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The Weekly Blast: December 18, 2009


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

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.

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.

MANDATORY ETHICS REQUIREMENT OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES:
On December 10 a memo was sent to all UMass employees regarding the Mandatory Ethics Requirement for Public Employees. Please review and acknowledge you received and read the summary of the conflict of interest law, either in writing or via e-mail. The Acknowledgement of Receipt can be returned directly to Human Resources, Whitmore Administration Building, room 330, or by e-mail to hrcoi@admin.umass.edu. If you have any questions, please contact Heidi at 413-545-0633, or via e-mail at hterault@acad.umass.edu.

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.

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

ANTHOLOGY SUBMISSIONS AND EDITING POLICY CLASSIFIED: PLEASE TAKE NOTE:
It has come to my attention that I may have given a number of teachers the impression that to submit a paper to the Anthology, it must be thoroughly edited by them and their students. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Once the committee finally selects essays that will be published in the book, we meticulously copyedit them on two occasions—when the publisher conveys to us the typed text that will go to the printer and also when the final page proofs come in. I am very grateful to teachers who have spent time on helping students improve and clean up their texts; that is a wonderful boon to the committee and highly instructive for the students. However, PLEASE feel welcome to submit papers with grammatical and usage problems and even papers where some sentences are problematic. As I said in my memo, we were looking for papers that were exemplary in terms of meeting the goals of a given unit, but “This [was] not to say we seek perfect papers.” Confusion may have come from my expressing concern for two things: that the Release Form would be fully filled out and that if a given paper needed in-text citations and a Works Cited page, both were present and the latter was done according to MLA style. STILL, if we receive a paper with a problematic Works Cited page, and we really want to publish that paper, we will contact the student and spell out that publication is contingent on correction of any errors in citations, Works Cited pages, or a thorough rewrite of any confusing passages. So do let the texts roll in! And please keep in mind our eagerness to publish Final Reflections in the next book, as well as examples from ALL other units, including Unit 4. Thank you. –Pat Zukowski

DIVERSITY ON TAP Will RETURN AFTER THE BREAK:
The next On Tap will be on Friday January 22 at 4 PM at the ABC.

Celebrate the beginning of the semester, 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

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.

RESIDENTIAL FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE STUDENT AWARDS:
Please join the Residential First Year Experience (RFYE) in recognizing students who have achieved academic success in their first-year of college!

Nominate a student(s) for an Academic Achievement Award!

Nominations can be made for a variety of academic achievements including:
* Achieving personal goals
* Seeking additional help
* Improving grades
* Achieving high grades
* Applying feedback to improve assignments
* Engaging in critical thinking
* Understanding, retaining, and applying knowledge
* Engaging in challenging opportunities
* Providing thoughtful contributions to class discussion
* Leading a study group
* Engaging in learning outside of the classroom
* Other

Nominated students will be recognized for their achievements with a certificate, RFYE pen, an opportunity to enter an essay contest for book scholarships, and an invitation to an end of the year Academic Achievement Awards Banquet!

NOMINATE A FIRST-YEAR STUDENT TODAY!

Please click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=co9pQ_2fBb_2brDUDaTu1J6Oiw_3d_3d

An additional nomination process is occurring simultaneously for first-year students to recognize faculty/instructors who had a significant impact on their first year of college. Winners of this process will receive the "Student Choice Award" and an invitation to the Banquet.

Thank you,
Residential First Year Experience
Housing and Residence Life
University of Massachusetts Amherst
rfye@gw.housing.umass.edu

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.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS:
It’s been a pleasure working with everyone. Enjoy your break and we’ll see you in January.

IMPORTANT DATES:

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

January 22 Diversity on Tap


 
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