Sierra College 2025

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 27, 2015 by afletcherharper

Sierra College, 2025. A barren wasteland of dead grass and burnt forest, the school was a casualty of the Northern California drought riots of 2019. Plans to rebuild never came to fruition as the world economy collapsed less than a year later leading to global wars, famine, and cannibalism. Of course, Sierra’s growing online education program came apart with the school…

…erm…sorry about that…

What do I think that Sierra College will look like ten years from now? I expect that it will look quite similar to what it looks like today. There will be traditional classrooms presenting traditional lectures with traditional professors. Students will still hang out in the cafeteria area and mill about the campus.

I expect (and hope) that that’s the case. College campuses do more than provide education. They provide a community where people, who are primarily of the same age group, can come together. Where they can learn not just skills and take in knowledge, but where they can learn about each other. Plus there’s the whole dating angle.

I sincerely hope that this does not become the primary mode of education. While Kahn nominally predicts that the traditional college experience will not go by the wayside and that multiple routes of course delivery will be available, his vision appears to be that the online experience, primarily for institutional rather than student based reasons, will become the primary approach. He does talk about the benefits that some students might experience but those benefits appear to be in service to how many students the institution can shuffle through, how schools can save cost while charging the same amount, and how the college can keep their students’ learning under surveillance.

Let me be clear, I do not think that online education is bad. I wouldn’t be training to deliver online courses myself if I thought so. That said, I hope that the development of online learning at Sierra College, and as part of the higher education system in general, maintains variation and adaptability so that education can meet the needs of multiple sorts of students and provide multiple sorts of experiences.

So in ten years, I expect that there will still be students coming to the Sierra College campus. I even expect that we will still have students in our dorms. At least I hope so, since college has always been a good way for young adults to learn to live on their own in a semi-controlled environment. And I expect that online education will play a much larger role than it does now. We will certainly have students that do their degrees completely online. We will have others that supplement their online learning with some real world classes. And vice versa. I even believe that a bunch of students will take only courses they physically attend.

While I expect that some professors will still teach exclusively ground classes, most will do both, and a few will teach in their pajamas from home. Because most professors will be able to use online platforms there will be a tighter integration of them into our ground classes. Finally, I expect that we’ll have a good number of the same sort of classes we have always had.

At least I hope we have the variety of approaches described above because more options are better than fewer. Just because you can buy the awesome new computer teaching toy for your toddler doesn’t mean they can’t learn something from picking up a stick. So I hope that Kahn’s “things of the past” vibe is more of an “along side of”.

If we can avoid the apocalypse.


Effects of Traveling on Characters

Posted in Uncategorized on April 8, 2013 by afletcherharper

You’ll write better fiction if you remember real life as you peck away.

Effects of Traveling on Characters.

Jeffrey Dahmer and Reverse Storytelling

Posted in Uncategorized on March 26, 2013 by afletcherharper

Jeffrey Dahmer and Reverse Storytelling.

Review: “Night in the Lonesome October” by Richard Laymon.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by afletcherharper


Ed’s been dumped.  Holly met a guy while counseling the kids of summer and off she went. Mired in depression, poor Ed starts wandering the streets of Wilmington in the dead of night.  Turns out, traipsing about in the wee hours in Ed’s college town comes with a risk of complications.  Next thing he knows, Ed is stalking a mystery woman, peeping in windows, fighting bridge trolls, and trying to stay out of windowless vans.  He also takes to banging Holly’s sorority sister, Eileen, while dodging the groping paws of a surly homosexual acquaintance.  Throw in a psycho that wants to give them all “the works” and Ed’s life is suddenly far too eventful to nurse a broken heart. Now all he has to do is avoid a lonely October death so he can enjoy life again.

“Night in the Lonesome October” is pretty darn subtle for Laymon.  He doesn’t dispense with the mean-spirited sexual violence that marks much of his work, but it’s much less prevalent here than in other Laymon novels.  Rather than grind our faces in the nasty, Laymon achieves a more eerie and haunting quality in this novel.  While I wouldn’t call it superior to his stark and brutal survival horror, it is as good.  I would certainly consider this book more accessible to the average horror fan than other Laymon fare.  So if you’re looking to corrupt someone’s mind through splatterpunk, “Night in the Lonesome October” might be a good way to launch a sneak attack.  And if you like your horror extreme? Well, somebody’s gotta get “the works.”

Step Up That Game

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2013 by afletcherharper

Definitely worth reading from the leader of the Stonehenge bloggers.

Step Up That Game.

Writing Graphic Horror as a Public Service

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by afletcherharper

Writing Graphic Horror as a Public Service.

What must they think of me?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2013 by afletcherharper

What must they think of me?.