BREAKING NEWS--Wednesday, 11/16, 3 pm:
CCSF Curriculum Committee Approves the English Major!
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
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
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|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
should have gone with a Keats joke about thick-sighted ambition.
Live and learn," said Greger, now enrolled in an 8-week MC class
the Learning Annex.
|On the Hot Seat:
Diane Romero, the New English Department Secretary
of dog do
you have? What's your dog's name, and how old is he or she in dog
A Shar-pei. Her
name is Miyake, and she is 70 years old.
Do you every
your dog in a Sherlock Holmes costume, including the pipe?
wrinkles are good enough.
favorite episode of STAR TREK?
comes to mind.
consider your position in the English Department similar to Lieutenant
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
Does that mean Krizy's a
Yes, but also
in the Federation.
cubicle walls could be changed to a different color, which color should
Do you hail
I do if it's a
great resource for the students.
I love both.
What is the
source of heat in John Batty-Sylvan's office?
The warm sun,
Diane, for being on The Hot Seat !
||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
|On Saturday, October
15, 2005, City College’s Puente Program, which is now in the
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
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
email@example.com. 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
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
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.
Peer Tutors Wanted for Spring
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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
(Cindy Slates) or firstname.lastname@example.org
(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
Contest Reeks of Scandal
SAN FRANCISCO–Controversy has engulfed the
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
Department Newsletter, but since then there have been at least 15
confirmed cases of LAB-OF-THE-FUTURE-proposal
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.
The English Lab
of the Near Future
By Tuesday, it appeared that only two of the
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,
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:
As envisioned by Hari Costarides
use WiFi laptops on smaller, adjustable, rolling laptop carts
• Students use more ergonomically correct chairs and
• Instructors can configure seating easily
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
• 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
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
projectors/screens or flat screen displays, viewable from every seating
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
• 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.
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
assessment server delivers online assessments and calculates/stores
results via a web-based database
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.
• 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
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
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
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
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
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
email@example.com an abstract of your proposed topic by Monday, December
|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
Please don't tell the students
||A Public Service
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
- The GI Rights Hotline: 800-394-9544
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
, from Loren Bell’s collection.
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
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
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:
As if still being formed,
As if unsure
Where it’s going.
This issue of
Department Newsletter has been
sponsored by the good people of
to be amazed
when you use the composition and grammar programs, as well
as the Cyberia lab activity form.
Randy Tip of
the Month: The Myth of Ergonomics
should become laboratories for costly, unscientific government
Don't believe it, man. The government
our English labs to be expensive, pseudoscientific federalist stooge
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
One developed back strain; the other had wrist problems.
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
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.