Delving into Online Classes: My Daily Digital Images Experience

Week two begins


I’m taking an online class. The intention in my enrollment is to fulfill a “teacher recertification” requirement. Yes, I must leave school every day with a bag full of papers needing to be graded and still find time between interactions with my family (and procrastination about aforementioned grading) to take classes. Three degrees mean nothing to the folk handling my credentials. It’s about new and “innovative” teaching techniques, theories, and, let’s be honest, repackaged ideas for meeting the same goal: increasing student engagement and real learning.

Anyway, the class is called Daily Digital Images. It called me to it from the title. I do, afterall, take digital images daily. And yet, a week into the class finds me already behind one assignment. Yes, I’m participating in the forums, but I didn’t do all the work.

Today, especially, I’m finding little motivation to continue. The learning goal for this week is to explore my camera and what features it offers. When I post replies, I do so hoping not to sound pretentious. I don’t want to be the student masquerading as the know-it-all. I’m not the expert in utilizing digital images in the academic classroom. But I know my camera. I shoot all the time. I edit pictures, make art pieces and portraits, and document life. So I find it hard to “contribute to the learning community” with relevant responses (considering my background) while maintaining what will come across as a “positive, supportive and professional tone.” Everytime I post reply, I wonder if my intentions are clear. And I check back to see if there’s further discussion on my point or my question. I really don’t like being the one with no replies!

I’m hoping to shoot around when I get home tonight so I can complete the week’s required exercise. I’ve got to try “something new” with my camera. I’m not sure what that will be. Maybe a new subject? A study in the chaos in my foyer in macro? A test of my lenses with a single, stationary subject? A fiddling with my studio lights?

Boxes in my neighbors’ yards

I suppose I’ve become that nosey neighbor. It used to be the woman who strategically took her dog for bathroom breaks outside while she chugged a cig and noted the changes of the neighborhood’s inhabitants. She knew folks’ comings and goings, their new arrivals and their sent aways, and she was a master at delivering […]

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Metaphor-in definitions on 9.17

An abstract to concrete excercise: love is a warm blanket on a cold night hate is melted chocolate in my purse kindness is a smile from a stranger in the crowd pride is a hot air balloon in flight a secret is is a dandelion in the wind fear is a strong wind slapping my […]

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How to… completely botch a shoot

In five easy steps: 1. Pick out matching outfits; then, when you’ve reached the hustle out the door we’re already late point, discover that part of it is stained or, worse, missing. 2. Fix hair and make up. Inevitably, the weather will turn and you’ll wilt before you arrive at the scene. You will, then, […]

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Sunflower in the room of roses


I’m borrowing this phrase from my student’s grandfather. Perhaps he borrowed it from somewhere, too. Nevertheless, it hits home with me as a woman, as a daughter, and as a mother. Dear Chi, As you continue in this rough time and space known as “middle school,” as you juggle life in the “tween” years between […]

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He plops down onto a tattered couch. Dust rises as he settles onto the cushions, shifting his weight onto the remaining fluff and off the protruding springs seeking to stab his flesh. Reaching a grubby hand into his bowl of popcorn, he secures a handful of keernels and soggy, nearly stale puffs. He shovels the […]

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