So who the heck am I and what makes me qualified to help you learn about web design?
Hmmmm….well, for starters, I was, and still am, a professional technical writer. I spent years practicing the art and craft of techcomm (my abbreviation for the field) in a variety of workplace settings. The first thing I ever wrote were missile repair manuals for the US Army. I also spent quite a few years as a consultant and one of my long-term client/partners was a Internet solutions firm that specialized in custom Web applications. That means, I have a whole lot of experience in doing things web related so I’m not asking you to do anything in class that you won’t be asked to do in the workplace.
Beyond my practical, hands-on, words in the trenches experience, I spent a few years in school learning theories of writing and rhetoric. After a sufficient amount of time reading and writing, the powers that be at the University of South Carolina decided to award me a doctoral degree in Rhetoric with a specialization in technical communication.
That’s the short version. Throughout the term, you’ll learn and hear more anecdotes about my varied experiences as a consultant. Feel free to ask questions at any time. I have a complete open question policy. You can ask pretty much anything and I’ll give the most direct answer I can. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it out for you.
As far as who I am? My last name says a lot about me: I’m Cajun. I grew up on the border of Texas and Louisiana not far from the Gulf Coast, the youngest child of a working class family. I have a big, boisterous, straight talking, story telling, eating, drinking, laughing, crying, Catholic family. All of those things have marked me in significant ways and directly impact who I am and how I teach. And we like to watch the tree grow.
As a tenure-track faculty member, I am expected to do research and make a contribution to my field. One of my big research projects is about medical books texts from around 1375 – 1575 and how those books made meaning. You can read a draft of the Vernacular Health and Healing_intro_v2(*.doc) if you’re curious. Here’s something you probably didn’t know:one of the most common ailments in the early modern England was worms. Yes, worms….worms in the teeth, worms in the ears, worms in the belly. If you ever happen to be afflicted with this malady, let me know. I’ve got some great remedies for it. One of the coolest things about it is that I get to look at really old books and what people wrote in them. I’ve also learned a lot about modern medicine. The past does influence the present. You can see more of my published research in progress, and other stuff I do in the field of technical and professional communication at tek-ritr.com.
I live across the border in Kentucky so I can still tell people that I live in the South. I am slightly sports obsessed, which means in my spare time I am often watching sports on TV or streaming some game on the Internet.
An interesting factoid that most people don’t know about me is that I collect limited editions of Dr. Martens. You might see a pair or two this term.