All assignments should be submitted through dropbox.com BEFORE class begins. I have created a folder for each of you according to your last name. Each of your folders will contain two other folders called Individual Deliverables and Collaborative Deliverables respectively. Drop assignments in the appropriate folders. You will need to create an account at dropbox.com in order to submit your assignments. This account is free.
Response to the Syllabus
I want to be sure each of you are clear about what is expected from you in this class and to give you opportunities for raising questions about what I have planned. I also want to challenge you now to start being creative (but coherent) with a document that might otherwise seem to you to have great potential for being flat. Read through the Course Website and look through the documents on Blackboard. Be sure to explore all aspects of both websites.
Write 250-500 words in response, using the following questions to guide you. (Please do not write your response as a sentence-by-sentence response to these questions; instead, please work & play to come up with a creative but coherent way to respond.)
- What are the main skills I am hoping you will gain by the end of the quarter?
- What do you think you need to learn or do to achieve those skills?
- How will we arrive at your grade for this class? Are you comfortable with how you imagine this process to work?
- What makes you most nervous about what I've written in the syllabus?
- What do you think will give you the most pleasure in this class?
- What are the skills you bring to class that you think will help you the most?
- Can you envision the shape of the semester from the Syllabus & Weekly Schedule?
- Does anything remain vague to you? Is there anything you can suggest now for improving what you see ahead?
1. Industry Background Report
For this assignment, I will ask you to research the industry within which you'd like to work or think you'd like to work. The report should be approximately five pages and includes a definition and description of the industry, its possibilities for English majors, description of the kinds of jobs that may interst English majors, the skills expected, and your evaluation of the possibilities for English majors. See assignment sheet for more information.
2. Skills/Competencies Inventory & Flower Exercise
For this assignment, you will complete the Flower exercise that Bolles advocates in What Color is Your Parachute? We will begin this assignment with brainstorming in class focused on the skills/competencies of English majors in general and then you will move on to your own skills inventory.
3. Job Description Analysis
For this assignment, I will ask you to find five job descriptions that you think an English major would be interested (possibly connected to the industry you choose in #1 above) and write an analysis of these descriptions. Some questions to get you started:
- What do they have in common?
- How are they different, the same, or undistinguishable?
- What distinguishes them as appropriate for English majors? Why?
- What language is used and why?
- What do they tell about what to expect in an inteview, in that workpalce, in that industry?
These questions are certainly not exhaustive and you are welcome to follow your own instincts. This analysis should be written as a traditional essay with a central thesis, using your analysis as supporting evidence.
4. Resume and Cover Letter
For this assignment, I will ask you to write a cover letter and resume tailored to one of the job descriptions from #3.
5. Interview Practice (2)
Students will participate in two different mock interviews: 1) Skills Focus and 2) Concept Focus. These interviews will be conducted on February 22 & 29 and April 11 & 18. Each interview will be seven minutes (this time limit may change depending on the number of students enrolled). The first one will consist of more traditional questions about experience, and the second one will consist of more contextual questions asked to reveal how you think.
Inteviews will be recorded and students will meet with me the follow week (respectively) to review them. I will distribute a schedule for you to sign up for these appointments. Try not to fret about being recorded. Remember that these interviews are only for practice.
6. End-of-Semester Reflection Memo
For this assignment, I will ask you to write a memo to me reflecting on the value of the class in terms of assignments, discussions, readings, and any other observations you may have. This will be the first time the English Department has offered this course and the first time I am teaching it. I will be looking for any and all kinds of feedback.
8. Graduate Student Assignment
I will ask graduate students to read and write a critical report on a relevent article or book that they think will be valuable for others to read (or not as the case may be). They are also expected to submit a written review (one page) on the reading. See dropbox --> Graduate Readings for available readings.