Meet the Blogger: Anitra

By Anitra Cottledge

I’d like to think of myself as somewhat of a technological late bloomer. I’ve bought nearly every gadget of the last 10-15 years significantly later than other people I know: cell phone (let’s not even get into when I got a smartphone), desktop computers, digital camera, laptop computer, e-reader, etc. At the same time, I consider myself a really fast learner and a very tech-savvy woman. I’m also really interested in exploring technology as a topic: how it enhances and detracts from our lives, who has access to it and what kinds of access they/we have, and how the view of technology changes depending on who’s interacting with it. In other words, what does technology mean when seen through the lens of race, gender, and class (and other identities)?

For me, technology is connected to being a writer and avid reader, being a nerd, and being someone who loves information. I always say that if I wasn’t the Assistant Director of the Women’s Center at the University of Minnesota, or in some other women’s and gender equity-related position, I’d be a librarian. Or an intellectual property lawyer. Or a librarian. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Of course, being techy serves me well at my day job, too. One of the things I’m responsible for is managing our website, so learning HTML in the mid-90s has served me well. I was an early blogger, although I haven’t blogged in a long while. Despite occasionally thinking that some of social media is a bit sketch (yes, I mean you, Foursquare), I do see its value and love working with folks in my office to figure out how we, as an organization, can best utilize things like blogs, Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about what we do and why it’s important.

Technology is even all over my bookshelf. Right now I’m reading Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education and Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age. It evens finds its way into the fiction I’m reading: Soulless, which is all alternate history and steampunky.

So I have questions, as a student affairs practitioner, as a sometimes instructor, as a black woman, as someone who is fascinated and repulsed by the Twilight phenomenon: how does the digital divide manifest itself in the classroom? How can Women’s Centers best use social media? Wouldn’t the world be a sad and empty place without the Buffy vs. Edward video?

I’m looking forward to answering these and other burning technology-related questions and very glad to join the fabulous women bloggers here at Student Affairs Women Talk Tech!

Meet the Blogger: Anitra

Linkage Love

by Kristen Abell

I have found that my Linkage Love posts of late have become a bit…stale. There’s no other word for it – check the formula: one or more Mashable links, a LifeHacker link, an InsideHigherEd/Chronicle link, and a random link thrown in for good measure. So today I thought I’d do something a little different, a little crazy, a little random. Welcome to your Wednesday edition of Linkage Love: Geek TV.

I think one of the necessary qualities of being a true geek is being able to reference one or more of those shows that tend to have a cult following – you know the ones – Star Trek is probably the epitome of them, but there are others. Which is good, since I don’t watch, nor have I ever watched Star Trek (gasp! I know, hard to believe I’m as geeky as I am and don’t have that in my pop culture lexicon – and yeah, I totally just used the word “lexicon,” so that probably counters the previous statement). But for those of you who are unsure where to start your journey into Geekdom, I’ve decided to provide a primary of sorts – or at least some helpful info for three spectacularly geeked out shows.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Contrary to my statement above about Star Wars, there really should be no other number one show on anyone’s list. If you haven’t watched an episode of Buffy, step away from the blog (just temporarily, of course), go to Netflix and watch Season 1. Now. Do it. You can thank me later.

For those of you that have watched – or those that are considering watching and did not follow my instructions above – I have included a few links to allow you to explore the Buffyverse, as well as the Whedonverse. (By the way, pretty much any show created by Joss Whedon qualifies in the “awesome” category of geek shows, so if you’re ever in question, go with Joss).

  • BuffyWorld – not the prettiest of sites, certainly, but complete. And it also has links to info about Angel, if you decide you can handle more than one Whedon show at a time.
  • BuffyGuide.com – claims to be “the most detailed episode guide” on the internets. Also features news updates about other Whedon exploits.
  • BuffyVerse Wiki – This might be my new favorite Buffy site (what, doesn’t everybody have one of those?), as it not only has info on Buffy and Angel, but also info about the comic book series that followed each show as it went off the air. Oh yeah, the BuffyVerse goes on…
  • And for those of you that think Buffy sounds like Twilight rehashed, let me just remind you that Buffy came first, and Buffy can kick Edward’s butt:

    (That is my new favorite video EVER – I can’t believe I’m just now watching it).
  • For further discussion on the BuffyVerse vs. Forks, there’s an almost overly-eager writer here who breaks down whether Angel could indeed “kick the s— out of Edward Cullen,” as Joss Whedon claims, or whether Edward’s superpowers are superior (I have to admit, this writer easily out-geeks me any day).
  • And just in case you already know from my post that you’re going to be a die hard fan, here’s the complete Buffy the Vampire Slayer series for purchase. I’d suggest a Christmas gift, but I already own all seven seasons, of course.

In addition to the whole Buffy/WhedonVerse (other shows include Firefly and Dollhouse – both short-lived, both with avid fan bases), there is the long running BBC series Doctor Who. I’ve just recently become a fan of this, after struggling through the first few episodes. Doctor Who  was a TV show that originally ran from 1963 – 1989 (thank you, Wikipedia), and was later recreated starting in 2005, picking up where it left off. I haven’t watched any of the seasons previous to 2005, but 2005 on is pretty darn good stuff. Heard any jokes about a Tardis or Daleks lately? Yeah, we’re cool like that. In addition to Doctor Who there are a number of spin-offs that I have yet to watch, but that I hear are equally (or almost equally) as good.

  • TARDIS Index File – this wiki has info on Doctor Who and all the spin-offs to which any fans may contribute. Lots of good stuff here. Plus the name of it is the “TARDIS Index File” – that automatically makes it cool, right?
  • Gallifrey One – the world’s largest Doctor Who convention – see, it’s not just Trekkies that know how to convene.
  • Doctor Who LiveJournal – This show has some crazy seriously devoted fans. But dang it makes for entertaining reading:

About a year ago, I was lusting over a TARDIS box with all eleven Doctors inside. Every time I saw it, however, it was 150 dollars and I had (very) insufficient funds.

And then one day, everything changed. I went to one of my favorite local shops with a couple hundred dollars, when I found that they had one last set. And it was only ninety dollars. It was one of the best days of my life. Or something.

  • Doctor Who Reference Guide – this looks like a pretty complete site, with info from the old and new series. However, it doesn’t look like it’s been updated in a couple of months, so I’m not sure how terribly current the info is. You’ll just have to risk it and see – like the Doctor would himself.

And finally, I leave you with a clip from the show featuring Elton, the Doctor and ELO – how much better does it get?

Linkage Love