Progress, Part II

To add to the delight and surprise I expressed a couple of posts ago about my student, Piya Kashyap, winning Middlebury’s Fraker Prize for her A Journey Back blog project, today another small but significant milestone: a front page article about her remarkable achievement in our college newspaper, The Campus. Although the young staff writer doesn’t really get it about weblogs (saying something about Piya’s project consisting of “a series of weblogs”, I’m pleased that the students running the newspaper found it worth in-depth, front-page coverage. One of the faculty judges is quoted as saying,

“I was– impressed with the probing, energetically driven nature of her research; the vigorous grasping of complicated and difficult issues,” said Southern. “She courageously used the weblog medium to give the outside world access to her experiences and reactions as they unfolded, and simultaneously to invite the world (via responsive commenting) to shape her thinking and push it in unforeseen directions.”

Someday this will be the norm for all our students, yes? Form will follow function, the medium will not attract attention but will serve the writing. Blogs will be one more legitimate means of serious academic discourse. As Héctor said this morning,”The Headline–Weblog Wins Fraker Prize–got it all wrong–the blog didn’t win any prize, Piya did. The blog is the least of it.”

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