Teaching Tip Tuesdays: One Minute Feedback

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One of my favorite pedagogical tools is what I call one minute feedbacks. I shamelessly stole this tool from Lieutenant Colonel John Church, whose pedagogy I deeply admire. Through our Writing Center, I taught grammar/formatting lessons for his honors composition class as a junior and senior in college. He printed them on yellow paper (known as “yellow canaries”) and told his students to “make ‘em sing!”

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Monday Meet and Greet: Katherine McCaffery

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878295820 10.02.19 AM

Tell us about yourself! 

Well, I majored in English and Spanish and minored in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Dayton. I am originally from Memphis, TN (which means I’m likely severely underprepared for the winter). My academic interests include medieval and 18th century literature, feminist and queer theory, women writers, and feminist post-Franco Spanish literature. Looking forward, I’m interested in learning more about postcolonial studies, Early Modern literature, and writing pedagogy. Some Fun Facts: I have a dog named Grasshopper; I had a hermit crab named Hermione, but he passed away when I was 13; I could eat breakfast food for every meal; and, I can do a cartwheel.

Why did you choose Lehigh?

I chose Lehigh because it was the best fit for my academic interests as well as my personal situation. I needed to be able to afford graduate school without accruing more loans, and I was really interested in the opportunity to teach for both years (in most programs I applied to, students would only get one year of teaching experience). Additionally, I heard great things about the program from previous graduates, and I felt drawn to the Literature and Social Justice aspect of the graduate program.

What is your favorite book outside your field of study? 

The Hours by Michael Cunningham: While not totally outside my field of study, I really love what Cunningham does in this novel. He folds Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway into a narrative about three women’s lives (one is Woolf herself), and the prose is exceptional.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy: This book is written like a poem. It’s powerful and tragic and meaningful; it’s truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: So I study Jane Austen, but I loved this book before I knew anything about the author, which is why it’s on this list. P&P is a major reason why I’m here today, as it fostered my love of reading as a teenager. My first copy is quite literally falling apart from overuse.

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

I’m really excited just to be in a space where I can focus all of my attention on teaching and learning. I am looking forward to getting to know the faculty and grad students in the English department more; they all seem so nice and so interesting, and I am really eager to learn from them.

Lead the Summer Reading Discussion

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Literature & Social Justice

In the flurry of emails I received as a new graduate student this summer, I took notice of one request in particular. The Office of Student Affairs and the staff of the First-Year Experience were recruiting volunteers to be a Summer Reading Discussion leader for fall orientation. I was anxious to take advantage of as much as I could while working toward my PhD and thought that this experience would be good practice before the stepping into a classroom of my own.

9780393249248Part of the new student orientation since 2003, the Summer Reading Program encourages incoming students to take part in a community reading experience. Each year a new title is selected by a committee made up of faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students, with the goal of “engag[ing] the entire Lehigh community in discussions around a theme of contemporary interest and concern.” This year’s selection, No Apparent Distress by Rachael Pearson, M.D, will also be discussed in Critical Reading and Composition (ENGL 001), giving the students who participate a head start on their reading for the semester.

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Monday Meet and Greet: Ashlee Simon

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Simon

Tell us about yourself! 

My name is Ashlee Simon. I was born and raised in Southern California and received my bachelor’s degree in June 2017 from the University of California, Riverside. My parents live on a farm in Norco, Horsetown U.S.A. where my mom owns and shows myotonic (fainting) goats. She’s currently working on setting up a “goat yoga” business. Stay tuned for updates on that one…

Why did you choose Lehigh?

As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work on a thesis surrounding the instability of medicinal substances. I’m very eager to learn more about the medical humanities, and Lehigh is a wonderful place for me to continue to develop that knowledge.

What is your favorite book outside your field of study?

I highly recommend “The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World’s Greatest Drinks” by Amy Stewart. Other than that, my “fun” reads tend to dwell in the world of historical fiction – especially concerning European monarchy.

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

I’m so excited to get back into the classroom! It’s been a long year off…

“We were very tired, we were very merry”: Reflections on the Lehigh alLUsions Program

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This past August, I had the pleasure of leading nine incoming first-year students and three undergraduate student leaders through the alLUsions program. alLUsions began six years ago when two former graduate students in the department wanted to find intentional ways to build bridges with undergraduate students. The idea was simple: invite incoming students to move in early and use writing as a tool to build community and unleash creativity before they began their college careers. By writing at home, in the city, and in the country, students would, hopefully, begin to discover the world and, more importantly, themselves.

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Meet and Greet: Heather Flyte

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Flyte

Tell us about yourself!

I’m a non-traditional student with a background in web-development and journalism. I enjoy cooking and video games, but not cooking video games. There is a rumor that I watch anime. I will not confirm this. I have seen Anthrax and Billy Ray Cyrus in concert, though not on the same night. I once strung a car engine to the overhanging branch of a maple tree.

Why did you choose Lehigh?

Nearly all of the professors I worked close with at Kutztown University are Lehigh alumni. That alone put it as my top choice.

What is your favorite book outside your field of study? 

My favorite books are the Discworld novels by Sir Terry Pratchett. Most of my worldview comes from this series. Since his passing, I still haven’t read the last book. That way there will always be another Discworld book to read.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m most looking forward to developing as an instructor, seeing where my strengths and weaknesses lie, and discovering exactly what kind of teacher I am. Right now I’m somewhere between “Absent-Minded Professor” and Batman.

Welcome Back!: Reading Groups and Events

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back-to-school-conceptual-creativity-207658The smell of the classroom, the reading assignments, hands cramping after writing too much in margins, and the down-and-out copy machine…. Ah, the telltale signs that another semester has started in the English department. On behalf of Drown Unbound, I would like to welcome our new members and our returning veterans. It is shaping up to be an amazing semester with exciting classes, an intriguing new teaching cohort, and many unknown surprises along the way.

Thinking about the coming semester, we think it is important to remind you all of the many coming opportunities that the weeks ahead hold for us. We’ve compiled a list of the department’s reading groups and some select events. For those that are new and returning, we hope that you will get involved and join us in discussion and attendance at the many things that Drown offers!

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Teaching Tip Tuesdays: Knowledge Retrieval

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auditorium-benches-board-207691Welcome to the fall 2018 semester–and a new series that we are debuting for Drown Unbound. Every two weeks or so, I (Sarah HB) will be inviting graduate students and professors to share their favorite pedagogical approaches and teaching techniques for folks to try out in your English 1 classrooms and beyond. 

Please think of these posts as part of the ongoing conversation regarding teaching in our department. The goal of these posts is to facilitate continued growth and discussion regarding our pedagogical practices. We invite you to use these tips, adapt them for your classrooms, and please share the results in the comments below (or, write a blog post of your own reflecting on your experiences).
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Confessions of a Grad Student: I (Still) Don’t Know What These Words Mean

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I am two seminar papers and one e-portfolio away from finishing my first year of graduate school, and that seems significant. But while reflecting on all the fulfilling, thrilling, liberating, and life-altering stuff I’ve learned this year, I can’t help but think about all the stuff I still don’t know. In fact, I’m beginning to think that the point of education is to teach you things you didn’t know that you didn’t know.

I never knew there were so many things I didn’t know.
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An Interview with Kari Moffat about the Film, “Mentored: Sexual Misconduct in Graduate School”

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History / Lehigh Culture & Community / Literature & Social Justice / Politics
Mentored Poster

Hi Everyone!

In advance of this Thursday’s screening of the film (4:00 pm Drown 210), Mentored: Sexual Misconduct in Graduate School, I’m sharing a conversation I had with Kari Moffat, a member of the production team behind the documentary. The film is written, directed, and produced by Lehigh University students and in its promotional materials, Mentored is described as exploring “the dark side of graduate school”. The film “focuses on how the relationship between graduate students and their faculty mentors can lead to sexual misconduct. With misconduct cases being widespread at universities across the country, Mentored examines why these relationships can be so toxic and why it is still a commonly occurring situation.” As someone who is interested in the intersections of gender and education more broadly, I sat down with Kari to ask her some questions about the film team’s choice of this topic during the ongoing coming-to-terms with our own campus’ recent stories of sexual misconduct. We focused on the interview process and how she might imagine other projects continuing the work of this film.

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