Friday, September 05, 2014

First week of classes over

We had a short week this week because classes started on Wednesday, but at least I got a chance to meet (most of) my students. During this week it's a little hard to get into the serious work of the semester because class populations can change a lot. I have two classes that are full, but one is still filling up. (Well, it's about half full right now--or half empty?)

That smaller class is going to be interesting, too, because its focus is on interdisciplinarity, but most of the students are engineering majors. (Probably because of scheduling issues.) I suppose that I can consider civil engineering and electrical engineering as different disciplines, though, even though they're in the same college.

I've given the classes some small assignments for over the weekend; we'll see how they do on those. The two sections of interdisciplinary writing are reading John Swales' chapter on discourse communities (from his 1990 book, Genre Analysis).

I plan for us to talk Monday about discourse communities and disciplinarity. We'll see how it goes! Later on we'll be reading a more recent chapter about discourse communities by Anne Johns. In the business writing course, they'll be brainstorming possible topics for their first project, a research report on a "hot" topic in their discipline/profession.

It was really hot in Boston this week, and one of the classrooms that I have two classes in was particularly sauna-like. I think the air conditioning didn't work. It reminded me of the good old days when I taught at Tunghai's College of Arts building--I remember that during the first couple of weeks of classes, there would be sweat dripping from my forehead when I was teaching. Hopefully they'll fix the air con before Monday!

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