Woke up this morning and…

Woke up this morning and spent half an hour reading about Katrina and watching video footage. Stopped when I decided my weeping over it wasn't doing anyone any good. Anyone have any sense on whether the American Red Cross is the best choice for sending funds to?

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.

5 thoughts on “Woke up this morning and…”

  1. The Red Cross has a great reputation for its management of funds; I donated to them, a world animal welfare society (whose proper name I can’t recall right now) and Doctors Without Borders after the tsunami.

    I would also suggest the Humane Society for this case, if you are so inclined, because they are sending trucks and staff there to help manage the thousands of displaced companion animals: https://secure.hsus.org/01/katrina_relief.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    You guys are sweet. No one actually *wants* to take a composition class. 🙂 At least according to my students…

  3. I suggest Dorothy Sayers essay, “Are Women Human?” Sayers is always good to read and it is accessible and (still) thought provoking. Plus, you are reading an author is a genre most people are less familiar with. i.e. Most have only read her mystery fiction and not her scholarly work or her non-fiction.

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