Just returned from Philadelphia, where I attended the WPA workshop and an institute on social media and program development. Sat 8 hours for 5 days and listened, talked, wrote, shared ideas, did collaborative stuff. Oh, and ate lots of food (highlight: criminally huge cupcakes). In the evenings groups of us hit some of the excellent restaurants and bars around Olde City (or is it Old City?) and went to a minor league baseball game in Camden, NJ. Love Philly.
The experience was rejuvenating, and a little overwhelming. I was struck by the range of programs across the country–very few sounded alike, very few sounded like ours at UC. Some faculty direct multiple programs–WAC/WID, writing center, FY seminars, FYC, and other configurations–while others have more discrete job descriptions. Despite the differences, many of the challenges are shared and involve the usual suspects: inadequate funding, over-reliance on adjuncts, no faculty buy-in, etc etc. I liked being among my peeps. We’re a strange bunch, but we’re all devoted to this work…sometimes despite ourselves.
The work we did on assessment and professional development was really generative. I have some solid ideas about program assessment that I want to share with the comp committee this fall. Hoping we can bring in Carol Rutz to guide us through some pieces of assessment. We’re going to be pretty busy this year.
For now, though, it’s still summer. Next week: roller coasters, log rides, and amphibians! At the moment, back to (other) writing…