Tag Archives: Adjunct English Professor

If you doubt yourself,

27 Dec

analyze the doubt.

Trust the Self.

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.

For ALL Spring ’15 Scholars–

20 May

React to the work you submitted for your final larger piece of writing.  I’m not asking what you could have done better, or what you wish you would have done different, but to the process.  What you learned about the topic you chose, what you learned about yourself as a writer, student.  React to the act of composing this paper.  And going forward in your academic and/or professional careers, how do you think your new writing habits and visions, whatever they are, will materialize down the road?  Again, just react to the act of composition of this final paper.  What you learned, what you found, how you the author and student changed.  If you were truly passionate about your writing, the composition itself, both process and product, took on some life of its own and interacted with you.  What was in that interaction?

ENGLISH 5—  4/6/15

6 Apr

Thank you for an energized meeting this morning.  Coming back to definitions and the importance thereof, what in your life do you feel needs more defining.  How do you plan on building and expanding this definition?  How do you define yourself at this moment in your life?  Like I said, definitions are always a facet to our reality that I’ve found provocative and intriguingly variable.  Sticking to a definition in an argument only compliments its declarative nature and authority.  So, then back to you, how do you define YOURSELF (rather than society and what’s out there being marketed telling you how to self-define).

What did you walk away with this morning?  If nothing, then:  Back to the book title, is everything really an argument?  Also, please value the idea, your idea or ideas, from which an argument burgeons.

The Lupe song I played today…  What else did you hear in his words, aside from the expected prompt of definition and ‘what could he be defining?’ What did you hear, see, feel in his work?  And again, through poetry!  Art, especially the literary arts, and even more especially poetry, can demonstrate ferocious and entrapping argumentative qualities.

Feel free to type what you wrote in this morning’s freewrite, below…

I’m looking forward to a day of sun— going for a run, disregarding the obligations trailing me, which is more than a ton.  Today I focus on re-defining my aims, visions, collective Story.  YOU?

Before getting into Kerouac, and even before researching him, think about how much of a difference there may or may not be between fiction and non, again.  Like with Hunter, Kerouac feeds on the Now, and is always looking for new understanding— of Life, himself, the people around him, what he’s writing, where he’s going.. all of it.  He’s one who needs the journey and the Newness in order to live, write, see, sense.

Enjoy your weekend, and today’s beaming envelopment, and I will see you all Monday!

Be Inspired.

Yours—  Loyally—  Always—

Mike

More I think about it,

14 Mar

the more I realize I have yet to learn.  About Life, yes, but more crucially myself.  Just when I think I have so much pinned, understood, there’s a variable introduced.  Something about Life and my role in it.  I guess my “advice”, if any, is be patient.  Don’t rush.  The more control is sought the less attainable it is.

2:40 on Monday.  The day still very much in motion…  What are you learning from the authors we’re reading?  What are you teaching yourself?  What has the semester’s Story taught you?  For me.. I’m seeing rewards for not acting too quickly; taking my time, and let the Story show me what to do.

You?

3/14/16

Surviving (English 5)

29 Feb

Lots of heavy questions to ask…  I mean, “Who is she?” and “What does she want?” Not questions we can just answer, even after tonight’s reading assignment.  But, we can get a pretty strong sense, or even a slight sense of this author in front of us.  Like I said today, she’s immeasurably powerful but still so vulnerable.  And how she brought herself to the point of composing such mythic and sensual poetry, I’ll never know.  What I do know, is that there persists that level of intimacy I addressed in her work, that I’ve mentioned before.  And by intimacy, I’m referring to a successful connection to her readers, and an eagerness/direness from her, that she needs to share what she’s sharing.

No wonder she took on the form of poetry, arguably the most intimate and personal of literary modes.  This is much of the reason I love her work and even more adore her as an author, talking about what she’s committed to page.  It is hard to get through sometimes, I know, but that is just what engages her readers and elevates her to an author so worthy of study and discussion.  How many of us can relate to just having to get something ‘off the chest’?  Or, feeling like you don’t know what you should do in life, being faced with some decision whether crucial or somewhat commonplace.  Plath is there for us, and she’s letting us as modern readers know that she gets it, she knows what we’re going through.

In one of Plath’s journal entries she cites, to herself, being crucified by her limitations, and how blind choices can’t ever be changed.  This is a dire tone, a sense of urgency which is motivating but crippling at the same time.  Who is she?  Perhaps someone so self-aware that she herself acts as her own anchor, her own ‘chilled seas chained to her ankle’ (“The Everlasting Monday”).  Half-empty AND half-full.  An oxymoron trot across the page…

And now that I think about it, maybe the questions aren’t so “heavy”.  They’re simple, and regular, just with considerable depth.  Remember, she was a teacher as well as a penner, poetess, authoress.  Her complexity is universal yet staggering.  A reader can’t help but read on, on, till they find something, even if it’s a word they’ve never seen before—  She’ll make you sprint to the dictionary to find its gravity and application.

One of my questions from the end of today’s meeting, on your relationship with her…  What is it?  What could it be if you don’t already have one—  Maybe you’re not aware you have one!  (Something to think about…)  She’s in the room, as I said.  We’re reading her.  People will continue to read her and follow her, see her as a literary celeb’.  She’s more that a simple “Mick Jagger” of literature.  No… no…..  She’s a stratospherically musical priestess; a goddess of verse and expression.  Elevated far past what’s patterned and regular in what’s from today’s pages.

2/29/16

Plath and Place

27 Jan

Esther shares with us her intense sensitivity to place.  What’s around her and how it affects her sensibilities, as well as how she translates it into art, the narration.  Now, you could be saying, “Well, this is a fictive character, she’s not doing any translating into art or narrative, at least not yet.” Two responses:  1, Is this a work of fiction?  And, 2, she’s been writing quite a bit so far or shared with us her love of writing, even writing to make her current location, like the professor’s classroom, more tolerable.

Esther is a character that should speak to all of us, and urge us to be more mindful of and commanding in our immediate locales.  The place, where we are and what we’re doing is our own—  Like Tolstoy said, “If you want to be happy, be.” But then, it’s not that simple for someone like Greenwood/Plath.  There’s something else occurring in her character; in her story and how she reacts to her surroundings.  She’s teaching us something in this light, critical and analytical leaning—  In that, as modern readers we should find inspiration, empowerment, urgency.  A beautifully dactylic form of instruction.  YES…  She’s teaching us!  This, you could argue, is Plath’s lecture.  Poetry in the form of prose, with the rhythm of poetry while maintaining the orthodoxy of prose.. and ‘wow’, I’m thinking as a modern reader.  “How did she do that?”

Well, plainly, she just did.

Her own genre.

Her own force.

Her own topic.

Her own place.

That elegiac thought stream.

This is how she survives in the oppressive time of her tale, of her ‘place’.  At times she’s exhausted, slowed, perhaps even depressed.  But she persists with her poetic form and narrative body.  She transports herself to a new place and takes us with her, instructing along the way, and possibly plating hints like savory bites as to why she ended her story the way she did.

1/27/16