Second Week of the Semester Underway

Last night, Y and I had a welcome boost to the second week of the semester: Mack and Sue took us out to eat at Ray’s in downtown Kent. We had a great talk with them over dinner about their holiday and our trip to South Georgia and Taiwan. It was a relaxing start to the week.

Today, I had my first office hours of the semester, during which time I saw no students, but I did prepare my lesson plans for the week. I have adopted a new tact this semester for my first tier writing students. Instead of saving a professional writing style for later in the semester (in this case MLA), I am putting on the damage now. I have increasingly noticed students using online tools to create their citations and works cited lists that would have formatting issues. Furthermore, many students flat out refused to follow MLA formatting for their major essays. This semester, I want my students prepared enough that if they want to use those tools to save time, they will know enough about MLA (and Microsoft Word) to fix any problems that they may encounter.

Class went more smoothly than I had anticipated since I have returned to a fully digital classroom. Everything will be done electronically by email or through the school’s Vista system. Some students introduced new problems that I had not anticipated, but as a whole, my students were attentive to the way that our class would be run for the rest of the semester. I have high hopes for the remainder of the semester, particularly after we slog through MLA and can begin talking about brains.

My only complaint so far this semester is that an individual instructor or the English department is rearranging the desks in my classroom. I have moved the desks back to their original configuration once, but they were moved back into the new configuration today. The new arrangement makes it difficult for me to move around the classroom and attend to students with questions while observing others are on task. Thus begins an email to the writing center . . .

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.