Friday, November 13, 2009

Accelerated Learning Project (ALP) - College Writing

Since 2007, I have been teaching college composition and writing about literature. After getting my master's degree in professional writing - concentration in teaching writing - I began to teach at two Baltimore-area colleges. It is my pleasure to be working with Professor Peter Adams, the founder and creator of the Accelerated Learning Project (ALP) at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). This innovative developmental writing program allows motivated writers to simultaneously take basic writing and first-year composition. As a quick overview: in a traditional college-composition course (e.g. 101) of 18 - 20 students, eight students continue with the same instructor for a basic-writing workshop immediately after the traditional course, so back-to-back. The instructor stresses the skills needed to complete the 101's assignments. Exercises, in-class writing, discussions, peer review, and other techniques are employed by the instructor to instruct and accelerate successful college writing. The data on student success and the evidence that the program works are beyond impressive. See the link above for the data and more details. Additionally, many colleges are adapting the program (see the website for more). We are excited about an upcoming study by an outside party that will -- we are confident -- confirm the success of this dynamic course. Lastly, I will post some additional observations and journal entries here in the near future.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

David Brown - Amazing Emerging Artist

Just attended David Brown's exhibit opening in Baltimore. One word: amazing.

Here's his website: http://davidbrownart.net/

These works are affordable . . . for now.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vollmann & Dylan - Living Legends

OK. I am very impressed, as always, with William Vollmann, who has yet another book out -- over eighteen total, and he was born 1959. In the past, the California-based prolific writer has won the National Book Award, among other honors. This one is titled IMPERIAL and is about Imperial County in California; it racks up to 1,300 pages, all focused on the Mexico-California border and all the drama that goes along with patrolling that border and trying to cross it.

Vollmann is holding my attention, mostly, with his RIDING TOWARD EVERYWHERE, which chronicles his adventures hopping rail cars. Yes, the man is adventurous and interested greatly in fringe cultures, the down-trodden.

After seeing Robert Dylan (aka Robert Zimmerman) in concert recently, at a minor-league stadium in Maryland, I am appreciating the multiple ways to view and appreciate America. It is still a great land with great potentiality. Also, check out the recent issue of Rolling Stone with its Dylan interview by Douglas Brinkley. Now Brinkley, a published historian and college professor, is another guy I need to read more of... where is the time to read and absorb, respond to, all this great culture? Let's get started (in here). - Tim