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In other news, whenever I wear my Marquette jacket and my Eddie Bauer cap around campus, I am mistaken for men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams. I mean constantly.
The first time I thought it was a fluke. Someone in the union started chatting me up about basketball. Then she said “you’re the men’s coach, aren’t you?” It wasn’t really a question, she had already pegged me as Buzz.
Then today it happened again. I passed someone on the street only to have them say “I think that’s Buzz Williams!”
It got me thinking about a slightly weird conversation I had with the guy at the Qdoba where I had lunch. As he was taking my money he just grinned at me and said “how’s it going!” Um, good, I replied. In retrospect, he totally thought I was Buzz.
My mind reeling from this discovery, I asked the student working the espresso machine at the coffee shop: Do you know who Buzz Williams is? She grinned and said “Yes! Hi!” Which was not exactly the response I was looking for, but at this point it wasn’t surprising me anymore.
It’s nice to be mistaken for what amounts to a celebrity in my workplace, but what I want to know is how I can get payroll to make the same mistake. Even just for a month! Please!
Tomorrow afternoon I’m teaching a 2.5 hour class on digital photography at the university. I rarely get to sneak away from my regular duties to do this kind of thing, so I’m really looking forward to it. Best part: I hear that the chief photographer, Dan Johnson, may be making a special guest appearance later in the session.
Although attendees will determine the direction of the class to a great extent, here’s a few of things I have in mind to get us going:
Differences between point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras
What is a megapixel?
Improve composition by getting closer
Improve composition by the rule of thirds
The focus-and-frame technique
Mind the horizon
Camera modes including auto, program, priority and others
Recipe for a good portrait using any camera
Sharing your masterpiece using the web
And here’s some of the photos I might be using as examples. Not all are great, but they each illustrate some principle of photography people might want to know about.
Today at 1 I’m on a panel discussion about social media. Apparently I’m to discuss (gulp!) my personal use of various social media tools.
That always gets a little weird. Not that I’ve never had an instance where my personal stuff online has run afoul of my employer or of my career in general. I just don’t think anything I write incites enough passion to get me dooced. But it still sometimes feels a little weird.
And, hey, if anyone from today’s audience is reading this, welcome! Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the event. I’ll probably take a photo and post it on my Flickr stream.
Other concerns. I’m thinking a lot about how frightened people can be about internet communications. It’s shortening our attention span, wrecking our writing skills, leading predators to our children’s bedrooms via Google Maps, and otherwise sapping our precious bodily fluids!
Sure there are risks, and not everything has been figured out yet regarding the law and social etiquette around social media participation. But there’s also tremendous reward and enormous opportunities. I suspect one reason the uninitiated don’t hear much about these is because they are relying on the traditional media for information. Not only is traditional media prone to fear-mongering, but it also simply lacks understanding of these phenomena in a lot of cases. At least that’s my take. And I hope that the panel today can give a sense of what some of those positives are.
I got a cryptic IM this morning at 10:30 telling me that something “interesting” was going to happen on the quad out in back of my building here at the university. Having brought my camera along to take pictures at an event later in the afternoon, I decided to grab it and take a little walk. Who knows what I might see.
As it turns out a bunch of graduating seniors had planned a little entertainment for everyone during the 11 AM class change: A choreographed group dance routine to the Isley Brothers 1959 hit “Shout.”
Pretty tame stuff for college student’s expression of exuberance, you might say–and you’d be right. I admit that. But what Marquette students lack in hell-raising skills they more than make up for in their studiousness and their commitment to others through community service. (No, really.)
Anyway, I got a few shots. And there’s a youtube video, too. (If you scrub it to where the camera goes wide at 3:31 you can actually see me taking pictures from behind the tree camera left.)
They tore down the building across the street from my office on Wisconsin avenue this past summer. That gaping hole has been filled in by three stories of ironwork covered in plastic tarps–no doubt so that construction workers can put some meat on those dinosaur bones without the weather interfering. But the whole building now has that Crimson Permanent Assurance look to it. Every time I see it I’m half expecting it to weigh anchor and sail off down the avenue. (So far it hasn’t.)
If you were going to teach a three hour class on digital photography, what would you include in it? What would you put into a photo editing course? I’ve recently been asked to do both at work. Here’s a few ideas off the top of my head:
Photography: types of digital cameras, parts of a camera, megapixels/resolution, camera modes, composition, flash, printing, sharing on the web.
Photo editing (using Photoshop Elements): cropping, color adjustments, exposure adjustments, sharpening, resolution, printing and optimizing for the web.
My guess is that there are over 4000 colleges and universities in the United States. (Anyone know for sure?)
For the record, I received my masters in education from Marquette in December of 2002, the university has been my employer for ten years, I am an adjunct faculty member in the college of professional studies, and my oldest child is a freshman this year. That makes me an alum, an administrator, a teacher and a parent. I’m pretty sure if I were to take a class and become a student, I’d probably break some very important computer system by having too many roles at the institution.
It’s official. Paige is going off to college this fall. And not just any college. She’s going to my alma mater and employer of ten years, Marquette University. I couldn’t be more thrilled or more proud.
In case you didn’t know, Marquette is ranked 81st among national universities, according to US News & World Report. It’s also fairly selective, accepting only around 65% of those who apply.