Happy New Year: A Look Ahead to 2015










To look ahead I need to look behind a moment first. 2014 has been a good year as well as a mentally draining one. Academically, I hit my first motivation wall where I struggled for a semester and a half to fully embrace what my doctorate program was asking of me. The good news is I’ve come out the other end better for the struggle. In large part, this struggle was catalyzed by me moving teaching positions and taking on a teacher-leadership role for the first time. Looking back I have to admit I put so much of my time and effort into my new position that I nearly burned myself out and some of my classroom instruction suffered for it as well. Still, I felt accomplished. I took on a role that I was initially scared to take on; I came into it uncertain of what the role would ask of me and questioned how I’d fair in the endeavor. Now I feel I know that I can do the job. Moving forward it will be about striking a balance among my many professional hats–doc student, teacher, and academy lead.

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Annotation Smnotation!


Why do we annotate?

Bet you paused for a moment to collect your thoughts. Why’d you do that? I’m willing to assume (whether it makes me an ass or not) that it’s because there is an inch of uncertainty. I’ve been teaching for seven years and when I ask my English classes to annotate, I struggle to articulate why this is such a valuable skill. I have the rote answers: college preparation, develop analytic skills, seeing ‘beneath the surface’ of a text, connecting ideas, etc. Not that any of those reasons are wrong, but is annotation truly purposeful? Continue reading