Monday, April 27, 2009


Today in class

After spending about half-hour trying to get into A-205, the morning class continued reviewing Part 6: Be Verbs. We spent the latter part of the class discussing the research essay plans and ways to outline the material. I suggested that students use the four questions as the basis for the essay.

Open with the problem statement. Be descriptive.

The thesis sentence names your social entrepreneur as a person who is addressing the problem identified in the introduction.

Body paragraphs
Background on the social entrepreneur and what brings them to the work. You can cite statistics here to illustrate the problem

Introduce the organization or business venture. Does the work grow out of the community? How does the SE and the community interact?

Any partnerships with other organizations and/or government?

Peer reviews or industry reports?

Measurable results for the community. Share a story here.

Measurable results for the SE. You could quote the SE here.

In the afternoon class, we spoke about the essay and then spent the last half-hour looking at signal phrases in Pidd, pages 347-355. For homework complete pages 347-366(afternoon class, morning class start).

We'll continue working on the research essay on Wednesday, April 29. Note what is due. We'll also work on the Be-Verb Essay together and start the exercises for the Possessives Essay (given in class next week).

Be sure to post the planning sheet, document search, and outline at the April 20 link. Also, be certain to comment on a student's research plan and outline. Be supportive and offer useful suggestions if needed.

Many of you have not been to see me at all this semester. The successful student is one who checks in with the professor often during the semester. You cannot get everything in class, although class attendance is important. We didn't get to review all the assignments today. I'll give you the check-lists at the next meeting. I forgot to return papers to a few students. I will be in my office tomorrow for an hour (L-234), if you'd like to come by and pick up work.

Late work
I will not accept first drafts of any late Pidd assignments, I'm speaking of Essays: 1, 2, 3, and the midterm after 5/4. You have 1 week to get revisions into me. The in-class essays (we have two left, cannot be made up, even if we start in class and then complete them at home unless arranged in advance.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009



Bring in all your graded assignments Monday, April 26, along with your reading journals for Dreams from My Father. Print copies of your cyber assignments re: Dreams and bring in also.

You will fill out out a query so I can give you a grade thus far in the class.


Earth Day and Stewart Pidd final assignments with due dates

April 22 was Earth Day and the class watched a New Heroes program on Albina Ruiz, a Peruvian social entrepreneur. Students then wrote a summary using the questions from the essay assignment. We also, developed three thesis sentences using the 3-part thesis formula (handout).

If you did not hand in your summaries or thesis sentences, post them here. Students were also given copies of the research essay assignment (posted below). We then reviewed part 6 in Stewart Pidd. Homework in Pidd is to completed pages 196. We will write the essay in class during the final hour Monday, April 27.

Homework 4/27 will be Pidd Part 7 Possessives (216-227).

Wednesday, April 29, we will write the essay (Essay Exam 2)in class and do the Possessive Pronoun Quiz (handout). We'll start Parallel Structure. We'll write the essay, In-class Essay Exam 3: Parallel Structure Part 8 (244-253), Monday, May 4, after the parallel structure quiz.

Homework for 5/4 will be Subject-Verb Agreement Part 9 (272-279). We will write the essay in class (5/6). We will do the Multiple Choice Exam (handout) in class also. Arrive on time.

Homework for 5/6 Hootanny Essay Part 10 (282-294). We will write the essay in class (295-299).

Monday, April 20, 2009


Research Assignment

Today in A205 students completed their Frontline World assignments (due 4/20). Only one student, Kelley had done all the assignments by the due date. Students then completed the Evaluate a Website Assignment, a part of the COA Research package.


Homework is to identify the social entrepreneur you’d like to profile and bring in answers to questions asked re: Frontline World about your SE for 4/22.

In Stewart Pidd complete pages 174-196.

We have two more in-class essays and a final essay from Pidd, plus "To Be" and "Subject/Verb Agreement." There are also quizzes we'll do in class, so you can monitor your progress.

Homework due by 4/22:
Complete the website evaluation (handout given out). Choose one website and answer the questions on the two page handout. If you missed class or don't have the handout, the link to the pages are here:

Other resources

Bring in a poem and song, a photo or an object to reflect on in a freewrite to celebrate Earth Day, 4/22.

Assignment: Social Entrepreneurs: Engaged Citizenry

The questions you want to ask after you have identified a person are:

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 10-20 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.

Due dates

The planning sheet and 5-10 sources are due Monday, April 27 to share and post. We will complete our outlines also that day. We meet in A205.

An introduction and conclusion are due Wednesday, April 29 in class (bring in a copy) and post it.

We will spend Monday, May 4, writing in class A205 and giving feedback during the first hour.

The first draft is due Wednesday, May 6 for peer review 1. Peer review 2 is Monday, May 11.

Final draft is due Wednesday, May 13, posted and as a paper copy.

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 student's work (Hacker handout) and on any specific questions you might have.

You will post the essay, the planning sheet, and all the works cited and bibliography pages on the blog.

Many students in this class have not participated in class presentations. If you do not make a presentation of your final paper, you lose an entire grade point. Presentations are the day of the final and also due is the portfolio electronically or on a CD.

Monday, April 06, 2009


In-class essay Afternoon class

5. Talk about Obama's work as a community social worker on Chicago's Southside. What does he learn or come to realize about his role in the African-American community?

We chose the question above to respond to in a 3-paragraph essay. We began brainstorming about some keywords and concepts.

We looked at Obama as Activist and defined "community," specifically the community in the Southside Chicago 1983.

Southside Chicago: poor and black. Projects, crime, substandard public education, lack of adequate health care, employment and other economic development

Community is people who live in a specific geographical area.
Community is a "unified body of individuals."
It is an "interacting population of various types of individuals in a common location."

Obama & the Community Dev. Project causes:
1. Gang activity abatement
2. Bringin jobs back into the neighborhood
3. Fixing school

Possible topic sentences:
1. Obama's mistakes and lessons (184)
2. Chicago's Southside
3. Defining community--the community he encounters and the one he leaves behind or what are some of his organization's measurable accomplishments
4. What brings him to Chicago

Other homework was to get a peer review of Essay 3 (handout)and bring it and the essay to class for 4/8
Complete on Frontline World program, answer questions and post on the blog by Wednesday

Frontline World Assignment: Research Essay Part 1
Frontline World Cyber-Assignment Post

Respond to 3 stories by 4/20 (one is due 4/8)
Post your Frontline World Responses (3) here.

Answer the following questions in your response to the program.


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?


In-class essay

Plans for the day:
1. Freewrite: Write a 3 paragraph essay on question 3, then respond to a classmate's essay. In each paragraph use 1 citation: a paraphrase, a in-text citation and a block quote.

2. SPHE Essay 3 peer review

3. Social Entrepreneur video: Frontline World (Respond to essay questions)

We chose question 3 to respond to in an essay this morning. The theme is "forgiveness/blame". We brainstormed for a few minutes on reasons why Obama might feel wronged:

Father left him and his mother to pursue graduate studies (abandonment).
Residual effects of this loss: single family head-of-house, anger and hurt, confusion: re: blackness, and being a black man, missing a part of himself, estranged relationship w/siblings and other Kenyan family members, ignorance of African culture.

We spoke of primary and secondary sources: Obama vs. his grandparents, mother and father's colleagues

Primary experiences of father:
Strong physically and philosophically
Engaging and charming
Mother loved him still and they had a good relationship
She still took care of him when he was near
Grandparents admired him also
Obama Jr. was called the same nickname: Barry

Secondary Experiences:
Stories his mother and grandparents told him
Those stories his siblings told him and other relatives, friends, and colleagues who knew his dad

Reasons why Obama might want to forgive his father:

He needs to forgive his father so he can move ahead w/his life (page numbers?) he can grow as a mature man (page numbers?) he can find peace in his inheritance (Kenyan and white and black numbers?)

Other homework was to get a peer review of Essay 3 (handout)and bring it and the essay to class for 4/8

Complete on Frontline World program, answer questions and post on the blog by Wednesday

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In class today we reviewed Essay 3 in SPHE. Bring the essay to class with the check-list. I returned almost all the midterm essays I have received. We corrected the grammar quiz in class (1-3 p.m. class). If you turned your essay in late, missed class, or I didn't return your essay, come see me today in the Writing Center (L-234/L-235). I am there 12-3 today and every Thursday.


Obama Cyber-Essays April 2-8, 2009

Respond in a 3-4 paragraph essay to one (1) question. In the essay include one of the following per paragraph with a total of 3 citations: 1 free paraphrase, 1 in-text citation, 1 block quote. Use the book for your citations. Make certain you use a signal phrase and include the page number. Use one citation per paragraph (3 paragraph essay). Your essay can be longer, but 3-4 paragraphs is fine. We will review these cyber-essays in class on Mondays and write another one using a different question.

Students need to also respond to a student essay and you can recommend questions about themes discussed or omitted here.

1. Many state that Dreams From My Father is a classic coming of age story with a twist. Perhaps the twist is the interracial component, the international flavor of Obama’s childhood, or the fact that except for the absentee father, his life was one of relative ease comparatively. Definitely, he wasn’t a descendant of Booker T. Washington (I jest). Talk about the author’s journey, his questions about identity and his quest for his dad so that he could find his place in the world.

2. What role does forgiveness play in Obama's story, and how does forgiveness help in allowing him to move on despite his father's trespasses?

3. How does Obama create himself in his biological father's absence? Who were the father figures or male role models in his life and what did they teach him?

4. “Dreams from My Father” is a coming-of-age story in which a Obama straddles two cultures as he searches for his identity. How does he succeed? What conclusions does he reach?

5. Talk about his work as a community social worker on Chicago's South Side. What does he learn or come to realize about his role in the African-American community?

6. Write about community in Obama’s book. What communities are there? How do they work (or not)? Explain how Obama evaluates various communities and show what he values in a community, as seen in his book.

7. Women have played a significant role in Barack Obama’s development. Identify 2-3 women. Clearly, his mother is a woman whose influence on Obama is immeasurable, Toot might be another, but what about his friends causal and otherwise who taught him lessons we see incorporated into the moral fabric of his life?

Use examples to show what values are. Do not list them, rather have Obama interpret them into his life as activity or action.

8. Family is a value shared in Dreams. One could say that Dreams is a journey where Obama clarifies what or who his family is. There is of course the family he is given, his biological parents; however, his extended or blended family has perhaps as much to do with the man he becomes as does his genes.

9.How does Obama’s shifting definition of family—family as community, family as one’s nation, family as one’s people— help Obama realize his place in the world is fluid and that the family he was searching for was a part of his life all along?

10. In Dreams, Obama's definition of what family means is fluid. Give examples of how this changing perspective helps Obama come into himself as a man.

11. Race is an obvious theme in a book where the protagonist is the child of an Kenyan and a white American; however, Obama says of himself that he is not the typical “tragic Mulatto.” What does he mean by this and does the fact that he is a man raised in a family where white-skin privilege is an unspoken given for most of his life, reason for this fact?

12. How does Obama create himself through the presence and influence of his father? Who were the father figures in his life, and what did they teach him?

13. What has Obama come to realize as a grass-roots activist about the community he lives in? What does he learn about himself? How is this education used to propel his political career which culminates later in a nomination for presidency?

14. How does Obama’s active and passive use of his paternal and maternal culture to shape his identity? What can other bi-racial adults, and those persons from single parent homes gain from his story?

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