Tag Archives: Self-education

from journal

25 Apr

…if I go through past jots and be somewhat of an archeologist.  Makes me chuckle a bit when I say that, but that’s how I see it.  Digging through my old entries and looking for truths, gems, ideas, realizations and something to radiate in such a way I can’t ignore it.

Another note, “Take time to collect self before ideas.”  This too I need follow.  I can’t help but look at the clock and notice very blaringly I have less time but I can’t allow self to slow.  Right here, all around Mike Madigan is the Now, and this Now encourages me to see self at Stanford and other campuses talking about reading, writing, my focus authors, jazz in writing, and the nowness of the page.  How writing your now can be irreversibly magical and life-extending.  Extending life in that you learn more about you in that breath, in what you right now see, feel, hear.  My mocha nearly gone and I confirmed such by lifting up cup.  Should have bought some coffee while there to make in home so I have to rely on my already set energy and momentums.  Intensifying everything, seeing me in that Palo Alto classroom.  My lecturing on the essay… just wrote another note, posted it in a couple places.  Never say this but this morrow I’m on more than just a roll.  I see, I see, I can taste the lawn at Stanford…



26 Jan

Writing everything down.  That’s how you “figure it out”, how you are confirmed in where you’re going.  Right now, on lunch, not taking a lunch but full advantage of my time which is MY time and no one else’s.  Using it how I want.  No spite involved, just ambition.  Educated by the day, a Friday but not for me, working the next two and all those after that.  More than merely driven or obsessed, but fervent, orthodox in my actions and efforts.  Knowing where you’re going is more than an intoxicant.  It’s a defining pulse in your story.  More than on-paper confirmation, but… no words.  It’s something.

Note all sensations and actions, thoughts and entertainments of mind.  Take your day and put it to page.  Study the scenes, all the people and what they say, the apparent symbols or just what crossed your path.  And, see the yay in all the day’s ways.  Nay-say only adds unneeded weight.  Where you’re going will be written, by you, and sometimes you won’t even notice it till you re-read those notes.  Nurture from your thoughts, on your jots, on visions of you in your There.  Dreams are dreams, till you electrify self, start really moving.


18 Jan

Tell yourself today that your thoughts are the most valuable in your world.

Write results.  Re-read.

Delight in your renewed sight.

ENGLISH 100 … Start in your creative storming…

22 Aug

ENGLISH 100  – College Reading and Writing

Section:  0846

4 Units

FALL 2017


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:


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


5. Identify logical fallacies in arguments.

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

discussion, and pre-writing strategies.


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


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


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


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


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)


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%


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.



Heading in upper-left…


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.


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 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—


Piles […] 

9 Feb

6:11 up this morning, and I feel like I need to keep moving, prep our discussion and grade the reactions, the day can’t start earlier enough but I just need some more sleep.  Hindering impasse.  But it’s Life, and always comes back to Time.  The coffee’s not much helping at the moment but I give it time, have to wait.  See?  Always back to time.  As students, we’re also students of ourselves, how we act and react in Time’s pulse.  What do you do with it?  What have you learned, taught your Self?  What perceptive diamonds have you unearthed?

DAY 1 — Puissance (1/20/16)

20 Jan

Know your own story before you read someone else’s.

Who can “inspire” you?  Someone else…  Or YOU?

Critical Thinking…  What does that mean?  How does it differ from just ‘thinking’?

It’s difficult, but record everything.. use the holstered journal.. be ready, be armed.

iamatology: study of remedies.  Study your own written remedies, find more, use them, instruct yourself on how to self-heal with paragraphs, narration (much of what this semester’s about).

Maybe you shouldn’t ask so many questions and just go find the answers yourself…?img_0829

Freewriting, may just be for the sake of doing so or it may quake to some tremendous composition.  And think of the work more closely, the provinces of the idea, to free-write.  Yes I write it as one word only because I cringe at ever separating the concepts of ‘free’ and ‘write’, even if it’s proper, or some kind of standardized something.  But don’t discount yourself when scribbling erratically in your Composition Books— it could lead to something, it could lead to some remedy…..  It could lead to a sterling stretch of Self-Education (what I believe to be the most truthful form of educating).  Be your own force, in your writing, what ideas you bring to class and share with your colleagues.  Be what YOU know you have to be…

When you write, hope to be out of breath.

Gift yourself elevated goals, ones challenging and inwardly vocal.  And don’t be afraid of not reaching them.  Don’t entertain not reaching them.  that’s not a possibility in this new mind.  What is possible, and wildly likely, is holding what you sought upon the term’s close.

And once more, what’s your story?  What have you seen?  What have you lived and what do you want?

Don’t worry if you lose and idea, or can’t write it down.  You’ll have the opportunity later.  And if you don’t, it wasn’t meant to be written.  Don’t force the ideas.  Or, not all the time, anyway.  You have to live.  You can’t always be at the keys, in front of your Composition Book.  And I know that this may seem like a bit of a ramble but it’s one meant to assure you that you ARE capable of generating ideas worth writing, ideas that deserve to be heard by the rest of the class.  And by myself.

You can walk away with whatever you want to, from this class.  The experience can be whatever you want it to.

And let me return to remedy.  Study your own patterns for producing them through your writing.  And don’t stop.  Don’t get tired.  Use everything around you for inspiration.  Even the small notes you rush in the corner of one of your notebook’s pages is valuable.  Throw away nothing.  Be a packrat with your work.  Who knows when you might return to a particular entry, by accident or purpose.