Author: Sarah Schmerler (Page 2 of 5)

Library Day Section 106

Hi Mon night class (Section106E). The Library Information Session that was scheduled on the snow day is rescheduled for tomorrow, Mon 25, at 6PM. Please meet me outside the Library, where we will take roll. We will then proceed to the library’s classroom with our Librarian, Dr. Berger.

UNIT 2 Posts So Far

Low-stakes assignment Posts for UNIT 2 as of April 1:

Reflection on “Shitty First Drafts” by Annie Lamott and Reflection on “Navigating Genres” by Kerry Dirk

Posted  under the Category UNIT 2: Assignment 1

A written “recipe” for a skill/something you do well

Posted under Category UNIT 2 Assignment 2

(For Section 439 Only): A written “recipe” for how to sustain a relationship

Posted under Category UNIT 2 Assignment 2

A list of 10 or so types of writing (genres) that you encounter in your life

Posted under Category UNIT 2 Assignment 2

Writing about a skill/something you do well in the form and style of a genre that you encounter in your everyday life.

Posted under Category UNIT 2 Assignment 2

ANOTHER writing about a skill/something you do well in the form and style of a genre that you encounter in your everyday life.

Posted under Category UNIT 2 Assignment 2

Working on the train, bus, in transit to record Outer and Inner Dialogues in at least three different locations or times, with setting and situation noted.

Due Date, format, and transcription details To Be Announced

UNIT 1 Posts are Now Complete

The Prompts and Posts to Open Lab that comprised our low-stakes assignments for UNIT 1 were as follows:

Lipogram without “the

Prisoner Lipogram without descending letters on the topic of “fear

Prisoner Lipogram without ascending letters on the topic of “cure

Your Shelf (list) of Influences

Reflection on Assigned readings by author Laura Carroll “Backpacks v. Briefcases”

Reflection on Assigned reading by author Nelson Graff “Teaching Rhetorical Analysis”

(Sections D439 and E106)


Reflection on Assigned reading by Laura  Carroll  “Backpacks v. Briefcases”

Reflection on Assigned reading: “Grammar to Get Things Done”

(Section E115)

One extra piece of free writing, e.g., “On the way to school today, an unusual thing I noticed,” etc.

Reflection on writing with constraint thus far (Section D439 only, handwritten or posted)

Dancing: A Recipe

Materials Needed:

1 Flat surface (preferably smooth)

1 body

2 Legs (legs are helpful!, but not required);

2 Arms (helpful as well, but you can manage without them)

1 Spirit (only 1, but a very broad and all-embracing 1 is best)

1 piece of Music

1 large compulsion to move when you hear or otherwise think of rhythm

1 Ego that can withstand the worry about how stupid you probably will look to other people

Self confidence (1 large bushel)

At least 1 sense of rhythm recommended (but you can get away without it if you have to)


  1. Get some music. Listen closely to it. If you listen well, your dance will be good; if you don’t, you may well look pathetic.
  2. Allow your body to sway/step or otherwise depart from the position in which you originally find yourself.
  3. Feel free to repeat this movement many times in an order that corresponds with your music.
  4. Smile. This helps you dance better. People often forget to do this.
  5. Remember that good dance is not about “steps” but about “weight” and “form in space.” Think about how you distribute your weight when you step or otherwise move.
  6. Respect the space of the people dancing around you — don’t hurt or otherwise impede them from doing their thing.


Up to 200 people on a club floor.





Teaching: A Recipe, by Prof. S.

TEACHING: A RECIPE by Professor Schmerler

Serves 10-50 people. Should be served hot or at least warm.


An insane desire to transfer your own knowledge to other people before you die, thereby (in your own mind) achieving immortality (1 GALLON)

A love of your own voice (1 HALF GALLON)

Some schooling (2 CUPS)

Some prior knowledge of your subject matter (preferred)     (3/4 CUP to start — you can make up the rest of the cups as you go)



Prep: If you are teaching in a community college or other, non-private academic environment that does not offer you job security: pre-heat your personal life by relying on this job for income to meet your basic needs (rent, food, clothing, coffee).  This will give you the necessary attitude required to make your teaching the best it can be.

1.) Spend your lifetime wishing you could connect more to other people. Read/do/or otherwise perform one very geeky thing A LOT. Try to explain it to other people while you are growing up. Fail. Try again. Watch other people who explain their sh*t well to people and copy their style, attitude, demeanor, and actual lessons. (That last part is not plagiarism. It’s legacy.)

2.) Get an attitude (see above) that makes you feel comfortable in rooms where there is only one of you and you are greatly outnumbered by other people (who are preferably sitting in chairs). Seek out these places. Spend lots of time in them (especially sitting in the chairs). Deal with the boredom that comes with doing this. It is inevitable. It is real. It will be exactly what your future students feel while sitting in chairs, and it will help you if you feel it yourself, for many years, first.

3.) Plan a lot. Plan some more. Make lists and write them out and change them. Make charts. Always think about your plans when you are reading ANYTHING, watching ANYTHING (a movie, a TV show, a dance video on YouTube) and think and scheme about how you can incorporate it into your plans. These will inevitably become your lessons.

4.) Throw all your plans out when it comes time to teach. The students will roll their eyes and become bored if you don’t (see Step 2).

5.) Get a job. Any job. Stand in front of people and talk. Don’t worry if the people don’t respond at first. Don’t worry if they are too catatonic to even open their mouths and form syllables. You are all in a room, and that’s good. No one is threatening your lives (see supplement on Active Shooter Protocol), and that’s good. In short: Be sure Everyone is where they need to be and where they want to be.

6.) Repeat Steps 1 – 4 constantly throughout the semester, modifying amounts as necessary. Garnish with spice.

7.) Enjoy.


That last step is probably the most important of all.





Genre Awareness: Am I left out because I don’t know Trash Talk

Comments on YouTube; Facebook posts; Amazon reviews; Yelp reviews; Memes…

These are all genres that never existed when I was in college. Each one has its own community. Each one has its own rules.

When I read them, I feel: Everyone in these communities seems to know the rules about how to write in them — only, the rules were never posted anywhere.

I feel kind of left out.

I imagine that others share the same feeling about writing 850-word English essays. “What’s the purpose?” “Who is on the other side of this — who cares about this?” “I need to know more about what this is for or else I may look foolish.”


« Older posts Newer posts »