Thoughts on the New Prep

I’ll be teaching the first half of the two-semester fyc this fall. I think I’m going to start with “how to take a test” and then go into basic course requirement stuff.

Or maybe not. What if we started talking about expectations of college. What do they expect? What expectations did their family members mention? How much studying do they think they are going to have to do? And so forth.

Maybe, if I get right on it, I can do a few interviews with different professors from different departments about what their expectations are for freshman-sophomore level courses in their disciplines. How much reading, studying, testing, etc… Then if I had like five of those at 2 minutes each, I could show them to the students, too.

Hmm. I really want to do that. Maybe I should think about who I know (or who I’ve met) that I could email and ask them to be interviewed when I get back.

I think this would be a good idea. It reminds me of the one-hour informational lecture that McKelvain talked about for minority students and how it upped their grades for four years. That was on the fact that college is different, that it feels isolating sometimes, that you are confused on what to do… Telling students that those feelings are normal helped them cope with them.

You know, I was thinking of using that Mina Shaunnessy article (I think it was hers) with errors in the article that kept getting worse until you noticed them in linguistics. It might be a good article for these students to read as well. I need to ask Dr. Williams (Director of Comp and a rhetorician) for the name of that article.

Also, can I find the one on simplified spelling? The one that starts applying the simplified spelling until finally the paragraphs don’t even look like English? I definitely want to use that for linguistics, but it might be good for this class as well.

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