Please fill out electronic evaluations!

Hi everyone,

The UMD electronic evaluations are due tomorrow (as I am sure you know from the countless emails they send to remind you). I just wanted to remind you that I would love for you all to fill them out for our class, and that these are important to me, as they are used by the university to evaluate my job as an instructor. My supervisor uses them to help me get better at teaching and they will also be used when I start looking for full-time jobs after I graduate. Any feedback you provide, both good and bad, is useful, as I can use it to show others how students have reacted to my classes, and how I have worked to improve my classes based on the feedback I have received. Suggestions for improvements are useful, as they can help me change the course and also help me become a better instructor. Comments you provide are especially valuable: let me and my department know what you liked about how the class was organized, how I led discussion, how I responded to your concerns, which texts you liked or didn’t like, how much you felt that you learned. Finally, if 80 % of you fill out the evaluations, they will be available on testudo for other students to look at and see how my teaching is rated.

Thank-you for your time, I know this is a busy time of the semester! I will post again before projects are due, good luck with the writing, crafting, thinking, creating. I can’t wait to read them!

Best,

Jessica

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Nuts and Bolts: Wall of Ambition

Hi everyone,

I am looking forward to our final class together and discussing your thoughts on the semester and hearing what you have written so far!

I wanted to also bring your attention to an event that WMST 200 is hosting tomorrow, “The Wall of Ambition”. (They actually organize a feminist event and work as an entire class together to create it!). It would be great if you could make it and support them, and it can also count as extra credit.

It is in Hornbake Plaza, 10 am-noon. See more info here:https://m.facebook.com/events/762324633807983

I would like to stop by and see it, so please let me know if you are planning on coming to my office in the morning so I can make sure I am there and don’t miss you!

Best,

Jessica

DTWOF Pages and Grades Update

Hi all,

Sorry for the delay.  I have finally compiled the (25) pages of reading in DTWOF for Wednesday.  (Monday we will be doing some class activities).  We are going to go back to the beginning of the book for a few pages, and then again to the end.  These stories deal with questions of safe sex, abstinence and purity pledges, polyamory, and cheating, and I thought they would be a way into a conversation around women’s sexuality and the slut/virgin binary that some of you mentioned wanting to talk about on the mid-semester survey. While these stories primarily focus on lesbian/queer women’s sexuality I think that the questions that they raise are pertinent to all types of relationships.  

These pages also address the continuing storyline about Janis–and some of you had mentioned to me after class that you would like to know more about trans children.  This is what  my dissertation will be on, and I am happy to talk more about that or answer any questions.  

DTWOF:  14-15, 22, 25, 330, 332, 333, 335-337, 338, 340-341, 343, 345, 347, 349, 351, 353, 357, 358, 372, 376, 385, 389 

By this evening I should have finished grading the group projects and will email all of you my comments and your grades.  

I hope you have had a good weekend! 

Best,

Jessica 

Nature Walk Links

I think today’s class walk and conversation in the meditation garden were a great way to spend a sunny Friday! Thank-you for your observations on how the rain has changed campus, the labor that goes into keeping everything so neat, the way smokers congregate near McKeldin, the fall of water in the fountain, the feel of the sun, air, and (for those of us with allergies, pollen), and the relaxation that can come with being outside, and in a calming space like the meditation garden.  

For those of you who were not there, I hope that you take some time to observe your surroundings as you walk across campus in the next few days.  Also here are several of the documents that we looked at in class, or which aided us in our discussion: 

Tree Map of Campus, which is part of the Arboretum page, which has tons of information about the native plants, trees, and rain gardens on campus.  

Article on Walking and Creativity

Hand-out with Questions to Consider on the Walk 

We ended in the Meditation Garden--and I was happy to note that if you all learned anything at all through this exercise it was that this garden exists! I hope that you can take advantage of the space, especially with the end of the semester stress upon us. I looked up some information about the garden (see the link “Meditation Garden”), and it turns out that it was also created after September 11th, for people to have a contemplative space to go to, and to foster the idea of peace and calm.  

Finally, looking ahead to next week: Monday we will look at Feminist Show and Tell posts, play a game as a class together, and depending on time some writing/thinking activities.  Wednesday we will read DTWOF.  I will post page numbers tomorrow.  Friday we will create a concept map and discuss hooks’ “Visionary Feminism.” And then the next Monday is the last day of class! 

Nature Walk

Hello folks,

Although campus is a bit soggy from all the rain–the forecast calls for only cloudy skies–versus the showers that are expected on Monday.  So we will be going outside today!  We’ll meet in the classroom and then leave together from there. 

Please make sure you bring a notebook/paper and pen to class as you will not be able to use laptops to take notes, and I would prefer that you are not on electronic devices like phones. 

In other class-related news: I have heard that The Clothesline Project–which raises awareness about domestic violence will be in Hornbake Plaza next Tuesday, and that can count as extra credit.  I think that it is an all day event, but will check with UMD Feminists about that.  Also, tonight in Hoff Theatre, at 6 pm, there will be a performance by Dark Matter, a queer South-Asian slam poetry group, in honor of Pride Month and Asian-American Month.  

See you soon! 

Jessica 

Gardens, Art, and the Environment

Hello everyone,

I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather this weekend! I have gotten an inquiry about the “Women, Art, Urban Agriculture” essay.  You may need to log into umaryland.worldcat.org and look it up to be able to access it if you are off-campus.  

Also–this technically is the last week to turn in your reading responses.  However, I am going to extend the “April” reading response through May. However, note that we only have two more weeks of class, and do not have readings everyday, so plan carefully! Remember that responses are due on the day that the reading is due. 

Finally, I may be late to class.  My colleague Melissa Rogers will be taking attendance and showing a video clip in the start of class and depending on whether I get there in time will use it to jump start discussion. Please be respectful of her and her time. 

See you soon,

Jessica 

Monday, April 28th: -Alice Walker: “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” 

-“Space to Grow: Women, Art and the Urban Agriculture Movement” (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0740770X.2011.625715)

Wednesday, April 30th: “Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species” by Anna Tsing, selections from “Tierra” in Chicana Art (May be handed out in class, or will be posted tomorrow afternoon). 

Friday, May 2nd: Nature Walk (if weather permits)