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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 5….

22 Apr

How’s the writing going, for the Final Submission?


21 Apr


Final Submission —


“Who are you?”

Length: 5-6 pages

Due: May 19, 2014, 7AM

Precisely…  Who are you after this semester? Write your story for the semester, with some message, lesson, or value in mind, and that persists through your piece. What you went through, both inside and away from academia. How did you evolve, strengthen? How were you challenged?

At some point in your story, I’d like you to make a correlation to one of the authors we read this semester, referencing their book and/or the research you conducted. SHOW, through narration, imagery, and even dialogue, how you identify with their progression as a character– YES! I wrote that right… The AUTHOR as a CHARACTER.

What you’ll submit:

1 – Title Page

2 – Quote in center of 2nd page, from your selected author; bold, 22-38 pt font, in center of page

3 – The story itself…..

I would also advise you look back through the manuscripts we’ve read, and find the passages that gripped you most strongly. Why was the writing effective in holding your attention? Why did that passage hold so much meaning for the author’s story? This assignment is very much about writing your story, yes, but showing what you’ve learned from one of the masters we’ve read, discussed.

The only way a writer can be strong within his/her own Craft is if they’ve read. A lot.

How You’ll Be Graded:

1 – Structure

2 – Narration

3 – Showing vs Telling; details

4 – Mechanics

5 – Language, Word Choice

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

English 5…..

10 Apr

Talk more about the characters in TW’s book. What does each suggest about Wolff’s attitude towards certain character types?
AND… Why do you think this story was worth writing, in his mind?
Why is it worth reading?


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,



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)

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,


ENGLISH 5 — 3/5/14

5 Mar

7:30-7:45:  Meet with colleagues, discuss all…  ALL!

-research findings, positions, questions, problems, fascinations… new poems discovered???


7:45-8AM:  Revisit, discuss…  QUESTIONS!!!


8AM to :20:  Rhetorician Mission <debates, offerings, building on these Plath understandings>…  Civilly challenge each other!


:20-:35:  So now what?  How do we use these new, renewed, and even rejected understandings into our critical approach, our “critical thinking” on Plath?

-Let’s look again what we saw in ‘Bell Jar’, and how we discussed what we saw…  Remember the duality of Plath…


:35-:40:  Next step, the composition of our positions…

:45-:50:  Plath reading “Leaving Early”, responses…  Thoughts?  How does this blend with what we know, with what we’ve seen?


HW:  Keep writing, keep researching [if you need to]

Find some information on Tobias Wolff…