Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The New Heroes Cyber-Assignments

Respond to "The New Heroes: Kailash Satyarthi" program your watched this morning here. For the rest of the programs, also respond and post here.

Kailash Satyarthi from
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.

Monday, October 25, 2010


United Nations Association Film Festival Oct. 22-31, 2010

Today in the morning class we watched The Murder of Willie Francis. Do a search in the blog for the assignment and post there.

Continue in SPHE. We are working on Be-Verb essay. Also continue reading your books and working on the Frontline World cyber-assignment.

For the afternoon class we watched two films: The Bicyle and Home Is Where You Find It. Visit and read the synopsis on the film and taking into consideration the questions posed for the SE essay, respond to the film in three paragraphs. Include an example from the film in each paragraph. Don't forget to include the directors, country filmed and TRT or length.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In the morning class yesterday we watch the film, Angela Davis: Radical Pedagogy. Students were then to develop thesis sentences using the three-part thesis model (I need to check my notes (smile). Post here.

Today we reviewed the POV essay which is due tomorrow, the entire essay. You can print it out in class.

Monday, October 18, 2010


TKW Essay Assignment

Today in class we completed our peer reviews in the afternoon class. For students who didn't complete their essays for today, get feedback from someone preferably who has completed at least English 1A with an A (smile).

We are looking at whether or not the writer has a Clear and Concise Thesis;
Evidence which sufficiently supports and proves the thesis, and a conclusion that is appropriate for the topic and adequately wraps up the discussion and is not redundant. Check for MLA, especially in the Works Cited page.

Essay are due via email by Wednesday, October 20, 2010 12 noon. Please attach all the supplementary materials such as planning and outline, as well as, notes and logs. If your logs are handwritten, bring to class. Email to:

For peer reviews, summarize them, if they are not written electronically.

In the morning class, we reviewed the essays this morning. The final drafts are due by Wednesday, October 20. The same instructions apply mentioned above.


Frontline World: Engaged Citizenry Cyber-Assignment

Frontline World Cyber-Assignment Post(s)

Respond to 3 stories by 10/18-10/31. Bring in headphones for the computer.
Post your Frontline World Responses (3) on the blog.

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?


Social Entrepreneur Essay Assignment

Assignment: Social Entrepreneurs: Engaged Citizenry

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 do the SE and the community interact?

Are there any partnerships with other organizations and/or government?

Are there any peer reviews or industry reports?

What are the measurable results for the community? Share a story here.

What are the measurable results for the SE. You could quote the SE here.

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 (the length of time is negotiable; see me).

You need to locate 5 sources on your subject to form a bibliography; you don't have to cite them all. 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.

You will have three citations: 1 in-text citation, one paraphrase, and one block quote in the essay. The rest of the writing has to be your own. The essay should be 4 pages (English 1A); 2-3 pages English 201. This does not include the works cited page or bibliography.

English 201 Social Entrepreneur Due Dates:

Planning Due by Monday, Nov. 15 (share)_____________
Essay: Planning Sheet, Outline, Thesis due Wednesday, Nov. 15 __________
First Draft Wednesday, Nov. 17 & 18 (peer reviews)__________
Final Draft due via email, Friday, (during class time: appointments with professor to check off essay______________

Presentations: Nov. 22-24

Supplementary Assignments

On-line Frontline World (on-line responses 3) Start Monday, October 18_______
Library Research sheet: Wednesday, October 20/21_______________
Website Evaluation completed (worksheet) by October 27/28 (in-class) _____________
List of sources (5) minimum in MLA format due Monday, Nov. 10/11 (share in class) ___________


Book Report Essay Assignment

Book Report Assignment
This semester we are looking at Privilege

Each student was asked to choose a book. The author needed to be alive and living in the Northern California and if the book is a biography, the person profiled needs to be alive and also living here, the San Francisco Bay Area. I suggested students chose a subject or author who might also work as a topic for the Social Entrepreneur profile. For example, Alice Waters is a social entrepreneur and there is a book written about her life. She lives in Berkeley. She is not 30 or younger, but that is okay. That requirement is flexible.

For each essay, students need to find three articles: a published book review or analysis, and for the author, see if there is something on the author in Literary Criticism, (on-line in the Library Database and in COA library (public libraries as well). Third, find an article that addresses one of the themes in the book. Include all of these sources in your works cited page.

The essay will be 2-3 pages and in it you will summarize your book’s major themes and analyze them. If the book is a biography, feel free to tell us something about the author and how he or she comes to know the person he or she writes about. If the book is an autobiography or a memoir tell us how the author came to write it and if this is his or her first book.

The presentation is weighted heavily here, so prepare well, and please include an abstract which includes the title of the book, the key points you plan to make and any arguments you’d like us to consider. Bring in copies for each student.

Book Report
Planning Nov. 8___________
Planning Sheet, Outline, Thesis Nov. 8___________
First Draft Wednesday, Nov. 10___________
Final Draft Friday, Nov. 12 via email____________
Presentations: Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 8-10___________

Book Report Presentations: Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 8-10
Grade is an “A “for all presentations or “-0-“ for opting out. The presentation is a quarter of the grade for this assignment



I am posting the assignments for the rest of the semester and will give them to students as well. You already have SPHE and we are behind, so if you feel like the pace has picked up, it has, so hold on and stay with us.

The assignments are due when they are due, if you are late, I hope the essay comes in with a passing mark. The final drop date is in November. If you are not serious about the course, drop now.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today in class we reviewed The Known World essay. Students are to bring the essays in completed Monday, October 18, 2010 with the chapter notes and peer comments from today.

Homework is also to bring in a book written by a Northern California writer 30 years old or younger. Sources to find such writers are: The Northern California Book Reviewers Association, Before Columbus Foundation, Poetry Flash.

This is Banded Book Month, I was told and there is a book display at Laney College Library students might want to check out. Berkeley is also a participant in Banned Books Month in the past.

If there is a book you really want to read and perhaps the author is older or lives elsewhere, we can talk about it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


TKW Essay

In the morning class we shared Initial Planning Sheeting. Homework is develop an outline for the essay and bring in a fast draft of the essay so we can find evidence from the text.

The essay is to be 500-750 words (English 201 B write the longer essay). This does not include the works cited. We might present the essays in class if we have time (smile).

A more polished draft is due Monday, October 18. The final draft is due on Tuesday, October 19. We will meet in A-232 for a peer review. Students will turn the essays in with comments, planning and reading logs, cyber-assignments.

I might let students submit the essays via the Internet at I haven't decided yet, but this will save on paper (trees).

Keep going in SPHE, part five: Point of View. We will write the POV essay Thursday, October 22. It is due Monday, October 25.

Book Report Essay
Start looking for a book you'd like to read for the book report essay. the author needs to be 25 or younger and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Start bringing in books for consideration this week and next. The essay will be due early November. Students will also give a book talk.

More later.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Synthetica Midterm

Today in the morning class we completed Essay Exam 1. Reflect on Pidd and this first essay exam.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Cyber-Assignment on Chris Columbus

Post your short essays here.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Cyber-Assignment for Monday, October 11, 2010 8 AM to 8:50 AM class

We are still contemplating privilege. Think about how Wideman uses the term "privilege" in a different way here in a three paragraph response on the anniversary of Chris Columbus's stumble, October 11, 2010.

It is due 10/11/2010 by 9 AM. If any student decides to go to the sunrise ceremony, this assignment is optional.

October 6, 2010
The Seat Not Taken

AT least twice a week I ride Amtrak’s high-speed Acela train from my home in New York City to my teaching job in Providence, R.I. The route passes through a region of the country populated by, statistics tell us, a significant segment of its most educated, affluent, sophisticated and enlightened citizens.

Over the last four years, excluding summers, I have conducted a casual sociological experiment in which I am both participant and observer. It’s a survey I began not because I had some specific point to prove by gathering data to support it, but because I couldn’t avoid becoming aware of an obvious, disquieting truth.

Almost invariably, after I have hustled aboard early and occupied one half of a vacant double seat in the usually crowded quiet car, the empty place next to me will remain empty for the entire trip.

I’m a man of color, one of the few on the train and often the only one in the quiet car, and I’ve concluded that color explains a lot about my experience. Unless the car is nearly full, color will determine, even if it doesn’t exactly clarify, why 9 times out of 10 people will shun a free seat if it means sitting beside me.

Giving them and myself the benefit of the doubt, I can rule out excessive body odor or bad breath; a hateful, intimidating scowl; hip-hop clothing; or a hideous deformity as possible objections to my person. Considering also the cost of an Acela ticket, the fact that I display no visible indications of religious preference and, finally, the numerous external signs of middle-class membership I share with the majority of the passengers, color appears to be a sufficient reason for the behavior I have recorded.

Of course, I’m not registering a complaint about the privilege, conferred upon me by color, to enjoy the luxury of an extra seat to myself. I relish the opportunity to spread out, savor the privacy and quiet and work or gaze at the scenic New England woods and coast. It’s a particularly appealing perk if I compare the train to air travel or any other mode of transportation, besides walking or bicycling, for negotiating the mercilessly congested Northeast Corridor. Still, in the year 2010, with an African-descended, brown president in the White House and a nation confidently asserting its passage into a postracial era, it strikes me as odd to ride beside a vacant seat, just about every time I embark on a three-hour journey each way, from home to work and back.

I admit I look forward to the moment when other passengers, searching for a good seat, or any seat at all on the busiest days, stop anxiously prowling the quiet-car aisle, the moment when they have all settled elsewhere, including the ones who willfully blinded themselves to the open seat beside me or were unconvinced of its availability when they passed by. I savor that precise moment when the train sighs and begins to glide away from Penn or Providence Station, and I’m able to say to myself, with relative assurance, that the vacant place beside me is free, free at last, or at least free until the next station. I can relax, prop open my briefcase or rest papers, snacks or my arm in the unoccupied seat.

But the very pleasing moment of anticipation casts a shadow, because I can’t accept the bounty of an extra seat without remembering why it’s empty, without wondering if its emptiness isn’t something quite sad. And quite dangerous, also, if left unexamined. Posters in the train, the station, the subway warn: if you see something, say something.

John Edgar Wideman is a professor of Africana studies and literary arts at Brown and the author, most recently, of “Briefs.”


Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Willie Jones Cyber-Assignment

On Monday, October 4, 2010, the afternoon class watched a video: Willie P. Francis Must Die and asked to respond to a series of questions:

1. In what ways does this story challenge the notion E. P. Jones proposes in his novel The Known World that one often can't do any better or accept anything better, such as unjust treatment, based on one's circumstances? Recall the film: Mirrors of Privilege, Making Whiteness Visible.

2. How is Willie Francis doomed by his "known world" even before he is born?

3. How is Willie Francis's sentence based on a similar "known world" or acceptable world view, one that has not changed for many Americans to this day?

4. How does this story challenge or call into question the notion of legality vs. morality?

5. What choices does Willie Francis have in the end? Do you think he gives up too soon? Why or why not?

6. Why is a dead black man seen as a saint? Look at Martin King, Malcolm X, even Oscar Grant?

Danny Glover narrates the unique story of Willie Francis, who survived execution in the Louisiana electric chair in 1946. After the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow a second execution, Felix Frankfurther--the Justice who cast the deciding fifth vote--then went to work behind the scenes to try to get the sentence commuted to life in prison.

Allan L. Durand is a graduate of University of Southwestern Louisiana and has a law degree from Louisiana State University, as well as a Master of Laws in Taxation from Southern Methodist University. He served on active duty as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and also as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard. After graduating from SMU, he was employed as a Tax Senior with a major international accounting firm, and also practiced law in New Orleans and Dallas before returning to St. Martinville, a French Catholic town in southern Cajun Louisiana where he was raised. He is licensed to practice law in both Louisiana and Texas, and was one of the co-founders of the Tax section of the Lafayette Parish Bar Association, as well as one of the co-founders of the Lafayette law firm of Perrin, Landry, deLaunay and Durand. He presently practices law in Lafayette and has served as General Counsel to Farmers-Merchants Bank since 1996. In addition to his law practice, he has been either the producer or associate producer of four feature length motion pictures (including Belizaire the Cajun), and various documentaries for public television. The attorney who represented Francis in his bid to stop the second execution attempt was the younger brother of Durand's grandmother.

Contact information:
Allan Durand
235 La Rue France
Lafayette, LA 70508

Taken from:

In the morning class we reviewed Pronoun Case. Complete the exercises up to Synthetica. We will review the essay together. We might write it Thursday, but that depends on tomorrow (smile).

In the afternoon class complete the exercises and we will review them and the essay. Who knows. We might write it tomorrow.

Don't forget to read the rest of The Known World by next week. There will be a series of questions to answer on-line next week.

Monday, October 04, 2010


TKW-Cyber Posts of Character Development to support thesis

Today in the morning class we looked at the topic of "choice" as relates to characters in TKW. We focused on three characters in particular: Henry Townsend, John Skiffington, and William Robbins.

We developed thesis sentences and decided to use one that looked at the relationship of power to choice and how these men were able to accomplish what they did based on a level of power society granted them based on their positions or wealth.

Homework was to bring in 2-3 sentences that develop the character and explore the choices he made and how these choices affected not just his life, but the lives of those he was responsible for implicitly and tacitly.

Homework was to continue working in SPHE. We are in the section: Pronoun Case. We will be writing the Synthetic essay on Thursday (English 201 8-9) and Wednesday, English 201 (1-3).

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