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The Weekly Blast: May 1, 2009

End of semester course evaluations are ready for pick. Please remember that, unlike midterm evaluations, these evaluations are required. Directions for administering evaluations are on the envelope. Please read them carefully and convey the directions correctly to your students. Becky will (graciously and happily) answer any questions you have. These evaluations take 20-30 minutes for your students to complete and are best administered at the start of class. Course evaluations must be done by Thursday, May 7th and turned back into the office. This is a week earlier than in the past.

This week we have reached into the database for an exercise from Josh Bolton, a Writing Program alum. “Writer’s Reflection: A Letter to the Past” provides a way for the students to look back and reflect on the work they have done during the semester as well as provides a way to frame the Final Reflection. To see the entire exercise click here.

“Writing the Future Now” the fourth annual Writing Program’s Celebration of Writing will be held on May 13, 2009 from 11:30-3:00pm in Goodell. The keynote speaker will be Claudia Ricci, journalist, novelist and Huntington Post bloggist. The Celebration will include readings and displays from the Experimental Writing Workshop series, College Writing, Basic Writing, and Junior-Year Writing. The writers selected for the Student Anthology will honored as well as the announcement for the Best Text Contest winners. If you would like your class to participate in the festival please contact Peggy Woods.

The last requirement for ENGLWRIT 112 is the final conference. These final conferences are MANDATORY for the students and for you. Writing Program policy, which is an aspect of University policy, is that these conferences are to be held during final exam week (not during the reading period or during the last week of class). This semester, examination week runs Thursday, May 14 through Thursday, May 21. The final conference is intended to provide occasion for you and each student to look back at what that student writer has done and to look forward to the writing the writer will do after 112. Each student’s final reflection can serve as the starting point for the conference. Remember you are not obligated to tell students their grades at the conference. In fact we encourage you not to do this. If you are not holding your final conferences in your Writing Program assigned office, please be sure to let Becky know where your conferences will be held so she direct your students to the right place.

Hard copies of your grades MUST be submitted to the Writing Program Office by noon, Friday, May 22. The deadline to submit grades through Spire is noon, Tuesday, May 26. Please remember for all students who fail the course a failure form will need to be submitted to the office. Becky can provide you with the form. All incompletes MUST be approved (in advance) by Pat Zukowski or David Fleming.

Online instructions of using SPIRE for grading are available right in SPIRE. Select HELP from the SPIRE menu (or select SPIRE HELP at the top of the page), then press FOR INSTRUCTORS, then press CLASS MANAGEMENT, and then press RECORD GRADES.

The Registrar's Office website also contains an online tutorial with step-by-step instructions for using SPIRE for grading. This is available to anyone at:

All TO’s Welcome!

Thursday, May 7 at 8:00, the Diversity Tap will meet at
Wiggins Tavern in Northampton
Join members of the Diversity Committee to discuss issues related to writing and the classroom every Thursday evening! Bring questions, concerns, and classroom situations and enjoy a lively discussion!

Friday, May 8 is the deadline for requesting magazine publications at Print Services.

Final pay checks will be issued on Friday, May 29. If you want to have your paycheck mailed to you, please provide a self addressed stamped envelope to Becky before you leave campus.

Now is a good time to wrap up your search for papers you would like to submit to The UMass Student Writing Anthology competition. We are very grateful to all of you who take the time to offer us texts for consideration. You allow us to share with our incoming students not only excellent writing but very teachable writing.

The Anthology is a very large project, and we also need to count on you to help us with the various tasks that lead to publication. Thus, please remember that teachers are responsible for selecting and submitting essays to The Anthology and checking that all requirements for submission are met. These include

making sure that each paper is accompanied by a fully completed release form at the time of submission. (You can find the form on the Writing Program Website at;

checking carefully that any paper containing citations has a Works Cited page and that both the in-text citations and Works Cited page follow MLA format correctly. We cannot consider papers with missing or flawed Works Cited pages or incorrect citations;

advising students that they must send an electronic version of the paper to Pat Zukowski at

Finally, remember that we are now publishing essays from Unit 4. We received some very exciting papers from this past year and encourage you to consider submitting papers from your TBA unit.

And now…

More Exciting News about the Anthology

Here are the names of students from the First Year Writing Program whose work will be published in The UMass Writing Program Anthology: 2009 – 2010:

From Basic Writing:
Lorena Alves Racism and Language
Haley Cunningham The Right Kind of Power
Shuyi Guo Not Our Fault!
Jimmy C. Hsu The Deaf Taiwanese’s Literacy
Sang Wook Jo I
Hemanth Kanakamedala The Literary Customs of My Family
Teya Wright Understanding Discourse Communities
He Wuxi The New Collision of East and West

From College Writing:

Eric Annable Uncle Charlie
Alyssa Conley Much More then a Body of Water
Jennifer Cullinane I Think I Lost My Key to the Gate of Heaven
Samantha Denette Provincetown: Search for an Identity
Emily Driscoll Trash
Dominic Emilian The Murray B. Lincoln Campus Center: A Symbol
Of Student Involvement
Brenna Ford Rates of Meningitis Going Up: Concentration
Staying the Same
Mai Kimya Hedayat-Zadeh A Sustainable Suburbia
Lee Jean D.R.I.F.T. To Keep Kids from Street Racing
Josephine Lee Pens
Katarzyna Letowska Wspomnienie
Ellen Matthews Why Women Aren’t Standing Up: An Explanation
For the “Deficiency” of Female Comedians
Melanie Mulvey Society and Multiracialism
Nora Murphy Virtual Rock Star
Brendan Nichols The Liberation of the American Mind
Bao Pham How I Lost the Love of My Life
Michael Simmarano Flying Coach
Emily Smith “A Fist in the Eye of God” A Rhetorical Analysis
Jacquelynne Tedesco Necrotizing Fasciitis
Pat Tenero Scapegoats
Michael Wong Caenogenesis
Daniel Wu Wu!
Hongan Yuan Allusion of the Five Interlocking Rings

Congratulations to all students and many thanks to their teachers and ALL teachers who submitted so many wonderful essays for our consideration. We received the largest number of entries this year since the Writing Program first published the Anthology in 1982. Thus competition was extremely intense. You will also find a list of authors and essays, including the texts from our Junior Year Writing Program, posted on TO mailboxes and, soon, on our Website. Take a look. You may find that a former student was published for work in a Junior Year Writing course! Again, thanks to all who played a role in creating the coming Anthology. Recognition of our published authors will take place at 1:00 pm at the Celebration of Writing on May 13.

TECH FELLOWS, 2009-2010:
Note: The deadline for applications for the Tech Fellows program has been extended. Applications are welcome from ANY Writing Program TO – experience with technology not required! You only need to be interested in learning about and playing with new writing technologies. The revised call for applications is below.
Applications are now being accepted for the Writing Program’s Technology Fellows program for 2009-10. Technology Fellows are graduate student TOs in First Year Writing (Englwrit 111 or 112), or a closely aligned program, who together engage questions of teaching writing with technology, both theoretically and practically, through academic reading, discussion, and hands-on play with technologies. Fellows meet in a small-group setting, under the leadership of the Tech Fellows co-directors, on the Mondays opposite Writing Program practica (i.e., every other week). Participation is for the entire academic year 2009-2010. A small stipend accompanies the Fellowship; Tech Fellows share an office in Bart 303. If you’re interested, submit a letter (hard copy) of 1-2 paragraphs expressing your interest to David Fleming, Director of the Writing Program, Bartlett Hall 305, Amherst MA 01003. The new deadline for the letter is noon on Friday, May 8.


May 7 Course evaluations due back in office
Diversity on TAP

May 8 Tech Fellow deadline
Magazine publication deadline

May 13 Celebration of Writing

May 22 Final grades due in the office by noon

May 26 Final grades need to be submitted on Spire by noon

May 29 Final paychecks

UMail / UDrive / Spark / Spire