WAC Notes was the creation of Stasia Callan, Professor Emerita of English. Below is her inaugural article, "Why Have WAC Notes?"
Why Have WAC Notes?
Stasia Callan, Vol. 1 No. 1 Feb. 1990
There are many good reasons for them. Carl Sagan, in The Dragons of Eden, wrote that "Rational thinking is fully verbal...," and Charles Darwin, in The Descent of Man exalted that "...language /is/ that wonderful engine which affixes signs to all sorts of objects and qualities, and excites trains of thought which would never arise from the mere impression of the senses, or if they did arise could not be followed out." Other scholars, from Aristotle, Shakespeare to Vygotsky, noted that without words no thoughts would be possible.
WAC Notes are designed to help us climb the verbal mountain that holds clear, critical, and versatile thinking. As educators, we are professionally obligated to enable our students to climb the same mountain. Since we transmit ideas to students verbally and since they process them verbally, we need to involve them actively in the verbal component of every discipline. Writing is the method always available for accomplishing this purpose. Let's use it, and use the WAC Notes as a forum for this noble educational goal.
Additionally, WAC Notes will be our means of exchanging methods, assignments, resources, success and failures. It will unify our WAC efforts.
The WAC Committee invites you to contribute to WAC Notes. Your thoughts, comments, discoveries, or assignments will be of great interest to us all. We will publish them and make you famous!