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Reading the sites: Notes Towards Day 5 (Wed, Jan. 25)

Anne Dalke's picture

Anne's Note to Self: Bring Index Cards!

I. (1:10-1:15, Jody): coursekeeping
--how we doing on names/pronouns?

--very little reading for Thursday:
as orientation to our reflective writing, excerpts by Lesnick, Harvey and webpage by Smith @

--Josh and TA, from YASP, will join us for the first 1/2 of class;
during the second 1/2, we'll break into groups to do
some more praxis prep, specifically taylored to our 3 sites

II. (1:15-1:30, Anne): intro to posting on Serendip

--remember gallery opening @ 4 today!

--Helen, Una and I have an invitation to share:  Packathon, Sat, Feb. 11!

--English Dept doing a search for a new professor in African-American poetry;

first of three candidates is coming to campus this week, and we are putting
together a "mock class" for him to teach this Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
If you are interested in contributing to the choice of the next new professor
in the English department, and commit to attending the class (and weighing in
after w/ our major reps), please let me know.

Back to this course! Besides reading and talking w/ each other in person,
and going to our praxis sites and reflecting together on those experiences,
we will be meeting twice a week in an inbetween, virtual space:
our on-line/cluster forum @
you'll find the link in the "group links" to the left of the landing page and/or syllabus.
Our on-line discussion is NOT hosted on Moodle, but on Serendip,
an alternative  "digital eco-system" created about 15 years ago by several BMC faculty.

By midnight tomorrow evening: post your first reflection on our reading and discussion so far.
A paragraph or two--something more deliberative than speaking in class,
less formal than the papers you'll do for us once/month (might be a source
for those papers); excellent site for showcasing revisionary thinking.

Generally, these postings will be open
--anything that struck you during the week,
an idea that came to you in class that you didn't get to share, one that has emerged since,
ideas you'd like us to talk about more; Jody and I will use these to design the next week's classes.
This week we'd like you to post 3 concrete suggestions for how we will work together as a group;
great conversation y'day about the 'ideals' of respectful classroom conversation,
didn't have time to work out all details! Give us those--or further questions/problems.

Posting on-line this way is about learning to be a public intellectual, thinking out loud:
Serendip is not a closed space, so readable-by-the-world,
and discussable in class (starting point for many class meetings....).
There is a "private" option, which you may want to use occasionally,
but the default is a public one.

By midnight on Sunday,
we'll expect a second posting, reflecting on your first site visit-->
THIS ONE MUST BE PRIVATE! [pull-down menu up top for selecting this]
Jody mentioned a couple of short readings on what a "reflection" is;
look those over before you write; next week, after we've read what you've written,
we'll talk some more about what it means to write reflectively about your sites.

We have a TLI consultant for this course (familiar with this structure?);
her name is Olivia Porte, she's a senior Art History major
who was in our 360 last semester, who is experienced doing this work.
We've been talking with her about the possibility that she might
focus on the question of reflective writing, particularly on the challenge
of writing about our experiences with other people; if we do this,
she'd be a member of our group, have access to your postings, then
be reflecting w/ Jody and me on how this piece of the course is working;
perhaps join us in class occasionally, though largely her work would be
in consultation with the two of us.
How are you with that...what do you think?

Coupla more details about your taks here:
you all have been registered for a Serendip account,
and so should be set to go...
you received an e-mail from the Serendip site administrator
before classes started (Helen last night!);
(if you didn't, check "clutter," your spam filter;
if you can't find it, write and we'll re-send).

The message  included an assigned username and password;
several of you have already used those to log in to the course website,
changed your username to something of your choice, and selected an avatar.
Give careful consideration to each of these, which will appear w/ each of your reflections:
Think about whether you want your words associated w/ your (full/partial/symbolic/pseudo-) name, 
and also what image you want them associated with,
and whether you will want it so associated in 1, 2, 5 years....
the content will remain on-line long after you've left the College.
[Exs: Mystical Mermaid, Who Am I, others with full or just first name.]
What name will let you write freely, say what you think?
(You can change these whenever you want,
and everything you've already posted will be re-tagged.)

There are "posting instructions" on the cluster homepage
(listed @ the top of the "group links" on the right).
Follow those to get started; also 3 Serendip veterans in class--
Amanda, Farida, Delilah--get help from them!

You don't need to log in to check the syllabus, but you should always log in before you post,
so that what you have written will appear automatically and immediately (otherwise,
due to the need for spam control, it will need to be individually vetted, and so delayed).
You'll also need to log in to access anything in the protected reading file.

You'll also see, under the text block, several "tags":
be sure to tag the first posting "Reflections on Reading & Discussion,"
and the second one " Reflections on Praxis "; this will really
help us all in finding them.

There's also a #Speak-out tag; a new option we're using, offering a platform for 
you to speak out on issues of inter/national interest to you; Serendip has over 3000 facebook followers,
and selecting this tag will push your posting to them. This option will also help make
you aware, more generally, of the audience for your writing.

Questions about any of this?

III. (1:30-2:30, Nell): orientation to praxis

5-10 min: What is Praxis? - Why Praxis?

30 min: Setting an Intention (handout)...will do a go-round first to get students' ideas about what they are bringing to the Praxis and what their intentions are, then have students complete the form on their own, then share with a neighbor.  I will collect the sheets, make copies in English House and bring them back, so that the students keep a copy, and we have copies.   1/2 hour total

5 min: Confidentiality

5 min: Dress, punctuality, attitude

5-10 min: Safety

IV. (2:30-2:45, Anne): today's first 2 readings--
Anna Plemons, "Teaching Philosophy" &
"Accomplices, Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex"--
are also both very much about intention. How do they resonate with/
contradict/raise questions about what we just did?
What thoughts/questions do the essays raise for you,
about your relationship to your site?

How differently are they written: tone/audience/purpose/visuals diverge?
What's the source of the title about the "industrial complex"?

(2:45-3, Jody): Find 3 keywords in second essay; write these on board
Whole group selects 5, break into small groups to research etymology-->
Report back: what do we think about the word?
How useful was this exercise?

(3-3:10, Anne): Return to initial question:
how might this essay now be helpful to you in going to your site?

3:10-3:20 BREAK and jot on index cards two brief passages from Branch that you'd like to discuss further and put on table.

V. (3:25-4, Jody):
guidelines for fishbowl.

File OrientationHandout .docx100.82 KB