Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Coretta King: Revisited by Alice Walker
I wrote a short essay in response to the assignment and I will post it below. Homework is to read the essay on Martin Luther King III from the book: Children of the Movement by John Blake, and annotate it and prepare to either develop and outline, a summary or an essay. We will post and respond to student posts Monday in class for the last hour.
Students should bring their books to class. Since the store doesn't have Letters from Mississippi, we'll start with James Baldwin's book, The Fire Next Time. Bring it to class Monday, February 4. I still want you to purchase Children of the Movement; hopefully the other book will be in soon. We'll read the Baldwin essays quickly.
Please post your State of the Union responses at the assignment location also. You can wait until I return the essays to you if you gave it to me already; otherwise, post it.
Coretta Scott King: Revisited
By Wanda Sabir
In "Coretta King: Revisited," Alice Walker realizes that her idols, Martin King and his wife, Coretta Scott, were made of flesh not stone and that their heroism came at great personal sacrifice. She says, "...[Coretta] pulled me to my feet, as her husband had done in a different way, and forced me to acknowledge that debt I owed, not only to her husband's memory, but also to the living continuation of his work" (148). Walker then shares her observations of how CSK's person had changed since their first interview in 1962 and the follow-up 10 years later.
She mentions CSK's eyes--"reserved," her manner--"cool" even "bored," as she ticked off a list of queries in her mind. Walker reevaluated CSK's voice and noticed how the public differed distinctly from her oratory or public speaking one, which uncannily resembled her late husband's.
Walker shared the sudden realization that perhaps she'd misread CSK, perhaps this woman had suffered unspeakably from her husband's death and the burden she now carried alone. Walker said she stared at CSK as she wondered "where so much strength is coming from" (150).
As the interview progressed Walker asked CSK how she and her husband met, her musical career, her compromises and sacrifices and what it was like to be with such a man--these choices and implied or stated shifts in relationship or roles caused Walker to reflect on her own life and what she was committed to. Was there anything or anyone she loved so much she would give her life over to unasked?
As the meeting moves into its second hour, Walker talks to Coretta like a woman confides in a big sister. She asks her about the Women's Movement and where black women fit. Mrs. King assures her that "black women in the south [had] been liberated for generations" (152-153). Walker laughingly agreed.
Just as Alice Walker would become, CSK also wanted to be an inspiration, to be a model of encouragement for young black women. Alice Walker left the second interview renewed, her battery charged, refreshed and a lot more optimistic about her future and that of her people.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Homework for Sept. 28
Identify 3-4 arguments and respond to them in agreement or disagreement. The essay should be 250 words or 1 typed page. Read the Walker essay on Coretta Scott King also. You will write a summary in class.
Please also check the bookstore for Letters from Mississippi. I have added the book, Children of the Movement. So the books for the class are: The Fire Next Time, Diana Hacker's Rules for Writers and Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Cyber Assignment 1: Summary of "Choice: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Welcome New Students
Students received an essay to read and write a 100 page summary. I have left copies of the essay outside my office (L-236) in the bin. Monday, January 28, we will write an essay based on a question developed from the handout: "The Civil Rights Movement: What Good Was It?" This essay was written in 1967. It was Alice Walker's first published essay. 40 years later, 2008, what good was it? How has this legislation that cost so much in lives worth today? What is the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement today? Each day what can you point to that is a direct result of the Civil Rights Movement?
This is where I will leave assignments this semester for those students who might miss a class and wonder what they missed. I have pasted the letter here and the syllabus.
January 16, 2008
I hope this New Year is a prosperous one for you. It’s my 50th year and I’ve decided to let it be a year of reflection, thanksgiving and change. I want to leave the old baggage at Goodwill and travel more lightly, do some Feng Shui on my psychic life. http://www.expertvillage.com/videos/feng-shui-relationships-master.htm (cute video).
This year began with loss. I lost two dear aunts this past week and a friend and then when I went to New Orleans for the funerals last week I found out about the deaths of two other cousins. I went to three funerals in four days. The last Monday morning, January 14. I came home Tuesday evening after flying for 13 hours. Long story that includes lost baggage, an airplane with a dent, late arrivals, and four airports.
I’ll miss Auntie Teenie and Aunt Bea—it’s as if two stars have fallen from the sky and now when I gaze at the Milky way, I can’t see beyond the holes in my life. I feel empty and don’t know what I’ll do with myself when I return home in March for the Resurrection Day and they are not there.
But enough of me.
This winter recess I have been reading a wonderful book: Alice Walker: A Life by Evelyn C. White. I enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with my English 1A students, whom I hope will enjoy it also. What I appreciate about this book is how Alice Walker exemplifies what is meant by “the writing life.” Through a Jim Crow childhood, a segregated youth and an emancipated adulthood –she wrote. What a great example of the power of language, the power of words. Alice Walker uses and used her creativity to tell the stories of the people who matter in her life, people whose lives were not the stuff of published work in the literary canon of her youth. She told the story of her mother and father, great-grandmother, uncles, siblings, friends. These are all characters unknown to most Americans, but just because their lives were not the topic of literature does not mean their experiences were any less valid—or their voices any less valuable.
When students ask me what’s good writing—translate, “How do I get an A,” I tell them the work has to take me on a journey I’ve never traveled before and that they must be a good driver which means the ride needs to be smooth, no unnecessary distractions like knocking engines, doors that don’t open, flat tires, or shattered windshields. I don’t care about the make, model or year—I am interested in the journey and how well it is planned and executed. I don’t expect perfection because writing is a process. The work you submit is only a draft even if we call it euphemistically a final draft. Nothing is final; we just have deadlines to meet.
Good writing is a lot of things: it’s clear, passionate, honest and uninhibited. There are no walls and no secrets between you and your audience. You give us everything we need to take the journey with you: food, proper gear, any last minute instructions so we don’t get lost. I hate getting lost, especially at night.
We write to answer those profound questions we think about when it’s hard to sleep:
Why must life end? Why isn’t love guaranteed? Why must we suffer? What good is evil? Is there a God and if there is, what is he or she doing? What is the purpose of chaos?
Then there are the more practical questions like: How am I going to buy all these books? What am I doing here; I am not as smart as these kids out of high school? I sure wish I had paid more attention in my English class, now that I’m in college?
What keeps me going? What am I most thankful for? To whom do I owe my life so far? What gifts do I want to share? What are my strengths? What three thoughts or habits do I need to let go? How much am I worth to myself?
Take a few minutes and answer the latter questions for yourself.
Last semester I was recommended for tenure, which means I have job security—no really, what it means is that I’m here as a resource. Use me. Seriously, make me earn my pay. Come to my office hours, ask questions until you have clarity, revise your essays for higher grades, ask me to write letters of recommendation for you for employment and academic opportunities. Let me help you.
I wrote a letter to my students last semester—if you’d like a copy ask me. In that letter I spoke of how I’d like to see all of you at the end of the semester, but I know I probably won’t. I have students who have taken my classes 2-3 times, drop and don’t pass. If you are one of those students do not stop coming. I am a person you can talk to. We can probably work something out, if you let me know what you need.
The course content is not negotiable—you have to write 4-6000 words if you’re in English 201 and in English 1A, I believe you have to write 8000. In my classes we generally write more. This class uses technology; we have a writing blog you have to read daily and sometimes write responses on. A lot of students resist this.
I ask students to email their essays to me for critique. I give you feedback and a grade and if it isn’t a passing essay, that is, a C,B, or A, the writer has to revise the essay for a higher grade. The way you pass the course is by writing passing essays—PERIOD.
My classes are participatory: students make presentations, they work in small groups, students help each other wherever possible. We’ve all got skills. I am the expert, I have the power here, but I certainly don’t presume to know everything and to feel I can’t learn from you. Of course I can and I welcome whatever you have to share.
We’re going to be looking at revolutionary movements in American history. The Civil Rights Movement was one of the most revolutionary movements in this country’s history. The book: Letters from Mississippi, is a collection of correspondence from young volunteers, most of them white and privileged who went into the Deep South to register African Americans, then called Negroes, to vote. This was extremely dangerous for the volunteers and those black people who participated as registrars and voters.
A companion book: Children of the Movement, looks at the children of leaders in the segregationist movement, black power movement, civil rights movement and what they are doing to extend and expand the legacy of their parents’ generation. The book also looks at the trauma these families experienced, much of it unspoken.
I will be supplementing these readings with essays from Alice Walker’s In Search of My Mother’s Gardens, Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove’s Voices of a People’s History of the United States. We will also read select speeches of Dr. MLK Jr. and El Hajj Malik El Shabazz or Malcolm X.
James Baldwin is one of America’s most accomplished essayists, and since we are looking at revolutionary movements, I thought his classic essay, The Fire Next Time, would make good reading, especially for those students reading Walker’s biography. I don’t know how many of you have read a book length essay, let alone written one. Students always ask me how long should an essay be. I generally say, as long as it needs to be. Baldwin’s essay should answer a lot of questions. He writes it as a letter to his nephew who is at the age when young men begin to challenge the perimeters of their existence, question the rules and break a few. The only problem is, depending on the skin you’re in, the social class you were born into and where you are in this country, many black boys don’t live past this adolescent stage in their human development.
I am thinking about a class subscription to the San Francisco Chronicle and Oakland Tribune since this is an election year and the coverage should be interesting. Students who attend any debates or watch the presidential debates on TV and analyze the candidates’ arguments can get extra credit. I’ll probably assign at least one. You will be reading a lot in this class. You will read more than you write, so make time for this, especially if you are a slow reader.
In college you do not read for pleasure or for fun. You read for information. I hope you like the books, but read with a pen or pencil in your hand and mark the key ideas and put questions in the margins. We call this annotating the text. You will keep writing logs or journals for each textbook—
I am a teacher that is flexible, yet serious. I might seem disorganized, but I have a great memory and don’t forget what’s important. My style is fluid, so if you like a teacher who is really strict and doesn’t change assignments after the ink dries, you might want to switch classes. It’s hard to decide what order I need to teach certain concepts or what concepts I need to emphasize before I read your writing and get a sense of who you are as individuals and as a class. Students always think I’m kidding when I tell them they are responsible for their grade, which in this class means keep all your work. How can you prove your grade if you have tossed all the evidence? Do not make this fatal mistake. Also, if you share a computer with other people invest in a portable drive to save your assignments. I’d also suggest you email them to yourself.
I am a firm believer in research and you will come to love it also. In a text bound culture, we need evidence to support all of our claims, even when we have a primary experience. None of you is famous yet, so we can’t use the appeal to authority yet. You need to find an expert—translate: someone published, who agrees with you. It expands your circle of acquaintances and it also let’s you know that people the world respects share your view too. This is another area I get lots of resistance.
Don’t resist. If you don’t understand the assignment or understand why it is pertinent to the course, ask me. I have a reason for everything. Nothing is arbitrary. Your time is too valuable to waste. I know mine is. We are busy people—you are taking other classes which might be more rigorous, more challenging and more frightening, like math. Do not put off my assignments because writing comes easier to you. This is college and one needs to manage his or her time well. We have courses you can take to help you. The course is called: College Success, and if you can’t fit a 3-unit course, we offer a few seminars. I can also help you or point you to someone who can, so ask.
What happens in our class stays here. I want this to be a safe space, which means class—what you read is not to be shared outside of these doors unless you ask the person whose story you want to share first.
Other textbooks or readings include Zora Neale Hurston’s classic: There Eyes Were Watching God. Valentine’s Day is in this semester so I thought a love story would be appropriate. Besides that, Alice Walker loves Hurston. I have also included a play, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry. She was the first black writer to get the Pulitzer for literature. Alice Walker was the second.
Wow is certainly appropriate here.
You don’t have to buy the play. I will make copies. We will read the play aloud. There is a new production to be aired in February. It’s really good.
Spike Lee is in town this weekend at Stanford University, Saturday, January 9, 8 p.m. I am going to his talk. If you are interested, let me know and I’ll see if I can get a group rate.
I am also going to several MLK Jr. events this weekend: In the Name of Love on Sunday, January 20 at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Oakland, to the Sharing the Dream event on Monday, January 21, 10 a.m., at Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, followed by films at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland, MLK Jr. Way @ 14th Street from 1-3:30, or I just might go for the talk and book signing afterwards. There is an author who was 13 during the Civil Rights Movement and knew Dr. King. Monday evening I think I’m going to a poetry event sponsored by Youth Speaks in San Francisco at the Herbst Theatre, Van Ness @ McAllister (Civic Center BART in San Francisco) called Bringing the Noise for Dr. Martin Luther King. This event is at 7 p.m.
If you want to do any of this with me, call me on my cell phone.
Oh, do not abuse the cell phone. You will have the opportunity to get the numbers of a few classmates after Census Day, after we know who is committed. Call each other first. I am the last resort, but do call. Don’t call me on the weekends please. I will be traveling a lot on the weekends and will not get back to you. My phone doesn’t work outside California. I write professionally and have a newspaper column called Wanda’s Picks in the San Francisco Bay View www.sfbayview.com. My website is www.wandaspicks.com.
I look forward to getting to know each of you this semester. Please feel free to disagree with me. I love a well-supported counter argument and look forward to opposing viewpoints that are logical, that is, make sense.
Peace and Blessings,
English faculty, COA
English 201, Spring 2008
Course code A0651-2; 0654-3; A0655
10-12; 1-3, MW Room D-115; A213
Class Meetings: Jan. 23-May 21
Holidays:1/21, 2/15-1, 5/16, 5/26, Final Exam Week: May 27-30
Spring Break: 3/24-30, Staff Dev.: 3/6
Syllabus for English 201A/B: Preparation for Composition and Reading
The English 201 series (3 units, 4 beginning Spring 2007) is a preparatory course designed to emphasize the thinking, reading, organizing and writing skills required for successful execution of college-level papers in all subject areas. This course is designed to for those students requiring minimal preparation for entering English 1A.
Absences must be kept to a minimum. If you miss 6 consecutive hours or 8 cumulative hours you will risk being dropped from the course, doing poorly or both. English 201 consists of weekly essays and daily assignments. This is a portfolio driven class. Keep all of your written work, graded and otherwise to turn in the last day of class. There will be an assessment, a midterm, a research project, a final and a class presentation.
This semester we will look at racism in America. Racism is a system where people are favored or denied favors based solely on their visible or invisible racial heritage. A poet, whose work I love, Sekou Sundiata, said in a poem that he was condemned solely based on the skin he was in. He died last year.
We will use the civil rights movement and the events of Freedom Summer to base our critique. We will also look at several biographies that look at the legacy leaders in the various movements in American history: Civil Rights, Segregationist, and Black Power. James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, is a passionately beautiful book length essay to his nephew, also named James. The Zora Neale Hurston story, Their Eyes Were Watching God is a love story. Hurston was relatively unknown prior to Walker’s scholarly exploration of her life. The class readings will include selections from Children of the Movement and other selected essays, stories and poems.
This year is the 200 anniversary of James Baldwin’s death, so I’d like to organize a field trip to the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in San Francisco for Baldwin’s play, Sonny’s Blues next month. More on this later.
We’ll conclude the semester with a reading of the play, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Hansberry was the first women and black person to get the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Alice Walker was the second woman and African American to get the honor.
Letters from Mississippi by Elizabeth Martinez with Introduction by Julian Bond
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers 4th or 5th edition
American Heritage Dictionary
Revolutionary Petunias by Alice Walker
Children of the Movement by John Blake
English 201 will look primarily at writing which persuades: argumentative writing, as well as expository writing, narrative and descriptive writing. At the end of the course students will have read work of accomplished writers, as well as practiced writing in a variety of styles to suit the writer’s purpose.
Student Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course students will also have an altered or heightened awareness of the world around them, especially discourse: speech and text. Students will see that everything is an argument, whether that is a cartoon, advertisement, or lyrics in a song. Students will be able to analyze and critique each incident or contact to evaluate its author’s purpose, audience, and evidence to determine whether or not such goal was met and if appropriate, act accordingly.
This course is intended to be both a group learning experience as well as an individually rewarding one. Mid-semester we will schedule conferences so students can confer with the instructor to evaluate his or her progress in the course. Classroom instruction will consist of lectures, small group work, and students working in pairs. This is an effective way for students to exchange ideas with classmates, compare reactions to readings and practice giving and receiving constructive feedback on class work.
Preparation for class, regular attendance and active participation is imperative for those students who wish to succeed in this course.
It is a student’s responsibility to contact the instructor if he or she plans to miss class. The student is responsible for all materials and information given during the class time, so please get telephone numbers for three (3) classmates in case you are late of absent. You will not be able to make up in-class assignments when you miss class.
Requirements for homework assignments:
Not late papers are accepted unless arranged in advance. Any papers below a C grade are an automatic revision or rewrite. Essays under 500 words (750 words for English 201B students) will not be accepted. (Put a word count on the upper right corner of page 1.) Choose topics which give you enough to write about. We will use documentation to substantiate all of our claims. With this in mind, I expect all papers to utilize at least two (2) different outside print sources, in addition to the occasional interview, or broadcast journalism, that is, radio or television, internet also. You will learn to document sources; we will practice citing sources in text, using footnotes and endnotes, and writing bibliographies and notes pages. Remember save all your work! This is a portfolio course.
Your research project will entail finding a social entrepreneur who has been active in his or her community for at least 20 years and have documented resources you can draw from: books, essays, articles, films. The paper will be about 4-6 pages. This will include a works cited page and bibliography. Students will make 5 minute presentations of these papers final’s week. The paper will be due about two-three weeks prior to the presentation. We’ll discuss this task further later on.
Visit PBS.org “The New Heroes,” to read about social entrepreneurs. (I’ll show you a few episodes from the series.) Too often people feel helpless or hopeless when there is a lot you can do as an individual as soon as you realize the answer lies inside of you. If possible choose an entrepreneur who lives in Northern California, someone you’d like to interview and perhaps meet. Students can work on the project together, share resources. Each person has to write his or her own paper, but you can make a group presentation if you like.
We will have a library orientation with Wednesday, February 13, 1:30-3 p.m. for the afternoon class and Wednesday, February 20, 10-12 for the morning class. Meet at the reference desk at 10 a.m.
You need a notebook with loose leaf paper, also a journal for in class writing, and a place to put handouts.
Jot down briefly what your goals are this semester. List them in order of importance.
Please put your name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address on the card you’ve been given, then answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper or index card (handed out):
What strengths do you bring to the class? What would you like to leave with once the class ends? What can I do to help you achieve this? Is there anything I need to know, such as a hidden disability, childcare issues, etc., which might jeopardize this goal?
If you do not identify the assignment, I cannot grade it. If you do not return the original assignment you revised, I cannot compare what changed. If you accidentally toss out or loose the original assignment, you get a zero on the assignment to be revised. I will not look at revisions without the original attached - no exceptions.
All assignments completed away from class should be typed: double spaced, 12-point font, 1 inch margins. The font should be Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia, New York, etc. Use blue or black ink when writing responses in class. You can annotate your books in pencil.
First Assignment is a handout: Read the essay. What is the essay about? Does Martin Jr. think he owns his life? What do you perceive is his struggle? What is the position of the author? What does the interviewer think about “Marty”? Do you agree? Read the essay and be prepared to respond in class Monday, January 28, in a short essay.
If you are not American, write about someone MLK Jr. reminds you of, if you don’t know him or his work. He has been called a peacemaker, a man who wanted freedom, justice and equality—equal access, for his people. He lived in a time when there was segregation. If you don’t know the historic period he lived in. Do a little background research first before Monday. We will meet in class then walk over to the Writing Center to use the computers to write the essay.
Your second assignment will be on-line at: http://professorsabirsposse.blogspot.com/
Letters from Mississippi; The Fire Next Time; Their Eyes Were Watching God: 35 percent
Midterm: 10 percent
Final: 15 percent
Research Essay/Presentation: 15 percent
Portfolio: 15 percent
Peer Reviews from Lab teachers: 5 percent
Participation: 5 percent
Plan to visit the Writing Center (L-234-231, (510) 748-2132) weekly. Have a teacher evaluate your essays for form and content; the aim is lucid, precise, and clear prose.
This is a portfolio course, so save all of your work. You can average the grades to see how to weigh the various components. Participation is included in the daily exercises and homework portion of the grade, so if your attendance is exemplary, yet you say nothing the entire 18 weeks, you lose percentage points.
The Writing Center
The Writing Lab is a great place to get one-on-on assistance on your essays, from brainstorming and planning the essays, to critique on the essay for clarity, organization, clearly stated thesis, evidence of support, logical conclusions, and grammatical problems for referrals to other ancillary materials to build strong writing muscles such as SkillsBank, the Bedford Handbook on-line, Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers on-line, Townsend Press, and other such computer and cyber-based resources. The Lab is open M-Th 8-7, Fridays, 8-2. It is also open on Saturday 10-2. There is an Open Lab for checking e-mail, and a Math Lab. All academic labs are located in the Learning Resource Center (LRC) second floor.
Students need a student ID to use the labs and to check out books. The IDs are free and you can take the photo in the F-Building, Student Services. There is also a Cyber Café in the F-Building on the second floor in the cafeteria area.
Have a tutor or teacher sign off on your essays before you turn them in; if you have a “R,” which means revision necessary for a grade or “NC” which means “no credit,” you have to go to the lab and revise the essay with a tutor or teacher before you return both the graded original and the revision (with signature) to me. Revise does not mean “rewrite,” it means to “see again.”
When getting assistance on an essay, the teacher or tutor is not an editor, so have questions prepared for them to make best use of the 15 minute session in the Lab. I have given you a handout designating five (5) areas you might want to have the tutor or teacher look at. For more specific assistance sign up for one-on-one tutoring, another free service. For those of you on other campuses, you can get assistance at the Merritt Colleges’ Writing Center, as well as Laney’s. You can also come see me during my office hours. I am here everyday except Friday.
All essay assignments you receive comments on have to be revised prior to resubmission; included with the revision is a student narrative to me regarding your understanding of what needed to be done; a student can prepare this as a part of the Lab visit, especially if said student is unclear over what steps to take.
Students can also visit me in office hours for assistance. Again, prepare your questions in advance to best make use of the time. Do not leave class without understanding the comments on a paper. I don’t mind reading them to you.
English language fluency in writing and reading, a certain comfort and ease with the language, confidence and skillful application of literary skills associated with academic writing, familiarity if not mastery of the rhetorical styles used in argumentation, exposition and narration will be addressed in this class and is a key student learning outcome (SLO).
We will be evaluating what we know and how we came to know what we know, a field called epistemology or the study of knowledge. Granted, the perspective is western culture which eliminates the values of the majority populations, so-called underdeveloped or undeveloped countries or cultures. Let us not fall into typical superiority traps. Try to maintain a mental elasticity and a willingness to let go of concepts which not only limit your growth as an intelligent being, but put you at a distinct disadvantage as a species.
This is a highly charged and potentially revolutionary process - critical thinking. The process of evaluating all that you swallowed without chewing up to now is possibly even dangerous. This is one of the problems with bigotry; it’s easier to go with tradition than toss it, and create a new, more just, alternative protocol.
We will be honest with one another. Grades are not necessarily the best response to work; grades do not take into consideration the effort or time spent, only whether or not a student can demonstrate mastery of a skill - in this case: essay writing. Grades are an approximation, arbitrary at best, no matter how many safeguards one tries to put in place to avoid such ambiguity. Suffice it to say, your portfolio will illustrate your competence. It will represent your progress, your success or failure this summer session in meeting your goals. I like to post essays on the academic blog as examples for other students. I will be asking students from time to time to submit copies for posting. The blog is cumulative, so you can read essays from Spring 2006, Fall 2007, up to now. I have posted a welcome and the syllabus. The address is http://professorsabirsposse.blogspot.com/
I’d like to wish everyone good luck. I am available for consultation on TTh 10:00-12:00, and by appointment on MW after 3 p.m. in L-236. Let me know the day before, if possible, when you’d like to meet with me. My office number is (510) 748-2131, e-mail email@example.com. Ask me for my cell phone number. I do not mind sharing it with you.
I don’t check my e-mail on weekends so I’d advise you to exchange phone numbers with classmates (2), so if you have a concern, it can be addressed more expediently. Again study groups are recommended, especially for those students finding the readings difficult; don’t forget, you can also discuss the readings as a group in the Lab with a teacher or tutor acting as facilitator. Keep a vocabulary log for the semester and an error chart (taken from comments on essay assignments). List the words you need to look up in the dictionary, also list where you first encountered them: page, book and definition, also use the word in a sentence. You will turn this in with your portfolio.
Students are expected to complete their work on time. If you need more time on an assignment, discuss this with me in advance, if possible, to keep full credit. You loose credit each day an assignment is late and certain assignments, such as in-class essays cannot be made up. All assignments prepared outside of class are to be typed, 12-pt. font, double-spaced lines, indentations on paragraphs, 1-inch margins around the written work (see Hacker: The Writing Process; Document Design.)
Plagiarism is ethically abhorrent, and if any student tries to take credit for work authored by another person the result will be a failed grade on the assignment and possibly a failed grade in the course if this is attempted again. This is a graded course.
Letters from Mississippi. Elizabeth Martinez with Introduction by Julian Bond.
The Fire Next Time. James Baldwin. Vintage, 1993
Rules for Writers. Fifth Edition. Diana Hacker
There Eyes Were Watching God. Zora Neale Hurston. Any edition.
The American Heritage Dictionary. Fourth Edition.
Revolutionary Petunias. Alice Walker. Harcourt.
Great site for used books: http://www.ecampus.com/book/9780156766203#syn
Children of the Movement. John Blake.
Also stay abreast of the news. Buy a daily paper. Listen to alternative radio: KPFA 94.1 FM, KQED 88.5, KALW 91.7. Visit news websites: AllAfrica.com, Al Jazeera, CNN.com, AlterNet.org, DemocracyNow.org, FlashPoint.org, CBS 60Minutes on-line.
NOTE: Read the attached letter and respond to it on-line. This syllabus and the course assignments, including books are subject to adjustment and change based on the discretion of the teacher.