virtual notebook/journal/blog which you will use to write up of the moment responses and notes for the readings, lectures, and screenings as well as any research you do for your group presentations.

You can choose from the following interfaces: WordPress Midd Blogs, Tumblr, and Livejournal. Please email me immediately once you’ve set your blog/journal up, so that I can link to it in the Virtual Notebooks RSS feed.

Do take a little time to explore each possible interface before choosing. As the semester progresses, these interfaces themselves will become part of our subject of inquiry, and your experience of the interface you choose for your virtual notebook will give you added insight.

The most formal part of the virtual notebook will be the required responses to the readings. You need to respond to each reading in this journaling space. These responses can be casual but should engage with the core ideas of each reading, or perhaps with an idea that spoke to you most significantly. Each response does not need to be very long—250 words be an appropriate minimum, but be sure to allow yourself to engage freely with the questions and concepts prompted by the readings. If part of a reading is unclear to you, here’s where you can articulate questions and hypothesize possible answers. Reading responses should be completed by midnight the night before class, so that I can read them before we meet. Reading responses must include the tag READING.

In addition to being a repository for your notes on/responses to readings (and discussions and screenings, if you are so inspired), your blog/journal is your space to work out ideas without the pressure of making them fit the demands of a specific review or paper.

I’ll be reading your responses throughout the semester, and will assess (with feedback) your virtual notebooks at three different points over the semester. I will take into account the casual, in-process nature of the evolving document. The point of this is to help you process the class lectures, discussions, presentations, screenings, and readings throughout the semester, and to work out ideas for your weekly prompt responses, midway, and final papers. It’s also a space where you can explore your voice as a film critic.

Time permitting, I will include opportunity to write an initial response to screenings in the night screening. You can use these immediate screening responses as raw material to draw on for your responses to the weekly prompts at the class blog.

Please tag your posts using, at minimum, the following standard tags: READING, SCREENING, DISCUSSION, RESEARCH. Feel free to use other tags in addition, based on topic, screening title, etc.