January 12, 2023

From Gerald R. Lucas

Thursday Check-In

The first day of teaching went pretty well. I made a conscious effort to learn student names the first day—not a big feat since my only face-to-face class is ENGL 1102 with only eight students. It seems odd that my F2F section of ENGL 2111 had the same number and was canceled for under-enrollment. It’s all arbitrary, I guess. I wonder what will happen when I ask for a completely online teaching schedule in the fall in order to accommodate childcare? I’m sure it will be a battle as everything work-related seems to be these days.

Self-Portrait in the style of Bansky.

I was asked to join a university-wide panel of faculty to discuss ChatGTP—something that everyone seems to be freaking out about. Yes, it is cool, but like any other technology that does some heavy-lifting—um, like a calculator in math—it can be used for good: i.e., teaching and learning. For example, I could see my 1102 students generating a feminist reading of, say Hemingway’s “Indian Camp” as a basis for their own treatment—especially if they have difficulty getting started. A ChatGTP essay could give them a general starting point for ideas to explore in their own treatment and research. In other words, it could be a great starting point to overcome that initial how-do-I-get-started? hurdle. Well all this speculation may be irrelevant, since all the brouhaha over the past couple of days, I have been unable to log into the service. Figures. Thanks, over-reacting public and media.

Speaking of AI, I went ahead and splurged for an upgraded account on Midjourney and spent some time creating some more self-portraits. My techniques have improved since I began, so many of these came out pretty well. I revisited some older prompts, but mostly have just been experimenting. I’d kind of like an AI-generated portrait to replace the one on the landing page of this site. This one could do it, I think. I have so many more ideas.

I’m already spent for this week. I’m looking forward to Saturday.