Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New Player - An Introduction

I have just come aboard (pardon the Naval allusion - but that's me). My name is Brian. I've just begun a new position at a small 2-year college in south Georgia, Abraham Baldwin Ag. College. Previously, I taught in Nashville, TN, for 4 1/2 years. My area of specialty is medieval literature with an emphasis in Arthurian literature. Consequently, I teach a lot of composition. There's not much call for medievalists these days, certainly not in 2-year colleges. Despite that, I seem to fit a few historical and etymological snippets into each semester. It's interesting how students find it fascinating or mind-numbing. There's not much in between.

As for the Naval reference, that predates my medieval bent. I spent 12 1/2 years as an engineering officer in the U. S. Navy before I started teaching. Don't ask how a theatre arts BA got me a gig as an engineer. It has something to do with naval "wisdom." Anyway, I have a lot of naval-ese tucked into my method and my language.

I look forward to learning about composition best practices and sharing with everyone here. I am particularly interested in incorporating technology into the classroom. I am building a blog into my comp sections this coming semester, so I will share my wins and losses as we go. I have already learned from reading past postings and following a lot of embedded links. Thanks for that up front.


Sharon Gerald said...

Welcome, Brian! Good luck with the new job. I'm looking forward to hearing a new voice around here. :)

Rosa G. said...

Hi Brian, It sounds like you bring some real-world experience to the classroom, which is great! Have you read Nancy McKeand's blog, Random Thoughts? She's got plenty of ideas about teaching with blogs.

B. Ray said...

Thanks for the welcome. Rosa, I haven't read any in Nancy's blog, yet. At least I don't recognize the name.

B. Ray said...

Oops, I forgot to ask whether you have a link or an RSS for her site. I'm sure that it is linked from somewhere, but I haven't come across it that I have noticed.

Mike @ Vitia said...

Glad to see you, Brian. I was an enlisted man and NCO for 4 years in the Army's 24th Infantry (and, later, the 3rd) before starting on the path that eventually found me teaching composition and working on a PhD, so I have some thoughts of my own about how military experience translates in the classroom. For one thing, the work of teaching with classes of 20 or 25 students is the most rewarding work I've ever done, but it feels remarkably similar to leading and training a squad of soldiers.

Those of us in the CCCC Blogging SIG have instituted a loose "calling all bloggers" practice, by which -- if you'd like some outside feedback on your students' blogs, to help give them the idea that people other than the teacher and the classmates are reading, and so to possibly make the experience more valuable for them -- we're happy, at a teacher's request, to comment on one another's students' weblogs. Give a holler if that sounds worthwhile; I know I'll be asking for outside commenters when I get my student blogs up and running this fall.

J. Newberry said...


I'm the guy who just left ABAC for UGA. I hope that you're finding yourself there. ABAC has a really good department and I think that most of the profs are open to experimentation.

If you get a chance, check out my blog, "The Practical Muse," an online database of writing exercises and writing assignments.

Please, please, please consider submitting something to it.

You can see the address in my profile.

B. Ray said...

Thanks to all for the welcome. Since I am relatively new (but adventurous) in the world of blogging, I am eager to put your suggestions to use.

Mike, I would like to hear more about the "calling all bloggers" events. I will be more than happy to join in, at least as a reader, at first.

Jeff, I have noted the address for "The Practical Muse" and will look at it as soon as I am able.

B. Ray said...

By the way, I have found Nancy McKeand's blog, and have been reading it. There is some good information there. It should help a new blogger and blog-using-teacher like me.

Mike @ Vitia said...


The Blogging SIG has an e-mail listserv; you can sign up here at Kairosnews, which describes itself as "A Weblog for Discussing Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy." With the new school year quickly approaching, I'm getting ready to post a request for classroom blogging resources to the list.

B. Ray said...


Thanks. I subscribed today.

TT said...

Welcome! I'm also looking forward to a new voice. How wonderful to have a medievalist in our midst!