Archive for April, 2009

I’m coming towards the end of my first year in a PhD program. That’s almost entirely accurate. I’ve been in another program that would have eventually resulted in a PhD in philosophy, but since I left with a Master’s degree, it doesn’t count. But now I’m 15 hours into a PhD in rhetoric and scientific and technical communication, with just two papers to write for the remainder of the semester, and then I have a summer to recover/get ahead on my exam readings.

So thinking about that, I figured it would be helpful to go back through the year and think about what I’ve learned. Maybe it’ll be helpful for those not yet in a PhD program, maybe it’ll just be helpful for me a few years down the line when I look back to how naive I was. (more…)

This summer, I will be teaching technical and professional writing. I teach this course differently than most, and I think my method works pretty well. Some people involve the students directly with real companies, which I appreciate. But my method involves on the one hand much less direct involvement but on the other much more flexibility.

What I do is give the students a simulation of a company, give them problems to solve, and teach them to communicate while solving these problems. Once they have a grip on that, they write something that I am confident all of them going into the business field will eventually have to write: a business plan.

This semester, I’m making some minor changes. (more…)

Thus far, when I have worked on developing classes, I have been doing so with four classes in mind: Rhetoric of Evil, Rhetoric of Science Fiction, Future Technology Pedagogy, and Systems and Rules. I’ve come up with basic reading lists (though I have to add Foucault and de Certeau to the Systems/rules class), goals, and so on. But I realized that I need to put some of these ideas on the back burner for a while. (more…)