train in snow with a person clearing the tracks


We’re going on a trip. Have you looked at the maps? Great. That should give you an idea of what to expect.


We won’t get far without some modes of transportation. If you are in the ONID program and have already taken some courses, you may already be familiar with some of the transportation we’ll be using:

  1. Public transit: Twitter
    When I first moved to Alaska and no longer rode public transit daily, I actually told a writing teacher that I felt like I couldn’t find stories to tell, since I didn’t have these weird and uncommon daily interactions on the train to keep me questioning. I vowed to start making special visits to Fred Meyer just for the chance encounters. We’ll use Twitter both for the chance encounters AND for one very specific practice in this class: The Daily Create (read more about that assignment here).

    1. Sign up for Twitter account at* Follow me (@kendellns) and the Daily Create (@ds106dc). I’ll follow you back and point you toward your colleagues in this class, who you’ll need to follow as well. When you are tweeting in relation to this class, please use #ed677uaf so that we can all follow what’s being said!
      *Please note that you may but need not use an existing, personal Twitter account for this aspect of class. You can also create a separate account with an alias name to help protect your identity, if you wish. If you have strong anti-Twitter feelings, contact Kendell and we will make a plan for your contributions.
  2. The family minivan: Slack
    Slack is a group chat tool, used in a lot of workplaces for “internal chatter” and “backchannel convos”. Those are not our metaphors. Slack is our roadtrip van, our place to come back to after and during explorations in order to reconnect, to process through stuff, ask questions, and argue about which radio station to play. I will almost always fight you for the chance to share a great storytelling podcast, but please share your music preferences too.

    1. Sign up for Slack using this link (you’ll need to use your email address to get access). If you’re not familiar with Slack, don’t skip the intro tutorial! It’s pretty helpful. Once you are in, please change your profile picture (a picture of you or any image that you feel represents you).
  3. Your bike: ??
    When I first started writing creatively, carrying a notebook around   was like a reminder to see the world through my writer’s eyes, even when I wasn’t sitting at my desk/laptop. This meant that I was always looking for story, for unanswered and compelling questions. It also meant I could track where my ideas were coming from, how they were developing, and oftentimes connect them in unlikely ways.  A number of assignments in this course ask you to tell a story; others will ask you to incorporate the words of your classmates and other thinkers included in our weekly reading.

    1. Please set up a note-taking space anywhere you choose. You may choose to use a physical notebook, a running Google Doc, a series of digital sticky notes, or a more formal digital note-taking tool like Evernote. The advantage to an app like Evernote is that it comes with a webclipper — you could easily snag memorable passages from our online readings and your peers’ posts. Your Google account also comes with a Google Keep app that allows for note-taking and web-clipping. Explore your options and report back on which “bike” you choose!

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Photo by Scott Walsh on Unsplash