EN/SANE World

Monday, October 31, 2011

2011 ALA Teen Read Week was Themed "Picture It @ Your Library"


From the website, with my bolds:

"Teen Read Week started in 1998. This year's theme is Picture It @ your library®, which encourages teens to read graphic novels and other illustrated materials, seek out creative books, or imagine the world through literature, just for the fun of it. Libraries across the world celebrate Teen Read Week with a variety of special events and programs aimed at encouraging teens to read for pleasure and to visit their libraries for free reading materials."

Teen Read Week ran from October 18-22.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

I am the 66.6%: Frustration with the "2/3's Curse"

I just received notification that my proposed session on graphic novels and the common core has not been accepted to IRA. Surprise, surprise. I've yet to crack the International Reading Association's code of acceptance. What makes this year's rejection sting all the more is something that has happened to me too often in recent years:

The two-thirds curse.

The two-thirds curse has affected me in this way: I write a book proposal, an article, or a conference proposal, and 2 out of 3 peer reviewers have something very positive to say. The third is either not positive or downright damning, and the publishing house, journal, or conference editors or higher-ups decide to side with the minority opinion.

For example, see the reviewer feedback for the GN/CC proposal:

Proposal: Grading Form for Graphic(a) To the Core: Comics, Graphic Novels, and the Common Core

Comments for Submitter
1. The proposal gives a lot of background information on graphic novels and their importance, but does not describe what the attendees will "do" in the session.
2. Very relevant and provocative and timely session! Well written proposal - clear, substantive objectives!
3. As educators "scramble" to understand the Common Core Standards every strategy that is presented is worth examining. The conversation about student achievement, teacher performance and the Common Core takes classroom instruction to the level that has not been thought of in previous years. Hopefully with the method presented, the audience will grasp a clearer understanding of the Common Core and see its alignment with students academic achievement.
Two of those statements seem fairly positive, eh? Alas, it was not enough.

Some will say it is unprofessional of me to share this information, but I've established a record of peeling back the curtain on academia since I've established this blog, and I won't stop now.

I think I'm also going to start putting my money where my mouth is. Conferences are so expensive anyway, and so are membership fees. Add in the costs of journals that my university library already subscribes to or can get me through ILL, and I have to wonder why I keep shelling out dollars and getting a frustrating "return" on my investment.

Ah, the duality of the academic: complaining about not getting into a conference while simultaneously complaining about how much it would cost to attend it!

But, one has to show affiliations to national organizations in academia. It's just sort of a fact.

Maybe it is time for me to seek out a new one and let IRA be for a year or so.

Any takers? Maybe I should just shop myself around to different organizations like a free agent and see if they'll take me. My guess? 2/3's of their membership would be glad to have me, but the key decision-makers will have reservations about associating with someone so clearly exhibiting "self-destructive" behavior like letting the cat out of the bag....

Heck, maybe this is just a little birdie's way of telling me now is the time to get involved with ALA, YALSA, and their new graphic novel subgroup. And haven't I been thinking about joining a middle school-centric organization for a while anyway?

Plus, isn't this the sort of thing that led me to founding SANEjournal? Seeing that a process seems to be broken and instead of *just* complaining about it, trying to do something about it? Yeah, it is.

Yeah... :)

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thank You, NYSEC!

I'm back from my keynote, book signing, and workshop. Albany, NY, was such a neat place, even if I never did get more than 5 miles from the airport. The Desmond is a GREAT little getaway hotel if you're ever in the area, and the biggest restaurant in the bar may have delivered the best meal I've ever had, which is saying a lot coming from a big guy like me.

Thanks to all who attended my keynote on comics and character education and to the folks who attended the seminar on comics and composition. Thanks also to the conference organizers. I felt well-treated and well-respected the entire time and hope I was worth the trouble! ;)

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PBS's Independent Lens TV Show looks at The 99

Some great coverage for an important comics series! Click here to see a spot.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

We're Famous! UTEP Shows up in Love and Rockets

Angel, a character from the acclaimed Love and Rockets series, is quite the athlete. No wonder she got a full scholarship to a certain University in El Paso that hosted author Jaime Hernandez a year or so ago. For proof, see this image from the recently-released and awesome Love and Rockets New Stories #4, of which you should all go out and buy seven copies.

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Spiegelman Talks Meta Maus with NPR.

The new book about the phenomenon surrounding the graphic novel Maus, MetaMaus, is finally here! I've got my copy, don't you know, since we'll be reading Maus in Jewish American Literature in the next couple of weeks. Hear what Art Spiegelman has to say about the texts by clicking the link to this post's title. It'll take you to an interview from NPR.

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