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The Weekly Blast: December 4, 2009

CALL FOR INSTRUCTOR:
The Writing Program is looking for someone to teach the Continuing Education (CE) College Writing section for spring 2010. It would be in addition to the regular College Writing section you’re currently scheduled for. The CE section of CW is scheduled for TuTh from 7-8:15. If interested, please email Heidi at hterault@acad.umass.edu no later than noon Friday, December 11.

COURSE EVALUATIONS:
Deadline for completing course evaluations is today, Friday, December 4. Please contact Becky if you have not yet done them.

EXERCISE OF THE WEEK:
This week’s exercise, designed by our own Pat Zukowski, gives students a diagrammatic way to see connections among their various writings in preparation for the Final Reflection. To see this exercise and more about the Final Reflection click on:
http://www.umass.edu/writingprogram/teaching/database/_resourcecontents_finalreflection.html

TUESDAY WORKSHOP – DECEMBER 8:
Our final Tuesday workshop will be December 8 from 11:15-12:30 in Bartlett 125. We will go over important end of the semester information, as well as complete evaluations for the workshops and course director groups. Please remember that all workshops are mandatory for new TOs. All others are welcome.

IT’S A PROCESS: THOUGHTS ON TEACHING WRITING BLOG:
What did you do for a TBA assignment this semester? How did it turn out? Share your assignments on the Resource Center teaching blog at: http://blogs.umass.edu/pmwoods/

DIVERSITY ON TAP – TODAY! FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4 @ 4 PM AT THE ABC:
The next Diversity On Tap will be on Friday December 11 at 4 PM at the 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).

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.

ANTHOLOGY NEWS AND FINAL DEADLINES:
The Anthology Committee is very grateful to all who have submitted papers to the Anthology thus far. You have been keeping us reading and meeting on a weekly basis—the ideal situation! But we have now come to a standstill. This is not surprising given the holidays, the only recent collection of Unit 3, and the race to the finish line that are the last two weeks of class. Still, in the interests of making certain we have the best possible examples of essays from all units, we are extending the deadline for Unit 2; please think over the essays you received and send us any that you feel might be effective examples of the unit’s goals. We have only received two Unit 3 essays thus far—not surprising. But please do try to get them in as soon as you can. As for Units 4 and 5, it doesn’t seem rational to set a due date except for the final one for collecting essays for next year’s book: December 18, the same day that grades are due in the Writing Program office. Please keep in mind, however, that students whose essays you are submitting must sign their Release Forms, so perhaps take a stack of them to final conferences where you know you will see them. If you cannot get a copy of any Unit 4 essays you wish to submit before final conferences, please ask students to either e-mail you a copy or bring one to their final conference. It is a sticky business, but perhaps they can deliver the paper and fill out the form on their way out of the final conference. Thank you. Pat

FINAL CONFERENCE:
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: Final Grades MUST be submitted through SPIRE no later than MONDAY, DECEMBER 28 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.

RETURN OF STUDENT WORK:
In order to return your students’ final reflections you can ask them to provide you with a self addressed stamped envelope. You can also encourage them to come by your office hours during the spring semester. We ask that you do not leave boxes of student work in the hallway. This undermines the value we have placed on their writing all semester. The majority of students do not return at the end of the semester to pick up their work and eventually we end up throwing their writing away. Student work left in the hallways is also a violation of the student’s right to privacy particularly if there are grades placed on the work. We also run the risk of having student work stolen and then reappearing in other sections of 112.

BEST TEXT CONTEST:
Please announce and strongly encourage your students to submit to the Best Text Contest. Bookmarks are available in the Main Writing Program Office to give to your students. If you have any questions, please see Peggy or Heidi.

PAYCHECKS:
If you would like to receive your paycheck over the break, please be sure to give Becky self addressed stamped envelopes.

NOT RETURNING TO THE WRITING PROGRAM FOR SPRING SEMESTER:
If you are not returning to the Writing Program for the spring semester please be sure to clean out your office, mailbox, and return your office key to Becky by December 18, 2008. You will receive your final paycheck on January 22, 2009.

CALENDARS AND SYLLABUS FOR SPRING 2010:
The standard Writing Program syllabus and calendars will be available on our website on January 8, 2010. You are free to use the syllabus and calendars as is or to modify for your section. (Please note that when modifying you still need to maintain the Program’s core requirements.) If you decide to use the standard syllabus we will make copies for your class if you notify Becky by January 8.

SYLLABUS AND GRADING WORKSHOP:
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 from 1:30-2:30pm
Resource Center Room (Bart 308)
This workshop is open to anyone who would like to discuss ideas for next semester. Bring your thoughts, ideas, drafts of plans for essay units, exercises, peer review, grading policies, calendars, etc. Cookies will be served.

WRITING PROGRAM OFFICE HOURS:
The Writing Program office will be closed Thursday, December 24 – Friday, January 1. The office will resume regular hours beginning January 4.

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.


IMPORTANT DATES:

December 4 Course Evaluations due back in the office

December 4 Diversity on TAP

December 11 Diversity on TAP

December 14 – 19 Final Exam Week – Final Conferences

December 18 Hard Copy of Final Grades to Writing Program

December 24 Writing Program closed

December 28 Final Grades - LAST day to submit through Spire

January 4, 2010 Writing Program office resumes normal business hours

January 8 Deadline to request copies of syllabus and calendar

January 13 Syllabus and Grading Workshop

January 15 General Meeting


 
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