Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Turkey Daze

Yesterday we met. Many of the morning class was out ill. Those who were present: Dion, Andrew, Nina, Lou...shared introductory paragraphs. In the afternoon class we did the same. The difference was the quality of the writing. Andrew (8-9) and Lisa (1-3), along with Melissa, Delena, Treana, most noteworthy. Other students shared their work. Joshua (1-3), along with Sameela received, along with everyone else, direction and critique on how to improve the essays which are due tomorrow.

The morning class needs to email the essays to me, no later than 3 p.m., so I can give you feedback before Monday, Dec. 1. When you send me your work, include the words ENGLISH 201, 1-3 or 8-9 and the assignment SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR.

Reading Homework:

We started reading Evolution of a Revolutionary by Jasmine Guy. Read up to Chapter 3. Keep a reading log for each chapter where you note: characters, themes, vocabulary, questions, arguments--yours and the authors, and brief summary of the key ideas of the chapter and whether or not these ideas are connected to those in prior chapters, if so, note where they have occurred.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Another Local Hero: Albina Ruiz

In the morning class we watched one of the PBS.org New Heroes' programs and then completed a planning sheet together. I wanted to look at the library databases for additional information on the topic.

Visit http://www.pbs.org/opb/thenewheroes/meet/ruiz.html to read about Ruiz. I gave students who werwe present a copy of the profile from the site.

SE: Albina Ruiz, health and environmental engineer in Peru interested in the rural areas

Location: Peru

Problem: Garbage too close to homes caused people to become ill
The first thing she did after identifying the problem was to talk to those affected by pollution.

How did she involve the community? When she spoke to them they told her how the kids were sick.

Why didn't they move? Poverty

What did Ruiz do? Cleaned up the area and created jobs to help the families support themselves. Fishing industry – not only did she help the community create work from the elimination of toxins, she also helped them begin to see the connection between waste disposal and health.

What else was involved to help secure the change in this rural area of Peru? Education and then this community effort raised their status with the government which started to assist in the removal and elimination of toxic waste

She created 3 businesses; what are they?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


New Heroes

The afternoon class watched an episode of the New Heroes program to practice developing a planning sheet and an outline together. Make certain you complete the three (3) Frontline World assignments in detail. Begin to write your essay for next week. Become an expert first, read everything first and then write. Visit the business if you can, try to interview the person--you don't have to.

Kailash Satyarthi from http://www.pbs.org/opb/thenewheroes/

Projects: Global March Against Child Labor, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS), Rugmark

Locations: New Delhi, India (headquarters), partners in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Kailash Satyarthi has saved tens of thousands of lives. At the age of 26 he gave up a promising career as an electrical engineer and dedicated his life to helping the millions of children in India who are forced into slavery by powerful and corrupt business- and land-owners. His original idea was daring and dangerous. He decided to mount raids on factories — factories frequently manned by armed guards — where children and often entire families were held captive as bonded workers.

After successfully freeing and rehabilitating thousands of children, he went on to build up a global movement against child labor. Today Kailash heads up the Global March Against Child Labor, a conglomeration of 2000 social-purpose organizations and trade unions in 140 countries.

Yet even as he has become a globally recognized figure, Kailash continues the gritty work of leading raids to free slaves. Kailash believes that he must focus on a range of activities -- from the most grassroots to the most visionary -- in order to win the fight.

What Does SACCS Do?
Since its inception in 1989, SACCS and its partners have liberated nearly 40,000 bonded laborers, many of them bonded, working in various industries, including rug manufacturing. But to free such children without offering new opportunities would, in Kailash's view, be meaningless.

Bal Ashram in Rajasthan, India is a transition center where newly-freed slaves are taught basic skills. Kailash describes the arrival of a girl recently freed from a stone quarry: "It's a joyous experience to watch the changing emotions flit across this beautiful girl's face. She's like an open book, and her varying expressions tell us a story: the story of transition from slavery to a new life of freedom. When her face lights up, it is clear she is taking her first steps toward freedom and belief in others."

Since the Ashram can only serve 100 children at a time, Kailash has begun a program called "Bal Mitra Gram" to encourage Indian villages to abolish child labor. In order to be a part of the program, an entire community must agree that no child will be put to work and every child will be sent to school.

While changing India village by village is a worthwhile pursuit, such a strategy could take centuries to achieve Kailash's goal, and he is not prepared to wait that long. So he has begun attacking the problem by harnessing the immense power of market forces.

Many rugs from South Asia are manufactured using child labor. Kailash believes that if consumers around the world knew how their expensive and colorful Indian rugs were made, they would no longer think they were so beautiful. He started "Rugmark," a program in which rugs are labeled and certified to be child-labor-free by factories who that agree to be regularly inspected. Kailash plans to extend the labeling program to other products such as soccer balls, another popular product that is commonly made by children.

Kailash says "If not now, then when? If not you, then who? If we are able to answer these fundamental questions, then perhaps we can wipe away the blot of human slavery."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Freewrite: And 2morrow (8-9 AM class)

We read from Rose the poem, And 2morrow (141). We looked at themes: hope, world is bad, change, rage/anger, un/fairness and developed a few thesis sentences using topical invention.

Develop a definition, and analogy, a consequence and post here. Bring in Hacker tomorrow, we will take a grammar quiz.

Post your research essay plans and outlines where indicated. Do the Frontline World assignments where indicated. Ask for help from the librarians and me. Arrange an interview with the person you are profiling today. Develop a few questions for a short interview. Visit the organization or place of business.

Sentences we developed this morning:
Everything in the world is temporary according to Tupac Shakur in his poem, "2morrow,' especially "evil."

change is like a time bomb.

People try to avoid change like a man on parole tries to pretend he isn't wearing an ankle monitor.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The Rose that Grew from Concrete

Post your thesis sentences here developed from the poetry read today in the 1-3 PM class. Your essays are due next week, the outlines and plans are due Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Homework is to read chapter 8 in Dyson, and pull out 10 arguments and supporting evidence. Look at the post below for more information on this and for the link to the Sekou Sundiata poem. You can post your research assignments where the assignment is given.

I noticed that most students have not completed the Frontline World assignment. It is a practice for what you will be doing in your research papers. Today, students still hadn't decided on a person to profile. Don't wait to the last minute. I am giving you one month to do this essay, which includes time to revise. We are completing Dyson this week--both classes and starting Guy. Bring to class Wednesday.

You'll write an in-class essay or respond to essay questions on a topic taken from the last chapters in Dyson on Thursday, Nov. 20. make sure you have read the final chapters. You will only have 50 minutes.

On the Grammar Quiz, (1-3 PM class) we'll continue our discussion on Wednesday. Make sure you put the Hacker references next to the grammar errors and be prepared to tell me what kind of sentences the three I asked you to identify, are.


Holler If You Hear Me: I Got Your Name Tatted on My Arm

Today in the early class we worked on the planning and document search for the research essay. It's due tomorrow morning. Don't forget, we meet in L-202E until further notice. You can post your plans and research below if complete before class.

Read or at least skim chapter 8. We will go through the chapter and pull definitions, analogies, consequences from the text, as well as, arguments we agree with and those we don't agree with. I'd like students to post 3 of each.

What do you think about the premise stated and implied by the title: "I Got Your Name Tatted on My Body: Reading the Black Body"?

Do any of you inhabit this physical space or have been affected by the space such bodies occupy? Explain.

I'll see if I can find it. It was a part of the Bill Moyers' series on poets and poetry aired on pbs.org Listen here: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2007/07/remembering_sekou_sundiata.html


Research Final Draft post due Nov. 26/Dec. 3


Research Planning and Early Drafts

Post your Planning Sheet and Document Search here, along with your Outline, due Wednesday, Nov. 19, and your Introduction and Conclusion, due, Monday, Nov. 24, and first draft, due, Nov. 26. Keep returning to this post for everything, except the final draft, which will appear later in the process.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Topical Invention

Post examples of definitions, analogies, consequences and testimony here from Chapter 7 in Holler.

Monday, November 10, 2008


"But Do the Lord Care," Chapter 7

Today we read aloud in the early class from Chapter 7, in Holler then discussed the themes: Hip Hop Spirituality and Thug Theology from the perspectives of Rev. Willie Wilson and Bishop TD Jakes. We also looked at poet Sonia Sanchez and the comments of Big Tray D. Complete the chapter.

1. Write a summary of the chapter in a short essay, minimally three paragraphs.

2. Separately, list ten words and their definitions you didn't know. Talk about how the word is used in the text, then paraphrase the sentence it appears in. Include page numbers.

3. Reflect on the arguments presented here and post three arguments, ones you agree with and those you don't agree with and argue in favor or against one of them.

How is Thug Theology defined? Does the Lord care? How do you know? How did Tupac know? Isn't an interesting parallel that there are 10 Commandments and the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense had a Ten Point Program.

4. Respond to a student argument.

If you have any of the music cited in the examples, please feel free to bring it in to share.

We will meet in A-202E on 11/12 and 11/13. If you'd like the next assignment: research essay assignment, check the ledge next to the bin outside my office L-236. if any of you have not spoken to me, make sure you do. Everyone should have their progress report.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Last Essay: Social Entrepreneur or Local Heroes Part 1

Research Tools
These resources are referenced in the assignment below. You can get a paper copy of the forms from the reference librarians at COA. Steve Gerstle developed the research guide for this assignment. I will have paper copies on hand also. If you miss class check the bin outside my office. They will be outside my office by Monday, Nov. 10, or you can use the URL and print them out for yourself from the web.

Visit http://alameda.peralta.edu/projects/20013/EnglishSabirpathfinder.doc

http://alameda.peralta.edu/projects/20013/EvalWebWksht.doc for the assignment: Evaluating a web page.

Other resources


Frontline World Assignment: Research Essay Part 2

Frontline World Cyber-Assignment Post
Visit http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/socialentrepreneurs.html

Respond to 3 stories
Post your Frontline World Responses (3) here.

Don't forget to answer the following questions in your response to the program.

What is a social entrepreneur?
What is a philanthropist?


1.Who is the social entrepreneur profiled?
2.What problem did the person profiled identify?
3.What is the name of the organization they started?
4.Describe their relationship to the community that they serve?

• Why they decided to address this issue?

5.What is the local component?
6.How does the community own the process?


Social Entrepreneur Research Essay Assignment for English 201 Fall 2008 --Part 3

This research worksheet is a way to define what a social entrepreneur is compared to a philanthropist. We are looking at individuals who are continuing the social justice legacy of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Martin King and the Civil Rights Movement.

The question you want to ask after you have identified a person or two:

1. What motivated this person to want to change something in society?
2. How did this person get the community's support for the project?
3. What did the community gain?
4. What did the social entrepreneur gain?

Your essay needs to answer all of these questions; you can structure it like a typical problem/solution essay or cause and effect.

The person has to be alive. Try to find someone local, who is living in the San Francisco Bay Area or in California. The person has to have been doing this work for 5-10 years. You need to locate 5-10 sources on your subject to form a bibliography; you don't have to cite 10 sources. The sources can be published or broadcast interviews, books, articles, and films or you can interview them yourself. The person cannot be a relative. You can work in groups and share data. In fact, I encourage it.

See a librarian at the reference desk to help you define your search and identify the SE you'd like to profile in your 4-5 page essay. Use the handouts or the links to handouts to document the research process and to pace yourself. We will have several related assignments, from evaluating websites to developing a research strategy to help you find the information you need and then document it.

I created this assignment after seeing the program: New Heroes on http://www.pbs.org/opb/thenewheroes/. I wanted students to realize the power they possess to be the change in their communities they want to see, that one person can make a difference.

Beginning next week, I will be showing a few episodes of the New Heroes series and we'll look at the Frontline World program for examples of Social Entrepreneurs.

Use the library worksheet to define the terms: social, society, entrepreneur, "social entrepreneur", philanthropist and philanthropy. Be clear about the difference between a philanthropist and a social entrepreneur. Also define: hero, local, selfless, selfish, community, help, support, supporter, care, independence, money, wealth.

Due dates
The planning sheet and 5-10 sources are due Monday, November 17 to share.

An outline is due: Wednesday, November 19.

An introduction and conclusion are due Monday, November 24.

The first draft is due Wednesday, November 26.

The final draft is due Wednesday, December 3 (1-3 PM) class, Thursday, December 4, (8-9 AM class). This draft needs to include a peer review and a meeting with me somewhere in the process to review the essay. Ask the tutor or writing center teacher comment on the five areas we consider when reviewing another’s work (Hacker handout) or specific questions you might have. We will meet in the L-202E.

You will post the essay, the planning sheet, and all the works cited and bibliography pages on the blog that day in class. You will also email the essay to me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Poetry Reading

Sameela, one of your classmates has a poetry reading this Saturday, November 8, 7 to 9 p.m. It's free and she will read with other College of Alameda Creative Writing Students. There is an open mic at the end. The Frank Bette Center for the Arts is in Alameda at 1601 Paru Street. The phone number is (510) 523-6957.


Yes, We Can...

Today, given the extraordinary circumstances, we met in L-202E to reflect on President-Elect Barack Obama's acceptance speech. By an analysis what I'd like you to do is identify his key point or thesis and the supporting evidence he uses to prove it.

Talk about the rhetorical form of the speech; how does he introduce his topic? What does use to draw in his audience? What compelling examples does he give and what literary strategies help him develop these ideas?

Look at his use of repetition and his acknowledgement of controversy, such as that inherent in the two party system when the other party loses. What does he say about our being one America that makes even the most ardent opponent perhaps stop a minute and listen?

Some say, politics is all a game. Do you think Obama is playing with the American people? Give examples to prove your points.

Sometimes even the most experienced speakers let slip gestures or facial expressions which belie the intent of the words coming from their mouths, that is, the words spoken do not match their body language: eyes, facial expression, gestures. There are many reasons why this is so-- fatigue, distress, or because the person doesn't believe in what he or she is saying.

Is Obama's affect consistent with his message?

For homework, write about three CA or Alameda County propositions and what it means to Californians/East Bay residents if it passes and if it loses. You can visit

For extra credit you can analysis McCain's conciliatory speech and President Bush's congratulatory one. Post all responses here along with links to your sources. It's always good to read political analysis before forming your own opinions.

If you were absent yesterday, post your experience at the polls essay here.

Bring in something for the American Culture Archives tomorrow also. You have to explain why your object represents American culture.

Have a great day! Oh, the link to my radio show is: http://www.wandaspicks.asmnetwork.org It airs live on Wednesdays, 6-7 a.m. and Fridays, 8-10 a.m. It's archived afterwards. Today I had Willie Ratcliff, publisher of the San Francisco Bay View and Nena At. Louis, artist, playwright and director, on my show talking about Electoral Politics 2008, and America's first black president.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Tupac on Election 2008 Cyber-Assignment

Today in class we reflected on Tupac and what he would say regarding Election 2008. Post your reflections here. Please feel free to use Dyson and Rose and any songs of Tupac's like Changes, where he speaks about electoral politics.

Respond to one classmate's post. Each post should be a few paragraphs long. I am looking forward to reading Thomas' and others like Nina and Earnest and Barry, who didn't share.

Oh, if you missed class, remember, you are to share your electoral experience at the polls and tonight with us here.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Progress Reports/Homework...students are getting behind again

A few students dropped by to pick up their progress reports. I emailed others. I will send the rest to students whom I didn't see later on today (after 3 p.m.) Homework is to develop an outline of Chapter 6. Start with a thesis and then list the major points and the supporting evidence by page number.

Bring to class to discuss. We'll skim chapter 7 and break out into Lit Circles tomorrow. If anyone is absent because you were at the polls. Write a short essay (250) about your experience in participatory democracy for Wednesday, Nov. 5. Bring to class to share and post.

If you are behind, catch up on the essays. Don't worry about the freewrites. Everyone who is behind needs to talk to me, and bring me a proposal or we can develop one together so you can pass the class.

American Culture Presentations
Wednesday, November 5, in the MW class we will make our American culture presentations for the archival museum. Bring in an object that represents American culture to you. Be prepared to defend its inclusion in the Archival Museum.

The 8-9 a.m. class will present Thursday, Nov. 6. We meet in the L-202E.

Recap for afternoon class
In the afternoon class we developed thesis sentences from Dyson's 6th chapter. We read several pages and then pulled themes from what we read and developed sentences using "Topical Invention" strategies. We also looked at Planning in Hacker, 1A and 1B and discussed the invention strategies listed there.

Homework is to post four thesis sentences in last week's assignment post: a definition, an analogy, a consequence, and testimony. Students should also post their outlines for Chapter 6, there.

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