Director’s Letter

CATEGORIES: Foundation Courses
Lesley Erin Bartlett (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

Dear all,

Do you ever get the overwhelming urge to make something? This week, I’m going to make a green curry and a realistic list of goals for the rest of the semester. I’m also working on making a new nighttime routine that involves fewer Northern Exposure reruns and more silence. All of these endeavors are more attractive to me when I think of them as creative acts, and making something makes me feel more human—and reminds me of the specific human I am.

I’m introducing the research project to my ENGL 250 students this week, and I’m wondering how I can invite them to make something of the work, to think of it as a creative act that can remind them of the specific humans they are or the ones they are becoming. The longer I teach the more convinced I am that inviting students to write in ways that are meaningful to them is worth the time and effort. I’ve always found this invitation more challenging for research projects in composition courses. If you have ideas for how to address this challenge, I would love to hear them.

Speaking of paying attention to the humans you and your students are, please join us this Wednesday, February 28 from 1:10-2:00pm in Ross 212 for our second ISUComm Foundation Courses Brown Bag Session of the semester, “Practicing Mindfulness in the Writing Classroom.” Dr. Manisha Sharma, who teaches courses in our department and is a certified yoga instructor, will lead the session.

All best,