Saturday, November 14, 2009

How Y'all Doing? Fine. Fine: The passing of a NM Legend.

(AP Photo/Jake Schoellkopf, file)

Bruce King is dead at 85. Our only three-term Governor, King is the man who New Mexicans of my generation equate with the office. He’s also the guy we think of (aside, possibly, from Manny Aragon and Ray Sanchez) when we think of New Mexico politics in general. He was a keen-witted cowboy politician with all the folksy charm of Andy of Mayberry. King was famous for entering a restaurant and shaking hands with everyone in the place, offering a "How y'all doing?" or a "Good to see you again" -- even years after he left office.

An article in the Santa Fe New Mexican says that
"Many who remembered him Friday described King as a far cry from today's slick politicians, someone who stuck close to his country roots and his cowboy hats, once riding his horse to the state Capitol in a move to both save gas and attract a little publicity for the state's tourism industry."
King was the governor who brought Intel to Rio Rancho. But he was also the man-in-charge during the infamous Santa Fe Prison riots in 1980 in which 35 inmates were butchered.

King was also a cattle rancher in Stanley, NM. For years when I heard of the famous King Ranch, I thought it was referring to Governor Bruce’s spread, and was confused when I saw that Ford had released a King Ranch edition of one of its pick-ups. The place ain’t that big.

(So for those who don’t know, THE King Ranch is in Texas and takes up something like ¾’s of the state.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jobs We Have Now... English 101

Here is an article from the New Mexico Daily Lobo about a project my students and I worked on. (Well, they worked on it. I graded them. Oh, and there were many other students from other classes working on this as well.)
English 101 students to showcase newfound skills
By Hunter Riley | DAILY LOBO

UNM’s English Department is rewriting the traditional curriculum for its 101 courses.
The department will host its first Celebration of Student Writing on Thursday in the SUB to showcase student projects that incorporate genres of writing beyond essays and stories.

Freshman Meagan Halstead, a student in Rick Raab-Faber’s English 101 class, had to write memos for her class project.

Raab-Faber had his students go out and review local chain restaurants and then design a fictional restaurant to compete with the chain.

“He’s not only meeting the needs of the kids that can write, because some kids get to be expressive through the art part of it,” Halstead said. “I think it’s cool because it’s something that all the students have to take. The students that aren’t that great at writing and the English part of it, I think that it meets their needs, too.”

Raab-Faber said making students work in groups is not his ideal teaching method, but it turned out well in this case.

“I really had to think of a way to get them involved,” he said. “It’s really hard to get kids — and especially these freshmen because they are doing so much adjusting — to do something they don’t want to do.”

Raab-Faber said his class’s restaurant project also required research.

“Based on that, we did reports, we did memos, we wrote questionnaires trying to find out what people wanted,” he said. “We also did reviews and observations.”

Genesea Carter, who is organizing Thursday’s event, said the English Department tried to integrate genre-style writing, such as economics and business writing, into all of its 101 classes.

Carter said the projects are meant to help students learn skills outside essay and short-story writing.

“The way we view writing is changing,” she said. “Students are not coming to UNM to learn how to write essays. They’re coming to learn how to write in their professional and academic fields, which generally are not essays.”

Halstead said her writing project familiarized her with research techniques and business writing.

“Because it’s about restaurants and stuff, it hasn’t been as interesting as it could have been, but I think the process has helped with knowing how to put everything together,” she said. “When you’re in a working environment, that is something you’re going to experience.”

Carter said about 600 students in 25 English 101 sections will participate in the celebration Thursday.

“Students are creating these art installations either as a whole entire class or in small groups,” she said. “I told all of the TAs to be as hands-off as possible because we really want the students to get very excited about creating a visual representation of their work.”

Carter said the celebration will give freshmen an opportunity to show off their writing and creative skills to the whole campus.

“We’re really hoping that administrators come, and that deans come and that families come and that the rest of the campus comes and shows their support to these students,” she said. “It also builds community in their own classrooms.”

*Celebration of Student Writing
Thursday, Nov. 5
12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
SUB Ballroom*

Monday, November 9, 2009

Inter County Connector....Jobs we have

First day on the job at ICC section B. The project will be completed in two years and two days. Completion date, 11/11/11. This story will be updated every couple of weeks. Our contract is 7.2 million and growing. I love this shit!