Over the course of the next few months the CRDM blog will periodically feature a Q + A with one of our outstanding faculty members. We take classes with them and work with them on scholarly projects, but now we’d like to learn more about what else they’re doing. We’ve talked with David Rieder, Jessica Jameson, Chris Anson, Matt May, David Berube, Susan Katz, Maria Pramaggiore, Robert Schrag, Carolyn R. Miller, Brad Mehlenbacher, R. Michael Young, Jason Swarts, Adriana de Souza e Silva, Elizabeth Craig, Andrew Binder, and Victoria Gallagher, and we recently caught up with Dr. Susan Miller-Cochran, CRDM faculty member and director of First-Year Writing Program:
What are you reading?
I spend most of my academic reading time keeping up with CCC, College English, WPA, Computers and Composition, and Kairos. I’m really excited to read the new Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, too–it looks promising. Shipka’s Toward a Composition Made Whole is one of the most recent books I’ve read–it’s an engaging discussion of multimodality and writing instruction.
Outside of academia, I’ve been reading the Hunger Games trilogy. Yeah, I know…and I love it. The next book on my nightstand is The Paris Wife, a fictional memoir of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. My wish list on Amazon right now includes Blood Meridian, 1Q84, Zeitoun…and Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines. I don’t think it’s too tough to figure out which end of the wish list I’ll start on. I love what I do professionally, but I think balance is pretty important, too.
I have small children, and one of my favorite blogs lately has been Free Range Kids, http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/. It’s fantastically snarky, which I always find to be a bonus.
What classes are you teaching?
Because of my administrative position, I’m not teaching any classes this spring semester. I’ll be teaching ENG 511, Composition Theory and Research, in the fall, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m revisiting some of the theories that I’ve focused on in the past and rethinking how we approach the discussion of writing theory–especially where we start the discussion.
What are you writing about?
I’m finishing up an article that examines the validity of our Directed Self Placement model in the First-Year Writing Program with Kelly Abrams, who is now in the doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin. I’m also finishing a version of an article that Dawn Shepherd and I co-authored about the bring-your-own-laptop classrooms that we’ve piloted in the First-Year Writing Program.
What are you listening to?
I’ve been listening to Pandora stations a lot lately–my favorite station is a mix of The Smiths, The Cure, The Killers, The Fray, Vampire Weekend, The Shins, U2, and Muse. My writing music of choice right now is Brandi Carlile.
What are you watching?
I know it’s cliche, but I’ve been watching episodes of Downton Abbey recently. I love Modern Family and 30 Rock, and Stacey (my husband) and I often find ourselves sucked into episodes of Intervention.