Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Afeni and Tupac

This morning in class (8-9 a.m.) we read poems from A Rose Grew from Concrete pages 29-37 and responded to them in Afeni's voice. Shanelle shared. Homework is to post two responses to two different poems. I want students to respond in a conversation between themselves and Afeni about the poem. Use the way Jasmine Guy engages her friend Afeni Shakur in conversation about a variety of subjects from motherhood to politics in Evolution of a Revolutionary . The responses should be both reflective and introspective.

We also talked about arguments as a form of communication. Terms associated with argument are: logic, reasonable, debate, persuasion, communicative event, weak, strong, audience, syllogism, deductive, inductive, terms, fallacy, rational, irrational, visual, written, manipulative, valid, and sound.

I was going to share a way of developing thesis statements I want students to use in their research essay, but we ran out of time. It's called the three-part thesis and I have a handout for you. Basically it is a way to include both an acknowledgement, the argument, and a piece of evidence in one sentences by using subordination.

Yesterday a student told me that he didn't cite any sources in his midterm because he didn't know how. I was kind of blown away. We will practice this more, but there have been many opportunities for students to refine and practice using direct citations in-text from paraphrase to direct quotes with attribution. Remember the early lesson on signal phrases? It's all in Hacker.

Please ask questions in class and come to my office hours if you are not clear. he didn't get credit for his essay because it didn't include the requisite 3 citations from Dyson and one from Tupac. The citations were to include three direct quotes, one a block quote and a paraphrase. Students were not to overuse these references, no more than one per paragraph. The essay had to be minimally 4 paragraphs long.

Many students did not put their names on their essays, the assignment, the date or the question they were responding to. Some students did not proofread their essays beforehand to check for error. I am not your editor. Use the spell check as a reference; you can use grammar check also as a reference if you feel it necessary. Read your paper aloud and ask someone to read it aloud to you without changing anything as you look at another copy and correct mistakes.

What you submit is your best work, not a work-in-progress. Your citations is proof that you opened the book; it's not proof that you read it, but it is proof that you read enough to find evidence to support your claim. You were not to go outside of Dyson for your research; everything you need is there.

The same is true for Afeni Shakur. Get the book.

What Is It That I Search for
[Q] Afeni, did you find what Tupac longed for? Actually, do you know what he was yearning in the poem?
[Afeni]: I don’t think I found what I search for either. But, I feel like I know what he and I had hungered about.
'My father', he was always gone. When I grew up, I had no protection, I never felt safe. All I want was protection to feel secure, like an orphan. Tupac had had same hunger. While we were growing, so we resented our physical father.
But, now it is more complicate since we realized father is another human being, the weak, and the needy. I think we were looking for a person who has an answer for what we search for - the invisible who, our eternal security.

Nothing Can Come Between Us
[Q] Have you ever experience this kind of friendship- nothing can come between us?
[Afeni]: From the poem, I am seeing his color rather than the meaning. Once, Jasmine told me that I feel in bold primary color, not pastel. Tupac seems to feel same way. His relationship with others like bold primary color- flaming red or cold blue. I might have experienced that kind of comradely when I was a Panther. But we were changed a lot by time?
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