Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Confession and an Announcement

I have a confession and an announcement to make. Neither of these may be all that startling to my readers who've heard me talk about them in person, but I thought I'd share anyway.

First, the confession. One of the main reasons I created this blog is because I was thinking about doing a PhD in Communications. I wanted to record my thoughts surrounding my areas of interest so I could get a sense of the threads I was most interested in, and as a bonus, maybe start a discussion around some of them.

This confession leads to the announcement: Starting in August, I will indeed be starting a doctoral program in communication research at Purdue University in Indiana. I'll be primarily working in the area of Media, Technology, and Society, hopefully focusing on the ways we write and read in a technological age.

What this means for the blog, I'm not entirely sure yet. But I somehow think I'll have more material for it than ever.

Monday, April 16, 2007

And Back to Librivox...

So as a special treat to myself for writing 18 thesis pages in two days, finishing up the first draft of my MA thesis, I went back to Librivox this weekend. I figured I'd find some audiobooks to listen to while I clean up the worst of the thesis-books mess that's been on my living room floor for the past four months or so.

I was pleasantly surprised by how many free public-domain audiobooks have been added to the stock since I last visited, along with a search function for the catalog and the ability to browse by genre. Considering it's all volunteer work, things are really coming along over there.

I picked some old favorites to transfer to my iPod: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy and Jerome K. Jerome's funny Victorian travelogue Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog). Check them out if you get a chance.

I look forward to listening to them as I rescue my apartment from its thesis-focused neglect and as I take long walks in the newly springlike weather.

Ah, the easy liberation from the indoors the iPod brings us--a chance to catch up on the classics and be active at the same time. With such ease of use, I may even get around to downloading and making it all the way through Moby Dick (which I noticed is also now up at Librivox) one of these days--perhaps during one of my long summer road trips.

There's something delightful about using new technology to spread classic stories, many of which have been around since before the phonograph and the radio.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Burying Myself in My Word Processor

Okay, so some may think it may be hard to bury oneself into a laptop screen that's less than a centimeter thick, but that's what I'm seeking to do quite a bit over the next few weeks to get the rough draft of my MA thesis done. I will probably be buried in a few books from time to time as well, a process that's no less obscure and just as virtual in many ways. Words, after all, are virtual representations of thoughts, whether they're scrawled or printed in paper or appear on a computer screen.

I wonder how we came up with this metaphor, to bury oneself in something? Interesting how many of our metaphors for virtual activities are approached by way of flesh-and-blood-and-sweat ones. Not that finishing up the rough draft of a thesis is less work than actually burying something, it's just a different kind of work. Hopefully I'm burying treasure instead of something unsavory.

Okay, now I'm just procrastinating. Time to flip back to that other window and bury myself, once again, in T. S. Eliot and Thoreau.