• from the chair
Schedules are coming out--the second draft is here and concrete information will be in your hands in about a week.
Please take a look at the book orders that you are getting. Some orders will have CRNs or names changed; should you see a book that you do not want or that was ordered by another instructor, please just line it out and provide your own information for the appropriate book order.
Members of the WASC team visited the department on Tuesday, March 21st. They were particularly interested in the 93/94 shift and in what we are doing around Basic Skills. They were also impressed with Cyberia and how we are using it for Basic Skills students. Kudos to all!
- Karim Scarlata's short comedy, Larrylandia, premiered at Austin's SXSW film festival in March. He hopes to screen the film, his first, in the Bay Area this summer.
- Alexandra Teague has been awarded a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry. The two-year fellowship from Stanford University goes to five fiction writers and five poets each year, covering workshop tuition and living expenses. (Past Stegner fellows have included other little-known writers such as Raymond Carver, Ken Kesey, and Tobias Wolff, which might explain why Alex is still in a state of veritable shock.) She plans to use the opportunity to focus on completing her first book of poetry. She'll also continue teaching part-time at City College during the fellowship, though she will be taking a break from Curriculum Committee and other non-classroom duties. Check out a bit of Alex's recent CCSF-inspired work below.
"Sebastian's Confession" by Daniel Curzon (AKA Daniel Brown) is a semi-finalist in the Reverie Productions Play Contest of NYC. It is one of fourteen one-acts. Three finalists will be selected. The play is about a character from "Suddenly Last Summer" who finally gets to stand up for himself in a Catholic confessional, instead of always having others speak for him.
- In February, Alisa Messer presented a Reading Apprenticeship-inspired workshop on teaching and metacognition to faculty, administrators, and students from six colleges around the state. Those attending were participants in a three-day retreat for the Campus Change Network, an initiative from California Tomorrow that focuses on student equity and access.
- This note comes from Azhar
Mirza, who is now a South Asian Studies Major at UC Berkeley:
I just wanted to write this note to express my gratitude to the professors at CCSF, in particular those in the English Department. Recently I transferred to Berkeley, where I have come to really appreciate the level of instruction I received while attending CCSF.
The classes I have taken at City College have prepared me to handle my workload at Berkeley and to be on par with my classmates. For that I am very grateful, but what I have really come to appreciate about CCSF is more than the instruction; it's the passion in wanting to teach students--a passion that I feel is sometimes missing here at Berkeley.
Professor McGuire, Dr. Hansen, and in particular Dr. Kleinman have all taught me how to be a good writer. But more than learning technical proficiency, I have learned to be a better thinker--a truly invaluable skill. Technical proficiency is great, as well as learning random facts about the world we live in, but to be able to learn how to think and analyze the world around oneself, that is of more value to me. I feel CCSF has given me this ability. My English 40 class with Dr. Kleinman was especially instrumental in this process.
Again, I just wanted to express my gratitude for the dedication my professors at City College, especially those within the English Department, have expressed in teaching their students. Leaving CCSF, I have not only gained the vital technical proficiency to compete with my fellow classmates, but I have gained something more valuable: how to be a better thinker. More of this type of instruction is needed these days, and I'm grateful that CCSF is a place where it is being taught.
• from social coordinator Bill Mc Guire:
Department fun this Saturday! 3/25
Here is more information for the Party at Paolo's on Saturday, March 25, commencing at 7:00 pm. His home address is 509 Scott Street in San Francisco which is just off Fell and near Alamo Square Park. The format is potluck and BYOB. Here are the food categories and their placement on the alphabet.
A-C: Salads (Have them assembled and include dressing)
D-H: Fruits and Vegetables (Cut-up and ready to serve)
I-M: Appetizers (Can include a variety of breads)
N-R: Desserts (Bite-size and finger food is ideal)
S-Z: Main Courses
...So if your last name is Throckmorton, you may choose to bring chicken polonaise, cooked and smartly plattered.
Please R.S.V.P. to Miss Manners aka Liam at 452-7257 or firstname.lastname@example.org stating the number in your party and what your are contributing. A few souls are needed to set up, but more are needed to clean up.
See you at the gathering,
Bill Mc Guire
[Note: One mystery guest will be celebrating a birthday, but this editor has been sworn to secrecy on the specifics of that topic.]
• from Jessica Brown, English eligibility coordinator
Looking for a textbook or three?
Well, here's the deal. The closet outside my office, L514, is
Book Closet. In the past, it has just been filled with textbooks that
arrive from the various publishers and then they are set up in alpha
order by author. What I am trying to do is create a more useful book
area by having the publishers themselves come and put in their texts,
accompanied by a pamphlet that describes the text and, in some cases,
the level in which it is used. So far, I have Thomsan and
Pearson/Longman/Allyn & Bacon arriving next week to pull old
editions and restock with new ones. I have not heard back from
Prentice, Norton, McGraw Hill, Bedford or Houghton, though I will
attempt to persuade them that this is in their best interest. I am
hoping that this becomes a good source for new instructors, especially,
to investigate possible textbooks, but also for anyone who is
interested in seeing the new texts that are coming out. I have a key
and so does Diane, so anyone who wishes to check it out can contact
either one of us.
• from Publius:
Speech and English Summit Concludes with New Mission Statement
Since the first Speech-English Summit took place forty years ago, there have been numerous debates over purpose of the Summit’s mission. Fortunately, after a week sequestered in the hills of San Francisco, the current representatives of Speech and English came to a historic agreement in the revision of their mission statement, which reads as follows: “Poop regularly, and use your words.” Check your mail for next year’s agenda.
Representatives pictured left-to-right include Oliver (wearing the same outfit his father wore at the very first summit), Catherine, Elizabeth, and Nithan.
• from Julie Young, Title III co-coordinator:
Top 5 comments on basic skills papers?
Basic Skills Teachers, please take a minute to give a virtual primal scream and share your top five revision suggestions for students. What five comments do you find yourself writing over and over and over again on your students' papers? I'd like to see the comment just as you write it, and I'd like to focus on process suggestions rather than sentence-level errors.
This will help Craig and me in our redesign and reconfiguration of the lab page and activity guide for our upcoming Carnegie residency.
Please send your comments to email@example.com. We'll post the top five in the next issue.
• from Craig Kleinman, lab coordinator:
Reading Lab updates
We are very happy to announce that Zoya Zeylikovich has already begun her tenure as our new full-time Reading Lab 3598, joining Richard Gale in our continuing efforts to make the Reading Lab a wonderful place for students to improve their literacy skills. Zoya brings to the job a great love of literature and an extremely impressive computer and learning assistance background. Please introduce yourself to her if you haven’t already. Learn more about Zoya as she braves the newsletter’s hot seat.
Most of the reading groups have been quite popular. Session two has already begun, so please let your students that the final reading group session will be after spring break—unless they want to join Christoph Greger’s six-week Neuromancer session beginning the week before spring break. Jump to more about times and books.
Please, if you would like to lead a reading group this fall and/or have an idea for a book that would be good primarily for basic skills students, contact your humble lab boy, Craig Kleinman. Try to think of a book not often used in the classroom.
The reading tutoring table has also become popular as of late among students from all levels of English. Thank you for sending them our way, and thanks to the tutors and Richard for keeping the faith. And a special thank you to Alisa Messer for creating, posting, and coloring the reading tutoring area’s signs. Alisa’s approaches to the current sign system have emerged out of several metatheoretical assumptions: ontological, epistemological, and axiological—not to mention geometrical and umbilical. Workplace theory aside, students see the signs and then seek help.
Our most recent Title III purchase, Reading Plus, has arrived. In April it will be installed on the new Title III server, and then in early May we’ll have an all-day faculty training session. This should enable us to make smart of Reading Plus in the fall. Please check out the Reading Plus website. Our wide area network (wan) version will handle up to 500 users and will be accessible at CCSF computer labs on all campuses. Special thanks to Nadine Rosenthal, Mamie How, Larry Klein, Nick Chang, and Bruce Smith for their support. This program should have a major impact on reading assessment and practice at CCSF. The following table (from the Reading Plus website) provides an overview of the instructional programs.
As a result of Patricia Delich, Julie Young, and Craig Kleinman’s upcoming Carnegie residency, a new Lab Page, Cyberia home page, and Cyberia Activity Guide are in the works! You’ll see. Plus—it looks like the new Cyberia computers may be ordered in time for summer installation! Please, if you have any brilliant ideas or special requests for the room, such as a broadcaster instead of a projector, please contact your humble lab boy, you know who. The negative side of this may be an obstruction of Cyberia classroom and laboratorium use this summer session, or at least for part of summer session. As far as lab use, we’ll try to expand the Reading Lab’s computer offerings, especially since those machines have Internet, Inspiration, and Write OutLoud access. Still, if you would like to use Cyberia as a classroom once week (maybe more) this summer, contact you know who asap, preferably by tax day. Again, the Cyberia schedule may go ka-plooey due to the installation schedule. Hopefully the new machines will arrive before our current classics go ka-plooey. That’s the most important thing. One other thing: If you are not already an experienced, key-bearing, code-toting Cyberian, you’ll have to wait till next fall.
Copy/paste/fill-out this little Cyberia summer class-time request form. Use one form per class. Thanks.
Cyberia summer class-time
I’d like teach in Cyberia =
Submit requests to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4/15ish. (Fall Cyberia requests will be tackled later.)
• Publius's continuing series of interviews with the who, what, and where of English Department excitement:
Wow, Zoya, here you are working full-time in the Reading Lab with
Richard Gale. How did you end up here?
ZOYA: By choice. I am hoping to pick up some new “vocabs.” I already got my first: “revelence” of sound.
PUBLIUS: More importantly, what’s your favorite episode of Star Trek? If you can’t remember the title, that’s okay, and don’t feel limited to the original series. Voyager would be acceptable.
ZOYA: It’s when Captain Kirk is defending this terribly deformed mute captain and the aliens are these old women with huge bald heads and pulsing veins. Brrr …
PUBLIUS: Ahh, yes. That would be Captain Pike, James Tiberius’s Kirk’s immediate predecessor. Do you consider your position in the English Department similar to Chief Engineer Scott’s, aka Scotty?
ZOYA: Scotty who? BTW there is a new old show in town – Battlestar Galactica.
noticed that Richard has a small tattoo of the Romulan
Bird-of-Prey behind his left ear. Is Richard a
Romulan? If so, does he have a cloaking device that could be used
ZOYA: No and no, but we have a cloaking device. The trick is to use it to cloak in/out two students at the same time.
PUBLIUS: Excellent. Speaking of technology, we have just purchased Reading Plus—thanks to our Title III grant. We already have several programs, as well as a Web site. What do you see as technology’s role in the Reading Lab’s future?
ZOYA: In the future instead of workstations we will have couches. Students will be taking a nap while reading materials will be downloaded directly into their brains.
PUBLIUS: Which workbook activity do you think is especially good for Reading Lab students?
ZOYA: I reserve my judgment on workbooks. I am still on “Phenomena.”
PUBLIUS: Should Reading Lab students be required to undergo steroid tests when taking the RFU? This is, after all, a lab.
ZOYA: Only if their parents/relatives ever worked for BALCO (or Barry Bonds).
PUBLIUS: Steroid issues aside, are you glad to be here?
ZOYA: Steroids and jokes aside, I am really glad to be working at CCSF.
PUBLIUS: Are you currently reading any novels? Anything good?
ZOYA: Yes and no. Why read good novels when bad ones are so much more fun. My favorite example is I. Asimov’s Foundation translated into Russian by a non-native speaker. Tons and tons of giggles.
PUBLIUS: Is there a yoga position that might help students in the reading lab?
ZOYA: The position in picture 1 helps students achieve the perfect 10 score on RFU cards. The position in picture 2 is what I would like every student doing when they get to the counter to sign in.
PUBLIUS: Thank you, Zoya, for being on the Publius hot seat.
• from Tore Langmo:
Once every 30 years or so...
... San Francisco gets a dusting of snow (or in this case, hail) that sticks. In case you missed it, the CCSF-side of SF got a severe pelting on the evening of the 10th, and the following morning Siri and Nissa still had plenty to play in outside of Rosenberg Library.
• from Suzanne Lo, MIP film series coordinator:
Finding The Way Home: A film by Shakti Butler
Fri. March 24, 2:00-4:30 p.m., Rosenberg Library, R304
The Multicultural Infusion Project begins its new diversity film series with The Way Home, a 90 minute film showing women from 8 ethnic councils, and their candid conversations with each other about race, gender and class in the U.S. These women speak their minds and hearts about love, assimilation, beauty, power and more; it's a look into cultural worlds mostly invisible to outsiders.
In showing this film, MIP hopes to provide the campus community with another opportunity to develop and deepen our understanding of ourselves and each other. We hope you'll join us and share your thoughts and feelings after the film. Open to all faculty and classified staff.
• from Linda Bacon, nutrition instructor:
Marilyn Wann speaks Wed, March 29th, 9:10-10:00 am in the Diego Rivera Theater
Come hear fat activist Marilyn Wann name it and show the path for transformation. Guaranteed to be an inspirational and informative talk! Linda Bacon, who organized the event, has put Marilyn's book, FAT!SO?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size, on reserve at the Rosenberg Library under her name.
• from Stephanie Lyons, concert and lecture series coordinator:
More upcoming CCSF events
- Monday, March 27, 12:30 - 2 p.m. Arts 133, "Sierra Jazz Society" - Bassist Bill Douglass and drummer Omar Clay. Join CCSF faculty member Lenny Carlson for a lecture, demo and performance of classic jazz repertoire.
- Wednesday, March 29, 7 - 10 p.m., Rosenberg 304, Documentary Film: "Thirst"
For more information, contact Stephanie Lyons at 239.3580.
- From Loren Bell: For no charge, my son, Zach Bell, has offered his Twin size Trundle bunkbed, oak frame, pine slats with two trundle drawers on wheels, Sealy mattresses; though disassembled, Allen wrench is provided. This offer is limited to CCSF ENGLISH TEACHERS who possess TWO BODIES WHO WILL FIT two TWIN SIZE beds.
- Free! Fax/phone/answering machine combo in excellent condition seeks new home. Made by Brother, plain paper, printing cartridge included. Must be compatible with ubiquitous office beige. Contact Alisa to arrange a meeting.
- WANTED: Working computer monitor for student in need. If you have one at home you'd be willing to donate to a hard-working CCSF student, please let Alisa know.
• from Barbara Scrafford, staff food editor:
Joan's Asparagus Salad
2 red bell peppers
2 tbs. white wine vinegar
2 tbs. capers, drained
1 tb Dijon mustard
2 tsps. chopped tarragon or dill
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 C. plus 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz. soft, mild goat cheese
12 Nicoise or Calamata olives, pitted & chopped
Shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus until bright green & tender, about 3 minutes; transfer to a colander & refresh under cold water; drain & pat dry.
- 2. Roast the peppers directly over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning until charred all over. Transfer them to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel the peppers & cut them into 1/4" thick strips.
- 3. In a medium bowl, stir together the vinegar, capers, mustard, tarragon, garlic, and onion; season with salt & pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.
- 4. Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter. Lay the roasted pepper strips over the asparagus and drizzle with half the vinaigrette. Crumble the goat cheese on top. Garnish with chopped olives and the Parmigiano shavings & serve, passing the remaining vinaigrette at the table.
• from Alexandra Teague, Stegner Fellow:
The Grammar of Cities, an excerpt
is part of a new sequence of poems inspired in large part by the many,
many grammar workshops that I taught at the Writing Lab.
of a sentence first, because less happens in the world than we suppose,
and there are more of us, more nouns and pronouns, all possible subjects.
This morning, for instance, I woke in a room filled with clouds; the fog
had come over the curtainless windows like a sadness remaining
from a dream I didn’t remember, and I lay there trying to trace myself
back into darkness, into a sleep that made sense of this life with its engines
and sirens, its shopping carts rattling with broken bottles, glass clinking
with wire, the wheels jarring, as people who have nowhere to live
push their lives through the city. No wonder the subject is easy to lose.
The sound dies away at the corner where the bookstore, which I cannot see
from bed, is preparing to set out shelves of fantasy and graphic novels,
coffeetable history and sexuality, homelessness as a 21st-century crisis,
the interpretation of dreams: books that have been touched and bought
and maybe read, though reading isn’t required, and marginalia so rare
we can believe we are the first to turn each page, to encounter words
in this particular arrangement, to try to understand the subject at hand,
which is really the object, if we are thinking of grammar. I read once
in a book by a famous author that people live in cities to be alone
in the midst of others. It is humbling to think we cannot find ourselves
except in the syntax of strangers. If you knew me, you would know
this is true: that I lay there trying to diagram the morning without getting up,
without looking closely at details, and I nonetheless wanted to understand
these details as they related to me and to the clouds above the orange silk
bedspread, not literal clouds, but soft grey lightlessness, as though I were
in a plane flying close to the earth or through the haze above Mexico City
with its white volcanoes and millions upon millions of people, each one alone—
as though I were suspended in the middle of a sentence in which I’d passed
myself as the subject, and my awaking, but still did not know what action
stretched ahead: if I was taking off into the long horizon of this day, or landing.
• from Richard Compean, staff film critic:
Redux: Pride and Prejudice
Along with other Jane Austen lovers, until recently I had held it a truth universally acknowledged that yet another cinematic rendering of Pride and Prejudice must be in want of merit. Previous renderings had ranged back to 1939 (with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier) and forward to 2004 (the Bollywood version titled Bride and Prejudice), with the definitive A&E/BBC miniseries (with Collin Firth) produced for television in 1996 and released on DVD in 2001. My pride told me that these were quite enough. My prejudice told me that no new version would be worth paying current cinema prices or even future DVD rental prices.
But with great reluctance on my part and great persuasion by my wife and daughter I went to see the new adaptation. Dario Manelli’s wonderful music score, engaging settings, and fabulous acting all worked together to change my mind. It was no accident that this Pride and Prejudice received Oscar nominations for music, art and costume design, and acting. The sound track and settings alone are enough to recommend seeing this film (including a “grittier” and more realistic 18th century rural England). The acting serves as icing on the cake, especially the Bennet roles of father and favorite daughter played Donald Sutherland and Keira Knightly. Let neither pride nor prejudice get in the way of enjoying this great film.
• from Randy, Cyberia's main man:
The Randy tip of the month: Data storage
Hey, man. Many of you have probably wondered what I do to save my work on the IBM S/360 mainframe. I can answer that with exactly one word: 10.5inchdiameterhalfinchwidereelof- 9trackmagnetic- tapewithautoloadingtapeseal. To me, that’s poetry, man. It may seem crowded and weighty to you, but to me it’s like a poem about an Ornette Coleman solo. And back in the ‘60s, when I used to listen to a lot of Coleman, I’d go on backpacking trips all over the country to find out how other labs saved data. I called it “Backpacking for Back-ups.” Man, those were magnetic trips, and, believe me, I saw a lot of tape and data cell drives, especially at Columbia.
Today, most people don’t use 40-year old mainframes, but that’s cool. The thing is that a lot of students—and teachers—use different personal computers, or what the popular kids call “PC’s,” and they use these PC’s on and off campus. Unfortunately, what’s been happening to a lot of non IBM S/360 10.5inchdiameterhalf- inchwidereelof9trackmagnetictapewithautoloadingtapeseal users is the everyday battle against reliable data storage. What I’ve heard through the walls of Cyberia, for example, is that almost every day another floppy disk can’t be opened or another floppy drive can’t read disks. Of course, with PC revolution, methods for saving data change all of the time. Here are some ways to do it: home drive, shared Drive, floppy disc, cd burner, usb drive, and email attachment.
Probably the best way to do it—and this what you should tell your students too—is to not save your work one way. If all of your work is on one disk and that disk goes bad, you are toast, my friend. Toast, man. If you’re not into magnetic tape or data cartridges, then use a disk or flash drive to save your work and carry it around in your macramé bookbag, BUT also email it yourself as an attachment. In fact, you may even want to open a free email account just for the purpose of sending and storing CCSF documents. Here are some links to places on the ARPANET—or what some of you call the Internet—that show you how to attach and open electronically mailed documents.
- Wednesday, March 29, 2-5, R210, PhotoShop I, Introduction to Adobe PhotoShop. Learn to touch up your own photos, optimize digital photos for the web and for use in PowerPoint. For novices.
- Don't forget the terrific offerings from @ONE. There are some terrific desktop seminars coming up in March. There are links to the @ONE sessions on the TLC March calendar: http://www.ccsf.edu/tlc/march.htm
- Do you have your own technology tip to share? Contact your newsletter editors and let them know about it!
Unabated politeness could spell health problems, study saysForcing too many smiles? Choking back frustration? A recent psychological study tracks emotional and physical responses to being friendly and polite for extended periods of time. One conclusion? "[B]eing friendly against one's will causes nothing but stress."
April 15th is fast approaching......and some thing are inevitable. If you're using software instead of pencil and paper (or hired hands) to prepare your taxes, you might appreciate this handy list of links about tax software (which program gets the biggest returns, for instance?).
Stop playing solitaire
- Waste time here instead, by creating your very own Simpson's character with the Simpson Maker: choose your favorite head, eyes, body, etc., add a message, and email it out to all your friends.
- Or catalogue your library instead: LibraryThing is a free online service that helps you catalogue, rate, and review your books, and see what other users have to say about them and what else they're reading. Or check out the tag cloud page, a graphical representation of the most-used "tags" or categories users have identified in their cataloguing.
- Or, check your news—and vocabulary—knowledge with Ripped from the Headlines, a fascinating online quiz that takes daily headlines from the Washington Post and turns them into multiple choice quizzes. Choose both your level and your area of expertise: Education? Front page? Sports? Style? World News? (Reading teachers, can you say "cloze text"?)