The Ocelot is a nocturnal animal. It is intensely territorial and, at times, fierce. It has a striking, splotchy coat and like all animals with interesting fur it has been the object of covetousness, and thus shamelessly hunted and killed and skinned. Once upon a time, it teetered at the edge of extinction. Now it’s only endangered. But it’s not out of the woods yet. When it runs out of woods—that’s when its real worries begin. According to Wikipedia (a dubious source if you’re writing an academic essay, but a rather valuable one for getting the quick sense of a thing, such as an elusive member of the sub-genus Leopardus), the Ocelot often “takes to the trees.”
The O.C.E.L.O.T., however, is a different animal. There is only one that we know of. And despite this, it is not endangered. It has only recently emerged.
Our O.C.E.L.O.T. came about like so:
We wanted resources. We wanted to share. We wanted to see what we—i.e., each other, i.e., teachers of first-year composition—were up to. We imagined that having a clearer idea of what we were doing would help us get better at what we do—better at what some of us have done for years, others only for weeks, days, or never—which is how to figure out new ways to think about rhetoric, composition, teaching, critical thinking and composing in all manner of genres.
Also: we wanted what we made to be easy—maybe even fun—to use. We wanted to build something that would make our job easier. And so we came together. And so we submitted. We shared.
And thus, the O.C.E.L.O.T. came into being.
Honestly, it might not be as amazing as an actual Ocelot. But still. It’s pretty good. It might not be arboreal or lithe, but we think it’s agile—and, like the mammal, covers a lot of ground.
You are welcome to use the O.C.E.L.O.T., whoever you are. We ask only that you pass the word about our site, that you consider submitting something of your own to share, and that you find an animal of your own to care about.