Week 6

Two things going on this week:

Conferences
We will NOT meet in the classroom during the week of September 28th. Instead, you will be each meeting with me individually. If you haven't made an appointment with me (or want to double-check to see when yours is) go here. These conferences will take place in my office in 105 Moon Library.

Environment/Food Collaborative Essay
Between now and Thursday at 10 pm, we will be writing a collaborative essay on food and the environment. This is an experiment so I'm not exactly sure what will happen but I'm guessing it will end up more like a conversation than a formal essay. Try to go to the Google Doc several times -- to add to the discussion, to read what other people are saying, to add links, to help organize and edit, and to experience the chaos of collaborative writing.

Also -- share the link on facebook, twitter, or anyplace where we might get some good contributions. Text or email it to friends. Tell your roommate. Tell your Mom. Let's see how many people outside the classroom we can get to participate.

Update: We did get a bunch of trolls last night (and I had to move the whole document) so be a little careful where you share it ....

Here's the shorter link to share: bit.ly/FoodEco

Or here is  the Nifkin blog post that you can link to.

Be sure to read it over after 10 pm Thursday to see how it came out.


To put on your calendar

Some talks that you will want to put on your calendar. Remember that in college, what you learn outside of the classroom is often as important as what you learn inside the classroom.

Tuesday September 30
Hendricks Chapel, 7:30 pm
Van Jones: Green Jobs and Sustainability
Remember that interview we read? Here's a chance to hear him talk.

Wednesday October 8
Gateway Auditorium, 12:45 pm
Quentin Wheeler, the new president of SUNY ESF will talk about earth and the extinction of species. He's an entomologist so he is likely to mention bugs.

Wednesday October 15
Hendricks Chapel, 7:30 pm
Eve Ensler: In the Body of Justice
She's the feminist who wrote the Vagina Monologues.

Tuesday October 28
Hendricks Chapel, 7:30 pm
Carrie Mae Weems. She's an artist and storyteller who will talk about the importance of storytelling.

If you need to make up a short paper, you can go to any one of these talks and write a short paper about it. Mostly, though, you should just go and listen and see what you learn.

Week 5

Tues/Wed Sept 23/24
Bring to class a rough draft of your paper. We will be doing peer review. It would help if you could bring 2 copies of your paper.

If during your research you run across articles you want us all to read or clips on youtube, put them on twitter with #nifkin

More about the formal paper:

Writing Center: We have a writing center on campus. It's in the basement of Moon Library. You can bring a draft of your paper there and ask a writing consultant for one-on-one help with your writing. This service is free -- so take advantage of it. Go here for more info or to make an appointment.

Documentation: Yes, you need to use in-text citations, plus a Works Cited page at the end so that we know where you got your information from. I encourage you to use APA because that's what is used most often on this campus. (Likely you used MLA in high school.) You can find APA guidelines on page 161 in the Pocket Wadsworth handbook. Or if you prefer an online source, check out the Purdue Online Writing Lab: you can begin here and here.

Who am I writing for? Your short papers have been written for the rest of the class. You can think of people like us as your audience for the formal paper, but pretend that you haven't ever met us. Therefore, you will need to be a little more formal than you are in the short papers. If you bring up something we read in class, you can't assume that your readers have read it. You also can't assume that all of your readers are taking biology and chemistry and care about environmental issues -- you have to explain scientific terms if you use them and make us care about the issues.

Wednesday, September 24 at 7:30 pm in Gateway
A talk by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
If you have lab/work/class and can't make the talk, you can watch this clip on youtube.

Also on Thursday: we've been invited to play a short version of #TvsZ. Here's the link: we should talk about this in class to see if we want to participate. It would be a good way to learn how to use twitter so I'm thinking we should play.

Thurs/Fri Sept 25/26 
Come to class with another draft of your paper. You can bring it on paper or on your laptop.

If you are in a Tues/Thurs section, the final draft is due Friday September 26 by noon. Put the your folder in the box outside my office in 105 Moon Library.

If you are in my MWF section, the final draft is due Monday September 29 by noon. Put your folder in the box outside my office in 105 Moon Library.

Your folder should contain:
-- six short papers
-- your formal paper
-- one paragraph about your class participation

Lastly, make an appointment to meet me next week. Sign up here.



Week 4

First, be sure that you've gone on twitter and searched #nifkin to see if anyone has posted anything interesting. By now, you should have an account (with a photo and not just the generic egg photo), you should know how to reply to someone, how to search a hashtag, how to favorite something, and how to retweet something. If you need help with any of these things, bring your laptop to class and I can help you during the early part of class while everyone is reading papers. Asking for help is a smart way to learn. Also, if you want to see the archive of our intros, go here.

The students in California are using #wsp101 for their hashtag. So search that hashtag if you want to see what they are doing. I think that after they saw our intros, they were planning to do the same.

Here are the assignments for the week:

Tues/Wed September 16/17

Read "These Green Things: the San Francisco Garden Project" by Catherine Sneed on page 244. I decided to skip ahead because at least one of my classes got into a big discussion about prisons. You can check out their webpage too.
Write Short Paper #6

In class we will brainstorm ideas for your first formal paper.

Wednesday evening September 17
We'll be holding our first twitter chat Wednesday night from 8 -- 9 pm.
Remember to use #nifkin for every tweet you add to the conversation.
One of my students from last year will be running the @follownifkin account.

The most important advice I can give you about a twitter chat
comes from Jesse Stommel: "Revel in the chaos."

We'll talk more about this in class. Here's the link: bit.ly/Ecogames
You can promote the chat by tweeting that link on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thurs/Fri September 18/19
Bring to class the elevator pitch for your formal paper.

The rough draft of the paper will be due on Mon/Tues of next week, and you will be handing in the final draft by Friday at noon.

Week 3

Sept 8/9 Mon/Tues
Read "Got Tape?" by BK Loren, p 43.
Read "A License to Be Human: An Interview with Van Jones" p 53.
Write Short paper #4

Wednesday Twitter Madness:
Before midnight on Wednesday, go on twitter and introduce yourself to the world. Your tweet should contain a photo or a link to something plus some info about yourself. You need to use #nifkin so we can all find you. Once you've introduced yourself, search #nifkin so that you can see everyone else's tweets. Use the "favorite" function to favorite tweets that you like and use the "reply" function to say something to anyone who has a particularly interesting tweet.

NOTE: Your account can't be locked -- or else we won't see it.

SOME EXAMPLES: Click here to see how students introduced themselves last spring.

ALSO: If you plan to use twitter mostly on your phone, you will want to use an app like Hootsuite. For some reason, the twitter app won't show you all your tweets. I know, it's weird.

Sept 10/11 Wed/Thurs
Read "Conservation Refugee" by Mark Dowie, p 65
Write Short paper #5

If you have time, check out 350.org

Yes, Eustace B. Nifkin has a facebook page. You can friend Nifkin here.

About grades: Several people have asked whether or not the short papers count towards your grade. The answer is yes, of course they do. On September 24/25, you will be handing in your manilla folder. That folder will contain six short papers, your first formal paper, and a reflective statement in which you write about your participation in the class (which includes things like twitter). I will read through the portfolio. Then you will have a 15-minute conference with me to talk it over, and you will get a grade that's based on everything you've done. That will be your Unit One grade.