My Daily Read: Peter Myer

March 14, 2012

Peter has been teaching as an Adjunct Instructor of Art at COCC for years. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics and Printmaking from The University of South Dakota and a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of Oregon.


ConXn: What is the first thing you read in the morning?

Peter:  I go online to Slate headlines, Doosebury, then arts section. Then Breaking News at the Atlantic site. I usually read one article and bookmark longer pieces for later, which occasionaly get read.

ConXn: What newspaper and magazines do you subscribe to or read regularly? What do you read in print versus online versus mobile?

Peter: The Atlantic, Art in America, Art Forum, Book Forum, Dwell, Outside, and the Source as a ‘newspaper’. I read the New Yorker when I get a hand me down copy and check out Ceramics Monthy from the library. Most of these print sources have things online that I check once in a while, particularly Dwell and the Atlantic.

ConXn:  What books have you recently read?

Peter: I read something from The Thinking Eye by Paul Klee nearly everyday. He systematically explicates visual thinking. Very dense but ultimately understandable in small doses. I’ve been at it for 5-6 years.

I recently re-read Animals, Men, and Myth by Richard Lewinsohn. It’s a natural history of the often bizarre relationship between humans and animals.

Korean Buncheoung Ceramics from Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art is the current book I’m into.

Do any stand out? The Korean Buncheoung Ceramics is direct, fresh, whimsical and amazingly contemporary for work done in the 15th and 16th centuries.

ConXn:  Has your reading of professional journals changed in the past 10 years? If so, how?

Peter: Art in America makes sense to me now but after 3-4 years I still have to wade through Art Forum. I think it is a publication geared toward art critics more than artists, but there is usually one or two lines per issue that resonate for me, so I keep plugging away.  Ceramics Monthly and Clay Times are easily skimed by comparison.

ConXn: Do you use Twitter?

Peter: No. Those social media sites are probably valid but they scare me; they seem like time vampires.

ConXn: Do you blog? 

Peter: No

ConXn: What are the guilty pleasures in your media diet?

Peter:  Mystery short stories. I really enjoy a good longform article on practically anything but don’t allocate time to read them as much as I would like.  David Foster Wallace’s, The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys and the Shrub, about John McCain’s primary campaign in 2000, is the last such story I’ve read.

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My Daily Read: Michele DeSilva

January 19, 2012

Michele is the Emerging Technologies Libarian at the COCC Barber Library.  She has a B.A. in Liberal Studies from OSU and a MLIS  from University of Washington.  She has been with COCC since 2006.


ConXn: What is the first thing you read in the morning?

Michele:   I’m not a loyal newspaper reader, so the first thing I read every morning really varies from morning. Some mornings, the first thing I read is my work email, but I prefer to start the day with something else, usually whatever book I happen to be reading at the moment.

ConXn: What newspaper and magazines do you subscribe to or read regularly? What do you read in print versus online versus mobile?

Michele: I regularly read and subscribe to The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Poetry. I read all of those in paper. I actually really like newspapers, and I will occasionally buy The New York Times in the store, but mostly I just look at it online a couple of times a week. I don’t think I could ever subscribe to a newspaper, because I wouldn’t have time to read it every day. I can’t even keep up with The New Yorker, which comes out every week.

ConXn: What books have you recently read? Do any stand out?

Michele: I’ve been on a re-reading kick lately, especially of Victorian novels. I re-read Middlemarch and enjoyed it thoroughly. Right now, I’m reading Sanctuary, by William Faulkner and How Fiction Works by James Wood, so I guess that gets me out of the Victorian era.

ConXn: Has your reading of professional journals changed in the past 10 years? If so, how?

Michele: Oh, it’s definitely changed for me, in that I didn’t read professional literature 10 years ago at all, and now I do. I started reading the library literature about five years ago, so I’ve pretty much always kept up with it online rather than in print.

ConXn: Do you use Twitter? If so, whom do you follow?

Michele:  I use Twitter for the Library, but I don’t use it personally. I had a personal account for a little while, but I never really got into it.

ConXn: Do you blog? If so, why?

Michele: I occasionally write an entry for ConXn (this blog) and regularly write for the Library’s microblog, InfoSprinkles. One summer a couple of years ago, I kept a blog for our garden, because family members were really interested in it, but that’s it for personal blogging. I write a lot (in an old-fashioned paper journal), but I just don’t feel compelled to post it online.

ConXn: What are the guilty pleasures in your media diet?

Michele: I don’t feel too guilty about anything in my media diet. It’s not like everything I read is high-brow or great literature (I like a good mystery occasionally, or something similarly escapist), but I’m happy with the balance I’ve struck. More than feeling guilty about the media I consume, I feel guilty about taking the time to sit down and read because I feel like I should be doing something else more productive. Fortunately, I can usually ignore the guilt and enjoy my reading.


My Daily Read: Dr. Carol Higginbotham

November 30, 2011

Dr. Carol Higginbotham is a Professor of Chemistry.  Dr. Higginbotham, received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Montana State University and has been teaching at COCC since 1999.

 

ConXn: What is the first thing you read in the morning?

Carol: Honestly?  It’s typically Facebook.  I like to pick up personal messages before I get hit with the news.  But once I have seen what my friends have been up to, it’s the newspaper, online.  After that I’ll sometimes check a few favorite blogs, and by then I am usually draining my coffee cup and getting out the door.

ConXn: What newspaper and magazines do you subscribe to or read regularly? What do you read in print versus online versus mobile?

Carol: I am an online subscriber to the New York Times, and I look at it at least once a day.  I also read local news at ktvz.com and oregonlive.com, and I look at npr.org and opbnews.org.  In print I’ll read parts of the Source on weekends, when I am a bit more chilled out and have the time to pay attention to the longer articles it contains.  I absolutely love reading The Atlantic as a Kindle mag, and I have subscriptions to Runner’s World and to American Scientist that come the old fashioned way:  in my US Mail box.

ConXn: What books have you recently read? Do any stand out?

Carol:  Each fall I try to take up a long classic book, so as the days get short I can curl up and read seriously.  This year I am trying to get through Moby Dick.  I also picked up and read both the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip von Winkle this Halloween season, because I wanted to get to know those stories in their original forms.  All these were basically free or one-dollar reads I got for my Kindle.  The best book I’ve read in the last six months was The War of the End of the World, by Mario Vargas Llosa, who won the Nobel prize for literature last year.  It’s an amazing, big, fat, epic book.  I have also recently read An Anatomy of Addiction, the Emperor of All Maladies, and The Poisoner’s Handbook.  All of these are popular science books.  Currently I am in the middle of two books:  the Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman.

ConXn: Has your reading of professional journals changed in the past 10 years? If so, how?

Carol: Absolutely.  I used to read more in scientific research journals, and these days I read more education stuff.  I am a regular reader of the Journal of Chemical Education.  I keep an eye on advances in research through aggregator websites that sort and summarize scientific advances for me.

ConXn: Do you use Twitter? If so, whom do you follow?

Carol: I joined Twitter several years ago when it was new, but at the time it wasn’t very popular.  When the people I wanted to connect with weren’t using it, I lost interest.  My account is probably still out there but I haven’t used it in a very long time.

ConXn: Do you blog? If so, why?

Carol: I used to blog.  My students were hungry for connections between the chemistry we were discussing in class and their lives outside of school, so I developed a blog as a place to explore these connections.  It was great fun for a while, and I am glad I did it.  However I found that I really needed feedback to keep up my motivation to write, so over time a lack of comments caused me to drift away from blogging.  If you want to look at it, it’s http://chigginbotham.blogspot.com/.

ConXn: What are the guilty pleasures in your media diet?

Carol: I get more pleasure than is reasonable from reading blogs about sustainability, and bike commuter culture.  I like reading bikeportland.org, the Daily Score from Sightline.org, and copenhagenize.com.  These blogs are guilty pleasures for me because they mostly reinforce things I already believe in.  They don’t challenge my ideas, but they express things I already like in ways that make me like those things even more.

I also always come home from library book sales with cookbooks.  The more unusual they are, the more I enjoy them.  My collection includes a Finnish cookbook and a cookbook by Liberace.


My Daily Read: Dr. Karen Huck

November 16, 2011

“My Daily Read” is a new feature of ConXn, shamelessly borrowed from The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Chronicle Review weekly feature, in which they interview famous academics about their daily reading habits. 

Our first “My Daily Read” featured academic is Dr. Karen Huck, Professor of Speech.  Dr. Huck, who received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Utah, has been teaching at COCC since 1988.  She is the 2009 recipient of the COCC Faculty Achievement Award.

(factoid: Kake lives in a house of books – at least 7,000 volumes!)

ConXn: What is the first thing you read in the morning?

Dr. Huck: The Bend Bulletin or student work I need to hand back in a few hours.

ConXn: What newspaper and magazines do you subscribe to or read regularly? What do you read in print versus online versus mobile?

Dr. Huck: I hate hate hate reading off the computer.  I read the Sunday New York Times, New York Magazine, The New Yorker (hmmm, do we detect a pattern here?), Poetry, Bend Bulletin, Source Weekly, Harpers and Atlantic if I have a free subscription.

ConXn: What books have you recently read? Do any stand out?

Dr. Huck: The Poisoner’s Handbook:  Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.  Best book of the summer.  I don’t usually read long books (novels and short fiction) when seated — I read by ear when dog walking and walking to school.  Right now I’m in the middle of reading three different books at those times when I’m sitting and not grading or watching.  I’m enjoying each —  No Vulgar Hotel:  The Desire and Pursuit of Venice by Judith Martin;  Blue Sky Dream:  A Memoir of America’s Fall from Grace (set in my home county during the time I was growing up) by David Beers; and Love Wins by Rob Bell, an evangelical Christian who doesn’t believe in hell.

And, on yeah, in the spring I reread The Mirror Cracked, by Agatha Christie — a classic in which the unpleasant murder victim is killed largely because she was an enthusiastic non-thinker and busybody.

ConXn: Has your reading of professional journals changed in the past 10 years? If so, how?

Dr. Huck: Yes.   I skim only the articles in which I’m interested, generally those which have “immediacy behaviors” or “gay” in the title.

ConXn: Do you use Twitter? If so, whom do you follow?

Dr. Huck: No.  I’ve decided that Facebook and Youtube are enough for me right now.  Plus, I think tweets are boring (well, okay, I did spend about 5 minutes following tweets from the supposed riots at Penn State).

ConXn: Do you blog? If so, why?

Dr. Huck: Rarely — generally when I have something to say and don’t care if anyone hears me say it.

ConXn: What are the guilty pleasures in your media diet?

Dr. Huck: I have no guilt about my consumption habits except on those occasions when English teachers send me nonverbal messages that I am not a serious person because I don’t read enough. Oh yes, and when I get similar nonverbal messages of concern from my students when I openly admit to enjoying Sponge Bob Square Pants.


Enjoy your summer reading!

June 8, 2011

Yep, summer is finally here!

Looking for some good summer reading? Thanks to Stacey Donohue, we got a list of great recommendations:

• Stacey’s annual ritual: rereading Richard Russo’s Straight Man, an academic comedy, before the start of fall term. Other academic comedies that amuse me include Moo, by Jane Smiley and Murder at the MLA by D.J.H. Jones
• For beautifully crafted short stories, read Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies or Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.
• More beautiful writing: Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves.
• Memoir, in the right hands, can be a pleasure to read. I’d recommend Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life; Mary McCarthy’s Memoirs of a Catholic Girlhood; Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies.
• Another ritual is rereading one of my all-time favorites, John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany
• Summer plans: The stack of books next to the bed include William Deresiewicz’s literary memoir A Jane Austen Education; Heidi Durrow’s The Girl Who Fell From the Sky; Mary Gordon’s The Love of My Youth.

Also, in case you missed this announcement by Karen Roth, Director of Multicultural Activities, next fall, campus faculty in partnership with Multicultural Activities will offer Conversations on Books and Culture “for an occasional discussion of books representing various world cultures. Read the book ahead or just come and hear about it during the conversation.”  The proposed schedule for next year includes these books:

October: Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros, conversation facilitated by Robin Martinez

November: House Made of Dawn by M. Scott Momaday, conversation facilitated by Neil Brown

January: Book Thief by Markus Zusak, conversation facilitated by Lura Reed

February: A Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou, conversation facilitated by Tina Redd

April: The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, conversation facilitated by Chris Rubio

May: Typical American by Gish Jen, conversation facilitated by Annemarie Hamlin

They’ll be dates and times for each conversation determined by the fall.

Have a wonderful summer!


Publish Your Own Book for Kindle

January 26, 2011

by Ralph Phillips, CIS

You’re definitely going to want to do this. Write a book and make it available for purchase from the Amazon Kindle Store. It doesn’t cost anything to get an account at Amazon or to upload books for sale.

You can write your book using any number of tools and then use a conversion service that will put it into an ideal format as an electronic book. Or, you can write your book using e-book friendly HTML (the language for web pages). Writing HTML is not tough and you could use a free tool like Notepad++ for the writing.

When a copy of your book sells, you get a percentage of the sale price as royalty minus the fees for wireless delivery. The fees depend on the size of your book in kilobytes. Definitely check the pricing information provided for the most accurate costs, but as of 10/5/10 an author would get about $6.25 for a book that was 410 kilobytes and sold in the US and UK amazon stores for $8.99.

Kindle  books at Amazon

December 9, 2010

By Tina Hovekamp, Library

Best wishes for this Winter break, everyone!

Looking for some good reading suggestions for your days off?  Listverse has a “Top 10 Best Novels of the Last 20 Years” page to help you find some literary jewels.  As Presnel, the author of the article states:

“The ten novels on this list all substantiate the belief that books are the most elastic, introspective, human and entertaining form of media that exist. Not movies, not music, not art, not the theatre. A famous author once said that novels are the best way for two human beings to connect with each other.”

And in case you discover that you are more than just a common book lover, The Wall Street Journal has a short piece introducing five of their best books for bibliophiles.  The article is written  by Allison Hoover Bartlett, author of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession.  So, also check out, Extreme Book-Collecting.

See you back in Winter term!