We who exist in the quarter system are only now crawling toward midterm of Spring quarter. Students in my Comp II class have practically bled over their first essay, an argument analysis essay that both stretches and frustrates them. My Comp III students are working on their Research Proposals and Annotated Bibliographies, recognizing with some horror that they probably should have been researching a little bit more intently than they have as of now. And my literature students have received their first essay grades: some are relieved that they figured out the whole analysis bit, while others are shocked that a 5 page summary isn’t acceptable (Note: Professor Zero has a thought provoking new post on this very subject: should we expect thesis based literary analysis essays from a gen ed lit class? As I wade through plot summaries, his question gives me pause.)
While my students struggle with new genres and writing tasks, I struggle alongside them. The third reference article I am working on this academic year has been neglected for weeks, I’m in edit mode on article #2, and I need to find a weekend to devote to both. My college blog team is begging for a posting from me, the Gen Ed Outcomes group needs someone to draft a rubric for the next outcome to be addressed, and peer evaluation reports need to be written.
Blogging, naturally has suffered, though that hurts no one, at least. Facebook has truly taken over some free time since the rewards are so instant and the social interactions so immediate; even Twitter, which I mocked so blithely only a few months ago, entices me more each day, and I’m finding some thrill in distilling ideas into 140 characters. And now, ProfHacker has showed me a brand new way to spend time writing (750 words) each day with daily points awarded.
What’s a writer to do?