Noticed Katie changed her website background page from a picture filled with lovely cats to a more philosophical image (to suit better to her digital essay’s theme), I would like to stretch the topic of “cat” a bit more from a fresh angle (which is not directly connected with “Writing” or “Digital” theme, but all thanks to the world-wide web that I am able to access those adorable cat pictures).
Long time people around the world have picked up Japanese love cats: 招き猫, Hello Kitty, cat cafes (I went to one in Tokyo, very pinky soft and relaxing, highly recommend) and cat accessories and cat mascots all over the streets. But there is one spot in Japan called Cat Island, where the cats are outnumber the humans.
The Cat Island, 田代島(たしろじま) or Tashirojima in pronunciation, lies off the west coast of Japan. The island has a history of silk farming and originally cats were brought onto the island to keep mice out of the silk farms. While now the silk farms are largely gone, the long existed creature, cat, never ceased to popularize its species.
Tashirojima isn’t a large island, currently it has the population of less than 100, with most working in fishing tradition. In these past years, the island has become a place of tourist interest, thanks to the cats, with many visiting to take a look for themselves of this village where cats are outnumber humans. The local governance believes feeding cats bring good fortune, so even the cats are strays, every household keeps them well fed and checked up on to be healthy.
The saying always goes that cats and dogs can’t keep best terms with each other. Not surprisingly, if a visitor is thinking of coming with the pet dog, he or she probably has to give up the plan and be prepared to leave the poor puppy at the dock on the mainland. The regulations of the island prohibited any dogs to be on the dock, and there aren’t any dogs in local households either.
Amusingplanet.com specially showed gorgeous photographs of the cats and the island, recounting its history and current population.
Dailymail.co.uk (click the image) gathered very neatly written captions for each image of the island:
This tiny island has quite developed service industry for tourists and abundant offers for amenities. Any cat lovers who would like to enjoy the company of a furry feline, or just want to see these cuddly creature strolling on their paradise home Tashirojima, can consider to take a trip during this summer break for a treat!
Authors: Fastwrite: Read through the responses you’ve received to your essay. Formulate a plan: What part of your essay would you like to read and get further responses to? What questions do you want to pose for your readers? (9:15–9:30)
Groups: Each essay gets 30 minutes. The task of each author is to direct her readers to a point in her piece that needs further work. The task of each reader is to offer a response that goes beyond what she has written. (9:30–11:30)
Fastwrite: What technique or assignment from Kenneth Goldsmith might you borrow or adapt in your own teaching? Your own writing?To what ends? As always, try to ground your writing in a specific passage from the text.
Moment of Zen
The Apotheosis of Uncreative Writing: David Shields on Stephen Colbert
Spend about 20 minutes per project. Authors should walk readers through their projects, with the aim of getting advice in response to specific questions.
Fastwrite: Write a quick draft of your cover memo for your first draft next Tuesday. Come up with a title for your project, a quick description of its form (and platform), a summary of your argument, and some questions you want to ask your readers.
First Drafts and Responses
Tues, 4/29, 11:59 pm: Post your first draft with cover memo.
Thurs, 5/01, 4:00 pm: Post responses to your group members’ drafts.
Thurs, 4/24, 11:59 pm: Read Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing: Introduction, 1, 5, 7, 11, and Afterword. Condense one of the chapters into a tweet for #685dw. Or, remediate one of your previous posts for this blog as a tweet.
Fri, 4/25, class: Bring a proto-draft of your digital essay to class. Be ready to talk your readers through your materials. Have some pointed questions that will help them offer you advice for developing and structuring your project.