Tag Archives: research

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?

Beating Time…..

21 Apr

Look at the time we have, not much, so let’s get to work with this final submission, let’s beat Time at its own game…  Let’s build something we never have as writers and thinkers…  Kerouac said in his ‘Prose Rules’ that “You’re a genius all the time”.  I agree!  Who’s to say you’re not?!  Go find your topic, your idea that you plan to make your own, and run with it!  By next class, know what you want to say!  Yes, that means have a thesis!  And be animalistic in proving it!  Reach with your ideas!  For example, if you wish to return to Mr. Kerouac and his work, you could argue something like “Jack Kerouac’s style reflects his lack of decisiveness in both everyday matters and his own art.” So, reach with the word, “indecisiveness”, and build on that concept, then look at his poems, then look into a biography, then go into ‘Road’ then…..  You get the point.  By next class, I want to see your idea mapped, exactly what you did while in the library and how you built your topics and where you reached.

And please don’t forget about Sedaris!  Even though there’s no new reading assignment due next class, I need you all to be done with the manuscript by next Tuesday, 4/28.  And a topic idea I had for him, should ye so choose:  [an interpretation of the title, ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’]  “David Sedaris is saying he doesn’t care.” Or, “that none of it bothers him.”

Whatever you choose, be serious about it, be ‘genius’ about it, and prove your point!  Be convincing!  Be passionate!  And be efficient.  Again, we are in a place where we have to defeat Time at what it always does, take itself away from us, leaving us the deadline (whatever that may be) at our door, and we have to open.

NIGHT’S ASSIGNMENT:  Bring typed to class next session ALL your findings.  I want at least 2 FULL pages brought to workshop and brainstorm, dissect and expand upon.  Bring strong PROOF that you have something.  Five points possible (all or nothing).

Good Morning, 1A & 1B!

9 Mar

It’s just before 6 (5:57AM), and I’m thinking of new directions for tomorrow’s meetings. In addition to chasing my son… First, we’ll explore our proposals, examining what we want to write about and why, and the due dates and what be… THEN, we’ll plan the rest of the semester (yes, it’s already that time, I’m just as surprised as you are, believe me), and talk about the news and present pressing matters and how we could write about them even if we’re not there involved in the actual transaction (more on that tomorrow).
As you know, the season is shifting, as is the intensity of the semester. If we breathe, balance our schedules and plan all that we can, and write and brainstorm before actual composition of assignments, the term will only end melodically.

Hope you all have a magical Monday, and we’ll meet on the morrow…

(reading notes… 1B)

3 Mar

Start at Ch 10 in ‘Jar’. First sentence, consider the ‘Mirror’ Poem.. sickly. Again we find Esther in struggle and with low estimation of not only what’s around her and happening to her, but of herself and sense of self (Identity, again echoing from ‘Mirror’). Her appreciation of images.. “junkyard.. swamps.. broken-down fragment bearing no relation to another.” What she notices and narrates gives us the grim outlook (popular usage of ‘grim’), and shows readers that what’s ahead is not elevated at all, not met with morale or encouragement. And it’s only understandable, I offer, that she had such a disposition. And the concept of ‘unfamiliar’… A strangeness, a foreign feeling, an isolation and alienation about her thoughts, and again with ‘Mirror’ in front of us for orientation, we can appreciate, if not empathize (feel for) her brokenness.
“…like the relic of a dead lover…”
Does Dodo make her more insecure and vulnerable? Explain…
And this relationship between Esther/Sylvia and writing and what it does to her, this wish list she has going in her head. “My heroine would be myself, only in disguise.”… This shows a play with identity and Plath sharing and educating us on where she draws material and how her moments are invaluable to her as an artist, and how she stands by them. This would be the other usage of Grim, and I argue the more inviting and USEFUL of them (stern, unwavering, convicted, determined, ardent…).
With Doctor Gordon, we once more see Plath’s venom, in how he is portrayed and painted: “I hated him the minute I walked through the door.” (its own paragraph, mind you..).
And the Elly Higginbottom play, identity and story change.. Plath convincing us that in many ways this is a game to her, not necessarily a fun one, but certainly a sort of frolic, with characters and identity and personal consistencies….
“‘Well…how do you feel this week?’”
“‘The same.’” Is this defeat? Is this play? Is this a new arrangement psychologically in her character (Esther’s and Sylvia’s)?
Ch 13: “I am I am I am.” No commas, no breaks, no pauses. Is this determination, or death flirtation? “Then I picked out all those that were dying.” (162). Why? What’s the larger statement with this act, and what does it provide, in terms of evidence and conclusive remarks, about Plath’s general state? Obsession with death = lack of fear in writing about it, exploring it (my usage of Grim).
Darkness… Location. Location as character… What location does TO the character, especially a hospital… And when this chapter ends, what is this book saying to us about Life? For people like Esther, Plath, or all of us, especially as modern readers that many times have the dismissive perspective and have already conveniently and categorically quarantined the book and its author as sickly and in many ways dangerous for what she supposedly glamorized, or endorsed (words of others, not your instructor of record!).
So I want Esther to be well, of course, as I think most readers do. But, with what we’ve read so far as evidence, can she? Will she? Is it reasonable for us as modern readers to have the expectations that we do? Let’s talk….. Let’s see what’s reflected (Plath through Esther, from Esther, in the reflection itself, how it speaks to her, orders her, instructs her, probably not for the better, or does it?)

Grim Notes

28 Feb

By going to a “darker” place, for an author, much is made more visible.  And in this renewed sight there is self-education, and an instructional invite for readers…  The sharing of secrets, and pains, and burdening questions.  Like Kerouac in ‘Sur’, and with many of his poems.  Ms. Plath with poems like ‘Daddy’ and ‘Vertical’…

other for 2/10/15 (1A):

10 Feb

Start by writing (topic: process of writing the paper and where you are, progress-wise, then submit for added credit..)  Talk about gender roles, the female presence vs male in literature (work of Dickinson and Plath juxtaposed to ‘Hem’); word of day, and out conceptual focus, “aggrandize”, which is another word for growth.. as in ‘self-aggrandize’.. not always a negative..  HW: come to next class with four Dickinson poems and 4 Plath, read thru ch 5 in ‘Feast’..)

Feel and Pen

10 Jul

I came home, and only wanted to write.  I was probably wrong in just doing so, not thinking…  I need to think more.  Or maybe less.  That makes me a hypocrite, somehow– either I do it or don’t, you’d do too, if you knew.  My tenses inconsistent, and the fence in the bin went.  Nothing holding me, so I’m just listing my thoughts.  Bad idea, let’s see:


old car with some kind of wrap covering passenger side window

steering wheels, all so different

dead crow, that can’t be good

and me, something hoping for simplicity in the visit’s free


Something I scribbled quick when home.  Just wanted to thank you all for a great session this evening.  Do mind your assignments, but if you ever feel like emailing me a creative peace, or sharing it in class, or want it here on maddenedread for reaction from your colleagues, do let us know!


Cheers, and revel in the easing latter hours of your day…