Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Author: Jill Belli (Page 1 of 5)

Week 18: Monday, December 19 – Wednesday, December 21

Hi everyone, and happy Monday!

This is it … the last three days of the semester! I want to begin by thanking you for your hard work this Fall. These past few months have been challenging in many ways: not only did we all continue to navigate a global pandemic … but also you did that as you transitioned to college and navigated an asynchronous course (for many of you, for for the first time). I’m proud of your efforts and your work, and you should be too!

Now, let’s finish up strong!

The Dropbox link for Unit 4: Final Portfolio & Reflection Final Drafts is now live on the Schedule. Don’t forget to review the Unit 4 Assignment the Unit 4 Writing Workshop for more details and instructions about submission.

Aside from that work, there is one final piece of the puzzle: a Final Survey & Reflection (via GoogleForm) that will be due on Wednesday. You should only complete that after submitting your Unit 4, so the link will go live tomorrow. This final survey asks you to provide feedback / reflect on various aspects of the course and your experiences in it, from the vantage point of the end-of-the-semester (keep in mind that you will be in a really good position to share your feedback, as you will have just reviewed all of your work in the course for the Final Reflection so it is fresh in your mind!). As with the prior surveys, I appreciate your time and thoughtfulness in completing this survey and reflection. Responses help me to better understand your experiences in the course and to provide a (even!) better course experience for future students. 


I’m going to keep this final Weekly post brief, to allow you to get back to working on those all-important revisions! But just a few additional notes about wrapping up the semester:

A friendly reminder that my last Office Hours of the semester are this morning, from 10:00-11:00am. Anything you need to discuss individually with me, this is the time for it. I look forward to seeing many of you there! (As always, you can also drop questions below or email me).

The deadline for faculty to submit final course grades for the Fall 2022 semester is Tuesday, 12/27 at midnight. Please wait to view your course grade online through CUNYfirst (I will not be giving out final course grades via e-mail). Final grades are non-negotiable, though I am always more than happy to discuss them, review the breakdown, the grades’ rationale, or provide additional feedback on your work. Please feel free to email me with any questions about grades after 12/27. Before reaching out, make sure to review all of your grades (and the written comments in the darkened chat bubble next to the letter grade) in OpenLab Gradebook on this course site.

For our last low-stakes discussion:

By tonight, drop a comment below for your classmates, who have been on this journey with you all semester. Communicate anything you’d like to them … it could be gratitude for your work together this semester, good wishes for the future, invitations to stay in touch … anything, really. One final message to our community here, as we wrap up the semester.


Finally, it was a pleasure to work with you all this semester. I wish you the best of luck wrapping up the semester and on your final exams and projects, and in your future endeavors at City Tech, & beyond. To reiterate my opening comments above, you worked incredibly hard this semester, and I really appreciate your consistent effort and presence each week. I hope you enjoyed yourselves and learned a lot about writing, reading, critical thinking, research, and reflection (and maybe even a bit about yourself in the process!). Be proud of all your have accomplished and how much you have grown!

Have a wonderful winter break & happy holiday season, and may the new year bring you all much health, happiness, and success. I welcome staying in touch, so feel free to send me an email to say and let me how you’re doing from time to time. Perhaps I’ll see you in my future courses at City Tech, and maybe we’ll even get to cross paths in the real world on campus. Either way, wishing you all the very best!

Thanks all, happy drafting & revising, good luck with finals, and have a wonderful week  🙂

Unit 4 Peer Review

Thank you to those of you who submitted your first drafts of the Final Reflection for Unit 4. Just as we did with Units 1-3, we’re going to use peer review to get feedback and guide revision for the final draft. Feedback on your peers’ work is due by noon (12pm) on Friday, 12/16. 

Thank you for sticking to this deadline, so that everyone has sufficient time to work on revisions over the weekend.


After reading & annotating this post, please go back to review the Unit 1 Peer Review Writing Workshop, which has important information about Peer Review (purpose, expectation, grading, Peer Review worksheet, etc.) that also applies to this and future peer review assignments. Make sure, also, to review the Unit 4 Assignment and the Unit 4 Writing Workshop (including the new Week 17 content, just posted today). When reviewing your peers’ work, pay attention to the following:

  • Does the Final Reflection have all the required components?
  • Are quotations (from the peers’ own work this semester) included and integrated effectively?
  • Is the work organized effectively / cohesively? Pay attention to things such as the order of paragraphs, topic sentences, transitions … reverse outline will be helpful!
  • What was your experience reading the Final Reflection?
  • What was something you really liked about it / think was done well? What were you confused by? What could use improvement? (be specific!)

As always, one of the best things about peer review is that as we become more skilled readers of others’ writing, we also can turn that critical eye to our on writing. So after you peer review your group members’ writing, go back and do the peer review on yourself. You’ll be amazed at the progress / revisions you can make!


Just like before, Peer Review will be happening in Perusall. I have created “Assignments” for each of the first drafts, so go to the two essays you are assigned to, and complete the work from there.

There is also a new “folder” in the Perusall Library, entitled “Student Work: Final Reflection First Drafts” (look within the “Unit 4″ folder).

As always, you can view all submitted first drafts, but you are each only responsible for peer-reviewing two projects (see below for your assigned groups).

*Note: If you did not submit a first draft by the deadline (W 12/14 by 12pm), you will not get the benefit of peer review. However, you are still part of a peer review group, and are responsible for reading and commenting on your two assigned essays. Peer Review groups are listed below.


[Submitted Unit 4: Final Reflection first drafts, which will be peer-reviewed]

Brandon

The following students should peer-review Brandon’s Final Reflection:

  • Tahani
  • Neal
  • Jamani
  • Henry
  • Holaly
  • Khandoker
  • Syed Abbas
  • McKayla
  • Aniyla
  • Zavier
  • Syed Ali

Henry

The following students should peer-review Henry’s Final Reflection:

  • Neal
  • Brandon
  • Holaly
  • Tahani
  • David
  • Destiny
  • Syed Ali
  • Sebastian
  • Jeffrey
  • McKayla

Tahani

The following students should peer-review Tahani’s Final Reflection:

  • Khandoker
  • Henry
  • Brandon
  • David
  • Jamani
  • Zavier
  • Syed Abbas
  • Sebastian
  • Aniyla
  • Destiny
  • Jeffrey

Week 17: Monday, December 12 – Sunday, December 18

Hi everyone, and happy Monday!

We’re almost there! There are now just officially 10 days left to the Fall 2022 semester. Time really does fly …

I know that some of you are going to be taking final exams at the end of this week. Wishing everyone the best of luck with those, and also offering a gentle reminder to be kind to yourself in what will likely be a stressful time. You got this!


Before we get into this week’s work, a few important reminders:

This Wednesday (12/14) is a Reading Day, which means there are no classes scheduled. However, we will continue our work together that day, as we want to maximize our time spent on drafting and revising both the Final Portfolio and the Final Reflection. Remember … we don’t have a final exam in our course. Unit 4 takes the place of that. So continuing to work on Unit 4 on Reading Day makes a lot of sense!

Wednesday (12/14) is also the last day to withdraw from a course. If you have not been participating in class or turning in work, you should consider this option (otherwise you will either receive a WU or an F). You can learn more about withdrawal grade designations here: https://www.citytech.cuny.edu/registrar/grade-policies.aspx

Before making any decisions though, you should definitely discuss with your faculty advisor as well as the financial aid office, as it may have financial aid implications. You are also welcome to come discuss your situation with me in my Pop-Up Office Hours tomorrow (see below and on the Schedule for more details on that).


On to this week’s work! As you know, we’re spending all of time for the rest of the semester working on Unit 4. You should be working simultaneously on your revisions of prior work (Units 1 and 2) and drafting your Final Reflection, as these two things go hand-in-hand.

A full draft of your Final Reflection is due on Wednesday (via Dropbox), as is a check-in post about your progress on revisions to date (via the OpenLab).

Later this week we’ll be doing peer review on your Final Reflection drafts, and also continue to discuss revision and reflection in our Unit 4 Writing Workshop (new content will be added mid-week, and new comments from you all will be due as well).

As always, all details can be found on the Schedule page.

All of this week’s work requires a thorough review of and engagement with all of your past work for the semester, as well as resources and feedback you received along the way.


Did someone say feedback?

If you haven’t done so already, it’s super (duper!) important that you consult and incorporate my feedback to guide your revision. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this, so I want to review once again how to check your grades and view the feedback.

Grades and feedback for all formal assignments can be found in OpenLab Gradebook (you can access that from the right-hand menu of the course homepage, or from the top left-hand menu of the course dashboard). Don’t just look at the letter grade and then leave! I have provided detailed written feedback for all formal assignments, and sometimes leave other comments as well. To access this content, click on the darkened chat bubble next to your grade for each assignment.

A few notes:

  • Unit 3 grading is still in progress, as you only recently turned that work in. I’ll get those grades up in OpenLab Gradebook as soon as they are ready, so check back soon.
  • If you don’t see your grade or comments for a particular assignment, please reach out to me privately via email ASAP (I don’t discuss individual grades publicly, for privacy reasons). It could be that you’re looking in the wrong place (user error), there could be a technical glitch (this has been known to happen!), or I may not have ever received the work from you (eek!). Regardless of the issue, I can help you troubleshoot and get you what you need to move forward with the Portfolio, but I can’t help if I don’t know what’s going on. So be in touch if necessary, and sooner rather than later.
  • Some of you have asked about what number grades letter grades correspond to. You can find more about that here: https://www.citytech.cuny.edu/catalog/informations.aspx?Cat_ID=1009 (scroll down to the section entitled “Grade Point Average”)

Keep in mind that, in addition to all of this feedback on formal assignments, you also have a ton of feedback on low-stakes work through posts, comments / class discussions / writing workshops, conferences, peer review, etc. I encourage you to also make use of previous material from the semester (e.g., rhetoric, integrating quotations, reverse outlining, citing, revision, plagiarism, etc.). Simply scroll back on the Schedule and look through previous Weeks’ content and also check out the “Resources” menu on our OpenLab course site. Visiting the City Tech Writing Center is always a great option too!

If you would like additional individualized feedback, please come see me during my Office Hours. To get the most out of conference, review the materials and feedback first.


Speaking of Office Hours …

Office Hours this week are the usual time slot (Thursday, 12/15, 11:30am-12:30pm) along with a pop-up Office Hour on Tuesday (12/13) from 12:00-1:00pm.

Please note that because the last day of the semester is next Wednesday, 12/21, there will be no Thursday office hours next week.

I’ll hold a pop-up Office Hour on Monday (12/19), but since that’s the day before the deadline (and Unit 4 has a number of components, including the reflection and the portfolio), don’t wait until then to get started. If you have questions or want to discuss revisions, best to come this week! I look forward to seeing many of you there.


Ok, on to this week’s low-stakes discussion …

How did last week’s self-care go? What did you do? Did it help? If so, how? How will you continue to incorporate self-care this week?

Remember, self-care doesn’t have to be grandiose (especially with finals, “aint nobody got time for that”!) … the important thing is that you prioritize it in whatever way you can, when you can.

Drop a comment below to share an update about your self-care.

Also in your comment, provide some motivation / inspiration for your classmates in this final push of the semester. A little bit of community & solidarity go a long way!

Comments required by everyone by EOD (end-of-day) today, Monday, 12/12. Looking forward to seeing your thoughts.

Thanks all, happy drafting & revising, good luck with finals, and have a wonderful week 🙂

Unit 4: Final Portfolio & Reflection

In this Writing Workshop, we’ll be exploring & scaffolding the Unit 4: Final Portfolio & Reflection assignment together. As with the Writing Workshops for Units 1-3, I’ll be rolling out content periodically here over a few weeks, as we advance to each stage of the assignment (each week’s content is separated & labeled below).


Week 16

As you know from reading the Unit 4: Final Portfolio & Reflection assignment, this final project focuses on revision & reflection. These are two things that we’ve been focusing on all semester, so you’re very prepared to be successful on Unit 4. Think of all the revision you’ve done, both on informal and formal assignments and through peer review, as well as the significant reflective writing you’ve produced with the Cover Letters for Units 1 & 2 and the Artist Statement from Unit 3. Unit 4 builds on these skills … you got this everyone!

Final Portfolio

The Final Portfolio is mandatory, with required revisions for both Unit 1 and Unit 2 (revisions for Unit 3 are optional). The good news — I fully expect everyone to strengthen this previous work through their revisions! Keep in mind that when you submitted your Education Narrative (Unit 1) back in September, you had just started college and the course. Think of all you’ve learned over the past few months, and how much you’ve grown as a writer and how much confidence and how many skills you’ve acquired. Now you get to re-visit that previous writing from this new (stronger!) place, and make it even better!

Reflection

This Final Reflection is also mandatory. It is a cumulative, holistic reflection on your experiences in the course this semester, including your struggles, triumphs, and growth as a reader, writer, thinker, and student. There is no “right” way to do this, though your reflection should be a thorough and thoughtful piece of writing that that critically reflects on your growth in the course and how this semester and our work together has shaped this growth.

Below are some types on content + organization:

Although this is a personal reflection, it is not “anything goes”; it requires a significant amount of brainstorming / drafting / revision. The assignment requires you to turn a critical eye on the course (which requires you engage with it, even if you did not enjoy all aspects of it!), your experiences, and, most significantly, yourself. You will be evaluated on the completeness, complexity, specifics, and thoughtfulness of your reflections as well as the quality of your writing (e.g., organization, topic sentences, transitions, sentence-level style & correctness).

  • You should write this reflective essay in the first person.
  • This final assignment is reflective but it should also be driven by critical thinking and analysis (subsequent claims and evidence). Remember that the purpose of this reflection is not to merely summarize (simply report what we’ve done in class or what the texts we read are about) or to write about some idea (e.g., growth) in general, but to critically consider how your encounter with the course has influenced you.
  • Keep in mind that, as in your blog posts, Perusall annotations, Class Discussions, peer review … you can’t discuss everything. Spend time choosing and focusing your ideas before you start drafting your Final Reflection.
  • This Final Reflection extends the thinking and writing you have already done in class and in your blogging. Therefore, while you should of course feel free to build on what you have already written this semester in blogs or other informal writing (or what we have discussed in class), do not simply repeat what you have previously stated elsewhere.
  • This Final Reflection builds from your close reading of your experiences and writing in dialogue with the course. Any discussion should stay grounded in the core reflection/discussion of your experiences this semester. As always, choose specific quotes and examples from your own writing (or other course content) that are relevant to your claims and use them in the service of supporting these ideas. Remember that each quote / example should be not only relevant but also introduced, explained and analyzed, relevant, and cited.
  • Structure the Final Reflection according to your argument, avoiding mere summary, on the one hand, and the five-paragraph essay, on the other. When critically discussing your experiences in the courses, you should structure your essay according to your thesis (your argument about your growth in this class), not necessarily according to the order of the experiences or course content themselves. You can describe but you must also analyze and provide argument (make meaning out of those descriptions and analyses).
  • Your Final Reflection should include: a focused Introduction paragraph; body paragraphs that provide additional claims (topic sentences) and specific, concrete details and examples in support of both these claims and your overall thesis (do not keep repeating the same idea over and over again in different ideas); logical connections / transitions among sentences, paragraphs, and ideas (claims); a concluding paragraph.
  • Follow the Assignments: Formatting, Guidelines, and Submission expectations, and the helpful tips/strategies provided below and the materials under Writing Resources.

Grading + Deadlines

First, I want to be super-duper (duper!) clear about the deadline. It is on Tuesday, December 20th (by 11:59pm), and it is a hard deadline. I know I’ve been able to offer you extensions in the past on Units 1-3, but I don’t have that luxury this time around. Faculty have to submit grades to the college just a few days after the semester ends, so 12/20 is non-negotiable. If you do not submit by the deadline to the Dropbox link on the Schedule, you will receive no credit for the work. Late assignments will not be accepted.

A few words on grading, to clarify how Unit 4 factors into your overall course grade. This Final Reflection takes the place of a final exam, and asks you to synthesize and critically describe / evaluate your experiences, efforts, and growth in the course. It counts as 10% of your overall course grade.

As for the Final Portfolio, the super-duper (duper!) good news is that if you earn a better grade on your revision (which I anticipate you will, if you put in the time, effort, and care to revise well), that is the grade that sticks. So, for example, if you earned a B- on your Unit 1 final draft, but your Unit 1 revision for this assignment earns an A, then you get the A. It completely overrides the previous grade. That means that you can significantly increase your course grade by 40% (because Unit 1 & 2 were each worth 20%). This is my way of rewarding those of you who worked consistently this semester — I told you to trust in and commit to the process … it really works!

Of course, the flip side of this is true too: if you don’t submit a revision or completely blow it off and only change a few typos, your grade can go down too (and that is the grade that sticks).

*Note: revisions are only accepted for previously submitted work. So if you missed an assignment, you can’t revise it at this point. The Final Portfolio showcases revision, process, and progress (not last-minute submissions of long overdue work). trusted in and committed to the process.

If you missed one of these assignments (Unit 1 or Unit 2), please see me ASAP in my Office Hours to discuss your situation and options for moving forward. Please note that if you missed two major assignments (Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 3) it will not be possible to pass the course at this point.

Engage & Receive Support

Once you’ve read through this week’s Writing Workshop content, drop a comment below with any questions or comments, and to share how your plan for working on Unit 4 through early next week (this is required by 12pm on F 12/9).

Friendly reminder that I’ve pushed back the first draft of the Final Reflection to mid-next week (you’re welcome!) to give you more time to review all your previous work and to draft new content, but that means you should be making good use of this weekend to make significant progress (there is only one more weekend after this one before the deadline!).

As always, I’m here to help and support you with your portfolios & reflection. If you would like to discuss your revisions or reflection draft, drop in to one of my Office Hours (I’ll be offering a few additional Pop-Up options before the end of the semester too, to give you more options to come see me). It’s been so lovely to have so many of you come to see me this semester to conference — I welcome you to continue doing so as we move through this final push of the semester 🙂


Week 17

Thanks to those of you who submitted your first draft of the Final Reflection this week — hoping Peer Review on those drafts goes well! I also was glad to see your Unit 4 Progress Posts roll through. Some of you could definitely use some more clarity & specificity in your plans for revision. I encourage you to re-visit the Time Management resources & tips in the Week 13 Class Discussion to help you plan realistically for finishing up this project.

Additional Revision Notes

Please note, too, that in terms of the new drafts of your previous Units 1 & 2, your revision should be substantial. Everyone has lots of room for improvement, and while I provided detailed feedback for you on your work, of course I could not address everything that could be improved. So turn your own critical eye back on your own writing, using all the skills you’ve learned this semester, and really work on that revision!

Speaking of substantive revision, you also want to make sure that the final draft of your Final Reflection is thoroughly updated to reflect all the revisions and progress you made as you work to revise & create your Final Portfolio. This means that you should return to your Final Reflection again and again (writing is a process!), and revise it thoroughly even after your Unit 1 and 2 Revisions are done.

Additional Helpful Resources

Consult these resources to support you in Unit 4:

  • Portfolio presentation (from Professor Carrie Hall, City Tech’s Director of First Year Writing)
  • Here is a Reflection Planning document, to help you as you revise your prior work for your Portfolio and to incorporate the work you did for those revisions into your Final Reflection:
  • Definitely go back and revisit your blog post (from Week 2!) that you wrote to your end-of-the-semester self. It’s wild to think about, but you are now that end-of-the-semester self that you wrote to (you are both author and intended audience!). See how far you’ve come!
  • Review the Plagiarism resources provided earlier this semester (see both the Schedule and Syllabus for more details). Note: any material that is plagiarized automatically receives a zero and will be reported to the college (as required by college policy). If you have any questions about plagiarism, please see me in my Office Hours to discuss.

Key Unit 4 Details & Logistics

Last week’s Workshop material (Week 16) here had a lot of important content about logistics too, so please take time to review that. Below are some additional details about wrapping up Unit 4:

  • For Unit 4, you are submitting three distinct files to the Dropbox link on the Schedule page (more, if you choose to include the optional Unit 3 Revision): 1) Final Reflection; 2) Unit 1 Revision; 3) Unit 2 Revision. [note: each of these files has multiple components — keep on reading for more details!]
  • The Final Reflection should be substantive (1000-1500 words).
  • Include a Cover Letter for your Final Reflection that describes in detail your draft / revision process (Note: as always, Cover Letters are required but don’t count towards the assignment word count).
  • For Unit 1 and Unit 2, make sure to include: 1) a paragraph (aka, a new Cover Letter) that describes in detail your revisions for this final (final) draft of the Unit; 2) your previous grade / my written feedback on the assignment (copy/paste this directly over from OpenLab Gradebook); 3) the new Final (final) draft of the Unit; 4) the previous Final Draft (that you submitted earlier the semester). The order should be as listed above. Including all these items (and clearly labeling them) helps me immensely to evaluate your work as process and portfolio, as well as the quality of your revisions. *Portfolios that do not include all FOUR of these items — 1) Cover Letter; 2) prior grade/my feedback; 3) new Final Draft; 4) previously submitted final draft — will not be accepted.
  • As for the “paragraph” at the beginning of each revised Unit, this is basically a new Cover Letter. But it should be solely focused on the revisions you did for this final draft. The Cover Letter paragraph should be substantive, and must directly address the changes you made, and my written feedback and any conferences with me. Of course, you are welcome to write more than one paragraph (and I encourage it!). These Cover Letters are a crucial (and empowered/empowering!) part of your Final Portfolio: in them, you are guiding me through the Portfolio, and the more you can show me and highlight your intentional and thoughtful revisions, the better it will be all-around. If I have to scour both drafts and look for teeny changes here or there, that will be much more difficult (and, trust me, less successful for you!).
  • The Unit 4 Final Draft will be submitted via Dropbox. The Dropbox link will go live on Monday, 12/19 on the Schedule for Week 18. I really want everyone to take all the time provided to work on revisions and the reflection: if you think you’re done, put the work away for a day or two, and then come back to it with fresh eyes. And definitely, give everything an additional read through (at least 1x, but ideally 2-3x), reading aloud slowly to edit and proofread. This is a good way to catch sentence-level errors, and to do final polishing of your work. These little details matter … remember, you want to put forward the best version of yourself and your work!
  • You will submit multiple files to the Dropbox link for Unit 4, all clearly-labeled and as Word documents: the Final Reflection, Unit 1 Revision (mandatory), Unit 2 revision (mandatory), Unit 3 (revision optional). Make sure each file has all required components (see details above)

Engage & Receive Support

Please note that my final Office Hour of the Fall 2022 semester will be a Pop-Up Office Hour this coming Monday (12/19), 10:00-11:00am. It’s listed on the Schedule (for Week 18) already, and I want to give you a heads-up here so that if you want to come to see me to discuss anything about your work in the course, you should plan ahead.

I’m happy to discuss drafts and revisions in my Office Hours, but it will not be possible to provide written feedback at this late date (e.g., over email). So if you want additional feedback, come see me on Monday 10:00-11:00am, or on Thursday (12/15) in this week’s regularly scheduled Office Hour (11:30am-12:30pm).

Required Comments by 12pm (noon) on Friday, 12/16: Any questions at all, about anything related to Unit 4. Now is the time to ask them, so use the space below for that. If you don’t have any questions, then in a comment simply confirm you’ve read and reviewed everything related to Unit 4 and you’re good to go.

Thanks all, and happy revising 🙂

Week 16: Monday, December 5 – Sunday, December 11

Hi everyone, and happy Monday!

First, my apologies for today’s announcement coming out slightly later than expected … I had technical difficulties this morning, but thankfully it’s all been sorted out!

Second, thanks to all who submitted their Unit 3 final drafts by the deadline last night. I was excited to see them all roll in, and am especially enjoying checking out your new genre compositions!

Third, we’re in the serious home stretch of the semester now, with just a few weeks left. This week launches our final unit (Unit 4), which takes a holistic approach to the work we’ve done together this semester. It also prioritizes deep and meaningful revision & reflection.

We kick off this week with some new readings and resources on revision, as well as a review of work we’ve done in that area all that semester. On Wednesday, we’ll do a deep-dive into Unit 4 and begin drafting work for that final project. Links to the Unit 4 assignment, writing workshop, and draft will go live on Wednesday.


As always, I’m available to provide additional support to you on this final project. Comment below with any questions, or send me an email.

Please note that, in addition to my regular weekly Office Hours on Thursday (12/8) 11:30am-12:30pm, I’m offering a pop-up office hour this week on Wednesday, (12/7) 3:00-4:00pm. Feel free to come by either day (or both days!) to discuss your Unit 4 plans, revisions of previous work, or anything else related to your work in the course.

I welcome (and strongly encourage) everyone, as always, to come conference with me in my Office Hours. We can cover so much ground in just a few minutes there, and it’s always a joy to connect with you all individually and to discuss your writing.


And speaking of joy …

It was so very lovely to see your “joy” comments from last week — thank you for sharing!

As I mentioned last week, I know that this time of the year (and semester) can be quite difficult: feelings of stress, burnout, & overwhelm all creep in. In times like these, it’s crucial to take care of ourselves so that we can stay healthy, grounded, and happy. Let’s get ahead of things by sharing tips for self-care with this week’s low-stakes discussion.

Do you practice self-care? If so, what are your self-care routines? What is one new thing you’d like to try to promote your self-care? When can you incorporate this new self-care practice this week? (make sure you choose something that’s do-able, since next week you’re going to report back on what you did & how it went)

As always, everyone should comment at least once, by EOD (end of day) today, Monday, 12/5.

Thanks all, and have a wonderful week đź™‚

Unit 3 Peer Review

Thank you to those of you who submitted your first drafts of the Unit 3: Writing in a New Genre assignment. Just as we did with Units 1 and 2, we’re going to use peer review to get feedback and guide revision for the final draft. Feedback on your peers’ work is due by noon (12pm) on Friday, 12/2. 

Thank you for sticking to this deadline, so that everyone has sufficient time to work on revisions over the weekend.


After reading & annotating this post, please go back to review the Unit 1 Peer Review Writing Workshop, which has important information about Peer Review (purpose, expectation, grading, Peer Review worksheet, etc.) that also applies to this and future peer review assignments. Make sure, also, to review the Unit 3 Assignment (especially the Artist Statement Guidelines), and the Unit 3 Writing Workshop (including the student work examples I provided). When reviewing your peers’ work, pay attention to the following:

  • Is the new genre piece effective for the intended audience, genre, & publication?
  • Does the new genre piece follow (apply) the conventions of the chosen genre?
  • Is the research incorporated effectively / accurately (including integration of quotations and citations)?
  • Does the Artist’s Statement have all the required components?
  • Is the work organized effectively / cohesively? Pay attention to things such as the order of paragraphs, topic sentences, transitions … reverse outline will be helpful!
  • What was your experience reading the project?
  • What did you learn? What were you confused by?

One of the best things about peer review is that as we become more skilled readers of others’ writing, we also can turn that critical eye to our on writing. So after you peer review your group members’ writing, go back and do the peer review on yourself. You’ll be amazed at the progress / revisions you can make!


Just like before, Peer Review will be happening in Perusall. I have created “Assignments” for each of the first drafts, so go to the two essays you are assigned to, and complete the work from there.

There is also a new “folder” in the Perusall Library, entitled “Student Work: Writing in a New Genre First Drafts” (look within the “Unit 3″ folder): each students who submitted work has two files there. Make sure to review & peer review both files (the new genre piece & the accompanying Artist’s Statement).

As always, you can view all submitted first drafts, but you are each only responsible for peer-reviewing two projects (see below for your assigned groups).

*Note: If you did not submit a first draft by the deadline (W 11/30 by 12pm), you will not get the benefit of peer review. However, you are still part of a peer review group, and are responsible for reading and commenting on your two assigned essays. Peer Review groups are listed below.


[Submitted Unit 3: Writing in a New Genre projects, which will be peer-reviewed]

Brandon

The following students should peer-review Brandon’s Unit 3 work:

  • Tahani
  • Logan
  • Neal
  • Jamani
  • Khandoker
  • Syed Abbas
  • McKayla
  • Aniyla
  • Zavier

Henry

The following students should peer-review Henry’s Unit 3 work:

  • Neal
  • Brandon
  • Holaly
  • Jamani
  • Destiny
  • Syed Ali
  • Sebastian
  • David
  • Jeffrey

Neal

The following students should peer-review Neal’s Unit 3 work:

  • Brandon
  • Henry
  • Holaly
  • Tahani
  • Destiny
  • Syed Ali
  • McKayla
  • Jeffrey

Tahani

The following students should peer-review Tahani’s Unit 3 work:

  • Khandoker
  • Henry
  • Brandon
  • Logan
  • Syed Abbas
  • Sebastian
  • David
  • Zavier
  • Aniyla

Week 15: Monday, November 28 – December 4

Hi everyone, and happy Monday! I hope that you all are coming back from the long weekend feeling a bit more restored.

It’s hard to believe, but the end of this week is December!! That means we’re in the final push of the semester, with just under 4 weeks left. I’ll be sharing the work / plans for the final portion of the semester next week, but for now, we’re going to focus entirely on finishing up your Unit 3 projects.

Full first drafts of Unit 3 (both your New Genre piece & your Artist’s Statement) are due Wednesday at noon (12pm). The rest of the week will be devoted to Peer Review of this work and revision of drafts. I want you to be as successful as possible in your revision and turn in the most polished final drafts you can, so I’m extending the deadline for Unit 3 final drafts to Sunday, 12/4 at 11:59pm. The Schedule has been updated accordingly.

It’s important that you submit your work (both first and final drafts, as well as feedback for your peers) by the stated deadlines. If you have any questions about how to submit your Unit 3 projects via Dropbox (the Schedule provides instructions, but you may want additional clarification since it involves two files this time around), make sure to ask well in advance of the deadlines.


I’m available to provide additional support to you as you work on finalizing your Unit 3 projects through Friday afternoon. Comment below with any questions, or send me an email. I’m also back to my regularly weekly Office Hours this week, and you’re all welcome there on Thursday (11:30am-12:30pm) to discuss your Unit 3 projects or anything else related to your work in the course.

A friendly reminder, also that, re-visiting the available resources for this Unit will be helpful: the Unit 3 assignment, Unit 3 Writing Workshop, Time Management Class Discussion, and the Know-Your-Publication and Know-Your-Mentor Text Writing Workshops. I encourage you to also make use of previous material from the semester (e.g., integrating quotations, reverse outlining, citing, revision, plagiarism, etc.) — you can simply scroll back on the Schedule and look through previous Weeks’ content and also visit the “Resources” menu on our OpenLab course site.


Finally, it was lovely to see your gratitude comments from last week — thank you for sharing!

I know that this time of the year (and semester) can be quite difficult: feelings of stress, burnout, & overwhelm all creep in. In times like these, it’s important to connect with the positive emotions and experiences that sustain us and that help to buffer against these more challenging emotions. With that in mind, for this week’s low-stakes discussion, we’ll be exploring joy.

Drop a comment to share something that brings you joy, & why. It can be anything, big or small, as long as it’s something that fills you with joy. I encourage you to add media (images, videos, audio, artwork, etc.) to your comment to better communicate your joy.

As always, everyone should comment at least once, by EOD (end of day) today, Monday, 11/28.

Thanks all, and have a wonderful week 🙂

Week 14: Monday, November 21 – Sunday, November 27

Hi everyone, and happy Monday!

First up, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page re: calendar / logistics. This week is an abridged week for us, since the College is closed (with no classes scheduled) starting Thursday due to the holiday. That means that we only have one work deadline for this week (instead of the usual two): Wednesday (11/23) at noon.

Your primary focus this week is continuing to draft your Unit 3 projects. To support you, there is new content in the Unit 3 Writing Workshop and a new Class Discussion exploring “mentor texts” (both require student participation).

I know it can be tempting to just put off this work, but don’t let the deadline creep up on you: complete drafts (the new genre piece + your Artist’s Statement) will be due the week we return from Thanksgiving break so that we have time to peer review that work. If you need inspiration and tips for staying on track, re-visit last week’s Time Management Workshop.


Since the College is closed on Thursday, I won’t be holding my regular Office Hours that day. If you have any questions or need anything, comment below or reach out via email as soon as possible. I’ll be checking in / replying to students through Wednesday afternoon, and then will reply to any messages again the following Monday after we return from break.

Speaking of break, wishing you all lovely long weekend: may you use the break (Thursday – Sunday) to rest, recharge, and catch up on any work as needed.


This is a week that many people celebrate thanks-giving (they give thanks for the things in their life). So for this week’s low-stakes discussion, we’ll be exploring gratitude (another critical component of self-care). Research has consistently shown that regularly practicing gratitude is strongly correlated with increased well-being.

Drop a comment to share something you’re grateful for, & why. It can be anything, big or small, as long as it’s something for which you are authentically thankful.

As always, everyone should comment at least once, by EOD (end of day) today, Monday, 11/21.

Thanks all, and have a wonderful week 🙂

Know Your Mentor Text

This is a follow-up exercise to the “Know Your Publication” activity we did last week. This week’s exercise involves studying a “mentor text,” or a particular source (in a particular genre, for a particular publication) that uses a similar style that you’re working on for your Unit 3 piece.

With the “Know Your Publication” activity, you looked at publications and online forums where you might want to publish or present your work. Now, let’s look a little closer. Go back to this site (magazine, webpage, YouTube channel, etc.) and find a specific source that you like. This source should not be about your topic — that’s now what we’re looking at it for at this point. You’re just looking at what features (conventions) make this text fit this publication (and this genre!)  This can be an article, TED Talk, YouTube video, etc.

*Remember: You’re not looking for any old text. You’re looking for an article that can be published in the magazine you want your work to be published in, or a YouTube video that fits on the channel you want your video to go on, etc. This should be a source you want to emulate.


Once you find your “mentor text,” answer the following questions:

  • What tone/ type of language does this example use?
  • How does this source use research? (e.g., do they quote from outside sources, use a lot of statistics, etc.)
  • What can you tell us about this source visually (and auditorily, if applicable)? Does it use a lot of imagery and color? Is the layout very clean? Is there a soundtrack?
  • How long is it? (words, pages, minutes)
  • Who do you think is the audience of this source? What makes you think that?
  • What aspects of this source would you like to emulate in your own writing? Why? How might you do that?
  • What aspects of this source would you like to avoid in your own writing? Why? How will you do that?

Share your answers with the class by leaving them as a comment on this post by W 11/23 at 12pm (noon). Don’t forget to state, at the beginning of your comment:

  • what your topic is
  • who your intended audience is
  • what genre you’re using for Unit 3
  • what publication/forum you’ve looked at (provide a link too!)
  • the mentor text (don’t forget the link!)

Extra Credit Opportunity: TEDxCUNY Student Speaker Competition

I know I mentioned Ted Talks as one of the possible genres for Unit 3, and … guess what showed up in my inbox today?! A CUNY-wide student TEDx Talk competition!!

I encourage all of you to apply, and to share your voice and ideas (and new genre composing skills!) more broadly.

And, to sweeten the deal, I’ll offer extra credit to anyone who creates & shares a video pitch here on our OpenLab site. Don’t forget to explore & learn the “TED Talks” genre conventions (and TEDxCUNY audience needs/expectations) so that you can tailor your pitch in the most appropriate / effective way!

The only caveat is that you’ll have to post your pitch by the last day of classes (W 12/21) so that I’ll have time to see it and give you the grade boost! Of course, if you post earlier, you can get some great feedback from me & your peers before submitting to the competition. And if it turns out you ultimately decide to not submit to the competition formally, that’s OK too — at least you went through the creation process and learned something along the way! [Categorize as “TEDxCUNY” and make sure to title your post with the–hopefully catchy!!–title of your planned TEDxCUNY Talk]

Below is the information I’ve received from City Tech Communications about the competition. You can learn more about TedxCUNY (the host of the competition) here: https://www.tedxcuny.com/


TEDxCUNY is hosting a Student Speaker Competition open to all CUNY students. The competition is an opportunity for students to speak on the TEDxCUNY stage, share their passion, ideas, work, or any valuable lessons with the CUNY community.

Students interested in applying should submit a 2-minute video introducing themselves and pitching their TEDxCUNY Talk idea. The video can be emailed to tedxcuny@gmail.com with the subject line “2023 Student Speaker Pitch.”

Please share with any students who may be interested.

The deadline to apply is December 30th, 2022.

For more information, visit https://www.tedxcuny.com/ssc.

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