Schedule, Week 10: 5/30-6/3

Monday, May 30th | No Class

  • Due:
    • Nothing
  • Benchmarks (not due, just recommended):
    • Finish your Shitty Rough Draft, so that you can let it sit for a bit before editing.

Wednesday, June 1st | Shitty Rough Draft and Peer Review

  • Due:
    • Shitty Rough draft of 1,000 words. Make sure you print it off!
  • Benchmarks (not due, just recommended):
    • Finish up that essay and start, as early as possible, on the reading for Friday.

Friday, June 3rd | Self-Reflection

  • Due:
    • “Finding Common Ground” Paper
    • Read:
      • Proust, excerpts from “Remembering the Past
      • Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of the Past” [PDF on iLearn]

Schedule, Week 9: 5/23-5/27

Monday, May 23rd | Current Events–Relating Abstract Concepts in Concrete Ways

  • Due:
    • Find your current event
      • Locate a news item that relates to your chosen debate—a Google News search will be your best bet.
      • Make sure that your event comes from a reputable news source.
    • Once you find a news item, see if other newspapers have also written about it.
      • Be prepared to present your event to your classmates
      • Read them carefully
  • Benchmarks (not due, but recommended):
    • Draft your thesis and make a rough outline of your paragraphs, topic sentences, and examples you want to include in your paper.

Wednesday, May 25th | To a Better Conclusion

  • Due:
    • Reading
      • Hale, chapters “Voice,” “Lyricism,” and “Rhythm,” from Sin and Syntax [iLearn]
    • BP 15 | A Day in the Life
  • Benchmarks (not due, but recommended):
    • Start flushing out your essay. Set a number goal for yourself—250 words, or something—to get motivated to start early.

Friday, May 27th | No Class

Schedule, Week 8: May 16th-20th

Monday, May 16th | Profound Empathy and Self-Reflection

Wednesday, May 18th | Words Matter

  • Due:
  • Benchmarks (not due, but recommended):
    • You should have looked through the available pro and con articles, decided which one you would like to write about, and sign-up on the Google Doc (link here–you must be signed into your R’mail Account) for your chosen topic. Each topic can only have 6 people working on it, so sign up early to get the one you want.

Friday, May 20th | Turning Explanation into Analysis

  • Due:
    • Read:
      • Thoroughly read your topic’s pro and con articles
      • Bring the articles to class (print them out, if you can), because we will be working on analysis together—you will leave with a firm understanding of your topic.
    • BP 14 | Wrong Side of the Debate
  • Benchmarks (not due, but recommended):
    • Determine what you think is the common ground in this argument— what are the participants actually fighting about?

Schedule, 5/9-5/13

You guys! No one told me that the schedule hadn’t gone up!

Please, next time, let me know as soon as something like this comes up so 1) you know what the homework is and 2) I don’t feel like an idiot. 🙂

Monday, May 9th: Explanation Strategies, Part 2

  • Homework Due:
    • None

Wednesday, May 11th: Conversation

  • Homework Due:
    • Finish The Glass Castle

Friday, May 13th: Peer Review

  • Homework
    • Shitty Rough Draft
      • Must be approx. 1000 words and include the introduction and several body paragraphs.
      • Print out a copy and bring it to class.
      • ***If you do not have a rough draft, then there is no reason for you to come to class.***

Rethink Homelessness (Weekend Inspiration)


A while back, I came across this video that really stuck with me. It shows homeless people holding signs, but, rather than begging for money, the signs share something about the sign-holder’s life.

Looking a little deeper, this was a project put together by Rethink Homelessness in Orlando, FL. The photographers asked the people to write a sentence that describes themselves. The results buck stereotypes and give a voice to people who are largely silenced by society.

What I find interesting about this project is how it contrasts with other projects that collect homeless people’s signs. Whereas the former attempts (imperfectly) to capture the actual voice of a human behind the sign, the latter co-opts the symbol of the homelessness.

The project itself raises a lot of questions that are pertinent to this course: What sort of stories did the subjects of the photographs want to share? Why do you think they chose these particular stories? How are they trying to write themselves? What do they want us to know about their lives? Does this give them a voice? Is it an effective memoir?

What do you think about this project? Share your thoughts in the comments!