English this Semester

I’m teaching the intro freshman English class again this semester. Odd for me, since I normally follow the usual fall/spring schedule. But good in a way. I went through my notes on my class days and did some significant revision. Normally, by the time I’m ready to teach the class again, my notes on the previous class have disappeared into a land fill somewhere.

So I spent several hours yesterday (when I could have been at G’s 1 yr birthday party!) and several hours today reviewing my notes, my previous syllabi, my books, and the email that says what I have to have in a syllabus now.

It’s a much tighter syllabus, but I’m still going to have a lot of papers to grade the last three weeks. We’ll do one first version and three rewrites in that time.

How much will we do the rest of the time? Four five-paragraph essays (narrative, descriptive, process, illustration/definition) and two research papers (one for and one against the same topic). And four rewrites. But I have a month built into the research paper for the topic finding, research, and writing process. That slows down the course considerably.

And how do we end? On a discussion of literary analysis. I didn’t do that this year and I should have, because not all the second semester freshman teachers explain it. Some of them assume you know how to do one and just go from there. So I’ll at least give my students two really decent handouts. (One was on a website, but the teacher’s stuff is gone now. I’m sad about that, but glad I kept it in a file. I do attribute.)

I am thinking about dropping one of their five regular essay grades. But I am not sure I really want to do that. We’ll see.

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