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A dialog about our new bridge and these web pages

Overview. As a pointy-headed university professor, my weekend project of bridge photography and building these web pages generated many questions and introduced me to just-in-time learning. I enjoy chasing my curiosity and want to identify ways to encourage younger learners to also enjoy curiosity chasing and learning.

Learning usually requires repetition while forgetting occurs when I infrequently use information. Many young learners do not understand the importance of repetition. Weekly visits to the bridge provided the repetition necessary to detect changes in the bridge and consequently generated many questions and opportunities for learning. Over the course of the bridge project, I had access to few experts for answering questions. Rather than a liability, this became an asset and pushed me to improve my search skills with Google. Soon, I found that answers to questions encountered during my weekly photo shoots were often only a Google-search away - (see Restoring the Joy in Learning). Consequently Google + Internet became dependable extensions of my memory.

The bridge story is a work in progress and is evolving from a simple collections of photographs to an experiment with Internet-centric just-in-time learning. Insights I gain from you will find their way into the learning centers of MUSC. Palmetto Bridge Constructors, a joint venture between Tidewater Skanska and Flatiron Constructors, as well as High Steel Structures, Freyssinet, the SCDOT and the Federal Highway Commission Office of Bridge Technology guided much of my learning. I also learn from many of you and from Google-linked resources. More important is the e-mail encouragement I receive from many of you.

Tue, 19 Apr 2005

April 19, 2005: What to do next?
Now that the two main spans have been joined and the two tower cranes have been disassembled very little change is visible from the S.C. Aquarium and from my bicycle as I ride across the old bridge. So continuing my weekly set of standard photos will bring us little new data. The work on the East Bay on ramp continues and I shall continue to track this. But I am rapidly running out of ideas. So, if you have a burning question, now is the time to add your input into our bridge project. Send me email with your ideas.

And another request. I am thinking about building a photo exhibit selected from the 6000+ photos I have taken over the past 18 months. The idea is to provide something interesting from an art perspective as well as an opportunity to see some of the temporal changes in major bridge features. The question again is what is interesting for all of you? I have thought about the following topics:

  • Monthly view of the two pylons and closing the gap. I have photos from August 2003 until now capturing most of this.
  • Building the east approach (as seen from my bicycle rides)
  • Building the east deck
  • Building the west deck
  • Building the west approach
  • Building a stay cable (Freyssinet)
  • Images that just happened - mostly photos that show aspects of the bridge in different light.
Lee, at Duncan and Parnell here in Charleston, can make large (4 ft. x whatever length) inkjet prints of image compositions. Lee has helped me with some test prints showing the time sequence of closing the gap on a textured paper that really brings the images to life. Exploring the presentation in this manner has challenged me - how to make this something other than a group of plain jane photos. Using textured paper amd organizing multiple images on the same paper brings something new to this presentation. I have also had Shutterfly print some test images in a large format: 11x14 and 16x20. Both sizes are amazing and there is no observable evidence that indicates the digital nature (5 megapixel) of the images. For me, this was a big surprise. So again - any ideas about the topics and image composition of such an exhibition that would make it interesting for you? What would grab your attention and attract you for a closer look? Again send me email with your ideas. I shall make an additional tab on the top menu bar of our bridge web pages so that you can see what I am thinking and display your suggestions. Thanks.

posted at: 05:58 | path: | permanent link to this entry

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