CD, DVD, or other media that contains a complete copy of your computer’s hard disk as it existed when shipped from the manufacturer. Linux kernel, system utilities, GUI, applications, and installation routine. All of the choices apply. Palm brand PDAs and smartphones. Finnish student. It continues to gain popularity as an operating system for personal computers. It is distributed under the terms of a GPL. 13. Five operating systems dominate the realm of handheld computers: Windows Mobile OS, iPhone OS X, Symbian OS, Android OS, and Palm OS. 20. The six steps in the boot process are powering up, starting the boot program, powering-on self-test, identifying peripheral devices, loading the operating system, and checking configuration and customization. •What changes have you seen in a short time? •Where do you think the biggest gains will be? •Do you think you will see mobile computing power increase before you see desktop or laptop power increase? If so, why, and if not, why not? •What do consumers want? Be sure to cite at least two scholarly references in your response. Support your statements with appropriate examples and scholarly references. Write your initial response in approximately 300 words.

Now, what does this mean for the classroom? Oy. How do you teach to that mix? In the past I’ve tried various strategies. In the two most recent go-arounds of Chaucer, I’ve redesigned the writing assignments to be a series of short papers that build skills every English major should have and that help students cope with the special challenges of Chaucer. I modelled it on the assignment sequence that Jeffrey Cohen once posted about over at In the Middle. They start with simple translation assignments with reflective essays about what gets lost in translation. Then they move to more complex interpretative assignments — close readings of passages, longer essays. They also review a secondary article (which I pick out, though there’s a choice) along the way, to help build to their final paper, where they mount their own argument in conversation with two articles they find themselves. So, it seems, that I’ve arranged a nice scaffolded sequence of assignments that build skills in relation to the subject at hand — Chaucer — and the discipline as a whole.

Ideally, the upper division classes would be where we talk about that last point the most, and add the various methods and materials and knowledge for talking about that (theories, contexts, genres, etc.). But with many of my students — including, btw, an occassional MA level student — I didn’t get to that last point because they’re just getting the hang of the other issues. There was one student this semester whom I could never get to move past his personal reaction to characters. He wrote weird, angry essays about all the women who were sexually or emotionally unfaithful and claimed — when he had a thesis at all — that his disgust with them was Chaucer’s disgust. Although, in retrospect, I guess it taught me that Chaucer’s women push the buttons of certain kinds of men. MA students. But then it gets a whole exponential level harder to add the underprepared students who are going through the major haphazardly. This has probably always been the case since I’ve been at Rust Belt, but it seemed a particularly intense problem this past semester.

There were some “light bulb” moments and I have no doubt that a lot of the students learned a whole lot about thinking analytically about how literature works. If they realize that it wasn’t just about my course, and if they carry that knowledge to other courses, they’ll benefit in the long run. But some grades took some serious hits (and I’m sure my evals did as a result). And it was a harder struggle than usual — it was a Chaucer course lacking some of the joy that it usually has. I think that was partly because so many of the students were dealing with the anxiety that is Chaucer alone — it’s hard! And this isn’t limited to my Chaucer course. We could, maybe, enforce the intro-level class pre-req. We do offer the class every semester and in the summer, too. But what if we can’t? How do I (re) adapt what I’m doing to the various audiences and levels and needs of my students? Do you have any ideas, because I’m kind of fresh out.

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