Monthly Archives: March 2019

Reflections on 3/27

I am often interested in the idea of how one’s knowledge or experience shapes us—in many spaces and experiences, one can ponder this question (of course)–we can extend this to this to a discussion of what it means to be open as a thinker, student, scholar, etc., as well as what it means to resist a thought. This was especially interesting to me from the Reiff and Bawarashi reading and I liked that we all responded (on some level) to this notion of “novice”. It seems to me that we always have to rely on our and students’ previous knowledge and experiences, yet at the same time, be able to “let go” of certain teachings or ideas when we encounter a new writing situation (or any other new situation perhaps). I think that the same holds true for what it means to be an attentive and open reader. Therefore, I began (as I mentioned during the meeting) to think about Daoist and other famous statements about how our knowledge should ultimately make us realize that we always need to be open to more learning, yet so often, what we know makes us resistant, makes us stuck or lack flexibility, etc. On a practical level, this is also helpful for me throughout this PD because it is so important to be able to let go of what we became used to teaching—so often it is hard to not teach certain texts, lessons, etc, that we “have always taught”. I could not help but think of what we have all been saying about concerns about teaching differently, this PD, bringing in new approaches, etc.  My point here is that this reading ended up being helpful in different, unexpected ways—we can all benefit by thinking of ourselves as novices or beginners, even if we might be considered experts in our fields.

Summary of our March 27 Meeting

I enjoyed seeing all of you. I missed you, in fact. My brief reflection, as follows, in backwards order:

Next time (Apr 3), we get to talk about the Multi-Modal Project. First. And we get to brainstorm as well as set up some parameters for ourselves.

Tasks and rhetorical analysis were discussed vis the recently assigned Reiff and Bawarshi reading, squared with the reality of how our current 1121 students approach genre. We all seemed to like the reading. We all seemed to feel that it affirmed the new way that 1101 is now slated to carry a greater load of Genre Unit work. We like that Genre is being split down the middle between 1101 and 1121 — bridging the courses, if you will. We aren’t sure exactly how to word that split for future cohorts yet, but we feel confident, based on real-time, this-semester experience, that it’s the right thing to do. Bravo.

Our colleagues in the department may not be so happy-go-lucky as ourselves. They may need a FAQ sheet to calm down and address their concerns as we invite them to join the ranks of New 1121 Adopters. Greater minds than mine will be writing this sheet, and I will swoop in and comment in some pithy way on it. Heck, I may even help.

We used the nifty Keurig machine a lot. That’s because it helps us think and makes us feel special.

Carrie looked nice in her scarf. She presided, until a very tan Robert entered. Well, even after he entered.

Reverse summary done.


5th PD Seminar, Wardle “Intractable Writing Programs”

Schedule Update

April 3  (5th Meeting)
April 17
May 1
May 8 
Announcements: Please upload your literacy narratives to the google drive link.  This link is hot and working.  If you get an error message, sign into Google with the following info
Reflections from 5th PD Seminar, do so in the post below.
Please post reflections for today in the comments in this post.

Reading for today is Wardle’s “Intractable Writing Program Problems, Kairos, and Writing about Writing: A Profile of the University of Central Florida’s First-Year Composition Program.”

Please print and bring. Question for your consideration. Pick one thing from the reading (I encourage you to review the Appendices as they are super practical), and post a response in the comments about how that one thing is helpful for teaching or for program design.


For Next Time: 

  1. Write reflections on today’s PD seminar in the comments below.
  2. Please write a New Post where you discuss what is going on in your classes, where you are with the curriculum, what you’re noticing from your students, what’s working and what’s not. Use the category Teaching.
  3. Leave comments before the next meeting for each other.

Posts due April 10th, comments on each other’s posts due next meeting April 18th.

Reading for PD Wed., 3/27 3 pm N321, 4th Seminar

Hi folks,
We’ll be reading this piece by Reiff and Bawarashi. Rather than writing individual blog posts as a response, please posts your responses below in the comments section. We’d be interested to hear the connections between the reading and your own teaching this semester.

Our meeting is scheduled in the Dean’s conference room, not in the President’s room. If anything changes I’ll be sure to let you know. See you Wed!

Update of Curriculum

  1. Review revised assignments for 1101 and 1121
    1. 1101
      1. Lit Narrative
      2. Researched Rhetorical Analysis
      3. Genre Project
  1. 1121
    1. Genre and Discourse Community Project
    2. Inquiry Based Argument Project
    3. Repurposed Multi-modal project
Angel Footsteps

Stepping In

I have no idea which of you introduced me to the phrase “stepping in” in terms of composition, but I am stealing it from you and, maybe, using it in a different way. Thank you, though.

In class, yesterday, I used “stepping in” as a phrase for, initially, the transition from the unit on discourse communities to the one on the argumentative essay. As I talked, I realized that “stepping in” could do much more for me and for the students than I had originally imagined.

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My first month story includes no “Narrative”

So I realize that I’m guilty. I didn’t really do a Literacy Narrative in my UNIT 1. I think/hope that I can take forward those skills that I fostered with my UNIT 1.

Intuition. Recognizing how we are all hardwired with language — and how to re-wire ourselves, create different pathways.  Self actualization: its benefits, and a little bit of How to Do It — how writing can be a tool for it. How scary and powerful writing is. It’s not safe. It’s also totally accessible.

In addition to the feedback I got from the classes, this is what I, personally, am telling you I felt we got.

Nobody really taught me how to access my own intuition in an English Class environment. I learned that in the arts and in the performing arts.

I also have long done a “literacy narrative” lecture of my own. Only, I didn’t know that’s what it was called. And I’ve done it late in the semester, not early. I will try to cycle all this around, like some sort of charcoal in a fish tank.

Thanks for reading. I’ve found all your writing so inspiring on Literacy Narrative. Now, I (the teacher) know what it is.That’s a start for next time.

P.S. We talked a lot about Process. Still, it’s not the same.

UNIT 2, here I come.

Compiling a List of Genres

Hi Folks,

So I’m working on compiling a list of usable, visible, practical genres for our students. I’d appreciate if you’d add any you can think of in the comments.


Spotify “About the Artists
Police Blotter  Brooklyn Daily
Death Announcements
Urban dictionary entries and Sample Sentences
Mug writing
SNL Weekend Update Jokes
Movie/Show synopsis (NYT Watching)
You Write the Cartoon Caption
Questions and Answers to Judge John Hodgson (A Twist on the Advice Column)


New York Times Best of Late Night
New York Times Morning Briefings
Book Back Cover Copy
Time Out New York News
Our Favorite Songs Playlist

Game Guides and Walkthroughs
Band Interviews 


Siberian ice

Thawing Siberia

One of the things I have become attuned to in the classroom is  what Ira Shor refers to as “Siberia.” I’ve had to; we all have. The row of disaffected and suspicious young men, often African-American, at the rear of the classroom. One of Shor’s strategies is to walk back and speak to the class from next to them. That doesn’t work for me, but I do have ways of addressing the problem that do–sometimes. An experience in one of my 1121 sections over the past week shows that one of them, at least, can work.

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