Hi everyone,

If you’re reading this post, you made it to our OpenLab course site … congrats! And welcome to City Tech, the Fall 2022 semester, and our ENG 1101 (English Composition I) course!

I’m your professor, Dr. Jill Belli.  I’m so very happy to have you all here, and to be working with you (virtually) over the next few months.

I know that these continue to be difficult and strange times, and that this may not be the way you imagined starting your first semester of college. I also know (and share) the feelings of stress, uncertainty, and anxiety that may accompany you as you embark on this fully online semester during an ongoing pandemic. These feelings are normal and expected, but the good news is that they are also manageable. I’m here to support you through the course and this semester, and we’ll learn and get through this together, all while writing, reading, thinking, and discussing interesting content 🙂

So let’s get started! This is the first of our weekly announcements (going forward, they will be posted on Mondays, by noon).

For this first (short) week of the semester, we’ll focus on getting you acclimated to the course and the course site, and on doing some initial low-stakes writing and activities. We’ll also Introduce ourselves through blog posts and comments. I already made an Introductory post to get the ball rolling — you can check it out here to get to know more about your professor 🙂

After reading this post, you will need to

  1. Do 15 minutes of freewriting (and then submit that to me)
  2. Register for an OpenLab account & join this course site
  3. Review the material on the site, and become familiar with its content & navigation. In particular, read and annotate the Syllabus carefully
  4. Create your own Introductory post and comment on others’ posts (please note: anything you publish on the OpenLab is public!)
  5. Complete the Student Survey

I know that probably seems overwhelming, so take a few deep breaths, and then check out the Schedule.

*Pro Tip: Always consult this dynamic Schedule on our OpenLab course site for the most up-to-date version of the schedule, access to readings, and more detail about assignments. This is your home base for all-the-things, so check back here often for details & links.

Trust me, it will become your best friend this semester. And everything you need to know is all there. But it’s a lot to take in, so pace yourself, take notes as you go, step away when you need to, come back when you feel ready, and ask for help if/when you need it. You can always email me (jbelli@citytech.cuny.edu) or come to my office hours. The first office hour is actually today, from 11:30am-12:30pm, via Zoom.

The office hours Zoom invite was emailed to you, and you can also find that information on our OpenLab site here.  (You’ll need a passcode and a password, respectively, to access the Zoom and that protected OpenLab content — both were emailed to you. Please don’t share the invite details or password publicly, for security reasons).

It would be great to see any (or all!) of you there to say hello later today. Otherwise, we’ll connect here on the OpenLab. And I’ll be back in touch on Monday with next week’s Schedule and some additional resources and content for you.

Happy first day, & first week! Again, welcome to the course, and best wishes for a wonderful semester 🙂

Professor Belli


*A few reminders, from a previous message …

You registered for an asynchronous ENG 1101 section:
– it is ONLINE (using the OpenLab, City Tech’s digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaborating: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/)
– we do NOT meet in person (on campus)
– there are NO scheduled class sessions: students are NOT responsible for signing into a virtual classroom at particular dates and times
– there are work DUE DATES: (weekly) activities and assignments with deadlines that students must meet to get credit
Key details to get started with our course:
– register for an OpenLab account (needed in order to join our coures site and complete your coursework): https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/register/
– all emails and OpenLab notications will go to your City Tech email, so make sure you can access that and check it daily
– you can access the course from anywhere you have Internet & a device
– I recommend (if possible) using a computer, laptop, or tablet rather than a phone to complete coursework
– our class is a ZERO textbook cost: all readings and resources will be made available to you digitally (and freely) … yay!
How to get help / support:
– Attend my weekly office hours on Thursdays 11:30am-12:30pm via Zoom (I encourage you to pop in today, on our first day, to introduce yourself, go over anything, chat, etc.).
– Email me with any questions or concerns (or just to say hi!): jbelli@citytech.cuny.edu
– Can’t access your City Tech email? Contact the Student Help Desk for troubleshooting: StudentHelpDesk@citytech.cuny.edu / 718-260-4900 / Library Building (L-114) (9am-5pm)
– Need help with your OpenLab account or using the OpenLab? The OpenLab Community Team is here to support you: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/blog/help/openlab-help/