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blog as MFA thesis

I'm on the thesis committee for a former student of mine, Jen, who is writing a blog for her MFA thesis. I think it's a wonderful idea, especially because the University bureaucracy is having fits trying to understand how to deal with this format. But I also love this because the internet is really where the personal essay thrives today, and to ignore the web as a delivery mechanism is to look backwards. And as metaphor for the transience of things - a major theme on the farm - a blog is the perfect form for her project.

Jen's blog is called Up From the Ground, which she explains "is where I explore life as a wannabe Kansas farmer (vegetables, livestock, and home canning included). Competing with this much romanticized return-to-the-land agrarian life is my interest in technology and especially its affect on communication. The two are far from mutually exclusive."

There's some lovely writing about the hardships and joys of farm life in Kansas... and discovering how to succeed (or survive) without a background in farming. So go check it out and support her efforts!

Chris

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Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
martyn44
Dec. 9th, 2009 09:16 am (UTC)
Sounds like an interesting exploration. A pity, then, that she can't tell a verb 'affect' from a noun 'effect'.
mckitterick
Dec. 10th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
I thought it was pretty neat. BTW, Jen seeks advice on where the a/e typo appeared.
martyn44
Dec. 10th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)
'... my interest in technology and especially its affect on communication . . .'

I couldn't find the passage in her blog, but it does appear in your quotation. As you say, an intriguing enterprise.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
typo
Oh, color me red. In the About! It's always the things that you labor over and re-read a dozen times that have the mistakes. Fixed now. Thanks, -Jen
clevermanka
Dec. 9th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
I think it's a wonderful idea, especially because the University bureaucracy is having fits trying to understand how to deal with this format.

And how fortunate for all of us that this fit-having University bureaucracy includes me.
mckitterick
Dec. 10th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
Think of it as a learning experience!
clevermanka
Dec. 10th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
And you know how much I love learning experiences!
mckitterick
Dec. 10th, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC)
Here, have a new one! You don't need to thank me.

But aren't you pleased with the personal growth you've had the opportunity to explore over the past few years? Just think of me as your personal trainer.
clevermanka
Dec. 10th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
My new icon, let me show you it.
mckitterick
Dec. 10th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha!
silverfae
Dec. 9th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
How cool, an academic version of the commercial The Pioneer Woman!

Why, we could all become thesisists on our blogspace!

mckitterick
Dec. 10th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
Huh, neat!

We are all writing what amounts to personal essays here in the ether. It's just that we're not doing it with that intention. I'm a little surprised, really, that this is likely the first blog-based thesis.
skyflame
Dec. 9th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
You could be eeeeeevil and suggest that she use Farmville as a social experiment.
mckitterick
Dec. 10th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
Ho ho. In fact, that thar is one of my interests on Facebook... Not Playing Farmville.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 9th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks
Thanks for the shout-out, Chris, and please send more comments my way. Marty44, please let me know where the glaring affect/effect is. I do know the difference, but in the high-speed world of blogging, I make mistakes here and there. Ah, to have an editor. -Jen
mckitterick
Dec. 10th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks
Will do!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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