Monday, December 08, 2008


The portfolio narratives for English 201

1. The narrative will look at the 18 weeks, the themes we looked at this semester, the poetics of hip hop and Tupac Shakur. Talk about what you've learned and discovered this semester about writing and yourself, college and life, which have transformed or changed you.

What have you learned about yourself this semester? What have you learned about the discipline you are studying here: reading and writing that you plan to carry forth into your lifelong pursuit of learning.

Please also comment on the texts and whether or not they were helpful in this process. You can also talk about the instruction, culture of the class and the teacher.

2.Essay 2 has students look at the writing process and discuss their own: the topics chosen, the information used, revision strategies, writing as a process. This should include a definition of the difference between editing and revising and a value statement on the place for both in composition.

What have you learned about yourself as a writer? Take two essays and talk about the planning, research and revision strategies you used. It helps to choose an early paper and compare to a later paper. Often you can more easily see the differences in your writing and a better example of mastery of certain concepts. Also discuss skills you need to improve and how you plan to address that.

I am really interested in discourse about audience and how that shapes or determines how the writer approaches her topic.

I am also interested in discussion of the revision process, and whether or not seeing writing as a work in progress or a draft, liberates or stagnates the creative process. (Students are to use examples from their writing to illustrate these points.)

I'd also like students to think about and give at three specific ways how they have grown as writers and thinkers this semester. Each essay should be minimally 1-2 pages (250-500 words).

The essays I’d like you to include are: “Change,” “Hip Hop Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” plus—the “Holler Essay Questions (10/22)” and the “Group Skit,” “Evolution of a Revolutionary,” and research essay.

We will work on the narratives together Wednesday, Dec. 10, and during the optional Study Hall, Monday, Dec. 17, in the smaller writing lab, L-226.

You have a copy of the assigned essays this semester. The check-list is the same with grades posted next to the assignment. We will look at this the last day of class. Our final is Wednesday, Dec. 17, from 12:00 noon to 2 p.m./Friday, Dec. 19, 8:00 a.m. to 10 a.m.) We will meet in the Writing Center, L-226. If you need technology, let me know next week.

Your portfolios are due Wednesday, Dec. 17, the day of the final.
They are to be digitized and saved on a CD or diskette or emailed (MS Word 2003). No exceptions. (Melissa might submit her's as a website. I am certainly open to creative responses to the final portfolio and since all of you have a blog, posting your final portfolio on such is an innovative idea I am open to.

The only paper copies are the freewrites and reading logs. Do not give me your originals. I can make copies, if you can’t. Oh, there are no regular class meetings next week. You come to class only on the date of the final.

Final Presentations:
You will present your research essay the day of the final. You will not read the essay. Make sure you at least have a photo of your social entrepreneur to share with the class. Prepare an abstract or a short summary for your classmates. If you need me to make copies, send the document to me in advance.

What have you learned about yourself this semester? What have you learned about the discipline you are studying here: reading and writing that you plan to carry forth into your lifelong pursuit of learning.

I learned that I have gained a better understanding of how to use more insight on how to enhance my opinions by adding my own experiences. I learned that I think critically about my input whether it’s a poem, reading from a book. I plan to gain more knowledge about writing, literature and poetry. I love to read and write I found both are important to stay in tune with because I want to keep learning while I’m still living.

-Sameela Smith ENG.201A
Andrew Nguyen
English 201


What's the difference between a Research Essay and a Research Final?

The essay is our research paper.
The final is when we present it right?

How are we going to tell you what we got if we have not done it yet?
Dion Cade
English 201b
Portfolio Assignment

Looking back
Through these past eighteen weeks there have been a lot of essays and other things to do. There has also been many themes as well that relate to our reading of Tupac and his poetry. What I have learned and discovered about writing and about myself is that writing of course takes a lot of practice and dedication to the art. It is striving to get great communication out in writing and make readers really understand the topic that is being discussed. Writing uses very creative techniques to use words and expand on a certain language due to different vocabulary techniques. There are a lot of different forms of writing like metaphors and similes and they all should be used the right way.
What I have learned about myself through writing is that I need to stay on topic and not drift away which may leave some readers confused. And I also learned that I should use the correct grammar as well. And I should also insert paraphrases and block quotes as well. I also learned that if I wanted to write then I would be good at it. I’m not really serious about it like I probably should be, but its not like I want to be a journalist. But I do write as a hobby. I write my own raps and make music with them and record them. I learned that Tupac was an excellent writer, and that he read a lot of books which quenched his thirst for knowledge. He did not have to pay for his learning experience like a college. He just went to the library and read a lot of different kinds of books. That is how he was so smart. He read every chance he could. He made poetry off of his knowledge that he got from reading certain books. I think it is important to not only learn things but to also apply that knowledge to other people as well.
I plan on carrying what I learned in this class through the rest of my life by reminding myself of the things I learned in my previous, present, and future English classes. I plan on maybe actually taking time and looking at the Hacker book because really I haven’t been in that book. The only time I read it is when we were in class. I don’t really take my work seriously most of the time but then again most of the time I get my work done. I usually will wait until the last minute to do something, always procrastinating that I will do in the next day. But as long as I do my work and at least try on it, then it will be good work with errors of course, but I will always remember the format in essays and really bring out my mind to bring out the essays, and continue to learn new better ways in writing English.
The Writing Process
The Writing process is planning, drafting, revising, editing, and essay. Planning is when the writer thinks about what they will talk about and thinks about the format that the paragraphs will be in when it is written and what topic will be discussed in each paragraph. Drafting is basically an outline of what the finished paper may look like. It is where the artist brings the planning into action on the paper and “bangs it out.” Revising is making another draft with a couple of changes and switch-ups and also switching grammar. And editing is any added corrections and making paragraphs longer or shorter. Publishing is when the final essay is all done and ready to be shipped out. I basically follow the writing process only when I need to, and that is when it is for points. I just think of something to write and start writing it. And any mistakes and changes that I make will be considered later. I just write down the basics but if I have to make it longer then I would go into more detail, or even say something that I already said and put it in different words.
That is what I learned about myself as a writer. That I like to fill in the blanks with whatever I can and whatever is necessary. I guess it is appropriate to call it “lazy writing.” That is my style, but I also write down whatever comes up in my head. I may think of one idea and write it down but then that idea would lead on to another idea. It would possibly be appropriate to call that “memory chain writing” or “consecutive memory writing.” One essay that was a good example of the style I used was the Afeni Shakur book. When I started writing about one thing about her then a bunch of other information came up in my head and I was writing as fast as I could to get all of these topics and statements down before I forgot what I was going to say. For the hip hop essay I did the writing process drafting. It is obvious that the drafting of that essay was a better example than just thinking from the top of my head. It is evident that when the writer spends more time on an essay, it will be better.
The skills I need to improve on is focusing and spending more time with my essays and polishing them so that they can be the best that they can be and so that I can show the full potential of my writing. I haven’t went to a tutor and honestly I don’t remember going to a tutor at all in my life but that may not be true. But I feel like I have done good enough if it is an average grade so I don’t “waste my time” at the tutor. But I feel that with English getting a bit more difficult and detailed as I continue on, I may definitely go to see a tutor. And it may not be because I want to, it may be because I have to.

Changes Essay
What is change? There are a lot of definitions for this word but here is one that fits the topic: “becoming different in some particular way, without permanently losing one’s or its former characteristics or essence.” Changes happen all the time in life. Some are visual to all and others may be very small and barely recognizable. They happen all of the time and they can affect a person’s life physically and mentally. It also affects a person’s life for the good and for the bad. Changes reflect a person’s life and make them want to look back and see how far they have come and how they will see their lives in the near future.

The biggest change in my life is having to pay rent now. Finally having money in my pocket, I have to conserve it because most of the time I have to spend it on necessities. Its been a little hard to have money for myself because before I had two jobs but basically now I only have one. I actually have three now but I hardly get any hours at my other jobs so basically I have one. I work at taco bell, cutco, and doing security for sporting events. I have a lot more responsibilities since I have turned eighteen and paying rent is a huge responsibility.

Now that I have to pay rent, sometimes I think back in my life where I did not have to pay three hundred dollars a month. I tell a lot of people that I know that that is what I have to do in my life right now. They always say that they feel sorry for me all the time and that it is messed up that my parents are making me pay rent. I do agree with them because it is weird that after most of my life living with them they now want me to pay rent? They are low income but they have been surviving without my money all these years. So why now are they making me pay rent? Is it just because I am eighteen? Don’t make sense because that’s just a number to me. But it has actually helped me to be a better person by learning to be independent and surviving on my own with little or no help. I have learned not to depend on my parents and take life into my own hands and shape it up. I am ready for what the future holds.

Male privilege

Males: one of Gods first creations. Why do they think they are so dominant? Is it because God made them first? No matter where a person goes, there will always be a patriarchal society around them whether they notice it or not. Society has grown a lot more patriarchal because of hip hop. More men try to act tough to get respect from other people including the ones that they do not know. Byron Hurt, a filmmaker and an anti-sexist, has seen enough music videos and listens to enough of the music to know that men always make the women in their videos dress scantily clad to entertain themselves. One video with Nelly, a well-known St. Louis rapper, called “Tip drill” portrays that women can be even be bought and sold. The impact of hip hop on society is huge and it affects everyone, especially the women. A lot of the music that comes out talks about a rapper having sex with some woman and disrespecting her. Many people hear this and figure this is what everyone wants to hear and what everyone pays for. So they are influenced to do the same thing. There are many stereotypes that go along with being a man like being cocky and showing toughness and hip hop helps portray them, which affects a lot of young men whether it makes them want to go along with it or speak out against it.
The people that accept today’s hip hop music are the ones who like all of the violence and apply it to their own music which expands that particular style. The same subjects like getting money and girls are rapped about with no originality or uniqueness. Rap music has shown just how dominant men think they are. In a lot of the songs, they reference women as being “bitches” “hoes” or “sluts” and saying that they would do anything with them. Soulja Boy has a song called “Pimp Slap Dat Hoe” in which he says: “Pimp slap dat hoe man, show her what you know man, give her what she need man rite side her face man.” Many rappers treat women like animals, saying that they just have sex with them then just move on to the next. This is what many people like to listen to unfortunately and this does sell. A lot of people relate to some of the things that these rappers say especially if they are from the ghetto. When a rapper threatens another artist, it is viewed as being tough. Some of these artists do not plan to do what they say they will do. This situation is called beef. Sometimes a beef can be fatal like Tupac’s and Biggy’s and other times it can be just name calling until finally the situation is solved like Nas and Jay-Z’s beef.
The people that go against today’s hip hop music are the ones that are looking for justice and change to make society better, especially in the black community. They are tired of hearing the same lyrics expressed in different ways about killing people and violence in general. These are people who, if they are artists, like to express the positive subjects in hip hop and put more originality in the music to make it better and full of variety. They want to send positive messages in people’s ears and tell them to stop the violence and convince and influence people to be more like them instead of the artists that promote violence. In Boogie Down Productions’ song called “Stop the Violence” he says:
We gotta put our heads together, and stop the violence
Cause real bad boys move in silence
When you’re in a club, you come to chill out
Not watch someone’s blood just spill out

Many kids listen to violent music and they hear all of the violence and profanity and start thinking that all of these things are okay if they do not have someone to tell them that these things are wrong. They end up using the concepts that they listen to and applying them to there life. People who are against today’s hip hop want society to know that all of this violence is reaching their kids and there must be something that needs to be done.
Hip hop shows the different stereotypes about men and how when people portray men like this, it affects everyone in different ways. Many people have come to believe that what is said in a rappers song cannot always be true. Rappers may say that they have done one thing or another but no one can say for sure that they have or haven’t done these things unless they were always with them. Rich men and football players always show how tough they are and one reason why they may act like that is because of the hip hop music that they have heard. An article from said: “Such violence has become so pervasive-not just in popular cultures such as music, movies, and videogames, but also in military and sports-that many Americans have become desensitized to it, supporting violent culture through consumerism, even unwittingly”
The sense of being strong and disrespecting anyone around a person is always going through the male mind in today’s society because hip hop is heard and thought of even though one person or more may not want to even listen to hip hop. It is always played in someone’s car or at parties so the affect is great. But what some people are trying to do is neutralize that effect and erase the stereotypes because not all men act violent and want to diminish the stereotypes for their lives.

Holler essay questions
3. What influences did Leila Steinberg have on the beginning of Tupac's career? (Chapter 3)
Leila allowed Tupac to really show his creative side which was in his poetry. He was really able to bring out his true feelings and apply them in writing. We she first met him she found something special in him as soon as he was able to recite quotes from the book that she was reading when he approached her. She invited him into her class and really saw how outstanding he was.

4. Was Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, a good role model for her son? (Chapter 2)
Afeni actually was not a good role model for her son because she had a big situation on her hands. First of all she was pregnant with him while she was in jail. And they were moving around a little too much trying to look for places to stay. And since his mom was a panther, she got fired from her jobs. And she also did a lot of drugs and did not have much money for them which led to Tupac only having about two outfits to wear. But she did give him the same brave spirit of hers and how she stands up for what is right.

5. How did Tupac's mother's life as a revolutionary affect his development as a young man and as an American citizen?
Her being a revolutionary was the result of her going to jail and getting beat up by some of her partners. And she also had a baby by a man in jail. They had to move around a bit and Tupac could not finish school because they moved. So it affected him very much. He may have hated his mother for having to deal with her struggles. But he knew that he had to stay by her side.

7. How is black motherhood second to God?
Because black children usually come from single-parent families. And it is very hard for a mom to raise a child on there own. Especially if they have low income and try to figure out where the next meal is going to come from. And without a father figure it may be hard to teach a son about certain things and it may be certain that they want there child to be a real man one day and not just a momma's boy.

9. How did Afeni Shakur, regardless of her foibles, live up to her title: Black Queen?
She lived up to her title of black queen because even though they were poor with a lack of income, his mother always had food on the table for them (him and his sister) especially for Christmas and thanksgiving. And Tupac had no clue how she did it. He thought it was a miracle. But he loved his mother for it. His mom was his best friends even though at times they did disagree with each other.

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.
Keep Ya Head Up is a letter of hope to Brenda because she needs to know that she isn't the only one who is or was in this kind of situation and that there is hope for everyone. He says "But please don't cry, dry your eyes, never let up Forgive but don't forget, girl keep your head up." He is talking to her and all of the other women who is facing the same difficulty and life. But no matter what they must find some kind of strength from within to make them keep on going and pushing really hard because one of the days that they are living, eventually something good is going to happen to them, whether they win the lottery or they actually find a good man who will take care of them and make them forget about the past and look more towards the future. It is good to be thankful for what is possessed at the moment, because somehow there could be an even worse situation that they could have been in instead of the one that they are in now.

Dion Cade as Interviewer
Kiara Perine as: narrator
Julian Pete as: Tupac
Jakaila Scott as: Summarizer
Group Skit

Setting— Brooklyn , New York

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.

Tupac's lines:
”Not so good I could be better.”
“Actually, I just quit my job today, because I wanted to come and do this [interview] and my boss wouldn’t let me.”
“I thought that this was much more important than serving up pizza, and there were enough people so, I feel as like, since I’m an actor that my boss should’ve understood and let me go, but he didn’t and so I quit.”
“And on top of that I too had a cold and had to work the freezer section which I felt had been real disrespectful towards me as a person so I had to go.”
“In a way I’m sort of, well kind of arrogant, so when he told me that I couldn’t quit due to the fact that we had, had all these customers I took it upon myself to hop on the soapbox counter grab my leather jacket, light myself a cigarette right in front of his face and leave in the middle of a lunch rush.”
“Yea actually, I have inherited a lot of traits from my mother Ms. Afeni Shakur.”

Interviewer’s lines:
“How are you doing today Tupac?”
“Oh really? Well I’m sorry to hear that.”
“So, today you are talking about yourself, your mother, and the impact she has had on you. Correct?”
“I know that the two of you have been through a lot and she brought you into the revolution.”
“Now, since then you’ve been through protest injustice with your mother who seems as if she’s had a great effect on your life and as a person, elaborate on that for me a little bit, if you will.”

Evolution of a Revolutionary

Talk about her early life and how who she became is connected to her family particularly her father and mother.

When Afeni was young, she experienced a lot of racism. Especially at the time the kkk was starting up. But she also experienced resistance. Especially when the Lumbee, which is a group of Indians from North Carolina, drove the kkk out of their side of town. Her family was also very poor. The reason why they would not have much money is because her dad would always spend it on unnecessary things. He was always on the streets because that is how he was and that is what he knew best. People liked him on the streets but he was not liked by Afeni. "I hated him around us. I hated him because he hurt my mom when he was home."(pg17) Usually he would wait until her and her sister Glo left for school to start beating her, but Afeni already knew what was happening, but her mother would try to hide it. Afeni's grandpa treated her dad the same way that she is getting treated now. She did not let her husband hit her in front of the children. But Afeni did get pride and arrogance from her dad.
When she was in school, she got made fun of because she wore plain grease on her legs and it would be really sticky so it would gather up a lot of dirt on her legs and the other kids would laugh at her and called her names like "tar baby." She got picked on a lot in her school days. The other students just did not like her because they did not like the way that she looked and they called her all kind of names. And she said that the boys would make her feel really ugly. So finally what she did was fight back, literally. After a while that was what she always did and that is what she was good at. She beat up boys and girls. She definitely got the aggressive trait from her father. And of course her father liked Afeni better than Glo because she was more like him. But Afeni did not care about his favoritism towards her because she did not like him.
Afeni was sad for her mother because she was really nice and she tried so hard to keep away the horrible truth about her marriage life. "I was scared for my very sad mother. When I used to come home from school, first and second grade, I would look under the bed to make sure he didn’t kill my mother and stuffed her body under there. I can see myself right now doing it. That was a real possibility to me, very real."(pg35) For her to be doing something like that every time she got home is very shocking. She really thinks that her dad would really take it that far and that is really scary for her and her mom to be living with him. So her early life has taught her to fight back, especially for her sister and for her mom, and also for herself.

Research Essay

Kirsten Tobey

What does a community need? A community needs someone or some people who really care for humanity and want to do something that will make it better and also make more people happy as well. They tend to help out their community in one way or another whether it is a small change or a big one. Every community needs people who are ambitious in making those communities better than their current state. In a little town called Alameda, there is a woman named Kirsten Tobey who is committed to helping out her community and making it healthier in the future. The issue is that there are way too many children now who are overweight because they are not eating properly and junk food is more accessible to them. There diet consists of too many sugars and fats which can leave them overweight and they have a risk of getting diabetes. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 16 percent of children who are ages 6 through 19 are overweight which is an increase from about two decades ago. Kirsten Toby and her partner Kristen Richmond’s goal is to teach children and even there parents to make healthy choices and not always depend on high-fructose corn syrup and processed fats. She has started her company with her partner called Revolution Foods and has been doing it since 2006. School lunches should not only be in good quality but they also should be healthy so that kids know what is right for them and how they can live a healthy and longer life.
In May 2000, Kirsten Tobey graduated from Brown University with a BA in development studies. She also attended UC Berkeley and got an MBA. She began her career in coordinating and teaching of educational programs at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts and she was also in Ecuador coordinating with Amigos de las Americas. She also participated in education programs in California and Rhode Island. During her time in college, she liked to work with children and learn more about what they are eating and their current health. She eventually wanted to help out the community and discuss health from there so she ran on a campaign called Earth justice. She worked in numerous other places like the United Nations Hunger Task force and the School for Field Studies in Mexico. She also worked with the McDonalds Corporation and helped feed the hungry in Ghana. Tobey met her partner, and co-creator of Revolution Foods, Kristen Richmond at the Haas School of business at UC Berkeley. When they first met in class, they formed a partnership and immediately knew that they should make something together, and that is how Revolution Foods came to be. "After grad school, we both had an interest in food and had this entrepreneurial spirit, but we also wanted to make a difference in our local schools," Tobey recalled. "We saw how bad school lunches were and immediately knew that's where we should start." They talked to parents and teachers and developed plans on what they would do to start an organization where they can produce healthy foods for children. Then, Revolution Foods took off in 2005.
Revolution Foods, which is located in Emeryville CA, has been around since 2006 and produces only the best quality food for schools. The main targets that this company is reaching out to is low-class or low-income kids because those are the people who have less access to good food and junk food is usually less expensive so that is the type of food that they get the most. Revolution Foods wants to impact kids in the society in a good way and make them want to switch over to healthier choices. They also joined forces with the supermarket Whole Foods so that they could have access to the organic farms and dairies. And they also have support from the Haas School of Business, which is ranked the second best business school by the Wall Street Journal. All of Revolution Food’s meals are at least 60 percent organic which is pretty good, and the meals arrange from a wide variety of choices like soft tacos, sandwiches, chicken quesadillas, and pastas. Every meal served comes with fruits and vegetables to fulfill child’s healthy needs because they are not getting enough supply of fruits and vegetables. Revolution Foods are hoping to expand and serve more than 10,000 kids a year. With their meals they provide, they keep the kids active and energetic for the whole school day and not sleeping and getting tired in class. “A well-balanced diet can be challenging for kids. We believe that healthy food choices are key drivers of wellness, education, and future productivity of our youth,” says Kristin Richmond. They also make sure that the children’s parents are involved too. They give them nutritional charts and they also provide tips on how to make healthy meals at home as well so that children can be more focused and alert in school. Revolutionary Foods is doing an excellent job on expanding their company to a lot of different schools and not just chartered schools because those are the type of schools that they began with. “In less than two years, Revolution Foods has grown from serving three schools to over forty across the state, about half of which are low-income.” These statistics are very startling and shows how much this company is actually growing and continuing to reach out to schools all around.

Kirsten Tobey wants only the best for children and their lunches for school. She and her company has already made extraordinary efforts to bringing healthy food to more schools and making it easier for children to access them and stay away from all the fats and the sugars that can lead to diabetes and obesity. Together she and her partner have come up with a great idea that is definitely getting put to work and so far being liked by each community that it interacts with. Revolution Foods is the first food company to cater to schools in a much better way by providing real food that is not processed or artificial. The kids love the new but great tasting food and that is always a good sign that their definitely is progress happening. This company is spreading rapidly as well. They have expanded to Los Angeles and with the help of Whole Foods, have their own organic snacks. Tobey says, "In every aspect of our business we try to operate in a responsible manner. We have a strong commitment to responsible business practices. We pay all workers above livable wage, offer full benefits, operate in a green building, compost and recycle. We hope we can be an example for entrepreneurs, or corporations, or investors, proving that you can have a business with a social mission, and make a profit."


Revolutionary foods-

Fighting hard for healthier lunches- Alameda Journal-

Cal Business feature story-

Our Team-Corporate Headquarters-

Redefining Good Business-Fall 2006-

Meet Kristen Groos Richmond and Kirsten Tobey-

Cafeteria Crusaders-
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