So here we go again. Now that it’s fall, I’m excited to be teaching again, although setting up all these student weblogs and getting them running smoothly has been a substantial task. That’s actually one of the things that I like about having student weblogs running in a centralized space, though; the coordination and attention to detail. Maybe there’s a little bit of what Donna would call the managerial mindset going on there, which wouldn’t be a bad thing: the Army trained Sergeant Edwards to be a logistician, and the times I was happiest were when I was running convoys and coordinating missions, making sure the right trucks went to the right places with the right cargo and the right soldiers. So there’s some pleasant overlap between what I do now and what I did then.

While we’re on the topic of composition, I feel obliged to observe that Joanna’s been handing out a lot of gifts lately, so I thought a composition-related gift for her might be appropriate.

Battered composition book

And it’s such a cool picture that I couldn’t resist.


5 thoughts on “Underway

  • September 9, 2005 at 2:11 am

    Your class looks excellent! I’d be very interested to see more of your individual writing assignments as they become available. I’m working on trying to focus my class this semester around rhetorical delivery. I’m using Crowley-Hawhe’s book Ancient Rhetoric for Contemporary Students and News For a Change: An Activists Guide to the Media. We meet for five hours a week, so while the concepts in ARCS are certainly challenging, we have a lot of time to go over the material!

    I thought this might interest you: so far they’re writing press advisories for an “imaginary” scenario. They’ve assumed the role of media consultants for MSU Student Government. Their task is to write a news advisory that responds to a proposal in the state legislature to increase student tuition by as much as ten percent for the next academic semester.

    After each student writes her/his own release, they’re going to exchange texts with classmates. The next sequence in their mini-writing assignments is to craft a short news article based off the exchanged press advisory.

    This has allowed me some pedagogical room to talk about the delivery, economics, circulation and appropriation of writing. So far things are going OK. Some of the students have opted to to pick their own causes, which has made me very happy!

    My sillabus is up at: http://kairos.wide.msu.edu/PCW/

  • September 9, 2005 at 7:51 am

    It is a cool pic–suggesting all sorts of tantalizing possibilities, like “decomposition” as in moving from paper to computers, as in the messy work that writing is, and so on and so on. Thanks, Mike.

  • September 12, 2005 at 12:08 am

    I love this photo because it looks like a tombstone. Interested in the way you’ve chosen to begin the semester and how it will develop.

  • September 14, 2005 at 9:42 am

    And I wouldn’t say management of details like this is in and of itself a bad thing. Surely something the Gulf Coast disaster has demonstrated is what can happen when coordination fails.

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