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Semester’s Close.. Our Story’s End

15 May

Good Morning, Colleagues…

Thank you all again for an amazing semester.  Just a reminder:  English 5-ers, you need to submit the assessment of your rough draft, along with the rough draft itself, and of course your final draft, at 7AM.. SHARP, MONDAY, 5/19/14.

100:  Please bring the assessment you wrote in class on Wednesday along with your final draft on Monday, 10AM.. SHARP.  Also MONDAY, 5/19/14.

And after this term ends, I hope you all continue to exercise your writing, reading, and freethinking.  Never allow anyone to speak for you, or tell you what a text means, or tell you what you should think, be convinced of…  You are YOU, and that’s the only actuality that has true significance.

Talk to you all Monday…


ps–  Feel free to post anything you want, below, from your final submissions for feedback and workshopping..

English 100…

22 Apr

How did the research go? What did you unearth?


21 Apr

Due: May 19, 2014, at 10AM

Length: 5-6 Pages (Not including cover page and works cited page)

Outside Sources: 2-3

For our last paper, you can either write a critical paper on ‘Gatsby’, or an editorial, or position paper on a current event (meaning, an event from the day of this assignment’s announcement, or close thereto, or some topic that’s been in the news for some time). Whatever you select, I would not waste time! Begin brainstorming, conducting research!

I will only award “A” to papers that demonstrate a special ownership and control over their topic… So get started immediately! Put yourself in a position where you have control over your writing with this last submission.. in that your figure out what precisely it is you want to say…

There is no set, or itemized, rubric for this final paper. I will be grading on the basis of coherence, balance, and incorporation of outside sources.

Both classes….

17 Apr

Final submission prompts will be posted tonight… Sorry for the delay…


Morning Walk

15 Apr

What are you
What are
Are you moving?
Please move.
Don’t let


4 Apr


So sorry for my absence, Wednesday. But, when you know you need to recover, or take care of yourSelf, then you do so. That explains your instructor’s locational void the other day. As I write, the day comes to a close, much like our semester. Our final projects are upon us, as is grade calculation. All semester, I’ve been saying that ‘this semester is a book, a story of sorts’. Now, in our last chapters, we make our characters, individually and collectively, known. Written.

ENGLISH 5: Please read to page 199. I know this is a sizable reading assignment, but please consider that your lens, your focus, the connection you bind from Mr. Woolf’s Life with your own, is what our focus now necessitates. Demand answers from his book– Answers to what? Whatever you want! Regarding the characters, general existence topics, family, deception, Life vs Death, the “masculine” role.. you decide. And, as I always urge, journal! Write all your OBSERVATIONS, thoughts, feelings. I, like your colleagues, need your voice to be heard, come Monday’s session.

ENGLISH 100: Please bring your fully completed rough draft to class, Monday. I am planning to call upon NEW readers on Monday to share their positions and how they’re structured. In addition, please continue researching F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author, as well as the time in which he lived. Try to find out how F. Scott’s time period contributed to his writing. I will be assigning the first pages from his novel, come Monday.


On another note, I hope you’re using your journals to document your days, this semester.. keep track of your individual stories, perhaps monitoring how your character is developing. One of the most advantageous methods for logging a day’s ideas is to have them centered in symbols, or set of symbols. Objects, basically. I invite you to show me some of your entries, see if we can find some creative/”scholarly” way to develop these lines further, for sakes of a written piece.

Also, on Monday.. expect a surprise of sorts, both classes. This ‘surprise’ is only being introduced to energize your writings. Think about the fundamentals of a character, what they want, how they act, what makes them memorable. But, even more importantly: HOW THEY SPEAK!

See you Monday,


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 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,


Walls: Her Writing, Our Writing, and What happens when…

3 Mar


***Anger…. at end.

Care less or more?

Should we hold the kids responsible at all?

What did we learn, something NEW, about the Walls family in these final pages?

-The degree of Jeannette’s inner fire!!

-Change in M’s character..

-Jeannette begins to feel an urge to keep moving after her father dies, a constant need to move and not remain in one area for more than a few minutes..

-Brian’s value for order, and his lack of order while growing up, made him want to become a police officer.