So how's this for a complex multimodalrhe- torical event? The day portfolios were due, Lind- say Freeberg2 arranged to have a large blue bag containing eleven numbered gift boxes delivered to my office along with a card addressed "To whom it may concern" (Fig. 1). The left side of the card functioned as the table of contents, listing which pieces of Lindsay's work would be found inside which boxes, while the right side contained a set of explicit instruc- tions for receiving and recirculating that work. In keeping with the context of gift-giving that Fig. 1. Lindsay's portfolio Lindsay had established, her semester's worth of work had been repurposed as a collection of valuable "tokens." Lindsay wrote: Dear Receiver of Tokens, Hi, my name is Lindsay Freeberg. You're probably wondering what the heck is going on and why you have a bag filled with numbered boxes. I'm sorry to say that this isn't a present just for you, it's for everyone, but I'll get back to that later [...]. All right, back to how these tokens are for everyone. You're probably wondering how everyone is going to see this. Well, here's what you have to do. Read every- thing, but don't just read it quickly, let is [sic] soak in for awhile and read it again. Sign the card somewhere, comment if you want to. If there isn't any more room, add pages to the card.Now,think of someone. Got them? Good. Secretlygive the bag to them as I gave it to you. All I ask you to do is keep this going. 279 This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Tue, 1 Apr 2014 21:53:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
CCC 57:2 / DECEMBER 2005 Or this? After completing a task that requires students to research the history of a word using the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary, PrakasItarut turned in a manila envelope containing an unmarked floppy disk and a typed, text-only treatment of the word "scare." At the top of this text the following message appeared: **To get a true experience of what I am about to tell you, please read this paper at night and follow the directions exactly as it is told.** There is a disk included withthis paper. Please insert it into a PC that is equipped with sound. Now open this paper in Microsoft Word. By now, you should be reading this message on a computer screen. If you haven't done what I mentioned above, please do so now. Had I been brave enough to set aside the typed text and experience the re- maining portions of the piece in the way Prakas recommended, the first thing I would have encountered in the on-screen version was a sampling of the vari- ous meanings and uses of the word "scare" that Prakas had excerpted from the OED. I would also have encountered the option to "click here," which, in turn, would have taken me to a file on the disk containing the OED's full entry for "scare," Following this, I would have found another set of instructions prompt- ing me to execute the "MC Program" file contained on the floppy.
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