Monday, July 14, 2014


Hi and welcome back.  Thought I'd give us all a few weeks to catch our breath, enjoy time with friends and family, and recharge our batteries.

Now I'm thinking about last year's students who wished they'd gotten started earlier on everything from college/scholarship applications to setting themselves up for success in the social media and academic elements of this course.

If you need proof that this isn't going to be business as usual, please don't take my word for it.  Have a look at last year's Member Blogs.  Talk to people you know who took the course.  Consider the fact that, of the seven people currently following this blog, three are students who graduated last year.  I didn't want to go anywhere near my high school when I graduated, so it's worth asking: What are they doing here?  Lisa, Jon, and Shane are your virtual TAs. They've been through this, they've been uber-successful (hey, does anyone know how to insert an umlaut?), and they're here to help.  Since my limited math skills tell me that leaves only four current followers who are enrolled to start on-the-ground class in August, Alec (more on him next post), Breanna, Victoria, & Ephraim are the officially the most valuable learners in this community right now.  Why?  Because they're going to see this post before everyone else.  Whether they share is up to them, but I hope they do, and I hope everyone else who is enrolled gets the idea, because there is about to be a flood of posts as I come out of hibernation and we get up to speed.  It's much easier to follow and get posts automatically in your email Inbox than checking back 12 times a day, especially given the hours I keep.  You know that moment on a roller coaster, just after you start, when you're ticking up the last few feet before the first big screaming drop?  That's now.  Make sure your belt is tight and get your scream on.  Anyone who isn't following and/or lucky enough to get word from the Seven will be shocked at the amount of stuff they'll need to read in addition to the formal summer assignment.

For now, here's what you should be getting ready:

1. Your blog.  You can use Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, or something even cooler we haven't thought of yet, but think about what you're good at, what you want people to see online, and which media and tools will help you tell that story.  If you have a strong perspective, great; we'll be asking you about it during the first week in class.  If this is all brand new, start with Blogger (it's easy and you'll have lots of help).  You can always migrate later.  As soon as you create your blog, please email the URL to

2. Your summer reading notes.  If you haven't already cracked the books, stop kidding yourself.  Starting the year behind is a recipe for disaster.  Put your notes on the blog you just created.

3. Your scholarship and college application materials.  By the time we begin class you should have: a) a list of 5-10 scholarships you qualify for; b) a list of 3-5 colleges you'd like to attend; and c) a draft of a personal essay.  More on each of these in coming days/weeks.

So it begins.  Please feel free to comment to this post or email with any questions, suggestions, ideas, or general feedback.  Onward!

1 comment:

  1. Depends. If you'd like the snarky answer, please click here.

    ....okay okay fiiinneeee, you just type the entity code ü into an HTML text box (yeah, like that one down there labeled "Post a Comment"!), and when you submit it, it will display as the correct character. Speaking of which, I would very much like to give the Class of 2015 a presentation on the basics of code, and why basic HTML literacy is über-important! Whaddaya say, Dr. P?