Archive | April, 2015

Letter to 1B Students…

29 Apr

Good Morning, tout le monde (everyone)! Bonjour! Thank you all the electric and versatile discussion, yesterday! Again, you’ll have to pardon my passion, so I apologize if I stole the floor a couple times… But I think that may be part of my job, not sure.. but with any reality, please find the reading, the last of the Baldwin pieces, assigned below:

1 — History as Nightmare, p. 579
2 — Preservation of Innocence, p. 594
3 — The Negro at Home and Abroad, p. 601
4 — Sermons and Blues, p. 614
5 — The Creative Process, p. 669
6 — Color, p. 673
7 — A Talk to Teachers, p. 678
8 — The White Man’s Guilt, p. 722
9 — A Report from Occupied Territory, p. 728
10 — Negros are Anti-Semitic Because…, p. 739
11 — An Open Letter to Mr. Carter, p. 766
12 — Last of the Great Masters, p. 770
13 — Every Good-bye Ain’t Gone, p. 773
14 — Open Letter to the Born Again, p. 784
15 — The Price of the Ticket, p. 830

Although it seems long, if you balance this reading list correctly and consistently, it is altogether manageable. Please be prepare for some in-class writing, that will be graded, when we return on the 5th of May.

Enjoy your week, and the reading. See you soon…..
-Mike

What happens when

25 Apr

you get lost in an idea…  When it reshapes itself into an encouraging trap?

A Thought, 4/23/15

23 Apr

This early section of English has taught me one thing, that organization is apexing in priority, the most important of practices. And how I view literature, and those around me, how I react, and not as instructor, but just a Human, one reading the same material you read. Poe said “There is no exquisite beauty…without some strangeness in the proportion.” Agreed, this early hour is beautiful, with the void of steppers and passers and rushing students and faculty.. and the ‘strangeness’, I interpret as brilliance. The insanity of this hour, and the expectation of us all functioning in it. This is that sort of madness we’ve been discussing all semester. And now with only 4 meetings left, excluding the ‘final’ of course, we bring it to a close, this experience. And what have you learned about yourself? I’m not soliciting what my instruction has introduced to you, but what have YOU taught yourself? How has your character developed? What now do you see that you didn’t before?
Literature is about many things, but always thrives on life, or some life-force. The energy is took for the author to write the manuscript and then what the reader invested in reading it.. and now what, what do you realize? What do you see? What new conviction do you hold and have about your character? I’ve mentioned the idea of ‘Wellness’ quite often, of late, and I argue new sight is the embodiment of Wellness, or one way of embodying this state. So… What have you? What do you now see? How have YOU empowered your sight, your scope, your pervading set of convictions? Please think about this, and have some sort of reasoning upon the term’s conclusion. And now, to discussion, some inaugural juggling of this topic.. so… SO?…….. And don’t be afraid to be ‘strange’ in your answer!

Beating Time….. (1B)

21 Apr

Look at the time we have, not much, so let’s get to work with this final submission, let’s beat Time at its own game…  Let’s build something we never have as writers and thinkers…  Kerouac said in his ‘Prose Rules’ that “You’re a genius all the time”.  I agree!  Who’s to say you’re not?!  Go find your topic, your idea that you plan to make your own, and run with it!  By next class, know what you want to say!  Yes, that means have a thesis!  And be animalistic in proving it!  Reach with your ideas!  For example, if you wish to return to Mr. Kerouac and his work, you could argue something like “Jack Kerouac’s style reflects his lack of decisiveness in both everyday matters and his own art.” So, reach with the word, “indecisiveness”, and build on that concept, then look at his poems, then look into a biography, then go into ‘Sur’ then…..  You get the point.  By next class, I want to see your idea mapped, exactly what you did while in the library and how you built your topics and where you reached.

And please don’t forget about Baldwin!  Even though there’s no new reading assignment due next class, I need you all to be done with the manuscript by next Tuesday, 4/28.

Whatever you choose, be serious about it, be ‘genius’ about it, and prove your point!  Be convincing!  Be passionate!  And be efficient.  Again, we are in a place where we have to defeat Time at what it always does, take itself away from us, leaving us the deadline (whatever that may be) at our door, and we have to open.

NIGHT’S ASSIGNMENT:  Bring typed to class next session ALL your findings.  I want at least 2 FULL pages brought to workshop and brainstorm, dissect and expand upon.  Bring strong PROOF that you have something.  Five points possible (all or nothing).

And seeing as this is a “Critical Thinking” class, I embolden you all to be especially vocal in this paper; convey your convictions not only coherently, but precisely, and with weapon’s accuracy.  Know your primary points, build from there!

Beating Time…..

21 Apr

Look at the time we have, not much, so let’s get to work with this final submission, let’s beat Time at its own game…  Let’s build something we never have as writers and thinkers…  Kerouac said in his ‘Prose Rules’ that “You’re a genius all the time”.  I agree!  Who’s to say you’re not?!  Go find your topic, your idea that you plan to make your own, and run with it!  By next class, know what you want to say!  Yes, that means have a thesis!  And be animalistic in proving it!  Reach with your ideas!  For example, if you wish to return to Mr. Kerouac and his work, you could argue something like “Jack Kerouac’s style reflects his lack of decisiveness in both everyday matters and his own art.” So, reach with the word, “indecisiveness”, and build on that concept, then look at his poems, then look into a biography, then go into ‘Road’ then…..  You get the point.  By next class, I want to see your idea mapped, exactly what you did while in the library and how you built your topics and where you reached.

And please don’t forget about Sedaris!  Even though there’s no new reading assignment due next class, I need you all to be done with the manuscript by next Tuesday, 4/28.  And a topic idea I had for him, should ye so choose:  [an interpretation of the title, ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’]  “David Sedaris is saying he doesn’t care.” Or, “that none of it bothers him.”

Whatever you choose, be serious about it, be ‘genius’ about it, and prove your point!  Be convincing!  Be passionate!  And be efficient.  Again, we are in a place where we have to defeat Time at what it always does, take itself away from us, leaving us the deadline (whatever that may be) at our door, and we have to open.

NIGHT’S ASSIGNMENT:  Bring typed to class next session ALL your findings.  I want at least 2 FULL pages brought to workshop and brainstorm, dissect and expand upon.  Bring strong PROOF that you have something.  Five points possible (all or nothing).

English 1A PROMPT:

19 Apr

bottledaux

Again, please read through page 210, and collect the instances of targeted humor about Seardis’ pages.  And for writing, tell some similar stories of your own, maybe like his essay “21 Down”…  Type it up, or them, and bring to class for some open mic!  Just thought it would be fun to try his style of writing using our own experiences.  On Tuesday, we’ll begin by sharing our writings and then thoughts concerning the reading.

So far this morning for me, a walk with Meliss’ & Jackie, and this mocha before going off to work.  Yes, again, work.  But that’s Life…  Just wanted to wish you all a wonderful Saturday and I’ll see you dark and early (which is only NOW becoming ‘bright and early’), Tuesday.

Cheers,

Mike

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(letter to Spr ’15 students)

17 Apr

bottledaux

Dearest Students,

I sit in the nook where I often write and think.. about the final submissions, and what I hope you hope to gain from it, from the process; reading and researching and finally composing…  At this stage, you should be brainstorming, scribbling furiously in the caverns of your Composition books and toying with the possibilities of idea direction.  If you are in fact organizing these thoughts, well done!  Just don’t consume yourself with formal composition just yet!  And this may be difficult to do, restraining your own Self and ideas, especially if they pulsate aggressively, ordering you to sit and type!  But my counsel to you, for our collective record, is to wait.  Let it develop, ferment, and then if it has stayed with you over a couple days, or eve a week or so, then throw yourself to page.

And, with research, be playful with what you…

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