Tag Archives: Personal

Want to learn something today?

28 Sep

We are all writing something.  Especially when we’re not actually writing—

All moments are tied in some way.

What happens in a classroom is a microcosm for ‘out there’.  That’s why this matters.

You learn by teaching yourself and letting the moment education you on YOU.

Kerouac reminds us that there’s more than just ‘so much to learn out there’, as so many say.  By saying “so much”, you infer a quantity, a set amount.  Knowledge is always immune to limit, number, anything set.

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What do you do with your days off? 

5 Sep

Some of you might be saying, “What days off?” Then you’re like me.  But, when you do have the occasional day off, I’m of the thinking that that’s when you work harder than you do for the job, and get yourself closer to wherever it is you want to be… professional photographer, writer, independent car mechanic, painter, teacher, sales expert… whatever.  On days off, when you’re not working for THEM, work like a bizarrely hungry animal for YOU.  How else will you get it, your ‘it’?  Your ‘there’?  You, we, need to be tireless, hungry, obsessed with our goals if we ever hope to touch them, live them, and more love each of our days.

article

31 Aug

View story at Medium.com

ENGLISH 100 … Start in your creative storming…

22 Aug

ENGLISH 100  – College Reading and Writing

Section:  0846

4 Units

FALL 2017

(8/22/17-12/14/17)

Room:  Emeritus 1614, Santa Rosa Campus

Time:  Tuesday, Thursday … 3-5pm

Instructor:  Michael J. Madigan

Blog:  maddenedread.com

Email:  mmadigan@santarosa.edu

Course Description

This AA/AS degree-applicable course is designed to develop skills to the level required for success in ENGL 1A and other transfer-level courses. Formerly ENGL 100B.

Outcomes and Objectives:

READING

Students will…

1. Identify and judge the use of stylistic features in readings.

2. Analyze and evaluate the use of causal analysis, persuasion, and

argumentation in readings.

3. Summarize readings of various lengths and complexity.

4. Analyze readings for implied meaning, irony, satire, assumptions, and

biases.

5. Identify logical fallacies in arguments.

6. Synthesize meaning, using a variety of comprehension techniques,

discussion, and pre-writing strategies.

WRITING

Students will…

1. Write a minimum of 4,000 words of prose, including some writings

documented in MLA style.

2. Write at least three analytical essays with clear, complex theses;

adequate development and organization; and effective points of view and

style.

3. Write essays developed through causal analysis, persuasion, and

argumentation.

4. Link ideas with appropriate transitions.

5. Revise essays and other writings for organization, style, and tone.

6. Proofread, with particular attention to syntax, sentence structure,

grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.

7.  Write at least two critical papers in response to challenging

readings.

8. Consider and refute opposing points of view in essays or other

writings.

9. Write essays or papers that effectively incorporate source materials

and document them in MLA style.

Required Texts

Prose Models, (11th ed.)

Me Talk Pretty One Day (Sedaris)

The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

Recommended

Dictionary & Thesaurus

Small journal you keep on you at all times!!

Daunting optimism

Grade Composition

3 Essays 30%

8 Short, Typed Reactions 25%

In-Class Writings 5%

Journals 5%

Creative 5%

Attendance & Activity 10%

Final Submission 20%

Formatting

All assignments are to be turned in when they are due.

12 point font, Times New Roman or some other professional font.

1-inch margins.

Typed.

Double-spaces.

Heading in upper-left…

Attendance

Come on time, come prepared, or you’ll be sorry you came at all.

If you miss 4 classes, for any reason, you will not pass this class.

Plagiarism

Any act of cheating or plagiarism will result in an automatic ‘F’.  Period.  Don’t do it.  I’m always here to assist you with reading, writing, idea development, so there is NO reason to be academically dishonest.

Cell Phones or any electronic devices…

Please turn them off, or put them on vibrate if you’re expecting an important call, or might get one for some reason.

Students with Disabilities or any Needs

See me and/or contact the disability services office, and your needs will be met.

The Weeks…

Week 4 – Essay 1 Due

Week 8 – Essay 2 Due

Week 12 – Essay 3 Due

Last Class Meeting – Final Submission Due

quick thoughts, before we start our collective and individual stories in this class…

Everyone wants something… but so many, too many, don’t want to test themselves, be tireless in their efforts.  Why?  I’ve always wanted to know this.  And don’t think I’ve always thought this.  I’m just now, at my old age realizing certain remedies and solvents.

Set yourself in dreamer mode.  Why not?  You have to have a job, right?  Why not have it be something that you wildly love?

Sow your own narrative.  Have it take you to what you want.

When you read something, anything, you should look for something that you can relate to your own life.  This only makes sense, as there will be occasions where you’re assigned something and you just flat out don’t like it.  This, too, is part of being a student.  Make it about you.  Make the text, however big, part of your reality and your Now.

Emerson said “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” In order for us to get whatever it is we want, or need… wherever we see ourselves later in our stories, we must hold ourselves to a positive, yay-saying and ever-enthusiastic and emphatic tenor.  How else will we get to where we want to go? If happiness is the prime pursuit of every human, it can only be tasted with the enthusiastic gallop.

Creativity and conversation solve everything.  Everything.  Especially in an English class.  And, note, there is invitation for creativity and expression everywhere.  What distinguishes a masterful essay from an average one is enthusiasm, creative, depth, and description.  But, the creative is always prime, paramount, the utmost poetic.

However you have to get there, to what you want, just get there.  Your doubters are doubters because they’re blind.  They see nothing but their own weights, what holds them down, so they have no motivation to encourage you.  So… encourage yourself.  Teach yourself.  Lecture yourself on your strengths and what’s ahead.  There is no dead-end.  Be your most present of best friends…

Use every minute…

When you’re bored, you’re blind… you’re blinding yourself.

*Vision is a choice.  Agony and misery are choices.  Why would you ever elect either?

Go for a walk.  Write in your head.  This WILL help with your writing, and by extension your reading.  Read and re-read your writing.  Always be in editing mode.

Appreciate your story.  Be a fan of you.  You want to be a “better” writer, and reader?  This has to come before everything.  Conviction that you can is never a negotiation.

Another way to be “better” at reading is to see more in the story.  Don’t just stop at the words on the page.  Look further into what’s on the pages.  CONNECT WHAT YOUR READING TO YOUR STORY.

This class is an Exchange of Ideas.  Civility is not suggested, it is demanded.  It is the order of the classroom.  Let your colleagues finish their thoughts, then respond.  Never interrupt.  When you interrupt someone, if in some debate or lively discourse, you indicate weakness.  Let them finish, then react.

College Reading & Writing is a course that focuses on reading and writing, yes, obviously, but as well original thought… building from the ideas that are presently present in your consciousness… from your Human Experience.

Before we start, though, and you must not dismiss this question, “What do you want?”  Be tireless, and you will get it.  How do you be and stay tireless, by testing yourself.  Not letting yourself stop.  Of course, yes, you will have to take breaks and of course sleep at night, but plan… writing a plan for yourself on how you will get to whatever it is you want, wherever you want to be.  Be creative, be involved in the conversations, always.  Don’t be silent.  If you let yourself settle in silence, you may as well be asleep.  If you want something, want to be somewhere… want to see some part of the world… want a certain career or quality of life?  You have to be TIRELESS.

I want you all to enjoy your semester in this class, your experience, and your conversations with each other.  All the new ideas and new pieces you will read, all the material that you’ll write for yourself (and you may think you’re writing for me, or the school, but no.. you write for YOU).  My goal in this class, or one of them, is to have as many of you leave having attained what you set out to.  I’m here for you.

Be here for you, too.  Wholly, wildly, creatively HERE.

ENGLISH 1A … Start in your creative storming…

22 Aug

ENGLISH 1A  – Reading & Composition

Section:  2693

4 Units

FALL 2017

(8/22/17-12/14/17)

Room:  2714 Maggini Hall, Santa Rosa Campus

Time:  Tuesday, Thursday … 1-3pm

Instructor:  Michael J. Madigan

Blog:  maddenedread.com

Email:  mmadigan@santarosa.edu

Course Description

Critical reading and discussion of works in various literary forms. Composition predominantly of reasoned and reflective prose. Content and emphasis of particular sections specified in the English Department’s course description bulletin “A Hundred Doors” issued every year.

Student Learning Outcomes:

1.  Write a comprehensive, well-developed and coherent essay with a focused thesis and appropriate support.

2.  Recognize and correct errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

3.  Identify and analyze argumentative, stylistic, and narrative techniques in non-fiction and fiction.

4.  Obtain, summarize and synthesize research materials including correct use of MLA citations.

Outcomes and Objectives:

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

Reading – From expository essays, full-length works of non-fiction, and short and full-length works of fiction at or above grade 13 level:

1.  Identify the main idea or thesis.

2.  Identify the sequencing or order of the ideas presented.

3.  Explain how the writer supports and illustrates ideas and connects

them to the thesis.

4.  Paraphrase and summarize paragraphs and essays.

5.  Annotate an essay with appropriate comments.

6.  Identify the stylistic features of an essay.

7.  Identify an essay’s tone.

8.  Distinguish between literal and inferential information and identify

the use of assumptions and biases.

9.  Identify argumentative techniques and recognize logical fallacies.

10. Articulate their opinions and assumptions in relation to reading

material.

Writing:

1.  Write 6,000 to 8,000 words in expository and argumentative essays,

each with a clearly identifiable thesis.

2.  Organize their essays, paragraphs, and sentences logically and

coherently.

3.  Develop paragraphs with concrete, appropriate, and

relevant details.

4.  Write essays which express a mature attitude toward their subject

with a consistent and appropriate point of view.

5.  Write argumentative essays responding to opposing arguments and

avoiding logical fallacies.

6.  Revise their prose for clarity, precision, and variety of sentences;

correct diction; and appropriate voice.

7.  Recognize and correct errors in punctuation, grammar, and spelling.

8.  Demonstrate familiarity with college-level library research techniques

and with the basic reference works and facilities of the college

library.

9. Use MLA or APA format in citing research.

Required Texts

Collected Poems (Plath

Moveable Feast (Hemingway)

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls (Sedaris)

On The Road (Kerouac)

Recommended

Dictionary & Thesaurus

Small journal you keep on you at all times!!

Daunting optimism

Grade Composition

3 Essays 30%

8 Short, Typed Reactions 25%

In-Class Writings 5%

Journals 5%

Creative 5%

Attendance & Activity 10%

Final Submission 20%

Formatting

All assignments are to be turned in when they are due.

12 point font, Times New Roman or some other professional font.

1-inch margins.

Typed.

Double-spaces.

Heading in upper-left…

Attendance

Come on time, come prepared, or you’ll be sorry you came at all.

If you miss 4 classes, for any reason, you will not pass this class.

Plagiarism

Any act of cheating or plagiarism will result in an automatic ‘F’.  Period.  Don’t do it.  I’m always here to assist you with reading, writing, idea development, so there is NO reason to be academically dishonest.

Cell Phones or any electronic devices…

Please turn them off, or put them on vibrate if you’re expecting an important call, or might get one for some reason.

Students with Disabilities or any Needs

See me and/or contact the disability services office, and your needs will be met.

The Weeks…

Week 4 – Essay 1 Due

Week 8 – Essay 2 Due

Week 12 – Essay 3 Due

Last Class Meeting – Final Submission Due

 

quick thoughts, before we start our collective and individual stories in this class…

Everyone wants something… but so many, too many, don’t want to test themselves, be tireless in their efforts.  Why?  I’ve always wanted to know this.  And don’t think I’ve always thought this.  I’m just now, at my old age realizing certain remedies and solvents.

Set yourself in dreamer mode.  Why not?  You have to have a job, right?  Why not have it be something that you wildly love?

Sow your own narrative.  Have it take you to what you want.

When you read something, anything, you should look for something that you can relate to your own life.  This only makes sense, as there will be occasions where you’re assigned something and you just flat out don’t like it.  This, too, is part of being a student.  Make it about you.  Make the text, however big, part of your reality and your Now.

Emerson said “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” In order for us to get whatever it is we want, or need… wherever we see ourselves later in our stories, we must hold ourselves to a positive, yay-saying and ever-enthusiastic and emphatic tenor.  How else will we get to where we want to go? If happiness is the prime pursuit of every human, it can only be tasted with the enthusiastic gallop.

Creativity and conversation solve everything.  Everything.  Especially in an English class.  And, note, there is invitation for creativity and expression everywhere.  What distinguishes a masterful essay from an average one is enthusiasm, creative, depth, and description.  But, the creative is always prime, paramount, the utmost poetic.

However you have to get there, to what you want, just get there.  Your doubters are doubters because they’re blind.  They see nothing but their own weights, what holds them down, so they have no motivation to encourage you.  So… encourage yourself.  Teach yourself.  Lecture yourself on your strengths and what’s ahead.  There is no dead-end.  Be your most present of best friends…

Use every minute…

When you’re bored, you’re blind… you’re blinding yourself.

*Vision is a choice.  Agony and misery are choices.  Why would you ever elect either?

Go for a walk.  Write in your head.  This WILL help with your writing, and by extension your reading.  Read and re-read your writing.  Always be in editing mode.

Appreciate your story.  Be a fan of you.  You want to be a “better” writer, and reader?  This has to come before everything.  Conviction that you can is never a negotiation.

Another way to be “better” at reading is to see more in the story.  Don’t just stop at the words on the page.  Look further into what’s on the pages.  CONNECT WHAT YOUR READING TO YOUR STORY.

This class is an Exchange of Ideas.  Civility is not suggested, it is demanded.  It is the order of the classroom.  Let your colleagues finish their thoughts, then respond.  Never interrupt.  When you interrupt someone, if in some debate or lively discourse, you indicate weakness.  Let them finish, then react.

College Reading & Writing is a course that focuses on reading and writing, yes, obviously, but as well original thought… building from the ideas that are presently present in your consciousness… from your Human Experience.

Before we start, though, and you must not dismiss this question, “What do you want?”  Be tireless, and you will get it.  How do you be and stay tireless, by testing yourself.  Not letting yourself stop.  Of course, yes, you will have to take breaks and of course sleep at night, but plan… writing a plan for yourself on how you will get to whatever it is you want, wherever you want to be.  Be creative, be involved in the conversations, always.  Don’t be silent.  If you let yourself settle in silence, you may as well be asleep.  If you want something, want to be somewhere… want to see some part of the world… want a certain career or quality of life?  You have to be TIRELESS.

I want you all to enjoy your semester in this class, your experience, and your conversations with each other.  All the new ideas and new pieces you will read, all the material that you’ll write for yourself (and you may think you’re writing for me, or the school, but no.. you write for YOU).  My goal in this class, or one of them, is to have as many of you leave having attained what you set out to.  I’m here for you.

Be here for you, too.  Wholly, wildly, creatively HERE.

note

6 Jul

Wrapping up Week 3 of Summer Term.  Thinking myself more about actuating what I advocate in terms of ideas and “advice”, if you could call it that.  This day, a theoretical day off, has tested me a bit.  But I need to be tested, in all respects.  We all do.  That’s how our stories are strengthened and how we as characters find gems in our own characters.  I wrote earlier today to hold on to an image, to dash at it.  What I meant to say was ‘a scene’, some stage with you on it— that ideal setting and circumstance set.  Think of it.. hear and see it… feel it, then sprint.  And if it’s a long ways from you now, pace yourself.  You will get there.  Again, this is something I need to tell myself over and over.  It takes practice, like anything else.  Sometimes we find ourselves in lulls, or funks, moods, kerfuffles, and it’s up to us to pull ourselves out.  Don’t wait for someone to say the right thing, or scroll through a Google search for the right inspirational quote.  Be your own inspirer and motivational speaker.  To improve You, you have to embrace you… be a fan of You.  Study YOU.

Days that test you are the real gems.  They should be seen as the most optimal of opportunities to learn, grow, see the plan to free yourself.  Days that challenge you are like inspiration and motivation buffets.  There’s so many parcels to study.  Over the weekend, have your assignment, or one of them, be noting all your stresses and anxieties, frustrations… if you’re in a funk, write it down, find out specifically why… then you have something to study, attack, grow from… you’re another step closer to flying.  Let yourself be tested.  Invite tests… challenge the elements around you, challenge yourself.  Then, enjoy the growth.  Enjoy the increase in elevation, your new climbing pace.

Ownership of Topic

16 Mar

Anyone can see this is encouragement, when I say it in class—  “Make the topic your own.” Or, “The onus is all yours.” But it’s more than that, actually.  The ‘ownership’ precipitates from the eagerness and exploratory urges from the student.  ‘What is the author wanting us to do?’ and ‘How does this relate to my life, and society today?’ The ownership is really a connection between the student and their work, their life as a matriculant.  A student can be passive, merely going from one assignment and class to the next, or they can feel an irrefutable inner-compulsion to explore their abilities, to test themselves.  Ownership of topic is command of experience.  But, the student has to make that choice.  The other day I stressed that “The student has to be an animal, a predator feeding on knowledge, otherwise they become prey to their own idleness.” It comes down to choices, actions, maintenance of mental activity.  The ownership begs creativity, to find new approaches and thoughts, ways to read and write, do research and study.

In the college purview, you need to encourage yourself and not wait for some momentous encouragement from the outside.  The owner of anything should be starkly abreast that the story begins and ends with him/her.  Again, I know, “encouragement”.  But why not encourage?  Why not encourage yourself?  Make all topics, classes, semesters, programs, goals your own.  There is no student who can’t be a serious student, who can’t master, own, something in the curriculum.  Once you’ve mastered something, or feel that sense of ownership and control of your work, you’ll be lifted… lifted from angst and self-doubt.  You, the student, are the master.  You are in control.  You own what you’re working on.  You have to convince yourself of that, and maintain, encourage, that conviction.