Note from the editor
This has been an especially busy and exciting month. We hope
that you will enjoy the contributions of our writers, who have
dedicated themselves to the topic of education in its various
forms. Now that summer has officially arrived and most faculty
and students are away from campus enjoying a semblance of vacation,
the staff of AE Extra has decided to combine the July and August
issues, and return to the task of editing your submissions in
September. Please continue submitting pieces for consideration
to me, at firstname.lastname@example.org, throughout the next two months. We
are in need of material for the September and October issues,
especially in the area of fiction. For now we have removed the
fiction column until more submissions are received. Flaunt your
creativity by sending us some of your stories and poems, so that
we can share and promote your talent!
Special thanks this month to Meredith Larson, who has served as
an assistant to Ben, Peter and me throughout the month. Her piece
on grammar pedagogy should invite many responses and initiate
discussion among our readers who are involved in the instruction
of writing and composition at secondary and post-secondary
institutions. Justin Ober, a contributing editor to Extra, has
presented an update on his experiences in Sydney, Australia. We
thank him for continuing to support our publication while he
studies abroad - that's commitment! Walli Weitz and Faith Womack,
graduate students in education at USC, have shared their course
syllabi with us for our ongoing faculty syllabi column. Please
submit your syllabi so that we can maintain the column in future
issues! Maureen Connolly offers a look at the lighter side of
higher education, in her review of a book designed to highlight
the humorous side of college. Peg Tittle's essay on academic
elitism takes a very realistic look at the politics of higher
education. Jody Platt analyzes technology's role in literacy,
while Phil Brocato examines the role of dialogue in tutoring
sessions. His application of Bakhtin renders clear and accessible
the somewhat dense theory of dialogism. Last, but certainly not
least, Zinaye Tadesse, my student last spring at USC in Writing 140,
offers her personal insights on higher education. Zinaye was
educated in South Central Los Angeles before entering USC as a
freshman last year, and her story is inspiring for those of us who
enjoy hearing about students who truly beat the odds. As ever, we
solicit your feedback on this month's selections. Send any comments
or questions to me, via e-mail, so that I can share them with our
readers in September.
Extra special thanks (no pun intended) to Peter and Ben, our webmaster
and faculty advisor/personal counselor/number one supporter, for lots
of behind the scenes work on our site and publication this month.
You two are the best.
Another update: For the next issue a bright, new assistant editor joins
us - Kyle Banker. Stay tuned to learn more about him as he edits and
contributes to our September issue.
Before I close, let me tell you about a conference I attended just
yesterday at USC, titled "Higher Education for a New Century:
Partnerships, Productivity, Performance." The conference continues
today and tomorrow, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. among the numerous,
distinguished guests and speakers. I found many of the panels
informative and useful, especially those on tenure reform in higher
education and school-to-college programs designed to bolster college
enrollment rates among "at-risk" populations. For the next few
issues I plan to write two separate pieces: one detailing the role
of graduate students in tenure decisions, as faculty age and are
replaced by less expensive "freeway-flyer" adjuncts; another will
highlight my experiences next month as I teach English to 8th grade
students at El Camino College - part of a school-to-college program
designed to improve retention for this population of "underprivileged"
students. I became involved with the program, called "Early Start,"
almost by accident, at the request of a colleague who taught part-time
with me at the college a few years ago. I am eager to help promote
the idea of college enrollment to these particular students,
especially since many of the presenters at yesterday's conference
indicated that 8th and 9th grade students are the most likely to drop
out of high school in the United States today. Maybe I can make a
small difference with the 75 students I will teach throughout July.
Wish me luck!
I wish you, as always, a pleasant and productive summer. Please keep
us informed of your interests and concerns so that we can continue to
meet the needs of our readership. We exist to help you teach and
learn more productively.
30 June 2000