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Shared Text Project|Loyola University Chicago

Shared Text Project

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About Callings 2007

2007 Shared Text Project: Callings

Dear Colleagues,

The Shared Text Committee (Angela Adams, Amy Kessel, Laura Krughoff, Omer Hadjiselimovic, Sandra Urban, and Sharon Walsh) would like to invite you to join us in the 2007 project (our thirteenth year).
The Shared Text Project is an ongoing writing faculty initiative in which self-selected faculty collaborate to prepare a custom reader, share writing assignments, participate in faculty development, plan co-curricular activities (symposium, keynote speaker, filmfest), and publish a book of student writings selected by each of the participating classes. Each student receives a copy of the publication; instructors have used it for the final exam and for providing student models of different kinds of writing assignments.

A main goal of the project is to bring incoming students into the academic community by providing various opportunities for students to meet outside class to discuss material read in common and to participate in and write about the various activities. An equally important goal is to encourage collaboration among writing faculty and provide new instructors opportunities to meet and work with other writing faculty.

Our Fall 2006 project centered on a journey motif. This year several members of the committee completed an Evoke seminar (The Lilly-funded initiative to encourage student, faculty, and staff reflection on their calling in life) and thought that some of the material would work well with the journey theme. When we heard that the freshman summer reading selection is Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains that contains a clear theme of calling, we found that the book would fit in well with our shift in focus.  When we learned that Father Garanzini had requested that writing faculty use the book in their classes, Margaret Loweth prepared reading questions for students and Amy Kessel worked out several kinds of writing assignments on the book. You are welcome to use them as given, to develop them, or, of course, to come up with your own ideas, which I hope you will in turn share.

Here is a brief overview of the project:

  • Justice Journeys (Hartnett, “Arm-in-Arm for Justice”; Kidder, Mountains Beyond Mountains);
  • Education Journeys (a set of literacy narratives; material on reading issues on e-reserve);
  • Self Discovery Journeys (material on the Millennials; models of cognitive, moral, and psychological development on e-reserve);
  • Life Journeys--to find meaningful work and create a meaningful life (symposium with faculty staff, student, and alumni speakers; keynote speaker, Father Hartnett, on contributive justice; film fest—Al Gore on the environment; Amazing Grace, etc.; student interviews on the Road Trip Nation model);
  • We’ve put together a custom reader (Pearson) which you may order in the bookstore. The working copy is on the workroom counter for you to examine. With the book, the reader, and the material on e-reserve, there is certainly sufficient reading material for the semester.

The following are important dates for project activities:

August 21  Faculty Development Day  10:00-2:00 (lunch included). RSVP

September 11 and 12  Symposium on Callings. Sessions will meet at class times on both days on both campuses. We are inviting students, faculty, and alumni with varied careers to speak about how they have found a life’s work or calling. Father Hartnett will give the keynote address at 4:00 p.m. Sept. 11 and 7:00 p.m. Sept. 12. His talk will focus on using one’s gifts to do justice. He will include references to Paul Farmer and to his own work in Peru. Students have responded very favorably to his talks. Please let me know if your class(es) will attend. I need to know when your class meets so I can be sure to have a speaker at that time and to supply sufficient chairs.

[ speakers under consideration: the founder of Chicago Youth Programs, Bob Bucholz on a calling to the intellectual life; students who did the Loyola equivalent of the Road Trip Nation; director of an organization to help immigrants; CPA turned cabinet maker, who also goes to Central America to teach the skill; Alan Frantzen on founding the literacy center. Please give me suggestions about suitable speakers. They should have careers that are real callings. Also, I don’t have a budget for stipends.]
 
October  (the week after break)  Edited essays submitted for publication.

October   FilmFest. Films will be shown at 4:00 and at 7:00 each day. Please see the attached list of films. We’ve had unanimous agreement on five, but would like your input as well (we need a total of 8 films).

There is a possibility that Paul Farmer (the subject of Kidder’s book) will be coming to campus to speak, but we don’t yet know if or when that will be.

I hope you will join us for some or allof the project. As students begin their college experience, they are beginning to think seriously about what they will do with their lives. This year’s focus on calling will help them start the process. To help us help them, Jennifer Haworth of Evoke would like to offer those participating in the “calling” parts of the project the opportunity to join an Evoke seminar. Attending the faculty development meeting, attending the symposium with your students, using the Kidder book, and preparing an essay assignment to submit for the publication will qualify you for the seminar which has a stipend of $300 attached. Please let me know if you would be interested in taking the seminar. I do not yet know at what time it will be offered.
 We welcome your questions and suggestions and hope you will join us. Please let me know if you will be participating in the Shared Text project by replying to this e-mail. I’ll be giving you periodic updates.

Sincerely,
Sharon Walsh for the committee

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