Here are some of the most frequent questions I handle as a writing instructor.
To meet with me in person, drop by during my posted office hours. Can’t make it during that time, use my Calendly page to schedule an appointment.
Want to chat online? Here are some instructions for how you can use Google Hangouts to chat with me or how to set up a video call from your laptop, tablet, or smart phone.
You should use my Calendly page to schedule an appointment because it will give you my real-time availability on any given day. If Calendly says I’m busy, then you know I can’t meet you at that particular time.
There are no excused absences, so you don’t need to explain to me why you won’t be in class. You get between two and three “free” days to burn as you’d like over the course of the semester (check your course syllabus for the exact number of classes you can miss without penalty). It is your responsibility to contact a classmate to find out what you missed. As a reminder, I don’t “reteach” material, but you can ask for clarifications.
You should always know where you stand with respect to your grades. I will enter all grades on the Canvas site for this course. You can monitor your progress at any time via Canvas.
The conventions of standard written English matter; however, I hope you will come to see that little things like spelling and punctuation can have a big impact on how your writing is perceived in any setting, not just in the classroom.
(1) Ignoring directions. I typically give you freedom on major assignments, but when I ask you to do something a certain way, it’s for a reason. Ignoring directions, even small ones, signals to me that you don’t take your work seriously.
(2) Asking, “Did we do anything important in class?” or “Are we going to do anything important?” No matter what we did, the answer will always be the same: Yes, what we did was important, and yes, you’re digging your grave every time you ask me that.
(3) Ringing, buzzing phones, and “concealed” texting. You aren’t as good at hiding texting as you might think, so please don’t bother trying. When you come to class, turn off your phone. Leave it in your bag. If you are expecting an emergency call, let me know in advance, and set your phone to vibrate. When you text in class, you should assume that your peers and I can all see you doing it.
(4) Sending me an incomplete email message. See my email communication policy.
(5) Failing to proofread. Every modern word-processing program has a built-in spell-checker. Use it. Then check your work for mistakes the software program didn’t catch. Repeat as needed.