Archive for March, 2009

TF – Publish Or Perish

Monday, March 30th, 2009

It’s that time of year when I meet individually with each student in my introductory news writing class and my in-depth writing course that’s called feature writing. Today, I start the morning with half of my introductory class and then meet in the afternoon with half of the student writers in the advanced class. The rest are scheduled for this coming Thursday.

I started scheduling these one-on-one, instructor-student meetings when I was teaching at the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where I initiated the publish or perish initiative several years ago and discovered  a remarkable demarcation between students who tried to do or did the homework and the students who blew off the assignments. That revelation flew in the face of the prevailing wisdom about the serious writing problems of college students. I was flunking from 30 to 40 percent of the students in my introductory writing classes, not because they were stupid, as my colleagues imagined, but because they were undisciplined and wouldn’t do the work according to the guidelines of the classes.


Dogfighting in the Department of Chimera (A Work in Progress) – Part VI: Wrapping Up a Deconstruct

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Deconstructing a Snippet of the Minutes of the December, 2008, Faculty Meeting of the Department of Film and Media Studies

[What Really Goes on Behind Some Walls of the Academy]

Morris stated that he had unresolved issues with faculty. These details were written in his group emails to faculty. Roman responded that he will follow up any complaints 
made by Morris with the Ombudsman. — Shanti Thaku, the minutes of the December, 2008, faculty meeting.

I’m considering encouraging my students to BLOG here, and I’m certain that they would be uncomfortable participating in a BLOG site describing the dark side of the department where they major, minor or take classes even though I believe the info here could help the committed students to navigate this place so that they could get the best out of an educational operation that I have described on numerous occasions as one of Farce & Mediocrity.

That’s the reason for the wrap-up of this deconstruct, though, by now, the internecine imbroglio has pretty much distinguished itself in the Academy here at 68th and Lexington on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, though my colleagues, would never admit that in any kind of forum.

That’s because they are awash in chimera.

On with the wrap-up.



Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Marc Beja


I'm the Enterprise Editor at NYU's Washington Square News, and I'm trying to talk to other NYC college newspapers to see if you've been having similar issues dealing with the NYPD (specifically DCPI) as we've been having.

A few weeks ago, I heard about an incident involving allegations of a drunk off-duty officer pulling his gun on two guys outside an NYU dorm. When I pressed DCPI for information, they didn't respond, and said they didn't deal with student press. When I showed up at their office, as I had done in the past, they threatened to arrest me and had me escorted out of the building

Several reporters at the WSN, including myself, have had difficulty working with DCPI when reporting for our college newspapers, although I've had less trouble when working for Newsday, who I freelance with. 

I'm trying to get a poll of how successful other college papers in Manhattan have been in covering the NYPD, and trying to see if this is a problem across the board.

New York Times: Albany Reaches Deal to Repeal ’70s-Era Drug Laws

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Update, Thursday, March 26, from New York Civil Liberties Union: Albany Agreement a Step Toward Dismantling Rockefeller, But Not a Done Deal and Not Repeal. The deal reached in principle … could be an important step toward dismantling New York State’s draconian drug laws. But what has been outlined so far is only an agreement in principle ” not law” and it does not fully repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws.


Hundreds Rally at Governor’s Third Avenue New York City Office to Demand End of Rockefeller Drug Law

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Outside Governor Paterson's Office on Third Avenue between 40th and 41st streets, Manhattan, March 25.

Outside Governor Paterson’s Office on Third Avenue, Manhattan, between 40th and 41st streets, mid town, March 25.

New York Civil Liberties Union, March 25, 2009 –  Hundreds of New Yorkers rallied today in front of Governor David Paterson’s Manhattan office, urging him and the State’s legislative leaders to enact a sweeping overhaul of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the infamous mandatory-minimum drug sentencing scheme.


Business Press Education Foundation

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Several years ago, Hunter use to rank one, two or three among about 60 colleges (Big 10, Big 8, NYU, Fordham, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, others) whose students were awarded paying internships arranged through the Business Press Education Foundation.

There was one year the Big H slipped to fourth (sniff). And there was that one moment at a fête at Baruch College (the so-called business college) to celebrate the awardees, and five from the Big H stood up – Uno Numero. I remember the ooh’s and ah’s, and someone saying aloud, a paraphrase: “What’s going on at Hunter?”  The Hunter students winning the awards were all enrolled in my journalism writing classes, and all of their articles submitted for the contest at that time had been published in the Envoy because there was no WORD at the time. The College, of course, got the credit, however.

So much for history and why published portfolios are super important and why requiring students to submit articles for publication is so much better than any of the other teaching formulas for teaching writing, of course, taking place at the Big H.

BPEF internships include news  editorial and business side positions for summer internships, sometimes as much as $300 per week. Students completing the internships have continued into the following fall semester in part time, stringing and full-timepositions. The deadline is late this year, real late. April 9.

Other URLs for BPEF information are: More BPEF  and  American Business Media (Trade Publications).

There is a drawback, however. Sometimes the BPEF doesn’t adequately oversee the internship process and some companies try to rook students of their stipends or give them secretarial duties which have nothing to do with editorial tasks.

“So, what will it be? The Disney version, or Deep Throat?

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

This is [name withheld] from your 1:10pm class/Regarding the Assignment

I just wanted to give you a disclaimer on my assignment before I hand it in to you. It may be too explicit for you. After all I did interview people who have a drug, and sex history. If you feel that the contents of my piece might offend you, I could edit the things out, and hand it to you on Thursday [March 26], if not, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So what will it be? The Disney version, or Deep Throat?

Sincerely Julia


The Pit Bull Ate My Homework

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Actually, the student wrote:

“I have a big problem with my paper that is due tomorrow. The notes that I took have are gone I think my roommates pit bull ate them, for real, they are nowhere to be found.”

I am writing about this episode not to ridicule a student (who opened herself up to sharp rebuke), but because this was my first dog ate my homework affair.

I responded:


“So, what do students say about this New York Times story?”

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

So, I posted on Hunter-L last night. And am waiting on responses.

Date: Wed 18 Mar 22:04:39 EDT 2009
From: Gregg Morris <>
Subject: So, what do students say about this New York Times story?

I’m working on this project, code name for now, “The 4 Barnacles of the Apocalypse” (which may be amended to “The 4 Barnacles for the Apocalypse) – AKA T4BA – and I wonder what students think about the following from the NYT:  “Student Expectations Seen as Causing Grade Disputes”


CNN Tells the WORD’s Jonathan Mena …

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Saidi, Nicole <>
Date: Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 3:05 AM
Subject: Signs of the Times project (re)published – thank you!

Hi there! You’re getting this note because you were featured in an interactive multimedia storytelling project called “Signs of the times.” It ran on Tuesday but there were some problems with how the interactive piece displayed on external workstations (outside our newsroom). The problems have been fixed and you should be able to see it now. Check it out, send it around and let folks know! It turned out great and I thank you all for your amazing contributions.

Thanks again, and we appreciate your contributions!

Link: Mena’s video is fourth one down on the left: Queens Hospital.

Mena can be reached at