Volume III | Number 1 | October 2004

Corinne Arraez: "We'll be offering blogs through Moveable Type to anyone who wants them starting in Winter quarter. Also don't forget to check the laptop cart!!!"

Andrea Lunsford (when asked how Audrey is progressing in her development as a future rhetorician and what her most persuasive techniques are to date):
"Baby Audrey has hugely impressive strategies: one, which signals deep displeasure, I can only describe as a cross between a trill and a growl -- her great aunt cannot make this sound at all!"

Labor Day marked the official end of summer for the PWR faculty, who headed back to campus on September 7 to begin a four-day institute on teaching PWR 2. While second-year students were revving up for Sophomore College, our instructors also got a taste of the sophomore experience, complete with homework.

Andrea Lunsford
Professor Andrea Lunsford reviews the new PWR2 assignment sequence at the Summer Institute, September 2004. More Institute photos...

Over the course of two days, each instructor was asked to script, design, rehearse, and deliver a three-minute multimedia presentation similar to what we would ask our students to produce in PWR 2. The purpose of this assignment was to help instructors experience first-hand both the rewards and challenges of putting together such projects. Little did we know just how authentic this experience would be.

Fingers flew furiously over laptop keyboards as each instructor struggled to complete his or her project before the deadline. Panic filled the halls of Wallenberg Hall amid rumors that a timekeeper would ring a bell at the end our three minutes, whether or not we were finished talking. Always offering guidance and encouragement were Doree Allen, John Bilderbeck, and Jennifer Heninngs of Stanford’s Oral Communications Program, all of whom acted as our Oral Communications Tutors.

While many of us became anxious about the technology we were trying to implement, our OCTs reminded us that the most important element of a presentation was a clear, engaging, accessible argument. Of course, that was something we all understood as teachers of writing and rhetoric, but it was easy to lose sight of that lesson once we were put in the position of students. more ...