August 30th, 2006

Get on the bus, Gus; Denise Calls Up; and blasé dancing...

Today I did something I've never done before — I took the Wolfline bus to class.

My townhouse is "on the busline," so it was a five-minute walk to the nearest stop, where I caught the Route #9 Fraternity Court bus. On this bus, I rode around in areas very close to where I live where I've never been before. Very interesting.

I discovered two things riding the bus:
  1. Lots of students use the bus system, and
  2. Lots of hot guys ride the bus.
I was picked up at 1:55 and arrived at the stop in front of the building my classroom is in at 2:15. No traffic hassles, no parking hassles, and best of all, no parking cost!

I will probably take the bus every Wednesday for that 3:00 class. My Monday class is at 6:00 PM, so I can park free on campus at that hour. Yay. I saved a $65 parking sticker for this semester.

Class was rushed today. Two people presented on three of the four articles we read. They both appeared to have put a lot of time into their presentations. So unlike the undergrads in their presentations.

We spent the last hour-and-a-half of the class watching a movie called, "Denise Calls Up."

Movie Synopsis: A group of friends in New York, working away at their PCs and laptops, keep in touch exclusively by phone and fax. They are all too busy to meet face to face. Gale plays matchmaker, by phone, to Jerry and Barbara who, in turn, hit it off beautifully...via phone and fax. Martin gets a telephone call from someone he's never met. It's Denise, with some extraordinary news. Tapping away at his computer all the while, he develops a sort of friendship with Denise...via phone. And so it goes as the friends, tap, tap, tapping away, share news, hopes, and dreams...via phone and fax. Finally Gale has an unfortunate encounter with a phone, Denise has some more news for Martin, and Frank plans a gala New Year's Eve party, but will he answer the door?

We had to think about these questions, which we're going to discuss in our next class, as we watched the movie:
  1. Idea of social networks: How are social connections developed?
  2. Where does the communication / social space take place?
  3. How do social networks and communication spaces formerly developed with the telephone change with the cell phone? Can you think of examples of new types of social networks created by the cell phone?
  4. Can you make any connections between the social spaces represented in the movie and social spaces created by the Internet?
  5. Mobility: Who is mobile in the movie and why?
  6. How do telephones change the sense of presence? "I'm here." Do cell phones strengthen or weaken this connection to presence?
  7. Any other thoughts?

Flex was dead, dead, dead tonight, which made dancing "less fun." Carl taught "La Mucara," which is one of my all-time favorite dances, and it's good that more people now know it.