Thursday, October 25, 2012

Horror movie stuff

There's a horror movie film festival/contest at RBC today and, while I can't win prizes, I can still submit some clips. Here are a few I plan to submit, especially if submissions are low:

For scariest/goriest trailer:

For goriest/funniest (but really I just think it's cool) scene:

Funniest death:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

This is a link to a well-written letter by a man with Down syndrome. He is responding to a tweet by Ann Coulter, where she referred to Obama as a "retard." I putting it here because I hear students use this over and over again. "That's retarded" or "you're retarded." I tell them not to say "retarded" because it's derogatory, but they don't listen.

I emailed this link to all of my students with a short note that tells them that using the R-word bugs me. But I didn't tell them (and maybe I will) that I really respect the letter for its soft, restrained approach to something the author is obviously passionate about. It's a Rogerian approach to making an argument, by finding common ground and anticipating responses with compassion and tact.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Power Point, Prezi, Oh My

Edit: I just figured out that these embeded presentations work better if you make them full screen.

Class is mostly discussions, but occasionally, I feel the need to present some information to students. On Tuesday, I went thorough two Power Points and a prezi. I'm liking prezi more and more. This is the second one I've made and I may modify it a little, but it's based off of an old Power Point I had, which is about Exigence, Audience, and Constraints according to Lloyd Bitzer's "The Rhetorical Situation." The other Power Points, which will probably become prezis one day, were about writing concisely and about structuring arguments.

I'm not a great lecturer, but I'm a good discussion facilitator (I think), so I don't use Power Point and things like that very often. I've never been good at making Power Points and I've always found them to be a little boring anyway. So when I do "need" them, I try to make presentations that use humor or pop culture references or something that will keep students interested. I think the strength of prezi is that is automatically has more motion than Power Points, which is more interesting. I also find it easier to create than Power Point. One of the weaknesses of prezi is that it's harder to withold information if you want to because everything has to be on the canvas. Of course, I'm an amateur with prezi, so I may be wrong.

Anyway, I've included the presentations, along with one that we did earlier in the semester. The Power Points are flash, so I think they won't work on Apple computers/devices. I used to convert them.

Prezi on "The Rhetorical Situation" --

Power Point on writing concisely --


Power Point on structuring arguments --

One from earlier in the semester on the rhetorical triangle --

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

From The Chronicle: Who is Paul Newman?

I really don't plan on linking to my Chronicle of Higher Ed posts much, but this one was inspired by Sporcle games (when I know the pop culture answers and students don't), by the pop culture essay in ENG 101, and by ENG 102 from prior semesters. It's about a lack of "culture" in today's younger generation.

The link:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Isaac Sweeney's CV/Resume

(I am also the editor of Kristian Alva's Dragon Stones Saga)


Assistant Professor, English, August 2011-present

Richard Bland College, Petersburg, Va.

               Courses taught:

                              ENG 100: Developmental English

                              ENG 101: Writing and Research

                              ENG 102: Introduction to Literary Genres

                              ENG 299: Professional Writing


Self-Employed Writer/Editor, 2008-present

Written for national publications, along with content ghostwriting. Edited a variety of texts for individuals and companies. Edited materials include short fiction, novels, college entrance essays, ebooks, textbooks, and articles, to name a few.


Adjunct Faculty, January 2007-May 2011

Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, Va.

Taught ENG 111 and 112, BRCC’s composition courses, as part of the English Department.


Adjunct Faculty, August 2007-December 2010

James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Taught GWRTC 103, JMU’s first-year composition course, as part of the School of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication.


Grant Writer, June 2010-July 2011

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at JMU, Harrisonburg, Va.

Researched grant opportunities and wrote proposals seeking funds for educational, horticultural, environmental, wellness, and other projects.


Managing Editor, July 2005-August 2007

The Journals, Harrisonburg, Va.

Wrote, edited, took pictures, designed pages, and managed the daily operation of three weekly newspapers in the Shenandoah Valley.





Chronicle of Higher Education Blog

·        Regular blogger for The Chronicle’s 2-Year Track blog.



·        I have self-published six ebooks, two of which are also available in paperback. Some are fiction and some are nonfiction. Most notable are Same Track, Different Track, a memoir of sorts, and Evolvement, a collection of short stories. I am also the publisher for Alex Kudera’s novella, The Betrayal of Times of Peace and Prosperity.



·        “A Novel Departure: Book Review of Fight for Your Long Day,” Academe, Jan./Feb. 2010


·        “Dear Adjuncts: Don’t Get Sick,” Inside Higher, July 2010


·        “An Adjunct’s Summer Plight,” The Chronicle Review, June 2010


·        “If Colleges Valued Students, They’d Value Adjuncts,” The Chronicle Review, October 2009


Short Story

·        “Twelve Years from Then,” 540, 2008


·        “History of Hands,” ByLine Magazine, February 2008


·        “Contact Forgiveness,” ByLine Magazine, April 2007


Non-Newspaper Articles


·        Co-editor, Collegiate Strategy, January and February issues, 2011.


·        Regular contributor to the lifestyle magazine Around Harrisonburg, 2011.


·        “When’s the Best Time to Get Married,” Engagement 101 Magazine, December 2010


·        “Regional Vignette: Lost River Craft Co-op,” The Crafts Report, November 2009


·        “Crafters on the Verge,” The Crafts Report, July 2009


·        Film Reviewer,, Nov. 2008-Feb. 2009


·        “5 Universal Writing Rules,”, 13 Feb. 2009


·        “Regional Vignette: Sunspot Studios,” The Crafts Report, November 2008


·        “Profile in Success: Workshops of Charles Neil,” The Crafts Report, 2007


·        “Insight Gained: Braithwaite Studios,” The Crafts Report, 2006


Newspaper Articles

·        In four years as staff writer and then editor of The Journals, three weekly newspapers in the Shenandoah Valley, I wrote more than one hundred feature or news articles, winning two Virginia Press Association awards for writing (and one for page design).




Master of Arts, English (creative writing concentration)

James Madison University, graduated June 2005


Bachelor of Arts, English (creative writing minor)

James Madison University, graduated June 2002




Richard Bland College mini-grant, 2013. For the purchase of a video camera and accessories for use in the classroom.


Madison Teaching Fellow, James Madison University, 2007-08


“Feature Portfolio,” Virginia Press Association, 2007


“Feature Story Writing,” Virginia Press Association, 2006


“Combination Picture/Story,” Virginia Press Association, 2006 (joint award)