By Al Krauss
(Yes, I am a student)
When your newspaper- this EAGL:E- was evicted last year from the Mendocino College electronic home page, or "Web" page as the savvy term it, what might have been going on?
Why, of course, it was a basic issue: what is the value of print media (real things, like magazines, newspapers, books) versus boob tube web pages (unreal images, like talking buttons and pictures that fade in and out, and words that erase themselves and move around)?
You and I know that we aren't going to want to read much out of a hand-held computer screen, and certainly are not going to want to carry our expensive digital notebooks around just to browse text.
In fact, I believe studies have shown that reading an illuminated screen simply doesn't cut it when compared with those wonderful things called illuminated manuscripts. And then, there was the movable type which good old Gutenberg devised, bringing the Bible to us all. We all know that most of electronic publishing is hype, with a little networking and some games thrown in for entertainment.
Will hard copy (lingo for real mags, books, papers etc, not that gossip rag TV program of the same name) go the way of the muledrawn plow?Only when people forget how to read - and we're getting there fast! Look at your non-readers and notice how they want everything in front of them as interactive icons in a game (ICONS: the little pictographs on web pages and electronic slot machines). By the way, I know there is at least one English faculty member who detests paranthetical expressions of the kind sprinkled through this article (likethis); but I say to her, just look at the "interior dialogue" such expressions generate! You know, like talking to yourself.
Or like a standup comedian making asides, keeping at least two parts of his/her audience's minds active. Or like multiple "windows" on a computer screen being opened. :) (For those of you who don't know, this signifies "grin" in E-mail chat.)
Note that although some readers may take what's said here as "dumbed down" talk, it's all just the setup for the knock out. We have been feinting (there, all spelled out, and we don't mean "fainting") and here she goes:
The College Administration, in all its wisdom, wants you to read the Eagle in a way that allows you to keep your reading ability, your basic literacy, your appreciation for real words on a real page, ALIVE.
Of course, the Eagle connection to the College web page was cut with this truly noble thought in mind. We admire the pedagogical purity, the didactic idealism!
Hey, I'm democratic (as in fair minded - no politics intended). So,in the interest of assuring that we're all on an equal footing here: PEDAGOGY is the practice of teaching, and "didactic" has come to mean a kind of dry,information oriented style of teaching... have you run into any DIDACTICPEDAGOGY lately?
Like, for example, the paragraph you just read!
Ouch, I just caught my tongue in a space between my left molars while typing that.
OK, folks, the little word party is over. The real truth, spoken from many mouths and written by many minds, was printed in the Eagle from November through May, during the last school year. Part of that truth (and we're not talking "partial truth" here) is that the Administration used a blatant pretext, paraphrased as something like:
"...the Mendocino College web page is to be used primarily as an infomercial for the College, etc."
...... to cut your newpaper's connection to the Mendocino College web page, right after the Eagle had performed a vital community service in aerating the dingy innards of our college's governing processes.
The timing, of course, was coincidental. Only the appearances are unfortunate. Due innocence (diligence?) was preserved. We may chew our collective tobacco cuds in peace for ever more, keeping them safely tucked behind our lower lips and our tongues far from those awful teeth.
If you have access to the Internet (and there are many machines here on campus which provide that access, including the battery of new Dell Computers at the library) you can look at a new special electronic edition of the Eagle, which includes a retrospective on all the issues which are still alive and kicking from last year's investigative and pro-active journalism. The web address for the Eagle is: www.pacific.net/~EAGLE
And there you have the flip side of the PRINT/DATA SCREEN issue. Only an electronic distribution network can provide instantaneous and relatively "effortless" information.
Still, it is the print issue which is your bird in hand, and we will
always assert the value of real, not "virtual", reality. Well, at the very least, we will always assert the value of the reality that words impart.
Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled and your ears sharp as we enter a new season of college governance (GOVERNANCE: the way decisions are made here, as between the ASMC, the Academic Senate, the Board of Trustees and other constituencies). We'll be doing that along with you, as well as providing all the entertainment and information we can muster.
We promise to run the frames in real time, so that everyone can watch
the "real" Keystone cops of OUR time in action!
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