Archive for the ‘Women Who Think’ Category

Screen shot 2013-09-19 at 8.47.13 PMA few observations after four days of my first-ever online class:

1. Learning

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this way is completely rewiring my brain. I have decided to try to do it all online — the textbooks are on my Kindle app (had to ask my 14-year-old how to highlight Kindle text), I take notes on my iPad, and of course the readings and lectures are at the Coursera site for the course. It feels more difficult to remember tiny details (did Jeff Jarvis write that, or did I see it on the Google site?), but it’s also undeniably more efficient. And cool.

Speaking of cool, no way did I ever imagine seeing a motorized Android wheeling past one of the towers of the Northwestern Library, with Deering in the background. This was the opening video of the first lecture.

2. Video lectures leave a lot to be desired. The professor, Owen Youngman, is a nationally known expert in digital media, and I enjoy his blog a lot. I’ll bet in the classroom, he is terrific. But online I find myself wishing I could ask a question, and seeing slides with concepts on them as the lecture keeps going feels a lot like listening to the radio while trying to read the newspaper. How quaint, I know, but multi-tasking has never been my thing.

3. Google Plus sucks. So far I have gotten hundreds of notices from around the world saying, basically, “I’m glad to be taking this class.” It’s interesting, I guess, to know that there are 42,000 students in this class from 156 countries, but I am probably going to opt out of this forum unless something more substantive comes up soon.

4. Best part of the class so far: Watching the Google Hangout chat between Youngman and journalist/author/thinker Jeff Jarvis. Jarvis’s book, What Would Google Do?, is one of the assigned texts for this class. The reason I wanted to take this class was to think again about how the media — starting with my former employer, The Commercial Appeal, and going on from there — can rethink how they do what they do. No one in journalism would deny that the print media business model is broken, and it seems clear to me now that it’s only a matter of time before the advertising that newspapers and magazines sell to support their journalism won’t do that any more. Many of the choices traditional news organizations have made seem exactly the wrong ones, but what are the right ones? The Jarvis Hangout interview (I hope you can see it; the link might be accessible only to MOOC members) begins to answer those questions, which, as he points out, is the “moral of the course.”

Final note: I got a 4.25 out of 5 on the first quiz. Crap.

No Comments | Category: Women Who Think

As if the general economic gloom isn’t bad enough, the world of journalism/media these days feels like the auto industry. Last week, Scripps (which owns The Commercial Appeal and this very blog) decided to put the venerable Rocky Mountain News , as a prelude to closing it in early 2009 (can there be¬†anyone out there want to buy a debt-ridden newspaper, despite its

recent run of Pulitzers?). The Tribune Co. — LATimes, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Cubs — declared bankruptcy yesterday. And today two anchors and a dozen other employees were laid off from WMC-TV Channel 5. It’s enough to make you stop reading/watching/listening to the news, and, as a journalist, that’s not something I say lightly.

So what’s the solution? Good old fashioned denial — and distraction. This morning, I went to Chapel at my kid’s school — he was the reader this morning, talking about how the river Jordan stopped flowing so the priests could bring the ark of the covenant safely into Israel. Singing a few Advent hymns, watching Tomas in his angelic choir robes read so confidently at the pulpit, has changed the complexion of my day completely from yesterday.

Things are still scary, and the future is still uncertain, but,

at least for today, I feel a reprieve.

What are you doing to cheer yourself up these days? Send ideas … there’s no Chapel tomorrow!

1 Comment | Category: Women Who Think

girlsvote.jpgI read an astonishing piece viagra generic of research this morning in my regular e-mail from The White House Project, a women’s political advocacy group whose slogan

is “Add Women, Change Everything.” In a study conducted before the most recent presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, viagra super active John McCain and Sarah Palin, one in four kids (age 5-10) think it’s illegal for women

and minorities to be elected president. And three in four of them think that gender and racial bias is the reason there hasn’t been a woman, African-American or other minority president.

When you look at what kids see in their history books, it’s not too surprising they think presidents can only be white guys, but, as the researcher who did the study points out, no one really tries to explain to them that it’s possible for the president to look different. I wonder what will happen if this research is repeated after Election Day 2008? Surely kids’ perceptions of what’s possible will have changed. Won’t they?

No Comments | Category: Women Who Think

It’s tough to focus on happiness these days, I know, but evidently quite a few of you enjoyed reading about it yesterday in my column, which I’ve posted in full text after the page turn. My voicemail was full this morning of women sharing their girlfriends-saved-my-sanity stories, and others just thanking me for a ray of sunshine in this tough season. And since I got my quarterly 401(k) statement last night (the graph goes right where you’d suspect — straight down), it’s worth reminding myself, too, that money doesn’t equal happiness. It’s the people in our lives who do that. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments | Category: Women Who Think

janice.jpgOn Tuesday, Janice Holder — long a lawyer and judge in Memphis, who’s been on the Tennessee Supreme Court since 1996 — was installed as CHIEF JUSTICE of the Court, the first woman in Tennessee to have that job. (Though I was interested to read that she is one of 18

female Chiefs throughout the country.) Janice is more than a smart, capable, hard-working judge, though she’s certainly that. She’s a third degree black belt in karate (love the photo), and a fascinating person. All the best to her in her new, vital job. You can read more about her in this month’s issue

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