Friday, September 10, 2010

Collaborations Near and Far

I feel buoyed by two recent collaborations. For the first time, I will be working on a course project with a colleague in the building. She's a new teacher but she did a 30 hour classroom observation stint with me two years ago. Cindy will be teaching a couple of sections of American Government at Mercy this year. I'm thrilled-- She's sharp, creative and passionate about engaging students.

Using a Google Doc, we've been swapping ideas about a big Fall election project. We have the notion of putting the students on two project tracks, simultaneously. On the one hand they would research and share information about the actual upcoming November election. But each class would also sponsor the campaign of a fictional presidential candidate. What we would like to do ultimately is hold a mock election for the school that would include real candidates and issues, but would also include the pretend candidates. We are thinking of commercials, polling, debates-- the whole shebang. Perhaps we can't do all of this, but at least we don't lack for ideas.

My other collaboration was more distant, involving someone who I have never met personally. Rumsey Taylor is a graduate student in film. I found his essay on Terry Gilliam in the Australian online journal, Senses of Cinema. He gave me permission to use portions of his text in the narrative of a Photo to Movie piece for my Lit into Film class. Though this particular collaboration is a one time deal, I've created several other similar pieces with the help of generous authors like Rumsey. Here's the Baker/Taylor collaboration:

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