Archive | March, 2015

OPEN MIC — 3/26/15

26 Mar

open micWelcome everyone! Please below post something that’s to be performed, preferably a poem but if it’s prose make sure it has rhythm, some BEAT to it! We want to imagine you on an actual stage reading your Art! I will post/perform after you all do… AND, don’t censor yourself! Don’t hold yourself back in any respect! Be free with your writing and let your true materialized Self propel itself to page! As well, read it, out out and LOUD to yourself as see how it SOUNDS!
AND, respond to each other’s work! This will be our version of applause and cheers for the performers! Tell which lines you like of a particular performer’s work and what stuck with you and made you feel something! Be bold! Be loving! BE A POET! (which you can as well be if it’s prose you perform..)

Cheers, and I’ll see you all next meeting–

1B additions…..

24 Mar

-Plath: “I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collections. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me.” (Journals, 9).
-”Nothing is real except the present…” (Journals, 10)

-What do you want your readers to walk away with?
-Teach yourself something with this assignment.. prove to yourself that you can write like the greats do!

For Tuesday 3/24/15: notes… WEEK 11

24 Mar

word: ‘Equanimous’: even, balanced
-Now, expand on this concept, with other such words or ideas.. just stay rooted and grounded, confined, to our word (class exercise).

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” -Mark Twain

We’ll start the session by having three readings of papers. Feedback, engagements, and questions to follow for each reader. Then, students go into their pairs and have the rubric very much in mind for what they’re about to read, with emphasis on mechanics, language, and coherence. One back from the one-on-one’s, we’ll go over what we need to keep in mind while finalizing our pieces; what to keep in mind, usage of evidence and secondary sources.. I’ll also remind that there should be one goal to this paper: conveying your belief on Hemingway and/or his book.
At this point, we should be at 8AM, or close to. We’ll discuss the concept of fiction and nonfiction, and how the convenient tag of each doesn’t matter. The writer wants to make a point. The author has a story to tell. He/She delivers the point through the story. In many ways, it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. If the story reaches the reader, makes them feel something and forces them to think while reading, and reflect, and the writing haunts and follows the reader far away from the location at which they read the last page, then the piece is successful! It’s functional. It “worked”.

WAIT!!! … Actually, reverse the order of the workshop– yes, pair up first then read-aloud’s.. and when you read please mention what your partner said and the revision comments and anything else.. take us through the draft step by step.. then we’ll all collect and brainstorm on the paper and what to keep in mind while revising over the next 48 hours..
[8AM-8:20AM] Creative Writing… Well, I argue that any writing worth reading entails creativity on part of the one crafting it.. but anyway….. What do you want to write? What do you want to say? What memories stay with you and are most vivid? And before you ask, no.. you don’t have to write this piece in the past tense! I want you to start with singular words, and isolated images, not necessarily events or people (characters) or interactions with anyone. Just words and images.

Develop your own ‘style’, and narrative pace. That is, make the work sound like you. Like Kurt Vonnegut said in ‘How to Write with Style’: “No matter what your first language, you should treasure it all your life.” This also applies to Self and how you speak and language you were raised around, just as if you were raised by a different language or jargon or speech type. Write as you as and write your characters just as they speak, make it believable! Vonnegut also said, “…become understandable –
and therefore understood.” My advice, don’t worry about being “understood” at first, just write honestly and deliver the picture; the picture of emotion, the picture of credibility (that it actually happened to you, or at least to the narrator), and that some story is being told, some message is delivered, statement being made. So, you might ask, should there be a ‘moral’ (a lesson, embracing notions of what is right and/or prudent)? Well.. in a word…. Yes.

…..and freedom! There must be some address, theme, sub-theme or subtext of ‘freedom’ somewhere in the text. That’s part of the exercise itself.. have that on your mind while writing…

1, “design”; 2, “excite”; 3, “sitting”.. as in “the limits of a single sitting”… Stay within 1,000 to 1050 words!

HW: Final Hem Draft. THEN.. bring two pages typed, or get onto 2nd page.. for narrative/Creative Assignment

And remember…..
Hem first draft

Back into our written skips…

20 Mar

PROMPT (5 point opportunity, awarded on richness of writing, expressiveness, and overall creativity): Write a letter to someone from history, dead or living; express some concern or admiration or indignation.. communicate honestly, and fiercely if you have to!

See you all on Tuesday! Please have your rough drafts of the Hemingway paper ready for reading and workshopping…..


English 1B– Plath, Sexton, Dickinson.. the woman, the reader.. reading women of this Literary Shape and Level

12 Mar

BELL JAR PICSo now that we have composition to do, I offer that we consider the woman author, or at least those like Plath, Dickinson, Sexton. I speak ofPLATH PIC 3:12:15 venom often in the classroom, I know, that their strength is integral in delivering their “venom” or some Creative spite. But what else we see is a sort of dreaming, an envisage of possibilities, of what could be for them. As readers, especially modern readers, we have to look further into their characters, push ourselves to get closer to them. Establish a reader-author intimacy, and one elevated at that! Come to a conclusion as to who they truly are and their intentions; the general purpose to their writing.
Anne Sexton.. her poem “Baby Picture” conveys a certain mood, yes, but what can we see in her character, in her set of values, or possible moral makeup? If we were to define her, we would say what… If we could guess what she would say to common questions like “Are you happy?” or “What are you afraid of?” or even “How are you today?”, what would she say? “…my teeth are an sexton240angry army.” she writes, and this parallels with Plath’s ire (anger/venom), how?
Woman authors like this gift us with something male authors of the time, most anyway, could never convey through their compositions; repression. So let’s dive into the concept of repression, and consider the word ‘repress’, its conceptual presence and denotative place: “subdue (someone or something) by force; restrain or prevent (AH HAH!); suppress (a thought, feeling or desire)… AGAIN, AH HAH! We see this in Plath’s novel, both articulated and inferred, through Esther’s incarceration, entertainment of suicide, her interactions with characters both male and female, and especially the clinical reality of the institutions! “The eyes and the faces all turned themselves toward me…I stepped into the room.”… She separates the eyes from the faces of the doctors and others in the room, doubling their identity and compounding the impact on her consciousness and senses (stress), and ‘I stepped into the room’ delivers that bitterness we’ve seen from Plath the entire novel (if you’d conveniently call her MS that) and through much of her poetry, like she’s going before some committee she’s forced to impress, interact with, see, be with for indefinite time… She’s reduced, she’s repressed… She again shows she is Oppressed. Dysfunctionality, like with Sexton and Dickinson’s lives…
So what makes them of some special Literary Shape and “level”? Well.. just that, the element of repression.. suppression, Oppression. And that they operated within that box. That their chosen form was poetry! Experimentation with form and verse and rhyme.. and the intimacy factor we’ve addressed for much of the semester. And as modern readers, we have to push ourselves closer to them by considering this element (repression), and their elected “genre” if you will was poetry! It’s not confessional! It’s Intimate, on a level male authors should and probably did very much envy (especially poets). They give us insights, pictures, believability, a slice of their bravery. And with that, all’s possible. Both for them and us as readers!


1A & 1B!!!

11 Mar

Post what you wrote yesterday in class about “work”, below! Spare us no details, no lines, no narration! Please transfer the entire writing, even if you added to it later!
Thank you, both classes, for a fun day yesterday! Tomorrow, the last meeting before break, I promise will be energized and encouraging!
Enjoy your Wednesday, and I’ll meet with you all on the morrow!

Good Morning, 1A & 1B!

9 Mar

It’s just before 6 (5:57AM), and I’m thinking of new directions for tomorrow’s meetings. In addition to chasing my son… First, we’ll explore our proposals, examining what we want to write about and why, and the due dates and what be… THEN, we’ll plan the rest of the semester (yes, it’s already that time, I’m just as surprised as you are, believe me), and talk about the news and present pressing matters and how we could write about them even if we’re not there involved in the actual transaction (more on that tomorrow).
As you know, the season is shifting, as is the intensity of the semester. If we breathe, balance our schedules and plan all that we can, and write and brainstorm before actual composition of assignments, the term will only end melodically.

Hope you all have a magical Monday, and we’ll meet on the morrow…

(reading notes… 1B)

3 Mar

Start at Ch 10 in ‘Jar’. First sentence, consider the ‘Mirror’ Poem.. sickly. Again we find Esther in struggle and with low estimation of not only what’s around her and happening to her, but of herself and sense of self (Identity, again echoing from ‘Mirror’). Her appreciation of images.. “junkyard.. swamps.. broken-down fragment bearing no relation to another.” What she notices and narrates gives us the grim outlook (popular usage of ‘grim’), and shows readers that what’s ahead is not elevated at all, not met with morale or encouragement. And it’s only understandable, I offer, that she had such a disposition. And the concept of ‘unfamiliar’… A strangeness, a foreign feeling, an isolation and alienation about her thoughts, and again with ‘Mirror’ in front of us for orientation, we can appreciate, if not empathize (feel for) her brokenness.
“…like the relic of a dead lover…”
Does Dodo make her more insecure and vulnerable? Explain…
And this relationship between Esther/Sylvia and writing and what it does to her, this wish list she has going in her head. “My heroine would be myself, only in disguise.”… This shows a play with identity and Plath sharing and educating us on where she draws material and how her moments are invaluable to her as an artist, and how she stands by them. This would be the other usage of Grim, and I argue the more inviting and USEFUL of them (stern, unwavering, convicted, determined, ardent…).
With Doctor Gordon, we once more see Plath’s venom, in how he is portrayed and painted: “I hated him the minute I walked through the door.” (its own paragraph, mind you..).
And the Elly Higginbottom play, identity and story change.. Plath convincing us that in many ways this is a game to her, not necessarily a fun one, but certainly a sort of frolic, with characters and identity and personal consistencies….
“‘Well…how do you feel this week?’”
“‘The same.’” Is this defeat? Is this play? Is this a new arrangement psychologically in her character (Esther’s and Sylvia’s)?
Ch 13: “I am I am I am.” No commas, no breaks, no pauses. Is this determination, or death flirtation? “Then I picked out all those that were dying.” (162). Why? What’s the larger statement with this act, and what does it provide, in terms of evidence and conclusive remarks, about Plath’s general state? Obsession with death = lack of fear in writing about it, exploring it (my usage of Grim).
Darkness… Location. Location as character… What location does TO the character, especially a hospital… And when this chapter ends, what is this book saying to us about Life? For people like Esther, Plath, or all of us, especially as modern readers that many times have the dismissive perspective and have already conveniently and categorically quarantined the book and its author as sickly and in many ways dangerous for what she supposedly glamorized, or endorsed (words of others, not your instructor of record!).
So I want Esther to be well, of course, as I think most readers do. But, with what we’ve read so far as evidence, can she? Will she? Is it reasonable for us as modern readers to have the expectations that we do? Let’s talk….. Let’s see what’s reflected (Plath through Esther, from Esther, in the reflection itself, how it speaks to her, orders her, instructs her, probably not for the better, or does it?)