Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time for a Change

First change: new template for the blog. Yeah, it's still rather boring looking. No loud bells and whistles here. Just books. Because that's what this is supposed to be all about now isn't it?

Second change: Apparently I've got a new focus for my writing. This is actually work-related, and by work-related I mean having to do with the day job and not the work that I do for little to no pay in my spare time. But that's cool. Writing is writing and without the luxury of that solid reputation some writers have acquired, allowing the option to write about pretty much anything that strikes their fancy even if it's a detailed analysis of how many gold rings one might fit on a monkeys wiener, I will gladly take whatever opportunities float my way.

No, it's not writing sappy little notes for a greeting card company if that's what you're thinking. And even if it was, is there really anything wrong with that? In fact, that might be a pretty sweet gig.

In case you aren't aware, I'm a small player in a very well-respected, highly effective research center here at Indiana University, and research around major universities like IU, place high on the academic respect chart.

Strike one!

But the research that goes on around here - here being the office I cheerfully drag my ass to every day - while interesting and worthy of huge accolades, is barely within the grasp of my tiny little artist's brain. My good fortune to be part of the Workshop in Political Theory is only eclipsed by the miracle that six years into this gig I haven't been tossed out on my ear (or rear depending on how fast you read that last sentence). But that's the way this place is. Very understanding, encouraging, and forgiving, and thankfully that's probably that mindset that won the professor who started this gig a Nobel prize. Let me tell you, aside from having a winning football team, a Nobel prize attracts a lot of the right kind of attention in a college town.

At any rate, one of the Workshop's current projects of which we're seeking funding is to develop a "Consumer-driven Health Information Website Based on Hot-to-Cold Empathy Gaps." Huh? What the heck does that mean? you may ask. I'll let you know when I figure it out myself. But apparently the writing part of this needs to be dumbed-down to a non-academic level. In other words, it needs to be made simple enough for someone with minimal education. Now perhaps I should have felt a little put-off when they thought of me as a possible writer for this project. I don't know about that. In fact, who cares? I could lay claim to the argument that it takes a unique skill set to write in a manner that's understandable to those lacking the capacity or attention span needed to comprehend anything more taxing than one line sentences containing words bigger than cat. But if that's the case, I will embrace the role fully and I will own my reputation as a simple story teller.

Especially if it means mo money, mo money, mo money...

Hee Haw

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Consider writing for teachers. NASA is great at this. They take all the brainiac research and write lessons and give workshops for teachers. I taught 10 years in Earth/Space Science and was grateful for all they had to offer. Now I teach Health Occupations. I'm just beginning a unit on folk/alternative/traditional medicine. I'm trying to teach my students to be skeptical, analytical consumers. I don't know what "hot to cold empathy gaps" are but if your health information website can be used by teachers/students then you've provided a great resource. (I was going to say you've hit a home run but I'm not that good at sports analogies)