What about choosing anthologies, you may ask. Pffft if I know. I haven't been working at a place that allowed me to choose my own textbooks. Tell me everything you know about anthologies and how to choose them. Pleeze!
As you might guess, I got my teaching schedule. It consists of freshman comp, and the other freshman comp (surprise! it is a community college, after all). They break up the emphasis of the required comp stuff differently than I am used to, which will take a little adjustment. Basically, one class is like both of our comp classes here in Postdoc City (sob), where they go over writing essays and then do a long research project. So my old 101 experience is actually their remedial class. You should be ashamed of yourselves, Postdoc City School! Then the other comp class is "advanced" rhetoric and argument and is based around literature. Holy flying metonymy Batman! I have been so used to not teaching lit and re-vamping my focus to be all Writing Across the Disciplines and don't-bother-trying-to-justify-literature,-just-give-the-authorities-what-they-want, that I am completely confused by the idea that I would teach literature in a comp class. Hmm.
Soooo...books. I should probably have them for the class, no? I was forwarded some of the course description stuff from accreditation and it lists some anthologies that instructors tend to use. I think there might be a copy shop where I could make my own collection and have students pick it up, but let's hold off on that idea until I have actually been there, and know where it is and how that whole process works (Side note: how do you order textbooks for your class, anyway? Please inform.)
Looking back at those suggested books, should I play it safe and use one of those? Choose a different one I like better? How do I figure out if I like one anthology better than another? And how should I get hold of a sample copy? I see that Postdoc City U's library, being stupid and underfunded in all things, also does not have any of these textbooks. I would order my own from the publishing rep but ... how fast would it get here? I think I would have to send it to The Hot Place instead ... I am all over and back and forth and then driving all around the country in the next few weeks, so I don't think ordering the desk copy would actually help me get hold of it in any way. Huh.
In sum: tell me about anthology/textbooks, especially the argument or argument/research based freshman comp textbooks or the "intro to literature"/literature in the freshman comp class type anthologies. What do you like? Not like? Any things I should watch out for? What do you think a good anthology/textbook needs or should do? What does it not need to do? I think I will make a separate post later all about "apparatuses" and "ancillary materials" and why would you want an anthology at all in the first place, but let's just start from "so you've decided to use an anthology in your freshman comp class": what does it need to do?