Freeway Flyer: Dead Time: Making The Most of It

The following is an excerpt from another blog I run on

While time management is a challenge for everyone, for Frequent Flyers, it’s particularly vexing as we dart from campus-to-campus, classroom-to-classroom, leaving trails of ungraded (or graded) papers in our wakes. There are two major types of “dead time” that I contend with, and I suspect you do, as well.

The Commute:  Whether on foot, bike, bus, or car, an awful lot of our time is consumed with transporting ourselves. Some days, I hit three different campuses in three different cities (and sometimes three different counties). This balancing act of classes and commuting is central to the formula we create in deciding our course loads at the various schools each semester. But commuting can swallow up a good deal of vital time.  So how to maximize that time?

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  1. I am somewhat surprised about how little information and texts were available that took a serious look at comics before Duncan and Smith’s The Power of Comics. The fact that there were courses being taught with little or nothing in the way of texts that could be used reliably and that the professor or instructor of the course was being forced to compile and use their own resources in order to teach the classes was incredible to me and puts the book into a new context that sets it apart as being one of the first serious texts to look at comics as a whole in terms of terminology, genres, fans, history, and so much else. I would also like to say that I enjoy interviews like this which detail how a book or work came to be as it puts the work itself into a greater context and reveals how and why certain elements of the work were created the way they were. The interview further reveals how much time and work actually went into this book. By creating a textbook on a largely chaotic and unexplored topic such as comics, the authors were treading onto new ground with little in the way of support from other major texts and, perhaps most importantly, allowing classes which studied and looked at comics the access to a broad overview and sort of lens to examine the comics they were looking at through. This allows the study of comics to, hopefully, progress beyond small articles written for journals and into a larger field where textbooks and broader overviews of the entire media form are allowed to flourish.


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