Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I know when it's me

Here is an interesting take on when to use "I" and when to use "me" from The New York Times.

Monday, February 23, 2009

This is really great

Have you ever seen or heard of a new word and then promptly forgot what it was? I figured out a path back to enlightenment for ye forgetful faithful. I saw a word in my dictionary yesterday that meant to remove errors and corruptions from text. I thought, "Now, that's a word that so applies to what I do." I'm an editor. Of course, I forgot the word the next day. Well, the Oxford English Dictionary online has an advanced feature that allows you to search definitions. Wouldn't you know it; I found the word that was really bugging me. It's a verb called emendate.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bible As Literature course description - Summer II 2009

Dr. Mimosa Stephenson has given me the following description of the Bible as Literature course she will be teaching in the Summer II session: ENGL 6303.

English 6303 presents a literary rather than religious approach to the Bible and considers “literary truth,” truth to human nature, rather than historical truth. Students will consider form—structure, literary devices, and rhetoric—and look for recurring characters, themes, and patterns in this pastoral book. Special attention will be paid to stories and passages that appear repeatedly in literature of the Western World as Western authors, until recently, have assumed their readers to have a basic knowledge of biblical literature. Students who come to the course with some knowledge of the Bible in their backgrounds will find the reading and study easier, but even those who have read little or none of the Bible should be able to read it, especially if they are comfortable reading Shakespeare, who was still writing plays in 1611 when the King James Version, the standard version for literary study, was translated. The translators deliberately used simple language that could be read by common people. Any copy in that translation will serve as the text for the course. We will read as much as seems reasonable during a summer session. The bookstore will carry an inexpensive copy, but students may purchase one at any bookstore. For their research students will draw topics “from a hat” that are symbolic motifs running throughout the Bible as the time is too short to read the book and then choose a topic.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some Student Life News

Dear EGADS! Members,

I wanted to advise you that I have turned in to Student Life the appropriate documents for official organization status. I was advised by Ms. Ana B. Perez, the Student Development Specialist, that being an official organization gives us some good benefits.

1) we are eligible to accumulate organization award points throughout the year/semesters toward organizational awards at the end of each year - I've linked the form from the Student Life web site to give you a sense of how points can be accumulated (for lots of activities, including organization meetings and turning in the proper paperwork): http://blue.utb.edu/sa/stuact/pdf/fall08/Student_Organization_Point_System.doc

2) we are allowed 7 fundraising on campus events per semester - must submit the on-campus activity forms

3) we are elibigle to apply for funds from the Student Government Association for traveling to conferences - see this form here: http://blue.utb.edu/sa/stuact/pdf/2007/FundingRequestPacket20072008.pdf

4) we are eligible to use the Student Union facilities for society events - there are some restrictions and limitations, but it's worth looking into for workshops

Here's a link to Student Life's Benefits of a Registered Organization flyer for all the details:

And, finally, a link to the Student Life Organization Resources page for all the details and forms the Society may need:

As Ms. Perez told me when I talked to her personally - welcome to the "club"!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thank you for electing me president. Now to work!

Greetings Fellow EGADSerites,

It’s an honor to be elected as your president for the English Graduate Advancement and Development Society (EGADS!). The other officers and I are excited about the opportunity we all have, working together, to enhance the English graduate experience at UTB. We’re working hard to develop a program of professional development and to attract new people into the English graduate program.

Before I tell you more, a little story:

A man died and went before St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

St. Peter said, “Ah, Mr. Jones, let me see here ... Hmmm. We don’t seem to have a record of you. Let me confer with the boss.”

St. Peter stepped away, and after a few minutes returned.

“Since we have a failure in our record keeping, we’re going to offer you a choice. Come with me, please.”

In a flash, Mr. Jones and St. Peter stood before two doors.

“You have two places to spend eternity, as you choose. Let me show you the first,” said St. Peter, and he opened the door to the right.

Inside were a bunch of emaciated and angry looking people circling around a huge cauldron of stew. Each had a huge spoon—eight-feet long—and as each person tried to eat with those huge spoons, most of the stew fell on the ground or, worse, spilled on each other and caused swear words and some fights to erupt.

“That doesn’t look so good,” said Mr. Jones.

“No,” said St. Peter. “That was Hell.” He paused, then continued, “Would you like to see the other room?”

“Yes, please, sir!”

“Let me show you Heaven, then, Mr. Jones.”

St. Peter opened the second door. Inside, the room looked identical. Same people, same stew, same everything. Except, the people all looked happy and well nourished.

“I don’t understand, sir. What is the difference between Heaven and Hell?”

“Ah,” said St. Peter, “In Heaven, they have learned to feed each other.”

Finishing graduate school and preparing for a career can be lonely. It’s hard work, too often done in isolation. It doesn’t have to be that way.

The job of the EGADS! officers is to lead the group, not be the group. This is your group, your graduate program, your career, your experience. The more you participate in EGADS!, the better your own education and career will be.

Over the next few weeks, the other officers and I will be inviting you to contribute your ideas and efforts in developing activities for the year. If you’re bubbling with ideas, e-mail any of the officers any time. At our next meeting on Wednesday, March 11, we’ll nail down our plans and spring into action. I hope you’ll be there to vote.

The more you put in, the more you will get out of it. Heaven or Hell: It’s your choice. Help us make the UTB English graduate program a Heaven for everyone.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rhetorical Theory--Summer I

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to do a little "advertising" for the Rhetorical Theory class I will be teaching Summer I. This will be the first time this has been taught since we changed the name and focus of this course. I hope many of you will join me in this study this summer. Of course, it will be an ambitious undertaking for such a compressed time frame, but I guarantee that it will be well worth it. The class is being listed in the course schedule as a Hybrid and that means that 50% of the course will be delivered in an online format through BlackBoard. During the course we will take a "rehtorical journey" from ancient times to the present.

Some of you who know me already understand that I am not a big textbook person. I hate to ask students to buy books just for the sake of supporting publishers, but in this case I have to make an exception and ask you all to purchase two texts for the course. They are critical reference texts and they may be a little pricey, but I am confident that you can find some reasonably priced texts online if you shop around a bit. Here is the info you need to start shopping:

Bizzell,Patricia and Bruce Herzberg. The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000.

ISBN: 0-312-14839-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-14839-3

Glenn Cheryl. Rhetoric-Retold-Regendering the Tradition from Antiquity through the Renaissance. 1st ed. Carbondale: SIUP,1997.

ISBN: 0-312-14839-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-14839-3

I look forward to getting to know many of you better this summer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Hi EGADS Members,
This is a great way to keep in touch.

Constitution approved; officers elected

Members of EGADS! decided on two important bits of business Wednesday evening. The group's corrected constitution was approved. The corrected constitution will be e-mailed to members before the next meeting, which will be March 11 in North 217 at 6 p.m. The group also decided on its first slate of officers. They include:

* Alan Oak, president
* Don Crouse, vice president
* Andrew Keese, secretary
* Jenny Ashley, treasurer

For the next meeting, we will talk about what activities we would like to do. If you have ideas about any events, e-mail Alan at binx2smooth (at) gmail.com, and if you have any ideas about membership, contact Don at dcrouse (at) littelfuse.com.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Upcoming Meeting

The next EGADS! meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. It will be in North 217 conference room.

The following business needs to be attended to:

1) Election of officers
2) Approval of revised Constitution