Monthly Archives: March 2020

I Am Comfortable Here

Please don’t take this wrongly. I know we are in awful times right now. People are getting sick left and right. People who are not sick are still losing their jobs and livelihoods. However, there is something about a situation like this that brings out the best in me.
The last time I remember feeling this same sense of dread and excitement was 29 years ago in the Persian Gulf. There was a war in the Persian Gulf in 1991, and I was there. It is a strange feeling to know that there is important work to be done and yet to know that something really awful could happen.
My way of coping, my way of dealing with the danger and the stress of it all has always been with humor. Here is a video I made of my friend Dave Bockorny waking up our exhausted shipmates. “Dude, that is so not funny,” they seem to say.

In many ways, I am kind of enjoying the change, but it is because the online world has been my thing for a very long time now. One of the most fun things I’ve been doing is recently my daughter & I have been singing together on YouTube for a live audience of a couple of dozen people.
Last night was one of my most favorite episodes so far.
It has also turned out that my most demanding course I’m teaching this semester is the one that I taught online for the first time during the first 8 weeks. I already had a lot of the content developed that I can use in the 16 week formerly F2F version of the class. I need to make some adjustments, but I’m in a good place for that particular course.
I have been experimenting with many new things. Zoom is something I have used to attend meetings and have one on one chats with students but I really haven’t used in an instructional way until this week. That has been an adjustment, but it seems to be going pretty well so far.
The online community -DS106- that I became involved with over a decade ago and I use for my digital literacy class has come alive in recent weeks. A lot of the time in recent years it has only been me and one other teacher from U of Mary Washington who have been using DS106, but a lot of old-timers who disappeared for a long time are back and joining in with various parts of DS106 doing live-streamed shows and things. By the way, one of the founders of DS106, Jim Groom, is living in Italy in the middle of everything, and he’s been getting online and doing live shows on the DS106 internet radio channel about the lockdown in that country
I have also been consulting with some folks about various ways they can continue doing their thing, whatever it might be, virtually. I’m not ready to make public any details on these yet, because they are in the planning stages, but I am currently planning to arrange a collaboration with Polytechnic students and university students located in China; I am working with a media expert in Virginia on hosting an open course on classic films and civic virtue; I am working with a K-State adjunct professor in Drama Therapy on using digital tools to help his improv actors continue to perform virtually.
In short, I view what is happening in the world as an opportunity to continue doing what I have always been doing with Internet technology and digital media, but now in some new and exciting ways.

The Art of Dr. Bill Genereux

I attended a workshop in Wisconsin in November called Writing the Unthinkable with Lynda Barry, and I have been busily making art ever since. Ms. Barry won the Macarthur Genius Award last year and the class held in her hometown was the first workshop she held after that award was announced.
I became a fan of Lynda Barry after discovering her graphic book “Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor.” ( Since I consider myself to be an accidental professor as well, I knew I had to take her class if the opportunity arose. It worked out that I was able to attend and to meet her right before the Thanksgiving holiday.

See more of my drawing and cartooning work here:
I was working on a series related to my experience in Operation Desert Storm this spring, but that was derailed with the closing of the K-State Polytechnic campus and moving our classes online. However, I still try to work at some art-making amid all of this craziness. I would like to resume work on the Desert Shield/Desert Storm project as the 30th anniversary is approaching later this year.
I am indebted to Lynda Barry for reigniting the spark originally lit by Mr. Brad Anderson, now the Executive Director of Salina Arts & Humanities. Both of these art teachers of mine emphasized the value of practice and hard work. Lynda Barry recommends filling a new composition book with writing and art every month and so far I am on track for keeping that pace up. I hope to continue making art as much as I can.

Dr. Bill Genereux is a professor of computer and digital media technology at Kansas State University Polytechnic currently working and teaching from his home in Clyde, Kansas. He is a 1999 graduate of Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina.

Liberty and Justice For All: An Evening With Dr. Onalee McGraw

12 Angry Men: Liberty and Justice for All –
A Classic Film Series with Dr. Onalee McGraw

I am very excited to announce the first of what I hope will be many opportunities for online learning with Dr. Onalee McGraw.

What: An interactive discussion with Dr. McGraw about the film 12 Angry Men (links to Amazon Rental for $3.99).

When: Monday, March 30, 2020 – 7 pm Eastern / 6 pm Central (for 1 hr)

Where: Via Zoom Meeting Room (Register below to receive instructions and access)

Why: “Achieving true justice in the public square requires not only the practice of virtue on the part of most of its citizens, but also their willingness to engage each other in serious conversation and debate on the first principles of self-government.” – Dr. Onalee McGraw

Dr. Onalee McGraw is Director of the Educational Guidance Institute, which helps instructors use classic films to present universal truths about Character, Virtue, Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. In the 1980s, Dr. McGraw was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the National Council on Educational Research. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Georgetown University.

Dr. McGraw appeared on Turner Classic Movies as a guest programmer for this very film, 12 Angry Men. We are so very honored to have access to her wisdom in these uncertain times.

Join us on Monday, March 30, 2020 at 7pm Eastern / 6pm Central. To be sent details about accessing this unique opportunity for learning, please register below. For the best experience, be sure to view the film 12 Angry Men prior to attending.

ESC: Sonic Adventure in the Anthropocene

ESC: Sonic Adventure in the Anthropocene

a work of experimental audio-based scholarship combining sound studies, radio history, and environmental criticism. This unique project is a fully open access, fully digital suite of audiographic essays, presented as a ten-part podcast series, combining spoken commentary, clips from classic radio dramas, excerpts from films and television shows, news reports, and the work of contemporary sound artists.

Music to Shelter in Place By

It all started last evening. I decided to try out YouTube’s live broadcasting feature. I had not done a live broadcast before, except once with my students earlier this semester testing out some video streaming equipment. Certainly I had not performed music live. I decided to turn on the live stream and practice my uke.

An old friend, Contrajoe, showed up immediately. Now this is the Internet I know and love. Usually when I put something out into the wild blue yonder of current Internet, it is received by the sound of crickets. Contrajoe is a longtime subscriber and former heckler to my channel for more than a decade. But last evening, he was friendly, supportive, and encouraging me to do a live show about my Navy experiences. Someday I will. Someday soon.

Going online live is a simple feat. I will have to try this with my daughter, and let some people know. So we posted an invite to our social channels and texted a few family members, and Emily Fay and I went online to sing a few songs last night at 9 pm. This is what it was like:

So much fun, we will try it again!