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 • Oct-Nov 60.2
CCSF logo (bridge)

Golden Gate Bridge Campus

 In this issue
button Glory & Applause
• Bosson at the Kosmos
• Daniel Brown in print
• Greger's big moment
button In the English Dept
• Exclusive interview: Diane Romero
Nuts for the holidays
• Puente builds community and supports the home team
• Reading training: call for applicants
• Holiday party: save the date!
• Lab updates
• Basic skills group 
• NorCal Reading Association Conference
button Did you know?
button Recipe of the month

• Pumpkin bread for poets
button Technology tip of the month
button Featured poem
• Dulman's "Flying to California"

Department  listservs:

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your email address, go to

You can set up lists for your classes, too. 


To learn more about your educational technology options at CCSF, please visit the TLC

 Handy links
button English Department Home
button The Lab Page
button City Currents
button Faculty & staff directory
button CCSF Concert & Lecture Series
button Forms, forms, forms
button Web4 login
Newsletter archives
button 60.1 (Sep. '05)
button 59.7 (May '05)
button 59.6 (April '05)
button 59.5 (Feb '05)
button 59.4 (Dec. '04)
button 59.3 (Oct./Nov. '04)
button 59.2 (Sep. '04)

Are you
and your






glory & applause
BREAKING NEWS--Wednesday, 11/16, 3 pm:
CCSF Curriculum Committee Approves the English Major!
Monday, 11/7, I presented a talk to the Kosmos Club at the UC Berkeley Faculty Club. The Kosmos Club mostly consists of faculty from the Sciences at Berkeley, both emeritus and still teaching, but there is a sprinkling of faculty members from the Humanities in the club too. Needless to say, I was extremely nervous, but the talk was very well received.

The talk ended with a lively discussion of train journeys in various locations around the world and with Professor of Physics Rich Mueler's insightful comment that Einstein came up with the Theory of Relativity while he was helping railway companies coordinate their time schedules. This was prompted by my comment that Standard Time was implemented when railways realized that their schedules only worked if everyone agreed what the exact time was. Before the railway, one would find that each town had its own idea of what time it was. Imagine trying to make your BART or MUNI connection and discovering that CCSF is 10 minutes ahead of Colma! 
inside the train

Railways, Reading, and the Victorians

With the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway line in 1830, British conceptions of speed, time, distance, and communication changed dramatically. Nineteenth-century travelers found it both exhilarating to experience and difficult to adjust to the landscape flying past the windows of the compartments; meanwhile, the popularity of reading while traveling skyrocketed. Our speaker will argue that these two phenomena are directly linked to one another.

By allowing the traveler to immerse him or herself in the familiar world of literature, reading during train travel seems to have been an escape from boredom (John Ruskin’s “miserable” traveler), the stressful view out of the window, and the uncomfortable conflation of time and space.  Railway bookstalls, opened by W.H. Smith in 1841, capitalized on this trend. Thus, the railway leads directly to the expansion of the marketplace for books and ends up giving people of different classes access to texts that had once been available to only those upper-class passengers who could afford to purchase books. In addition, many of the books read during travel reflect the passengers’ mixture of awe and anxiety when being carried rapidly from one destination to another.
Daniel Curzon (AKA Daniel R. Brown) will have his Xmas short story in the My Word column in the Sunday magazine of the San Francisco Chronicle this December.
| back to top |
Christoph Greger Pauses for Applause

Before screening Ken Russell's Gothic for his English 46C class, Christoph Greger paused for applause that never came.  Before starting the Russell film about Byron and the Shelleys, Greger stood in front of the blank screen and announced, "Let's all join together and show the kind of spirit that made George Gordon,  Lord Byron, Sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale, the greatest poet, revolutionary, philosopher, and bisexual tobacco-chewer of the romantic era!" After twelve seconds of silence, Greger added, "Well, moving on," and spoke for 15 minutes about the importance of using the restroom during the 10-minute passing period between classes.
Christoph Greger, romantic

"I should have gone with a Keats joke about thick-sighted ambition.  Live and learn," said Greger, now enrolled in an 8-week MC class at the Learning Annex.

in the department 
On the Hot Seat: Diane Romero, the New English Department Secretary
What type of dog do you have?  What's your dog's name, and how old is he or she in dog years?
A Shar-pei. Her name is Miyake, and she is 70 years old.
Do you every dress your dog in a Sherlock Holmes costume, including the pipe?
No, her wrinkles are good enough.
Your favorite episode of STAR TREK?
No favorite comes to mind.
Do you consider your position in the English Department similar to Lieutenant Uhura's?
Yes, I do.
Who is the assistant you've brought with you from the Delta Quadrant?  Is he a member of the Federation?
Jesse Cruz, a member of the Federation since we began working together three semesters ago.
 Does that mean Krizy's a Romulan?
Yes, but also in the Federation.
If the orange cubicle walls could be changed to a different color, which color should that be?
Soft yellow.
Do you hail Cyberia?
I do if it's a great resource for the students.
Casey Stengel or Bill Walsh?
I love both.
What is the primary source of heat in John Batty-Sylvan's office?
The warm sun, of course.

Thank you, Diane, for being on The Hot Seat !
mixed nuts
Departmental Nuts and Chews

Carol Fregly will be sending out forms for your 30% discount on See's Candies gift certificates.  Yum, 30% of the price--but 100% delicious. Email Carol for more information.
See's Turkey
On Saturday, October 15, 2005, City College’s Puente Program, which is now in the English 96 phase, held a barbeque at Batmale Hall Plaza so that the students, faculty, and their families could get to know each other outside of the classroom. Because of the location, everyone enjoyed carne asada, pollo, and other tasty treats, while they viewed the CCSF Rams play football against Sacramento’s Panthers. Kids flew kites, students played dominoes, and students, faculty, and family members ate very well. The Puente Program now looks forward to making this an annual event. Puente picnic pic

The Reading Apprenticeship training program, a Carnegie-funded project to prepare instructors to teach basic skills Reading courses, will be offered again in the Spring.  Participants attend 14 weekly meetings, learning practical tools they can put to immediate use in the classroom.  Outside readings are assigned and each participant will have an opportunity to create and share a lesson plan based on the RA model of instruction.  Meetings will take place between 2:30-4:00 PM.  For an application, email Lisa King at  Application deadline: Dec. 2.  Hurry! There are only 6 spaces available...
Hold the date of Saturday, December l0, open--for the English Department Holiday Party will be held at the home of Barbara Scrafford, commencing at 7:00 pm.  The format is Pot Luck and BYOB.  Invitations and directions will be coming soon.

Also, there is still time to order half-price tickets to the S.F. Symphony. Please get the word out to the students.  Bill McGuire has plenty of forms in Arts 213. Any questions, they can reach Bill at 452-7257.

Watch out--Bill McGuire's using electronic mail! Could he be America's next great spammer or hacker?
Learn more about Festivus and the Feats of Strength.
If you've not turned in your Spring 2006 Lab Preference and/or Cyberia Classroom Request Form, please submit it pronto to or Lose your form? Click here to download the lab preference form.  How about teaching in Cyberia?
Peer Tutors 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).
| back to top |

LAB-OF-THE-FUTURE Contest Reeks of Scandal

SAN FRANCISCO–Controversy has engulfed the City College of San Francisco English Department, where for over one month a LAB-OF-THE-FUTURE contest has been mired in corruption, Batmale Hall sources reported Monday.  

The contest kicked off in the September issue of the English Department Newsletter, but since then there have been at least 15 confirmed cases of LAB-OF-THE-FUTURE-proposal fraud, including email box stuffing and illegal deletion of contest entries.  According to the LAB-OF-THE-FUTURE contest overseer, Randy, last name unknown, the May 2005 Cyberia lab assistant of the month, this is "muy uncool.  Muy, man."  

By Tuesday, it appeared that only two of the entries were legitimate: one submitted by Hari Costarides, the other by a long-term emergency hire calling himself Alab Ray Dohr, formerly of the University of Bangladesh. By Tuesday night, Randy, last name unknown, had determined that Alab Ray Dohr was not a real employee of CCSF.  "We thought it would be cool for the LAB-OF-THE-FUTURE contest winner to be named Alab.  Muy cool, even though his only lab ideas were quills and slates.  But he's not a real person, man."  

That left Hari Costarides, your winner of the fall 2005 LAB-OF-THE-FUTURE contest. Congratulations, Hari!  You have won your very own Hasbro Think-a-Tron (in one-dimensional digital format), a wonderful companion for all of your journeys into the future.  Let's travel into the  future through Hari's eyes:



The English Lab of the Near Future
As envisioned by Hari Costarides
• Students use WiFi laptops on smaller, adjustable, rolling laptop carts
• Students use more ergonomically correct chairs and accessories
• Instructors can configure seating easily
Wireless Network
• Advanced wireless network of at least 802.11g protocol allows for maximum mobility and expandability
• The administrator’s station and a few stations are still networked with ethernet cable
Complete Systems Integration
• All of the presentation functions, computers, monitors, presentation screens, audio amplifier, lights, etc. will be integrated into one seamless system
• Creating and recalling class profiles through the integrated system can ready Cyberia and its computers for individual classes and objectives
• Instructors can lock internet access, or otherwise control functionalities on all or some student computers
• Instructor scan present video simultaneously on the individual computer screens as well as on larger presentation screens
• Instructors can watch a slide show of the screens of individual students for the ultimate in Orwellian proctoring
Remote Control
• Integrated system will be controlled by a remote, a tablet pc that wirelessly controls all of the computers and functions within the room.
• The tablet pc remote will be operated with a touch screen menu that is easily customized, updated, and expandable.
(All of the above is available now.  I’ve written user documentation for audio/video/computer integrated systems currently used by corporate and educational institutions.)
Multiple Video Displays
• Multiple projectors/screens or flat screen displays, viewable from every seating position
Online Cyberia Training Modules
• All students will receive a basic orientation in proper ergonomics of using computers for a long period of time.
• Website, video, or power point presentations provide virtual tours and getting started information for each Cyberia program or activity.
• Completing a getting started with Cyberia primer and passing an online exit assessment prepares the student for working in the lab, either in class, or as homework.
• Cyberia help file is available online with detailed documentation on software, Cyberia policies, etc.
Student Progress Server
• Students are assigned Cyberia login and email accounts
• Student time and progress in the lab is clocked by an id card/login that records results into their account
• Totals and other reports are available in an online database
English Assessment Server
• Dedicated assessment server delivers online assessments and calculates/stores results via a web-based database
• Common assessments are conducted online
• Instructors perform online document review to evaluate common assessment results
• Statistics of common assessments are calculated and compiled by the server, which can also provide customizable reports
On Tuesday, November 8th, Kathleen Duffy and Marylou Massey-Henderson of DSP&S came to talk at the English Department's Basic Skills meeting.  Kathleen and Marylou discussed what kinds of services DSP&S offers and gave tips on what signs and characteristics to look for with respect to student reading, writing, and/or study skills that may indicate a learning disability.

The next Basic Skills meeting will feature Nick Chang and our own John Delgado who will come to discuss the Early Alert Program.  This meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 5th, from 1-2:30.  All are welcome!

The Northern California College Reading Association (NCCRA) Annual Meeting and Conference
Saturday, April 1st 2006
Skyline College, San Bruno

The NCCRA is a small but dedicated group of reading instructors who gather yearly for the opportunity to learn more about the field of reading instruction from peers.  We welcome you and your participation.

College reading instructors make presentions on various topics ranging from the Integration of Reading and Writing in a Developmental Course to Phonics in Developmental Reading.  In the past, topics of interest included Using Visual Media to Enhance Critical Thinking Skills, Explorations in Tone through Musical Interpretation, and Academic Discourse Development in a Web-Enhanced Reading and Writing Course.  Topics of interest are diverse in range and scope, covering subject matter of interest to the college reading instructor. If you wish to make a presentation, please read on.

If you are interested in attending the conference, please notify Lucia Lachmayr by phone:  (650) 358-6889 x9369 or email to provide contact information in order to receive a registration form.
Calling All Presenters
NCCRA Wants You to Share Your Experience and Knowledge!

 -- Have you done reading-related research?
 -- Have you used an innovative reading 
technique in your classroom?
 -- Are you involved in an exciting tutoring
or reading program?

We welcome you to present at the NCCRA Conference
Saturday, April 1st 2006
@Skyline College in San Bruno!

If you are interested in being a presenter, please email Linda Vogel at an abstract of your proposed topic by Monday, December 5th

  ...and did you know?
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
NSSE's 2005 Annual Report: Exploring Different Dimensions of Student Engagement (download the pdf file here), which focuses on four-year institutions, outlines student participation and engagement in a variety of educational and academic practices, including extra-curricular activities and student-faculty interaction. Among the national findings regarding transfer students from two-year colleges, the study notes that they interacted with faculty less frequently and "[p]articipated in fewer educationally enriching activities" (20).

Please don't tell the students
Random essay generator could skew department norming sessions.

Favorite time-wasters
Bubble wrap: no one can pop just one!

Alternate dimension?
Google error causes mass chaos, confusion:
A Public Service Announcement

Francine Foltz recently shared the story of a former student and army verteran who had been involuntarily recalled to service in Iraq--but has since been permitted to resign. Here are two resources that could provide help for others in similar situations:
    • The GI Rights Hotline: 800-394-9544

recipe of the month 
A Recipe for Poets

Here’s an idea:  Use the leftover pumpkin from your Thanksgiving pie to make pumpkin bread for the conference room after Thanksgiving!  Your colleagues will be thankful, and the sugar will get them through to finals.

This recipe is in A Cookbook for Poor Poets, from Loren Bell’s collection.
Pumpkin bread
2 1/2 cups sifted flour       
1 tablespoon baking powder   
1 teaspoon salt       
2 teaspoons cinnamon       
1 teaspoon ground cloves   
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and soda. Mix in the walnuts. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs, and beat well.  Combine buttermilk and pumpkin and add to the creamed mixture alternately with flour mixture.  Turn batter into a well-greased 5.5 x 9.5 inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes.  Turn out of pan and cool on a rack.  Bring to conference room.

By the way, Loren Bell reportedly has some moose meat in his freezer. I think I have just the recipe. Later . . . .

Flying to California

Slain dragons
Are the rivers below.
They’re all over the place:
The head in mountain time,
The tail back east.

When we get to the coast
The land does funny things:
It ripples,
As if still being formed,
As if unsure

Where it’s going.

This issue of the English Department Newsletter has been sponsored by the good people of

Cyberia logo

Prepare to be amazed

when you use the composition and grammar programs, as well as the Cyberia lab activity form. 

 Cyberia: It's Cool

Randy, my "main" manThe Randy Tip of the Month: The Myth of Ergonomics  

Colleges should become laboratories for costly, unscientific government regulations.

Don't believe it, man.  The government just wants our English labs to be expensive, pseudoscientific federalist stooge parlors. Ask the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if you don't believe me. You can't force employers to teach employees the scientifically invalid and false assumptions underlying the rules of the human body as if they were truths. Yet, despite the billions of dollars it will cost, mandatory ergonomic regulation will not assure the prevention of a single injury, even in Cyberia.   

Back in the '70s,  there were these two students always typing the same assignment at the same time on Cyberia's Brother electric  typewriters.  One developed back strain; the other had wrist problems.  You just need to take vitamins and herbal supplements, man.  Sipping a Kava-Kava drink helps, too, when staring at a computer.  The data just isn't there, man, to regulate ergonomic practices beyond the volunteer level, but I will tell you this much: wrist supports are on sale at Walgreen's,  and Ethel Tang-Quan's husband, Victor, is a great chiropractor.

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

Please submit newsletter ideas, photos, poems, teaching tips, recipes, gossip, propaganda. . . .

Send contributions to or