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Re: [SACC-L] FW: Request for advice

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  • Linda Light
    Rosamond, I don t know exactly where in Southern California you are, but the CC instructors in the area sponsor a meeting every January on MLK weekend, this
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 9, 2007
      I don't know exactly where in Southern California you are, but the CC instructors in the area sponsor a meeting every January on MLK weekend, this coming weekend, to be exact. It will be held in Paso Robles on Friday evening and all day Saturday. If you are interested and able to attend (and haven't heard about it before this), let me know and I'll send you the info. It's quite informal but extremely useful for people who want to focus on the teaching of anthropology. I would have let you know about this earlier, but I just found out last week, then was out of town for the next 4 days, so I am just registering for it now.
      Linda Light

      "Lewine, Mark" <mark.lewine@...> wrote:

      Rosamond, let me suggest that you begin connecting to this wonderful network of teaching anthropologists at community colleges that has become a national department for us. We are most often the only anthropologist in a social science division at our community colleges, except for places like our founder, DuPage in Chicago. I will take the liberty of introducing you by sending out your moving note to me (and overgenerous, my only special talent is finding ways to express what we all do to the media and public). You will undoubtedly receive many helpful suggestions from our large California contingent, including invitation to their next gathering, I expect...

      -----Original Message-----
      From: rosamond rodman [mailto:rcr1026@...]
      Sent: Wed 12/27/2006 8:25 PM
      To: Lewine, Mark
      Subject: Request for advice

      Dear Dr. Lewine,
      We've never met -- this is a "cold call." I read about you in the
      Chronicle. Congratulations on being named "Professor of the Year." As I
      read about you and what you are doing at Cuyahoga, I became inspired. I am
      writing to ask for some advice. I know you are busy and have many things to
      do, so I certainly understand if you can not respond. But I did want you to
      know that I find you and your work terrific.

      I have been teaching at elite liberal arts colleges until very recently,
      when, for personal reasons, I left my tenure track job to move to southern
      California. The move meant jumping off an academic treadmill -- I hadn't
      really realized how consuming just being on it was. I have taken the last
      several months to think again about why I wanted to become an educator, and
      having done that inventory, I realize I want to teach people who want to
      learn, who do not have the advantages of the students that attend elite
      liberal arts colleges, and whose backgrounds are those populations
      historically underrepresented in higher education and socially
      underprivileged in general. Thus, I decided to focus on seeking employment
      at a community college. California has an enormous number of community
      colleges, which bodes well for me.

      The reason I am writing to you is that I thought you might offer some
      advice. I am trying to learn as much as possible about the CC system,
      including talking with effective faculty in them. As I apply for positions,
      I want to be able to speak to the issues CCs face, and the efforts being
      made in/through/by them. As I craft cover letters and teaching philosophy
      statements, I thought you might be able to advise me how to translate the
      experience I do have into a very different institutional setting. How do I
      highlight my background and reassure search committees that I'm a good
      teacher, even though though I've not taught community college courses?

      A couple of issue in particular: one is, it seems as though CCs draw both
      adults and younger folks -- in an average class, what age range is
      represented? Does that effect the range of educational backgrounds? How do
      you set the bar with a quite different range of preparedness?

      Also, it is clear that CCs do both vocational training and education. I
      wonder what challenges those of us in the humanities face when in a
      compressed period of time (2 years rather than 4), and in the face of
      relevance and application. (I am in religious studies).

      If you could speak to any of these issues, I would be so greatly obliged.

      Thanks in advance, and keep up the good work. You are making a huge
      difference, not just to the students you teach, but to other educators.

      Rosamond C. Rodman, Ph.D.

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