Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Field Trips

Oh, classes are cancelled 10/1 and 10/2. I am at a conference. See you Friday at the play. Study hour at 12-1:30 is still happening in L-235.

Friday at Laney College there is a panel discussion on Entrepreneurship in the Performing Arts: "the Music Industry" at Laney College Theatre, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. If you go and write about it, you can have extra credit. This could take the place of one of the field trips. Remember, do not let money keep you from attending a play or the film.

If you were not here and want to attend the play on Friday evening, or Sunday afternoon, or the play next week, there are descriptions outside my office on the ledge by the window and under the bin. If the door is locked, ask Ms. Sachell (Open Lab) to unlock it for you to get the handout. You can just show up and you can be a part of the party. Email me your preferences and how many people are in your group. The theatre tickets are about $10 for both events. You can volunteer at the MacB and get in free. Call the theatre for the details. For Ebony and Johnny, I don't know if there are any volunteet opportunities, so let me know if you are short on cash.


American Culture

Oh, Andrew's presentation on American Culture demonstrated his commitment to active particpation in society. His twenty dollar bill was the launcing point for a great discussion. If you were in class, post a comment for Andrew here.

We'll continue next Thursday, October 9.


Classes cancelled 10/1 and 10/2 and Cyber-assignment posts

Today students worked on the thesis sentences developed for homework last night. the assignment was to develop an outline and then write an introductory paragraph and a concluding paragraph. Post these outlines and paragraphs here. we ran out of time, so students were told to exchange email addresses and phone numbers and post later today. Post the assignment where you posted the thesis sentences.

Homework is to find a theme in Chapter 2, and either with a partner or alone, write a4 paragraph essay. I want you to use 1 direct citation, 1 block quote and 1 paraphrase. See Hacker pp. 401-437. 438 is the MLA table of contents. The essay is due Friday, October 3, by 12 midnight.

Keep reading Dyson; we will discuss chapters 3-4 next week. I look forward to seeing you this weekend at one of the plays. We will call you to see how many are in your party (you can bring friends and family).

Yesterday in the afternoon class we watched a film called "Procrastination." Your essay due by Friday, October 3 at midnight is similar to the essays we wrote yesterday in structure.

Monday, September 29, 2008



Today in class review chapter 1 find text references for your chosen theme: pride in his heritage, honesty, trust, forgiveness, maturity, love. These ideas led to a few parenthetical themes: regret, remorse, guilt.

Secondly, for homework, students were to continue looking for text references and then develop three thesis sentences on one theme. Bring to class Tuesday. We will develop an outline using: 1 in-text citation, 1 paraphrase, and 1 block quote.

Start reading the next chapter and making notations, most students didn't have a summary or vocabulary log. Get with it. You will turn the log in with your essay on the book.

Remember, I am not here Wednesday and Thursday. I am checking to see if I can get L-202E for the 8-9 AM class. I will let you know tomorrow. Wednesday class, I'll let you know the plan this afternoon. I want to go to see MacB this Sunday. More is forthcoming.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


MLA Citation, early class

The posts aren't showing the underlined titles, but students queried told me they had done so...go figure.

Post the MLA citation for the book you checked out alone or with classmates at the library orientation. For homework post a summary for your book. Skim it first. If you need extra time, your essay on "Violence, sexism, homophobia, or hyper-masculinity in Hip Hop culture which is due today, you have until Monday, Sept. 29, before class to get it in. Post at the link where the essay is assigned. Remember, post all the planning aspects of the essay.

Resources: Basic Format for a Book (Hacker 426 (5th edition) (Hacker 439) Table of Contents 437/423

Blackmon, Douglas A. Slavery by Another Name: The Reenslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to WWII. New York: Doubleday, 2008.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Post your essay here, but if you already posted it at the assignment, you weren't wrong

The late class' essay is due Monday, Sept. 29 for a peer review. Bring in a typed copy, plus questions you'd like considered as someone reads your essay. Also, make sure you have an outline and a bibliography and works cited for your print and other sources. If you need help, you can look in Hacker and/or bring the reference in. We'll do it together.

The Dyson/Hurt interview is just another source to consider. The essay should be minimally 3 pages (750 words), but if you go over a bit, that's okay. It's also okay is it's under a few words (50 or so).

A tutor I recommend you ask for in the Tutoring Center is Rudy Gonzales. He is there, inquire at the counter, T-Thursday. Tuesdays: 9-10 and 11-1. Wednesdays, 9-11, and Fridays 9-10. You can get one-on-one assistance. He is a former student of mine who is a fabulous writer and thinker. He got an A in my English 1A class and you can read his writing at my Professor Wanda's Posse blog, which is linked to this one.

He is also an actor and writer.

Is anyone going to La Pena tomorrow evening with me?


What are the qualities of good writing?

Freewrite on the qualities of good writing and a good writer. We are not just speaking of essayists, but all types of writers and genres, like poets and poetry, playwrights and plays, directors and screenplays, novelists or short story writers, journalists, nonfiction writers and literary journalism.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



I noticed that students are not commenting and also students are skipping cyber assignments. For each cyber-post, students are to comment on 1-2.



Yes, I know it's late, so if you don't see it until tomorrow post your summary then :-)
We interviewed each other today and then students introduced their peers to the class. We will continue with the oral part of the presentation Wednesday, Sept. 24.

Homework is to bring in a draft of your papers. Everything is a draft, some you turn in because it's due, but for all intents and purposes, a writer can always see the work in a new light. The final draft can be posted with planning sheet, and outline by Friday at 12 noon. You can turn it in on Thursday, Sept. 25, but you will not be penalized if you turn it in the next day.

Please let me know if you are planning to attend the Beat Box event at La Pena on Thursday, Sept. 25. You can respond at the post or call me.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Field Trips

I moved the field trip post to the comment section. It was too long. If you attend anything and write about it: a short 1 page review. You can have extra credit.

Speak The music
Butterscotch, Icebox, Maximillion & more!
Thursday September 25, 2008

$8 gen. (All Ages!) - 8 PM (I think this is wrong. I will check.)
La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705 USA
510-849-2568 info(at)lapena.org

From the website

Beat Boxing like you never knew existed. This show will move you and blow you away with its ever changing variety of artists. Performers include Butterscotch, Soulati and Infinite from Felonious, Syzygy, Eachbox, Monkstilo, Constant Change, Cornbread, D.C., Icebox, Tim Barsky, The Genie, Maximillion & more.

Ever since the creation of the Vowel Movement in 2003, beatboxing has exploded in the Bay Area. For the past 5 years, San Francisco and Berkeley have been home to beatboxing, and the demand to see more keeps rising.

Speak the Music is a new organization in the Bay Area that was created by Ian Canright and Mike Tinoco. The organization is dedictated to supporting the art of beatboxing by providing an outlet for up-and-coming and professional beatboxers alike to be heard; our goal is to reach out to the community and bring in new faces.

Many beatboxers at Speak the Music use the stage as a means to tap into new creativity; some incorporate different elements into their performances, such as digital effects, live looping, musical instruments, collaborations, and more. Our monthly showcases not only feature beatboxers, but musicians, poets, and emcees as well.

Our mission is to support local beatboxing and speak the music from within! But our bigger vision is to do youth outreach and spread the word about our positive means of expression.

If you would like to get involved with our organization, please feel free to contact us at SpeakTheMusic@gmail.com.


Afternoon Class

Today we spoke about the library assignment posts, and looked at Hacker and practiced citing multimedia source: a film. See page 437 (sixth edition). You don't need to post the article, just the MLA citation in a works cited so your audience can locate the resource if she wants to read the entire article, watch the film, read the book.

Due dates for the afternoon class is: First draft Sept. 24; second draft: Sept. 29; final draft, Wednesday, October 1. You will have a facilitated study hour Wednesday, October 1 in the Writing Center. Elesha will have the assignment. It will be from Dyson.


Peer Editing, Diana Hacker "Planning"

This morning those students with essays exchanged with each other for peer reviews. Afterwards, students shared favorite aspects of the writing and what worked best. Final drafts are due tomorrow. You are to post the essays and all the planning. We will be back in Dyson tomorrow, so I hope you have continued reading and annotating and keeping a reading log per chapter, which includes vocabulary, arguments, evidence, and other key ideas you felt noteworthy.

For peer review comments see Diana Hacker Rules for Writers' "Planning" (Chapter 1)

Here is a link to a Byron Hurt interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-ZXMIElRmg

I thought you might find it interesting.

Barry mentioned he found the film (56 minute film) at YouTube. Barry, I couldn't find the link; please post it here so students can watch it.

You can have until Wednesday, Sept. 24 to turn in the essay without penalty. No one came to visit me at my office hour. I presume everything is going okay then:-)

We will be in the library on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 8 AM, for an orientation. Meet at the reference desk with Professor Steve Gerstle.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Morning Class Meets in L-202E on Thursdays

We met in the lab this morning. We decided to walk over, those students who weren't sure where we were meeting; other students remembered we meet in L-202E on Thursdays. Next week Wednesday and Thursday, we will be in the LRC. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 8 AM we have a library orientation.

We reviewed the essay assignment, and then developed thesis sentences and/or introductory paragraphs. A few students brought in drafts, essay plans and outlines, like Andrew, Dion and Julian, Jaliyah and a few others. These students shared.

Post your drafts at the assignment below.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Keep Ya Head Up

We finished with a listen to one of my favorite pep talk songs, "Keep ya Head Up," Tupac's shout out to the ladies on "Welfare" and those who have it a little better. We looked at the first stanza and identified the thesis, which was stated. we sort of ran into it literally as we highlighted specific verses that we deemed important. Felt like we were annotating the entire song :-) and then there it was, the thesis.

We stopped and began to develop thesis sentences or arguments in the remaining 3 minutes.

Here are the notes:

Thesis: And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?

Topics addressed in the song:
Single parenting
Disrespect of women by men
low self-esteem
poverty – economic, soul poverty—keep ya head up, Tupac as Cheer Leader

Sample thesis sentences
In the song “Keep Ya Head Up” by Tupac Shakur, featuring Jadakiss, he talks about how women are very important in society.

Keep ya head Up is a song for any woman who is questioning her value and self-worth.

Keep Ya Head Up explains that men should respect women.

Keep Ya Head Up


Library Assignment, Wednesday afternoon

Today we had a library orientation with Ms. Jane. She gave students an assignment to use the database and find an article about Tupac and practice citing MLA style. There was a questionnaire attached. Please return to her.

Instead of watching the Byron Hurt film, we postponed that assignment and essay for next week, and instead students are to read the article they emailed to themselves and write a 250 word summary/analysis and post it here, along with a MLA citation. (See library handout.) The MLA citation is called "works cited." If you need assistance, look in Hacker (Research) see me, or ask one of the librarians.

Remember, the Change essay revisions are due by Friday. Email them to me with the narratives, and the first draft attached. You can paste it also.

Students (Sept. 22, NOTE):
It is/was not necessary to post the article, reference it in your summary and use MLA citation documentation to let us know how to find. The purpose of the summary is to save your audience that step. If she wants more information then you have provided a way to access the complete document


Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes Due Dates

We finished watching Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes today. If you missed it this morning, I'll be showing it again in L-202E from 1-2:50, first hour. You can join my afternoon class. You have to have seen the film to do the essay. I have an alternative assignment. It is an interview with Dyson by Byron Hurt, (published in Dyson's Know What I Mean) the director of the film. It's a long article, and while interesting is complex and expansive on the topic of violence, sexism, homophobia, and masculinity in hip hop culture. This essay is available to all students who want to expand their scholarship and information on the topic.See http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/hiphop/

The Essay Due Dates
The topics are: masculinity (hyper or otherwise), sexism, violence (misogyny)
First draft: 9/18 bring to class
Second draft: 9/22 bring to class
Final draft: 9/23 posted with planning: initial planning sheet, and outline

The essay you turn in tomorrow needs to come accompanied with an outline, an initial planning sheet, and of course the essay. I suggest you develop three thesis statements and then decide what your argument will be and then start. Include the title of the film (article for those doing the alternative assignment), in the introductory paragraph.

Essay content
The essay need not be any longer than 3-4 paragraphs. I'd like students to include in each paragraph evidence from a source: film, article, song. Use paraphrase, direct quotes and a block quote. Find a song that illustrates your point whether that is: sexism, misogyny, other violence, homophobia...you can also quote an artist on your topic.

The website for the film will give you resources you can use to write this essay. See Research in Hacker. Pay attention to using signal phrases and in-text citations.

The essay should be 500 words minimally.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

We started watching Byron Hurt's film: Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. First we reviewed the assignment from yesterday. Many students had not developed thesis sentences, so we shared and developed others, then wrote a introductory paragraph.

For homework students who counted off as number 1, were to write a second paragraph. The 2s were to write a conclusion. The topic is "soul poverty," as illustrated in Tupac's poem, "Untitled" (15). Try to use a direct quote in your paragraph. Don't forget to use a signal phrase.

Here is the first paragraph in the three paragraph essay:

In "Untitled," Tupac Shukur uses poverty as metaphor. He describes what it feels like to have his freedom of speech taken away. He feels true poverty is an absence of voice or expression. He says, "[He] would rather be stricken blind than live w/out expression of mind" (Rose 15). He gives examples of different types of poverty in his community: monetary and spiritual, as well as , physical. American society exploits the vulnerability of its disenfranchised by devaluing or ignoring their human worth. His "third eye" allows him to overcome what the writer defines as poverty , because he is culturally rich.

Post your paragraphs here after class tomorrow. Bring in a paper copy to share. We'll continue watching the film.

Monday, September 15, 2008



In the poem "Untitled," Tupac S. looks at the term poverty which he says is the cause of his reoccurring "nightmare" (Rose 15).


English 201...C-213...A-200

This is my second time attempting to capture the thoughts and ideas shared this morning in the early class, English 201 8-9 AM. (The first time, a student came by the office and what I thought was saved was not--so here we go again.)

We read one of Tupac's poems, "Untitled," then brainstormed aloud over what it meant--students tossing words and phrases into the air I tried to catch before they fell to the floor. Often several ideas collided...bruised we applied ointment, shook it off, and moved on.

I have posted the notes from the board for both classes. We decided that "Untitled" (15) looked at "poverty" and the economic deprivation that often leads to such absence of wealth. Whether this is real or not depends on, as Tupac writes, how well one knows his or her history and how much one is influenced by the people who tell us our "culture holds no significance" (15). Thomas came up with the term: soul poverty and said, "It was what occurs when the soul is bankrupt."

We reviewed Diana Hacker's Rules for Writers. I encouraged students to read the preface, and to definitely read "How to Use This Book and Its Website (xv). We then went through the various chapters and I had students number the chapters in the order I wanted them read: 1. Planning and Document Design and The Basics;
2. Clarity; 3. Grammar and ESL Challenges; 4.-5. Academic Writing/Research; 6.-7. Mechanics.

Students are to complete the exercises and then if the section is too easy, said students were advised to move on to another section until s/he finds a challenge. The answers to the alphabetized exercises are in the back of the book; one can ask the teachers or tutor to correct the numbered exercises. You can also ask me in my office hours.

Homework for English 201 8-9 AM
In the morning class, homework was to develop a thesis sentence using themes from the poem, "Untitled," then write an introductory paragraph and bring to class to share in the morning, Tuesday, Sept. 16. Students can use any of the ideas we explored in class. Try to incorporate a line from the poem in the paragraph. Make sure you use a signal phrase, that is, "Tupac writes,"... "The poet says...". See Hacker page 421.

Both classes
Homework was to begin reading Hacker and doing appropriate exercises. I also encouraged students to work on these assignments while in the Writing Center and also when in Study Hour, MW 12:30-1:30 PM. The athletes are in the lab at the same time, but everyone can share the computers. Today, the students were in L-235. I think this is a great first choice. L-236 is also a good choice. Neither space is ever crowded in the afternoon and once again you have the benefit of getting help. Oh, don't forget to log in, the college can use the FTEs or money from the state.

Homework English 201 1-3 PM
In the afternoon class, some students weren't clear about where we were meeting, A-200 on Mondays folks. When I arrived the desks were full and everyone was ready for business.

We were going to watch the Byron Hurt film: Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, but when I looked at the clock after we'd brainstormed and talked about the poem, "Untitled," there would not have been any time to practice developing thesis sentences and write a short introductory paragraph, so we decided, I decided, to postpone the film until Wednesday, Sept. 17. (We also haven't had time to return to the hip hop archives assignment, maybe early October.)

Students were given a choice between: "The Eternal Lament" (17), "Only for the Righteous" (19), and "The Shining Star Within! Dedicated to Me" (23) to read, discuss, then develop 3-5 thesis sentences. From there students were told to develop an introductory paragraph, with one of the sentences the thesis. I also asked students to use a line from the poem in the introductory paragraph. The paragraphs were minimally 5-6 sentences.

What students were advised to do once they had decided which sentence they wanted to use as the thesis, was to use the other sentences they developed as a part of the paragraph.

Post those collaborative introductory paragraphs here with the names of your team. The topic sentence should include the name of the poem and its author. Homework for the afternoon class was to choose another poem from the three above, and do the same: develop 3-5 thesis sentences and write an introductory paragraph.

Students were also admonished to bring in their textbooks, all of them, to each class. The only one you don't need now is the Jasmine Guy book.

Students are to bring their introductory paragraphs into class Wednesday to share. Keep reading Dyson. Keep a writing log for each chapter. It's better to get ahead than to get behind.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Back to the Basics

Bring in your grammar/style books tomorrow. We will look at invention strategies this week, practice developing thesis sentences using a variety of methods: topical invention, the three part thesis formula, and other strategies. We will also look at effective ways to begin and end essays, that is, write introductions and conclusions. Holler and Rose will give us material to draw from for topics, so bring those books also.

We will also practice using in-text citations. Continue reading Holler. We are in Chapter 3.

There is a study hour Mondays, 12:00-1:30 drop in. It is in the ESL Lab, the smaller of the two Writing Labs. You have to see a tutor or Elesha or me and get help on your revised Change essay, with narrative, which is due this week. You can email the revised essay and the narrative to me. Identify yourself and the assignment. You have until Friday, Sept. 19. Send it to professorwandasposse@gmail.com. Send the first draft with the revision, so we can see what changed. The narrative helps us understand your revision process and why we should read it again, in other words, what changed and why?

The next essay is due in a week and it will be based on a film I will show you either Monday, Sept. 15 or Tuesday, Sept. 16, "Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes." The essay assignment will be due next week, Friday, Sept. 26 for both classes.

I will post the assignment later. There is also a companion website.

Wednesday, Sept. 17, the afternoon class will meet in the library for an orientation at 1 PM. The 8-9 AM class will meet in the library, Sept. 24 for their orientation.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Thursday, Sept. 11 Freewrite post and recap

Today was hard, perhaps this is why I am posting the reflection the day after. I hope this didn't inconvenience you too much, those of you who wanted to post the reflection and didn't have anywhere to do so.

In situations like this, write it and save it on your personal blog, and then you can post it later. It's always better to write while the experience is fresh.

Thomas shared a pink pig, his object symbolic of the misplaced loyalty or love patriotism can elicit without good cause.

His example was that of the chimera and its history. He didn't have a photo so he brought in a pink piggy. Visit this website for a definition and drawing of the mythical creature: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/chimera.

Homework is to post one's narrative for the presentation. (Post it where the assignment is given. That's where your photos all are.) For students unable to present today, we'll continue Monday, September 15. The English 201 class which meets in the afternoon, we'll complete this assignment before my 8-9.

We had a freewrite about peace and I asked students to comment on each others' reflections. Post your freewrite here, then comment on someone else's.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The World Is Yours--Freewrite Cyber-Post

Reflect on the song, "The World Is Yours" by Nas, (feat. Pete Rock). A student in the English 201 8-9, Thomas, shared this song and the CD, Illmatic, with me yesterday and I thought, on the eve of 9/11, this would be an appropriate meditation, one of hope, rather than despair.


"It's yours!" --> [T La Rock]

[Chorus: Nas, Pete Rock]

[PR] Whose world is this?
[Nas] The world is yours, the world is yours
[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
"It's yours!"
It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
[Nas] The world is yours, the world is yours
[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?

I sip the Dom P, watchin Gandhi til I'm charged
Then writin in my book of rhymes, all the words pass the margin
To hold the mic I'm throbbin, mechanical movement
Understandable smooth shit that murderers move wit
The thief's theme, play me at night, they won't act right
The fiend of hip-hop has got me stuck like a crack pipe
The mind activation, react like I'm facin time like
'Pappy' Mason with pens I'm embracin
Wipe the sweat off my dome, spit the phlegm on the streets
Suede Timb's on my feets, makes my cypher, complete
Whether crusin in a six-cab, or Montero Jeep
I can't call it, the beats make me fallin asleep
I keep fallin, but never fallin six feet deep
I'm out for presidents to represent me (Say what?)
I'm out for presidents to represent me (Say what?)
I'm out for dead presidents to represent me

[Chorus: Nas, Pete Rock]

[PR] Whose world is this?
[Nas] The world is yours, the world is yours
[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
[PR] Whose world is this?
[Nas] The world is yours, the world is yours
[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
"It's yours!"
It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
[Nas] The world is yours, the world is yours
[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?

To my man Ill Will, God bless your life
"It's yours!"
To my peoples throughout Queens, God bless your life
I trip we box up crazy bitches aimin guns in all my baby pictures
Beef with housin police, release scriptures that's maybe Hitler's
Yet I'm the mild, money gettin style, rollin foul
The versatile, honey stickin wild, golden child
Dwellin in the Rotten Apple, you get tackled
Or caught by the devil's lasso, shit is a hassle
There's no days, for broke days, we sell it, smoke pays
While all the old folks pray, to Je-sus' soakin they sins in trays
of holy water, odds against Nas are slaughter
Thinkin a word best describin my life, to name my daughter
My strength, my son, the star, will be my resurrection
Born in correction all the wrong shit I did, he'll lead a right direction
How ya livin large, a broker charge, cards are mediocre
You flippin coke or playin spit spades in strip poker

"It's yours!"

[Chorus: Nas, Pete Rock]

[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
[PR] Whose world is this?
[Nas] The world is yours, the world is yours
[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
"It's yours!"
It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
[Nas] Yo, the world is yours, the world is yours
[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
"It's yours!"
[PR] Break it down

[Pete Rock cuts and scratches "It's yours!"]

I'm the young city bandit, hold myself down singlehanded
For murder raps, I kick my thoughts alone, get remanded
Born alone, die alone, no crew to keep my crown or throne
I'm deep by sound alone, caved inside in a thousand miles from home
I need a new nigga, for this black cloud to follow
Cause while it's over me it's too dark to see tomorrow
Trying to maintain, I flip, fill the clip to the tip
Picturin my peeps, now the income make my heartbeat skip
And I'm amped up, they locked the champ up, even my brain's in handcuffs
Headed for Indiana stabbin women like the Phantom
The crew is lampin big Willie style
Check the chip toothed smile, plus I profile wild
Stash through the flock wools, burnin dollars to light my stove
Walk the blocks wit a bop, checkin Danes plus the games
people play, bust the problems of the world today

"It's yours!"

[Chorus: Nas, Pete Rock]

[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
[PR] Whose world is this?
[Nas] The world is yours, the world is yours
[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
"It's yours!"
It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
[Nas] Yeah... the world is yours, the world is yours
[PR] It's mine, it's mine, it's mine
Whose world is this?
"It's yours!"
Break it down

Yea aight?
To everybody in Queens, the foundation
"It's yours!"
The world is yours
To everybody uptown, yo, the world is yours
"It's yours!"
The world is yours
To everybody in Brooklyn
Y'all know the world is yours
"It's yours!"
The world is yours
Everbody in Mount Vernon, the world is yours
"It's yours!"
Long Island, the world is yours
"It's yours!"
Staten Island, yea the world is yours
"It's yours!"
South Bronx, the world is yours
"It's yours!"

[Pete Rock keeps cuttin and scratchin "It's yours!" to fade]

[ www.azlyrics.com ]

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Random posts

Do not post your assignments anywhere. If you do, you might not get a response :-) Post the assignment where it is assigned. If you aren't sure, ask, or read other posts (well they could be wrong). Ask me and I'll show you. I have my computer at each meeting.

Elesha and I will be hosting writing workshops beginning this week at the study hour in the Writing Center. Bring your Changes essay and you can revise it.


Hip Hop Archives Part 1

Today in class students presented. The presentations were varied and quite interesting. Please reflect on the presentations here. Sorry I am posting this so late in the evening. If you don't see it until after we meet tomorrow, I'm okay with your posting later. We will continue the presentations tomorrow.

I mentioned today that I didn't want students to bring books. I guess we can have a part of the museum dedicated to literary work: books and newspapers. I'd rather other objects like the sneakers, fire or light, and in another class, an onion as a metaphor.

Please post your narratives here. Don't forget to respond to another student's post.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Chapter 1: Dear Mama

Post your summaries for Dear Mama here. Also you can post your reflections on the song: Dear Mama. (We will listen to the song in class 9/10 and also write.) Compare and contrast Dyson's first chapter and Tupac's song. Where do the ideas converge, and where, if they do, do the ideas diverge?

You do not have to post the second part of the assignment, the response to the song, in advance.


Homeless...A-200 reflections...L-202E hopes

We (English 201, 1-3) left the bungalow for cooler, more sophisticated digs in L-202E and found out that we were out of luck today because geography had dibs on the spot. So we regrouped and went over to the empty Writing Center--well almost empty. It could accommodate us and so we logged on and began to discuss three of Tupac's poems (they are listed below). We were too large a class to fit in L-234, so we also took a few seats in the other lab across the hall.

Students seemed to be engaged in the assignment and were having lively discussions and then we were told we had to sign off the computers. We did and then posted our comments using one of three other stations in the lab. What I liked was the way teachers and tutors already in the lab were available to facilitate the discussion. Students seemed less challenged by the technology and that most students had read the assignments and had books, which was great.

We want to finish Dyson this month.

Wednesday, we can meet in A-200, unless it is too hot and then we can relocate. Where? Who knows :-) No, seriously, we can use the Writing Center, just not the computers, so we'll probably keep L-234, 235, 231 as the default site. The only problem is, there is no DVD/CD player, but that can be arranged. If you arrive late and can't find us, call me on my mobile phone

Your hip hop archives presentations are due--really the American Cultures was due, but we haven't done the first presentation. We'll talk about chapter 1, Dear Mama. (Homework is to read chapter 1 and write a summary. You can post it at the link above.)

You will post the narrative (for hip hop culture) later on for homework.


The Rose that Grew From Concrete, Sept. 8, 2008 Cyber-Assignment

Post your paraphrases, evidence and summaries for the poems: Under the Skies Above..., Life Through My Eyes, When Ure Heart Turns Cold.... You only have to respond to one poem for homework (Early class). If you want to respond to more than one, feel free to do so. Remember, you have to also respond to another blogger. This is for all posts, whether it is stated or not.


Early Class

Today in the 8-9 class we read a few more poems from The Rose that Grew from Concrete, pages 7, 9, and 13. Students got into groups and discussed key themes or ideas explored in the poem and then looked to see if there was a stated thesis. Students then paraphrased the thesis and looked for evidence in the poem to support the claim (another term for thesis).

Homework is to choose one of the three poems, pull out the thesis if it is stated, then paraphrase it. List three pieces of evidence to support the claim or thesis. Summarize the poem.

This is due tomorrow. I'll bring in the projector so we can read what students came up with. Several students added the class late. Read the entire blog beginning August 20. (You can find August 2008 in the archives. It's a link on the page on the left.) If you can't figure out how to post an assignment, come see me. In the meantime you can email it to me and I will post it for you. I will only do this twice, because it is a lot of work posting ten assignments, which is what I had to do this morning :-)

What else?

Tomorrow: Bring in your hip hop culture object for the presentation. We have a library tour Wednesday, Sept. 24, 8-8:50 with Steve Gerstle in the Library. We will meet there. Put this date in your calendar.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Cyber-posts: Introduction and I Always Wanted to Write a Book about My Life

Today in the early class we met in the Writing Center and responded to one of two poems. Students posted their responses at the link. Homework is the same for both classes: post summaries of the "Introduction" and "I Always Wanted to Make a Book out of My Life." Post the assignment here. You should already have posted the summary for either the introduction or forward in "The Rose that Grew from Concrete." Do not post that assignment here.

For the afternoon class you were to include the group paraphrase; the early class, students were to post their own responses to the sentences chosen from the preface. The early class already has posts at the link. Read the previous posts to see if you're in the right place. If you can't figure it out, send it to me and I'll post it for you and send you a link.

Again, post the Dyson responses here and then respond to a classmate(s)' post before our next meeting, 9/9.


Questions about due dates

Students who have not submitted their Changes essay can still do so. It needs to be in by Friday, Sept. 5. I want to return them to you with comments Monday, Sept. 8. If you have any questions, or can't post the essay, email it to me. Be sure to paste and attached, just in case I can't open it.

Again, paste the assignments where requested, not where I remind you it is past due, etc. If you posted it in the wrong place, paste it again in the correct place. Also, to keep the site interactive, each student is to comment on someone else's essay. Name the person, class and section in your response. Be constructive, talk about what works in the writing sylistically or what you like about the submission.


The Rose that Grew from Concrete

Freewrite: Respond to either poem "In the Depths of Solitude: Dedicated to me" (5)or "Somtimes I Cry" (7).

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Changes Essay responses; Eng. 201 PM class recap

Students who have posted their Change essays have received responses from Elesha. --Elesha is my student aide; she will be leading the study sessions once we figure out a meeting time. She is a great writer and can help you with your essays and reading assignments. Note her comments. I will hand you a graded paper back at our next meeting, probably Monday. Some students need to revise the essays. If you received a passing grade, C or better, you don't have to revise. If you have to revise the essay, please include a narrative as to what changed and why I should take a second look.

We are trying to gage when to host a study hour, make sure you sign the query in class. I will also post it here, so look for it and respond. Student success is a collaborative process; we learn from each other. Scholarship need not be isolated. We are a community and your individual success is our collective success.

Today in class, the afternoon class we burned up in A-200. Students had to take fresh air breaks it was that humid and unbearably hot. I am going to request a room change for next week if the college cannot guarantee proper ventilation. But you were troopers. We'll have to have ice cream, once my fast is over :-)

We read the preface (xv) in The Rose That Grew From Concrete, and practiced paraphrasing sentences. Quite a few a few students didn't have their books. Are any of you Sspire students? If so, your books are already paid for. I have emailed your names to the bookstore manager and she will give you your books. If you purchased them already, you can return them with a receipt. If you don't have a receipt, perhaps you can sell them to a classmate who doesn't have hers yet.

Students did the paraphrase activity together, and one student was to post the original sentence and the paraphrase for everyone. Include all the names.

The other assignment was summarizing. We read the Forward (xv) and the Introduction (xix). Students are to post their summaries or comments on these two parts of Rose on the blog also. You can post both in the same entry, just name them by the title of the section.

We read three poems from Rose: the title poem, "The Rose That Grew from Concrete," plus "In the Depths of Solitude," and "Sometimes I Cry" (pages 3-7).

Other homework
Read in Holler If You Hear Me: Introduction and I Always Wanted to Make a Book Out of My Life: pull out four (4) arguments Dyson poses re: Tupac as topic of academic inquiry.

You can write in your book. You don't have to post this, just note it somewhere. Include the argument and the why.

Old Homework
Post your Changes essay, if you haven't already done so, where the assignment is given (August 29, due date.) It is not late, ENG 201, 1-3. Students were to bring their essays to class for a peer review, but it was too hot, and we skipped that step. Post the essay.

I signed a lot of ADD Cards today. Please read the entire blog, plus student responses. This will give a sense of the culture of the class. Read the syllabus and the letter. Respond to the letter. Fill out the goals section of the syllabus for yourself. Give me an index card next week with your contact information, plus, the answers to my questions.

The presentations will begin next week on Hip Hop Culture, followed by American culture. Thanks to everyone who brought their objects. I didn't forget, it was just too warm. We'll start Monday, Sept. 8.

Tomorrow at 12:30-1:30 in the F-Bldg., student lounge, I am hosting a "What did you do over the summer," event. You can bring pictures and writing and stories to share with the college community, or you can just come. If you come, you can have extra credit for attending if you write something about it.

I think this is all...if I left something out, let me know :-)

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