Not all of the work I do is in the service of my academic career; a fair bit of it anymore is in freelance writing, working for clients to produce the texts they need. It has proven illuminating thus far, giving me practice in writing quickly and efficiently in a variety of styles and on a variety of subjects. From time to time, it also offers me things that I think might be useful in my teaching endeavors, such as the two articles linked and briefly discussed below.
Gretchen Rubin's 9 October 2013 article "Resentful? Overworked? Face These Painful Facts about Shared Work," posted to The Happiness Project, lays out a number of problems with group projects in the workplace. My own experience and that reported to me by students in the past tells me that the same problems apply to work on such classroom endeavors as the ENGL 3323 group assignments: Internal Proposal and External Analytical Report. Rubin's article might be a useful bit from which to base discussion leading up to the collaborative project. It also offers some useful material for discussion of document design and writing style.
Emily Shepard's 6 December 2013 article, "Films, Media, and Politics: Their Influence on the Devaluation of Women's Bodies," posted to BCRW Blog, investigates in brief how the three noted agents conduce to the way in which women are forced to be their bodies and how those bodies are then rendered of lesser importance. It also moves toward the kind of undergraduate research that is increasingly well regarded among scholars of college composition, as I found when I attended CCCC earlier this year. And it further works as an entry into the kind of online scholarship advocated by Kathleen Fitzpatrick in the 2011 issue of Profession. It might therefore be useful as an introductory example for research papers in ENGL 1213 and ENGL 2413 (although it is far too brief to be a full model for either) or as an example of a revised sort of Creative/Electronic-Media Project for ENGL 3323. (I am not happy with the offerings I have on the course website as of this writing; I will be revising the project information for the Fall 2014 term.)
I will doubtlessly encounter other pieces that may be of interest. If and when I do, I may well post about them to this blog. How many and how often remain to be seen.