Puget Sound English Department

September 27, 2011

End of an era

Filed under: Uncategorized — ATH @ 6:50 am

This blog is no longer being actively maintained.

For information on English Department activities, courses, personnel, alumni, etc., please visit our Department homepage or contact our department administrator at 253-879-3235.

Let’s stay in touch!

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September 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ATH @ 7:55 am

The English Department cordially invites you to our first Afternoon Tea

Monday, September 19
4-5:30 p.m.
Wyatt 313

Please join us for goodies, conversation, and tea.

Career Information–ASK Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — ATH @ 7:50 am

Are you anxious about leaving the ivy-covered brick buildings of Puget Sound for the world outside? ASK Night(Alumni Sharing Knowledge) is here to help, and it’s happening this Thursday evening, on campus:

Wondering what you can do with your major? Learn about possible career paths and begin building your professional network by attending ASK Night this Thursday. Connect with alumni from your same major and/or working in related fields:

Ethan Chung ’04, Assistant Editor, Premier Media Group

Maureen Goodman ’00, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney

Melissa Farage ’10, Managing Editor, Raveable

Callie Snyder ’08, Account Executive, Edelman Public Relations

Sarah Fridovich ’08, Public Affairs, APCO Worldwide

Charles (Peter) Cooper ’90, Marketing & Business Development, Microsoft

David Watson ’92, Director of Product Innovation (Kids), Netflix, Inc.

Amy Winterowd ’99, Marketing Manager, Yost Grube Hall Architecture

Ryan Kalalau ’03, Director of Sales and Marketing, Northpoint Social Media

Please join these alumni, and others at:
Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Night 2011
Thursday, Sept. 15: drop by anytime between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m.
Wheelock Rotunda
Dessert provided.

August 26, 2011

Celebrating the future, and the past

Filed under: Uncategorized — ATH @ 2:44 pm

At the recent Faculty Dinner, members of the department celebrated with our new faculty colleagues: Professors Daniel Cook, Darcy Irvin, Jeff Solomon, Suzanne Warren, and John Wesley. All are now installed in Wyatt Hall and looking forward to an exciting and vibrant semester. We encourage you to stop in and introduce yourself to them.
Also at the recent event, the University honored our esteemed and beloved colleague Peter Greenfield with the Walter Lowry Award for Distinguished Service. Professor Greenfield’s myriad accomplishments, and his exceptional generosity to his department and the university over his 28 years here, were celebrated with an introduction by Professor and Faculty Senate Representative Tiffany MacBain, a standing ovation from his faculty colleagues across the campus, and the presentation of the handsome plaque shown above (which he had to return for display here on campus, but which now bears his name, along with that of Professor Emerita Florence Sandler, a prior English department recipient). So it was a night of hellos and, if not of goodbyes, then of ’til we meet agains.

April 5, 2011

Emerging Stories of the Puget Sound

According to KOMO News, Kali Kucera is attempting to evoke and preserve what he describes as “fantastilicious” tales of South Sound folklore. PapaKali, Kucera’s website, solicits and provides exposure for local lore and legends, and aims to practice old-style community, built around shared tales, through 21st-century media.

September 24, 2010

National Punctuation Day (!)

Filed under: Uncategorized — ATH @ 7:54 am
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Who knew that there even was such an event? Now that you are cognizant, please celebrate with us by sprinkling your prose liberally with correctly used punctuation: a colon to set off a list; a semi-colon to divide independent clauses and/or to subdivide listed elements that themselves contain commas; and, of course, a liberal dose of exclamation points! (Okay, the last one was a joke)

Remember, grammar is best practiced among good friends–the kind of friends who can correctly identify a noun phrase appositive, and appreciate the proper use of a dash (never a hyphen!) to set it off.

August 24, 2010

Glamourous Grammar

Filed under: Lectures/Presentations/Debates,Uncategorized — ATH @ 7:16 am

Etymologists and Classicists may well be aware that the word “glamour” has its origins in “grammar” (from Greece, by way of Scotland) and that erudition and enchantment are closely related, at least historically. Today at noon, Seattle NPR affiliate KUOW’s program The Conversation features Roy Peter Clark, author of The Glamour of Grammar (Little, Brown, & Co., $19.99), available here.

You can tune in at FM 94.9, or download the podcast from The Conversation’s site, above. Learn how to dazzle with a semi-colon, or woo with (effectively) invented words. We confess, we like the revised image of the grammarian as enthralling (enthrall, from the Old Norse, for “slave or servant,” by way of the Old English for “bondman or serf”).

August 20, 2010

Future and Past

Filed under: Uncategorized — ATH @ 3:39 pm
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Welcome to Puget Sound’s Class of (gulp) 2014! We’re delighted to welcome you to our campus, and hope to see many of you in our classes and up on Wyatt 3. We’re known as an “open-door” department, which means that faculty are generally around and delighted to find out about your interests and tell you more about our programs. You can check in with our indispensable Administrative Assistant, Terri Gonzalez, in Wy 335, or our Chair, Professor Priti Joshi, in Wy 338. But you can also stop by during any faculty member’s office hours, or just look for an open door.

Some unrelated overdue business: we blame summer and the inevitable cerebral slump it brings for our failure to mention the fact that our talented and accomplished graduate, Olivia Margoshes (’10) is a regular blogger for Seattle City Insights Examiner. Olivia’s witty and eminently readable columns examine Seattle’s food, arts, music, tourist, and other attractions from her own local perspective, and offer both locals and visitors a wealth of ideas for where to go, what to see, and what to eat, drink, and read. We applaud Olivia’s work, and apologize for our tardiness at providing her with the appropriate enthusiasm. You can find an index of her pieces at the link above.

More on The Atlas of Love

A Seattle Times review.

Plans are in the works for a reading/conversation on the Puget Sound campus with Professor Frankel. The tentative date is September 23, and there will be copies of her book available for purchase. More as the plans coalesce.

August 19, 2010

What makes a good teacher?

Filed under: General,Uncategorized — ATH @ 6:12 am
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The LA Times is running a series of articles that takes up this question, and uses a trendy “value-added” approach to rating individual teachers, whose names and scores it intends to publish. Unsurprisingly, teachers and teachers’ unions are objecting, some vehemently, to such individualized scrutiny, and to what they feel is a reductive approach to a complex art (to be fair, in the report I heard, one of the series’ lead reporters repeated multiple times that this is not by any means the only or best way to measure teaching effectiveness, nor is improvement in standardized test scores the full measure of any teacher).

Despite the facts–what we do at the college level is fundamentally dependent on what is happening in K-12 education; many of our alums pursue advanced degrees and careers in the field–one can generally spend much of one’s professorial life largely ignoring what goes on in public education in this country, with the exception of cocktail-party chatter about the declining state of our schools. (Of course, as with all generalizations, this generic truth doesn’t apply to certain programs, especially on a campus with a popular and effective MAT program.)

The series is fascinating (there’s also an NPR story about its methods), and raises difficult questions that are no less relevant to a discussion of university education: what makes a good teacher “good”? How much variation will we accept in effective teaching? To what extent can we isolate the teacher’s role in what is, by almost any account, a clunky, inequitable, massive, and often ineffective system, with huge variations in funding? Does an approach like the “value-added” metric (which, effectively, attributes test-score improvement or decline from a pre-established base rating to the teacher) reduce the interpersonal art of teaching to a kind of balky production line model? Is it fair to hold individual teachers solely accountable when their “raw materials” and facilities vary so widely by race, class, culture, opportunity, funding, and all the other factors that affect academic achievement? On the other hand, with the stakes so high, why not hold teachers to higher standards? Why protect weak or ineffective teachers at the students’ expense?

At the core, though, the question boils down to this: is teaching a “science,” an “art,” or some combination thereof?

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