Lesson Plan for Week 8: General Thoughts and Notes

Patrick Mooney, TA
Eng 150, Prof. Duffy
13 November 2013

Major topics:

  1. Thought for the day:

    —Wait a moment, professor MacHugh said, raising two quiet claws. We mustn’t be led away by words, by sounds of words.

    — James Joyce, Ulysses, 7.494-95 (p. 108). See this quote with more context.

  2. Administrative Issues:
    1. Attendance.
    2. Distribution of paper-grading rubric. Questions? Please send me email or stop by my office!
    3. Paper-related questions? Midterm-related questions?
    4. Prestigious Academic Senate awards for distinguished professors and TAs are open for nominations: https://senate.ucsb.edu/~awards. No, I am not fishing, but it is quite an honor to be nominated and an even bigger honor to win — people who are nominated are quite happy about it. If there's someone who's been a positive influence on your life, you should nominate them!
    5. Since this was not announced last week due to an oversight: there is a new document, Pre-1971 British and Irish currency, on the section website.
    6. Reminder: Friday is (for most students) the last day to change between pass/no-pass and letter-graded options.
    7. Change to attendance policy: the section on 27 November (the day before Thanksgiving) is now optional. In more detail, what this means is …
      • If you have scheduled a recitation for 27 November, you must attend or reschedule. There are a very limited number of opportunities to reschedule — they will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis. For this reason, deciding that you will just not show, take the penalty (which is rather heavy), and reschedule would be a bad move, because if you cannot arrange a time to reschedule after the fact, you will automatically receive a non-passing grade for the course as a whole. If you want to reschedule a 27 November recitation, you should let me know as soon as possible. If you have questions about the recitation assignment or the penalty, you should look at the Recitation Assignment Guidelines handout.
      • If you miss the 27 November section, this does still count as a section you have missed for purposes of Professor Duffy's miss three sections and you get no section credit, miss five sections and you receive a failing grade policy. This means that if you have already missed three sections (a very small number of students) — or if you anticipate that you may hit that number this quarter — you should definitely be in section on 27 November.
      • I will distribute your total points for section attendance and participation based on nine weeks of mandatory section attendance, not ten.
      • Attending section on 27 November will have the overall effect of giving your attendance/participation score a small boost. If you have also been participating extensively and wind up attending section a total of ten weeks this quarter, this could conceivably boost your attendance/participation score above 50 points (10% of your total score for the quarter, as detailed on the section guidelines handout), which was previously the theoretical maximum. The new absolute theoretical maximum score for attendance and participation is 5559 points. Because I will still be calculating your grade as if the maximum number of points possible is 50, some people may get more than 100% of the total possible points for section attendance and participation. To put it another way, the theoretical maximum number of bonus points you can receive by attending section Thanksgiving week, whether or not this lifts you to ten sections attended, is 509. The short version for this paragraph: attending section on 27 November is good for your grade, and this may result in a few people getting more than 100% in section credit.
      • If you have previously requested that I provide an estimate of your grade, then this change does not affect the current grade I reported to you, because (as declared in the How Your Grade Is Calculated document) I do not calculate participation until the very end of the quarter, so your previous reported grade included an attendance/participation grade that was purely an estimate based on attendance but not participation. I believe that I have also explained this to everyone who requested a grade estimate, but you are (of course!) welcome to ask me any questions that you may have.
      • If you want to attend section and are able to avoid departing until afterwards, and the only thing preventing you from attending is that you have nowhere to store your luggage during section (for instance, if your dorm forces you to leave by 5 p.m.), then you have two options. You are welcome to leave your luggage in my office (SH 2432E), provided that you can deal with the fact that you will have to drop it off between 2:30 and 4:30 and will not be able to pick it up until 7:00. Alternately, you can bring your luggage to section and leave it at the front of the room. If you are traveling with a more luggage than you can carry yourself, then you will have to find somewhere else to leave it.
      • If you have questions about how your attendance/participation score is calculated for section this quarter, you should look at the document How Your Grade Is Calculated (in Excruciating Detail).
        • This document has not yet been updated to reflect the Thanksgiving week change, but will be by the end of this coming weekend. In the meantime, you can substitute the number 509 for 5 in the attendance/participation calculation.
        • If you have previously been attending but not participating (a very small number of students) on the assumption that you will receive at least some points for attending even if you do not participate, then you may want to review that document anyway, because the implications of the calculation described there may not be everything that you have been hoping for.
          • These unpleasant implications have been declared in writing already: please take a look at the third paragraph of the section meetings part of the Discussion Section Guidelines handout, which was distributed during our first section meeting.
          • It is not too late to start participating and pick up a fair number of points. I do not calculate participation until the end of the quarter, so if you start participating now, you will leave me with a good impression and pick up more points than you might think.
          • If you have any questions, please let me know.
  3. Recitations this week:
  4. Other points for discussion: