Success

"Our goal should be to help students successfully write in the academy; to the extent they have the power and authority to change academic genres to better meet their needs, we should help them understand how to do so. But we must also be realistic about how much power students have to change those genres, and we must be certain that our analytical genre work will help them succeed, not paralyze them with doubts" (783)

--Elizabeth Wardle, "'Mutt Genres' and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University?"

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Success

"Our goal should be to help students successfully write in the academy; to the extent they have the power and authority to change academic genres to better meet their needs, we should help them understand how to do so. But we must also be realistic about how much power students have to change those genres, and we must be certain that our analytical genre work will help them succeed, not paralyze them with doubts" (783)

--Elizabeth Wardle, "'Mutt Genres' and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University?"

"notes are hung so effortless"

Last night marked my second time seeing Neko Case in a live setting. The first occurred when the New Pornographers stopped by the Crofoot to plow through "My Rights Versus Yours," "Failsafe" and ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" and to be upstaged by openers Okkervil River. Such songs were nowhere to be heard at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, though, and Jason Lytle, formerly of Grandaddy, was a solid, but subdued opening act, offering songs from Yours Truly, The Commuter, including the title track and "Brand New Sun." The audience gathered on the grass with blankets and chairs, food and drink, were polite in applauding Lytle's efforts, but it was clear upon Case's entrance that most everyone was in attendance for her.

I do not think she disappointed either as Case's singing was loud, bright and clear, as if attempting to cast her voice over the tree-covered hills and mountains of some distant land. Kelly Hogan provided vocal accompaniment that was more than sufficient and was a ham during onstage banter between songs, going so far as to impersonate the Osmonds at one point. The rest of the band was knowledgeable and tight on their instruments; in particular, though, I liked Paul Rigby's guitar work, which often accentuated Case's vocal.

The evening's setlist included songs from her last three studio albums, including "Things That Scare Me," "Deep Red Bells" and "I Wish I Was The Moon" from Blacklisted, "Margaret vs. Pauline," "Star Witness," "Hold On, Hold On" (which I didn't know was co-written by the Sadies) and "Maybe Sparrow" from Fox Confessor Brings The Flood and "This Tornado Loves You," "People Got A Lotta Nerve, "Prison Girls" and Harry Nilsson's "Don't Forget Me" from her latest effort, Middle Cyclone, as well as the title track from The Tigers Have Spoken.

Dependence

"While teachers may desire to describe themselves as 'expressivist' or 'post-process' or even 'traditionalist,' the pedagogies we actually deploy should depend not only on our own deeply held beliefs, theories, and philosophies, but also on those of our students" (738-739).

--Paul Lynch, "Composition as a Thermostatic Activity"

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Dependence

"While teachers may desire to describe themselves as 'expressivist' or 'post-process' or even 'traditionalist,' the pedagogies we actually deploy should depend not only on our own deeply held beliefs, theories, and philosophies, but also on those of our students" (738-739).

--Paul Lynch, "Composition as a Thermostatic Activity"

Hospitality

"Hospitality therefore encourages a changed view of the teacher: not essentially as an expert offering wisdom to nescients, nor a coach training students to play a game, nor an adept helping students through the gates of the academic or discourse community, nor a proponent or advocate of a postion such as men's or women's rights. The teacher may or may not be any of these things, but will always be a co-sharer with unknown arrivants of an ad-hoc community in which the teacher, as host, offers ease--ease with the unique lives and beliefs of strangers" (716).

--Janis Haswell, Richard Haswell, and Glenn Blalock, "Hospitality in College Composition Courses"

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Responsibility

"Those of us who argue for improving access to higher education must take seriously the research on who persists and who does not. Even those composition scholars who do not count access as a priority should consider their responsibilities to the students in their classroom who will not graduate" (679).

--Pegeen Reichert Powell, "Retention and Writing Instruction: Implications for Access and Pedagogy"

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inviting adoxography

One of the three new courses I'm responsible for guiding this fall is ENG 298 Analysis & Criticism of Video Games. With equal focus on playing and research as reading and writing, and Frans Mayra's Introduction to Game Studies as a primary text, I intend the course to be an introduction to the myriad kinds of writing about video games, including commentary, history, news and reviews. An exploration of past, present and future issues within video games, I envision 298 as a course engaging students on multiple levels and one such offering is in the form of achievements.

Academic courses and video games share a similarity here in that rewards and success were once marked by very few, namely the instructor/designer and the student/player. The introduction of achievements, though, with the next-gen consoles made for an enhanced gaming experience, one that could be better acknowledged by and made public to others. Given the focus of 298, I thought it appropriate to create achievements complementary to the course. In no way are these tied to extra credit or anything like that. Just like video-game achievements, ENG 298 achievements are for the purposes of personal pride. All students will earn some achievements, but I'm curious to see if any go the distance.

I should also mention that I cannot take credit for every achievement listed. Those marked with an asterisk were either lifted from here or were suggested by a colleague or friend. With the start of the semester about six weeks away, I welcome any/all additional suggestions, too.

Achievement is My Middle Name: Earn all achievements.

Bloggery: Set up a Blogger account.

Bloggorhea: Make 100 or more quality posts and/or comments on other people's blogs.*

By Any Other Name: Refer to Dr. Schirmer by his gamertag in three different class sessions.

Citation Mastery: Submit a Works Cited page that is 100% correct in MLA format.*

Console Commando: Log at least 20 hours of playtime on at least three current consoles (DS, PS3, PSP, Wii and/or Xbox 360).*

Extremes Annoy Me: Avoid fanatical discourse in all work.

Finish Them!: Complete all assignments on time.

Googly-Eyed: Set up a Google Docs account, including a "Share with Others" invitation.

Plays Well With Others: Log at least 20 hours of playtime with a classmate outside of class.

Rave Reviewer: Make 100 or more helpful comments on a classmate's work.*

Research Renegade: Submit a draft referencing at least 6 peer-reviewed, academic journal articles.*

Seriously Good At This: Earn highest marks for the course.

Sesquipedalian: Write a piece using at least 30 words from this list. Must be used in context and make sense.*

Speaking Centered: Make and keep at least two speaking appointments at the Marian E. Wright Writing Center.

Speedrun!: Submit three pieces at least 24 hours prior to ultimate deadline.

Still Alive: Earn a passing mark for the course.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen: Work with at least one other student on a project.*

The Meatbag Speaks Without Clarity: Submit an incomplete piece for review.

The Status Is That It Sucks: Provide constructive criticism on at least five pieces.

Timing is Everything: Complete an oral presentation in an exact 10 minutes.*

Twitterpated: Set up a Twitter account, including a profile picture and mobile phone access.

Wake Up And Smell The Ashes
: Identify at least five achievement titles with their respective games.

We Are Moved To Tears By The Size Of This Thing: Exceed minimum requirement on a piece by at least 800 words.

Word Counter: Turn in a draft with an exact 1000 words, excluding heading/works cited.*

Writing Centered: Make and keep at least four writing appointments at the Marian E. Wright Writing Center.

Hospitality

"Hospitality therefore encourages a changed view of the teacher: not essentially as an expert offering wisdom to nescients, nor a coach training students to play a game, nor an adept helping students through the gates of the academic or discourse community, nor a proponent or advocate of a postion such as men's or women's rights. The teacher may or may not be any of these things, but will always be a co-sharer with unknown arrivants of an ad-hoc community in which the teacher, as host, offers ease--ease with the unique lives and beliefs of strangers" (716).

--Janis Haswell, Richard Haswell, and Glenn Blalock, "Hospitality in College Composition Courses"

Responsibility

"Those of us who argue for improving access to higher education must take seriously the research on who persists and who does not. Even those composition scholars who do not count access as a priority should consider their responsibilities to the students in their classroom who will not graduate" (679).

--Pegeen Reichert Powell, "Retention and Writing Instruction: Implications for Access and Pedagogy"