Category: composition


Flexibility, Communication, and Compassion

This past week many universities and K-12 schools have shut down face-to-face meetings and turned to online classes and coursework. This move is substantial, and there are a lot of things to consider when thinking about how we, as educators and students, will approach this shift. As such, today, I want to take a moment and walk through what I am thinking about doing … Read More Flexibility, Communication, and Compassion


Teaching in Norway: Part II

On Tuesday, I started discussing pedagogy in Norway and the ways I had to adjust to a different classroom and educational environment. There, I wrote about face-to-face time and composition within the classroom. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at writing for master’s students and at assessment. In each of these cases, I think there are things that are beneficial for … Read More Teaching in Norway: Part II


Teaching in Norway: Part I

It’s hard to believe that my time in Norway is almost over. This year has taught me so much, and I don’t think I’ll realize everything until I get back to the US and start to reflect more on my time here. However, there are some things that have stuck out, specifically in regard to university pedagogy. So, for this post, I want to … Read More Teaching in Norway: Part I


Looking at Court Cases in the Composition Classroom?

Note: Featured image is George McLaurin in class at the University of Oklahoma.  At the end of each semester, I look back and reflect upon what worked throughout the course and what could possibly go better. Part of this examination involves considering what assignments and readings to incorporate into the upcoming semester. Today, I want to discuss the tweaks I made this semester in … Read More Looking at Court Cases in the Composition Classroom?


Is Work/Life Balance Achievable in Academia?

For the first few weeks, I would walk into my eight o’clock class to bright faces and smiles from the students seated within the rows. About a month into the semester, and coincidentally around the same time that they had to turn in their first essay, the smiling faces turned to tired and haggled sleep-deprived visages that stared blankly back at me as I … Read More Is Work/Life Balance Achievable in Academia?


Tumblr, Blogger, and Wikis in the Literature Classroom

Over the past few months, I have posted different pedagogical approaches that I have implemented in the classroom from the elevator pitch in the composition classroom to the use of archival materials in the literature classroom. Today, I want to take the moment and expand upon a couple of projects that I have used in the literature classroom.

Laziness or Pedagogical Instability?

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been reading about the digital landscape and technology in the classroom during my composition class. The readings, varying in years from 2001 to the present, have gotten me interested in thinking about the ways that I incorporate technology into the classroom while at the same time making that implementation engaging to the students and not just … Read More Laziness or Pedagogical Instability?


Students and My Trip to the ICU!

“Dad! DAD! Daaaaaaad. . . ” As I lay in my bed in the CVICU last week, I could not sleep. Partly because of the medicine I was on for my pneumonia, but also because the screams from another room, one which I could not see, penetrated the air. At various times throughout the night, I heard a man scream out for his dad … Read More Students and My Trip to the ICU!

David Walker and the Composition Classroom?

For various reasons, I always like to teach David Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World (1829) in my Early American literature courses. Typically, I do not have students read selections from Walker’s Appeal until later in the semester; however, as I noted in a previous post, I am having students read it at the very beginning of the semester before moving … Read More David Walker and the Composition Classroom?


Personal Identity Narrative Essay

When I teach first year composition courses, I have students write some type of personal narrative for their first essay. This typically involves them relating a story about themselves and creating an argument based off of what they learned from their own personal experience. Recently, instead of having students do a personal narrative where they relate any story from their lives, I have been … Read More Personal Identity Narrative Essay


The Elevator Pitch in the Composition and Literature Classroom 

During the spring semester, I taught three freshman composition courses, and even though each course was a little different, I had all three do a proposal essay as one of their paper assignments. I have done this type of assignment before, and typically it’s been hit or miss with how well students do with writing their proposals. For the most part, I tell them … Read More The Elevator Pitch in the Composition and Literature Classroom 

Bloomingdale’s and the Visual Analysis Essay

When teaching composition, one of my favorite assignments has always been the visual analysis essay. This semester, students must choose one or two advertisements and analyze them, looking at audience, context, message, format, and other items. As usual, reality outside of the classroom always has a way of seeping in to the discussions, even in a composition course. Bloomingdale’s Holiday Catalog Page Last week, … Read More Bloomingdale’s and the Visual Analysis Essay