Co-Teaching Professional Writing Capstone

Fall Semester 2014

I am currently co-teaching ENGL 490, a senior seminar capstone course on digital humanities at Saint Cloud State University. I lead a unit in which students remixed their literacy narratives using mindfulness techniques and video. As part of this unit, we discussed how emotion shapes and is shaped by our narratives. Since every student in the class wishes to use writing as professionals, we also discussed how to create a sustainable writing practice. To do this, I presented the research from my thesis, which argues that writers can fluidly move between different writing processes (e.g., generating ideas, editing, and revising) through mindfulness exercises and awareness of the brain’s plasticity. I also organized a panel of past and present graduate students to pass on their wisdom on writing process, as well as general advice for emerging professionals.

This semester I also led a video remix unit similar to ENGL 490 in ENGL 605: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Rhetoric. ENGL 605 class was comprised of teaching assistants for ENGL 191: Introduction to Rhetorical and Analytical Writing. Our discussions included the relationship between fear and identity, and the kinds of identity terministic screens common in ENGL 191. Most notably, we talked about how many students use the word “am” in relation to their writing abilities, revealing an underlying belief that these abilities are stable, inherent characteristics.

These projects are a continuation of my thesis work from my master’s in English: Rhetoric and Writing. They also continue the work from my first master’s in Information Media: Information Technologies. Prior to this semester, I taught ENGL 191: Introduction to Rhetorical and Analytical Writing for two years. Before that, during my Information Media master’s I worked for three years as a graduate assistant at St. Cloud State’s Women’s Center. Here I did event planning on a variety of issues, including sexism, body image, violence against women, sexual orientation, class, ability, and reproductive rights. During this time, I was also continuing to work with my family business, The Mindful Heart. We focused on using classes and neurofeedback as tools for agency and self-awareness.