Monthly Archives: May 2009

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Welcome to Me-Cological Sustainability

Welcome to my online, professional portfolio. Currently, I’m a third-year PH.D student in English Education at Syracuse University. My primary interests are the teaching of adolescent literature, coaching secondary school writing, working with students who are traditionally alienated by American education, using creative writing for critical thinking, 21st Century literacies, and creating district-wide writing plans.

Before entering higher education at Syracuse University, I was a high school English teacher at  the J. Graham Brown School in Louisville, Kentucky.  It was the only k – 12 public school in Jefferson County and operated with a mission of diversity, self-directed learning, and the celebration of individuality. The time I spent at “The Brown” is irreplaceable and my students were phenomenal mentors who taught me the importance of teaching to the unique learning styles of every child. Drawing two kids from each of twenty-five zip cokes created a pastiche of learners.  We did not track students, we remained on a first-name basis, and we kept the standards high for all.

I opted to do an online, professional portfolio while at Syracuse University as a way to teach myself more about online literacies, but also because of the convenience it allows for updates, changes, quick edits and hyperlinking as I grow professionally. This online, professional portfolio is called “Me-Cological Sustainability” and is influenced by my environmental studies through the Kentucky Institute for Education and Sustainability (KIESD). This portfolio is e at the confluence of  where my education and professional experiences currently are, bringing together a B.A. in English Literature from Binghamton University, a M.A.T. in English Education from the University of Louisville, an M.S. from KIESD, my work with the Bread Loaf School of English and the Louisville Writing Project, and my recent research at Syracuse University. In the 21st Century, an online portfolio such as this is one way to sustain a professional identity. It is flexible, approachable and demonstrative for audiences I know (and hope to one day meet).

This online, professional portfolio is also a work-in-progress which caters to my philosophy that I, too, am always in the act of becoming. To the right are links that discuss the work I do as a researcher and teacher.

I thank you for visiting “Me-Cological Sustainabilty” and welcome your comments and feedback. From others, I learn better what it is I am trying to communicate.


Bryan Ripley Crandall

PS:  This professional portfolio can be translated into multiple languages.  Simply copy the address to this site, click on the GOOGLE sign here and paste the site’s URL in the open box.  Google Translator will do the rest!

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Rhizomatic Blogging


Composing is much more of a community process in the 21st century and blogs have become a rhizomatic structure that challenges the linear traditions of writing. Margaret C. Hagood (2004) explains that such rhizomatic cartography is “of coming and going, of offshoots and new directions. By definition, rhizomes constantly shift and change, growing simultaneously in all directions. Thus, the rhizome maps illustrate the ever-changing multiplicities involved in adolescents’ uses of popular culture where tensions arise between identity and subjectivity in adolescents’ text use” (p.145).

First, the use of web logs is free and there’s access to publication for anyone who wishes to compose in a space online. Second, the ability to link any site to another site creates community. As a teacher, I think about the possibilities this allows for students and teachers in new and exciting ways. There are endless projects that might be assigned and created using a 21st Century style and there are multiple projects that might be assigned and created with students in digital age. Over a period of time, they can build on their ideas, rethink their writing, edit, re-compose, re-link, and re-discover their thoughts as they visually and textually think about the world that matters to them.  Cyberspace transcends the classroom in a global network of real-world audiences and teaching writing is no longer contained and constrained (Baetens, 2002) in traditional ways. Instead, blogging opens opportunities for interconnected communication.

lily3In 2007, I became intrigued by the use of Blogs as a place to exist beyond paper and traditional writing genres. I set a goal for 2007 – 2008 to blog a little, everyday, about happiness.  The result, The Lilypad Chronicles was a first attempt of using cyberspace as an outlet for journaling, creating and thinking. It was here that I learned Blogs are rhizomatic.  Whereas traditional academic texts link ideas through references and bibliographies, blogs link ideas through links and hypertext.  This results in a network of thought that moves in the fashion of rhizomes and the branching forth of connected ideas of Edward Soja’s spatial theory).

2235082444_2c7c783ffaThat year, I also began to think of the web as a place to store my notes. First, while working on a project about technology in the 21st Century, I created a space called Bloggity Blog Blog where I could store my ongoing notes about technological literacies.  With this success, I began to ponder about what it would look like if I found the way to get a video project online that I did for one of my university classes.  The assignment was to think about higher education from materials we read in class and we were encouraged to be creative. I chose to write a digital poem and used t.s. eliot’s “The Wasteland” as a point of departure.  The Graceland is my video poem from that project.  (Since then, I’ve added some of my other poetry on two sites:  Poetic Doodles I and Poetic Doodles II (my acrostics).

Since then, I took classes that also changed my way of thinking about writing in the 21st Century.  Visual Literacies with Kathie Maniaci and Arts Based Research Methodology with Dr. James Rolling brought to my verbal interests a way to blend my love for a visual world.  From both, I started a project called, “What Does Visual Literacy Sound Like” with a goal to create a podcast. I wanted my Visual project to be sonic, but I failed.  I learned I couldn’t do this without visual images (although I have listened to the project and it works in a sonar way, too).

quirky1My 2009 Blog nods towards my ten years of teaching experience at the J. Graham Brown School in Louisville, Kentucky.  The school was a lot of things to a variety of people and this often resulted in a quirky population of students.  QUIRKY is my year-long dedication of reminding myself that a quirky world is a good world.  It is a follow-up to The Lilypad Chronicles.

In 2010, my rhizomatic blogging revolves around KARMA and it is my daily journal. Continuing with the tradition of writing online, this year has focused entirely on kismet.

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Sample Recommendations




calvin-on-scientific-law1As a teacher of seniors in high school, writing recommendations became a nightly norm.  One student, in fact, requested over 86 recommendations in her senior and it paid off:  she didn’t pay a sent for college.  I joked with Dr. Kelly Chandler-Olcott after I finished my last recommendation for my last senior class that I was done completely.  She laughed and said, “Your job will be a continuation of such an artform.”  I had one semester break and now I’m writing recommendations again.  

Attached are (Sample One) and (Sample Two).  They demonstrate how I support students as they push themselves towards their careers as teachers.

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This Space Currently Under Construction.








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Contact Information

Bryan Ripley Crandall

Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield

Fairfield University – Canisius Hall

1073 North Benson Road

Fairfield, Connecticut  06824

203-254-4000 ext. 3123

Email Bryan Here 

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  • indian3Crandall, B.R. (2009). Adding a disability perspective when reading adolescent literature: Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. In The ALAN Review, January
  • Crandall, B.R. (2007). Thoughts from a high school English teacher; A reflection on writing portfolios, on-demand writing and changes made with CATS assessment — good writing is good writing. Kentucky English Bulletin, Vol. 56. Nos. 2 &  3. Kentucky: Western Kentucky University.
  • Crandall, B.R. (2006). Under the Zia Sun – Santa Fe, Bread Loaf Campus, poem, in La Miga
  • Crandall, B.R. (2003). Song for the Sudanese Lost Boys. The Journey (article) &  Monday Morning (ten-minute script) in Ring of Fire.  Louisville Writing Project, University of Louisville
  • Crandall, B.R. (1998). Environmental english; sustaining the environment through the marriage of earth and words. In Omnibus. Greater Louisville English Council

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