Tag Archives: college english

12 days…

9 Jan

Till session one.  I have many of my notes completely written, edited… now the rest.  Reading Thompson and Plath, first.. I thought, “What does poetry mean to someone?” Is poetry or poetic qualities always a good thing?  A positive?  And why do so many elevate one thing or another to poetry, like Robert Louis Stevenson elevating wine to “bottled poetry”.  Meaning it’s of some elevated or otherworldly ilk.

What does poetry mean to you?

Do you write any?

Have you?

Would you?

What is your understanding of poetry, or poetic qualities in writing, food, wine, music.. ANYTHING?

Cheers!  And I’ll see you all soon—

-Mike

Week 16… The Focus Paper

30 Nov

IMG_4064-1Your Voice..

Your Identity…

Your Intentions….

On the page.

WEEK 12, SRJC 1A

2 Nov

Plath.  The multiple Plaths.

How many can you find?

Is there strength in this multiplicity?

Creative Writig Project– 

News.. Opinion.. Final Writing for semester

Journals

WAW’s–

What do stories do?

We’re full of stories–

NaNoWriMo

SOLANO, 370 — Take a Position!

2 Sep

So.. after all the short pieces we’ve read, start preparing a 4-page position.  NO, it doesn’t have IMG_7979-0to be four FULL pages!  Just get onto the fourth page and try and extend/expand your argument to the bottom.  The last candidates for this paper are “A Hanging” on page 167, Hemingway’s “Camping Out” on 195, and Muñoz with “Leave Your Name at the Border” on 437.  Pick the piece that you’re most passionate about, that you connect with the most and develop a strong opinion…  A statement!

Start taking notes in your journal, then start typing an outline if you wish..  BUT, you must comment below as to which piece that we’ve read so far you’re entertaining selecting for this longer essay and why (meaning your reasoning, and justification).  Your response below can be as long as you wish, just be sure that we, your colleagues, know where you’re coming from (idea-wise).

Loyally,

Mike

SRJC: 1A — “Plunge” (p. 102)

31 Aug

Week 3, and we get further into this book and Kerouac’s spiral.  Last week I propelled a lot of questions out in regards to why he does this to himself and why we as readers should care, why this book deserves a place in Literary history, or in the hands of modern readers.  So…..  Where are the gems for you all as readers?  Where is Kerouac teaching you something, having you maybe think about your own life and how you see things, moments and people, around you?

Kerouac knows what he’s doing, which raises the question of awareness in this novel and of and in his character; the alcohol, the old habits, and the ambitions of a former “Beatnik”.  He’s frustrated as a character, and as readers we can only sympathize, or even empathize with his character’s angst, but at the same time we may find ourselves becoming frustrated with him and his actions and words throughout this novel…  And the obsession with Cody, comparing him to a Greek God in one scene, and showing us there’s always something or someone or a collection of someone’s he’s following.  We could call him “sick”, Duluoz, and in many ways he is.  But the focus should be on recovery, or the possibility of recovery, getting better, standing up straight (as many times he mentions himself on the ground, ‘groaning’).

And more struggles with belief in something, “…I conceived of myself as a special solitary angel sent down as a messenger from Heaven to tell everybody or show everybody by example that their peeking society was actually the Satanic Society and they were all on the wrong track.” Interesting, this notion of the peekers, which puts in a moody perspective Mr. Kerouac’s/Duluoz’s paranoia, and lack of estimation in Humanity.

So, for today, we return to the notion of, 1, Personhood (wholeness of the individual; at peace), 2, Spirituality of Kerouac or lack thereof, and 3, the feel of the text.  How does the text itself feel and how does it make you feel as a reader?

So for today:

Let’s write

Let’s find evidence

Let’s talk about the text and about what Kerouac is showing us, and TELLING us (maybe telling us to do something with our own lives, regardless of time or era, or generation…)

Let’s discuss areas of focus going forward in the book, for example ‘his writing style’, ‘mood’, ‘imagery’, ‘general tone’, ‘the autobiographical dimension to this novel’, of you would call it a novel.  Then, UNIVERSALITY!  What makes any book immune to time and reader laziness…

10 min – writing

5 min – open mic

20 min – discussion

20 min – group

20 min – cooking of focus areas; questions

10 min – In class reading…

10 min – close, WAW’s…

HW: Read from 113 (ch 24) through 142 (ch 30)

-No typed reaction due; scribble intently in your Comp Books; make the topic your own, look further into his character; start forming your conclusions.

SRJC 1A, Monday 8/24/15 Meeting

26 Aug

WORD OF DAY:  Gallimaufry — ‘a confused jumble or medley of things’.jackkwithcat

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “…listening to the prompts of your own nature…” (Allen Ginsberg, on Kerouac’s writing style, 1982 Naropa lecture)

– The thought of Poetry.. poetry in this “novel” if you could call it such..  Poetic attributes to Kerouac’s prose.

– Categorizing his mood.  Is it beyond a simple category, some convenient tag?

– “One fast move or I’m gone…” What does this mean?  What do you hear in that line?

– “…this dismal cell, there’s my hopeful rucksack…”

– Interesting, the whole placement and reality of a “survival kit”.

– “…so I jump up, do my headstand first to pump blood back in my brain…”

– “…but something’s wrong…”

– All these passages create and convey a very intimate insight and feel for his state of being, in his mind and about his Person; fear, anguish, despair, but still a bit of urgency. – No conventional punctuation or many closed sentences… why?

– “A slimy green dragon racket, in the bush– An angry war that doesn’t want me pokin’ around…”

– “…AM ALONE…the religious vestal lighting of the beautiful kerosene lamp…”

– “…write these sea sounds…”

– “…my holy cup…” What are his beliefs?  His past?  His values?  Consider the Buddhist consistency to his attitude and references.

– In many parts, this book, novel or memoir, serves as a meditation, but just as well a re-evaluation of Kerouac’s/Duluoz’s Self.. to acquire and maintain TRUE Personhood.

– If he’s searching for something, some THING, then what?

– Is this an attempt at recovery?  To make better the Self, or what’s left of it?

W.A.W. from me:

Stop writing and it

stops.  The story stops.  We all

stop.  Nothing to read.

SOLANO, 370

19 Aug

So.. what’s your story, and by asking that, I mean what do you think has contributed to your sylvia1character the most significantly.  Sure there’s many things, many moments and people and interactions and trials.  But think about it further, just for a second: what is YOUR story, one that’s unique to you, and how you’ve carried and maintained this story.  We’ll explore next session, but for now, just think and write, and enjoy your free writing.  And don’t over-think your pages, just write, attack that blank page as I said today.  It’s not stronger than you, and certainly not smarted than you.  So let’s start writing those stories…