Sunday, March 29, 2015

Conference presentation done; back to work on GHK

I finished my conference presentation on Saturday. There weren't a lot of people in the audience, but what they lacked in numbers they made up in enthusiasm. (Possibly because over half the audience was from Northeastern!) My presentation was titled "'Brain Circulation' and Writing in the Disciplines: Giving Students Opportunities for Multilingual Writing in a Business Writing Course." I already talked a bit about the topic here. In my presentation, I cited a couple of blog posts by Julie Meloni that originally got me thinking about this idea:
I think these two posts are worth a read if you're thinking about how you might work writing in other languages into a writing class for multilingual students (as "we" translingual types sometimes like to do)--in an assignment that is different from the personal essay. (Not that I have anything against personal essays.)

Anyway, now that that presentation is over, I have to get back to work on GHK. I left him hanging for a long while. He's probably wondering what happened to me. I need to put together a list, too, of the sources I want to see at the archives because evidently they're stored off-site. So I need to get going on that. (In between grading, of course...)

Monday, March 16, 2015

What I have and haven't been doing lately

Today marked the first day back to classes after spring break. Over the break I graded a couple (or three? I forget) sets of assignments, did our taxes, realized that I was mixed up about the location of the May conference and bowed out of doing a presentation there (with some regret--I would have liked to present there), played with the little guy (my son, that is), and produced a reflective teaching portfolio. I also drank way too much coffee and probably gained a few pounds (though I wouldn't know for sure because I won't go near a scale). I didn't do much anything related to my research project or end-of-March conference, but I'm hoping that with classes back in session, I might be able to get back in work mode.

I do think that I did some important things over break, though, even if I didn't get to do everything. Spring break seems to be an occasion for instructors to do two main things: catch up on grading and get sick. I'm lucky that I didn't do the latter, even if I didn't completely succeed on the former. Well, at least the weather is getting warmer now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Recent research/writing activities

Well, besides commenting on and grading student papers, I've tried to fit in some time for working on some projects. The urgent keeps getting in the way of the important, though (sounds like something Stephen Covey would say). I've got a conference presentation at the end of the month to work on and another conference paper due in early May. I've also got to continue reading through and annotating the archival documents for this summer's trip. But right now I'm working on revising an assignment that students will be working on starting next week, and after that I have to work on the merit eportfolio that lecturers in my program have to put together every year. I guess I shouldn't complain, though; most professors seem to need to do an annual 自我批评 self-evaluation.

I did get some work done on the conference presentation for the end of the month. I'm going to be talking about an opportunity I extended to some students in my business writing class last semester to write one of their projects in their native languages rather than in English. Of course they had to supply me with a translation and a "context memo" that explained the particulars of their document, but I wanted to give them the chance to write in another language since their intended audience were government officials in their home country. I've been thinking about this kind of opportunity lately because I have been getting quite a few students recently who don't intend to stay in the US after graduation (at least not for long) and who will need to write professional or scholarly documents in their native languages--a task that is not easy to do even if they're practiced in writing those kinds of documents in English. I know I can't teach them how to write all those kinds of documents in their native languages (it's arguably not even my job), but I can give them an opportunity to try if they want to... for one project... if it makes sense in terms of their intended audience... if they provide a translation... (I have a feeling I'm going to hedge a lot in this presentation...)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Research update

I finished reading Formosa: Licensed Revolution and the Home Rule Movement last night. I took a few notes on it as well in the process. He mentions a March 10, 1931 letter sent to Washington from the American Consul at Taihoku (Charles Reed). I'll have to see if that letter is in his collection, or where he came across it.


He also mentions Bailey Willis, an 81-year-old (in 1937) Stanford geologist who visited Formosa and the Philippines and noticed some of the Japanese military preparations going on.

I need to continue reading and note-taking. No time to slow down now...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Getting into work

I've gotten started on the work to prepare for my trip to the archives this summer. I'm currently reading through GHK's Formosa: Licensed Revolution and the Home Rule Movement, 1895-1945 (a book I bought quite a few years ago that evidently had been given by Kerr to his nephew "Bill Kerr the 2nd"--wonder how that ended up for sale on Alibris...).

I've been taking notes on it and reading "around" it as well, going back to some of Kerr's earlier writings about the Japanese colonial project in Taiwan (a couple of articles he wrote during WWII for the Far Eastern Survey, published by the Institute of Pacific Relations). It has been interesting so far, and it's helping me to develop some questions that I want to pursue.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

First writing group meeting a success!

Although not everyone from our writing group was able to make it to our first meeting, we had three people there (plus one interested non-member who might end up becoming a member!). We talked about our projects, goals, challenges, writing habits, families, etc. We came up with some goals for the rest of the semester and made some plans. My main goal is to go through my GHK materials here (books, photocopied archival docs, etc.) and figure out specifically I have and what I need to look for when I go to Taiwan in the summer. I know that this will be a good use of my time. As will our writing group!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Snow.. snow...



It may look pretty to some people, but I'm really tired of seeing this stuff.