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The Weekly Blast: February 5, 2010

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR:
In your mailboxes, I’ve distributed today a letter outlining a proposed change in the organization of First Year Writing Classes that, if enacted, would go into effect fall 2010. Over the coming days I hope you’ll have a chance to read this letter carefully. I’ve proposed to your GEO stewards that we together plan an open meeting, to be held as soon a possible, in order to discuss the proposal in more depth. -- David

EXERCISE OF THE WEEK:
As writers I think we all know that once we have written a draft we become quite attached to it. This attachment can lead to a resistance to revision. The “Frankenstein Draft” by Katey Roden is a great way to get our students to let go of their drafts in order to imagine different ways their essays can be constructed. To see the full details click on:
http://www.umass.edu/writingprogram/teaching/database/_resourcecontents.html

PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR:
A memo regarding your teaching plans for academic year 2010-’11 was distributed in all mailboxes on Wednesday, 2/3. If you did not receive the memo please see Heidi.

IT’S A PROCESS:
Doing something different for Unit 1? Thinking about what essays to use for Interacting with Texts? Want to share a TBA assignment? Check out the Resource Center teaching blog at:
http://blogs.umass.edu/pmwoods/

LIBRARY TRAINING IN ENGLWRIT 112:
All College Writing instructors need to introduce their students to the research resources, print and electronic, available through UMass Libraries. This is a key part of Unit III: Adding to a Conversation. In the standard calendar for spring, we are recommending that you hold this meeting either right before or right after spring recess. For MWF sections, we’re suggesting sometime around Friday, March 12; for MW sections, Wednesday, March 10; and for TuTh sections, Tuesday, March 23. To learn more about the library visit, go to http://blogs.umass.edu/ugradlib/college-writing/ . This page will be updated by the librarians for spring semester; but you can click now on “Reserving a Library Instruction Classroom” and reserve a computer classroom there. We recommend that you do this as soon as possible so you’ll be sure to get a room when you want it and so you can include that date in the calendar you give your students.

GEORGE SAUNDERS ON CAMPUS FEBRUARY 23!
George Saunders, author of “The Braindead Megaphone” (Other Words, pp. 239-248), will be speaking on campus February 23, 2010, at 7:00 pm. That’s perfect timing for using the essay in Unit II of your College Writing class and asking your students to attend the talk. For more information see: http://www.comcol.umass.edu/academics/honorsseminar/events.html

SCHEDULING COMPUTER LABS:
If you would like to use the Writing Program Computer Labs on Fridays please contact Peggy (pmwoods@acad.umass.edu).

THE WRITING CENTER IS NOW OPEN IN A NEW LOCATION:
The Writing Center is open for spring semester tutoring. We are now located in the Learning Commons extension, on the other side of the bank of elevators. Drop by and visit. Please let your students know about our new location, and encourage them to make an appointment through our website: http://www.umass.edu/writingcenter. Walk-ins are always welcome, but available times do fill up quickly. We are open Su 2-6, M-W 10-9, Th 10-6, and Fri 10-2.
You can also find the Writing Center on Facebook! Become a fan at http://bit.ly/cUqvLp.


 
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