Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Last Week to Save Documents from Blogs


I'd like to clear my sites before the summer semester starts. So this coming weekend (May 17-18), I'm planning to remove all the handouts and posts from our course site and your group blogs. After I do that, I will also revoke your author privileges on your group blogs.

If you want to save anything posted on one of these blogs, you have a little less than a week to do so.

-- ib

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Final Exam Part 2 Scores & Final Course Grades

Here's a spreadsheet that contains your score on Final Exam Part 2 and your final grade for the course:

If you notice any discrepancies from your own calculations, please email me at barnoyenglish at gmail dot com.

I wish the best of luck to all of you.

-- ib

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Final Reminders

As we approach the end of the semester, let me remind you of everything you need to know:

1) The deadline for any late or revised essays (except revised Essay 3's -- see #2 below) is this coming Thursday, May 1st, by the end of class, 7:45 PM. I will not accept essays submitted after this deadline.

2) The deadline for Essay 3 revisions (the only extended deadline, and only for revised Essay 3's, not late ones) is Tuesday next week, May 6th, at the start of our Final Exam: Part 2 session, 5:30 PM.

3) Our Final Exam: Part 2 will take place on Tuesday, May 6th, from 5:30 to 7:45 PM, but not at our usual classroom. Instead, we will meet at room AA-428. (Please contact me ASAP if you must miss the exam period for some reason and would like to take a make-up exam.)

4) Don't forget to complete your course evaluation. The last chance to submit your course evaluation is May 12th. See the previous blog post for more information.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Course Evaluations

I finally got the information about course evaluations. As I was told, we will indeed be doing them online. Here are the instructions:

1) The website to go to is http://nveval.com.

2) Once you open this site, you can log in with your 7-digit student ID.

3) Once log in, the site will prompt you to verify who you are.

4) Finally, after you confirm who you are, you'll be able to fill out the evaluation for this course.

5) If you experience any problems, contact info@iotasolutions.com for help.

Supposedly, these evaluations are simple and brief. They should take roughly 5-10 minutes or so to fill out. Also, please don't be worried about filling these evaluations out. In fact, I encourage you to be as honest as you can be in your feedback. I will never be informed of who said what about me or about the course.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Some Reminders

Before we plunge into the last few weeks of the semester, let me remind you of a few important things that these coming weeks will bring with them.

I. Essay Submission Deadlines

First, your Essay 3 deadline is this Thursday. That means all hard copies of your Essay 3 final drafts are due by the start of class, 5:30 PM, on Thursday, 4/24/2014, and all emailed copies (attached in .doc and .docx and emailed to barnoyenglish at gmail dot com only) are due by 11:59 PM the night before, Wednesday, 4/23/2014. Please note: All Essay 3's submitted by this deadline will be graded more quickly than usual essays, with the hopeful goal of getting these essays back to you the following week, so that you can revise them.

For your benefit, I'd like for us to dedicate much of our class period on this coming Tuesday, 4/22/2014, to working in class on Essay 3, any revisions, and any late essays. But I'd also like for all of you to attend, so that I can speak with each of you briefly about your work and about your plans for the end of the semester.

And since we're on the topic of plans for the end of the semester, let me remind you again: The absolutely final deadline for any late or revised essays (with the unique exception of Essay 3's submitted on-time -- these will get until our final exam date) is May 1st, the end of class, 7:45 PM. Any essays whatsoever that are submitted even a minute after this deadline will be rejected outright. Also: From this point on, late papers will receive no comments, not even minimal comments as I've done so far this semester -- only a grade.

II. The Usual: Readings and Other Assignments

Don't forget that we also have a few casual writing assignments to do on your group blogs. These are all free and easy to see on our syllabus, close to the end of the Course Schedule section. Let's not lose track of these assignments, since they're worth a part of your grade.

Lastly, I'd also like for us to continue reading in Atul Gawande's book, Better. As well as you can, between now and April 24th, try to finish as much as you can of the book. The very last chapter, in particular, presents some of Gawande's most curious ideas -- about connecting writing, learning, and doing better in work and in life overall, and I'd like very much for us to discuss Gawande's final thoughts about doing better. I mean, haven't you wondered why a successful surgeon such as Gawande has made writing such an essential part of his work?

Of course, I understand that you've got several things to work on, and not only for my class. So if we don't manage to get ahead in reading the end of Better for this Thursday, April 24th, then let's plan to finish it for next week.

That's it for now. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please email me.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Independent Work Report, 4/10/2014

Remember: Today we're doing the same thing as last class -- working independently on our research papers and your critiques for your classmates' research paper drafts. I'll be in class again, too, during the usual class time, and I'll be ready to help you, if you need help.

A quick heads-up, though: Next week, all week, we'll be working on our Final Exam: Part I. On Tuesday, you will get one type of essay to read and respond to, and on Thursday, you'll get another type of essay. These are both types of essays that you've both read and written yourself. Your assignment, though, will be to write a critique in response to each of them. So be sure to work on effective critiques, with effective structure, and critical advice.

Lastly, just like last time, I'll need a short email report from you by 7:45 PM tonight (roughly 100-200 words):

Independent Work Report

1) What did you plan to work on either in-class or independently today?

2) What did you succeed in accomplishing in your in-class or independent work?

3) How has your task schedule been working for you? What can you do in the near future to improve your work habits in order not only to get your work done in a timely manner, but also to feel good about it?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Independent Work Report, 4/8/2014

Don't forget: Today is dedicated toward independent work on your research paper. If you like, you are welcome to work from home today, or wherever you might be comfortable working. Likewise, you are welcome to come to class and work there. I'll be in class during our usual class times, and I'll be ready to answer whatever questions or concerns you might have.

And, if you're in class, I'll be happy to talk to you one-on-one about your Essay 3. Just be aware: I will look only at one paragraph at a time; I will not read your whole essay and tell you what's good or bad. The reason: What you need to do this week (and all this semester, for that matter) is not only to develop a stronger essay, but also to develop effective research and writing practices for yourself. What I'll do is I'll try to give you an idea about one spot in your paper, then I'll let you figure out the deep solutions on your own.

Whatever you choose to do this week, I expect you to do some work on your Essay 3, during class time. And whether or not you come to class, I'll be expecting you to fill out and either hand or email me a short report (roughly 100-200 words total), by 7:45 PM tonight, that answers all the following questions:

Independent Work Report

1) What did you plan to work on either in-class or independently today?

2) What did you succeed in accomplishing in your in-class or independent work?

3) Based on your results today, what do you hope to accomplish on Thursday?