Friday, January 25, 2013

Welcome to the 2013 Winter Edition of eMuse!

Read more!

Allen Park Awards EMWP "Business of the Year"

Bill Tucker, Director

The Eastern Michigan Writing Project has been named the “Business of the Year” in Allen Park for a business in the community that works closely with the Allen Park School District. EMWP will be honored at the annual "Founders' Day Banquet" held on February 12 at the Crystal Gardens Banquet Center, Southfield. Bill Tucker, Director, and Kim Pavlock, Co-director for Youth Programs, will attend to represent the Writing Project.

Judy Wycoff (TC '09), Amy West (TC'12), and APHS Principal Janet Wasko were among those supporting EMWP for this distinction. Judy and Amy have invited Sarah Lorenz, Co-director for Professional Development and Kim Pavlock to present workshops at the high school, as well as demonstrated their teaching of writing at the "Literacy Standards for Life" Saturday sessions. The 2012 Invitational Continuity Group is also meeting at Allen Park High School on February 9.

This a first for the chronically low-profile EMWP. We're very grateful for the recognition.
Read more!

Invitational and Inkstains Persist

Bill Tucker, Director

With another infusion from EMU’s College of Arts and Sciences and a late harvest from a SEED grant, the Invitational Institute persists in 2013. We invite applicants of all levels and subjects to join us June 20 – July 19, 2013 in the Student Center. This year we will observe a two-day Independence Day vacation: July 4-5. Deadline for applications: March 1, 2013.

Consequently, the EMWP is posting three positions for the Invitational Institute, one for Inkstains Summer Camps, and one for Media Editor. To see the deadlines and stipends for these positions follow this link. Read more!

The Disciplinary Agenda

Bill Tucker, Director

The Saturday Series “Literacy Standards for Life” turns toward the literacy of disciplines in 2013. As we did a year ago, we are featuring teachers who are developing content area literacy in their classrooms in science and social studies, as well as English Language Arts.
A Disciplinary Literacy Institute held at EMU last summer brought together college and high school teachers of the natural and social sciences for three days to identify common issues in teaching reading and writing. In one of our sessions on February 2, Co-director Cathy Fleischer, Professor Ann Blakeslee, and Sarah Andrew-Vaughn (TC’00), facilitators of that institute, will present the issues and conclusions of those conversations.

Bill Weidner, Central Academy, presenting on Argumentation  

Concurrently Shari Hales (TC ‘12) and a social studies colleague will demonstrate the writing that addresses real audiences for grades 5-8. Both sessions will identify the kinds of writing that real scientists and historians do.
A panel of college professors will follow-up both presentations by reflecting on what levels and kinds of writing they consider “college ready.”

Doug Baker, EMU, presenting on Argumentation  

Disciplinary literacy will be the focus of the March and April presentations as well, as teachers who received Teacher Leadership grants will share the results of their inquiries in literacy of the social and natural sciences. Julie King (TC ’96) will lead a team from Emerson Middle School, sharing work in science and social studies that has a long tradition at her school. We are still looking for a team of teachers at the high school and/ or college level to present at this session. This would be a great venue for teachers of social studies and science to share their approaches to literacy and the Common Core Standards. Please contact Bill Tucker, if you have a nomination for this session.

In April we will have new teacher consultants sharing their unique work with archival research. Abby Combs (TC ’12) will demonstrate the use of the Library of Congress collection in social studies, and Cynthia Andrews (TC’12) will demonstrate the many uses of the Henry Ford Collection from her work in grades 3-8.

Teacher Research groups will culminate the 2013 series in May. The EMWP’s Teacher Research group will share the work they are pursuing across the grades and disciplines, and the Ann Arbor Learning Community will demonstrate their disciplinary research from the past year, sponsored by a Teacher Leadership grant.

See the attached schedule for dates and times and pre-register, if you can.
Read more!

Counting the days . . . to Inkstains 2013!

Kim Pavlock TC ‘92

One of the best ways to escape the chill of winter is to plan for and dream of those warm, lazy days of summer, and it is not too early to start telling your students about Inkstains, the EMWP youth summer writing camp for middle and high school students.

This year, the middle school camp (for students entering grades 6-8 in the fall of 2013) will be held the week of July 8-12. The high school camp (for students entering grades 9-12) will be held the week of July 15-19.

Camp tuition for the entire week is $200 and includes creative writing activities, collaboration and fun for every student, as well as a hard-bound writing journal, t-shirt, and copy of the camp anthology with select writings from the week. A limited number of partial scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about Inkstains, please click here for our 2013 brochure or contact Kim Pavlock at
Read more!

Save the Date!

Reunion at the Corner Brewery? What a good idea! Let's try it again.

November 2, 2013 from 5 - 7:30 p.m.
Writing Marathon in the early afternoon. Details to follow.

Reunion 2012

Reunion 2012

Link to the 2012 Reunion Special Edition of eMuse. Read more!

Reading, Writing, and Tears in Heaven

Jim Schaefer

This year, I again learned that reading and writing are not just wonderful skills to be used as well as I can in my teaching and personal lives, but they can also provide comfort even in the worst of times.
I came to this realization when I sat down to write our family’s annual newsletter and heard and saw the terrible news that a young man had shot and killed 20 elementary school students and 6 adults with a high-powered assault rifle. I must confess that I was terribly saddened, both as a teacher and as a person, by this horrific incident, which was sharpened even more by the details that some of the five- and six-year-old children had been shot as many as 11 to 12 times with high-velocity bullets.

To relieve my sorrow, I did three activities. First, I re-read one of my favorite books, We Carry Each Other: Getting through Life’s Toughest Times (Conari Press, 2007) by Eric and Sharon Langshur. These two authors urge people who experience hard times or the hurt of a loved one, to respond with compassion and caring. We may not be able to change the circumstances, but we can move through the situation together, find openings to help one another, do acts of kindness, and help in the healing process in visible ways.
Second, I shared my thoughts, both in my actual family’s newsletter and in my virtual family’s newsletter of the Eastern Michigan Writing Project’s eMuse. In both situations, writing to each community has provided a kind of healing in itself. As Eric and Sharon Langshur (2007) observed, we need to turn to our families and our communities so that we can celebrate our victories and share the pain of our defeats. Then we can try to make sense of what is happening and achieve a certain amount of serenity and peace.
Third, I must also confess that I also used my media literacy to create a video in response to the slaughter of the very young students in Newtown, CT. I could not use any images from the situation there and sought online images of young children simply crying as a visual counterpoint to the music of Eric Clapton singing, “Tears from Heaven.” Some of you already have seen that video, but if not, you can watch it at Yes, in this experience, I found that reading and writing helped me, both as a teacher and as a person.
Read more!

Sacred Writing Weekend: Save the Date for the Fall Writing Retreat

Angela Knight

When: Friday-Sunday, September 20-22, 2013

Where: EMU’s Parsons Center, Lake Ann, MI (near Traverse City)

Cost: $25, plus travel and food

Just four hours away is the perfect spot for a writing retreat. Isolated in the trees of Lake Ann, are three young, environmentally friendly edifices, built for EMU and designed to foster creativity, community, and camaraderie.

We will be up north for a weekend this fall at the ideal fall time of the school year: late enough that routines are established, and before the insanity of fall testing and Homecoming events commence. After spending the first three weeks of the year investing in others, consider taking a weekend to invest in the writer in you. Missing work on Friday the 22nd is not required; late-evening arrivals are welcome.

Our extremely flexible agenda

Friday evening:
• welcome
• introductions
• wine and chocolate (or its equivalent)
• goal-setting
• plan marathon
• writing time

• breakfast on your own
• writing marathon
• lunch and/or dinner during marathon
• evening – writing back at Parsons Center or evening activity

• breakfast on your own
• writing time
• sharing time
• lunch (most likely Saturday’s leftovers)
• clean, pack, and head home in the early afternoon

Pictures of the Parsons Center can be seen here:

Please feel free to contact Kris Gedeon ( or Angela Knight ( if you have any questions.

Previous attendees of Parsons Center writing retreats have included Toni Coral, Ellen Daniel, Melodee Hosey, Jessica Kennedy, and Laurie Lahti.

Kris and Laurie at North Peak Brewing Company

Laurie, Kris, and Melodee at Moomer's Ice Cream
Laurie and Kris at Interlochen

Angela's writing spot view, Taylor Beach, Long Lake
Summer 2011 retreat article:

Fall 2009 retreat article: The location has changed, but the spirit is the same…

Hope to see you there! -Angela and Kris
Read more!