Q-CUE BLOG

Because Queen City College wants to maximize student-faculty communication, professors are encouraged to informally “Cue” students about activities and issues outside the classroom, and students are encouraged to ask questions that might not surface in the class.  Email your questions to the address below!

Michael Keever, Communications

Keeverunlimited@gmail.com

12/29         I’m a little late starting this blog.   This is my first year of teaching, and I’ve been spending a lot of time preparing my classes and responding to student work.  But I’m anxious to hear your comments.   And questions.  As a recent correspondent told me, “if someone asks you for something” you really should try to answer.  If other students would find your questions useful, I’ll post them here (in italics)…as long as they don’t need any editing.  (Right now I’m on vacation, visiting another “hell.”)


12/31         Have already received some messages.  Thanks to all.  It’s more helpful to me if I can identify you.  I think I know who “coldashell” and “gayhooper” are, but what about “Sceptic” from Yahoo?  Are you on Facebook or MySpace?  I need more clues.


1/5    Well, the Travel Writing course was cancelled, so I’m going to put my energies into making the Autobiography course better and making my own autobiography longer.  If you want to appear by name in this new book, please send me twenty dollars.  If you have reasons NOT to appear, that will cost you more.  Maybe all the characters will be named and the author remain anonymous!


1/7    Have been thinking a lot about new courses and new approaches, so be sure to take a look at “Your Choice, Your Voice” on this site.  I’m resisting any “distance learning” proposals.  Maybe it’s my years on the basketball court, but I still think the instructor and students need to be in the same physical space though not, of course, in physical contact.


1/10           Some of you know that I used to run a surveillance business.  I didn’t like being required to sit in a cold van and wait for some insurance cheat to come bouncing out of his house, but I still drive around occasionally with my old camcorder.  I’m constantly surprised that I see people that I know, and sometimes I take footage as reminders for my autobiography.  Maybe all writers should carry cameras.


1/13           A student came in the other day to complain about receiving a grade higher than the one she expected.  That was a surprise—and shows a lot of the self-knowledge one needs to write an autobiography (students in the grad course please take note).  If anyone else wants a lower grade, just let me know.  A higher grade?  That we’d need to negotiate. 


1/20           “Why all the smiley faces, dude?  We know you’re a joker.”  Well, you can’t always tell from writing, especially blog casual, when someone is kidding…and I need all the friends (and students) I can get.


1/24           “Sceptic,” where are you?  I’ve become sceptical about your existence.


2/2         “Why do writers perpetrate these self-promoting blogs?  They trivialize the writer, say nothing of the language.”  I think this question probably came from someone outside the QCC community.  I don’t expect anyone except my students or prospective students (and maybe some colleagues and friends) to read these little notes.  But they are a way to keep communication open (and free) and to put certain facts on record.  For better “language,” you can read (first buy, then read) my books.  [That’s the only self-promotion you’ll find here.]  But if you want “trivial,” take a look at http://matt-ruff.livejournal.com/ or http://arsonistsguide.com/author-blog.  By the way, I promise not to put up on this blog my sign, any of my recipes, photos of favorite animals, or sports picks.


2/4             “Hey, Michael, you think Ruff’s livejournal is trivial?  Take a look at his MySpace page with all his self-promoting “friends”: http://www.myspace.com/bymattruff.”  Pretty tasteless, but I agree with the head of my Department who says this kind of shameless self-advertising just shows the desperate situation fiction is in, and why so many novelists are crossing over into Creative Non-Fiction—as well as into teenspace.


2/5             “Hell is other blogsters.  Your blog is getting to be like most blogs—flogging other blogs.”  You’re right!  No more links.


2/15           Hell, it’s time to think about my column for Hell again.  My editor keeps asking me to go to Somalia which, with all the firefights in the streets, would certainly be warmer than Cincinnati.  Any suggestions?  A friend gave me a book by an Algerian feminist, so I’ve been thinking about going to Algeria, even if it is a bit risky.  At least the word “warlords” doesn’t appear in the State Department travel advisory for Algeria.


2/17           I’ll be reading from and signing Passing On at the Boreders bookstore in the Kenwood Mall on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.  I’ll also have a few signed copies of Passing Off, which is becoming hard to find since the success of Passing On.


2/23           More and more it looks as if I will go to Algeria on spring break.  I’d like to find someone to go with me.  Normally I travel to the “Worst Places in the World” alone, but it would be useful to have a woman’s perspective on Algeria.  This is not an invitation to or solicitation of Q students, but if you know someone who might want to go along as a consultant (all expenses paid) drop me a line.


2/24           “Mr. Key should see the movie  (Battle of Algiers) and skip the trip.”  I think I recognize this correspondent.  The rhyming author knows better than to view askew and make a fake.


3/1             Off to Algeria for the break.  For the plane, I’m taking Full Nests: The Newest and Best Creative Non-Fiction, which I’ve already looked into.  The authors argue that nested narratives, stories within stories, are the only way journalists can represent contemporary embedded realities.  As long as I don’t have to be embedded with an infantry company in Iraq, I’m disposed to agree.

 

3/25           Sorry about my absence from this blog.  My students know why, but other readers—if there are other readers—won’t know that I was “unavoidably detained” in Algeria.  It’s a long story, one that I can’t tell here.  Partly because it’s long, partly because of security issues.  I need time to write some of this story for Hell and to incorporate the full story into my autobiography, as well as catch up with my Autobiography class, so I have to suspend this blog for a while. 

9/2             Since my last entry back in blog-time ancient history, things offline have been moving very fast, as if my email address predicted my life.  Thanks to the miracle of Print on Demand technology at Creative Non-Fiction Press, Passing Through: An Athlete Goes to College has been published!  From POD to BOD—buy on demand at Amazon, Powells, Barnes and Noble, and other online stores.  It’s hard for me to believe that one year after starting out teaching CNF my account of that year has been printed.  That’s almost as fast as the Internet dissemination that my CNF mentor and QCC department head, Richard Grigori, used to praise.  “Get the facts, and then tell a story,” he always said.  I also want to recognize here and now the contribution of my former partner and collaborator, Ann Logan, who taught me the value of saving.  For further information about Passing Through and to read its first chapter, please click here.
               More speed: when people in the English Department at our sister institution, the University of Cincinnati, read the manuscript of Passing Through in July, they asked me to join their Creative Writing program.  I hate to leave all my friends at QCC, but my daughter (a freshman at the Q) would like to use her tuition remission to enroll in a larger university, so this year I’ll be teaching at UC.  Maybe because of the international attention my Algerian episode brought to QCC, the college is allowing—actually encouraging—me to continue this blog under QCC auspices.  So you can still reach me at Keeverunlimited@gmail.com and here in what one unsympathetic reader called my “blague space.”

9/20           “Yo, Mr. K, a bunch of your students here.  Great book, very creative.  But if you were changing names of some people in PT, why didn’t you change ours?  Some of us aren’t real happy about our characters.  Unnamed for now.”
                  At a school as small as QCC, it wouldn’t have worked to change names.  You’d have been recognized anyway.  So changing names would have been a futile interference with the facts.  Changing your characters?  Only you can do this.  Look on the bright side: when you send out your own writing, you can identify yourself as featured in Passing Through.

9/27           “Mighty Mite, This is off the record, jerk.  I gave you a job and you tried to skewer me in your `CNF.’  I hope you get exposed for the liar you are and always have been.  I never asked you to call me Rick Mahorn.  Rick Barry, you dishonest dick.”
                  Richard, There’s no more “off the record” in the online world.   As much as you peer into the screen, you should know that. You tried to job me into playing for “your” stupid intramural team.  That’s non-fiction.  So get used to living with PT, until those acid-free pages dissolve.   MK

10/4           “Dear, dear Michael, Thank you for the book.  Without you I’d still be in the dark in Algeria.  I was such a sissy that night we spent together.  Thank you for making me leave.  It is penurious for me to write in English but I will more soon with reportage of my new brand life in ___________.` Lalla’”  

 

10/12                  “Professor Keever, I read Passing Through with interest.  In light of it and recent posts here, I was wondering—theoretically, of course—why a blogger couldn’t invent queries that might allow him to promote his book and possibly manipulate readers of it.  I mean, how could information in a blog be authenticated? Gary Gallagher  P.S.  Thanks for reporting the responses of women to those studs in my tongue.  I’ve had a lot more dates since your novel came out.  Use my full name anytime you want.”
                  Good old Gary, Mr. Fact.  Are you sure you’re not using my blog to promote yourself and manipulate others?  Still, it’s an interesting question.  I expect the answer is that nobody takes blogs seriously enough to look into their factuality.  Blogs are free.  Books cost money, so if you pretend to have an exotic, exciting, dangerous life, as the “memoirist” did who falsely claimed to have been raised by addicts and gang-bangers, someone might investigate.  Even ask for their money back.  Just remember to get the right visa if you go to Algeria.  Those tongue studs won’t do you any good in a cell with Muslim men.