Meme All The Things

All, CLMOOC, Research, Teaching, Technology, Writing

meme all the thingsJune is all about the Morehead Writing Project for me (summer institutes, camps, budgets, oh my) and so I got a bit behind with my Making Learning Connected make cycles, but I could not let the Meme make cycle (#2) pass me by. I love memes and play with them all the time. I often try to resist making a meme for a blog post or lesson because I know that meme making is a black hole that can swallow hours if not a whole day. Much like potato chips, I cannot stop with just one meme. However, I think that is part of the process, or certainly my process. I start with a vague idea or concept and begin poking around and experimenting and before I know it I have a number of memes and then I must choose the one or two that work for my purpose. Meme making is much like writing in that way. We must be ruthless with our pruning.

I have some favorite memes, but that may be simply because they are more familiar to me. I haven’t had the time to truly immerse myself in memes, so I sometimes depend on my 13-year-old to guide me to the right meme for the story I want to tell. I don’t believe much of the digital native hype, but the modern American teenager tends to know their memes, in my experience. I do have some favorite meme makers (Mememaker, Quickmeme, Memesly) and I also like playing with Bitstrips as well as Big Huge Labs. As evidenced by the meme I created for this blog post, the “All the things” meme is a particular favorite of mine. I have also used it for “Blog all the things” and “Write all the things” and think it speaks to me on many levels. I am greedy when it comes to many things and have trouble finding balance. I always want to teach, read, eat, research, and you get the idea…all the things. I am aware that this is not just my problem which is what makes it such a wonderfully American or modern meme. We all have a consumption problem. Some of my favorite memes include Evil Cows, Condescending Wonka, Y U No, Boromir, Philosoraptor, and The Most Interesting Man In The World but as I look back over my blog and all the memes I have loved before I lost a whole morning again…damn you memes!

pen-selectionI have never really taught with memes but now that I think about the possibilities I am excited by their potential. As I’ve blogged before, I love six word stories and use them a lot and I believe that memes offer some of the same potential and uses for classroom, but I think they could also provide some real opportunity for literature analysis and revision discussion. I’ll definitely think about that a whole lot this summer as I prepare for my fall classes. I think memes offer potential to help introduce and understand genres as well as support our exploration of archetypes (for my comic book class). I think memes also offer a lot of potential for my professional writing class as they require a lot of audience and discourse analysis. You need to really know your audience and your context to pull off a successful meme. I know that my introduction to memes will include not only the Make introduction but also the Visual.ly on Memes and I will spend more time reviewing ERMAHGERD – MEMES IN THE CLASSROOM?. I will need to think more about this and do some more meme research…there goes my summer!

I can’t wait to see how others are using memes in their classroom!

 

2 comments

  • “I think memes also offer a lot of potential for my professional writing class as they require a lot of audience and discourse analysis. You need to really know your audience and your context to pull off a successful meme.”

    You’ve made a really great point here. This makes me wonder how I can use memes as part of my senior English class, which also places an emphasis on the rhetorical approach to reading & writing.

    • I think there is a lot that could be done with memes…like the idea you suggest. We explore archetypes in my first year seminar and I’m already thinking about the possibility of integrating memes with that work…

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