Tag Archives: work


1 Jul


Tonight, I feel tired but unwilling to just jump into some decided sleep.  That’s what I’m SUPPOSED to do, right?  Go to sleep?  What if I didn’t?  What if I stay up and write and collect myself and have a mere moment for me?  The run took most of my fire.  But I can marathon or half-marathon this evening with whatever I can capture in my head.  I’m always urging students to think for themselves and throw themselves into their work like bizarrely mad jackals.  And me, this ‘instructor of record’, only able to think about how tired he is.  Hear the wind outside playing with the decoration on the other side of the door.  The wind’s talking to me, knocking on the door to keep me awake.  Keep my thinking and maybe writing a word or two.  Bag, right, think I have work in there somewhere to do but I can’t remember.  I’ll stay here.  Not many notes taken today, more reviewing ones from yesterday— “…formidable and poised, reasoned and dramatic…” What was that ‘bout?  Can’t remember.  Doesn’t matter, I know think.  I’ll just use the words I rush-wrote into the Comp Book.

Babies asleep upstairs, me here on the couch uncomfortable trying to get a few more words to this bloody screen before either bed or ice cream.  Sleep, sounding better and better but I hear another knock at the front door and I know now, I get it— I’m supposed to be writing, just here on the couch uncomfortable logging thoughts.  I’ve decided, and the gusts entirely aided— no sleep.

After a Day

1 May

You need to not do anything.


Don’t write don’t plan don’t measure don’t foresee–

Just be.  That’s what present about the now-me.

Enjoy the morning…

24 Apr

Admire the early hours.

Use them appropriately and you’ll be admired.

You’ll more admire yourself.


16 Mar

You should want to.

That’s where gems are unearthed.

That’s where the real self-education materializes.

English 1B Syllabus…

17 Jan

English 1B – Literature & Composition

Section 4812

Spring 2017

Tuesday & Thursday, 7:30AM-9AM

Santa Rosa Junior College, Main Campus

Room:  1614 Emeritus Hall

Instructor:  Mike Madigan

Email:  mmadigan@santarosa.edu

Catalog Description

Introduction to literature that emphasizes critical reading, discussion and analytic writing about works of fiction, poetry, drama, creative non-fiction, and literary criticism. This course promotes the appreciation and critical understanding of the cultural, historical, and aesthetic qualities of literature.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate reading skills that allow one to comprehend, analyze, and interpret works of fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry and drama.
  2. Write a well developed, logically organized and thesis-driven interpretive essay using one or more critical approaches to literature.
  3. Identify and distinguish among and between the elements of summary, response, analysis, and interpretation.
  4. Define common literary terms and apply them to the analysis of specific texts.
  5. Demonstrate an appreciation of literary works whose aesthetic treatment of enduring human questions.


Grade Composition

4 Papers:  50%

Short Reactions: 15%

Attendance & Activity: 15%

Creative:  5%

“Quizzes”:  5%

Readings:  10%

**All submissions are to be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, and some professional font such as Helvetica, Times New Roman, or Arial.

Required Materials

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas

Langston Hughes, Collected Poems

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Jack Kerouac, Dharma Bums

A Composition Book, devoted solely to this course and your note-taking, brainstorming, creative work, and other jots.  But again, for this class ONLY.


A dictionary & thesaurus

A small notebook which you have on your person at times all.


Some convivial advice…  Just be kind and professional in class.  When I’m talking, please be quiet.  When your colleagues are talking, definitely say nothing.  This class is an Exchange of Ideas where civility is not only encouraged, it is necessary for your success in the class as well as the group’s universal benefit.  To me, it’s a simple transaction—when you’re not talking, you’re listening.  And conversely, when you have the floor, you should expect the attention of your colleagues and myself.

Plagiarism/Any kind of cheating.  You know what it is?  Good.  Don’t do it.  If you’re having trouble with any assignment, please see me or one of your colleagues for assistance.

Please turn off/deactivate all electronic devices during our sessions.  One of the primary purposes of any English class is to promote actually pen-to-paper writing and thought, conversation.  Not, ever, device dependency.

If you have a disability and require any kind of assistance, please let me know, and contact Disability Resources at 707-527-4278.


***Add’l notes—

Agony is always elective.

Involve your life story, your experiences, with the text, somehow.  This is how you arrive at a more encompassing and enriching understanding of both the author and yourself.

Time is always out to outrun us.  So waste no time.  With anything.

Never blindly subscribe, to anything.

Never aim to “speed-read”.  You want to take your time with a text, with what the author is saying.  This is how you understand and better appreciate the literary qualities of what your reading, its composition, and are in a better position to compose your own reactive composition.

You are your best teacher.  Yes, I will offer ideas to generate discussion and take apart, put back together and make your own, but you make all choices here.  You retain what you choose.  All results in this class are definitively up to you…  So….. write your story.


17 Jan

And I’m thinking….

Brainstorming, well… maybe.

But thinking.

I’m alive, enlivened.  Mentally alive.


It’s Monday. So what.

9 Jan

All days are yours.

So if you don’t like “Monday”, rename it.