Happy Friday. Hope yours is going well. I can’t be with you today because I’m teaching my seniors at BSU. Before I get to the assignment for today’s class, let me say that I was really delighted with your work on Wednesday. We got through all but two introductions. I was so impressed with your willingness to tell your own stories in your own words. You did good work. I look forward to finishing up on Monday and to starting our first formal assignment.
To start that work, I would like to give you a short piece of reading. I’m attaching it to this email/blog post. I’m also giving it to Mr. Saurette and I’m also posting it on our class website (leetorda.com) in our class blog. It’s very short. It’ a beautiful piece of writing from The New Yorker magazine called “Alone at the Movies.”
AS YOU READ: Pay attention to what going to this particular movie meant to the author, Johnathan Lethem. Why did he go to see Star Wars the various times that he went to the movies? If you can answer this, you sort of know what the thesis of this short essay is. Write about this on your own for two or three minutes once you are done reading.
IN GROUPS OF THREE OR FOUR: Talk about your answer to the above question. When you are ready, post 100-200 words on our class blog on my website. Only one answer per group. While you are there posting, make sure to read some of your classmates responses.
ONCE YOU ARE DONE WITH THAT, POST AGAIN, AS A GROUP: This time, identify all the things we learn about Lethem’s memory of seeing the movie—both alone and with his mother. This is the detail, the evidence, that makes you believe what Lethem is saying. You can post this as a paragraph or a short list, whatever works for you and your group mates. And, again, while you are posting, make sure to read what some of your classmates wrote.
FINALLY: Write this next thing on your own, either on your computer or on paper that you can later type up on a computer: Write about a movie memory you have. Who was there? Why was seeing that movie at that moment important to you? What was the movie (of course). It’s no big deal. Just a short piece of writing. You can email it to me at email@example.com.
Hey everyone. I thought I’d try something. If you are reading this on a phone or a computer, you are on my teaching website. Welcome. If you are reading this on a piece of paper, well, we’ll figure it out.
So today is a working day (either on paper or online). I hope you’ll use this time to write as much as you can towards a draft of your first assignment. (Click here to read it if you are online—or look at the sheet of paper I gave you on Wednesday if not).
I’m going to give you a series of prompts for you to write about for short periods of time in class, and then you’ll get feedback from your classmates/writing colleagues about what is interesting and what is not so interesting—which should tell you what you should try to write more about.
By the end, you should have MORE than 300 words to work with for your “one thing” essay/presentation. You’ll workshop this in-class next week Wednesday. And, remember, you’ll read your essay out loud, in class, on Monday, 18 March 2019.
1. What is your astrological sign (I’m a scorpio). If you don’t know it, look it up by the month you were born. You don’t have to believe in this to do this prompt. Just read what your sign supposedly says about you.
For five minutes (we’ll time you) write about how true you think your astrological sign says about you—both good and bad. If you are doing this online, hit the “comment” button to open up a dialog box to write your answer. If you are doing it on paper, well, you know. Hit “submit” when you are done.
2. Now look up your Chinese Horoscope on your phone or computer. You determine what your Chinese horoscope is by the year you were born (I’m a dog).
For five minutes (we’ll time you) write about how true you think your chinese horoscope says about you—both good and bad. If you are doing this online, hit the “comment” button to open up a dialog box to write your answer. If you are doing it on paper, well, you know.
3. Give your writing to another person in the class. If you are doing this online, read what a person sitting next to you wrote.
In either case take about 5-7 minutes and give them this feedback: What is interesting and you would like to hear more about—maybe hear a story about? If you are working on paper, circle that. What is less interesting to you? DON’T circle that. If you are responding online, “reply” to your writer with what is interesting to you. Be very specific. This only works if you are very specific.
4. Read what your partner circled in your writing. Write MORE about it for three minutes. Did they circle more than one thing? I hope so. Write for 3 minutes more about other circles or, if you are doing this online, other things that your reader said would be interesting to say more about.
5. Take a minute to read the assignment sheet I gave you on Wednesday. Talk with a partner about what you have to do. Do you have questions? Worries? Write them down either online OR email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll answer them as best I can if John can’t answer them.
6. In your remaining time, work on drafting your 300 words. If you want, you can post your 300 words online and I will get you some feedback. But you don’t have to. If you want to email me your draft (doesn’t have to be 300 words), feel free: email@example.com. I’ll get you some feedback.
See you in a week!