Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What My Students Learned This Semester

Taking inspiration from Jo(e), I passed out index cards and asked my students to write down one thing they learned in class this semester.  These are the anonymous responses I received in the order in which I received them.

I learned how much thought and process goes into writing a well-written assignment.

I learned how to format my papers in MLA format.

I learned about Chris Burden, the performance artist who had his assistant shoot him as their act.

I learned about Dropbox and its excellence.

I learned how to organize my thoughts in a coherent way.

I learned how to go beyond the obvious analysis of works to find a deeper message.

In this class, I learned that I really don't understand art (paintings, photos, shark-in-a-tank), but I really do like shark-in-a-tank.

In this class, I learned a lot about different kinds of new artists.

I learned how to write a better thesis than I usually have with the standard "Although . . ." sentence.

I had my first serious writing class.  It helped me find a writing process that works and to analyze my own work deeper.

I learned that college professors can be nice and understanding!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Final Action List

  • Email the Self-Assessment to me by noon EST on Friday, December 10; I will not accept late letters for any reason.

Prompt for the Self-Assessment

Your final assignment for this class is a letter addressed to me where you describe what you have learned about yourself as a writer in this course.  You are not supposed to evaluate me or the class; the course evaluations are where you do that.  The point is to describe what you know about yourself as a writer.  There are several things you can look at.  What are your strengths?  What kind of brainstorming activity works best for you?  How do you like to revise, on screen or on paper? What kinds of writing are easiest for you?  What do you struggle with the most?  Do you find planning more difficult than revising?  You do not have to answer all of these questions, and you can talk about other related topics.  You just have to write a one-page, single-spaced letter to me about where you are as a writer today and where you have to go.  You can just address it "Dear Nels," "Dear Prof. Highberg," or however you most feel comfortable and end it with your name.

When I grade this, I will look for the standard things such as organized paragraphs and clear sentences.  The biggest thing I will be looking for is detail.  If you say you love planning but hate revising, describe an example from this semester of when you had a positive planning experience, including why you think it was good, and an example from the semester of when you had a negative or annoying experience revising, including why you think it was not good.  This is not meant to be a stressful assignment, but I do want to see vivid details and clear evidence.

This letter is due by noon EST on Friday, December 10.  You should email it to me as an attachment in .rtf, .doc, or .docx formats.  You should send it to the email address to which you have sent your other essays; you can also email it to me through Blackboard, but do not use Digital Dropbox.  I will email everyone back with a note saying I received it by the end of the day.  If you do not get such a message from me, then I did not receive your letter.  Finally, this letter cannot be late for any reason.  Time is too tight at the end of the semester for anything to be late.  Also, you will not be able to revise this letter, so the draft you email to me on this day should be as complete as possible.  If you use your UHartford email address, remember what I said about checking your spam folder and whitelisting my Gmail account.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Action List for Tuesday, December 7, 2010

  • Email Essay Three to me anytime after class today until 6:00 PM on Monday, December 6, 2010; I will not be able to accept late essays for any reason.
  • Remember that DWA #15 will be held during class; I will introduce the final writing assignment, and we will do lots of free writing for it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Action List for Thursday, December 2, 2010

  • Begin drafting Essay Three.
  • Email drafts of any body paragraphs you would like us to go over in class (anonymously) by 6:00 PM on Wednesday, December 1.
  • Remember that DWA #14 will be held during class.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Photos of Class Cluster on Censorship

Click on each image to go to my Flickr page. Then, click on "Actions" above the photo and "View all Sizes" to see larger versions.

Class Cluster on Censorship -- Left Side

Class Cluster on Censorship -- Right Side

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Action List for Tuesday, November 30, 2010

  • Email DWA #12 (a two-hundred word description of what you are planning to write about for Essay Three) to me by noon EST on Friday, November 19, 2010 (it can be as an attached document or in the email itself).
  • Email the Optional Revisions of Essays One and Two to me by noon EST on Tuesday, November 23; I will not accept late revisions for any reason.
  • Remember that DWA #13 will be held during class.