Welcome, Members of Parliament

Welcome, Members of Parliament. This blog is designed to act as a student forum for anyone enrolled in my classes at a Dallas-area proprietary college, former students, and/or others who find our conversations interesting. The Parliament will be moderated to ensure civility and relevance. The directions we take, the paths we follow, and the concerns we address are all up to you.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Beta Post

I've long wanted to host a blog focused on my students, and since my Summer quarter will be relatively light (four courses and administrative duties), I thought this would be a good time to begin.

The title comes from the imaginative invention of collective nouns for birds, and is fortuitous in this case because of the "owlfarmer" connection (derived from my surname) and the fact that I would like this project to act as a creative forum for students who are in the process of gaining wisdom. It also ties in with my other blogs, but since they tend to intimidate, inflame, or puzzle some of my student readers (so that few of them ever comment), I thought this would be a more student-friendly venue.

I have several plans for the Parliament, including the awarding of extra credit in classes I'm currently teaching. I'll put together a checklist of requirements before the Summer quarter starts. I'll also invite guest-posts from past and present students, and encourage the contribution of original artwork to illustrate topics we're considering. Occasionally, as when my History of Art and Design II students participate in the "Photography and Modernism Workshop," I'll post the results of class projects on the blog, and welcome comments in response.

For now, I'm using one of Blogger's new templates, but welcome help from students with appropriate expertise in designing our own page. I'd like the basic layout to stay the same (because I'm entering my doddering years and like familiar spaces), but the title could use some work, and I'd love an attractive, nicely textured background. Suggested gadgets would be nice, too. All work must be compatible with a Creative Commons license, but other than that I'm open to all manner of submissions.

I look forward to working with Members of Parliament; feel free to offer suggestions, comments, design and technical advice, etc. This will always be a work in progress.