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The Weekly Blast: October 16, 2009

Kate Marantz brings us “Summarizing a Visual Text. Using images this exercise illustrates to students the difference between summary and response. To see the full details click on:

We have had some, um, low turnout this semester at our Thursday night outing. We are responding to it, by re-thinking where we meet and when, but not why! So, join us THIS FRIDAY at ABC at 4pm. Celebrate your upcoming weekend, a bit early, and discuss the relevance diversity plays in our teaching, our writing, and living.

We know this revision will result in greater TO numbers! So, you might as well
go ahead and plan for next Friday at 4 as well, but this time at NBC
(Northampton Brewing Company).

We'll just rotate the brewery every week, but Fridays. Beer. 4(pm). Diversity.

Thursday, October 22, 2009 is the last day students may withdraw from a course and receive a ‘W’ on his/her transcript. Make sure you inform the students of this date. If you have students in your course who are in danger of receiving a D or F, please fill out a mid-term grade report. Please be as specific on the form as possible. Make two copies of the form giving the original to the student, a copy to Becky for the Writing Program files, and keep one for yourself. If you need to mail the form to a student Becky can help you locate an address. If you have any questions please see your course director, resource center staff mentor, or any member of Writing Program staff. You can pick up the forms in the office or download them from the Writing Program website at: The report is due Wednesday, October 21 if not sooner.

The Resource Center announces the opening of its blog: It’s a Process: thoughts on teaching writing. This blog is a place for all members of the Writing Program to share thoughts, ideas, reflections, musings on the teaching of writing. This blog is open to members of the Writing Program teaching staff only (i.e. it is not a public). All current members of the Writing Program teaching staff have been entered in as members. To access click on the following address and use you OIT net id. We invite and encourage everyone to participate. Currently the discussion on the blog is about class discussions, so please feel free to share your thoughts about this on-going teaching issue. Any questions, please see any member of the Resource Center staff (Peggy, Leslie, Andrea, Matt, Emma, Jensen).

Almost everything about the Anthology -- the Release Form, where to submit essays, essays deadlines, and the shape of the whole book -- has been revised. This information was put in your mailboxes on Tuesday, October 13 in a memo entitled “Anthology 2010 - 2012: Essential Information for Submitting Papers.” We also be attached copies of the new submission forms for your perusal and use. We are eager for you to submit your Unit 1 essays, which we imagine have now been read. But please do not submit papers until you have read the memo. The final due date for submitting Unit 1 essays will be October 23. Thank you.

You will be receiving information about the Writing Program’s Best Text Contest in your mailboxes. We will be awarding first, second, and third place prizes (cash) for Basic Writing and College Writing. We will also be awarding a prize for the best multi-media essay in either Basic Writing or College Writing. Please announce and strongly encourage your students to submit. For more information please see our website at If you have any questions, please see Peggy or Heidi.

A packet of scheduling information for spring 2010 will be put in mail boxes by noon, Monday, October 19. Please return all forms to the Writing Program office no later than Monday, October 26.

All College Writing instructors need to introduce their students to the research resources, both print and electronic, of UMass Libraries. This is a key part of Unit III: Adding to a Conversation. We recommend that you do this around October 28-29. You can reserve a computer lab in Du Bois Library by going to the librarians’ blog for College Writing: and clicking on “Reserving a Library Instruction Classroom.” Do this as soon as possible so you’ll be sure to get a computer lab when you want it.

Nominations for the 2009-2010 Distinguished Teaching Awards are now being accepted. The Distinguished Teaching Award is the highest recognition of teaching awarded to faculty members and teaching assistants/associates. To nominate your favorite professor or TA, tell us why your nominee should receive a Distinguished Teaching Award. All nominations must include your name, mailing address, and email address. Nomination forms are available online at

Only current and former students may nominate faculty members. Teaching
assistants/associates may be nominated by faculty members or current and
former students. Please submit all nominations by Friday, October 23, 2009 to:

Distinguished Teaching Award Committee
Center for Teaching
301 Goodell
(413) 545-1225
(413) 545-3829 (fax)
dta at

October 16 Diversity on Tap @ ABC 4:00 p.m.

October 21 Mid Term Grade Report due in the office

October 22 Last day for students to drop with a ‘W’

October 23 Diversity on Tap @ NBC 4:00 p.m.

October 23 Unit 1 Student Anthology Submissions due

October 23 Distinguished Teaching Award nomination due

October 26 Dream Sheets due

November 25 – 30 Holiday

January 15, 2010 General Meeting

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