Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Morning Class

We will meet in L-202E M-W. On Thursday we'll meet in A-205 beginning Tuesday, September 29, 2009. I need to get a CD player though. There is no CD player in the room.

Monday, September 28, 2009


English 201 afternoon class

Today students who hadn't read Chapter 3 did so, while the two students who'd completed their reading discussed the chapter and answered questions on the board. We reviewed Pronoun Case and identified the errors in SPHE for Essay Exam 1: Synthetica. Students will write the essay on Wednesday, Sept. 30. You will have 50 minutes for the essay and the same for the Grammar Exam 1. Come to class with the templates completed. If you need help ask for it in advance. Go to the Writing Center or Tutoring Center.

Today we also reviewed Ellipses in SPHE. I gave students a quiz to take home. We did the Pronoun Case Quiz and the Pronoun Agreement Quiz.

Homework was to continue reading Holler. Students received chapters 4-6. This weekend you will have questions to answer related to the chapters, two questions per chapter minimally.

We'll complete essay 3 next week. I think it is the Be Verb Essay. We'll start Parallel Structure in class and it will be due the following week on Monday for peer review.


English 201 8-9 AM

Today we read, "The Guardian," an essay about a social worker who valued the lives of the children he was responsible for almost more than he cared for the emotional well-being of his own children and family. The reasons why he devoted himself to these children whose own parents and guardians fell down on the job varied, but to him this was his life and he felt, he said that one man could change the world.

1. Post your paraphrased paragraph here, then read the lyrics from Brenda's Got a Baby, and rewrite the story--imagine the Guardian "Reggie Jones" is Brenda's caseworker. Use dialogue and write a scene where Jones and Brenda's mother or another adult in Brenda's screwed up life is conversing or arguing with him.

Change the ending. Let Brenda live. She doesn't even have to have that baby.

2. Keep working through the exercises in SPHE. We will write essay 3 in class. Bring your book to class so we can review the templates and exercises if there are questions.

3. We will complete chapter 4 this week. I will give you questions to respond to for homework later this week from chapters 1-4. We will read chapters 5-7 next week and complete the book the following week. If you want to read ahead let me know. I want the book back at the end of this unit.

"Dear Mama"

You are appreciated

[Verse One: 2Pac]

When I was young me and my mama had beef
Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets
Though back at the time, I never thought I'd see her face
Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place
Suspended from school; and scared to go home, I was a fool
with the big boys, breakin all the rules
I shed tears with my baby sister
Over the years we was poorer than the other little kids
And even though we had different daddy's, the same drama
When things went wrong we'd blame mama
I reminice on the stress I caused, it was hell
Huggin on my mama from a jail cell
And who'd think in elementary?
Heeey! I see the penitentiary, one day
And runnin from the police, that's right
Mama catch me, put a whoopin to my backside
And even as a crack fiend, mama
You always was a black queen, mama
I finally understand
for a woman it ain't easy tryin to raise a man
You always was committed
A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it
There's no way I can pay you back
But the plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated

[Chorus: Reggie Green & "Sweet Franklin" w/ 2Pac]

Don't cha know we love ya? Sweet lady
Dear mama
Place no one above ya, sweet lady
You are appreciated
Don't cha know we love ya?

[second and third chorus, "And dear mama" instead of "Dear mama"]

[Verse Two: 2Pac]

Now ain't nobody tell us it was fair
No love from my daddy cause the coward wasn't there
He passed away and I didn't cry, cause my anger
wouldn't let me feel for a stranger
They say I'm wrong and I'm heartless, but all along
I was lookin for a father he was gone
I hung around with the Thugs, and even though they sold drugs
They showed a young brother love
I moved out and started really hangin
I needed money of my own so I started slangin
I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks
It feels good puttin money in your mailbox
I love payin rent when the rent's due
I hope ya got the diamond necklace that I sent to you
Cause when I was low you was there for me
And never left me alone because you cared for me
And I could see you comin home after work late
You're in the kitchen tryin to fix us a hot plate
Ya just workin with the scraps you was given
And mama made miracles every Thanksgivin
But now the road got rough, you're alone
You're tryin to raise two bad kids on your own
And there's no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated


[Verse Three: 2Pac]

Pour out some liquor and I reminsce, cause through the drama
I can always depend on my mama
And when it seems that I'm hopeless
You say the words that can get me back in focus
When I was sick as a little kid
To keep me happy there's no limit to the things you did
And all my childhood memories
Are full of all the sweet things you did for me
And even though I act craaazy
I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
There are no words that can express how I feel
You never kept a secret, always stayed real
And I appreciate, how you raised me
And all the extra love that you gave me
I wish I could take the pain away
If you can make it through the night there's a brighter day
Everything will be alright if ya hold on
It's a struggle everyday, gotta roll on
And there's no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated


Sweet lady
And dear mama

Dear mama
Lady [3X]

[Thanks to www.raulmora@msn.com, dikkevetteboer@hotmail.com for correcting these lyrics]

[ www.azlyrics.com ]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Black Panther Heritage Month

I also wanted to know if students were interested in going to see the movie Push as a class? I don't know when it opens, but the previews are in the theatres now and it won lots of awards at the Toronto Film Festival.

Also, October is Black Panther Heritage Month and there are a lot of activities happening. I will post them later. You can visit www.itsabouttimebpp.net. There is a panel on Women in the Black Panther Party and a Film Festival as well as art exhibits and a Book Fair which look interesting. Most are free events.


"Sometimes I Cry" Cyber-Assignment

1. Read the poem: Sometimes I Cry (7). The themes explored here are similar to those explored in "In the Depths of Solitude" (5). How do the circumstances Tupac finds himself in leave him no alternative? Is he a victim? Who is guilty?

2. Dyson explores the "Tupac tragedy" and his heroic response in great detail in Chapter 2. How does he describe Afeni's parenting style? How does Jada describe Tupac? How does she escape? What tools does she possess he lacks?

3. In Son of a Panther Dyson looks at the legacy of the Black Panther Party and how it shaped the Shakur family values. Tupac is both torn and pulled by this organization which is responsible for the life he lives, both good and bad.

4. List 10 values Tupac learned from his mother which were directly connected to her work as an activist/revolutionary.

5. List 10-20 words you don't know the meanings of and their definitions. Talk about Dyson's vocabulary and how he and Tupac share a love of words.

6. Describe and evaluate Afeni's parenting sytle. Incorporate the observations of other persons interviewed in Holler (chapter 2).

7. How was Tupac like James Baldwin? Name 3-4 ways they were alike.

8. I gave you an essay, The Guardian. Think about the character "Brenda" in Brenda's Got a Baby. Think about her in light of Reggie Jones, social worker. Rewrite the end of her story.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Morning Class

Tomorrow we meet in the library. Your homework assignments for today are posted below. I want to add to complete chapter 3 in Holler and bring in Rose for Thursday, Sept. 24, A-205. There is a link to post Essay 2 on Thursday after the peer review.


Afternoon Class Cyber-Assignment

Today in class we spent much of the time running exercises, which I don't mind doing, but only if there are questions. I don't like to spend class time doing the homework. Please do the exercises on your own time in the Writing Center, with a tutor, at Study Hour on Thursdays. We are up to Essay 2 and this class is behind because instead of working on templates during class time, we did exercises. If you missed class make sure you have identified the correct errors for Essay 2: Pronoun Agreement.

I also handed out copies of the syllabus. Please respond to it by Thursday, Sept. 24.

Some students want to take the quizzes we completed last week. I'll have copies Wednesday, as for them.

We did have the opportunity to read the poem: In the Depths of Solitude: Dedicated to Me. We developed four thesis sentences. Students were to develop a 5 sentence paragraph using one of the sentences. Use evidence from the poem to support the claim. If you'd like to include a quote--just one, that's fine. We will read the preface, introduction and forward in Rose, so bring the book to class. I also handed out more copies of Chapters 2-3 from Holler. Make sure you are have read Chapters 1-3 by Wednesday also.

We will be responding to these chapters on Wednesday in A-205. We will also be posting Essay 2 after peer reviews on Wednesday. The final draft will be due by Friday, Sept. 25 via email. For those students who are behind, Essay 1 is due by tomorrow at 12 noon. Identify yourself in the subject line: NAME English 201 1-2:50 PM SPHE Essay 1. (This makes it easier to do a search.)

This poem, "In the Depths of Solitude" is one more instance or example of what Michael Eric Dyson calls Tupac's emotional duality.

Tupac never compromised his values, yet he wanted to be accepted.

Solitude is a theme he explores in this poem.

Solitude is a place where there is no peace, according to Tupac.


Scroll down for homework

Note: there are other assignments posted today below the syllabus so scroll down.


Course Syllabus

Please respond to the syllabus in a minimally three paragraph essay by Sept. 24, 2009. Comment on the goals and objectives, texts, methodology and anything else.

Course Syllabus
Professor Wanda Sabir

English 201 A
43502 Lec 08:00-08:50 MTWTh Sabir C 213
43505 Lec 01:00-02:50 PM MW Sabir A 200

English 201B
43510 Lec 08:00-08:50 MTWTh Sabir C 213
43513 Lec 01:00-02:50 PM MW Sabir A 200

Final Exam: 12-2, Wednesday, Dec.16 (Portfolios due via e-mail)
Drop dates: Sept. 5 (w/refund), Sept. 19 (w/out a W), Nov. 25 (w/W).

Syllabus for English 201A/B: Preparation for Composition and Reading

The English 201 series (4 units) is a preparatory course designed to emphasize the thinking, reading, organizing and writing skills required for successful execution of college-level papers in all subject areas. This course is designed to for those students requiring minimal preparation for entering English 1A.

Absences must be kept to a minimum. If you miss 6 consecutive hours or 8 cumulative hours you will risk being dropped from the course, doing poorly or both. English 201 consists of weekly essays and daily assignments. This is a portfolio driven class. Keep all of your written work, graded and otherwise to turn in the last day of class. There will be an assessment, a midterm, a research project, a final and a presentation of the research essay.

Tupac Amaru Shakur

I thought it might be interesting to look at the life of one of rap’s more well-known artists, Tupac Amaru Shakur (25), who died before we had a chance to know the fullness of his genius. We’ll be reading a memoir about his mother Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary by Jasmine Guy; Holler if You Hear Me by Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D.; The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur, a college dictionary (American Heritage recommended)

The questions and analysis will come out of the discussions and listening parties as we look for themes in the work and try to reconstruct the artist’s life through his songs which were quite autobiographical. Tupac loved his mother, but he was angry with her too. We will describe this relationship and how mother and son were able to mend it. Forgiveness is preached, however, it takes a certain kind of personality to actually let by-gones be by-gones. Tupac personified “thug life.” He had old ladies tattooing his TL on their arms. What is a thug and why did Tupac celebrate it?

Keep a reading log. Discussion groups will meet each week. Students will also keep a reading log/journal/notes with key ideas outlined for each discussion section, along with vocabulary and key arguments listed, with primary writing strategies employed: description, process analysis, narration, argument, cause and effect, compare and contrast, definition, problem solving.

Stewart Pidd Hates English

Stewart Pidd Hates English is a workbook which looks deceptively easy; however, students need to pay attention to the details. The fictional character, Stewart Pidd, hates English, so he doesn’t spend the necessary time to complete his writing tasks. He’d rather do anything instead of writing, and his grades, you will notice, reflect this. The essays you analyze are not deep so don’t worry about content, the authors want you to practice the grammar lessons Stewart Pidd has not mastered. These grammar assignments might be one’s you don’t remember, or remember only vaguely. The goal of the book is to help you identify these errors in your own writing in your revision process, so you don’t make the same mistakes Pidd makes.

We will use Michael Eric Dyson’s Holler to locate the grammatical forms for analysis SPHE takes us through. Dyson is a much more interesting and engaging writer than Stewart Pidd. I am using this book with my English 1A class also. Those students shouldn’t have as much trouble with SPHE or at least this is the hope; however, after SPHE students should feel a lot more competent about their writing because you will have the language necessary to talk about what it is you are doing right and what you need to improve on.

Grammar is not the most important aspect of writing. Having something substantive is, however, if you make too many grammatical errors, your audience will not know what it is you want to communicate.

Research Project

Your research project will entail finding an artist or organization that uses hip hop culture as a tool to develop consciousness and mental, economic, social and spiritual liberation among the members of its discourse community. Cov Records, out of Covenant House, is an example of such an organization. The Ella Baker Center’s Stop the Violence Initiative is another such organization. East Side Arts Alliance is another such organization. DESTINY Arts is another such organization. All are in Oakland. The social entrepreneur has to have been active in his or her community for at least 20 years and have documented resources you can draw from: books, essays, articles, films.

The paper will be about 5 pages. This will include a works cited page and bibliography. Students will make 5-10 minute presentations of these papers the day of the final. The paper will be due about two-three weeks prior to the presentation. We’ll discuss this task further later on.

New Heroes

Visit PBS.org “The New Heroes,” to read about social entrepreneurs. (I’ll show you a few episodes from the series.) Too often people feel helpless or hopeless when there is a lot you can do as an individual as soon as you realize the answer lies inside of you. If possible choose an entrepreneur who lives in Northern California, someone you’d like to interview and perhaps meet. Students can work on the project together, share resources. Each person has to write his or her own paper, but you can make a group presentation if you like.

Course Objectives

English 201 will look primarily at writing which persuades: argumentative writing, as well as expository writing, narrative and descriptive writing. At the end of the course students will have read work of accomplished writers, as well as practiced writing in a variety of styles to suit the writer’s purpose.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students will also have an altered or heightened awareness of the world around them, especially discourse: speech and text. Students will see that everything is an argument, whether that is a cartoon, advertisement, or lyrics in a song. Students will be able to analyze and critique each incident or contact to evaluate its author’s purpose, audience, and evidence to determine whether or not such goal was met and if appropriate, act accordingly.

This course is intended to be both a group learning experience as well as an individually rewarding one. Mid-semester we will schedule conferences so students can confer with the instructor to evaluate his or her progress in the course. Classroom instruction will consist of lectures, small group work, and students working in pairs. This is an effective way for students to exchange ideas with classmates, compare reactions to readings and practice giving and receiving constructive feedback on class work.

Preparation for class, regular attendance and active participation is imperative for those students who wish to succeed in this course.

It is a student’s responsibility to contact the instructor if he or she plans to miss class. The student is responsible for all materials and information given during the class time, so please get telephone numbers for three (3) classmates in case you are late or absent. You will not be able to make up in-class assignments when you miss class.

Requirements for homework assignments:
No late papers are accepted unless arranged in advance. Any papers below a C grade are an automatic revision or rewrite. Essays under 500 words (750 words for English 201B students) will not be accepted. (Put a word count on the upper right corner of page 1.) Choose topics which give you enough to write about. We will use documentation to substantiate all of our claims. With this in mind, I expect all papers to utilize at least two (2) different outside print sources, in addition to the occasional interview, or broadcast journalism, that is, radio or television, internet also. You will learn to document sources; we will practice citing sources in text, using footnotes and endnotes, and writing bibliographies and notes pages. Remember save all your work! This is a portfolio course.

All essay assignments you receive comments on have to be revised prior to resubmission; included with the revision is a student narrative to me regarding your understanding of what needed to be done; a student can prepare this as a part of the Writing Center visit (see below), especially if said student is unclear over what steps to take.

Library Orientations:

We will write short essays that reflect themes and ideas discussed that week. Some of these essays will be written in class and posted on the class blog. The research essay will be an argument. There will be a midterm and a final.

Jot down briefly what your goals are this semester. List them in order of importance.






Index Cards Week 2 August 25-August 29
Please list your contact information: Name, Address, phone number e-mail address, best time to call.

What strengths do you bring to the class? What do you hope to obtain from the course – any particular exit skills? What do I need to know about you to help you meet your goals?

Presentation 1: Due Tuesday, Sept. 2 or Wednesday, Sept. 3
Bring in an object that represents hip hop culture. Write a brief profile on the object justifying its inclusion in the archives (100 words or so). Be prepared to share. This is also a cyber-assignment to be posted later.

Presentation 2: Due Tuesday, Sept. 9 or Wednesday, Sept. 10
Bring in an object that reflects America, American values, its people, landscape, or history. Write a brief profile on the object justifying its inclusion in the archives (100 words or so). This is also a cyber-assignment to be posted later.

Weekly essays: 20 percent
Cyber Assignments: 10 percent
Midterm: 10 percent
Final: 15 percent
Research Essay/Presentation: 5-10 percent
Portfolio: 15 percent
Office Hour Visit: 5-10 percent

Each book will have collected writings or essays. The essays which take their themes from the books are practice essays, and are about a fourth of your grade, your midterm and final are another fourth and your portfolio is the final fourth. (Save all of your work.) You can average the grades to see how to weigh the various components. Participation is included in the daily exercises and homework portion of the grade, so if your attendance is exemplary, yet you say nothing the entire 18 weeks, you loose percentage points.

You will also need to plan to spend time weekly in the Writing Lab (L-234-235, 748-2132). It is a great place to get one-on-on assistance on your essays, from brainstorming and planning the essays, to critique the essay for clarity, organization, clearly stated thesis, evidence or support, logical conclusions, and grammatical problems for referrals to other ancillary materials to build strong writing muscles such as SkillsBank, the Bedford Handbook on-line, Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers on-line, Townsend Press, and other such computer and cyber-based resources. Call for hours. There is also an Open Lab for checking e-mail, and a Math Lab. All academic labs are located in the Learning Resource Center (LRC) or library.

Students need a student ID to use the labs and to check out books. The IDs are free and you can take the photo in the F-Building, Student Services.

Have a tutor of teacher sign off on your essays before you turn them in; if you have a “R,” which means revision necessary for a grade or “NC” which means “no credit,” you have to go to the lab and revise the essay with a tutor or teacher before you return both the graded original and the revision (with signature) to me. Revise does not mean “rewrite,” it means to “see again.”

When getting assistance on an essay, the teacher or tutor is not an editor, so have questions prepared for them to make best use of the 15-20 minute session in the Lab. For more specific assistance sign up for one-on-one tutoring, another free service. For those of you on other campuses, you can get assistance at the Merritt Colleges’ Writing Center, as well as Laney’s.

All essay assignments you receive comments on have to be revised prior to resubmission; included with the revision is a student narrative to me regarding your understanding of what needed to be done; a student can prepare this as a part of the Lab visit, especially if said student is unclear over what steps to take.

Students can also visit me in office hours for assistance; again, prepare your questions in advance to best make use of the time. Do not leave class without understanding the comments on a paper. I don’t mind reading them to you.

English language fluency in writing and reading; a certain comfort and ease with the language; confidence and skillful application of literary skills associated with academic writing. Familiarity if not mastery of the rhetorical styles used in argumentation, exposition and narration will be addressed in this class and is a key student learning outcome (SLO).

We will be evaluating what we know and how we came to know what we know, a field called epistemology or the study of knowledge. Granted, the perspective is western culture which eliminates the values of the majority populations, so-called underdeveloped or undeveloped countries or cultures. Let us not fall into typical superiority traps. Try to maintain a mental elasticity and a willingness to let go of concepts which not only limit your growth as an intelligent being, but put you at a distinct disadvantage as a species.

This is a highly charged and potentially revolutionary process - critical thinking. The process of evaluating all that you swallowed without chewing up to now is possibly even dangerous. This is one of the problems with bigotry; it’s easier to go with tradition than toss it, and create a new, more just, alternative protocol.

More on grades, and portfolio
We will be honest with one another. Grades are not necessarily an honest response to work; grades do not take into consideration the effort or time spent, only whether or not students can demonstrate mastery of a skill - in this case: essay writing. Grades are an approximation, arbitrary at best, no matter how many safeguards one tries to put in place to avoid such ambiguity. Suffice it to say, your portfolio will illustrate your competence. It will represent your progress, your success or failure this session in meeting your goal.

Office Hours
I’d like to wish everyone good luck. I am available for consultation on Monday mornings 9:30-10:50 a.m., Wednesday 9:30-10:30 a.m., Wednesday afternoon after 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment in L-236 (inside the Writing Center Lab L-235). Tuesdays and Thursdays, if you want to take me to lunch—just kidding, I am available after 12 for appointments if you notify me in advance. I am not on campus on Fridays. (Jot my cell number down in this section.) My office number is (510) 748-2131, e-mail professorwandasposse@gmail.com. Let me know the day before, if possible, when you’d like to meet with me. My office number is (510) 748-2131. Ask me for my cell phone number. I do not mind sharing it with you.

I don’t check my e-mail on weekends, so I’d advise you to exchange phone numbers with classmates (2), so if you have a concern, it can be addressed more expediently. Again study groups are recommended, especially for those students finding the readings difficult; don’t forget, you can also discuss the readings as a group in the Lab with a teacher or tutor acting as facilitator. Keep a vocabulary log for the semester and an error chart (taken from comments on essay assignments). List the words you need to look up in the dictionary, also list where you first encountered them: page, book and definition, also use the word in a sentence. You will turn this in with your portfolio.

Students are expected to complete their work on time. If you need more time on an assignment, discuss this with me in advance, if possible to keep full credit. You loose credit each day an assignment is late and certain assignments, such as in-class essays cannot be made up. All assignments prepared outside of class are to be typed, 12-pt. font, double-spaced lines, indentations on paragraphs, 1-inch margins around the written work (see Hacker: The Writing Process; Document Design.)

Plagiarism is ethically abhorrent, and if any student tries to take credit for work authored by another person the result will be a failed grade on the assignment and possibly a failed grade in the course if this is attempted again. This is a graded course. There might be an option to take this course C/NC. See Admission and Records.

Textbooks Recap:
The Rose that Grew from Concrete. Tupac Amaru Shakur. Pocket Books. 1999. ISBN: 0-671-02844-2

Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary. Jasmine Guy. Atria Books. 2004. ISBN: 0-7434-7054-0

Pollitt, Gary. Craig Baker. Stewart Pidd Hates English: Grammar, Punctuation, and Writing Exercises. California: Attack the Text Publishing, 2008. ISBN: 13: 978-0-9755923-4-2

Holler If You Hear Me. Michael Eric Dyson. Basic Civitas Books. 2001. ISBN: 0-465-01756-8 (or latest edition)

Rules For Writers. Fourth or Fifth edition. Diana Hacker. Bedford/St. Martins.

Students also need a dictionary. I recommend: The American Heritage Dictionary. Fourth Edition.

The Prepared Student also needs...
Along with a dictionary, the prepared student needs pens with blue or black ink, along with a pencil for annotating texts, paper, a stapler or paper clips, a jump drive to save work from college computers, a notebook, three hole punch, a folder for work-in-progress, and a divided binder to keep materials together.

Also stay abreast of the news. Buy a daily paper. Listen to alternative radio: KPFA 94.1 FM (Hard Knock), KQED 88.5, KALW 91.7. Visit news websites: AllAfrica.com, Al Jazeera, CNN.com, AlterNet.org, DemocracyNow.org, FlashPoints.org, CBS 60Minutes.


Essay 2: Pronoun Agreement Drafts Cyber-posts

Please post Essay 2 here.


This Morning

For the 8-8:50 AM class, please bring Essay 2 to class on Wednesday for a peer review. Post your self-evaluated essays at the link above. The self-eval is on page 104-105. You will not be able to post the HTML.

I have not been able to make a copy of this essay for students without the book. If you are having trouble getting a copy, let me know. There should be three books on reserve in the library now.

From Chapter 2 in Holler: Identify 10 verb phrases. Identify Identify 10 pronouns with their antecedents. Post the verb phrases and pronouns with antecedents here.

Extra credit:
Take a section from Dyson, Chapter 2 and discuss his use of pronouns and antecedents. Make sure you mention indefinite pronouns, collective nouns, and compound antecedents.

English 201 8-8:50 AM meets in the library Tuesday, Sept. 22 with Professor Steve Gerstle.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Morning Class Free Write

Post your sentences (5) from chapter 2 in Holler here. The freewrite was to identify five pronouns in five separate sentences. Type the sentence and tell us about the pronoun: singular, plural, first perwson, second or third, possessive, object/subject.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Cyber-Post Freewrite and Homework--Both Classes

This morning we listened to "Dear Mama," and discussed the themes, arguments, and evidence. We then looked at Chapter 1 and extended the conversation given the additional information in Holler.

In the afternoon class, after the library orientation we went upstairs to L-202E. Students listened or watched the video of the song: Dear Mama and then responded to it. Most students didn't finish so I told the class they could email the freewrite to themselves and post it later.

The afternoon class also completed four quizzes: two on MLA and two on sentence punctuation. We reviewed the grammar quizzes. Stephanie was so good at answering the questions! Tonight some students were going to try to make it to Laney for the SF Mime Troupe performance at 6:30 (music), 7:00 (show). Other students were interested in "Recess" at East Side Arts Alliance on Friday, Sept.18, 7 PM. East Side is at 2277 International Blvd., in Oakland, (510)533-6629. Visit my radio show to listen to the interview: http://www.wandaspicks.asmnetwork.org (Sept. 16, 2009 show).

We also continued to look at phrases and clauses in Holler. Homework is to identify 10 dependent or subordinate clauses and paraphrase 5 of the sentences (include the entire sentence).

Post the dependent clauses and paraphrases here. Also for homework, students are to continue doing the exercises in SPHE and start the templates for Essay 2.

Many students turned in their essays, but there are many mistakes, from the easy to spot MLA errors, to the more difficult grammar errors. A lot of errors came from students not reading the essay to themselves audibly. Many of you have to revise it. Turn in the best paper you can the first time. You will not have time to do multiple drafts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Morning Class and afternoon note for Kelly

Today we reviewed prepositional phrases and infinitive phrases. Students identified both in Dear Mama, chapter one in Holler.

Kelly, I want you to do this also, along with dependent and independent clauses. For your essay 1, talk about the two types of clauses, talk about Dyson's use of sentences: complex, compound complex, and simple and the various punctuation. Reflect on how the varied sentence structure affects the rhythm of the text. The essay can be two typed pages. Use one example per paragraph.

Talk about his use of conjunctions, semicolons, dashes and other devices in his writing also.


Afternoon Class Recap and Cyber-post

Yesterday we looked at Tupac and his mother Afeni Shakur per Holler If You Hear Me. The question students were asked to reflect on the qualities Tupac and his mother share. Is it heredity, environment, or choice that shape Tupac's destiny or is a bit of all 3? How so? Use examples from Dyson. Post here.

Essay 1 is due Wednesday, Sept. 16, if you haven't already tuned it in. We meet at the library at the reference desk with Professor Jane Wednesday, Sept. 16 for an hour.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Essay 1...Holler

Today in both classes we played catch up. Many students had not completed the first two chapters in SPHE, so we weren't able to get to Holler Chapter 1 or finish talking about the rest of the Introduction. I will post a few more passages for students to paraphrase and a few questions to respond to. If you finish Chapter 1 by tomorrow and want Chapter 2 ask us for it. We made copies already.

Essay 1 is due Monday, Sept. 14 for a peer review. Bring in typed essays. If you were absent and missed getting a copy of the essay assignment sheet from SPHE or a copy of Holler Chapter 1, Dominique will host a study hour from 12-1 tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 10, you can get a copy then. We will put copies in an envelop outside L-235 just in case.

Sunday, Sept. 13, is the anniversary of Tupac's death. Pour a libation for him and perhaps read one of his poems published after his death. Bring the collection--The Rose that Grew from Concrete, to class Monday,Sept. 14.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Class Recap

Today in class we reviewed SPHE chapters 1-2. Homework is to complete the assignments in Confused Words and Sentence Punctuation. Read and do as much of Essay 1 as you can. Bring the package to class Wednesday, Sept. 9. We have not started discussion Chapter 1 in Holler. I will give you a copy of the chapter this week.

Some students completed the wrong homework for Holler. Don't worry about it if you did the English 1A assignment. Post it below. It was harder. Thanks to the students who brought the completed assignment in this morning. I also have assignments to return--if I forget, ask me for it in the morning (English 201, 8-9).

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Cyber-Assignment for Sept. 3, 2009

For all students.

Respond in complete sentences to two of the essay questions. Everyone has to do number 5. Kelley, complete all of the questions. Each response should be minimally a paragraph long.

1. According to Dyson, what is Tupac’s “outsized literary ambition”? Give three examples. Respond in complete sentences.

2. Dyson references other literary artists. Who are they and how is Tupac’s artistic resume enhanced by Dyson’s linkage of his work to theirs? Talk about 3-5.

3. What does Dyson mean when he says of Tupac’s audience, “the more you know about what he is saying, the smarter it must mean you are” (5)?

4. Why is Tupac a “legend” according to Dyson?

5. Choose 5-10 sentences from 5 different pages (and compose both a literal and free paraphrase for each.

Continue running the exercises in Pidd through the next two chapters—Confused Words and sentence Punctuation. We will write Essay 1 next week.

Begin reading “I Always Wanted to Make a Book Out of My Life: In Search of Tupac.”
Annotate the text.


Hurricane Katrina Narratives Cyber-Extra Credit and posted homework assignment

Some students have Katrina stories to share. If you'd like to share yours, post it here for extra credit.

Post your first and second drafts of the paraphrase of the article here also (homework due August 31).

Tuesday, September 01, 2009



This week we are finishing up the section on paraphrase and starting the first chapter in Stewart Pidd Hates English: Confused Words. In both classes in class we did the exercises on pp. 14-15. Students have been advised to begin doing the exercises beginning on p. 2. Keep working. The plan is to get to Essay 1 next week.

In the morning class we began reading the introduction to Holler If You Hear Me. Students were given seven sentences to choose 5 to free paraphrase and bring to class. You do not have to type them yet. I'd like you to post the paraphrases here.

I passed out a package of lyrics for Tupac songs we'll listen to this semester. We listened to "Words of Wisdom," then analyzed the lyrical content. Looked for a thesis and its support.

Thursday, Sept. 3, students have a cyber-assignment due by the close of the day. For homework, keep reading SPHE and working through the exercises. We will correct them on Sept. 8. Monday, Sept. 7 is Labor Day. The campus will be closed.

Look for a separate post for the Cyber-Assignment. It will be from Dyson.

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