Section 433, MW 5-7:15 pm, HHH 226    

    Office: HHH 425,  Office Phone: (715) 836-4369
    Office Hours: MW, 3-4 pm and 7:20-7:50 pm, as well as By Appointment

NATE BETZ, betzn@uwec.edu and ZAC CARLSON, carlsoza@uwec.edu,
Senior Student Mentors

1.    The process of writing–generating ideas, planning, drafting, developing, revising, editing and proofreading.  

2.    Autobiographical writing.

3.    Introduction to critical and argumentative thinking, reading, writing, and speaking.  Finding and integrating sources to produce effective arguments.  Making practically compelling and intellectually responsible use of logical, ethical, emotional, and stylistic appeals.

4.   ‘Writing in the world’–exploring connections among writing, reading, thinking, speaking, listening, acting, and interacting in relations with a culturally diverse range of people through engagement in a variety of social relations (i.e., relations with others).  


    The following books are available for purchase at Crossroads Books, 301 South Barstow Street, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; all three are required:

1.    Kennedy, X. J., Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Marcia F. Muth.  Writing and Revising: a Portable Guide.  2009 MLA Update Edition.  Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007.  ISBN#: 978-0-312-62339-5.  

2.    Yang, Kao Kalia.  The Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir.  Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2008.  ISBN#: 978-1-56689-208-7.

3.    Lazere, Donald.  Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy: the Critical Citizen’s Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric.  Brief Revised and Updated Edition.  Boulder: Paradigm, 2009.  ISBN#: 978-1-59541-710-5.

Crossroads Books is a locally owned and operated bookstore in downtown Eau Claire.  Steadily more instructors at UWEC are supporting companies like Crossroads rather than local branches of international chain stores (the UWEC campus bookstore is owned and operated by Barnes and Noble).  Crossroads is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 5:30 pm; Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm; and Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm.  The store’s phone number is 715-831-9788; their email contact address is CustServ@CrossroadBookStore.com; and their website, including information about the store as well as a map and directions for how to get there, is available at: http://www.crossroadbookstore.com/.  You may go to Crossroads on your own to purchase your books, but we will also be taking an initial class field trip (lasting approximately two hours, from late morning to early afternoon), including a stop at Crossroads, Saturday September 12; you may choose to purchase your books at that time.  You need to obtain these books in time to use for class, as indicated later in the schedule section of this syllabus (see below; I will make photocopies of the initial chapter we will be working with ahead of the 12th available to you in class on the 2nd).   

I will supply copies of all additional reading materials we will use over the course of the semester.


KEY: WR=Writing and Revising: a Portable Guide;
LH=Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir; and
RWCL=Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy:
The Critical Citizen’s Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric.

Week One

M 8/31–10-11:30 am (HHH 316): Introduction and Orientation, Part One.

W 9/2 (From here on, in our regular classroom, HHH 226, and at our regular time, 5-7:15 pm): Introduction and Orientation, Part Two.

Week Two

W 9/9: Introduction to and Overview of the Processes and Stages of Writing.

    Read for Class, W 9/9: WR Chapter 1, 1-10.

    Autobiographical Essay Assigned in Class, W 9/9.

Week Three

M 9/14: Strategies for Generating Ideas.

    Read for Class, M 9/14: WR, Chapter 4, 41-59.

W 9/16: Strategies for Planning.

    Read for Class, W 9/16: WR, Chapter 5, 60-82.

Week Four

M 9/21: Strategies for Drafting.

    Read for Class, M 9/21: WR, Chapter 6, 83-100.

W 9/23: Strategies for Developing.

    Read for Class, W 9/23: WR, Chapter 7, 101-136.

    Initial Finished Version of Autobiographical Essay Due by 12 noon, F 9/25 in my English Department Mailbox, HHH 405.

Week Five

M 9/28: Discussion, The Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir.

    Read for Class, M 9/28: LH, Prologue and Chapters 1-3, 1-52.

W 9/30: Discussion, The Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir.

    Read for Class, W 9/30: LH, Chapters 4, 55-77, and 7, 115-128.

    First Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Assigned in Class, W 9/30.

Week Six

M 10/5: Strategies for Revising.

    Read for Class, M 10/5: WR, Chapter 8, 137-154.

W 10/7: Strategies for Editing and Proofreading.

    Read for Class, W 10/7: WR, Chapter 9, 155-189.

Week Seven

M 10/12: Discussion, The Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir.

    Read for Class, M 10/12: LH, Chapter 8, 131-151; Chapter 11, 193-210; and Chapter 13, 232-238.

W 10/14: Discussion, The Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir.

    Read for Class, W 10/14: LH, Chapters 14-15 and Epilogue, 239-274.

    First Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Due by 12 noon, F 10/16 in my English Department Mailbox, HHH 405.

Week Eight

M 10/19: What is an Argument?  What is a Good Argument?

    Read for Class, M 10/19: RWCL, Chapter 2, 32-53.

    Argument and Research Paper Assigned in Class, M 10/19.

W 10/21: From Cocksure Ignorance to Thoughtful Uncertainty: Viewpoint, Bias, and Fairness–Culturally Conditioned Assumptions and Centrisms.

    Read for Class, W 10/21: RWCL, Chapter 6, 125-152.

Week Nine

M 10/26: Logical and Rhetorical Fallacies.

    Read for Class, M 10/26: RWCL, Chapter 10, 211-221.
W 10/28: Uses and Misuses of Emotional Appeal.

    Read for Class, W 10/28: RWCL, Chapter 12, 242-264.

Week Ten

M 11/2: Thinking Critically About Political Rhetoric.

    Read for Class, M 11/2: RWCL, Chapter 13, 267-302.

W 11/4: Thinking Critically About Mass Media.

    Read for Class, W 11/4: RWCL, Chapter 14, 303-333.

Week Eleven

M 11/9: Deception Detection–Varieties of Special Interests and Propaganda.

    Read for Class, M 11/9: RWCL, Chapter 15, 334-357.

W 11/11: Collecting and Evaluating Opposing Sources–Writing the Research Paper, and Documentation of Research Resources.

    Read for Class, W 11/11: RWCL, Chapters 17-18, 384-392.

Week Twelve

M 11/16: Preparing for the Class Debate.
    Second Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Assigned in Class, M 11/16.

W 11/18: Preparing for the Class Debate.

Week Thirteen

M 11/23: Preparing for the Class Debate.

    Argument and Research Paper Due in Class, M 11/23.

Week Fourteen

M 11/30: Preparing for the Class Debate.

W 12/2: Preparing for the Class Debate.

Week Fifteen

M 12/7: Class Debate.

W 12/9: Conclusion.

Final Exams Week

M 12/14: Class Debate Team Self-Evaluations, and Second Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Due by 12 noon in my English Department mailbox, HHH 405.




    Class will proceed primarily by way of discussion, following a variety of formats. Throughout the semester you will be actively engaged in educating yourself and the rest of the class through what you have to say as well as share in written form.  I will often give relatively short presentations, especially at the beginning of class, and here you will need to pay close attention, take notes, and be ready to ask relevant questions.  Many times you will be working in groups or teams on specific exercises related to concepts and practices you are learning, frequently involving creative work.  At times you may do some writing in class, individually or as part of groups or teams, and, when you do, you will most often share your writing with the rest of the class.  On occasion, as useful, we may watch, listen to, and discuss excerpts from videos, or the internet, and on occasion, we may listen to and discuss musical recordings.  Other possibilities for extrapolation and application exist as well.  Ultimately, you will be working intensively for three weeks, inside and outside of class, as part of teams preparing for and engaging in a class debate.  

    Throughout the semester, I, along with your senior student mentors, Nate and Zac, will be working to help you in every way we possibly can.  I will maintain ultimate responsibility, authority, and control at all times, assisted by Zac and Nate, yet we will aim to insure that everyone participates extensively in our collective work.  We will seek to enhance and develop your preexisting strengths as writers, readers, thinkers, speakers, listeners, and doers–and we will seek to help you in learning from each other as well as from the three of us.


    These are the five most important, official goals all UWEC undergraduate courses are designed to help you meet:

1.    Knowledge of Human Culture and the Natural World

2.    Creative and Critical Thinking

3.    Effective Communication

4.    Individual and Social Responsibility

5.    Respect for Diversity Among People

These goals require your striving to meet them.  Striving means learning actively and deliberately, completing assignments in a thorough and timely fashion, participating in class discussion, and making connections between what we do while meeting in class and what you do when engaged outside of the classroom.

    I expect students in this course to strive to become sincerely interested in learning about the subject matter of this course, and to be consistently intellectually serious as well as academically diligent in their pursuit of this learning.   I expect students to strive to bring actively and extensively to bear–in your essays and contributions to class discussion–insights you gain through your engagement with the texts and topics addressed as part of this course, and I expect you to strive at the same time to relate these texts and topics as closely and as fully as possible to subjects of genuine interest and concern in your own lives, past and present.  And I expect you to let me know right away when and if you have any questions or problems about any aspect of how you are doing in and with the course, so that I can do whatever I possibly can to help answer these questions and solve these problems.

    Most important of all, and this certainly can be a difficult adjustment for many first-year university students, is recognizing that this is a university and not a high school course, and that we here expect you to engage, always, as a mature adult.  Of course, this is a transition, which can take some time, for a number of people in your position.  It’s worth keeping in mind that many people in your position are nowhere near as mature as they think they are when they are still very young adults.  So the transition to success at this level requires more effort than many of you might imagine.  I strongly recommend you always maintain a certain amount of humility as well as a persistent openness toward learning many new concepts and new practices, inside and outside of class, often including ones that you could not possibly anticipate beforehand.  In addition, you will often find that ‘we do things differently’ here, at the university, and that what your high school teachers told you that you ‘should or should not do’ no longer applies, even at times no longer makes any sense at all.  Be ready for that–it’s one thing to write well when you are being addressed and treated as a child; it’s quite another to write well when you are being addressed and treated as an adult.

    As first-year university students you will likely encounter many new opportunities, and a significant amount of expanded freedom.  At the same time, you need to take much greater responsibility for yourself, for what you do, how you do it, when, where, and why; it is easy to mess up and even to fail because you are not ready to assume that responsibility.  If you behave in a persistently immature manner as a university student, and especially if you don’t take your classes seriously, you will suffer; there’s no doubt about it.

    A very important point to keep in mind is that we who work at the university do  not conceive this as a completely "safe space" entirely separate from the rest of the "real world" where you can expect to be sheltered from encountering anything and everything you might ever find disagreeable or objectionable.  After all, disturbing positions and practices exist extensively outside of the classroom as well as in what we read, see, hear, and otherwise confront in and for class; what we confront in class is symptomatic of positions and practices that operate beyond the confines of the classroom, the course, and the university.  You are here at the university because you are now ready to engage with difficult, challenging, and even disturbing positions and practices–and to make your own contribution toward dealing seriously with them.  Therefore, if ever and whenever you find any text or topic upsetting, you maintain the ethical responsibility, as a university student, not simply to try to hide from but rather to engage with it in an intellectually serious, responsible, mature adult way.  On occasion you will encounter ideas that you may find troubling, in this UWEC course and in almost all others as well; within the UWEC English Department we grant no right of exemption from engaging with these ideas and offer no support for complaining (to any higher administrative authority) about their inclusion.  After all, great works of art–including many great works of literature–are often created with the deliberate aim of disturbing, even shocking many people who will encounter these; often the intent here is to provoke strong response, as well as thought–and action–that goes beyond what has become familiar, conventional, commonsensical, and, especially, merely “safe.”
    Finally, students should understand that a professor differs from a high school teacher in many respects, but one key difference is that we maintain a principal professional, ethical responsibility forthrightly to represent the most advanced knowledges in our fields of expertise and to proceed from there to work toward their further development and dissemination.  (A professor is not merely a ‘teacher of other people’s ideas’, and a professor maintains many more responsibilities beyond teaching his or her classes.)   In short, professors must create, advocate for, and profess these knowledges; you should expect that your professors may from time to time take controversial positions on difficult and challenging issues, refusing the pretense of disinterested neutrality.  To do anything less than assume this responsibility would be to shirk our professorial responsibility and to render ourselves unworthy of maintaining our professorial positions.

    * Cell phones should be turned off and put away during class time. *


General Standards for Evaluation of Student Work

    In evaluating all work done for this course, I will take account of how carefully, seriously, intelligently, enthusiastically, and imaginatively students engage with the concepts, issues, positions, and arguments addressed in the course and represented by the texts we read, by me, by Nate, by Zac, and by each other.

    This course cannot contribute effectively to students' learning if students do not attend class.  What happens in class is an indispensable part of this course.  Therefore, the following attendance policy will apply for students enrolled in this section of English 110, except for students who must miss an extended period of the semester due to an emergency for which they arrange an officially authorized absence from class (in the latter case, we will work together to make arrangements to help you make up for what you miss):

1.)    Students who exceed a maximum of two unexcused absences will suffer a penalty of a loss of one full letter grade for each additional unexcused absence.  An unexcused absence is one where you offer no reasonable excuse for missing, but choose this to be a day that you miss class.

2.)     Students should provide me with written confirmation of a debilitating injury or illness, or of any other serious individual or family emergency, for the excusing of any further absences beyond the maximum of two unexcused absences.

3.)    In addition to the maximum of two unexcused absences, students may miss a maximum of three excused absences without suffering a grade penalty.  Six total absences will result in a loss of  two full letter grades.  Students who miss more than six classes total should withdraw from the course and enroll again in a subsequent semester; otherwise they will most likely receive a grade of F.

* Students are expected to arrive for class on time and to stay through the very end of class.  If you don’t do so, you won’t be counted as attending class.  In addition, you need to be awake, alert, and attentive while in class; this means you can’t expect to sleep or rest in class.  Again, if you do so, this will count as an absence from class.  And the same is true of doing other school work in class or attending to other–personal– matters irrelevant to what we are focusing on at that point in time in class (e.g., you should avoid text-messaging, or web-searching, or facebooking, or playing games on your cell phone, or checking out youtube while in class–just to mention a few common temptations).  *

** In addition, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THIS CLASS THAT YOU COME TO CLASS HAVING DONE THE READING REQUIRED OF YOU PRIOR TO CLASS.  The quality of your own learning, and that of the rest of your classmates depends upon you taking this seriously and carrying it out conscientiously. **

Learning and Contribution/Learning and Contribution Reflection Papers

    My foremost aim in teaching this course is to help you to learn something of significance and value.  I will judge you to a significant degree on what you learn, how–and how hard–you strive to learn, and on how–along with how well–you contribute to the learning for the rest of the class.

    You cannot learn or help others learn if you do not contribute.  If you don't contribute to the work of this class not only will you fail to derive as much gain from it as would be the case if you did contribute, but also you will deprive everyone else of the benefit of your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, knowledge, and experience.  In fact, to remain passively silent in class exploits the work of others who actively engage.

    Class participation represents an important opportunity to learn, not just a place in which to demonstrate what you have learned.  By raising questions, testing and trying out ideas, taking risks and making mistakes, you learn a great deal–and help others learn a great deal as well.  You learn through talking, not just talk to show what you have learned.  Don't hesitate to speak forth in class if you have anything at all to throw into the mix.  At the same time, just talking a great deal does not necessarily mean that you are making a quality contribution to the class by aiding the learning that we aim to accomplish.  Quality of participation is much more important than quantity, although a sufficient quantity is indispensable to insure quality.  Still, I want to emphasize here that I perceive talking which pulls us off on far-fetched tangents, which remains disconnected from and disengaged with the reading and the rest of the class, or which effectively silences others, to be negative participation.  Quality class participation does not, moreover, involve merely asking questions of me and responding to my questions; quality class participation requires you to work to advance a serious and substantial discussion with your peers about the texts and topics subject to discussion.  Students should, therefore, be prepared to engage with and respond to each other in class discussion, and I will take particular note of how well you do so.

    Contribution to the class certainly can extend far beyond mere speaking in class: it may include a variety of ways in which you can bring to bear your insights to help yourself as well as the rest of us gain from the experience of this course.  Excellent writing can help make up for any limitations as far as participation in class goes.  At the same time, listening carefully, respectfully, and thoughtfully in class discussions is yet another important means of contribution.  And meeting and working with me, with Nate, and with Zac outside of class can be an important means of contributing as well.

    Learning and contribution will constitute a significant proportion of your overall course grade.  As part of this grade, you will write two learning and contribution reflection papers.  For these papers I will ask you specific questions related to texts and topics we will have been working with in class, as well as general questions prompting you to reflect on how, along with how well, you have been contributing to your own learning, and to that of others in the class.  I  will provide you specific directions in the assignments I give you for each of these papers; please note well that the questions you address will change from the first to the second reflection paper.  

    The assignment for the first learning and contribution reflection paper will ask you to focus to a considerable extent on Kao Kalia Yang’s The Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir, and issues this book raises for our consideration.  The Late Homecomer is the 2009-2010 English 110 ‘Common Book’, which means most sections of English 110 at UWEC this year will be working with it, and it also means a number of adjunct events, including a presentation and discussion with the author herself, will take place during the fall semester, outside of class, in conjunction with all of us in English 110 reading this book.  I will share details of these events when I have them.

    The second learning and contribution reflection paper will ask you to focus primarily on issues prompted by our work with Reading and Writing for Civic Literary: The Critical Citizen’s Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric, your individual work in writing an argument and research paper, and your collective work as part of a team preparing for and participating in the class debate.

    These papers provide you a useful opportunity to communicate with me how you are doing with the course, as well as why so, and to demonstrate your critical self-reflexivity, the hallmark of a liberal arts education.  As you are assessing your own learning and contribution, you may include thoughts in reaction to issues raised in class discussion that you did not have the opportunity or did not feel comfortable enough to share in class; these additional reflections will help me get a better sense of what you have been thinking about and how you have been responding to class discussions, as well as to the readings.  

    I will take into account what you write in determining your learning and contribution grade for the preceding half-semester period, while I will also take into account my, and Zac’s, and Nate’s independent observations of how, and of how well, you have been learning and contributing.  Learning and contribution will be worth 15% of the overall course grade in the first half of the semester, and an additional 15% in the second half of the semester–representing a total 30% of the overall course grade.

Autobiographical Essay

    At the beginning of the second week of the semester you will be assigned an autobiographical essay.  Details will be explained with the assignment.  The initial finished version of this assignment will be ungraded.  I will however respond to what you write by offering extensive comments and critiques, as well as suggestions and recommendations for revision.  You then will take all of these into account in revising this paper.  The revision of the autobiographical essay will be due approximately two weeks after I return the initial finished version of this paper to you, and will be worth 25% of the overall course grade.  

    The work we will be doing throughout the first half of the semester, in conjunction with Writing and Revising and The Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir, will provide you with helpful ways of making sense of and approaching writing your autobiographical essay.  Writing and Revising deals with all of the stages in the process of writing from generating ideas through editing and proofreading, while The Late Homecomer is an award-winning example of highly compelling autobiographical writing (what a consensus among critics has found to be impressively perceptive, thoughtful, strong, fresh, honest, and moving).  You do not need to share the specific background and experiences of Kao Kalia Yang, and of her family, to draw useful connections (as well as contrasts) with what she has written.  You should be able to use what she has written as an encouragement to reflect upon who you are, what you are about, where you are coming from, and where you are headed–as well as, especially, to reflect upon how all of this is affected, has been affected, and will be affected by your relations with family, friends, community, society, and culture.  In addition, Yang’s writing style provides a useful model for developing and articulating your written account of yourself.  

Argument and Research Paper

    During the course of our work with Donald Lazere’s Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy: The Critical Citizen’s Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric, over the second half of the semester, you will write an argument and research paper.  In this paper you will advance an argument, supported by research, in relation to a controversial  issue of contemporary significance and urgency, affecting you and/or (others you know and are close to in) a community of which you are a member and which is important to you.  The assignment will relate directly to specific concepts and practices from Lazere’s book that you will have been reading, studying, and discussing in class.  I will likely ask you to submit a ‘prospectus’ near the beginning of work on this assignment, explaining what issue you intend to focus on, what stance you provisionally expect to take, and why so.  Nate, Zac, and I will help you as you narrow and focus, as you find sources and seek ways to incorporate these, and as you strive to make your argument as persuasive as possible.  Details will be explained with the assignment.  The argument and research paper will be worth 25% of the overall course grade.

Class Debate
    Toward the end of the semester you will be given an assignment to participate in a class debate organized in response to a proposition on an issue, or nexus of issues, to be determined (although this may well be related to issues sparked by our reading and discussion of The Late Homecomer and by Reading and Writing for Civil Literacy).  You will work in teams (pro, con, and judges) extensively preparing, including researching, ahead of the actual debate itself.  At the end of the debate itself you will have an opportunity to evaluate your own performance, as well as those participating on your team in terms of everyone’s contribution to the success of your collective effort.  We will work on the class debate over the course of the last four weeks of the semester.  Zac, Nate, and I will work closely with you to help you as you prepare, and we will then moderate the actual debate..  Details will be explained with the assignment.  Preparation for and performance in the debate will be worth 20% of the overall course grade.

General Formatting Requirements: Papers

     All papers should be typed, double-space, on single sides of standard white letter-sized (8" X 11") typewriter, computer printer, or photographic paper.  You may use any standard font you wish but your print size must remain between 10 and 12 points.  Pages should be numbered, and your name should be at the top of the first page.  The pages of your paper must be stapled together and you are responsible for doing so; I do not bring staplers to class.

     You are also responsible for proofreading your paper before you turn it in; if you catch any typographical errors, you should neatly cross these out and write your corrections on top of these with a pen (but not a pencil).

    I will expect you, furthermore, to observe the rules and conventions of Standard Written English to the very best of your ability in writing these papers, including MLA format for citation and documentation of sources for the argument and research paper.

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty
    Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are serious offenses.  They not only undermine the goal of learning but also are exploitative of the work of others.  Dishonesty in written work as part of this course will result in a failing grade.  In addition, dishonesty may result in further disciplinary action on the part of the University administration; dishonesty can ultimately lead to expulsion from the University.  Also, if you directly echo someone else’s thoughts as articulated in the course of class discussion you should add the last name, followed by the letters CD (for class discussion), followed by the date, in a parenthetical citation right after the end of the sentence, viz: (Nowlan, CD, 9/19/09).

Late Work

    Late papers will lose 1/3 of a letter grade per day late unless you have made arrangements ahead of the time with me to turn in these papers late due to a serious personal or family problem.  Alternately, if you provide a reasonable explanation why you are late (again, due to a serious personal or family problem) shortly after the paper is due, you won’t suffer any grade penalty.  It is best to talk with me directly about this, or alternately to talk directly with Nate or Zac if I’m not available, and to make sure to do so within a week’s time of the due date at the absolute latest.  I do understand that at times real problems come up for all of us, no matter what we might intend or prefer.   


    The aim of the first-year experience (fye) program is to help you in your transition from high school so that you start to make an effective connection to UWEC and what we are about, as well as, prospectively, to Eau Claire beyond the UWEC campus.  Most of all, the aim of the program is to help you ‘get serious’ about being a university student.  As the draft vision statement of the FYE program declares, “First-Year Experience (FYE) at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire fosters the development of connected student scholars; connected to the people around them, the places they engage, and the academic purpose to which they aspire.”  In practical terms, the most immediate way in which FYE courses work to help you in this way is that these are limited in enrollment to all first-semester, first-year students, at a considerably lower size than otherwise for the same course, and where you will be assisted by a senior student mentor or several senior student mentors as well as by a professor or instructor.  Beyond that, as a FYE course, we will engage in several informal field trips or outings together, primarily focused on introducing you to helpful resources and interesting opportunities in the area, to getting to know one another better, and to having fun.  You will be expected to participate in these field trips or outings as much as you can in order to earn full learning and contribution credit.  It may not always seem like it right away, but these kinds of activities, and the connections made, or strengthened, by participating together as part of these activities, can, in the long run, make a lasting positive difference for students.  So take advantage of this opportunity–it is one that you, the students at UWEC, sought out and worked to initiate–and it is one that you, the students at UWEC, have repeatedly agreed to pay extra for, even in difficult economic times.  

    I encourage you to meet with me in conference during office hours or at another mutually convenient time to discuss any issue of interest or concern related to what we are doing in this course.  Learning that takes place in conferences can at times be equally as important, and at times even more important, than what takes place in class.  Please do not hesitate to meet with me during office hours or to ask for an appointment at any time you think this might be helpful; making myself available for conferences with you outside of class is part of my responsibility as your teacher.  Moreover, I always sincerely do welcome getting to know and work with my students outside as well as inside of class.  I am ready to do whatever I can to help you in your understanding of issues addressed in discussions and readings, as well as to help you in your writing for and participation in this course.  I want to make sure that I do all that I can to help you succeed in this course and I want to help you, as far as I can, to gain as much out of it as possible through your participation in and work for it.  You may also feel free to write me via e-mail, and to call me–or leave a message for me on the answering machine–at my office.  Keep in  mind–“my office hours” are for you, and I would rather talk with you during my office hours than do anything else, so please do not worry about “disturbing” me in coming to talk with me.   These office hours are time that I have set aside to meet, talk, and work with you.  And also, even though I’ve only designated three regular office hours a week, I can arrange to meet you at other times as well, if and when you need or would like to do so.  We will meet in my office, HHH 425, except on the occasion another venue proves more convenient or useful to us both.

    This is one of the advantages of attending a university like UWEC as opposed to a place like UW-Madison or UW-Minneapolis: you maintain much readier and more extensive opportunity to meet and work with professors, from your first semester onward.  PLEASE DO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY!

    Also, Nate Betz and Zac Carlson have joined this class as your senior student mentors because they want to work with and help you.  Zac and Nate will be helping me in conducting class sessions, reviewing and evaluating your work, and in organizing out-of-class activities; they will also hold regular office hours of their own and otherwise make themselves available to assist you outside of class.             

    Finally, you may seek help in writing assignments for this class, and others you are taking, through the University Writing Center, in Old Library 1142.  Tutors in the Writing Center are English majors, minors, and graduate students, working with English Department Composition Director, Professor Shevaun Watson.  For more information on the University Writing Center, check out its webpage: http://www.uwec.edu/Writing/index.htm.

    * Any student who has a disability and is in need of classroom accommodations, please contact both the instructor and the Services for Students with Disabilities Office, Old Library 2136; for more information on the services the latter office provides you, check out their webpage: http://www.uwec.edu/ssd/index.htm *


    In the interest of accountability–me to you–I am here providing you weblinks: 1.) to my statement of philosophy as a college teacher: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/philosophy.htm and 2.) to my autobiographical profile: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/PROFILE_.htm.  You are also welcome to check out 3.) my myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/insurgentseanmurphy, and to look me up 4.) on facebook, http://www.facebook.com, where I just started a page this past summer under ‘Bob Nowlan’.  [If you are interested in becoming myspace or facebook friends, feel free to contact me about that.]  In addition, you can find 5.) my professional vita (the academic equivalent of a resume) at: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/VITA.htm.  I encourage you to check these sites out; it is useful for you to know who your teacher is, what he’s about, and where he’s coming from–and I like to be very open, honest, and forthright with you about all of that.  I look forward to a great semester working together with you!