Just a few of the people involved in this wiki. Each of course is an avatar, and not just a body (though certainly that too!). Each of the members of the digital rhetorics seminar is "responsible" for one page. This responsibility is partially academic (they receive a grade for it) and partially ethical (they are still responsible after the class is over). This does not mean every word of a page is written by that avatar. Instead each student creates content on and edits multiple pages. However, each is responsible for one page, where they likely created the bulk of the content and are guarding against nefarious forces.

Greg UlmerEdit

Greg wrote the book. Literally. He's got a bunch of other books you can check out here.

Digital RhetoricsEdit

Jason Helms is an assistant professor of rhetoric at TCU. He designed this wiki, so blame him!

David Isaksen does blame him ;) David is a PhD student in rhetoric and composition at TCU (mainly responsible for the chapters on Descent and Letter). 


We each jump in, tentatively at first. This is new to us, and that’s okay. We hope we don’t screw up, but that’s so literate! So we plunge forward, backs bent ceaselessly and all that jazz. This is new to us, and that’s okay.

That morning, the green black water lapped against the edge of the pier as we, the wet-suited triathletes, waddled like penguins to the edge. Some dived off in neat arcs, other fell ungainly, splashing in the water. I prayed that my goggles wouldn’t spring a leak and jumped down, shrieking at the surprisingly cold water. My wave started and the crowd of women powered into the churning water, swimming over top each other to get ahead. Like Dory, I chanted in my head “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

Chiz, on the other hand, decided that she was done swimming. Then again, Chiz wasn’t a penguin. Chiz was my car.

Chiz died.

This was the end of her being stiff, her breathing and smelling terrible.

This was the beginning of the middle part of our lives, the middle being the beginning of the end.

This was the end to whatever it is that is responsible for nostalgia.

To clarify, I could drive when I was in sixth grade. I am a child genius. I have 1.5 brains. The other .5 is located in my elbow.

The day my parents told me about their divorce was the first day of my summer vacation after sixth grade. School was over. Summer was off to a good start. I spent the vainest of days sunning myself, talking to all my friends on the phone, re-organizing my closet, and cooking my family our favorite meal, all by myself as a big bad 12-year-old girl. And then we had dinner, and then my sister and I were told the news, and then we both sort of lost it.

Coincidentally, the happy summer beginning that seemed to end also marked the beginning of highlights for me. My mom fixes problems by buying solutions. That day it was highlights in my hair, an eyebrow wax, and half a dozen beauty products. So I’ll probably always remember when that beginning began.

It was lovely to dress up in such a human manner, but I couldn’t pretend to be human forever. There were other places to be, other experiences to have.

I couldn’t wait to meet the other balls of hail-to-be.

I fell like a rock out of the sky on that glorious stormy day. I think I even chipped a windshield on my way to the ground. And then it happened…

As I lay on the ground of that warm Texas driveway, I felt it start to happen. I began to lose my structure. I was melting, turning back into water, never to be hail again.

That is how the evening felt like. My personal identity was now in flux as was my life. I was not sure at all what would be the result or what would come out in the end. I ended the day with too much alcohol in my blood . . . melting.

It was 10am and my head was pounding. I had the mother of all hangovers, and I had the vague sense that I was supposed to be somewhere. I got up and went over to the hotel room bathroom and looked in the mirror. I’m still wearing most of my tux. Crap. We have to be at the airport in like, half an hour! I wake up my fiancée wife and we start freaking out. … Marriage starts with a panic and a hangover.

Neither of which are ideal for driving.

We drove down the driveway, down the street, onto the turnpike. For the next three days we spent about 8 hours in the car each day. We drove from my childhood home outside of Philadelphia to an apartment I’d only seen on Google Maps in Fort Worth. I had finished a second degree in May and for the two years prior I’d been waiting for my life to start. At the end of the three days, dehydrated, fatigued, sore, and anxious, I walked into a hot, congested, dusty apartment. My life was starting again.

There were no more activities for the weekend. It was time for a shower and a trip to Whataburger to get some taquitos. Also, I was pretty high, and I had been walking for 4 hours at that point.

On the evening of the 7th day, the large wooden man in the middle of the dry prehistoric lake bed had been burned, meaning the center point was no longer clearly marked.

So because the wooden man had died, the people didn’t know what to do. Naturally, a parade was in order. So the family of Isaksens went off to the parade because, hey, that’s mob mentality and kids love candy.

Now there were other classes and other kids walking in it and waiving flags, even a new group of graduating seniors from junior high. I knew many of them, but I was not a part of them anymore. The whole world of crushes, gossip, fight for status and attention, and general anxiety about the present and the future seemed so distant now, and so small. My Dad came to sit next to me, asked me what I was thinking about. I said, “wasted time.”  

He sat for a few moments. I could tell he was consciously trying not to move or breathe audibly, which is something he did when he was unconfortable and unsure how to deal with me. This made the pause seem longer than it actually was. Then he left, staring at his shoes.

My brother comes in to make sure his hair is ok. He’s five years younger than me and I realize that he’s taller than I am. I guess he’s probably been taller than me for a while now. A few months at least. But I didn’t notice. We hated each other growing up. We turned out parents fights into our own and fought each other as proxies. Sometimes physically. Now I see him as taller than me and I’m filled with envy. And as quickly as it was there, the envy dissipates to pride.

And then, as suddenly as it had begun, it ended. We pushed the chairs in, said our pleasantries, and walked away. None of us were the same, but we walked away thinking we hadn’t changed at all.