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The Weekly Blast: November 13, 2009

MANDATORY MEETING FOR SPRING 2010 WRITING PROGRAM TOs:
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 11:30-2:15:
The date and time for the spring meeting of all Spring 2010 Basic and College Writing instructors has been set. We'll gather Friday, January 15, from 11:30 am to 2:15 pm. We will begin with a short general meeting of all instructors followed by a mini-conference, with break-out sessions led by TOs, on topics of interest to writing instructors and geared towards useful advice for spring teaching. Lunch will be served. This meeting is mandatory for all spring 2010 Writing Program instructors. Please note that spring classes begin Tuesday, January 19. Questions should be addressed to David Fleming at dfleming@english.umass.edu.

EXERCISE OF THE WEEK
David Bartone brings us this week’s exercise. “Interviewing for Research Cash” is a great exercise that connects the annotated bibliography to the rhetorical prospectus. To see the full details click on: http://www.umass.edu/writingprogram/teaching/database/_resourcecontents.html

IT’S A PROCESS: THOUGHTS ON TEACHING WRITING BLOG
What are you doing for Unit 4 (a.k.a. TBA)? Share your ideas, your past units, past successes, and not-so-successes on the Resource Center Blog. Check out the conversation at: http://blogs.umass.edu/pmwoods/

DIVERSITY ON TAP REINVENTS ITSELF
The exciting discussions and Friday afternoon camaraderie continue!

Friday November 20, 4 PM at Northampton Brewery

Celebrate your upcoming weekend, a bit early, and discuss the relevance diversity plays in our teaching, our writing, and living.

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

If you have any questions about Diversity on Tap or the Diversity Committee, feel free to ask any one of our committee members: Morgan Lynn, Anne Bello, A’Dora Phillips, Linh Dich, Natasha Azank, Sarah Stanley, Sarah D’Stair, and Christiane Beuermann.

COURSE EVALUATIONS
End of semester course evaluations will be ready for pick up Monday, November 30. 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 Wednesday, December 9.

EXPERIMENTAL WRITING WORKSHOPS
You will find in your mailboxes 2-3 copies of this year’s Experimental Writing Workshop series brochure. Please give these out to any students in your class who would like to take a writing class next semester. We have more brochures if you need them. These classes are small (enrollment limited to 12) and do fill up quickly. Please tell your first-year students to keep checking SPIRE for possible spaces. There is a lot of dropping and adding with these courses, so please tell your first-year students to keep checking SPIRE for possible openings.

TALK BY LOCAL AUTHOR – PLEASE ANNOUNCE TO STUDENTS
On Monday, November 16th at 5:30pm in the Bernie Dallas Room (Goodell Building), John Elder Robison--local author and brother of Augusten Burroughs (who wrote Running with Scissors)--will be speaking to the campus community about his book Look me in the Eye. This book focuses on John's experience growing up with Asperger's, and gives readers the chance to see the world through his eyes as he works in several areas including; video game engineering, providing special effects for the band KISS, and developing his own business - J E Robison Service.

The 5:30pm talk will be followed by a reception in the Commonwealth College Lounge, located in 504 Goodell. During the reception John will be signing copies of his book (copies not for sale at this event). We hope you and your students will join us for this event.

For more information please visit John's website at http://www.johnrobison.com/ or contact Melissa Woglom -
Melissa@comcol.umass.edu

REQUEST FOR ANNOTATIVE BIBLIOGRAPHIES
Madeline Baker, a library science graduate student from Simmons College, is conducting a research study focused on teacher training of library skills. For her research she is looking for samples of annotative bibliographies done in our College Writing classes. She is asking for 3-4 random samples with the names of the students blacked out. Student permission is not needed. If you are willing to submit a sample from your class you can copy them in the Writing Program using the office code and place them in the file folder Madeline has provided. If you have electronic versions you can email them directly to Madeline at Madeline.baker@simmons.edu. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Madeline. Thanks you!

ANTHOLOGY NEWS
The Anthology Committee is in need of more Unit II essays that reflect students’ responses to texts from our new book, Other Words. Please continue to drop off these texts in the Anthology File box. Also, regarding Unit III, we realize that it will take longer for you to check that citations are correct and that there is a Works Cited page done strictly according to MLA format. Nevertheless, please target those essays you think have promise as you read them so that we can get them as soon as is reasonably possible.

The committee sends its heartfelt thanks to all of you who are taking the time to submit papers and making sure that students revise these papers. – Pat Zukowski

FINAL CONFERENCE AND FINAL GRADES
Now that we are entering November we are starting to make our end-of-the-semester plans. As you make your plans be sure to keep in mind the following important dates for final conferences and final grades.

Final Conferences: 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 Monday, December 14 through Saturday, December 19. Finals conferences can be held anytime during this week.

Final Grades: Final Grades MUST be submitted through SPIRE no later than Wednesday, December 30 at noon. We strongly encourage you to make sure you have access to your section on SPIRE before the deadline. We also strongly encourage that you complete your final grades and submit them in advance of this deadline.

Hard copies of your grades MUST, also, be submitted to the Writing Program Office by noon, Friday, December 18. If you have trouble meeting this deadline please see Becky or Heidi.

PLEASE DO NOT CANCEL CLASSES DURING THANKSGIVING WEEK
The University’s Thanksgiving recess begins AFTER the last class on Wednesday, November 25, and classes resume Monday morning, November 30. Please hold ALL regularly-scheduled classes during that week, the week before, and the week after. As we state in our Handbook, instructors should NEVER cancel class except for illness or emergency. If you have any questions about this, please let me know. – David Fleming

WRITING OFFICE CLOSED
The Writing Office will be closed Friday, November 27.

IMPORTANT DATES:

November 18 Talk by local Author- John Elder Robison

November 20 Diversity of TAP

November 30 Evaluations ready for pick up in the office

November 26 – 27 Thanksgiving break

December 14 – 19 Final Exam Week – Final Conferences

December 18 Hard Copy of Final Grades to Writing Program

December 30 Final Grades - LAST day to submit through Spire

January 15, 2010 General Meeting

 
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