Saturday, February 24, 2007

5 Things About Me meme

The lovely and inventive Rachel of Coconut & Lime, Food Maven, and Cupcake Supernova tagged me for a 5 Things About Me meme, and being a blogger, I am only too happy to divulge.

#1. I have an MA in Media Ecology (New York University) and a BA in Communication Arts (Marymount Manhattan College). This means that I spend an awful amount of time thinking and talking about a) the effects of mass media on society and b) the dynamics of interpersonal communication. In response, I typically receive blank stares. I’m learning to restrict my pontification to the college classroom (see fact #2) where I have an interested and, let’s face it, captive audience.

I am media junkie. I love to read (books, newspapers, and magazines are mass media, people, and don’t you forget it!) but since getting a laptop two years ago, most of my reading is done online. (Yes, I am pondering the effects of a switch from print material to digital content on my cognitive thinking.) I spend an obscene amount of time online, and that’s while the TV is on. I love good television and movies (The Sopranos, Dr. Strangelove, BBC’s production of Pride and Prejudice, Annie Hall) but I also love the bad/cheesy ones (Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Thornbirds). I think American Idol is a scourge upon society.

#2. I teach Communications and Media Theory at Monroe Community College and Finger Lakes Community College. Not having a Ph.D. or the desire to get one (the old saw that "academic politics are so bitter because the stakes are so low" is true) makes it difficult to get a full time gig at a traditional university (and given the political atmosphere...), so I’ve been focusing my efforts at the local CCs, primarily MCC.

I used to teach Freshman Composition and Introduction to Literature at FLCC (see next fact) but then I was hired by MCC to teach media/communications, and I jumped over as quickly as possible.

Teaching Freshman Comp and Intro to Lit was great – when I had interested students. Unfortunately, I frequently had a room full of people who weren’t good writers/readers and had no interest in changing that; they just wanted their required 3 credits, thank you very much. (You haven’t experienced hell until you’ve tried to lead a discussion on Young Goodman Brown with 23 students who not only haven’t read the story, but didn’t buy the textbook.)

But I digress: I LOVE teaching media/ communications: it’s my field of study and, because it’s typically the students’ field too, they’re engaged in the material. There are few things as satisfying as teaching a subject you love to a class that loves the subject. Plus, I caper around like chipmunk on caffeine, using lots of reality TV examples, and students typically enjoy the show. I am saddened by the death of Anna Nicole Smith, primarily because I can never again say “TrimSpa, baby…” in a breathy voice without hitting a somber note. (And I did do that in class. A lot.)

#3. My other job is freelance writing for GV, which is a technology trade book (oooh, look at the lingo!) for government, educational, and corporate markets. Some articles have been a blast to write, and others make me fall asleep just … thinking … of ... zzzzzz ...

I have the kicking-est editor in the world: Mark Pescatore. He is not only a damn fine boss, but a damn fine human being. (And he just got engaged. Yay, Mark!)

My writing experience is what led to (or maybe, “conned my way into”) teaching Freshman Comp and Intro to Lit. Prior to teaching and freelancing, I was an associate editor at GV’s sister mag . From September 1999 to December 2000, I was the ghost writer for this columnist. My email address for this job was accidentally released by Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign committee in 2000. This was a full-time job, and I was also a full-time grad student. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was also the same time I started growing grey hair.

#4. I’ve been working out for about a month and a half and have lost 12 pounds. I’m high strung and quick to anger (look up “Type A personality” and there’s a picture of me, brow furrowed) and hoped that by physically exhausting myself on a regular basis, I would start to chill out. Ironically, I have more energy and stamina, creating a greater ability to bitch even more people out.

#5. I’m a good writer but I’m a fantastic editor (modest, too, and this does not actually mean I am perfect). I actually like editing better than writing and can (and will) spend 20 minutes playing with a single paragraph. I am a big fan of parenthetical statements (as I’m sure you’re already aware).

#6 BONUS FACT: I met my husband through an online dating service. Not any of the wholesome ones either. The kind of porny one. (It was edgy in 2001, I swear.) I did not go on one bad date using that service, either. It was awesome, and I felt like Wonder Woman.

So now, I tag Peabody at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and Kevin at Acme Instant Food. Dish it, guys!


Rachel said...

Oh, fun answers! I really enjoyed reading this and I love reading about the effects of mass media/communication even though I never formerly studied it. I find it so interesting.

T & K. O'Meara said...

Nice Blog, great job! Famiche

Freya said...

Hi Laura! I met my husband online too but through a punk forum! He used to pretend we met 'through mutual friends' such was the shame back then of online dating!!!! I have no such shame though and happily told anyone and everyone how we met!
Also, I have a love of the parentheses that borders on obsessive!
Fun meme answers!

Laura Rebecca said...

Freya, somtimes I STILL say we met through a mutual friend, which is somewhat true.

I was working as an editor in NYC and one of our writers (Nancy, who later became a close friend) relocated to Geneva, NY -- which is where my husband (Shane) was living. After talking with Shane for a bit, I found out Nancy & he were living in the same town.

I immediately emailed Nancy and asked her if Shane was "a homicidal maniac."

She replied, "No, but he's a bit white bread." (hee!)

I thought, "I've been living in NY for 6 years. I could use a bit of white bread." The rest is history.

Lis said...

haha I really enjoyed reading that.. and am happy to know that I am not the only one who has an addiction to parenthetical statements. lol

Anonymous said...

It's nice to discover another media junkie (I'm still an unrecovered magazine-aholic as well as H.S of Graphic Communication Arts grad). I love your new blog design!

Acme Instant Food said...

I'm not purposely ignoring your tag(well, okay, maybe you could argue that) but I just posted my "About Me" section and my visitors have had about enough of Kevin for a bit. :)

Kirsten said...

Oh how fun! I LOVE hearing more about my favorite bloggers.

Wish you lived closer, I could see myself involved in long hikes or long happy hours with you!

Your blog is great. :)

Laura Rebecca said...

Awwww, thanks!

Kirsten: instead of a hike, could we just go an have dessert in a cafe somewhere? ;)

Kirsten said...

Certainly! The hike is simply an excuse to have one more cocktail and at least 2 desserts. :)

(Plus a visit to an authentic taqueria which is practically required, along with additional cocktails or a Mexican beer)

Anonymous said...

I like your idea! I met my wife through a dating site. I'm very proud to tell you about this. We are very happy now.