Thursday, October 30, 2008
Holler Chapter 6
Respond to three student arguments with appropriate evidence. State the page numbers from Holler, songs or lyrics, and/or poems from Rose.
If you haven't seen me yet to talk about your writing, make and appointment and do so next week November 3-5 (M-Th).
Topic: Student success
Although some students enter college unprepared, one cannot say this means they'll fail, because given the proper support and resources studies have shown they succeed.
Oh, homework is to catch up. Students have not responded to the assignment on Bay Diamonds or the one before this on Chaper 5 in Dyson. Do not post both in the same place, this was a mistake.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Diamonds in the Rough
We meet in the L-202E. If you didn't present your scene, tomorrow we look forward to seeing it performed. If the first group wants to present again with their entire cast, they can if we don't run out of time.
Also. I'd like students to post their arguments and thesis sentences developed from arguments presented by Dyson in Chapter 5. We will discuss Chapter 5-6 next Monday. Bring in questions to discuss in Literature Circles. We will write an essay on Can't Stop, Won't Stop, next week taking it's theme from the second half of the book.
I will have progress reports for each of you Friday. Make sure I have your email address. I asked everyone to post it a while ago this month. Check the post and see if you did, otherwise I'll give you a paper copy Monday. I'll give each of you a paper copy anyway next week. We'll use this to develop a plan for completing the course with a passing grade. We have a month and a half left.
Many of you need tutors. Go to the tutoring center and get help. Help is also available in the Writing Center: you need to have the assignment available for the tutor of teacher to see, your planning and what you want them to help you with. See Hacker page 28. Professor Juanita Alexander is good (Tuesday afternoon, 1-4, L-235) and Rudy Gonzales, tutor, daily (but he is very busy). Elesha is also available for study hour and outside this time. You can call her and email her. I am going to have her drop by the class again next week (Monday and Wednesday).
Oh, do not forget to come to see me. I am the best resource, underutilized, but I am here and available.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Homework from Dyson
The early class will share Tuesday in class. Post your midterm assignment. Perhaps if we have time Thursday, you can act the skits out in the L-202E. This is the only way you can get full credit.
Introductory Paragraphs Cyber Assignment
Post a completed essay here. You can use an introduction or body from someone else, but you have to compose your own conclusion, plus another section. Two thirds has to be original. Use a paraphrase, a block quote and a in-text citation, in the essay. Be sure to include signal phrases and transitions.
In the afternoon class we discussed developing thesis sentences. I suggest students read Planning (Hacker) and do the exercises on-line and in-text on developing thesis sentences. Some students were confused over a thesis sentences role in the essay and had learned really prescriptive methods of developing them and what their role was in the essay. We also discussed what a coordinating conjunction does and what a subordinating conjunction does. See Hacker. We defined essay: a short literary composition with a single theme or topic.
As I said in my introductory letter--stay loose and we'll be fine. All you need to remember is what is covered in the handout I gave you from Writing with a Thesis: a thesis is restricted, specific, and unified. It's not a title, an absolute fact, the entire essay or an announcement. For our purposes, it is an argument stated as a declarative sentence:
Although Tupac Shakur uses examples in his song, "Me Against the World," and his poem, "If I Should Fail," which often seem to contradict one another, his intention is to encourage his peers to continue pursuing their goals, because "even if things don't go the way [they] planned it [...]", they can still "make a difference in the world" (Verse 3MATW).
Here are my introductory paragraphs. We used Dalena's (I think):
Tupac Shakur's music articulated for black youth what Michael Eric Dyson called, "the contradictory poses of maturing black identity" (Holler 118). His poems, published after his death in A Rose Grew from Concrete, reveal a sensitive and vulnerable side of a public persona unimagined when one thinks of thug life. What happened to this young man, or is the 19 year old personality who speaks of love and pain and loneliness and fear the same person who writes about death and destruction? Though Tupac Shakur's use of examples in his song "Me Against the World" and poem "If I Fail" often seem contradictory, his intention is to encourage his peers to continue pursuing their dreams, because "even if things don't go the way [they] planned it [...]", they can still "make a difference in the world" (Verse 3MATW).
Looking at these themes: contradictions, isolation, hopelessness, resilience, we developed the foll lowing two body paragraphs, as I said, using a student introduction.
MATW expresses Tupac's struggles throughout his life, such as: absent parents, living in poverty, violence on the street and in the home. Tupac's desperation--his pursuit of happiness was like a job. Considering the emotional disadvantages he experienced, one could say it was a job he seemed least capable of fulfilling.
In the poem, "If I Should Fail," Tupac seems prepared for the worse, but hopes for the best. One can find similar ideas in the song MATW. In several stanzas, his character reflects on what he witnesses: people murdered, police violence, isolation, no support system. He even admits to participating in these illegal and self-destructive activities. Take for instance the lines in MATW, verse one which follow Tupac's question about his friends dying in large numbers:
Got me worried, stressin, my vision's blurried
The question is will I live? No one in the world loves me
I'm headed for danger, don't trust strangers
Put one in the chamber whenever I'm feeling anger
Don't wanna make excuses, cause this is how it is
What's the use unless we're shootin no one notices the youth
It's just me against the world baby
The introduction I write this morning in the early class follows: Rough draft revised...but it's still rough:
In Tupac Shakur's song, Me Against the World and poem If I Fail, he writes about the obstacle to success. He speaks eloquently about the loneliness and isolation a creative person feels when his intentions and thoughts are misunderstood or dismissed. He writes as if signing an epithet--"those who know me are aware of my hard life: [poverty, single parent head of household, black skin, male body] (Rose 27). Both in the song and in the poem Tupac tells his audience that even if it sometimes feels as if it is "him against the world" to not let the "pressure make [them] panic, and when [one is] stranded or things don't go the way you planned it to keep working toward one's goals. No one is going to help the person who doesn't help him or herself.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Revised Field Trip Post
Re: Black White Boy, we can go later in the run. I'm going to opening night Monday, October 27. I'll tell you about it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Laney College's production of Piano Lesson in the Laney College Theatre, 9th and Fallon (across the street from the Lake Merritt BART Station.) Thursday, October 23, 7:30 reception, 8 p.m. showtime http://www.laney.peralta.edu/apps/agenda.asp?Q=0&C=agenda
The Piano Lesson continues, Thursday, 10/30/2008 - Saturday, 11/1/2008. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.;Students, Faculty, Staff: $5;
General Public: $10 Location: Laney College Theatre, 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson," Friday, 12/5/2008 at the Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak Street, Oakland, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Friday, October 24, Climbing Poetree at La Pena Cultural Center, 3150 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 p.m. (It's next door to the Starry Plough.)
Hip Hop Theatre
Saturday, October 25, Black White Boy at Intersection for the Arts, on Valencia in San Francisco, 8 p.m. There is a panel discussion afterwards with the playwright, director and a hip hop scholar, Jeff Chang. This is a part of the Living Word Festival 2008: Race is Fiction.
(Look at the post on field trips to read more about the last two events.)
Let me know tomorrow if you can go the Friday event and how many are in your party. Tickets are $10 (I think. I'm sure I can get a deal for us if we are more than 10. The same is true for Saturday. If anyone wants to read the play email me and I'll send it to you. "The Piano Lesson" by August Wilson circulates in the public library. COA might even have it.)
Cyber-Homework...due Wednesday, October 22
1.Various themes run through Dyson's book, Holler If You Hear Me. Some resonate for certain readers more than others. Let's look at education. In a freewrite think about the significance of education in Tupac's life. Contrast or compare his views on education to your own.
Now, use evidence from chapters 3-5 to talk about American education or miseducation according to Tupac. Discuss how Tupac's belief that knowledge is power is developed in these chapters. Write this as an introductory paragraph on the theme "education." (Min. 10 sentences.)
3. What influences did Leila Steinberg have on the beginning of Tupac's career? (Chapter 3)
4. Was Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, a good role model for her son? (Chapter 2)
5. How did Tupac's mother's life as a revolutionary affect his development as a young man and as an American citizen?
7. How is black motherhood second to God?
8. Why did Tupac resent the fact that his mother was betrayed by the Black Panther Party?
9. How did Afeni Shakur, regardless of her foibles, live up to her title: Black Queen?
10. Listen to "Brenda's Got a Baby" and "Keep Ya Head Up." Read the lyrics too. Discuss how "Keep Ya Head Up" is a letter of hope to Brenda.
Compose at least 10 sentences incorporating lyrics from the song where these lines from the lyrics help explain or illustrate what the writer is stating.
Note: An easy way to find evidence is to look at your statements and see where Tupac agrees with you in his writing. Use some direct quotes, at least 2 of the four. The other citations can be phrases and paraphrases.
Kurzweil at Laney
I'm really excited about the possibilities for composition and reading. Remember, you can use the labs at Laney, 9-4, M-F, in E-237.
Today is the last day to register to vote. Don't miss this opportunity to participate in the governance of your nation. All libraries, post offices, court houses, colleges, and other public facilities.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Monday Class, October 20
English 201, 1-3 p.m. will meet at Laney College in the Kurzweil Lab, E-257 from 1 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Awesome! More cyber-homework...
Continue reading Dyson and write your logs. You will turn them in at the end of the month, when we complete the book. Post the scenes at the posted assignment below before Monday, preferably by Friday. We'll be performing the plays, October 27. We'll do a run through October 20, maybe, and complete the Writing with a Thesis package. Finish it before class 10/20.
Paraphrase the following sentences. See Hacker page 417 (6th edition).
1. "Tupac squeezed the various vulnerabilities of black life into verse without smothering its defiant hope" (Introduction 2).
2. "While he often decried racism and spoke about blacks and whites, Tupac rarely thought in black and white terms" (Introduction 3).
3. "Tupac's budding erudition only strengthened his suspicion of authority" (Introduction 4).
4. "...Tupac's lyrical and immortality are secure" (Introduction 5).
5. "The question of black authenticity haunts the culture; within hip-hop it is especially vicious, with artists often adopting a stance as a thug or gangsta to prove their bona fides and their ability to represent the street" (15).
6. "If the mother is central in black life, she is also made a scapegoat for the social disintegration of black culture" (22).
Define the words or phrases in context: autodidactic rumination(34); delegitimaized counterculture (34); black track...white flight (34); domestic pedagogy (37); gargantuan (41); fatally tethered to badness (45); presciently (51); heinous contradictions (58)
More to come later...
Today in class students began typing their scenes. Please post them no later than 5 p.m. today. I want to look at them and give you feedback. Make sure the writing is standard and as polished as you can get it. You can certainly revise it later. Post it where at the link where I give you an outline to follow.
No one posted a summary of Chapter 5. Next week and today in the afternoon class we will look at paraphrasing certain sentences in chapters 1-5. We'll work on the summaries, in the afternoon class as a group for a freewrite.
We will also review Writing with a Thesis exercises.
The film "Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome," is screening tomorrow, the final day of the Oakland International Film Festival at Grand Lake Theatre, in Oakland. The film is screening 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. The producer is going to be present. The evening wraps with a party beginning about 12 midnight. Tickets are $10 with a discount of $5 for those who attended the festival. If you attend the film screening with me, tickets are $5 for you and any guests. I will meet you at 5:30 p.m. at the theatre tomorrow. Let me know if you plan to come no later than tomorrow.
There is another screening that begins at 9 p.m. I will not be staying for this screening, but I might return. I have an 8 p.m. engagement.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Writing with a Thesis and Cyber-Post for the Scenes from Holler if You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac
English 201 8-9 a.m., post your plans and outlines for the scene where assigned. So far, nothing is posted.
A sample scene is:
Title--Act 1, Scene 1 (the title of the scene is taken from the title, for example: "No Malcolm X in My History Text."
Characters--Markita as Miss Steinberg
Edna as: narrator
Barry as: Tupac
(if the actors are double cast, put a slash between the characters they play
e.g. Barry as Tupac/narrator)
Setting--A park in Marin County, 1982
The narrator summarizes the chapter and leads into the scene..."In Michael Eric Dyson's book, Holler if You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac," in Chapter ? "No Malcolm...looks at .... In the opening scene, (tell us who she is) Leila S-- is sitting on the grass reading Winnie Mandela's book...when the young poet, Tupac walks up.
Leila Steinberg's lines|
Each character has his or her own lines. When the character changes, use another line.
We are meeting in L-202E--both classes Wednesday, October 15 and Thursday, October 16.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Assignments...Keep Reading Dyson
The afternoon class went over a handout from the book: Writing with a Thesis, chapter 1: The Persuasive Principle. We reviewed the material and went over the first set of exercises together. Homework was to read up to page 17 and do all the exercises in between. You can write on the handout. If you missed class, you can pick up a copy outside my office.
Homework was to read Chapter 5, which we skimmed, and write a summary. We will write a scene in class Wednesday.
The early class were assigned chapters to develop a scene from. We will continue writing tomorrow and perhaps do a run through. Wednesday is curtain. You can bring props and music and art. The scenes need to be written out. Everyone should have a copy. Look at a published play to see how to structure the writing. You can use the text for dialogue and characters, you can also develop your own.
A scene is a part of a story, as such there needs to be an introductory section of the piece or prologue to bring the audience up to speed. You can also include an epilogue, to let us know what happens later.
The scene should have characters, dialogue, and a setting or place where the action takes place….Describe this in the opening section of the scene.
Your scene can have a name
List the characters, including a narrator
Cast: student names and characters
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Homework for both classes
We will write a skit on Monday and for the early class, act it out on Tuesday. For the MW class, we will do both on Monday, October 13. Students will not know which chapter will be assigned, so read all of them and have a short log prepared with areas of interest and places that encourage dramatization noted in-text or in the notes.
A scene has characters and dialogue. It is not the entire story. In your case, students will have a narrative prologue to recap the story so far and give a little background on Tupac and Dyson's book: why he wrote it and what this chapter covers. We might have more than one ensemble developing scenes from the same chapter. In this case, you will be assigned a certain section of the text.
It should be fun!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Me Against the World Freewrite
There is no wrong way to respond to this assignment. After you post your essay, respond to someone else's essay. Identify three aspects of the essay you like or that work well.
Here is a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cjv7hEAytU
Here is a link to the lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/2pac/meagainsttheworld.html
Though Tupac’s protagonist in Me Against the World seems defeated and cowered by life and the plate in front of his place at the table is filled with food he'd rather not touch, let alone eat, the song ends with a ray of hope, almost like dessert after a horrible meal. The song, "Me Against the World" could be considered a pep talk for all those, "post-revolutionary kids like himself" (Chapter 2 Dyson). Tupac's narrator is telling his audience to "handle its business, to keep its head up, that it can do it, because if it doesn't, then no one--literally, not his parents, society, or friends, will.
Continue reading and annotating. Post Thesis Sentences Here taken from themes in Chapter 2
The skimming exercises does not take the place of reading the chapters. It just helps you get a sense of where Dyson is going and helps you, I hope, grasp the key concept a little better.
We are going to speed through the rest of the book, so that we can begin to look at social entrepreneurs for our research project.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
We also spoke about my trip to the Student Success conference last week and a reading program used at Laney.
Monday, October 06, 2008
I'm back! Flew into Oakland Friday evening and then went home, dropped off my luggage, jumped into my car and headed for Prescott Joseph Center for the play, "Ebony and Johnny: A 'Hood Play." It was great adaptation of Romeo and Juliet! Six students showed up from all four classes and we hung in there through the rain. It was that good! I encourage you to go this weekend: Friday-Saturday, October 10-11, 7 p.m., Sunday, October 12, 2 p.m. at 920 Peralta Street in Oakland. There is an art exhibit inside you can visit during intermission. There is art in the front hallway by the door and on the wall along the first staircase and in the first large room in the front of the building.
I curated the exhibit and the reception is Wednesday, October 15, 6-8 p.m. It's free. I canceled the early class this morning. We watched a film I got in a workshop at the Success in Basic Skills conference I attended last week: Reading between the Lives: Chabot College students talk abut reading and more...".
The film explored college reading assignments and skills needed to success in courses. It also looked at how students learned to read and their reading experiences as children and adults.
Post a response to the film and then respond to another student's response. Share an early reading experience. How would you describe your relationship to text? Some of your spoke about wanting to read more, to stop watching TV as much, as a reason why you are in college. Other students spoke of not enjoying reading or writing. What happened to turn you off to text? What has kept you connected to text: reading and writing?
Share something you learned which you plan to add to your reading strategy? How would you describe your reading strategy? Use the Dyson text as the example. Discuss how you would approach reading Chapter 2: Son of a Panther (46)?
Read Chapter 2. Develop 5 questions from the text. The questions can be about concepts you do not understand or those you agree or disagree with. Bring in the questions.