I’m headed to Boston this weekend and that has me pumped, for two reasons. First it means time with my partner (woo hoo). Second it means that we’re starting work on Emerging 3e (super woo hoo). I’ll be meeting with my Bedford editor (Beditor?) to go over reviews for the next edition, and I have already dashed off my own cockamamie ideas. [read more]
Last week, a student emailed me to explain that he was leaving Friday for a vacation and would be out of the country this week. He wanted to let me know that he should have Internet access, but if something went wrong, his work might be late. He didn’t say where he was going, but I assume he will be frolicking in some tropical beach resort like that in this photo.
This student has done exactly what I asked him to do—and I genuinely wish he hadn’t. [read more]
If the theme of the conference was “Writing Program Administrator as Worker,” a connecting theme remains in the hearts and minds of the Basic Writing educators with whom I spoke at the 2014 Conference on Writing Program Administration (CWPA): “We need to make our work visible to the general public.”
CWPA provided some excellent examples. Duane Roen’s Saturday keynote talk at CWPA holds particular resonance. In this final plenary talk on the last full day of CWPA, Roen offered a compelling argument for presenting our work as writing teachers to the general public. Citing the research of Linda Adler-Kassner, Roen suggested that we need to find “opportunities” to “tell the stories of our research, teaching, and professional organizations.” [read more]
As I’ve said before, my sister teaches high school in Florida—history and psychology, with a lot of writing in all her classes (she says she’s “notorious” not just for assigning writing but for teaching it and taking it very, very seriously). I love hearing about the work she is doing and about her students, and recently she wrote to share a poem one of her seniors had written, not for class but just on her own. [read more]
Whisper, not unlike Snapchat, is another increasingly popular app. Whisper allows people to share secrets anonymously, accompanying each secret with a photo. I’ve been exploring the app, enjoying its voyeuristic pleasures and discovering that many use it (not unlike Snapchat) for sexual ends.
It strikes me that Whisper is an immediate, uncurated, digital version of PostSecret. [read more]
Earlier this month, I wrote about Writing Center Trip Reports in my Ink’d In column, and I want to talk a bit more about trip report assignments. I developed the activity for professional writing, but I’ve adapted it to work for literature and first-year writing classes as well. [read more]
I’m taking a holiday for the summer but will be back fresh and ready to blog in the fall.
In late June, I drove from the Burlington airport down Route 116, eventually turning east on Route 125 to drive up into the Green Mountains to Bread Loaf, a campus of Middlebury College that looks up toward Bread Loaf Mountain. For many of the last twenty-five summers, I have made this trek, yet every time I make the drive it is entirely new. [read more]
With the World Cup standing as the globe’s most prominent popular cultural event of the moment, I think it is appropriate for me to take a cultural semiotic look at it, especially in the wake of all the commentary that has followed Brazil’s rather epic loss to Germany in the semi-finals. As I write this blog, Holland is playing Argentina in the second semi-final, but since neither the outcome of that game nor the final to follow is of any significance from a semiotic point of view, I will not concern myself here with the ultimate outcome of the games but will focus instead on the non-player reactions to the entire phenomenon. [read more]
In the aftermath of our SACSCOC accreditation, our school is sending around a terminal degree list, the idea being that departments should specify what degrees get to teach which classes. Currently, the rules allow any terminal degree in English to teach any course in English—I could teach the Victorian Novel or creative writing, even though I know almost nothing about either. In some ways, then, specifying which degrees go with which courses sounds like a great idea, though of course it’s more complicated than that—particularly when it comes to composition. [read more]