blog 3

Case Western is a university full of writing in many forms, in many places. The places where writing manifests itself has large effects on what the writing is about. First, there is physical university, with fliers, sidewalk chalk, and posters. Second, there is the virtual online space, made of blogs, websites, and storage space. While those are some examples of writing found in those domains there is another applicable division between the two universities. That the physically existing writing deals with future events, and that the virtual one deals with the past.

The relationship between the two universities can be seen as following, that the physical university writing is mostly about events to happen or otherwise to be read before an event. And that the virtual writing is a response to or the description of a past event. For example, a professor well pass out an assignment or a syllabus of assignments with the description of work to be completed by certain dates. Students will then supposedly complete these assignments by said date and post them online. Mostly this becomes a nice working relationship, although students will sometimes forget to turn in assignments online, because there is no hassle from needing to print out and physically turn in said assignments.

Another example of the above relationship is mediavision, wherein classes are recorded and the videos are posted online so that missed classes can still be watched, although that isn’t really a demonstration of writing. Similar to that however is, wherein students, professors, and organizations can store files online. Many use this not as an active database but more as an archive of old files, which is what I do.

Not all the writing at CWRU has that same relationship though. Offical policy is now that all comunication occurs via email. A policy I begrudge on the grounds that I assign more importance to a notice received in paper format as opposed to reading it on a screen, compounded by the fact that I still don’t check my email everyday. There is also the program “solar” used for class registration, which is now wholly online, thereby dissallowing me to actually talk face-to-face with an individual advisor which is something that I would also prefer.

The trend nowadays is toward moving communication and writing into the virtual university, a move that is not entirely without its merits but still leaves much to be desired in my mind.


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