I wanted to offer you a sense of the rhythm of work I have planned for our summer seminar. We’ll keep busy!
We will start each morning with coffee and a light breakfast from 9:00–10:00. On Monday, we’ll use some of this time for introductions; on the following days, this will be time I can use to chat briefly with any of you who may have questions about the materials you are designing for your courses.
The main work of the seminar will run from 10:00 to 12:30. We will focus pretty resolutely on a writing course as itself a kind of text, with the goal of having you complete a full draft of your course materials —plan, schedule, writing project, policies—by the end of the week. But we will also spend a fair amount of time on ways of responding to student work—both in writing and in class. Please see the Schedule for a more detailed list of topics.
You’re then on your own for lunch from 12:30–2:00.
After lunch, we’ve scheduled a series of afternoon “Conversations on Teaching Writing” with several top scholars and teachers in the field of writing and rhetoric. (Consult the Schedule for names and topics.) I’ve asked our speakers not to prepare a formal lecture, but rather to come ready to talk informally about recent issues and trends in teaching writing. My hope is that you will feel free to join in this conversation, and that the resulting talk will be informed, lively, and fun.
Then, each evening, I will ask you to complete a short writing assignment, probably about 250-500 words. (Sorry!) In this way you will begin, piece by piece, to compose your writing course for the fall. I’ll ask you to bring copies of what you write with you to seminar the next morning. (It will probably be a good idea for you to bring both pen and paper and a laptop with you to seminar each day.)
And then, we’ll do it all over again—on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday— until we finally make it to Friday, at which point we will have a celebratory “arcade” of the course websites you have designed.
If all goes well, you will work hard, but in doing so begin to feel ready for your class in the fall. Good luck! I look forward to working with you!