Week 11

During the first week of November, we will have conferences instead of class. Do you have an appointment? Here's the link.

Here's our twitter activity for the week:

Monday November 3
We're going to help students in Egypt learn how to use twitter. Sometime Monday night, post a photo of something mysterious (or something close-up or something unusual or whatever) so that the students in Egypt can try to guess what it is -- and what the significance of it is.
****Be sure to include #nifkin #gamesEG

Tuesday November 4 Be sure to go back to twitter, search #nifkin and #gamesEG and see what the students in Egypt have posted. Try to engage them in conversation so that they can get the hang of twitter. Follow them, in hopes that they follow us. Or at least get them to follow @follownifkin so that we can continue with our plan for world domination.

If you want to engage the Egypt students in real time, they will be on twitter at 10 am their time -- which is 3 am our time.

Unit Three
We are starting Unit Three: here's the link to our website project. Be sure that you've joined a team.

Every student needs to write an article for the website. Most of you will do this by taking a paper you've already written and condensing it into something small enough for the website. We are writing for the general public. Explain the topic/problem/solution -- and make the readers care about it. Add hyperlinks to reliable sources so that the reader can read more. We can work on these in class on Mon/Tues November 10/11. Bring your laptops. You will need to submit these by November 13.

Here's the Submission Page. If you already know your topic, go add it to Stage One.

Due dates for Formal Paper #2

Mon/Tues October 20/21
Bring your elevator pitch to class

We don't have any assigned readings this week but that doesn't mean you won't be reading anything. You should be doing your research; you will be choosing what you will be reading.

Thurs/Fri October 23/24
Bring a list of your sources to class. It might not be wholly complete, but it's important for us to look at each other's sources and see if they are credible. You may want to bring your laptop.

Mon/Tues/Wed October 27/28/29
Bring a rough draft to class. Bring two copies if you especially want me to look at your draft.

Thur/Fri October 30/31
You will have some time to work on your papers, but we will also begin Unit Three. Bring your laptops. If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for a grading conference with me.

MWF Class -- yes, we still have class on Friday.

Friday October 31 by noon in the box outside my office:
Hand in your Unit Two portfolio. It should include:
Final draft of second formal paper
Four short papers
A paragraph about class participation

Week 8

Tues/Wed, October 14/15
Read "The Leadership Imperative: An Interview with Oren Lyons" on page 205.
Write Short Paper #9

Thurs/Fri, October 16/17
Read "Designer Genes" by Bill McKibben on page 257.
Write Short Paper #10

The elevator pitch for Formal Paper #2 will be due on Mon/Tues October 20/21

Week 7

Mon/Tues October 6/7
Read "Beyond Ecophobia" by David Sobel, page 181.
Listen to this talk: "Changing Education Paradigms" by Sir Ken Robinson.
Write Short Paper #7

Wed/Thurs October 8/9
Read "Charlotte's Webpage" by Lowell Monke, page 194.
Watch this talk: Jane McDonigal: "Gaming can make a better world."
Write Short Paper #8

Oh, and here's a link to our ideas about the google document things that we don't have a name for yet. Feel free to edit, add things, add comments, whatever.

Fri October 10
No assignment. Just come to class.

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.