Monday, October 31, 2005

The Tale of The Half-Remembered Rules, or, What My High School Teacher Always Told Me

Gather round kids, and I'll tell you stories that will raise the hackles of the hairs on your neck. All of what I am about to relate is true and told to me by writers of papers past.

1. Never begin a sentence with the word "because." Never. Ever. Don't do it. Because.

2. Always put a comma before the word ",and." ,And don't you ever up ,and forget, pal. Because.

3. Thar be Dragons! Don't write too much. Not even if your prof suggests that you develop an idea by adding more information ,and details. Don't do it. Because.

Now, these rules are half remembered, right? That means that the high school teacher no doubt explained why she said what she did. Or that somewhere, perhaps in a musty volume of Warriner's Grammar, bricked up ,and sealed in an old, forgotten supply closet in a high school somewhere, are the rest of the rules. . . .

Thursday, October 20, 2005

You Know it's Midterm When. . .

You announce to the class that a large part of next week's exam will based on an essay that they are to take home and highlight, annotate and study. . . .

And then you get back to your office and discover said essay tucked neatly in your canvas bag. All 24 copies.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Good morning! I'm new to the blog and excited to be here; for the last year or so, I've been looking for ways to communicate with community college folk, and this blog seems like a great way to participate. I'm getting ready for the International Writing Centers Association 2005 conference in Minneapolis, so I won't have much time to write this week. If you're in the Minneapolis area, though, I'd love to connect with you: I'm very interested in writing center work in the community college setting. I'll be presenting Saturday at 3:00 about the Greater Kansas City Writing Center Project, a city-wide group of writing center people in the KC metropolitan area. Even if you aren't overtly involved in writing center/learning center work at your institution, I'd like to connect because I'm very interested in how different schools handle writing tutoring. In the mean time, have a great week.

Monday, October 17, 2005

New Link

A future contributor suggested that the following link be added to our sidebar: Friends of Writing Center Journal. Done!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The NOTBOOK: Brainstorming

Thursday, October 13, 2005

CCC Online:!

I'm very remiss not to have posted anything about the new CCC Online site created this summer by Collin Brooke, Derek Mueller and Madeline Yonker, all of Syracuse University. This new site doesn't replace the NCTE/CCC site, where journal articles are password protected, but instead, provides a site where the "metadata" (bibliographical information, from works cited to keywords and more)of the articles is available. What CCC Online does do is to function as a reader-researcher's companion, inviting us to locate and network ideas via tags and feeds and so on.

Frankly, I'm still at that Gomer Pyle level of technolearning, where I tend to stand back from the thing, big -eyed and exclaiming "Gawwwleee." Not particularly critical or professorial,so I'd appreciate hearing from readers who are far more advanced and, therefore, articulate, and can give this site its due. What I can say is that this undertaking no doubt involved a great deal of painstaking work and thought, and though the creators write modestly of CCC Online's being one journal's worth of work, the site is no less impressive because of it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

About Rebuilding Louisiana: Calling All Creatives

This post has little to do with community college English, except as an example of the path that ideas now traverse across the disciplines.

A blog friend of mine, Kimberly McKittrick, an architect on the West Coast, has been blogging about efforts to rebuild NOLA. Yesterday, she happened to read an editorial written by her father, a Houston-based architect, on specific things happening and needing to happen in order to rebuild. Specifically, Mr. McKittrick discusses charettes , or community groups convened to give input on the rebuilding efforts. It appears that the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Louisiana has expanded the notion of the charetteto include anyone with any ideas expressed in any form. "A Call for Odes and Ideas, Proposals and Strategies, and Everything in Between," is exactly that: a chance for anyone to offer suggestions in any any medium she wishes.

According to the official blogsite Rebuild@Louisiana:

The goal of this competition is to project strategies and ideas to ease the distress of the evacuees, aid the rescuers and relief workers and preserve, rebuild, redesign and re-imagine and protect the post-Katrina/Rita environment of the Gulf Coast.

So the charette moves beyond a local sphere and embraces input from people outside the usual groups associated with urban planning and relief. And in rebuilding the city, these architects and designers hope to rebuild the hearts as well as the homes of the people who live there.

I'm passing the link on to my colleagues in graphic design and am thinking about turning it into an assignment for my developmental reading students as we move towards starting to blog. Who know what will come of the Call? Let's see.