The City College of San Francisco

English Department Newsletter

 English • Speech • Humanities • Classics • School of Liberal ArtsBatmale 556 • (415) 239-3406 • FAX (415) 239-3995

 • City College of San Francisco • 50 Phelan Avenue, Box L161 • San Francisco, California 94112

 Fall 2005 • Dec 60.3
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Golden Gate Bridge Campus

 In this issue
button From the Chair
button Glory & Applause
• Hansen, Hemingway, and Steinbeck
button In the English Department
• Exclusive holiday party pics
• News from the Labs
button Did You Know?
button Technology Tip of the Month

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button 59.6 (April '05)
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button 59.2 (Sep. '04)

silas marner

A major contribution to the study of 19th-century literature was made Monday with the handing-in of "Silas Marner: Paper #1" by Lori Durst, a student at the University of Connecticut.
 Read more and revise your lecture notes!

In the


for a




Try here





from the chair

Happy holidays and thanks for all of your hard work this semester. I'll look forward to seeing you as the new semester starts on FLEX Day, Friday, Jan. 13th at 10:30 am in Science 100. Our extended meeting, 12:30–2:00 pm, will be an opportunity for level coordinators and the eligibility coordinator to meet with instructors, answer questions, and prepare for the upcoming semester. Of course, there are also additional FLEX activites planned across campus, and I hope you'll take the time to look through your FLEX Day packet at all of the offerings.

Best wishes for a prosperous new year!

Chef Batty-Sylvan
Barbara Scrafford finally has
Batty-Sylvan right where she wants him -- in the kitchen.

glory & applause Carol Hansen will be presenting a paper titled "The New Man in Hemingway and Steinbeck" at the Steinbeck and his Contemporaries conference to be held in Sun Valley, Idaho from March 22-26, 2006. She'll be presenting on March 23rd on a panel with Stephen George, chair of the conference.

in the department
Greetings from the Holiday Party at Barbara and Don's House!  
Thanks to Barbara and Don!
Thanks to the Bill McGuire Set-up/Clean-up Crew--working without Carol Fregly!

babsdon70s.jpg jpaolofood.jpg billm.jpg food.jpg
brownie oliver zimmy barbara pie
Of course, the favorite English Department holiday party tradition is the Annual Purse Contest.  This year's theme, as voted on by the Personnel and Curriculum Committees, is based on the California dream of shopping without sales tax.  In other words--the American dream of New Jersey, the Garden State.  More specifically--The Paramus Mall.  

And here are your three nominees in the English Department of City College of San Francisco Holiday Party "Paramus Mall" Purse Contest 2005:

Please phone in or email your vote to John Batty-Sylvan, Department Chair, English Department, before 6 am, December 20.
purse contest

New this spring! Faculty reading tutors at the Reading Lab!  
New lab verification forms!  
New Cyberia Activity Form!  And CYBERLAB!
And don't forget that the Reading Lab's computers are online and have Inspiration.
Weekly student reading groups!   Koret links with whole-class lab time!  
Lab faculty training and lab student orientations!  
Lab coordinators on massive doses of Kava Kava!  

Check your email for schedules and announcements and documents . . .

And use The Lab Page . . .
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Peer Tutors STILL Wanted for Spring
As in the past, the Writing Lab is enlisting your help in recruiting new tutors for the Spring 2006 semester.  If you have students who are doing well in your 1A, 1B, or 40 class and who work well with their classmates, would you take a moment to encourage them to come talk to us about tutoring in the Writing Lab?  Copy of an informational flyer are on hand in the English Dept, and students may also contact us directly in the Lab or at (Cindy Slates) or (Alisa Messer). Thank you for all your great referrals in the past and for continuing to help us find enthusiastic students who would like this opportunity to help their peers (and to improve their own writing).
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CYberia sign and paper and HAL9000
Basing their applications on Manel-Grangaard’s findings regarding off-task behavior and physiological response to physical classroom environment, the Cyberia team conducted a highly controlled study on the relationship between color of window coverings to sentence-level errors (see Chart A1). While the study is still under peer review, early reports indicate a startling drop in the number of fragments and comma splices since the shift from brown to blue craft paper on the window (see photo).

Not everyone’s convinced it’s a good idea, however. Jessica Brown, English Eligibility Coordinator, had this to say: “We just can’t coddle our students with unnecessary high-tech blue interventions like this. What will happen when they get into the real world and there’s no one to design a pleasant workspace for them?” Speech instructor Michelle Gorthy conveyed a similar sentiment during a rally organized by her young anarchists: "Paper?  Who the hell needs paper to write?"  

Meredith Rose, however, felt inspired by the blue paper taped to the windows, adding, "Let's put everything on the windows, the computers, the chairs. Gravity's just another capitalist myth.  Our students need sunlight."  

H. Brown Miller, Daniel Brown, and Eleanor Brown declined to comment, citing conflicts of interest.  Herb Green also declined to comment.  

Chart A1
Frequency of Error October 2005 (brown paper) November 2005 (blue paper)
Type of Error splice fragment dangler splice fragment dangler

Physiological and intellectual response to blue craft paper on Cyberia's windows (10/05-11/05, CCSF)

But what about the students?

One anonymous English 90 student claimed that the shift from brown to blue paper has not only alleviated her depression, it has finally cured her confusion over it's versus its. An English 9 student has sworn that her reading speed has increased 20% since the shift to blue.  However, one English 92 student had a more negative reaction. "Now my writing stank--and I keep getting sinus headaches.  I used to get A's in high school, but not no more. Maybe you should install new blinds."  Bob Gabriner's research and development team will be conducting further studies on the Cyberia environment and reporting back to the department.   Please note that current learning outcomes do not take into account the impact of Cyberia's new sign (see photo), a potential ethos enhancer, or the effects of the HAL 9000 screensaver (see photo) on electron rate in the medulla oblongata.  Those studies, funded by the Carnegie grant, will be conducted during spring 2006.

did you know?
February is National Black History Month
Will it be a part of your spring syllabus? Perhaps you'd like to encourage students to join the 17th National African American Read-In with over one million other readers. More information and recommended reading lists are available at

Finally! Philosophical proof that procrastination is, well, functional 
"Structured Procrastination" will help you put off those final grades just a bit longer.

Favorite time-wasters
Surnamed dorkiness. Francophilia memetics. Unspecialized metalheads. Whimsicalities wideawakeness. What do they all have in common? They're GoogleWhacks. Find your own--if you can.

technology tip of the month

Randy, my "main" man The Randy Tip of the Month: Gifts for the Holidays 
First of all Happy Holidays--even though it's already Hanukkah 365 nights a year in Cyberia.  Well, except on Purim. Here's my holiday tip: don't keep your menorah on a laptop or a Palm Pilot. Go with a classic mainframe, like my old IBM.  It's all about balance, man, as long as you keep the punch cards away from the flames.

Well, that's one of my holiday tips, man.  My real tip of the month, however, has to do with the gift of lab integration, which you can prepare over the semester break and then give to your students next term.

1)  Understand what is in the labs and assign or suggest specific tasks for them to do, tasks that clearly relate to what you are doing in class at that time.
2)  Integrate suggested or required lab tasks right into your course calendar, and if you can, take advantage of your CCSF Web space and post your course calendar online--with hot links; you'll blow your students' minds, man.  They'll take your syllabus and links everywhere!
3)  Bring your students to the labs for orientations or at least give them a lab scavenger hunt or have someone from the labs go to your class.

So, happy holidays, and remember, the gift of lab-classroom iintegration is the gift that keeps on giving . . . , man.

Brought to you by your friendly neighborhood newsletter editors, Craig Kleinman & Alisa Messer. 

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