Archive | March, 2014


27 Mar

in ‘This Boy’s Life’ —

Characters.. what they want, what they represent, and what we as readers want from them…

Rosemary: A good mother, compassionate, a push-over, sensitive.

Judd and Gil: Both suspicious characters. Could Gil have taken advantage of Rosemary? What do they want from Rosemary and Tobias?

Dwight: liked to open doors, make people’s drinks and do thinggs for other. Gentleman or try-hard? It’s Toby’s description and Toby hasn’t had many good role models.

Masculine, masculine…  Boy to MAN–


Dwight:  dilemma?  Weak.. gentleman.. WHAT?  Is there authority in his role?


THIS story: meant to show that innocence in short-lived, that time pushes us into age, and that now is not forever.. that youth eventually fades, and we no longer have that immunity to situations in and out of the home…

Troubled, this family?  Accept or reject??

Characters have both a pro and a con side. Explore!  (Robert)

Will Toby be able to search beyond the men in his life for an influence of manhood? Will he blaze his own trail toward authentic masculinity (Faith)

(Jess) Does Gil have money? Wealth??

Marian: seems to be a good judge of character. She is able to see right through Toby and recognize he is a troublemaker. Marian is also able to discern that Gil is bad news when he doesn’t come to the door. (?)

Is Kathy a mirror image of Toby and his mother? (Tony)

Is Rosemary naive? Is that making Toby naive? (Ben)

ENGLISH 100, 3/26/14 [Wednesday]

26 Mar

Today’s session will be divided into 8 portions: 1, reorientation: where we are, where we’re going, what our next assignment is; 2, the last readings: what’s the issue, the sides, what you think.. etc…; 3, groups, discuss your topics, proposals.. engage each other in discussion, and dare I say “debate”; 4, revisit, take notes…; 5, submitted proposals…..; 6, how to build an argument, balance out logic vs emotion.. useful language; 7, and we start our writing, actually putting out arguments on paper.. how do we begin? Engage the reader.. make us care in the first paragraph! NO– in the title!!! With this paper, title is most important, more so than with your other submissions!; 8, questions, comments, with what are we walking away, before we start writing?

ENGLISH 100– Topic Proposals

24 Mar

Sorry again for the brief session today. Please post your proposals for the April 7th Position Paper, below. Please also remember to include (1) the “Issue”, or topic, (2) why you’ve selected that particular one [meaning, justify your selection, and do so fiercely], and (3) why we should care. For the actual paper itself, you will be required to cite two (2) outside sources to support your position. I am not requiring you include them in the proposal of your topic, nor am I requiring you state your position. If you want to, that’s fine. But the intention behind the proposal is to simply propose your topic to us, and prepare us for the issue that will be addressed. Good luck, write well, and please be prepared for an energetic, rich, and helpful session come Wednesday.

Loyally Yours,


PS: Also keep in mind that this proposal is separate from and can not be included in the 1,000 words due Monday 4/7/14. Thank you…..

Good Morning, Colleagues…..

18 Mar

Thank you all for your submissions! I meant to write you last night, but Life encased me in obligation.. You know how that goes, I’m sure! Either way, enjoy the pause in our semester, and I’ll see you upon return. Make sure you take time to collect your Self, your character’s core. This will ensure the story–our story, your story–ends as you wish.

See You Soon,


13 Mar

Keep your written waves hitting the paper shore…

Good Evening, Colleagues,

11 Mar

8:41PM.  Been back from run for well over an hour, and I get the whole notion of  a rough draft, and revision, and the act of staying in that chair–forcing yourSelf–from my head.  On Wednesday, I again invite you to bring with you a draft that you would feel comfortable submitting for a final grade.  Now, we all know that’s not the case, but put yourself into that character.. into that reality.  It is a challenge, yes.  And sometimes it adds pressure…  But writers under “pressure” or some delightful duress have produced some wildly delicious writing, as you well know.. and as you’ve read.

There’s something I forgot to share with you all today.. and that’s a re-emphasis of the journal, the book you’re writing this semester–  OR, the notes you’re keeping for your story.  Ask yourself:  What do you want upon this semester’s, your story’s, “conclusion”?  Having some aim, or some vision, gives to that ambrosial atmosphere in prose.. in your writing.  Another remark I wanted to emphasize today:  Your own set of conditions–  What.  YOU.  Want.  And why would I bring this back into our cataloguing cognition, at this point in the semester?  Because we’re nearly at our midpoint.  And we all, as I said in English 5 today, approach our transition pages.  Again, our characters are NOT in any type of question [or, they don’t have to be].  But, we all experience a change in our semester’s saunter, our collective and individual stories.  More, later, on that…


Forgive my ramble, but I could only see the classroom as I ran, doing those exhaustive jaunts around the Cardinal Newman track.  Our next book-length endeavors–English 5 and 100–will introduce a new Literary shape and story telling style.  And what we do with that?  Not read differently, but be open to new voice.. a new rhythm to the sentences we read.  Again, I’ll explain more later, but I’m convinced that much of what makes a strong writer, and a “successful” student, is just this.  Voice.  Find yours, in your own convictions, and let it throw itself onto your pages.

When we come back from Spring break, please be prepared to read directly from your journal, from your reactions.. what your voice presents from your pages.  I’d like you all to enjoy the time we devote to these final books, and what we learn about the authors through them.


And now the day closes.  I have to walk away from the keys.  I know I always say stay in the chair, “something will happen”, or something of that provocative plume.  But it’s also quite encouraged to halt when you have to.  It’s much like running, I was told today by one of the “coaches”, that when you feel pain, you stop, there’s no question.  The same is true with your writing.  IF you feel pained, then you must halt.  But only stop knowing that you have to return.


sealed, in a certain


I chose it


my sight


Loyally Yours,



6 Mar

Special thanks to both sections for an amazing day yesterday! English 5: I love the passion behind your exploration of Plath, and the whole notion of her controlling the outcome of her story! English 100: please be selective with the sources you incorporate into your paper! Make sure you use articles, or videos, or anything that makes your argument stronger! Also, try to find some other debatable issues to talk about in class. Let’s see if we can find what is at the heart of the issue, and why it’s an issue, to begin with…

Enjoy Your Weekend, Colleagues…