Sunday, June 9, 2019

DR C Now Offering Online Courses!

Many have expressed the flexibility of online classes but wanting even lower and more flexible costs for two hours and for three hours.

So, I have heard you and here is what I am offering: ONE DOLLAR A MINUTE (a minimum of 15 minutes and continued increments of 15 minutes)  

I am offering customized one-on-one online classes that fit your schedule and your pocketbook.

Besides these classes being individualized, they are quite flexible regarding the time offered. For example, you decide you want to register for a two-hour or three-hour class. 

This does not mean you have to be engaged for a straight two hours or three hours. You and I can meet for 20 minutes on one day for a specific subject and meet on another day for another. This can be done until your two or three-hour time slot is used.

You can choose the ONE DOLLAR A MINUTE (minimum 15-minute intervals). You and I will set up a mutually-agreed upon time. 


The following are cost options that you can take advantage of: 

Friday, May 10, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Sixteen: Trainees Get Their Grades

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.



Day One

No class was held on this day. Instead, I wanted to finish the final three conferences that were scheduled. 

I told my trainees before the final conferences that everyone should pass this course. Their performance throughout this whole time on this ship has been the basis for this statement. Also, I wanted to assure every trainee that my mantra that “I grade on improvement” is real. And so, all they had to do is perform well on their final exam. Everyone did this except for one trainee. 

This trainee did not make it on time for his conference. He did not submit his final. "Good Grief" was my reaction because I was “pulling for” this student as I have done for all of my trainees.  Did he fail the course?

No. I kept my word that I would grade on improvement. This particular trainee has demonstrated remarkable improvement. 

There were two parts to this final, the final that I would check at the conference and the other part of the final—four (4) in-class writings. These in-class writings gave those who might not have done well on the final that would be graded in the conference another way to demonstrate their ability to write under pressure. This student who missed the deadline to meet with me did demonstrate in the in-class writings as well as in past assignments. And this is why he passed, not with a high grade, but he did pass. 

DR. C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Fifteen: Conferences Continue

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.



Day One and Day Two

I continue my one-on-one conferences. I may have stated in a past log that they are about 25 minutes each in length. I check their final exams. And after doing so, I ask each one of my crew: “What grade do you feel you have earned for this final exam paper? Now, keep in mind your assessment should not be what you may have prayed for or what you may want. It should be the grade you feel this paper has earned."

In most cases, the crew member’s answer to my question and my assessment is within the range the work has actually earned.


I received the final exams on the first day of this week. Yes, I recognized this was during a holy week for some. However, I encouraged them to submit this final ahead of this time. Some did; some did not. The important factor is that all trainees knew this exam could not be submitted late.

Unfortunately, one trainee did submit his work late. I did not accept it. I reiterated the class policy regarding late work, which, at the beginning of this embarking of this ship’s voyage, each trainee acknowledged s/he understood and agreed with this rule. Furthermore, I indicated just how unfair it would be to his crewmates if I did accept his late final exam.


As long as I have served as a captain, I do know that one-on-one conferences are a must for trainees. Some trainees would never come and sit with a captain if this is not offered. Yes, those who do not want to meet with me I do allow. This seldom occurs. And for the many years I have held conferences, they have helped me give the individualized care that has been a key point of my role as captain.

I suggest that anyone who wants to take on this role, if s/he has not made conferences a major component of his/her instruction, that captain should do so.

Conferences are a major factor of my teaching and I shall always continue this methodology. They help me get to know my trainees more closely. And they get to know me. Both are very important.  

What do you think about DR C's Academic Online Cruise Ship? Tell us your thoughts in the comment box below this post. 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

DR. C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Fourteen: It's Almost Over

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.



Day One

Believe it or not; now, the end of the semester is here. I will be using this week and the next for one-on-one conferences. Some were really rewarding. I had trainees who really showed real effort and improvement. What a joy!

Day Two

continued conferences. If they were not sick, they were there—on time.  Those who were ill, either presented their work to me in person or emailed their work to me during the time we were to meet. 


This week my online trainees were scheduled to email me their final exam/research paper. So, I shall be busy checking papers. 


I continue to be delighted when I read a final exam that demonstrates significant improvement. And when I give the deserved praise, I experience a joy that cannot be expressed in words when I see the smile on that student's face. 

Can I say that everyone has shown improvement? Nope.😕 However, I seem to get more good works than not-so-good. For me and for my trainees that brings real joy!

My final comments will come next week. 

What do you think about DR C's Academic Online Cruise Ship? Tell us your thoughts in the comment box below this post. 

DR. C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Thirteen: A New Method for Peer-to-Peer Reviews

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.



Day One

Now, my trainees had to post on Blackboard on Saturday of last week, their body theme three of their research papers. On Day Two of last week, I had assigned each person in a group of three or four. So, when they came to the training session on Day One, they got into groups and provided peer-to-peer review of their group members’ posts. They had already emailed to me their critiques; in this way this motivated everyone actually to have some valuable comments to share. No one, who had been assigned to a group, walked in unprepared. They had to give each member the same critique that they had emailed to me.

Also, each group member had to critique himself/herself. Thus, each person could see if some of the strengths and weaknesses s/he found were similar to what their group members noted.

I brought in my laptop and walked around the groups, at first listening. Then, I did my best to give my critique of each one’s first body paragraph or a paragraph that a member wanted me to critique.

Now, what about those trainees who did not come to class last week, thus, were not prepared? I told them to post that eve and be prepared to discuss on Day Two. On Day One they were encouraged to sit in on any of the groups. This gave them a clear idea as to what was expected and how they should conduct themselves on 

Day Two

The peer-to-peer reviews were completed on this day.  I continued by going from group to group giving my “two cents worth” of ideas that may help them improve. Also, some of my comments coincided with those of in their group. I want to foster confidence in my trainees’ own review skills. Still, they like the assurance they receive when they hear my comments.


My online trainees had the opportunity to choose from a list of extra credit assignments: 

There are five ways (you can choose all five, only two, or only one—in other words, you can do all or none; it's your choice) you can earn extra credit points: 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

DR. C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Twelve: Putting the Crew Under Pressure

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.



Day One

I am still in New Orleans. So, the substitute gave my trainees another assignment. This one was a Library Scavenger Hunt. There were different sources they had to find in the ship’s library and set up the works-cited format for that source. This assignment the trainees could do by themselves or in groups, whichever suited them. The substitute did not have to go with them to the library, just give them the “hunt sheet” and let them go their way. The assignment was to be placed in my office mailbox.

Day Two 

I AM BACK😀!!  I enjoyed the conference, but I, also, was glad to return to the ship and work with my trainees.

They had to submit to me a response to a manuscript or book that was a collection of short stories dealing with the subject of PTSD. The manuscript dealt with a character who was able to time travel.  Both of these were on one of the pass-protected sites of the handbook. Also, the book, Dancer and Other Tattered Threads of PTSD Lives—After the Wars: Revisited, can be found by clicking HERE and going to the book's webpage on the website.

Both works are intriguing. The manuscript deals with moral issues. And each short story provides a close look at how PTSD can affect the soldier, the family, and friends.  Their assignment was to only one well-developed paragraph. 

We did discuss in class the works. The discussion about both works was a good one. This was a good assignment to discuss since my absence from two training sessions. It sparked lively discussions.


My online crew had to submit their research proposals.  What I do miss is the opportunity to have one-on-one conferences. However, whenever I see that a trainee does not seem to understand the samples, I set up a personal podcast for him/her. In the podcast, I talk to him/her as if s/he were in a conference with me. Of course, I cannot get immediate feedback, but, upon a trainee receiving such a podcast, it is appreciated. In most cases, these personal podcasts take about 18 to 25 minutes. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

DR. C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Eleven: A Topic with a Twist

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.



Day One

My trainees submitted their extra credit figures of speech assignment. I discussed what these major figures of speech were. Also, I discussed some of their identifications. Oh, the figures of speech assignment included were: simile, metaphor, personification, analogy, and allusion. Yes, I am aware of others, but I chose to focus on these main ones.

Next, I reviewed key verb errors and pronoun errors.

Finally, I let them know that there would be a substitute for Day Two of Week Eleven and Day One of Week Twelve. Why? I would be attending and presenting at the College English Association Conference in New Orleans. I shared that while gone, there would be in-class assignments.

Day Two

I chose a topic that I have seen used by others. I put my own twist to this one:

Topic for Writing Topic:

There has been a catastrophic loss of life from several atomic blasts throughout the world. By whatever reason, only seven (7) people have survived who are in a boat. They will be responsible for starting a new world on an island, which is the only land that is not affected by the massive atomic destruction. However, the boat is beginning to sink. Thus, it becomes quite evident that only three (3) of them can safely make it to the island. Now, an extra boat is attached that contains some food and survival supplies. So, those who are designated to be the survivors will transfer onto that boat and go to the island. So, there will have to be a decision regarding who will be allowed to stay in the boat. And it will be you who will make the choice of the three who will survive, meaning the remaining four will have to accept the fate of death. Below are the choices:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Ten: Conferences with the Crew

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.


Day One and Day Two 

This whole week I had one-on-one conferences with all of my onboard trainees. These conferences are 25 minutes each. I discuss and grade their research proposal. 

The proposals contain the following:

A) Major Thesis

B) Intended Audience

C) Title

D) The Purpose expressed through the "soul/so-what sentence

E) Mini-thesis for each body theme 

F) Choose at least five (5) works cited entries to place on a works-cited page; these entries should be from sources you plan to use in your paper. Also, if there are any works-cited entries one is not certain about its format, this is a good time to give it a try. No one will be penalized; this will give me an opportunity to help clarify the format.

DR C'S Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Nine: The Crew Takes a Spring Break

To read the initial post about Dr. C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.


SPRING BREAK!  No classes held.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

DR.C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Eight: Language and Power

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.


Day One

This week I focused on discussing the paper that will be due on Day Two. It will be the Diction Theme. There would be two choices:

Post-Colonial Composition 
Choice A.  In Chapter 1, Shafer, author of Linguistics points out that language has power. In an excerpt from an essay in the book Post-Colonial Composition Pedagogy, edited by Monique Akassi, Akassi discusses language and “culture of power.” Also, Shafer how people “code switch” as, also, does Gerald Witherspoon in an article in Post-Colonial Composition Pedagogy. How does language give one power based on your personal experience and what Shafer, Akassi, and Witherspoon share? Write a well-developed five-paragraph theme answering this question.

Choice B. In Chapter 2, Shafer shows that words can be very persuasive. He points out this fact and gives directions for a paper: Words are explosive. They can be used to spark action where none otherwise be taken. They can inspire perception about life and survival that might not have previously existed. Look at the political language of Bush [George W.], Roosevelt [Teddy], and Beveridge [Sen. Albert] and discuss propaganda, how it operates, what it says and cleverly doesn’t say. Write a well-developed five-paragraph theme addressing these issues.

As you can see I gave the same assignment to my online crew. What I could do with this assignment regarding discussion would be to go into more depth. I worked to ease the crew’s feelings about doing either assignment. It was through discussion that I could work to get them to go beyond just what was written in the book or essay. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

DR. C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Seven: Causes/Effects/Solutions

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.


Day One

I focus intensely on the upcoming assignment—causes/effects/solutions.

The choices are:

Choice A. Write about the three causes, three effects, and three solutions of a personal challenge you are currently facing. In addition, to what you personally think is ONE of the major causes, ONE of the major effects, and ONE of the major solutions in body paragraph one, you need to provide a parenthetical citation for every cause, every effect, and every solution to support your discussion regarding the cause, effect, and solution. Thus, there should be at least three parenthetical citations, one for a cause, one for an effect, and one for a solution. And a works-cited page is needed.

Choice B: Write about a cause, effect, and solution to the serious situations that have occurred at Newtown, CT, Aurora, CO, and Parkland, FL. In addition, to noting ONE of the major causes, ONE of the major effects, and ONE of the major solutions in body paragraph one, you need to provide a parenthetical citation to support your discussion regarding the causes, effects, and solutions. Thus, there should be at least three parenthetical citations, one for a cause, one for an effect, and one for a solution in body paragraph one. And a works-cited page is needed.

Thus, I expect a minimum of three (3) different resources and three different parenthetical citations. I am trying to give my trainees an opportunity to cite. I need to see if they are beginning to understand how to do so. Yes, they have been with different captains on an English 101 ship. However, just the experience on the 101 ship is not enough. And based on their inquiries, this is made quite evident.

There are three (3) different samples for them to follow. They are in their handbook. I have written the samples. I have even demonstrated how to write such a paper totally objectively or personally. I do choose the personal challenge dealing with hypertension. I believe if one’s crew never sees the captain write, it is not fair to expect the crew members to do what they have never seen the captain do.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

DR. C's Academic Online Cruise Ship—Week Six: Time for Conferences

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.



Day One

This is the week I began conferences. I would have these in my office, not in the classroom or just outside of the classroom. Experience has taught me that, after the discussion and assessment of the assignment, trainees may choose to share some very personal things, nothing having to do with the assignment. I want to ensure total comfortability and no concerns about anyone hearing what they tell me.

The conferences are about 25 to 30 minutes per trainee. 

While I am in conferences, I have placed the trainees in groups of three or four. I give them a worksheet that has passages with mechanics and grammatical errors, single sentences that contain the same such errors, and the directive to write a group paragraph. 

The question each group must answer in one paragraph is the following: Why is learning the correct answers and the reasons for the answers for paragraphs and sentences so very important?

I peeked in the classroom to see how the groups were doing. They were working together. I was so pleased. I knew no group would be finished with this activity in one class session. That is why this activity could cover Day One and Day Two. 

After the Day One session, they were to place the test sheet and the answer sheet in my mailbox on the ship. Then, on the second day, I returned the test sheet and their answer sheets back to them so that they continue on the test.

Yes, theoretically, this should work. Trainees come to their conferences. Other trainees work in groups.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Reintroducing Bare Essentials Bit—The Audio Series

In 2017, DR C introduced a weekly audio series titled, Bare Essentials Bits: All You Wanted to Ask About a Grammatical/Writing Tidbit but Were Too Embarrassed To Ask!

Each 5-minute audio addresses a spelling challenge or grammatical issue that stumps or confuses writers, such as knowing when to use then or than or their, there, or they'reThe series also explored punctuation marks, apostrophes, and commas.

Because of the solid response we received from listeners, we decided to repost the audio series. While you will hear MANA's DR C announce specific dates from August to October 2017, the grammar tips remain relevant.

If you still have questions about grammar or punctuation after listening to any of the episodes, feel free to email DR C at Put on the subject line: "Bare Essentials Bits—Got a Question." Thank you! 

Now, enjoy the Bare Essentials Bits audio series! 

Audio Series

How do you use the apostrophe mark with contractions? Click on the player below for the answer. 

Miss Previous Episodes? Check Out the List Below:  

1. What's the difference between "affect" vs. "effect" and how are these words used? Click HERE to listen for the answer. 

2. When do you use "come" vs "came"? "did" vs: done"? "run" vs."ran"? "saw" vs."seen"? Click HERE to find out the answer.

3. This podcast gives tips on when to use "there," "they're," and "there." Click HERE to listen to the episode.

4. How do you use the apostrophe mark when a noun ends in "s"? Click HERE for the answer.

Want more "bits" about grammar? Then check out the book, Bare Essentials Bits—The Book: Providing the Puzzle Pieces of Good Grammar, Precise Punctuation, and Accurate Word Choice on MANA's website by clicking HERE: 

DR C's Academic Online Cruise: Week Five—Common Mechanics and Grammatical Challenges

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.


Day One

This was another unusually stormy day at sea. The cruise line put out a message to all of its ship’s captains and crews that it would be best not to have any class sessions today. I made sure no one missed the e-mail contacts. 

Day Two

Whew! The waters had calmed down significantly. So, my trainees were ready for the regular 1-1/2 session. 

The first thing I did was present a sign-up sheet for one-on-one conferences that would take place next week. Since everyone has other responsibilities besides just attending training sessions, my trainees signed up for the times on the sheet that fit their personal schedules. 

Some conference times were available during session times. This was to accommodate those who only would have time to meet with me during session time. I encouraged those who knew they were limited in times they could meet with me not to sit back and let those accommodating times be taken. I told them to let their fellow trainees know if they were not able to sign up before others had begun.

After that task was completed, I continued with the session encouraging any questions regarding what was expected during these conferences. Yes, I had covered this in the past. However, I have learned that it never will hurt to provide time for questions. Yes, there were some. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise: Week Four— Preparing for the Midterm Exam Assignment

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.


Day One 

My total focus is working to prepare the trainees for the upcoming midterm exam assignment. It is an argumentation assignment in which the hypothetical audience is the Congress of the United States. I may have mentioned this in an earlier blog post. By the end of Week Two, everyone should have posted his/her proposed topic keeping in mind that the topic had to be a controversial one that Congress may consider. 

Each trainee had to propose at least one topic; however, s/he could, also, post more. Then, I would review and approve or not approve every topic posted. The post was to be very short and follow the same format: For or Against? 

No discussion about the topic by anyone was to be added. If I did not approve a topic, I provided a detailed reason. I encouraged every trainee to read my reasons for disapproval to help them understand and see how a "critical reader" may view posts. Any topic approved, not just the one posted, anyone could choose for the assignment. 

Teaching Argumentation is a Requirement

Bare Essentials Handbook
Chapter 8 of the handbook, Bare Essentials, gives a thorough discussion of how the assignment should be developed. Argumentation is a major form of writing that this cruise line requires every captain to teach. Of course, each captain may choose this/her way of approaching this form of discourse. Still, everyone is expected to make certain that all trainees understand the importance of the following:

* audience
* development of a thesis that states a position and reasons for that position 
* development of support
* a respectful acknowledgment of opposing viewpoints
* a respectful refutation of those viewpoints

Having taught this discourse many times, I have asked my former trainees to critique my technique and the handbook used. They have given me very useful suggestions for improving my teaching and making the handbook even more effective in teaching this particular discourse. They have suggested my color-coding the format of presentation of the body paragraphs. This addition has been quite useful in helping my trainees understand the format I wanted and to insure they understand the reason for this format.

Friday, February 8, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise: Week Three—Moving Forward Through Rough Waters

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.


Day One 

I collected the Definition themes. I must say this assignment was satisfying to read. Each paper gave me personal insight into each of my trainees. 

Also, I gained a sense of how well I was establishing a rapport with my trainees. They really shared some very personal information about themselves. This showed they trusted that I would not make any judgments or let what they shared be known to anyone. They trusted my discretion. Most definitely, I would not betray that trust. 

Several of them did not submit their work because the bad weather created very rough waters. The ship's administration did not allow for classes to begin until the latter part of the morning. So, some did not even come because their "sea legs had buckled." 

I received e-mails from some letting me know they were unable to attend class because of illness. And those who attended looked a tad worn and "green around the gills." So, I let everyone know that s/he could send me their themes via e-mail before midnight. This is what most did. 

Grading the Papers

For this assignment, I only graded the content presentation. The rubric I have used for grading their papers is the Evaluation Sheet that is on one of the pass-protected sites. They can always use it as a sample. I encourage them to make copies and use these items as a checklist: 

Thesis Sentence:               50 pts.
Introductory Paragraph:     20 pts.
Topic Sentence:                 20 pts.
Body Paragraphs:              40 pts.
Organization:                     20 pts.
Unity:                                 15 pts.
Coherence:                        15 pts.
Concluding Paragraph:      20 pts.

Each set of points is earned if all of the criteria that are indicated on the Evaluation Sheet are met for each paragraph. If any of you are interested in seeing the full Evaluation Sheet, please feel free to contact me. I shall send you a copy. Contact me at

Needless to say, I did write comments throughout each trainees paper.  Although I did not include any of the mechanics and grammatical errors that were in a trainee’s paper for this paper’s grade, I did mark them and re-emphasize where each trainee could garner guidance to learn to eliminate these errors.