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Category Archive for 'research'

My summer was marked by several events. First, I spent three weeks working with a faculty group looking at examples of student writing from the class of 2010. To do so, we worked collaboratively to create a rubric to assess college-level writing. The rubric-making process was as enlightening as the information we gleaned from the assessments.  The faculty members came from various disciplines–literature, film, math, foreign language, and political science.  Ironically, my assessments were closest to those of the math professor!  Second, we presented some of our findings at the 22nd International Conference on The First-Year Experience in Montréal (July 23, 2009).

Jane Austen's house in Chawton

Jane Austen's house in Chawton

In June I took a longed-for trip to England with my younger daughter to visit Jane Austen sites.  I hope to write more about this trip later. (In a few weeks, I will be on leave and will be immersed in all Austen all-the-time), but here are a very few of the over 3,000 pics I took on my trip.

This fall, I’ve spent most of my professional time tutoring writing, an experience I have thoroughly enjoyed. I have some thoughts about the process of turning good high school writers into good college writers that I hope to write about once the semester is over. Another thing that has filled my time is Middlebury’s  Web Redo project. With two other colleagues, I’ve been working on the four sites for our offices (Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research; Office of Learning Resources; Writing Program, and First-Year Seminar Program).  I’m not linking here because the old sites will disappear, and the new ones aren’t ready yet.  I’m saving my opinion of Drupal until the process is complete.  I’m guessing when the process is finally  complete, all the work and frustrations will have been well worth the effort.  Stay tuned.

Time

One of the wonderful things about working at Middlebury College is that every three Januarys, I have a month off from teaching. Don’t get me wrong. I love teaching, and my students bring me great joy, but a bit of time away from the classroom means time for longer projects, time to indulge in a sustained thought.  This January, I’m working on two projects: revision for an article about how I use writing workshops in my Writing to Heal course and preparation for a JASNA-VT talk on Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Certainly, immersing myself in the Peninsular War and the Convention of Cintra have helped me weather the snow, ice, and cold that has descended on northern New England this year.

Sites DOT Middlebury: the Middlebury site network.