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The Weekly Blast: October 1, 2010

As a way to urge students to use a more specific diction in their writing, “Avoiding Tall Green Trees,” by Mathew Harrison, moves students away from “ready-made” descriptions and ideas toward their individual perspectives and choices. To see the full details go to:

Reminder: Dream Sheets/Practica Forms are due in the Writing Program by Friday, October 8. If you have any questions/comments about the packet please see Heidi, or email her at

We have just been made aware of a few graduate course change offerings for Spring 2011 (blue sheet in packet):

772: Contemporary Poetry: Gizzi - CANCELED

780-2: Poetry Wkshop: Haug - Th 10-12:30

891JC: Secularization & Materialism: Rosenberg - CANCELED

891JF: The Architects of Excarceration: Urban Development, Imprisonment, and the Novel in the Long Eighteenth Century: Rosenberg - M 6-8:30

893B: Theorizing Performativity: Sack - Tu 3:30-6:00

What essays are your students interacting with this semester? Join the conversation on the Resource Center’s teaching blog. This is a great place to see what your colleagues are thinking about teaching, writing and the teaching of writing. This is a closed blog—meaning only Writing Program teachers have access to it. To log in, just use your OIT account. (If you cannot access the blog, please contact Peggy ( We invite you to check it out, write a post, include a link to something you think your fellow teachers would be interested in, etc. The link below will take you to the OIT Blog page. Just enter your OIT email account and password.

Nominations for the 2010-2011 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 Nominations may also be sent by email to

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 early in the unit (in the standard calendars, we recommend a session in a computer lab sometime around October 27-29). You can reserve a 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 lab when you want it. Also, remember to talk to your students about plagiarism! See And don’t forget about the new “paths” through Unit III that we developed last year: .

Mark your calendars for the 2011 Writing Program Teaching Symposium, to be held 11:30 – 2:30 PM on January 14, 2011. This mini-conference includes the opening meeting, a selection of 45 minute teaching presentations/demonstrations, and is a great way to gear up for the Spring semester. If you have ideas for topics you would like covered or if you would like to present at the symposium, please email Deirdre Vinyard

Our new partnership with OIT is a success thanks to a number of our instructors incorporating lab time into their curriculum. We hope more of you will consider its valuable use later this semester or spring 2011.

For those who have already reserved space, and for those who would like to, please log on to the OIT reservations web site at
To see reservations for any given classroom just simply mouse over the hours.

To reserve a computer classroom please provide the information listed below:

Name of instructor
Instructor’s contact information (email address)
Course number and title (example: ENGLWRIT 112)
Assigned computer classroom location (example: 1667 Du Bois)
Assigned class time (example: 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.)
Date(s) requested
Some basic info about classrooms:
Instructors and students will need their OIT NetIDs and UMAccess passwords to log into the machines. For more information about NetIDs and passwords:

Other useful information --
1. There will be a student consultant to answer any questions or troubleshoot any problems that may come up (this means basic functions, they aren't experts on all the software!) The consultant will also set up the projector for you.
2. Covered drinks are OK, but food is not allowed in the classrooms.
3. There is a pay-for-print system at $.05/page. Students receive $5.00 worth of free prints each semester on their UCard. Faculty members do not receive free prints -- if you don't have your UCard set up as a debit card you can purchase a guest card on the main floor of the library.
4. If your reservation plans change and you need to cancel a reservation, please contact Marta Pluta at or OIT Computer Classrooms Staffroom at 413.545.1611.

Any questions, please contact Heidi at

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