Monday, August 31, 2009

Calendar Post for September 2

  • In preparation for our Academic Summary assignment, which asks you to summarize one of three possible texts, read Peter Ford’s “China’s green leap forward” and also “How Baoding, China, becomes world’s first ‘carbon positive’ city" (both texts have been uploaded to Notice that they appeared alongside one another in the August 10, 2009 edition of The Christian Science Monitor. How does this text speak to the ideas Thomas Friedman wrote about two years earlier (in "The Power of Green")?
  • Choose one of the critical reading strategies that you reviewed on PHG p. 154-155 (the Double-Entry Log or the Critical Reading Guide) and as you consider Ford’s texts, apply that strategy.

Readings Posted

A few additional readings that become important to our upcoming Academic Summary assignment and our discussions in class this week have been posted to

Sunday, August 30, 2009

MLA Supplements Posted

Two supplements that detail the Modern Language Association's (MLA) 2009 style guidelines, to which most of our written assignments adhere, have been posted to These supplements come courtesy of Bedford/St. Martin's:
As the semester progresses we'll talk more about how to document sources using MLA guidelines. However, the sample papers that appear in the final pages of the Hacker and Lunsford supplements should provide you with guidance as to formatting assignments like the Academic Summary. Formatting guidelines are also detailed on page three of our syllabus.

Friday, August 28, 2009

If You Get H1N1

The following advisory was sent to Colorado State University students this afternoon:
To: CSU Students
From: Jane Higgins, M.D., CSU Health Network
Subject: If you get H1N1
August 28, 2009
There has been a lot of talk this fall about H1N1 and the importance
of getting ready. While this flu might not cause a more severe
illness than typical seasonal flu, there are valid reasons for the
increased concern and we hope you’ll take a few minutes to learn
about them. This is a lengthy email, but please take a moment to
read it – it provides valuable information about what you should do
if you develop flu-like symptoms.

Health officials believe H1N1 flu will cause more illnesses than flu
strains in previous years. We’ll also still experience the ‘regular’
seasonal flu, so coupled, these two sources of the flu could impact
a fairly high number of students and employees at CSU. It’s likely
that health resources will be stretched somewhat thin, so it’s
especially important that students know how to get prepared for this
flu season and how to take care of themselves if they do get sick.
Health officials estimate that as many as 30 percent of the
population will be absent from day-to-day activities because of flu
this season.

Health officials also continue to be concerned that H1N1 might
change and cause illnesses that are more severe than what people are
experiencing now. It is unusual that we’re already seeing so many
cases of the flu this time of year – with several probable H1N1
cases across campus already. This provides more opportunity for the
H1N1 virus to change or combine with the regular seasonal flu and
become more serious.

At this time, government officials do not recommend that the
university suspend classes if there are a large number of flu cases
on campus. The university has a plan in place to address a severe
flu season. The plan is at

You’ll need to read emails from the university in a timely fashion
and visit frequently for any updates to the
university’s recommendations related to flu.

If you think you have the flu, keep in contact with your instructors
and advisors. Let them know you are ill BEFORE your big test or
assignment is due. If you live on-campus, notify a housing employee
such as your Residence Hall Advisor so that arrangements can be made
to keep your roommate healthy and to bring you food so you don’t
have to leave your room.

The university is working on an online system to help you report
your illness and notify your instructors more easily. The system is
expected to be completed by Friday, Sept. 4, and available through

When this system becomes available, if you feel ill with flu-like
symptoms, you will be able to log onto RamWeb and fill out the flu
reporting page. This system will document your illness in order to
help the university keep track of ill students and notify your
instructors of your illness. This website will help give you
guidance about severity of symptoms and your options. Your response
on this website will help expedite the process of being able to make
academic arrangements for missed work. Faculty members will require
the illness verification from this website so they can work with you
on rescheduling exams or other make-up work. Through the website,
faculty will receive a case number documenting your illness and will
be able to verify that illness with the university. It is important
that you finish all of the steps on the website so that the
documentation is completed. You also should revisit the site when
you are well and log the information that you are able to attend
classes again.

Most of the symptoms of H1N1 flu are identical to symptoms of the
seasonal flu. Those symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, runny or
stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. People
infected with H1N1 flu virus may also have diarrhea and vomiting.

Some college-aged people who get this flu may become ill enough to
be hospitalized. We know that if you get H1N1, there is a strong
chance that you’ll feel miserable for 5 to 7 days, and we want you
to know how to take care of yourself and when to go to the doctor.

If you have the flu, try to isolate yourself from others – such as
your roommates – as much as possible. For more advice about getting
through the flu, visit Most
students will not need to see a doctor during their illness. Those
with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, immunosuppression
or asthma, should consult their doctor if they think they have flu.

If you have any of the following danger signs, you should call the
CSU Health Network at (970) 491-7121 as soon as possible or dial 911
if you think you need immediate emergency help:
- You become short of breath while resting or doing very little;
- You are coughing up bloody sputum;
- You are wheezing;
- You have had a fever for three or four days and you are not
getting better – or you may be getting worse;
- You and others notice that you are extremely drowsy and difficult
to wake up or that you are disoriented or confused;
- You have extreme pain in your ear;
- You are vomiting and cannot keep fluids down.

If you are caring for someone with the flu, visit for more
information about how to protect yourself and others.

The Centers for Disease Control recommend that you:
- Buy a thermometer. A fever is a temperature of more than 99.6
degrees. If you have the flu, you need to stay away from other
people until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without
taking fever-reducing medicines.
- Off-campus students should store two weeks of food in their home,
if possible. Stock up so you have enough food to get through the flu
if you don’t feel well enough to get to the store. Don’t forget to
store enough food for your pets as well.
- Have some fluids with electrolytes, such as sports drinks, on
- Keep an adequate supply of regular prescription drugs.
- Keep some basic health supplies on hand such as over-the-counter
cold and flu medicine, pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough
medicine and hand sanitizer.
- Have cleaning supplies, especially bleach or cleaners containing

The University also is recommending that students prepare for the
flu by getting a “flu buddy.” You and your buddy should check in on
and help the other if one of you is ill. You might want to have your
buddy help you to report your illness on the online system.

The best defense against the flu is to wash your hands frequently
with soap and water, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue,
avoid touching your face, avoid people who are sick and stay home if
think you have the flu. The best way to prevent flu is to get a flu
shot. Seasonal flu shots will be available in early September; H1N1
shots will be available to priority groups in late October. Shots
will be available to students in several locations around campus.
For more information, check the CSU Health Network website at

Calendar Post for August 31

  • Review critical reading strategies and summarizing in PHG p. 151-162 and 190-198.
  • Download, print out and critically read Thomas Friedman’s “The Power of Green.” Mark up and take notes on this text (as you did for Michael Pollan’s “Why Bother?”). Pollan’s text will also be part of our discussion on Monday.
  • Keeping in mind our triangle that represents the rhetorical situation and the elements that situation might include (for now, think text, author, publication, publication date, thesis and main ideas), draft a summary (roughly one double-spaced page) of Friedman’s “The Power of Green.” Draft the summary in MLA format (see page three of our syllabus), and bring it to class with you on Monday.
  • Practice using the Writing Studio by posting your summary draft to a page called Forums. Look there for "Academic Summary Draft: Friedman." Click "Create a message" to begin a post and title it "Academic Summary Draft." Instead of using MLA format online, your post should be single-spaced and its paragraphs should be divided by line breaks, just as this blog post demonstrates. The easiest way to move your draft from your word processor to your forum post is to (1) highlight and copy the text of your draft, (2) click the button under "Message" that looks like a clipboard with a "T" (Paste as plain text), and then (3) paste your draft into the window that appears. At the forum there's an example of what your text should look like.
  • If you have trouble logging into the Writing Studio or posting your summary, e-mail Raul (see "Contact" on the right side of the page) with "CO150" in the subject line.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Classroom Location + Reading Posted

  • Remember that beginning tomorrow, Friday, August 28, our meeting location switches to Molecular and Radiological Biosciences 109, which features better classroom technology. The Molecular and Radiological Biosciences building lies south of the Chemistry and Microbiology buildings, along Lake Street. For directions, find building 76 on Colorado State's online map, or if that map takes too long to load, download a PDF map of the campus.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Calendar Post for August 28

  • Read p. 18-26 in the PHG, paying particular attention to the section on "Subject, Purpose, and Thesis" on p. 24.
  • "Why Bother," by Michael Pollan: Give it a close reading, marking it up as you did the PHG reading for today. Watch for rhetorical situation elements discussed on Monday and in the PHG reading, and bring this annotated text to class with you on Friday, when we’ll finish our discussion of the IPCC readings.
  • You may start doing the same for "The Power of Green," by Thomas Friedman, which is now available on our blog. Be prepared to discuss that text next week.
  • Our first written assignment, the Academic Summary, is described in a handout also available on our blog. It incorporates Friedman’s text as well as two other articles we haven't yet discussed.
  • Be aware of Thursday's early drop deadline for CO150 (Thursday, August 27, at 11:59 PM). See page one of our syllabus for more information.
  • Our new classroom, as of Friday: Molecular and Radiological Biosciences 109.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Office Hours Update

Office hours this morning have been postponed. If you would like to meet with Raul this week, please e-mail him to arrange a time. See "Contact" in the sidebar.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Syllabus + Readings + Academic Summary Assignment Posted

Our syllabus, three articles distributed in class today, and a handout on our upcoming Academic Summary assignment have been posted to
PHG pages 176 to 187 ("Responses to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change") have also been posted to

Calendar Post for August 26

  • Purchase Stephen Reid's The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers (8th edition), otherwise known as the PHG, and read “Responses to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (see p. 176-188 or a handout posted to For each response, find a sentence (or two) that encapsulates the main idea of which the writer aims to convince us. Underline the sentence or write it out in your notebook. Do the other things you tend to do when you read closely (underline key passages, write questions and reactions in the margins, et cetera).
  • Do the same for the Washington Post and BBC articles that update our understanding of the IPCC's findings. (In preparation for Friday, you can also begin reading Pollan’s “Why Bother?”)
  • Become familiar with our blog. If you’re there on Tuesday night, you might download the Academic Summary assignment handout from
  • If you receive an invitation to the Writing Studio at your Google Apps for Colorado State University account and wish to keep that e-mail address for purposes of our class, simply update your account at the Writing Studio and skip the e-mail to Raul requesting an invitation.
  • On Wednesday, be prepared to introduce the partner you met in class on Monday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Calendar Post: 'The 11th Hour' Screening

At 7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 15 and Wednesday, September 16, in Clark A101, the English Department will be screening The 11th Hour (2007), a 95 minute documentary hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio. The film features a number of leading voices that address causes and effects of, as well as solutions to, climate change. Transcripts of just some of their comments appear in a 2007 feature by Vanity Fair.

Please attend one of the screenings, and take careful notes on the comments of at least two individuals featured who pique your interest, as we'll be using The 11th Hour to inform our upcoming Open Letter assignment.

Calendar Post: Greg Mortenson Lecture

Mortenson, a renowned mountain climber and the best-selling co-author of Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time" will speak at the CSU Moby Arena on August 31. Admission is free, but tickets are required, and there's more on that at Today @ Colorado State. Mortenson's lecture will focus on “Promoting Peace through Education," and while that topic doesn't directly bear on climate change, we'll be looking for lectures like these later in the semester to inform our final essay assignment.

Here's more on Mortenson's background from Today:
In 1993, to honor his sister’s memory, Mortenson climbed Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, in the Karakoram Range. After climbing K2, while recovering in a local village called Korphe, Mortenson met a group of children sitting in the dirt writing with sticks in the sand, and made a promise to help them build a school.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Writing Studio

Throughout the semester we'll be visiting Colorado State's Writing Studio to exchange ideas in forums and work on a collaborative research project. The Writing Studio requires students to create an account and then join a particular class, and to do that you'll need an invitation from Raul. Please e-mail him using either your Google Apps for Colorado State University address or another Gmail account that you prefer. Please include "CO150" and "Writing Studio" in the subject line. (Note: if you receive an invitation before composing this e-mail, and you want to continue using the e-mail address it references, skip to the next paragraph.) We'll talk more in class about why Gmail (and a word processor called Google Docs) will become important in our writing this semester.

In accepting the Writing Studio invitation, use the temporary password "CO150." Then choose a unique password and update your Writing Studio account to reflect your preferred first and last name. Once you have established an account at the Writing Studio and/or accepted an invitation to our class, you'll see "CO150 or College Composition: Fall 2009" listed under the tab "Classes Taken." Nearby you'll see a tab called "Customize," and there you should "Edit Your Description" and "Choose A New Photograph or Image" in order to tell the class something about yourself and remind us what you look like. Later, on our Writing Studio class page, you should see e-mail addresses and photos for everyone by clicking "Classmates."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Calendar Post for August 24

This is the kind of post you will see for many upcoming class periods. Each post will list readings, writing prompts, and other information relevant to a particular day, in this case our first class period.

In preparation for Monday, August 24, please purchase our textbook, Stephen Reid's The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers (8th edition).

Our class has a "drop" over at a website called This just means that Raul can stash documents (mostly PDF files) in one place where you can easily download handouts, assignment sheets and workshop guides, and even read whole articles online (look for the "Toggle Full Screen" button in the upper right corner of each document).

Some documents will be distributed in class, but in order to facilitate quality discussions, please bring along hard copies of everything posted to our drop. Printing PDFs at university computer labs usually costs money, but it comes in lieu of buying collections of bound articles that other sections of CO150 sometimes require.

Click here to access the full list of documents currently available to Sections 37 and 44. Return to our drop by clicking "" on the right side of our blog, or using this URL:

Saturday, August 1, 2009


The Google Calendar below will become your friend throughout the semester. It lists due dates and other information about upcoming class periods on the day those things occur. Click "Calendar" on the right side of our blog to return to this post.


And congratulations! You've successfully found the blog for Sections 37 and 44 of College Composition 150, a fall 2009 course offered by the Colorado State University English Department.

CO150 is intended to prepare you for the reading, writing, and critical thinking you’ll need as a student at CSU and as a citizen in a hyper-connected world awash in all kinds of discourse. Goals for this course have been established by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and CSU, and they include reading critically as a basis for academic inquiry, writing for a variety of rhetorical situations, and cultivating effective writing processes. To meet those goals, we'll listen to a conversation about a single issue (climate change), practice different kinds of inquiry, and finally add our voices to the conversation.

Our class meets M/W/F 1:00-1:50 PM (CO150.37) and 2:00-2:50 PM (CO150.44). During the second week of the semester our meeting location will change, and that new location will be posted here on our blog.