The Writing & Technology (W&T) group consisting of over twenty elementary, middle, and high school educators energetically assembled into its first session prepared for orientation. After some getting-to-know-you activities and introductions, Dr. R. Pritchard led the teacher-participants through a course overview and informed us that airfares were locked in as of last week. We are on our way to England where NC State will meet the University of Surrey! We learned about the four vital parts of our course: participation, writing, technology, and the final project. We also took a look-see at one of our new readings, Engel’s (2002) A Dab of Dickens & Touch of Twain, and perused through piles of England pamphlets and teaching brochures. Our morning speaker, Dr. R. Honeycutt, continued with a stimulating lecture on ethos, logos, and pathos and connected it with daybooks. Teacher-participants were able to share reflections of writing apprehension and use their very own daybooks to practice Maupassant’s philosophy of “Get[ting] black on white.” The group went into the W&T course site with Megan Poole to take a technology survey and moodle around the new environment for a bit. We were then introduced to Liz Fairbrother of England who attempted to close the language barrier with her Lingo Bingo vocabulary game and personal knowledge of Guildford. What a hoot we had learning about tipping, teas, and TK Maxx! Just when we thought it could not get any better, Michael Cook, C&I doctorate student, took the group through the process of writing a “Where I Come From” poem that structured our fondest childhood memories. The evening session culminated with a Skype-in from New Zealand with Donna Morrow, who will be joining the group in July. What a productive first session we had learning a little about merry ol’ England, writing, connecting to students, and connecting with each other.

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