Archive | August, 2016

Just checking in…

30 Aug

How’s the reading going?  Any new thoughts on your authors?

ENGLISH 100:  Do you see any optimism being expressed by Ms. Plath?  Or, is there still the gloom?

ENGLISH 1A:  What is Sedaris talking about now?  What are some possible larger messages and intentions behind his work, besides just writing about himself, his family, what he’s been through, etc.


Hope you all are having a tremendously inspiring day today, and are ready for another lively day of ideas and creative, tomorrow.


Yours.  Loyally.  Always.


1A – Meeting 3, 8/29/16

29 Aug

Good evening everyone!  For tonight, we’ll be getting into essay writing, the ones we read from Sedaris, and also the style of his essay.  What did they say, what they accomplish for us as readers, as well as many other realities in his work.  What were your most consistent observations?  What did you like?   What did you not like?  Who is Sedaris writing for?  What do you think he wants his readers to do as a result of reading his essays?

Break into groups and take each other through the essays we read.  Share your reactions and what you thought was funny, but also how you or others could relate to his stories.  Read from the typed reactions you did over the weekend, start there and generate new ideas together.

Creative:  Tell story from your life, something that you think about and recount quite often, for whatever reason.  Something that contributed to the character you are today.

Returning to Sedaris, let’s read and not as we go, together.  What is he saying, what’s standing out to us…  Reading actively means we not only give the book more attention than we otherwise would, but as well knowing exactly what speaks to us, with what exactly we are connecting.

100 – Meeting 3, 8/29/16

29 Aug

Just a note, keep everything in one place.  This is something I’m learning I have to get really into and have my head utterly wrapped around.  You don’t want to be scattered, and you don’t want to be stressed— consolidate, simplify, go forward.

Plath… troubled or truthful?  That was my focus in this first reading.  AND, her language.  The way she gives us a picture of what’s around her, what it says to her, what the repeated messages and statements, guiding ideas (or “themes” if you wish) were in these initiating chapters.

If we’re talking identity, where do you see her having some identity, whether happy or sad, optimistic or pessimistic?  Or as I always say: ‘yay-saying’ or ‘nay-saying’.

And writing, reading, what we want.. how to be better at both.

-Active reading… don’t rush.  Speed-reading is STUPID

-Writing… first, love your voice.  Worry about the mechanic and all the prettiness later.  First, just move the pen, or start typing.

Hope you all

28 Aug

are as inspired as I am today!

Looking forward to week 2!

Be ready to share your ideas, reactions, and writings!!!




28 Aug

Centered, helio–

But no, another go.  Light

in, on, ‘nother pawn

Who’s listening to music right now?

24 Aug

To what?

What does it make you think of?

How does it make you feel?

Where does it take you?

Here’s me, now:

Sometimes, seriously, you have to take

24 Aug

a second.  Take two.  Take twenty.  Take twenty minutes.

Whatever it takes you to get back to a you with which you’re comfortable.

You decide the ‘you’.

Usually don’t blend my own freewrite with a

24 Aug

lesson or “lecture” plan, but today I will.  Doing things different, right?  One thing I remember in being a student, and still appreciate as I still consider this aging self a student, is that my words are mine.  They weren’t prompted or instrumented by anyone or anything outside ME.  They’re a sense of identity we should find as readers and writers that can’t be found elsewhere.  It’s empowering, yes, but as well educational in so many dimensions.

For the authors we’re about to dive into, look for their identities, look for their voices and what they want from life, from their readers.  Better, ‘What do they want their readers to do?’  They must have some desired reaction in their works.  That’s an ingredient in their identity.  For ‘100’, our first author is Sylvia Plath, for 1A we’ll meet Mr. David Sedaris.  Both have distinct personalities and attitudes, and what they want us to do helps us better understand their motivation for writing altogether.

So then, why do WE write?  I know, “‘Cause we have to, Mike.. GOD!” Okay, but iff you were to write a story, fiction or non’, what would you write and why would you write it?  What would you want your readers to see and understand about you?  What do you want them to do?  It’s a weird question to ask, and an even harder one to answer.  So think about it.  And, think intently before taking a position on an author’s motivation for writing what they did, or even what you think the point to the piece is.

If we write from experience, what’s happening with us, then we want to share our reality.  It’s not so much “confessional” as it is intimate, and an eagerness to share, have others see us, learn from us, or at least judge us to some degree.  Why would we want to be judged?  Why do we, they (Plath, Sedaris, and all the others) put ourselves in a spot to be judged?  What does that do to our identity?

Six words for the day–

24 Aug








23 Aug

Thank you all for such an inspiring first day yesterday.  Again, please buy the first book I mentioned in class, and start writing in your composition books, or other-styled journals, before next meeting.  I can already feel this is set to be one of the more energetic and interactive terms of my career.

One key to making this class or any class your own, and getting a grade you want, is to be present, and aware, and of course POSITIVE.  If you elect agony, it will find you.  But, if you prefer the ‘yay’ to the ‘nay’, then you’ll be gifted with an experience you’ll enjoy.

See you all tomorrow, and thanks again for yesterday.

Yours.  Loyally.  Always.