PWR's Blog Posts

Breanne Fahs's "The Weight of Trash: Teaching Sustainability and Ecofeminism by Asking Undergraduates to Carry around their own Garbage"

Fahs’ brief article, included in a special issue “Teaching About Climate Change,” outlines an experiential learning activity focused on climate change, sustainability, and conspicuous consumption. Paired with Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Humes’ Garbology, Fahs asks her students to collect and carry their own trash for two 48-hour periods. The written component of Fahs’ exercise asks students to reflect on their “excavations,” with fascinating questions detailed herein. This assignment could be integrated into a PWR course (especially PWR2 due to the presentation aspect).

Dr. Becerra Vidergar's "The Closeness of Boxing"

Is boxing just about violence and aggression? Could fighting possibly be a way for us to get closer to each other? That’s the topic of “The Closeness of Boxing,” a recently released episode of The Human Angle podcast, hosted and produced by PWR Lecturer Angela Becerra Vidergar.

Student Spotlight: October 2016

Spotlight: Kaylana Mueller-Hsia

Kaylana Mueller-Hsia, a sophomore at Stanford spent her summer interning for the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF). ILRF is a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. that advocates for low wage workers’ rights around the world. She culminated her internship with a week-long trip to Montreal where she participated in the World Social Forum with her supervisor.

Writing Scholars at Stanford: the Smitherman/Villanueva Scholarly Writing Retreat

Typically, July on Stanford campus is a relatively quiet month; high school students wander in groups between their Stanford summer classes; grounds and maintenance workers paint, trim, and renovate in preparation for the new academic year; departments and program admin continue the work of lining up the infrastructure for fall quarter; and even more tourists than normal snap photos or stand in lines to buy t-shirts at the bookstore.

Lecturer News: September 2016

In the past few months, many of our lecturers have been busy, working on their scholarship, starting new initiatives, or pursuing other passions.  Here are a few highlights from lecturer news that we've learned of over the past few months.

Teaching Commons Blogposts

PWR instructors have contributed two posts to the ongoing VPTL blog, Teaching Talk, in the past month:

PWR's Collaboration with the Leland Scholars Program

(By Justine Desilva and Christine Alfano)

If you walked through Wallenberg Hall on a Tuesday or Thursday morning in August, you might have stumbled on something unexpected: a PWR instructor leading a group of excited incoming freshman through an elevator pitch activity or giving them guidance on developing an effective op-ed.  In short, what you might have seen would have been one of the most recent of PWR's collaborations -- our new partnership with the Leland Scholars Program, through which PWR offered 4 sections of a PWR 6 class, "Academic Writing and Argument" this summer.

Copy & Compose

Overview: This playful activity invites students to experiment with different types of style in their writing.

Author: Cassie Wright

Activity title: Copy and Compose

Activity brief description: This activity, which is designed to provide a series of daily "meditations" on style that can stretch across the quarter, relies on the practice of imitatio, asking students to imitate different types of sentences and then apply that experimentation to their own writing practice.

Bridging Story and Research

Overview: In this small group activity, students transition between storytelling technique and pitching their research projects, experimenting with ways to bridge the two genres.

Author:  Kevin DiPirro

Activity title: Bridging Story and Research

Class: PWR 1/PWR 2

Activity brief description: In this small group activity, students transition between storytelling technique and pitching their research projects.

Activity Showcase: Face Your Fears - And Your Audience

An ideal class activity for Week 1 of the quarter, this lesson plan from the TeachingPWR archive provides students with the opportunity to put their knowledge of rhetoric into practice through two short 1-minute presentations designed to introduce themselves to the class -- and to re-introduce them to the concept of audience and rhetorical situation.

Activity name: Face Your Fears -- And Your Audience

Research Challenge Presentation

Overview: This exercise involves a brief semi-formal presentation of the 'research challenge" that each student faces in completing the RBA. Students talk and guide discussion for 5 to 7 minutes. They must prepare a one page handout to frame the discussion. The goal is to get the class involved in the research project and solicit feedback.

Author: Donna Hunter

Activity title: Research Challenge Presentation