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Category Archive for 'Austen'

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.

Speaking to the Choir (the Jane Choir)

I had such fun speaking to Jasna-VT last Sunday about Jane Austen’s Persuasion! Janites Deb and Kelly have created an articulate and welcoming group that sponsors a variety of Jane-related talks and events throughout the year. One of my favorites has been the Birthday Tea complete with Regency Dancing by the Burlington Country Dancers.

The great joy I felt in speaking to this group came from the fact that the audience knew their Austen backwards and forwards– not only Persuasion, which was Sunday’s topic, but the whole Austen corpus as well.  I love to introduce Austen to my students, some of whom have only a fleeting film familiarity with her work before the course begins, but what a treat to share my thoughts with the Jane Austen Choir in Vermont!

Thank you, Janites in Vermont and everywhere.

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