Talker invited to the University of Rochester to talk about Talker

Talker invited to the University of Rochester to talk about Talker

Photo: Josh Rompf, Programmer, River Campus Libraries, Rettner Computer Lab, 9/2/16

Today was a sentimental journey back to Talker’s roots.

Here in the University of Rochester’s Rettner Computer Lab, late last September on a cool Fall evening while magazine designer UR senior Karina Banda was in her apartment, I hit PUBLISH.

Afterwards, I confess, I bummed a cigarette from a Lithuanian graduate student, then wandered down to the river for an exultant smoke.

Since, Karina — aka the Saint of WordPress — has graduated and landed a position at Disney.

To help Talker find a “new” Karina, Professor Michael Jarvis, Director of Digital Media Studies, invited me to give a presentation at his professional resource networking session for students in his capstone class.

The capstone program is a year long full immersion experience for DMS students, culminating in a substantial digital project or product. Each intended to have a cultural impact, the project possibilities range from video games to applications assisting transgendered people’s safety and, in our case, building a community magazine. Michael had distributed a blurb about the magazine.

Invitation to join

blurb distributed by UR Professor Michael Jarvis

First stop was a sesame seed bagel and salmon cream cheese. Michael had advised the gathering that the food line is often a prime venue for power networking. Alongside boxes of devoured donuts, I power networked with Yichen Lu and Mingjian Zhong, both CS and DMS majors.

Food pic

Yichen Lu (back) and Mingjian Zhong


Professor Michael Jarvis, Director of the Digital Media Studies at the 9/2 professional resource networking session. Aleem Griffiths at the table.

First, Michael introduced the 17 capstone students, and various potential course mentors and resources from the UR and RIT.


Anna Lenhert, a DMS major and minoring in Harp Performance. Courtney sitting in front. see also First Timer at First Fridays. At the Hungerford Building with Courtney Kuhn

Brevity being the soul of wit, I managed to limit my talk — no doubt to your surprise, dear reader — to less than a minute. I discussed the many articles we have done on the UR (at end), as well as the Nazereth College students who have contributed to pieces on the Hickey Center for Peace.

To our pleasant surprise, during the meet and greet session — students were required to meet three new people — eager wannabee Talkers flocked to the my computer terminal.

There I met and greeted Aleem Griffiths from the Bronx. To improve the magazine’s somewhat lacking digital presence, Aleem quickly recommended we use snap chat and very helpfully pointed to the webpages of the four UR classes where articles could be posted.

Holding a “PHD in Partyology,” Dr. Griffs is a disc jockey at both off and on campus events, including fraternity/sorority mixers and parties held by African-American and Latino organizations. Aleem liked the idea of writing a story on how he prepares differently for performances based on the racial and ethnic makeup of each audience.


Aleem followed Jarvis’s dictum to always pass out your business card.


Aleem showing the facebook pages of the 4 University of Rochester graduating classes.

Actually, the very first talker flocker was Courtney Kuhn, a graphic designer and writer from Churchville-Chili High School. A natural for the magazine, Courtney leapt in full force. She gathered the names of those in the photos — her with sound design and editing specialist, DMS major, AME minor Carlos Richer from Mexico — and started photo shopping the images. Staying late after class, Courtney and I balanced this essay as a mixture between the light hearted and the more serious.


Courtney meeting and greeting Carlos Richer at the Meet and Greet. see also First Timer at First Fridays. At the Hungerford Building with Courtney Kuhn

Another ideal fit, Courtney is in the UR In Between The Lines Comedy Improv Troupe. Noting that she is one of only two women in the club, Courtney wants to write an article on the relative dearth of women in stand up comedy. Courtney will provide theories as to why comedy — unlike other artistic genres — remains male dominated.

But, of course dear readers, our invitation to join Talker extends beyond this University of Rochester capstone class — that means you!

UPDATE: THREE DAYS LATER, COURTNEY WROTE First Timer at First Fridays. At the Hungerford Building with Courtney Kuhn


Seeing “The Rochester Effect” at the University of Rochester

My first live pitch of the season

The University of Rochester’s John Ghyzel follows in the footsteps of Tom Havens ’91 (Madison Muskies, 1992)

Farewell, President Seligman: A friend of the magazine.

Celebrating 1396 and the University of Rochester’s Persian Club

2016 Rochester Open a smash hit at the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center. And the debut of ZOOM.

Red Ryder, The Stockholm Syndrome and a glimpse inside the University of Rochester Theater Community

Envoyé de mon at Meliora Weekend

Score one for love at Meliora Weekend

Print is not dead yet at the University of Rochester

As the University of Rochester’s Fauver Stadium moves forward, its rich football tradition lives on

For you, Talker buys the D & C digital archives. And Noam Chomsky

Celebrating 40 years of BOA editions in the Rush Rhees Friedlander Lobby. And W. D. Snodgrass’ The Führer Bunker

Imaginary languages made real at the University of Rochester

Blessing the Boats and a statue where history was made at Edgerton Park

“What would Dr. Lasagna do?” Abby Glogower displays the thoughts and life of a humanist scientist at the University of Rochester

I.M. Pei’s Wilson Commons Building: A Contemporary Mastery of Method

In search of “Progressive Rock” in the mid-70s at Brighton High School with the University of Rochester’s John Covach

Bringing back the mid 19th Century at the University of Rochester. Nanotechnology meets local history

“Ring out, Wild Bells”

From Daphne with love

What the new East will and will not be

Promoting Wellness through softball at the URMC

A personal tour of the URMC during Meliora Weekend with Dr. Ruth Lawrence, URMS ’49. And still on the active faculty.

In search of Julie Andrews at the George Hoyt Whipple Museum

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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