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Yet another side project? or "Aye Calypso we sing to your spirit!"

"How many side projects to I really need?" I thought to myself while riding the train in to campus today. " I mean my hell! Do you really need another blog?" I've been wanting to fiddle around with WordPress more lately, given that it is the system that is currently in use on And I needed an index for my account on the Student Writing Center's web server, Bessie (there is a history behind that name that I will explore at some point on UWCG.) I've been meaning to develop my account on that server given that all my previous professional work was removed from our old Student Writing Center web site because of a change over in how the web server works and general Community College policies. I find that people ask me questions that could easily be answer by a site like this, and I want to organize my work in ways that help me to understand it and, more importantly, remember it!

I am anticipating that any reader who would stumble upon this fine corner of sheer academic egoism is going to ask "why the title?" Here's the story: when I was setting up WordPress, I got to the point when it asked for what I wanted to call the site. Initially I typed in "Clint Gardner" and immediately erased it as it kind of meant the page was me or I was the page. I then typed in "About Clint Gardner" and hit the backspace key immediately upon hitting the final "r" in my name. That was even worse and perhaps misleading since a text such as this site isn't just about me. I want the site to work for me.

So at that point I was really stumped. I started running through all the clever quotations I could think of from writing center research, comp/rhet studies etc. I pulled out Beth Boquet's Noise from the Writing Center and flipped through the pages. It then struck me that it would be awfully brazen to pull a catch phrase or a quotation from a fellow writing center colleague and use it as my own, so I put aside that idea, although Noise from the Writing Center would be a great name for a blog. (I would really love to see Beth create a blog with that title!)

Finally I turned to where I always turn for inspiration and ideas: poetry. Garcia Lorca came to mind as did De Cervantes. Nothing. I flipped through Larkin, Frost, Levin, Pinsky, h.d., Bishop and more but nothing struck me and it all just started to seem pretty pretentious and, frankly, stupid.

I was stuck, and just about to scrap the whole idea of using a blog to manage my academic affairs/projects when suddenly the opening sequence of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau popped into my head. Don't ask me why, but I saw the bright yellow credits in that odd blocky type that Wes Anderson imitated so well in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

That random thought made me laugh and then I said it out loud: "The Undersea World of Clint Gardner: Nothing to do with oceanography in the slightest." I laughed again and decided that had to be it--I mean one can only take one's work so seriously, after all. Levity is a great leveler and a check upon one's vanity and ego. Analogically, I suppose it does reflect my desire to find adventure in my work, as well as to explore ideas that are un- or under-explored.

So that's the official launch, I guess. I don't have a champagne bottle to smash on my fancy new WordPress Calypso, however.


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