I had to take a break from writing about the WAC program I created just to say how much I enjoyed yesterday! I loved the format, and I loved getting to see everyone’s work. Everything that we have done thus far has come to this. I had wondered if anyone’s poster would turn out similar, but this did not happen! We all have unique personalities, and I think this was evident in the poster presentations. I can’t wait for the other group to go on Wednesday!

I was standing in that room talking to Sarah about the adventure she has had with her own project. All of the sudden, it just hit me. We all have created these fantastic programs, courses, and individual plans of study. I began to wonder what the scope of this class will end up being. How far will our ideas reach? Could we be taking part in the Learning Revolution? I was so excited at this thought. So I just wanted to take a minute to say how much each of you have inspired me. This class has been a fantastic learning experience. I hope that all of us take what we have learned to wherever we journey next in life. I truly think we can make a difference.

I read, I saw, I loved.

This topic has been on my mind for a week now: The end of Harry Potter. I did not start reading Harry Potter until my first year in college, but that is still seven years for all of JK Rowling’s characters to be a part of my life, and even a part of my heart. I cried as I watched the last movie. I LOVE these people! I started to think why I was a sobbing mess as I was watching the movie. I realized that the whole world of Harry Potter is real to me. I have lived in it time and time again. I am a sucker for stories that belong to a series. I think this is because you invest SO much more time with a series. You become an inhabitant in that world, and it becomes significant.

I think what I love most about being an English major (and soon-to-be English teacher) is how reading is an escape. Not only is it an escape, but it’s a healthy escape. I can leave everything behind, and delve into a fantastic book. I could be lost for hours, or sometimes, even days. I think this goes back to I’mValleyGirl’s post on words. Words are so powerful. They are a thing of beauty that should never be taken for granted. I’m reminded of a quote from Dumbledore in the last movie. “Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” How fantastic is that? I didn’t recall this quote from the book. I went back and reread the “Kings Cross” chapter in book 7, which is where this quote would have been, and I didn’t find it. What a wonderful nod from the screenwriter to JK Rowling, huh?

Thinking Out Loud

I’ve been in the brainstorming stage for my WAC program, and now I need to get it together! I had a mini WAC attack of my own yesterday, and I realized how much I have to do by Monday!!!! So here are my rough thoughts on my WAC program. I am going to create a WAC program for the school that I graduated from: Trinity Presbyterian School right here in Montgomery. I’m thinking right now that I’m going to approach it like a recommendation for the school. Let’s say they hired me to come up with a plan that they could put into action.

-I want to somehow incorporate an idea similar to cluster courses (more like mandatory cluster units?).

-I want to incorporate the Web Writing Style Guide. I also want to require teachers to have some kind of blog or wiki for their class.

-There would be some kind of workshop to prepare the teachers, and I have considered borrowing AUM’s WAC rubric in some way.

-There was a Writing Lab class that I had to take in 7th grade, and I think that I will require that class to have a unit on WAC.

-I have a teacher in my mind who successfully incorporate formal essay writing into her history class, and she would be a great example to other teachers.

-I also want to encourage more informal writing as well. I will pull ideas about informal writing from my book review.

-I will make a wordle for my poster. I’m not super artsy, so the poster scares me. I would like to be proud of my product.

So that is where I am right now. Not quite 4000 words, but hopefully I will get there! I do feel a bit better after writing down all these ideas. I think my overall objective for this program will be to break down the terrible association that most students have with writing. I want students to feel comfortable with writing when they leave for college.

AUM WAC Program Wordle

Trying to pull together everything for my case study, but for now, here is a wordle for my case study project:

Image made possible by Wordle


Happy Distractions

As I am working on my WAC case study, I keep thinking about the weekend! The last Harry Potter Movie comes out. I saw a sneek peak clip on ABC family this weekend, and it looks great. I keep watching the trailers. I am vowing not to knit-pick it apart. I am just going to enjoy it!! I have also decided that after I see the last movie, I am going back to reread the entire series. I quite excited about this, even though I don’t really have the time. I think I will be even more impressed by J.K. Rowling as I find all the clues she left along the way throughout the books. Oh, how I love me some Harry!! By the way, for my fellow HP fans, J.K. Rowling has a new website called Pottermore. The whole thing will be launched in the fall, and I’m very excited to have something else to look forward to. Ok, I have digressed from my school work, and I must get back. I have included my favorite trailer/featurette that I have seen thus far for the movie. If you are a HP fan, you must watch it!

Something To Make You Laugh…And Think Some More About Copyright Infringement

Ok, I was watching the Today Show this morning, and they discussed this kid named Trevor. He goes into the Apple store and films a video on one of their computers. This is hilarious. Just watch 🙂


On the YouTube website, below the video he wrote: **NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED, ALL RIGHTS TO UMG, LADY GAGA**

This boy was obviously informed about the importance of when attribution is needed! I wonder if he has had any complaints from the artists whose songs he has used. Either way, it’s hilarious. He’s done several other songs. Just search Apple Store Dance in YouTube, and you will find them!

So as I’m watching iTr3vor’s video, my brother told me to search for applegirl, who does the same thing. I did not find what he was referring to, but look at what I did find.


Ok, so this too, is hilarious, but I was also impressed. Yes, she used Ke$ha’s song, but she created it through Garage Band on her iPad. This obviously requires a little bit of talent. I know I can’t do it. I thought this was cool, but it begs the question, is this plagiarism? Is it creative? Is it a remix? Did she change the original enough to make it her own like GirlTalk does with his music? Well, I hope you enjoyed these videos. The apple store dance made my morning, but the second video got me thinking. I just wanted to share this with all of you and maybe hear some of your thoughts regarding the videos. Oh, and of course, Happy Friday!

Thoughts on the WAC Program at AUM

These are a few thoughts that I penned earlier in the week about the WAC program at AUM, which is the focus of my case study. The writing is a little rough, but I thought I would post it. I’m rethinking how to organize my case study page, and this chunk of information that I wrote out will more than likely get all cut up. My sources for the following information are AUM’s WAC website, which you can find here, and the interview that I conducted last week with Dr. Good, the director of the program. At the moment, I feel a bit lost in all the information I have, but it’s nothing that a good bit of time and organization can’t fix. Happy researching and writing to all my classmates who are also working on a case study!


The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program kicked off during the 2009-2010 school year at AUM. The students, who were freshmen in fall 209, will be the first class to complete the WAC program at AUM. This group of students will graduate in the 2012-2013 school year. The WAC program at AUM mandates that each undergraduate student will take 5 WAC classes during their education at AUM. These five classes include the two freshmen composition classes. Students are also required to take two Writing Intensive (WI) classes within their major. Finally, the students must take a WI “swing” course in a field of their choice. By mandating these five WI classes, AUM students will graduate with extensive experience in learning how to write well. One of the goals of the program is that students will know how to write well, particularly in their field of study.

Dr. Good has worked extremely hard to develop these Writing Intensive (WI) classes at the university. The goal was to equip faculty with the necessary tools to help them feel comfortable with incorporating writing into their classroom. In order for a class to qualify for the WI label, that particular faculty member must attend to writing workshops offered by Dr. Good. These workshops are referred to as the Writing Development Faculty Institute. Dr. Good works closely with faculty members to help equip them with the skills need to be a WI professor. During the workshop, they look at John C. Bean’s book, Engaging Ideas. The faculty members begin to develop writing assignments for their classroom, both formal and informal. While the Writing Development Faculty Institute is mandatory for the faculty members who want to upgrade their course to WI, the workshop is open to all faculty members at AUM. Any faculty member who attends will receive a stipend.

In addition to attending the workshops, for a professor’s class to qualify as a WI course, there must be four extensive writing assignments, with one of the assignment including the steps of the writing process. At this time, there are a growing number of WI courses offered at AUM. Another Writing Development Faculty Institute is being offered during the second week of July. The WAC program will be entering into its 3rd year this fall. While establishing the WI courses are extremely important, assessment plays a major role in the WAC program. The growth of the program is heavily analyzed through different kinds of assessments that are summarized in yearly reports. The WAC program is excited and encouraged by the growth they are seeing in the students’ writing that has been analyzed within different reports.

The Power of Open: What Resonated With Me

I love all the personal stories that are offered in The Power of Open article that we read this past week. I was worried about the length of this article, but the format made the reading very quick. There were four stories that stood out to me: TED, Jonathan Worth, Pratham Books, and Open University.

TED: I feel that I have been extremely challenged by every single TED video that I have watched. It’s hard to imagine not having access to the online videos. There are incredible ideas housed in that collection that can be used by anyone! I find it interesting that Cohen expressed an initial concern about making the speeches available online. They were worried that if the videos were available for free, people would not want to pay money to attend their conferences. After watching the TED videos, I would LOVE to go to one of the conferences. Allowing these speeches to be online for free works as advertising for the TED conferences. My reaction is proof of that. If you want to take a look at this incredible website, check it out here.

Jonathan Worth: I love connecting the ideas we are discussing in this class, and I personally connected with Jonathan Worth’s story. He is a professional photographer who allows free access to his work through Creative Commons. My sister is an emerging photographer. In a way, she gained momentum by allowing free access to her work. She did this through Facebook. She genuinely loves to take pictures, and for the past three years, she has posted nearly every picture she has taken on Facebook. People would peruse her work, and they started asking if she would do photo sessions. She did several engagement sessions last year, and she has most recently started to done a few weddings. In fact, this past weekend, I was her assistant and second shooter for a wedding in Atlanta. Allowing your work to be open under Creative Commons can do incredible things, but I wonder how many professional photographers would jump on this train. They make a large portion of their money through selling their prints. It just makes me wonder how long it will take for everyone to catch on to Creative Commons, or if there are some people out there that never will make the change.

Pratham Books: What an incredible idea! I have always been interested in the idea of helping promote literacy in the third world countries. I just love the concept behind Pratham Books, and I love how they are taking advantage of Creative Commons. If I was not pursuing a career in teaching, I would love to work for an organization like this. Can you imagine the joy that these people feel as they provide a book or books to children who would have never had that opportunity if it weren’t for this non-profit organization? They are helping fight the problem of illiteracy across the globe, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for this organization. I have not had time to check out their own website, but I will be soon. If you are also interested in their work, you can check them out here.

Open University: I was really excited to see this organization using Creative Commons. I stumbled across OpenLearn a few weeks ago when I was looking through different OER websites. OpenLearn is based out of the UK, but there is a ton of information on this website! I found a really cool podcast about the ideas of creativity in the new world of technology. I think this is the OER that I want to review for my final project. What was so surprising to me was the large amount of money that Open University saved by using Creative Commons! OpenLearn is a fantastic website, and I encourage each of you to check it out here.

WACky Thoughts

I wanted to share two quick thoughts about WAC:

1)   “All right stop, COLLABORATE, and listen…” -Vanilla Ice

I have loved the song “Ice Ice Baby” since the 7th grade.  I have a distinct memory of my friends and I attempting to memorize all the lyrics to this song one day during history class.  The other day, the lyrics of the song just popped into my head. As I sang the first line to myself, the light bulb went off!!! Even Vanilla Ice thought collaboration was important way back in the 80s. Well, at least I like to think so! I realized that this summer we have been doing the very thing being described in the first line of this song. I was really excited to stumble across yet another connection to WAC!

2)   “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

As I was reading through my classmates’ blogs, this quote came to mind. I am so inspired by the ideas that are being discussed and circulated among our class. We are truly discussing important ideas that have the capability to change the environments that we find ourselves in. There is something so rewarding about discussing ideas. Sometimes an idea that is in my head can be so fleeting. It makes me think of how Elizabeth Gilbert described catching an idea by its tail and pulling it back in. There is so much room for abstract thought, and it has been a challenge to pull it all together. While I am still learning exactly how to pen down all the thoughts in my head, I am so thankful that I chose to take this class this summer. Thank you to all of you for your incredible and thought-provoking ideas. This summer, thus far, has been such a unique learning experience!

Happy Fourth!

Today we celebrate the day that we declared our own independence as a country. For me, I associate the following things with the Fourth of July: being outside, good food, hanging out near the water (pool, lake, or beach), and time with family. This year, I realized that the freedom we celebrate today bleeds into what I am doing right now. When I look at this holiday through the lens of writing, I realize how thankful I am for the freedoms we have in this country. I am so fortunate that I can write about anything that I choose on my blog. So here’s to the freedom we have under the first amendment in this country. I hope that each of you thoroughly enjoy your holiday!

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