What I Am Up To This Semester

I am hoping for a fairly quiet spring semester. Last spring was quite hectic because I am travelling between campuses two days a week and that, combined with lots of bad weather, really strained my patience and stamina as time went on.

  • I should have news on this year's edition of ThatCamp Community College very soon. We are looking at a date in March. Stay tuned.
  • This semester I am teaching my normal compliment of composition courses plus Women's Literature, which I taught last year as well, and American Cinema, which is not a new course but I have never taught it before.
  • My Office hours for the spring semester:
    • Monday 1130-1230 Laurel Hall
    • Tuesday 1000-1100 Parker 413B
    • Wednesday 0830-0930 Laurel Hall
    • Thursday 1000-1100 Parker 413B
    • Friday 0830-0930 Laurel Hall
  • On campus I will continue to work on the honours program committee. We are hoping to have honours classes running for fall 2015. I am also chairing the International Studies assessments this semester.
  • I will be down at Stockton for the Literature program party. I am hoping to meet up with many of our alums from BCC during the day.

ThatCamp Digital Pedagogy: An Overview

I had a great time at ThatCamp Digital Pedagogy last week. It was nice to go home to Stockton for the day (in fact, the main room we were in was where I had a class with Scott Rettberg back in 2005!). I will post my notes from various sessions, including the one I ran on the differences between art and craft in the writing classroom, in the coming weeks. Big thanks to Adeline Koh for organizing this ThatCamp! I was able to do some promotion for ThatCamp Community College next year and I believe a handful of campers will be coming.

Update: Here are the shared Google Docs from the unconference.

Adeline Koh beginning the day.

Adeline Koh beginning the day.

The Lit Bash 2014

I had a great time at this year's Lit Bash down at Stockton. It was nice to come home for an afternoon and, especially, for the first time, get to see some former students of mine down there. I spent time with a handful of those, attended The Bash, where I caught up with a lot of former professors, and then headed to dinner with my parents down the shore before going home late in the evening. This is always one of my favorite days of the year.

What I Am Up To This Summer

I am hoping for, after a very turbulent spring semester, a pretty quiet summer. I am teaching three sections of distance education composition courses in the first part of the summer. Summer courses are normally pretty straight forward, although I did have a rather horrific plagiarism case last year.

I will be attending three unconferences this summer. June 18th is ThatCamp Digital Pedagogy at the Carnegie Library in Atlantic City. A few days later is the PhillyDH event at the University of Pennsylvania. Finally, I will return to Stockton for the NJEA's Techstock unconference.

At some point in the summer, the team behind ThatCamp Community College will meet to plan next year's unconference. I will have some posts about this year's unconference soon.

I am writing a bit this summer. I have a book review and journal article currently under consideration. More details on that as they emerge.

What I Am Doing In The Spring Of 2014

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the new semester is that I am teaching two new courses. Masterpieces of World Literature II meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Women In Literature meets on Thursdays only, but over on our Pemberton campus, which means I have to travel between campuses. So a few of my colleagues could teach new classes as well, I was willing to do that for this semester as they have in the past.

I am also teaching my normal assortment of composition courses. I am doing a bit on an overhaul on Composition II and may blog about that as time goes on.

EOffice hours are Wednesdays at 8pm to 9pm. I will be available on Skype and a few IM apps.

Here at BCC we will be doing ThatCamp Community College at the end of March. I am really looking forward to this and the committee I have been working with has been great.

I will be heading down to Stockton in April for the annual Lit/Lang Bash. I am hoping to meet up with some of our BCC alumni that day as well.

I can also announce that I will be giving a paper at Buffy To Batgirl: Women & Gender In Science Fiction, Fantasy and Comics at Rutgers in May.

Stockton Book Donation

This summer, I was down at Stockton to have lunch with Tom Kinsella. On my way in, I stopped at the library to donate some books I had read in classes while a student from 2001-2006. I thought it was a neat idea and Stockton's librarians were very interested. I would like to do the same at Monmouth someday too when I am back up in that area.

Here is a list of the books I donated:
The first Electronic Literature Organization collection CD
Kindred by Octavia Butler (African American Literature)
The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean (From Books To Movies)
Sexing The Cherry by Jeanette Winterson (Senior Seminar: Postmodernism)
Acid Free Bits by Nick Montfort
The Aspern Papers by Henry James (Readers, Writers, and Books)
The Life Of Pi by Yan Martel (Readers, Writers, and Books)
City Of Glass by Paul Auster (Senior Seminar: Postmodernism)
The Nietzsche Anthology (Moral Theories)
The Iliad (Homer)
New York Trilogy by Paul Auster (Senior Seminiar: Postmodernism)
Beloved by Toni Morrison (African American Literature)
The Odyssey (Homer)
Another Country by James Baldwin (African American Literature)

stocktonbooks.jpg

#RThink

Last summer, I was thrilled to be asked to return to Stockton for the #RThink (Rethinking Thoughts) conference. The afternoon was spent among old friends and some very interesting and eager students. The Literature program at Stockton is in great hands.

Here are my notes from the day: 

  • Twitter hashtag=#rthink
  • Creating a New Media certificate
  • Students would create a portfolio that could be shown to employers/schools/etc
  • New Media assignments should be memorable
  • Allowing students to make up their project (see Kinsella senior seminar in the spring) gives students agency over their work and which projects they worked on)
  • I allow my students to have a say over their paper topics. We brew them in class during discussions. This gives them ownership over their writing.
  • I also mentioned the “Peer Review Speed Dating” that I do
  • Giving students options for New Media assignments is important
  • Could do a podcast or book signing or calendar or newsletter
  • There was some discussion of the good ole pop-up projects
  • I have thought about using those in my classes.
  • What is the role of service learning in all of this?

  • Something Tom said gave me a great idea for an assignment for my Composition II classes
  • About half way through short story period (which is first 6-7 weeks) have students pick a YouTube song that relates to a story we have read.
    • Write a 500 word essay about the song and story.
    • For example, if we read The Yellow Wallpaper, I would pick Systematic Death by Crass
    • Live experience of tweeting shared reading of a chapter/scene/etc
    • I think this would work best in an online class
    • Create an “exhibition” of it via Storify
    • An idea I loved was putting together an epub of the best work of a class
    • Students could be involved in the curation and editing process
    • General consensus in the room of “what good is one more essay?”