Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NO CLASS: Tuesday, September 29

Hey Everyone,

It's around four o'clock in the morning. I have been up all night sick. I'm sorry, but I don't think I will be able to make it to class tomorrow.

We will reschedule Discussions and everything else on Thursday.

Thank you for your understanding!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Homework: For Tuesday, September 29

Please prepare for Discussion 3. Read "Tweens: Ten Going on Sixteen" by Kay S. Hymowitz on page 189. Be ready to talk and write in class on Tuesday!

Spies Like Us

A week ago, we workshopped our first essays. To keep our writing anonymous, we came up with code names for ourselves. They were so creative and funny. I had to list them here. Anonymously, of course.

Zalika Khadijah
Rose Queens
Barren Dillster
Ice Cream
Matt Bellamy
Corona Hinesleigh
Ruthy Goldbirch
Sylvia Buttonwood
Elizabeth Maple
Bradlie Conrad
Orange Jello
Purnell Maivas

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Homework: Due Tuesday, September 22

Write a 600-750 word essay for Tuesday, September 22.

Hand it in typed and stapled. Also please check the Essay Guidelines listed in the syllabus.

If you quote or paraphrase any secondary sources in your essay, please cite those sources correctly.


On Friday and Sunday, I'll be on AIM throughout the day. Hit me up at AnneyEJ if you need help or have any questions!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Discussion 2: What are Friends For?

Yesterday, Nikki, Amber, and Hannah led us in a discussion on the essay, "What are Friends For?" We analyzed the types of friendships covered in the essay. We also tried to figure out if those types accurately reflect the friendships in our lives. We wanted to know if the essay contained generalization or truth.

Our findings? The essay is full of generalizations. However, unlike "Beauty and the Beast," these generalizations were presented in a comical tone. The tone made it easier for us to take. We laughed, instead of feeling offended.

Through talking, we also found that these generalizations can be supported with real life examples. In class, we went around the room, telling stories about friends that fit into the categories. Most specifically, we discussed three types of friends.

1. The friends with whom you grow apart, but when you get together, you can pick right back up where you left off.

2. The friends who make you feel better about yourself.

3. The friends that "nobody likes."

We found abundant examples of each. It's interesting to wonder: Why do so many of us have the same kinds of friendships? What does this say about us as people?

Perry made a really smart comment, regarding friend #2. He pointed out that it's easy to identify a friend's flaws and project them on yourself. But often, we have more in common with those flaws than we think. It's interesting to consider why we choose the friends we do. Are we looking to spend time with people who are just like us? Or do we pick friends who are nothing like us? Do we actively try to make friends? Or do friends develop organically out of chance encounters?

Tricia mused on the role that college plays on friendships. It tests the strength of relationships. Some friends go to different schools and never reunite. Others are able to get together and pick right back up, as if no time has past.

At the same time, college forces us to become friends with people who we wouldn't normally seek out. For example, our school merges "city folk" with "country folk." Being stuck on the campus together causes everyone to be much more open minded and accepting of each other's culture and past.

Personally, I regret that we didn't get to talk about one of my favorite friend categories: the FRIENEMIE!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Homework for Thursday, September 17th

Freewrite 1-2 pages on your personal philosophy on how to write an essay.

What is an essay? What have you learned about writing essays? What do you like about writing them? What don't you like writing about them?

Describe your writing process. What steps do you go through when writing an essay? Do you compose several drafts and revise along the way? Or do you work best under pressure, banging out an essay the night before its due?

Bring the freewrite stapled to class on Thursday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Discussion 1

On Thursday, we discussed Dave Barry's essay, "Beauty and the Beast." The discussion was lead by Ali, Sarah and Marisa. These lovely ladies got us started by asking some great questions. The class agreed that Barry believes men and women are held to different standards of beauty. Our discussion revolved around understanding those standards, and if this argument is true.

There's evidence that society expects a lot from both sexes. Em talked about Barbie - how she is an example of the unrealistic standards set for women. Guys have the same standards set for them with toys like GI Joe. While GI Joe is not always the hottest looking action figure on the shelf, he's a tough guy. Like Pat said, he's bad ass. Barbie and GI Joe set the bar. All women must be pretty and thin. All men must be bad ass.

Our discussion delved into the importance of appearance. While it's the "inside" of a person that counts, many of us agreed that looks matter. As Perry said, you should be able to be attracted to your mate. But attraction is messy.

Everyone has his or her own standard for appearance. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We discovered, however, that appearance is not skin deep. Personality matters more. Not because personality is what's inside. Because personality makes us more attractive. Paige said: "You want someone who's attractive, but not someone who's full of themselves." Kindness is attractive. Conceit is not.

It sounds like we have grown up with standards set before us, but those standards have not molded us. As a society, we know that appearance is important, but it's not skin deep. We are able to laugh and poke fun at the generalizations. We're able to challenge the standards. Sometimes it's by trying new dating methods, like Dating in the Dark. Sometimes it's by keeping our mouths shut!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Commenting on LiveJournal Blogs

Some of you may have noticed that you are unable to comment on the LiveJournal blogs. This is easily remedied. With a little help from our LiveJournalers.

If you have a LiveJournal blog, you need to play around with your comment settings. Your blog needs to accept comments from Open IDs. Those of you not on LiveJournal can use your Blogger or WordPress ID as an "Open ID" when commenting.

I'll mention this again tomorrow in class. See you then!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Discussion Schedule

Throughout the semester, we'll be reading, writing, and discussing essays in our book, "The Longman Reader." Here's a schedule of the discussion days. We read the essay the night before discussion, so we are prepared to write and discuss it in class on that day. Notes of the discussion will be posted on this blog a day or two after each discussion.

Discussion 1
Thursday, September 10th
Group Members: Sarah Rynbrandt, Marisa Levin, Ali Ventresca
"Beauty and the Beast" by Dave Barry on page 370

Discussion 2
Tuesday, September 15
Group Members: Hannah Rupert, Amber Gilson, Nicole Goldsmith
"What are Friends For" (No Author or Page Number Given)

Discussion 3
Tuesday, September 29
Group Members: Katie I., Lauren B., Brooke Himes, Stacey D'Orazio
"Tweens: Ten Going on Sixteen" by Kay S. Hymowitz on page 189

Discussion 4
Thursday, October 15
Group Members: Patrick Allison, Sean Brown, Perry Martin
"The Damned Human Race" by Mark Twain on page 525

Discussion 5
Tuesday, October 20
Group Members: Darnell, Brittany, Em
"Why We Crave Horror Movies" by Stephen King on page 400

Discussion 6
Thursday, November 12
Group Members: Tricia, Christina, Sarah O., Hannah W.
"The Ways We Lie" by Stephanie Ericsson on page 253

Discussion 7
Tuesday, November 17
Group Members: Jennifer, Paige, Jessica
"Driving to the Funeral" by Anna Quindlen on page 532

What the Hell are We Doing Here?

A lot, actually.

Let's start at the beginning. We're learning. We're reading. We're writing. We're growing and changing right before your very eyes. Just give us a minute. Or maybe a semester. We'll wow you with brilliant thesis statements, hard evidence, smooth logic and moving stories.

Welcome to the class blog for English I! Check back here for updates, assignments, reminders, notes, and random tips on writing and blogging. If you'd like to visit our individual student sites, click on the links at the left.

The life of a student never ends. This semester, we'll be reading and writing-but we'll also be weighing what we read against our own experiences. If anything, our blog is a great source of up-to-the-minute theories on writing, reading and life.