Friday, August 29, 2008

First Assignment

I was going to wait to post the assignment until more of you had introduced yourselves - but it's time to post it, regardless. Here it is:

This assignment has two components.

1) Identify and quote a specific short passage -- no more than a sentence or two -- which, in your mind, represents or summarizes one of these themes in The House of the Seven Gables: narrative, technology, change, history, or democracy (you might also tackle a couple of these ideas together, with the right passage). Do your best to demonstrate why we should take this passage as representing the role played by these ideas in general in the book so far.

2) Respond to Hawthorne's conceptualization of narrative/technology/change/history/democracy using some contemporary issue, or something in your experience. Is this idea of history/change/democracy well-founded?

For example, you might identify some passage which addresses the nature of change (perhaps the nature of change in a democracy), then explore whether or not we experience change in this way, in our era of (at least supposedly) rapid technological development.

This assignment does not necessarily need to be structured like a standard essay, with an argument at the beginning, but the second part, at least, should include a clear argument.

p.s. I'll be mostly unavailable for questions this weekend, although I'll try to answer questions which are focused on the assignment itself. Here's what I'm doing (for the third time), if you care:

I will do my best to get to your other questions on Tuesday.

p.p.s. We will discuss group #2's peer responses to group #1's blog entries on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


The trouble with posting on a new blog (which for me, you can read as 'any blog at all') is the problem of getting use to the new format and system. For instance, even as I write, the damn thing is already beginning to piss me off. It literally ate my first draft and there is no way to restore it. I shall stab it with a fondue fork later, but for now...let's get done to what it's all about. Namely...ME.

My name is Jacob Mulcahy, but you can call me Jake. Now then, what am I doing here? I don't necessarily need the class to fill in a requirement, so I guess that makes me...crazy? Well, no. That doesn't question the old sanity. Even taking an interest in it with no other motivation than just that is to be considered normal. What IS a fact is that I am sort of an oddball at times. You will find out how exactly this is if you haven't already.

To put things at sort of a point, I'm a senior that requires a mere 9 credits to graduate, and none of those credits involve anything particular. The mandatories are out of the way, leaving me with whatever holds my fancy. The reason I'm in this is because I am a writer, though not published, and I figured that the more I understand the territory, the better I will be. "Ah, but Jake. How can you call yourself a writer if you haven't sold anything yet? Three reasons...
  1. There is no certificate that states, specifically, the profession of being an author, as opposed to say the licences to practice medicine. Different fields can mean looser rules.
  2. I have both the love and the tenacity of writing to pursue the goal of publishing something of mine to its conclusion. You can call it an obsession, but I'll stick with 'conviction'.
  3. What the hell did I go to college for, then? Plenty of relavent classes under the belt...

This class, I can almost guarantee, will be a strange one. And I am in it because I want to be in it, which in turn makes me a strange person. Now, someone hand me the fondue fork. It's time to smite this blog.

(No blogs were harmed in the making of this post, though a wide variety of threatening gestures and consored remarks were made.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I guess I'll be the brave soul to make the first introductory post. My name is John Fabry. If you're curious, my last name is pronounced "fay-bree", something that telemarketers had difficulty understanding for years before the Do Not Call list was developed. If you would like a picture to figure out who I am in the class, here is a link to my Facebook profile. It's fairly sparse, though, since I just made it in June. I guess I'm behind the curve.

For some background information, I'm a Senior majoring in Information Science. This semester I only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though I spend Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays working. Given my major, it should come as no surprise that computers take up a large portion of my free time. Along with computers, I also enjoy reading and writing. Apparently I'm one of the virtuous people Dr. Johns spoke of on Tuesday night since both my writing and lit requirements have already been satisfied. My eventual goal is to have the most expansive personal library possible. I'm also a coffee addict and I'm thoroughly convinced that Starbucks is possibly one of the greatest places there is to be.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Welcome to Narrative and Technology

Welcome, Fall 2008 students. Since you've managed to find this blog, you're already doing well. Remember, your first task, if you haven't done it yet, is to send me an email containing three things:

1) Your name
2) the fact that you're in Narrative and Technology
3) a request to be added to the class blog

Try to send this email by Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday evening I'll send out the invitations, which will include straightforward instructions for joining the class blog. If you *don't* receive the instructions by Thursday morning, or they don't work, please feel free to email me for help.