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Common Tweeting Experience upgrades Common Reading Experience

Common Tweeting Experience at Fort Lewis College

Some things never change: As happens every year, Freshman students this Fall will be reading, discussing, and writing about important and timely works of literature in FLC's signature Freshman-year academic program.

But some things do change: And reflecting the change in how millennials use the written word, that program -- formerly the Common Reading Experience – is now known as the Common Tweeting Experience.

This Fall, Freshman students can look forward to some exciting 140-character forays into the contemporary written word:

Academic explorations
  • The "History Through Tweets Symposium" will bring renowned history scholars to campus to “lecture” -- but silently, tweeting from the podium about the greatest events in human history in real time, as they think about those things.

  • “#lit140: Great Works of Twitterature” will be a live chat presented by the English Department featuring readings of well-known works pared down to their minimal Twitter-esque essence.

  • “Texts vs. Tweets: Can't We Just Get Along?” will offer a debate between teenagers and thirty-somethings on which is the most powerful form of communication from their respective generations.

Applying the CTE

To apply the valuable insights and lessons from the Common Tweeting Experience in the classroom, Comp 150 students in the Fall will be required to live tweet their entire first semester.

“Rather than a just another bunch of disjointed essay assignments,” says one excited Comp 150 instructor, “the deep immersion in the thumb-typed word will transform our students into tweeting experts and masters, skills vital to life in today's virtual world.”

The social side

All that is good, important work, but the 2014 Common Tweeting Experience will also be a good time for all involved. Other activities students and faculty will be involved in include:

  • Speed Tweeting contests, challenging those essential technical skills.
  • “Buy a vowel” fundraisers, benefiting those less fortunate who are without social media.
  • "Sweet Tweets Night" in the San Juan Dining Room, offering dinners reflecting the spirit of Twitter, comprised of only of tiny but numerous portions of nutritionless confections. 
  • “Emojis For Life” workshops, sponsored by the Leadership Center, helping students distill their essence to 12-pixel-square emoticons.

Big changes, but in its first year, the Common Tweeting Experience already looks to be hit with a generation for which books and pens are more museum pieces than communication tools.

“Lookin fwd 2 #CTE,” recently tweeted a high school senior coming to FLC this Fall. “#Cantwait!”


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