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The Weekly Blast: February 25, 2011

“The Nemesis Exercise” by Liz Fox is a good short writing prompt to enable students to see the difference between showing vs. telling. To see the full details click on

Class Discussions? Peer Review? Join the conversation on the Resource Center Teaching Blog: (If you cannot access the blog, please let Peggy know (

The last day students can drop classes and receive a “W” is Tuesday, March 22. Since this date is after spring break it is important that you provide students feedback on their performance before they leave for break. Mid-Term Grade reports (D/F) are due in the office by Friday, March 11 if not sooner. You can print the form from our website or pick one up at the office.

Join the Diversity Action Group for the first Forum, an informal discussion of issues of diversity in the college composition classroom. Pizza provided!

Join us Wednesday March 2 at 4 PM in Bartlett 68.

In an effort to collect more papers from the spring semester, we will be once again setting due dates for each unit. Please submit your Unit 1 papers to the upcoming 2012-2013 Anthology by March 11. If this presents a problem to any of you (such as you do Unit 1 at a different time in the semester), just stop in and talk with me.

Thanks to all.
Pat Zukowski

Final exams have been scheduled. Please check your SPIRE account for date and time.

Thinking of bringing a guest speaker to your class? Thinking of doing a special publication? Thinking of doing a project that may enhance your students’ writing experience? Funds of up to $200 per class are available through our Special Project Funds. For more information about how to apply for Special Project Money see: or contact Peggy (

All Five College faculty and staff are invited to attend the Smith College Spring Seminar on "Using Technology to Foster Information Literacy." The seminar will take place on Tuesday, March 1st, from 4:00-5:30 PM in the Neilson Library Browsing Room at Smith College. Food and beverages will be provided. The seminar will include presentations by the directors of the Smith and Amherst libraries, demonstrations of successful information literacy projects by Smith faculty and librarians, and an interactive panel discussion. For more information, please see:

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Assistant Director of the Writing Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Writing Center, a part of the Writing Program, is a community for student writers and the study of writing. We invite applications for the position of Assistant Director for the 2011-2012 academic year (with possibility for renewal in 2012-2013). This position offers a graduate student the opportunity to tutor student writers, provide support for a staff of ~30 undergraduate and graduate student tutors, and participate in the Center’s ongoing development and contribution to the university. Responsibilities include the following:

◦ Tutor student writers in the Center (5-10 hours per week).

◦ Mentor undergraduate and graduate student tutors. Encourage conversations about tutorial sessions; assess tutors through regular observations; co-coordinate a half-day orientation in September and January; organize professional development workshops, and/or brownbag discussions; circulate research on writing and tutoring writing; and participate in the annual New England Writing Centers Association conference. Note: In the first-year, the new assistant director assists in English 329H and teaches English 298H and tutors fewer hours; in the second year, the veteran assistant director organizes the workshop series and tutors more hours.

◦ Coordinate the Center’s daily activities. Organize the tutors’ schedule and the WCOnline system; review tutors’ performance; manage day-to-day office duties; respond to university-wide inquiries about the Center; and write reports on the Center’s activities.

◦ Support the Center’s Growth. Generate ideas for promoting the Center in the university community; collaborate with the Learning Commons leadership; and assist the Director with university outreach as needed.

Note: The Assistant Director position is a full-time TO position, a 20-hour-per-week responsibility. These 20 hours need to be worked in the Center with at least one evening and some Sunday shifts. Each semester, the Assistant Directors and Director coordinate hours in order to be available for tutors and students during the Center’s open hours.

Qualifications: Experience tutoring in a Writing Center required; experience tutoring in UMass’ Writing Center preferred. Interest in writing center research/scholarship desired.

Applications: To apply, send a letter explaining your relevant experience and qualifications, a resume, and contact information for a reference who can comment on your tutoring, teaching, and/or knowledge about writing. Application materials are due by 5 pm on Friday, 11 March 2011, to the Writing Program, Bartlett Hall 305, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003 (if hard copy) or electronically to If you have questions, please Donna LeCourt, Director, University Writing Center.

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