Spicaresque:

A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SOME OF MY FAVE PELEVIN QUOTES FROM "THE SACRED BOOK OF THE WEREWOLF"

"Inside my head, somewhere between the eyes, a shimmering rainbow of color appeared. I did not perceive it with my physical vision--it was more like a dream that I had managed to smuggle in to the waking state" (pg. 319)

"I had always suspected that Stephen Hawking did not understand the words 'relict radiation' that occur on every second page of his books. Relict radiation is not a radio signal that can be captured using complex and expensive equipment. Relict radiation is the whole world that we see around us, no matter who we are, were-creatures of human beings" (pg. 318)

"The world works in a mysterious and incomprehensible fashion. Wishing to protect frogs from children's cruelty, adults tell children not to crush them because that will make it rain--and the result is that it rains all summer because the children crush frogs one after another" (pg 316)

"my conviction was that Stephen Hawking wasn't writing about physics at all, but about sex--only not about squalid human intercourse, but the grandiose cosmic coitus that gave birth to matter" (pg. 25).

SUBJECT SEARCHING ON ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER

Someone suggested that I actually upload the web tutorial that I was writing about in my last posting. So, here it is, my web tutorial on subject term searching using Academic Search Premier. This promises to be the first in a long line of web tutorials; I am not moving into .avi and .exe territory.

Also, I am about done with Victor Pelevin's "The Sacred Book of the Werewolf," which is the most picaresque novel that I have read since Tomas Mann's "Confessions of Felix Krull." It is a must read for all of you out there that love literature mingled with science fiction.

Let me know what you think of the tutorial, but please keep in mind that I am just now learning how to wield this specific software.

video

Friday, May 22, 2009

SHORT EXPOSITION ON THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A NOVICE WEB TUTORIAL DESIGNER USING ADOBE'S CAPTIVATE 4

There were many obstacles that I ran into while producing a web tutorial using Adobe Captivate. For however intuitive the program actually is, there were many features utilized that took me quite some time to tease out of this program.

One of the most important preparations that you can consider is the delineation of your audience. In other words, what group of people are going to benefit most from your tutorial? This is important because if your learning goals or objectives are not appropriate, then you will be spinning your wheels for naught. For example, you wouldn't necessarily teach a child in grammar school how to conduct a controlled vocabulary search. You might want to start off with a keyword search to get them acclimated to the idea of searching, and then scaffold the skills they would need to mater before they get to the controlled vocabulary searches.

Specifically, I designed my project for community college students at Bronx Community College, even though my bibliographic lesson plan was designed for the senior college students at Queens College. I thought it might prove more instrumental for students who are just entering college and need a little push, rather than the highly competitive, self-directed senior college students. That is why there are so many caption bubbles in my tutorial; I wanted community college users that need the extra information to not feel that they were being taught material that is "above their heads." At the same time, I did not want to make them feel as if this was a remedial tutorial; therefore, this was a balance that I had to strike as I developed my tutorial.

I noticed that I could change the background colors and other visual aspects of my tutorial. This is convenient for tutorial developers because they can change the background colors of their tutorial to match the background colors of the website that will host their tutorial. For example, the background of my tutorial inherited the color schematics that the designers assigned to Academic Search Premier; the color schematics of the tutorial may or may not clash with the color schematics of the hosting web site, so you can see how tutorial developers might want to manipulate this fact. On top of that, Captivate is really set up to accommodate various custom scenarios and various users of varying skill levels.

There is a particular need that I am trying to address through my tutorial; that need has to do with the fact that most college students are relying too heavily on search engines to do their research. I wanted to show students how easy it was to conduct subject term searching in one of the most popular online indexes available to C.U.N.Y. students. As a college assistant at Bronx Community College, I have noticed that many students are not even aware that there are online indexes for their use. Designing this tutorial gave me an excuse to create something that would ease their transitions into the world of online indexes. The query I chose was actually picked (and modified) from one of the research assignments that a professor at Bronx Community College gives his students, therefore, I thought it would be most appropriate for a community college audience.

By far, the best insurance against having to record multiple, deficient tutorials is to write out a script. At first, my script was a little convoluted because I was guilty of trying to do too much. For example, I wanted to start my tutorial at the college homepage and guide students to the page that has all the online indexes, but was advised against that as it would require too many steps.

As it stands now, my presentation has over 70 slides and lasts roughly 2 minutes. Could you imagine if I started out at the college's homepage--that would have added at least 10 more slides to an already large file, etc. This project taught me to keep it simple, if only to make the tutorial a simple product, not in terms of inspiration but in terms of execution. Ideally, one would want their web tutorials produced through Adobe's Captivate to be transparent and uncluttered; future users will certainly appreciate it and if you want to add something you think is integral then those additions can be made with ease.

It is obvious that I am still a novice; there are many features that I still want to incorporate into future tutorials. I am more than happy though to have struggled with this program and figured out its rudimentary parameters; I am positive that knowing this program will make me a more attractive candidate for a college library to employ and retain. More importantly, I thank you professor Li for committing to us and making sure we are released into the wide world with a working knowledge of pertinent software and professional protocols.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IF YOU TAKE MY POEM "KENT, OHIO" AND RUN IT THROUGH WORDLE THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS

So I assume you guys have heard of Wordle. If you haven't you can click on the link provided below and it will redirect you. I hope you enjoy this image, whatever it is...

The link: title="Wordle: Kent, Ohio"> src="http://www.wordle.net/thumb/wrdl/868515/Kent%2C_Ohio"
alt="Wordle: Kent, Ohio"
style="padding:4px;border:1px solid #ddd">

Saturday, May 16, 2009

FIRST LINE FROM PORTIA'S "EUROPE RIDES A BLACK BULL"FOR BRYAN HANLEY ON THE OCCASSION OF HIS BIRTHDAY

Careful, inhabitant of the planet
there is a berimbao with your name on it,
thwapping in space, Sirening one to don
karate whites and dance hand-to-hand.

The planet, she, smells like a sweat pylon.
She exerts motherlode through stitching footwork.
They feed her roda and ignite her podiatry elan.

Inhabitant: assume your fighting stance!

Straddle the bull of your on guard!

Sporatic the prowl and time your headlongs!

Prohibit pardners from heaving their rancor!

Tell them, more like giant balsa, something untopheavy.
You want to fall cat-like so forego bipedal compass, seriously
it will get you riled up to dance on sugarcane in the aguardiente steppes
but the planet will be spying and counting down your trident smile.

CONCLUSIONARY DISCURSIVE THESIS SPIEL

Using the Latino Poetry core literature list supplied by Resources for College Libraries (2007), the school with the highest percentage of titles was Hunter (79.3%). And, while almost eighty percent is surely adequate, it is by no means exemplary.

Brooklyn College's percentage (44.9%) exemplifies that large variances are permitted between college campus libraries. Surely, there should exist some singularities between the holdings of one senior C.U.N.Y library and another senior C.U.N.Y. library; the different campuses represent different academic strengths, but one gets the feeling that large variances are not only permitted but systematically tolerated.

For example, there was an approximate decrease of 30 percent between Hunter (79.3%) and Brooklyn (44.9%); however, this variance was also the case, roughly, between Brooklyn (44.9%) and City College (17.2%). The collection at Queens Colleges possessed 13.8% of the 29 titles supplied by Resources for College Libraries (2007). More importantly, the collections of Queens College and City College together could only account for 31% of the 29 core Latino Poetry titles! Even though the Centro PR at Hunter College is part of the “library,” one would not suspect an archive can lend a substantial domain of support to a collection. But, the ancillary support Centro PR provided in ensuring Hunter attain 80 percent of the 29 titles was substantial at best and necessary at worst.

From these percentages, many Hispanic graduate students might think twice about investing in their future with a C.U.N.Y. school, especially if their futures are intertwined with the M.F.A. programs because those programs can't rely on their campus libraries to provide the bibliographic support for their demographic. Of course, Hispanic graduate students can request titles through inter-library loan; an M.F.A. student at Queens can request a book from the Hunter library; they can even travel to that campus, but that is not the point.

The point is that none of the libraries associated with M.F.A. programs in Creative Writing at C.U.N.Y. have the material support to say that they contribute to the pedagogy dispensed therein. Furthermore, based on the percentages of Latino Poetry titles in the collections of senior college libraries associated with the programs, many U.S. Latino Poets might not want to matriculate in any of these programs because of the lack of resources that the libraries offer. For many burgeoning U.S. Latino Poets this might not prove a criteria--interaction with the faculty or publishing opportunities might sway them more, but what about future U.S. Latino Poets these libraries are not helping to develop?

What about Latino undergraduate students that are eminently interested in U.S. Latino Poetry, and don't know it is an avenue to further explore, both professionally and aesthetically? What about the Latino community college students that need to write a biography on a writer of their choice and are given a limited array of Anglo writers to choose from? What message does an academic library send when it necessarily can't account for gaps in collection? What if those gaps never get plugged and create a sort of intellectual segregation wherein materials of those kinds are not actively sought?

While the what ifs certainly have it, it might prove helpful to discuss some of the ways in which these four libraries can increase the numbers of U.S. Latino Poetry titles available to students of all persuasions. The academic library which had the highest number of the 29 titles supplied by Resources for College Libraries (2007) was Hunter College. A large part of Hunter's success has to do with the Centro PR, the Puerto Rican Archive on the premises of Hunter College's Jacqueline Grennan Wexler Library. Technically, Hunter College M.F.A. students can read titles at the Centro PR so as searches were conducted in the different school's OPAC, if a title was available at the Centro PR and not the The Jacqueline Grennan Wexler Library then that was noted with a check and the initials CPR (Centro Puerto Riqueno).

Of the 23 titles afforded to Hunter: 8 were available at both the Wexler Library and the Centro PR; 9 were only available at the Wexler Library; and, 6 of the 23 were available through the Centro PR only. In other words, Hunter owes a quarter (6 out of 23) of it's adequate proficiency to the Centro PR because 6 of the 23 titles could only be accessed through the Centro PR archive. One can easily see the material advantage that Centro PR lends to the Wexler Library. Could one extrapolate a pattern from Hunter’s example that might improve the numbers of U.S. Latino Poetry titles? What does the interaction between the Centro PR and the Wexlery Library tell us about the administrative confluence that can transpire? And, surely, there are some programs like the Queens College program that are more vulnerable to this deficiency in U.S. Latino Poetry titles.

Friday, May 15, 2009

BOOTLEG ARTICLE FROM A.S.P.

Please click on article to read. I go this from the online index Academic Search Premier. I came across it while writing a lesson plan for my Adult Information Literacy class at Queens College. I believe it is from 1949. They have been buffing tattoos since the 50's, when soldiers came home with those amazingly garrulous tattoos. Read this article and tell me what you think!

FIRST LINE FROM HEROTODUS' "BABYLON AND ASSYRIA"

The rainfall of Assyria is slight
as the fingers that push the seed

But its crankshaft erupts at micron level
plumes of granite come bubbling froth

So, the angels flicker their sickles
And bare their jagged little teeth

The earth burps fango and mud huts
The fauna with slicked-back, douchebag hair

Dogs and pestilence shackle the exurbs
pirates set up camp in the ravines

Scribes lobby their overlord rectors
to get this language thing right

Protesting on the ziggurat perhaps
was not the most deft way to halt the asp

But the Assyrian rain is slight indeed
the caravan traffic heaves, but is not

scared of losing the potentates inside
the palanquins, their cargo old senators.

Monday, May 11, 2009

HOT FROM INBOX: CALL MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND TELL HIM TO RESTORE CITY LIBRARY FUNDING!!!

Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled his budget
for FY 2009 - 2010, revealing a 22% funding cut to all
three city library systems (NYPL, Brooklyn and Queens).
These cuts would eliminate over 900 employees, eliminate
weekend service, and materials budget cuts of near or
over 30%.

I understand a need to cut costs, but now - when people
are using their libraries more than ever - it seems almost
foolish to do so. When library circulation and usage has
increased nearly thirty percent this year alone, eliminating
funding is cutting off the nose to spite the face! People
are turning to their libraries for free entertainment, internet
usage and career guidance. In fact, NYPL’s Science, Industry and
Business Library (SIBL) recently opened a new job center in
its Madison Avenue facility, and has seen record usage since
its opening on April 14th.

For me (this group creator), a library science student in
what is and still will be a great library town, this is now
past a moral calling. Jobs that belong to my classmates,
professors, colleagues and friends are now on the line.
People that have shaped my graduate school experience in ways
I cannot even begin to describe (and thank them enough for)
now may lose the chance to serve the public and influence
learners and information seekers of all ages when they
need that compass the most.

I encourage you all to write to Mayor Bloomberg and ask
him to restore library funding and the six day a week
service. It will only take a few minutes out of your day.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
FAX (212) 312-0700
http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html

Sunday, May 10, 2009

INTRODUCTION TO CHELTON PAPER ON FINAL PROJECT FOR COLL DEV.

I go to school at Queens College, which is the most diverse county in the country, and I work at Bronx Community College in the poorest county in the country. Always the difference is jarring, sometimes violently so. It's like I am constantly learning the theory in the first world and conducting the praxis in the third world.

This report delineates a single weeding event that transpired in the academic library of Bronx Community College/C.U.N.Y. The college's zip code was used to narrow the domain of relevancy for the population. According to the 2000 Census, there were 76,775 denizens in the zip code, 10453. Of those 76, 775 denizens, fully 49, 037 were 18 and over, meaning of college-age; this means that in 2000 fully 63% of the population in zip code 10453 were college-age. However, by 2008, the "Total Undergraduate Enrollment" at Bronx College peaked at 9, 117.

Now it would be foolish to believe that all college-age people in zip code 10453 would choose to attend Bronx CC, and it undermines achievers who may have astonishing academic records and could have gotten into one of the more rigorous C.U.N.Y. senior colleges like Baruch or Brooklyn. But, Bronx CC is well known in the area and has a reputation for being a jumping-off point for students in the area.

In addition, the campus is on the grounds of the old N.Y.U. Science satellite campus and is quite beautiful. In addition, ground has been broken on the construction of a new library that will integrate the Learning Resource Center and the collection housed in Meister Hall.

The good news is that undergraduate enrollment has steadily been increasing since 2004 when the figure was 8, 367. So in four years, Bronx CC has increased enrollment by 750 total students. The student body is primarily Hispanic which makes sense becuase in 2000 there were 46, 041 Hispanic denizens in zip code, 10453, or roughly 60% of the residents. The campus is in many ways situated in the heart of the Bronx.

FIRST LINE FROM SHERMAN ALEXIE'S "THE AMERICAN ARTIFICIAL LIMB COMPANY"

My sister, my phantom limb, I reach for her
on the 747 to Paris and shut off the console
light so she can shoot safety-deposit-box
portraits and ferry them back across Atlantic
to bins with vinegary chemical baths, emulsions
on the knoll, devoid of ocular rove, she has an eye
like pindrop mechanism, earrings of revolvers, and
sneakers of limited edition chevre leather.
In Paris you want to eat pears by the river
cut with the pocketknife I am going to buy
you sometime soon, sometime after knowing you
buy your first real pair of boots, ostriche
cognac boots, the kind of boots you want to
take with you to Jujuy or Salta or Death Valley
after getting a sharp scholarship on photography
of the happenstance, and you find yourself in Paris
wanting to treat yourself to a pair of boots to last a life.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

IMITATION IS THE HIGEST FORM OF SLOBBERY

Perdoname
que me he
comido, todos
tus maduros.

Es que
estaban
requete-
deliciosos.

Tan calentitas
y sabrosas.

Y el sarten
te lo deje

Podrido
de aceite.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

FIRST LINE FROM CALVINO'S SHORT STORY, "THE TRIBE WITH ITS EYES ON THE SKY"

The nights are beautiful and missiles cross the summer sky.
The cherries are in blossom in the city where you can't see the stars.
Packs of rats live under our feet and we live on top of them and under the rats
are the zealot vagrants (zealous about God, not vagrancy), and microbe legions.
To think that, as the missiles slither unshod through the smogasphere
they are teeming with microbes that kerfuffle in tundra conditions.
And then there was a break in the clouds, and the moons came out.
The moons came out and in between them and our planet there were missiles
flanking the sky, trailing white rods of exhaust, targeted where?
But, as I was working on my drink, I could not fit the straw through
the mouthpiece. So, I found the first equilibrium room I could find.
And I finished sipping my elixir squirt and bobbed around in the
equilibrium room with creatures of mine own atmosphere. And then,
we toasted the destruction of the firmament, the imminent chaos of war,
ditches, trenches, mass graves, puppet republics, crates of munitions,
busloads of evacuees, brainiac-guided ballistics, horrible bouquets of the wounded
amputees, widows, manless enclaves of the destitute and despicable.
As the missiles never stopped, we were reassured and kept up the merriment with doomsday scenarios, emergency broadcast ring tones, and annihilationology.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

FIRST LINE FROM CAMUS' THE STRANGER FOR MY FUTURE INTERLOCUTORS

After that, I saw a lot of the magistrate, except that my lawyer was with me each time.
And since my lawyer was always hungry, the magistrate viewed him as vermin.
"You must also represent Mr. K's livestock because you are always feeding," he asked my lawyer at the Spring Fair.
But I still had some tricks up my sleeve; exhibit number one being a cache of buttons made of compacted snuff detritus.
I assigned my lawyer the task of giving the magistrate some of my buttons, which he promptly delivered.
The magistrate called his tailor to the cottage and told him to alter his new slate-gray suit and to add my buttons.
I knew the magistrate had a trial to hear the next day.
So, that night, I instructed my swami to through telekinesis at the appointed time, melt those buttons into ornery pellets of influenced affirmation, chemical yes.

FIRST LINE FROM MERTON'S ASIAN JOURNAL FOR JAMES FOLEY

I have not yet seen the cathedral, which is probably confusing rather than evident.
The university rector with the husky eyes I saw in the corridor between Times Square and Port Authority.
I had really wanted to see that professor that told us to embrace our hate like a lice covered baby.
Part of this is I know how much Merton stewarded you through that morality spell you passed through halfway through the writer factory.
The other part is infidel gadzookery, serial bus cosmicosmics, and knee-jerk ribbing pustule consulate, a sort of foreign service officer of the heart.
Did we or did we not go to his quaint ashram and drape mary one all over the lingams?
And who the fuck was I to get my alien husbandry degree from a coffer of empanadas?
Let me tell you who you were. You were taut laundry, a hanky with gumption
on the prowl for the perennials were exploding their bottom switches.
The wattage of bar music in yellow light from the fly trap ply.
I spent all my quarters in beat-up pool tables, and you, you we had to entice from the rafters.