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The Weekly Blast: May 8, 2009

Please be sure to read through to the end of this week’s blast because it contains very important end of the semester information. Thanks!

Our last exercise of the week this year is a reflective exercise from Megan Trexler that invites students to reflect on quotations as they look back on the work they have done over the semester. To see a full description of this exercise click here.

Plan to attend the Writing Program’s fourth annual Celebration of Writing this Wednesday from 11:30-3:00pm in Goodell 604!!! It is a great way to end the year, as well as to celebrate the wonderful work our students have done! Refreshments will be served. Below is a schedule of the day’s events.

11:30 -- Displays Open
Work done by students in College Writing, Jr. Year Writing, and the Experimental Writing Workshop Series will be on display throughout the day.

12:00-1:00 -- Welcome and Opening Remarks by David Fleming, Director, Writing Program & Joel Martin, Dean of College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Keynote Speaker, Claudia Ricci, novelist, journalist, and bloggist

1:00 – 1:30 – Recognition of Writing Program Anthology Winners.
Recognition of Writing Center Tutors.

1:30 – 2:30 -- Performances by students in American Lyrics
Readings by students in Queer Writing and Lost in Translation
Screening of digital projects by students in Telling it Straight, Telling it Slant, Telling it Digital

2:30 – 3:00 – Recognition Awards for Best Essay Winners.

Interested in teaching an online version of College Writing this fall?
Then read on!

In a new partnership with University Without Walls, UMass’ adult education program, the Writing Program will be offering a fully online version of College Writing (Englwrit 112) in fall 2009. We’re looking for an experienced Writing Program Teaching Associate (TO) who would develop such a course this summer and offer it in the fall. The course would be a regular 3-credit version of College Writing, with reduced enrollment, and adapted to a fully online environment for adult learners working on their first bachelor’s degrees.
The stipend for developing the course this summer would be approximately $3,056 for eight weeks of half-time work (about 20 hours per week at the standard graduate rate of $19.10 per hour). Under direct supervision by the Writing Program director and in close consultation with University Without Walls and other local resources, the TO would design a fully online version of College Writing for a population of non-traditional adult students. The TO would need to be in the area for this process and available for meeting, training, consultations, etc. By mid-August, the course would need to be approved by UWW.
The TO would then teach the course in the fall to 15 UWW students (non-traditional adult learners, most of whom would be non-local). Teaching would be fully online using UWW’s version of SPARK. This teaching assignment would replace your Writing Program TOship; pay and benefits would be the same as a normal TOship. It’s possible that the course would be offered once a year thereafter, though the immediate commitment is only to this summer and fall.
Experience teaching an online writing course is NOT required; but interest in such a learning environment, willingness to experiment pedagogically and technologically, and flexibility to adapt once the course is underway are also required. Must be interested and willing to work with non-traditional adult students. Must have taught College Writing at least two semesters.
Please send a written expression of interest of approximately one page to David Fleming at by next Friday, May 15, 2009. Questions can be directed to David Fleming as well.

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.

The following Teaching Associates have received the Residential First Year Experience Award after being nominated by their students in Basic and College Writing. These students commended their teachers for inspiring and challenging them in class, thereby positively impacting their first year experience. Bravo!

Ruth Lahti,
Emma Howes,
Denise Paster,
A'Dora Phillips,
Aaron Hellem,
Michael Bennett,
Jessica Landis,
Jenson Beach,
Timothy Zajac,
Darren Kerr-Lone Fight,
Joe Mason,
Charles Bondhus,
Adam Cogbill

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:

If you are teaching for the Writing Program next fall you can expect to keep your same office and key. If you are not returning please be sure to clean out your office before you leave and return the key to Becky. As offices open up, I try to move people out of 68 and into another room. It is likely that those sharing 68 will have a different office next semester.

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.

The Panopticon FU soccer team comprised of our own current and former TOs (Adam Cogbill, Natasha Azank, Christian Pulver, Greg Sargent, Daniel Biegelson, and Lisha Daniels Storey) won the Coed Just for Fun Category at last week’s SocceerFest. They met up with some touch competition and had a very exciting victory!

Contracts will be ready to be signed by Friday, May 15. Please make sure you sign your contract before you leave for summer break. Contracts must be signed no later than noon, Friday, June 12.

Over the next couple of weeks, Heidi will be scheduling for 111 and 112 for the fall. The schedule will be posted on our website by Monday, June 8. The schedule will remain tentative through July.

ELIGIBILITY: If you paid the SHIP Health Fee during 2008-09, you are eligible for a reimbursement of $148 (single plans) or $519 (family plans)*. Checks will be generated automatically by the Health & Welfare Trust Fund.
HOW TO PICK UP YOUR CHECK: in the Campus Center Concourse, with your picture ID,
according to the following schedule based on your last name:
If your last name starts with letters A-E:
Mon. May 11, 10 am-4 pm
.last names F-I: Tues. May 12th, 10 am-4 pm
.last names J-M: Wed. May 13th, 10 am-4 pm
.last names N-S: Thurs. May 14th, 10 am-4 pm
.last names R-Z: Fri., May 15th, 10 am-4 pm

WHAT TO BRING: Just your picture ID!
Checks not picked up will be mailed the following week.

*those who only paid for one semester of SHIP, or were only eligible for one
semester of SHIP, will receive 1/2 of the maximum reimbursement.
For more info, first check our website which is updated regularly:

If you still have questions, please contact the benefits administrator: or (413) 534-7618


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

Sept. 4 Writing Program General Meeting 4:30pm

Sept. 8 Classes begin for Fall 2009 semester

Sept. 14 Practica for veteran TOs begin

UMail / UDrive / Spark / Spire