Month: March 2009

Cops in a Bar, Overheard

“This guy, he was all busted up. He was all upset about this cat. He was going on about the ASPCA. So he goes away, he gets on his cell phone.

I took out my weapon, I shot that cat eight fuckin times. Blam blam blam! Like that. It was fuckin awesome.

I threw it in the fuckin woods. My captain didn’t even give me any shit about it. He was OK.”

CCCC09 A17: 21st-Century Writing Lives

The full title of this panel was “21st-Century Writing Lives: Redefining Development, Performance, and Intellectual Property in College Writing.”

Erin Krampetz, of the nonprofit Ashoka in Washington DC, began the session by describing the Stanford Study of Writing, which followed students for the five years from 2001 to 2006, from their first year at Stanford through the year after graduation, asking those students to submit to the study every piece of writing they created in that time. Krampetz joined the writing department as an undergraduate, and was one of the initial guinea pigs for the study. The longitudinal study accumulated a total of 14,776 pieces of student writing in its database, and every piece of that data is now being coded. When we think about longitudinal studies, Krampetz observed, we think about change: in the Stanford study, what changes? It’s tempting, she suggested, for researchers to tell stories that follow a timeline. For the Stanford study, however, the story is anything but linear and chronological, with all that staggering data.

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Returning to Catullus

I returned from CCCC in San Francisco on the redeye Sunday morning, tired not only from the flight but from that sustained intellectual engagement, my mind happily worn out and smooshed and pushed by all the presentations I went to. It was an odd conference for me: I saw some good panels, about which I’ll post my notes soon, and some bad ones, about which I won’t, except to say that Spencer and I both stayed at one just to see how amazing it would get. What was odd, though, was the number of young-but-getting-established scholars whose reputation and work I know and admire who seemed to be reiterating somewhat old and accepted claims, and the number of new scholars who seemed unaware of the recent body of scholarship on emerging topics: in both cases, I found myself frequently feeling a strong sense of academic d