Other than that, quiet morning; did dishes and read a little James White. Today will be devoted to teaching work. This week I have packets to read and respond to from Vermont, and two Roosevelt courses to develop reading packets for. I'm teaching graduate fiction and an advanced undergrad composition class. The graduate class is relatively straightforward; develop a schedule for craft discussion and select some craft essays and good short stories for them to read. I just picked up the newest O'Henry collection -- between that and the Best American collection, there should be no trouble finding good stories to read. I already know one I want to include, Sherman Alexie's "What You Pawn I Will Redeem."
The composition class is a bit more challenging. Here's the description:
Advanced writing course using literary texts, readings from multiple disciplines, and writing about personal experience to involve students in the production of academic and other kinds of knowledge. Emphasis on revision, organization, argumentation, and style.It's very open-ended in subject matter, but I do need to cover multiple disciplines, since I'll have students with very varied majors. I'm tentatively thinking the title will be Writing Identities, with a focus on writing around gender, race, ethnicity, orientation, and whatever other identities the students want to bring in. It's easy enough finding fiction and poetry and lit. essays on those subjects. The challenge will be bringing in other disciplines.
I'm thinking a field trip to the Art Institute would let us bring in visual art. Maybe some science essays on topics like "is homosexuality biological?" and "are women as good as men in...x field?" Kev has a bunch of good science books along those lines, and I'm sure I can find some good readings there and on the net. I'd like to bring in political writing and history too. Any suggestions for good, short, readings would be helpful.
The course is geared towards juniors and seniors who want to get more practice writing. We don't need or want super-academic texts; they should be quite accessible, so that the focus can stay on the quality of the students' writing response, rather than having them spend all their time and energy trying to understand the readings.