July-August FYWP Announcements

Fall Support Materials Now Available
Template syllabi (for ENGL120 and ENGL121), blank schedules, and a curriculum map for ENGL120 are available at http://goo.gl/mj9Nqm. Because this update is going out to 50-plus faculty, instructors, and graduate students, I need to add a few qualifications about the purposes of the materials. If you are new to the FYWP, consider these materials a resource for you to use as you continue to get acquainted with the program. The new GA cohort will work closely with the version of ENGL120 outlined in the curriculum map. I would prefer to see other teachers of ENGL120 adopt a similar approach, though some degree of customization is to be expected (note the common turn-in date for Project One; this will allow us to hold a grade-in on Friday afternoon, September 27). I will say more about all of this at the Fall Meeting (date, time, and location noted below). Experienced instructors are welcome to appropriate and adapt any of the materials in the shared folder linked above, as well, and even if you plan to teach as you have in recent semesters, the materials I have posted are nevertheless available to give you some sense of what will be emphasized this fall in ENGL596. I would be happy to hear your feedback, to take incorporate your suggestions, and to continue conversations about the (inevitably ever-evolving) shape of things to come.

Fall 2013 Calendar (in progress)
I’ve started building a calendar of events for the Fall at http://fywp.emuenglish.org/?p=50. Please let me know if you would like to see something included, okay?

EM-Journal Seeks Two Assoc. Editors for 2013-2014 (and beyond)
As written, the ad mentions that the journal is looking for two students (one grad, one undergrad) to contribute as Assoc. Editors this year: http://em-journal.com/page/students.html. Please share this link with anyone you know who might be interested.  We have just launched a submission form that will improve the review process, and we are piloting rolling deadlines for FYWP-related issues, which means individual pieces will be published until an issue fills. Once full, the issue will be announced. And–as always–we are open to expanding involvement from the FYWP instructional staff. If you are interested in serving the journal in any way, please let us know.

WIDE-EMU ’13 Conference – October 12, 2013, Ypsilanti, Mich.
The third annual WIDE-EMU Conference will be held in Pray Harrold on Saturday, October 12. This free, one-day conference is a great professional development opportunity for everyone interested in the teaching of writing. I’d considered organizing a panel or roundtable similar to the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” only adjusted to “The Best Thing I Ever Taught (or Learned).” But I might be out of town for a wedding on 10/12.  That said, if anyone is interested in running with this idea, in proposing something for the conference, or if you would just like to talk a bit about the conference and what it’s all about, please let me know.  The conference website has more information, too: https://sites.google.com/site/wideemu13/.

Requesting Course Shells (eCompanion)
For information about requesting an online course shell for your section(s) of ENGL120 or ENGL121, see http://fywp.emuenglish.org/w/Course_Shell_Requests.

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July 1 Announcements (for anyone who missed them)

Materials for New GAs
Last week I circulated the 2013 Welcome Kit to the nine new graduate assistants who are joining the program this fall.  Several of you have mentioned to me that you are interested in having access to a copy of the materials I sent them.  Please feel free to download the Welcome Kit PDF at [you will find the link in the email version of this message]. Remember that the kit is designed for new GAs who will be attending the two-week August workshop, taking ENGL596, and teaching ENGL120 in the fall. If you have any questions or concerns about what you find in the kit, or if you have any trouble accessing or opening the file, please let me know, and I will do what I can to help. In addition to the Welcome Kit, many other materials developed to answer questions and support the efforts of all FYWP instructional staff are being posted at http://fywp.emuenglish.org/ and http://fywp.emuenglish.org/w/. If you have thoughts about ways to improve either site, I would love to hear your ideas.

Fall Meeting
The FYWP Fall Meeting is scheduled for Friday, August 23, from 1-4 p.m. in Pray Harrold 414. The agenda is still taking shape, but we will share a couple of initiatives for the year ahead and introduce the new graduate assistants, new part-time lecturers, and our new faculty colleague, Dr. Kate Pantelides, who will join us from the University of South Florida and who will begin as Associate Director of the FYWP in January. Attendance at the meeting is optional, but encouraged. I will send another reminder about the meeting in early August, but I wanted you to have the details in hand early enough to protect the date on your calendar. If there is anything in particular you would like to have included for discussion at the fall meeting, please let me know by email by August 10.

Textbook Orders
Much like in recent semesters, all sections of ENGL120 this fall will be using Lunsford’s The Everyday Writer (5th edition with exercises). If you want an exam copy, let me know, and I can get one for you from the publisher. Copies have also been ordered for all sections of ENGL120. The Green Reader, which has been a fixture in ENGL120 in recent years, will not be available this year. Committing to a custom reader (or alternative) for AY 2014-2015 is high on the agenda for the First-year Writing Program Committee in the fall. There will be an open call for participation on the FYWP Committee at the Fall Meeting. The Committee will meet approximately three times each semester. For more information about textbooks, visit http://fywp.emuenglish.org/w/Books.

Celebration of Student Writing
The Fall 2013 Celebration of Student Writing will be held on Thursday, December 5, 2013, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.  Consistent with recent years, ENGL121 sections are encouraged to participate by displaying their work at the event, and ENGL120 sections are encouraged to attend.

Bios on English Department Website
With the transition to the new content management system for the department web site, everyone in the FYWP now has a profile page at http://www.emich.edu/english/fywp/staff/index.php. We hope to the the pages put to good use for sharing more information about who we are and also for making contact information and office hours visible on the web (this communicates our presence both to our students and to numerous other stakeholders in and beyond the university). Faculty and full-time lecturers should already have the means to login and update pages. Currently, updates to the pages for part-time lecturers and graduate assistants are in my hands, but I am working with EMU’s web developer, James Turner, to assign login access. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the pages or their content, let me know, and I will do what I can to help.

WIDE-EMU 2013

The Eastern Michigan University Written Communication Program and the Michigan State University Writing and Digital Environments Research Center invite you (faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, teachers, community members, anyone interested) to propose ideas for the third annual WIDE-EMU, a free (un)conference on Saturday, October 12, 2013 in Ypsilanti, Mich. We seek proposals that engage the framing question for this year’s event:

Free?

What is “Free?” What does “free” mean as in open access (scholarship, textbooks, courses), “free” as in liberty (copyrights/lefts, released, unrestrained), and “free” as in without charge (software, conferences, beer)? How do these and competing notions of “Free(dom)” operate when we teach–particularly when we teach writing, and particularly when we focus on the use of technology to teach writing? And what are the hidden and not so hidden costs of “Free,” both literal and metaphorical? Learn more about WIDE-EMU ’13 at https://sites.google.com/site/wideemu13/.

Summer Restructuring

As the University makes the transition to a new content management system for all of its official web content (viz., English Language and Literature), we in the First-Year Writing Program are also changing up some of the auxiliary online platforms we will be using for curating teaching materials, posting announcements about activities in the program, and building a repository of resources useful to students enrolled in ENGL120 and ENGL121. This blog is one such platform.  Into this space, we will be publishing periodic announcements about various program initiatives, such as General Education and program-level assessment, ongoing curricular revisions, professional development opportunities, including teaching circles, workshops, and reading groups, and much more. In addition to this blog, we are developing a FYWP knowledge base wiki, which will be introduced at the Fall 2013 program retreat.

Watch for more announcements here later this summer.