Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Category: Announcements (Page 1 of 3)

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 🙂

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 🙂

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:

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 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

Week 13: Monday, November 14 – Sunday, November 20

Hi everyone, and happy Monday! I hope you all have lovely, restorative weekends.

Thanks to all of you for your work last week: annotations in Perusall on “Annoying Ways People Use Sources” & your blogs in response as well as your Unit 3 Writing Workshop comments & proposals.

This week we’re working to clarify (with as much specificity as possible) the particular audience & genre of your Unit 3 piece, better under publication venues, and then make some real progress on planning & drafting that piece.

The first half of this week is focused on peer reviewing one another’s posts from last week, and using this discussion to further revise & focus your Unit 3 projects. There is also new content (and comments required) in the Unit 3 Writing Workshop.

I’ve enjoyed reading your Week 12 work, and I’m looking forward to continuing the conversations around integrating sources effectively and clarifying your Unit 3 audience & genre. The Week 13 Schedule offers detailed guidance on the Unit 3 Proposals Peer Review, but here I want to offer some additional thoughts on integrating sources to help guide you through your peer review of the Stedman response blogs (which included a paragraph integrating your quotable from Unit 2). I’ll also be pinging the Perusall discussion of the Stedman piece over the next few days, to further discuss it there.

In “Annoying Ways People Use Sources,” Stedman discusses readers’ “pickiness” (243) and, as a writer, your need to anticipate and accommodate that. He reminds us that “the conventions of writing have a fundamentally rhetorical nature. [. . .]. One of the fundamental ideas of rhetoric is that speakers/writers/composers shape what they say/write/create based on what they want it to do, where they’re publishing it, and what they know about their audience/readers” (244). In essence, he’s highlighting awareness of the rhetorical situation: your audience and the appropriateness of your delivery and message.

He offers a variety of common pitfalls and then “fixes” for how to address them. For example, he share useful strategies such as signaling the quote, identifying the author, and showing your reader how to interpret the quote (255). Throughout the piece, Stedman argues that we should be intentional about when/why/what/how we quote, and make those intentions clear in our writing.

Of course, this isn’t our first time thinking about quotations. We spent a lot of time already, especially in Unit 2, thinking about how to identify and then integrate quotations effectively into our research (remember the “quote sandwich” and the Perusall reading, “The Art of Quoting”?). We’ve discussed the importance of not doing a drive-by with your quote, throwing it in and then moving on. Again, the quote needs to have a reason for being in your writing, and it’s your responsibility as a writer to make clear what that reason is (throughout introducing, analyzing, explaining, and citing it).

It’s been wonderful to see you all level-up your quoting game these past few months, and to more seamlessly and skillfully weave together your ideas with those presented in other sources. Use this Peer Review to continue to hone your quoting skills!

Later in the week, there is another Writing Workshop on exploring publication venues for various genres, individual work on drafting you new genre piece, and a post due that shares your progress & plan for successfully completing the Unit 3 assignment over the next few weeks.

We’re in the home stretch of the semester (when things can start to feel really overwhelming!), so it’s going to be equally important to prioritize both time management and self-care going forward. We’ll be addressing the first of these (time management) in a Class Discussion later this week, and then next week more explicitly exploring self-care (though I’d argue that effectively managing your time is a form of self-care!). I’m looking forward to sharing and receiving advice in these spaces over the next few weeks, and to finding additional ways to support one another.

As always, all details about all the work are posted on the Schedule page.

If you have questions, drop a comment below, send me an email, &/or come to see me in my Office Hours.

I welcome all of you to come discuss your Unit 3 projects (& anything else!) with me individually. My next regular Office Hour is this Thursday, 11/17 11:30am-12:30pm, but you can always email me to set up an alternate time to meet if you have a conflict.

Last but not least … this week’s low-stakes class discussion!

In the spirit of stepping out of our comfort zones & composing in new genres, I’m mixing it up: this week we’ll all going to experiment with writing haikus (me too!).

A haiku is a (very short) Japanese poetry form that has strict formal requirements: three lines composed of 17 total syllabus (the syllable pattern is 5/7/5). [You can learn more about haikus & find examples at]

Don’t be fooled! Haikus are deceptively simple but often intricate & profound. Just because they are short doesn’t mean they are easy to write … but they can be really fun & really beautiful.

Allow yourself to play around with words & immerse yourself in the loveliness of language! Poetry is not just about what is said (the content), but how it sounds, so as you compose / revise, read your haiku aloud to yourself.

Post a comment here by Tuesday (11/15) to share your haiku with the class. In the comment, make sure to include:

  • the haiku (as written text)
  • an audio file of yourself reading the haiku (no fancy A/V skills needed — you can use your phone to record the few-second clip)

I’m excited to see / hear your creations! Thanks all, and have a wonderful week 🙂

Week 12: Monday, November 7 – Sunday, November 13

Hi everyone, and happy Monday!

Before we get into this week’s work, a friendly reminder that tomorrow (Tuesday, November 8) is Election Day, so if you haven’t already (and you are eligible to do so), please remember to vote! Your voice and vote matter!

Congrats on finishing another formal assignment — that’s awesome! You should be proud of yourselves for successfully making it through the research component of the course (that’s always a challenging one).

I’m really looking forward to reading through the final drafts of your Unit 2 assignment, and to having us continue the work on these topics through this next assignment. So let’s get into Unit 3 …

Throughout the semester, we’ve been exploring texts and sources from variety of different genres. In Unit 3, you’ll be writing about the topic you researched in Unit 2 for an audience of your choosing– so now it’s time to think about what genre you think will best reach your audience!

The Unit 3: Writing in a New Genre assignment is up, as is a new Writing Workshop to guide you through the process. There is also a reading posted in Perusall for you to read and annotate, and there is a blog due in response. Later this week, you’ll be sharing your Unit 3 proposals.

As always, all details are posted on the Schedule page.

If you have questions, drop a comment below, send me an email, &/or come to see me in my Office Hours on Thursday. Please note the time change for that this week’s Office Hours: they are on Th 11/10 from 10:00-11:00am.

This week’s low-stakes class discussion is an open mic, so share anything you’d like, on any front. The only requirement is that everyone should drop a comment here by EOD (end-of-day) Monday (11/7) to get in the Week 12 discussion.

Thanks all, and have a wonderful week 🙂

“Plan Week” is THIS Week!

Hi everyone,

Today is the first day of City Tech’s Plan Week (October 31 – November 4), the time to get ready to meet with your advisor to discuss registration and plan next steps in your college careers.

See the attached e-flyer for more details, and definitely do stop by LG18 or V217 to get involved. You can also check out the Faculty Advisors website, where you will find email addresses for scheduling advisement appointments.

Thanks, and happy planning 🙂

Plan Week

Week 11: Monday, October 31 – Sunday, November 6

Hi everyone, and happy (Halloween!) Monday 🙂

This week I’ve decided to go back to a written announcement post, though I will incorporate more audio files going forward (I will also try to do a mix of both to accommodate different learning styles, preferences, and needs). Thanks to all for your feedback on that front!

As you know, this is the final week of Unit 2, and the entire week is devoted to finishing the content, compiling and revising the assignment, peer reviewing drafts, and then further revising, editing, and proofreading.

Hopefully you took my advice and have been working on the final source entry, conclusion, and compilation of the whole document, so you are reading to hit the ground running this week (that is all due by Wednesday at noon).

There are already additional resources posted in the Unit 2 Writing Workshop, and I’ll be making a Unit 2 Peer Review post Wednesday afternoon (after you submit your first drafts, and I can go in and create peer review groups and content based on submissions).

We are on a tight schedule this week, and it’s super-important that you submit your work on time. Please note that if you do not submit your first draft of Unit 2 by the deadline (12pm on W 11/2), you will not get the benefit of peer review on your work (though you will still be responsible for peer reviewing your classmates’ work).

But, in happy news, I have decided to extend the final deadline for the Unit 2 assignment from Friday, November 4th at 12:00pm to Sunday, November 6th at midnight (11:59pm), so you’ll have the entire weekend to continue to work on revisions and polish your work. Woohoo!!!

As always, all details are posted on the Schedule page.

I’m excited to see your projects reach the finish line, and I’m here to support you through this final Unit 2 push! If you have questions, drop a comment below, send me an email, &/or come to see me in my Office Hours.

If you need help or want to discuss anything, please make sure to be in touch with me as soon as possible (but definitely before Friday afternoon, as I won’t be checking email over the weekend, and the final draft is due Sunday night). We can always cover much more ground in a quick meeting than we can otherwise, so I encourage you to drop in to my Office Hours on Thursday (11:30am-12:30pm) to discuss your Unit 2 assignments &/or your midterm grades.

Don’t forget this week’s community-building activity!

What are your thoughts on Halloween? Love it? Hate it? Excuse to eat all-the-candy? Dressing up? Have kids or family members with whom you’re getting into the holiday spirit? Into ghosts & witches? Think the whole thing is a commodified waste of time / money? Have any Halloween traditions of your own?

You can share anything you’d like (including photos, links, stories, thoughts) that’s Halloween-related. The only requirement is that everyone should drop a comment here by EOD (end-of-day) Monday to get in the (spooky!) Week 11 discussion.

Thanks all, and have a wonderful week 🙂

Midterm Grades

Hi everyone,

The college requires faculty to assign students “midterm grades” at the midway point of the semester, to give them an indication of how they are doing in the course overall.

The midterm grades are as follows:

P=Passing work
BL= Borderline
SA=Stopped Attending

Your midterm grades are available via the OpenLab Gradebook. You can access the OpenLab Gradebook two ways:

  1. Click on the link entitled “Check Your Grade” (under COURSE GRADEBOOK) on the right sidebar of our course homepage
  2. Go to your Dashboard on our course site and then going to OpenLab GradeBook (in left sidebar).

In either case, you need to be logged in to view your grades. An individual student’s grades are only visible to that student and to me.

Sometimes in OpenLab Gradebook I will leave comments with the grade. If so, the chat bubble will be darkened / blue — please make sure to click that and see my notes for further feedback.

If you received a BL (borderline), U (unsatisfactory), or SA (stopped attending) grade, I strongly encourage you to come to my Office Hours ASAP to discuss your work and progress in the course, and for us to develop strategies to make sure you are successful going forward.

Of course, anyone who received a P (passing) is also welcome to email me to schedule a conference. I’m happy to discuss your work and provide additional feedback on your writing and participation at any point in the semester.

Professor Belli

Week 10: Monday, October 24 – Sunday, October 30

Hi everyone, and happy Monday 🙂

I’ve made an audio file for this week’s Announcement post … I hope you enjoy it!

Week 10 Announcement (Professor Belli)

Please listen & annotate, and then drop your questions & (required) comments below — you’ll find this week’s prompt at the end of the post. As always, all details are posted on the Schedule page.

*Please note the following correction: at the end of the file, I state that midterm grades will be posted on Thursday, 10/28 — Thursday’s date is actually 10/27.

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