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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Edward Schaumberg
ENGL 121
Seattle Campus

Composition: Social Issues

Focuses on the study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects. Includes a service-learning component allowing students to engage with and write about social issues in applied ways.. Cannot be taken if student has already received a grade of 2.0 or higher in either ENGL 111, ENGL 121, or ENGL 131.

Class description

1) The theme of this course is, loosely speaking, environmentally themed. We're going to be reading about and thinking about “the natural environment” in contemporary society, with a focus on urban settings like Seattle. By reading about different concepts of environment, working in a variety of outdoor urban settings, and writing about those ideas, we will reflect on our own understandings of the world around us and the way we believe that world should be treated. This offers you a chance to see the way the issues you discuss in this class and other classes relate to and inform the work we do as writers.

2) English 121 is a service-learning composition course. This means that, in addition to the regular writing assignments that you (and every other student in a writing class at UW) will complete, you will also be responsible for 20-30 hours of community service with a local organization. Don't worry about the details of that work yet; the fine folks at the Carlson Center will provide all the logistics. I like to warn my students about the service component to our class, though, so you all know what you are getting into. This service is not arbitrary, nor is it supposed to be "extra work." Rather, it provides a new base for knowledge and experience that helps us understand the issues we discuss in class in a new way. As a further warning, all of the organizations paired with my class will involve working outdoors. This being the Pacific Northwest, your service MAY therefore involve rain, dirt, bugs, plants, and the like. It will also likely involve flowers, berries, vegetables, sunshine, fresh air, and a whole host of other fun things, both human and non-human. Most students really enjoy the service component of 121 courses, but I feel it's only fair to be up front, in case there are those among you who REALLY hate being outside.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Edward Schaumberg
Date: 11/15/2013