Unexplained Absences

Oof. I haven't posted anything in almost a month?! Yeesh. What the heck have I been doing with myself all August? Working, I guess.

I was pretty busy with the day job, plus one of my freelance clients is, uh, "transitioning to a new business model" and there was a lot of work to do with that. My other freelance client is also transitioning to a new business model in that she's going to be retiring in about ten months, so I keep telling myself that this time next year I won't have to be doing [fill in the blank with whatever task is eating into my slacking off time].

Ah, yes, slacking off time: You know what's awesome for that? The iPad. I'm using mine to compose this blog post. Mostly I use it for ebooks, email, Facebook, music, Web surfing. . . All stuff I could do on the iPod touch, but with a bigger screen. Then again, my laptop has a much bigger screen, but it takes a few minutes to boot up and it's too big to hold in one hand. So, iPad FTW, I guess.

I was showing it to my parents the other weekend, and they were pretty much like, That's nice, dear. My dad said something about it seemed like a way to waste a lot of time. I'm like, Have you *met* the Internet? Wasting time is its middle name! And you have 800 cable channels, so Pot, meet Kettle. My mom couldn't get the finger-swipe gestures down at first — I think perhaps she was using the nail instead of the pad of her finger, and then somehow she was tapping it too hard/too long? Whatever. I'm not sure exactly how she was doing it wrong, but she was doing it wrong. Then she got the hang of it, pretty much, and was on Facebook looking through some photos/videos of the kids of someone she had in her first grade class about twenty-nine years ago. She couldn't stop laughing about the deja vu weirdness of it, since apparently his kids look and the act the same way he did when he was their age. After that, I freaked out my dad and my grandma by showing them how Google Earth can home in on your exact location. Fun!

At any rate, to maximize the time wasting capabilities, I signed up for a Hulu plus account. However, I'm having second thoughts because I'm not sure there's enough content available for iPads to make it worth $10/month. Most of the stuff I want to see is only available through the Web site, which is free. That might change once the fall season starts, though, so maybe I'll give it another month or two before I cancel it.

Speaking of fall TV, it's almost time for me to make this year's giant spreadsheet of the shows I'm going to be watching/taping/viewing online. I already know that Thursdays at 8 are going to be a train wreck: Community vs. Bones vs. Big Bang Theory. I'll probably tape Bones and Big Bang, and watch Community online. So, that's one hour of prime time scheduled; now for the other twenty!


  1. I recently issued Keith a challenge that you might be able to help with. My college has a few iPads that I can sign out to use in class. I'd love to be able to take advantage of it ... but I have no idea how.

    Any suggestions on how to incorporate iPads into an ENG-101 class? We spend most of our class time writing and discussing. We'd probably have to use the iPads in groups, since there's not enough for all the students to have their own.

    Let me know if you think of anything! And good luck with your TV scheduling:)

  2. Hmm. I know colleges are doing pilot programs with iPads as a replacement for textbooks or with specific apps geared toward certain classes (helping pre-med students learn anatomy or physics students locate the right equations, etc. and so on) but I'm not really coming up with any great ideas for an English class. Nothing I do with it really translates to an academic setting, but I'll think about it some more/poke around teh interwebs and see if I can come up with anything you might be able to use.

  3. How about this lovely (and dated!) publication from NCTE, as featured on the Awful Library Books blog?

    Writing and Thinking with Computers

  4. Megan, I'm not sure if this app is available for the iPad, but I have it on my iPhone and think it's pretty cool: Grammar App by Tap to Learn. It drills basic grammar with a learning module, test module, and a progress tracker. There's also an app called Terminology Ph that is a dictionary/thesaurus reference tool, which clearly is useful for writers. Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus (AED) by jDictionary Mobile is also pretty cool. I don't have it on my iPhone, but played with it on a Blackberry. It links words together in a pretty cool way. I've also seen a pretty cool Literary Analysis Guide but have no real need for one, so I haven't bought it. There's also a Literature Quiz that's fun, but I don't know if it's really classroom worthy. Not sure if these are all paid apps though ...

  5. Thanks for the links and suggestions! I'll check them out, and let you know if I end up using the iPad in class.