Tom Versteeg
English Composition 101

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Welcome to English Composition 101! Check back often for important updates.
Read The Shallows as You Work on Your Researched Arguments

While most folks are still in the early stages of their work on Essay Assignment Two and won't be submitting a would-be final draft of that researched argument for at least another week or so (remember, absolute deadline is 7 March), it would still be wise to begin now doing the reading for the third essay--The Shallows, by our old pal Nicholas Carr. Being a pretty complicated book-length argument, The Shallows isn't the kind of text one can just buzz through in a few days and get anything meaningful out of, so if you wait until you officially begin work on Essay Assignment Three, you may find yourself out of luck and time. Before you begin reading, though, it would be smart to have a look at the assignment sheet for Essay Assignment Three (available, of course, in the Documents section) so that you'll know what to look for and annotate as you read. Another document--"A Framework for Understanding Carr's Argument in The Shallows"--will also be useful to check out at some point in your reading, but before you begin reading may not be the best time; I'd say wait on this one until the first place where things start to get slow or hazy for you as you're reading. In any case, be smart--get started with this reading at your earliest convenience.

Enjoy Some Poetry and Reverse the Flow of Time

Unfortunately, poet Lorna Dee Cervantes' reading scheduled for next week on campus has been canceled. Doubtless some folks were planning to attend the reading, and at least some of those folks were probably planning to write a response paragraph concerning the reading, which would have removed an absence from their official record. Since that opportunity is no longer available to students in our class, in an act of unsurpassing charity, I'll simply remove an absence for all students for which that removal would likely make a difference on their quarter grade. Of course I won't know until the end of the quarter exactly which students would actually benefit from the removal of an absence, so you won't see any changes reflected on the attendance sheet until then. But if you're very close either to the "benefit" or the "disaster" end of the attendance spectrum you'll get a little help from this policy.

Some Important Dates as We Draw Nigh (or at Least Nigher) the End

Friday, March 3--A day off from conferencing and workshopping (or maybe only 2/3 of a day off) when we--as a class--will spend a little time getting a handle on the Reflective Cover Letter piece of your final portfolio. Since this will be our only whole-class day attending to this crucial assignment, it's important that everyone be familiar with the assignment before class time on Friday. If you didn't receive a copy of the assignment in class, you can find--and print--one by going to the Documents section. But however you get hold of the assignment, be sure to have had a careful look at it before Friday and to bring any questions you have about it to class.

Tuesday, 7 MarchAbsolute dealine for submission of a would-be final draft of Essay Two (assuming you're in the market for a grade above 1.9 in our class). Also, this is the last day to turn in would-be final drafts to me (either revisions of earlier essays or a would-be final of the third) and have my iron-clad guarantee that you'll get them back in time to do more revision if necessary. While you'll still have another two weeks after this date to continue working on essays and to confer with me and with classmates, you should assume that the would-be finals you turn in after the 7th are your last shot for that particular essay. 

Thursday, 9 March--On this day we'll both go over the directions for Final Portfolio and have our only whole-class learning day regarding Essay Assignment Three (be sure to be familiar by this date both with the third assignment and "A Framework for Understanding Carr's Argument in The Shallows" from the Documents section). This isn't a day folks would be wise to miss.

Friday, 10 March—Turn in day for final portfolio (See “Final Portfolio Instructions” and “Final Portfolio Cover Letter Assignment” in the Documents section.)

Monday, 13 March—No class since I, like all my brothers and sisters in the English Department, will be laboring over portfolios all day.  
Thursday, March 16--This is our last regular day of class (as well as the last regular day of class for all other SFCC classes). We'll workshop and conference as usual on this day, and I'll ask you to complete some feedback for me on the class. After the 16th, I'll be available in my office (24-338) for conferences (first come, first served) pretty much anytime after about 12:15 on Friday the 17th, and between at least 10:00 and 3:30 or so on Monday the 20th. After the 16th, you'll need to make your own arrangements to meet with classmates for peer consultation, but please be sure to do so—remember that consultations both with me and with classmates are still requirements for submission of would-be finals right up until the very end (that is, fully completed peer conference sheets and an assignment sheet with my sign-off still must come in with would-be final drafts).
Tuesday, 21 March, 2:00 p.m.—Absolute deadline for turn in of any and all work. Just bring your work by my office, and slide it under my door if I happen not to be there when you arrive. Then have a dandy spring break.
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