Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu
1

A 10-page paper? Are you serious?

The running you do in a 100-yard dash, an obstacle course, a 5k charity walk-a-thon, a marathon, and when you are being chased by a bear all serve different functions, and the amount of distance we need to cover is only one of the ways these modes of running differ. Likewise, the writing you do when you compose a text message to your angry significant other, a timed paragraph on a…

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 10.03.58 AM

How The Language Of Special Education Is Evolving

The words we use and the ways we refer to people mirror — and shape — our perceptions, our attitudes, our behavior. So where to begin? The “r” word has fallen out of use and good riddance. “Handicapped,” too, for the most part. Generally we don’t refer to people as “disabled,” as in “he’s a disabled student.” One good rule of thumb: avoid adjectives. They too easily become labels. Instead,…

image
3

Remember That Class Assignment I Hated? The One That Landed Me My Dream Job?

ME (a couple years ago): Okay, students. Get your iPads, go out there and record some interviews, edit them into a news story, and uplead it to YouTube. STUDENTS: … ME: You have 50 minutes. STUDENTS: … (Time: the present.) ONE OF THOSE FORMER STUDENTS (by email): I just accepted my first full-time job with vacation and benefits… for a position where I will be this company’s voice for their weekly…

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 11.37.43 AM

Small Changes in Teaching: The Last 5 Minutes of Class

I just ordered the book Lang mentions in this article. In my experience — having observed many dozens of college courses over the past two decades — most faculty members eye the final minutes of class as an opportunity to cram in eight more points before students exit, or to say three more things that just occurred to us about the day’s material, or to call out as many reminders as…

thing-1cc3ab228567c1c4447954a23b14cd7f488bcf83912e9d4651a4d1800d485cda

Rubric for the Rubric Concerning Students’ Core Educational Competency In Reading Things In Books and Writing About Them.

Sadly, this only barely counts as satire. The Core Educational Competency In Reading Things In Books and Writing About Them requires that students demonstrate “critical thinking” and “critical reading” skills, but please note that this kind of cleverness should only be encouraged with regards to literary books. Aspects of life to which “critical thinking” and “critical reading” skills should not be applied are outlined in attachment 5, addendum 4.8.9.70. —McSweeney’s…

high-school-poems
1

High School Poems in a College Writing Workshop

Poems that you wrote in high school to celebrate a first love, work through a painful breakup, or say goodbye to friends at graduation may be of extreme personal value to you; but if such poems are historical artifacts — if you value them as definitive records of the way you felt at that time — they won’t work terribly well as submissions for college writing classes, since most professors…

Praying
12

Mount St. Mary’s president fires two faculty members, one with tenure

Mount St. Mary’s fires two faculty members. One was tenured professor charged with lack of loyalty. The other advised student newspaper that recently exposed president’s quotes about “drowning bunnies.” […] Last month The Mountain Echo, the student newspaper, revealed the debate over retention strategies and Newman’s quote about needing to view students as bunnies to be drowned. Mount St. Mary’s board members have repeatedly criticized the student newspaper for using…