Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Topical Invention

1. Topical Inventions using themes or topics from the four poems we read on pages: 21, 135, 81, and 113.

Topical Invention questions the topic, for example, "fame."

Replace the "it" with the topic.

The questions are: What is it/was it for a definition

What is it like/unlike for an analogy

What does an authority say about it for testimony

What caused it/did it cause/will it cause for consequence

2. We reviewed the Possessions Essay and with one student I went over the Parallel Structure Essay.

3. We talked about the Book Report Essay and the Social Entrepreneur assignments. Complete the Frontline World Assignment which is on-line. 

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, we are meeting at the Flagpole at Laney College. We are going to go to the Oakland Museum to see the Dia de los Muertos Exhibit. there is an installation on Bobby Hutton, the youngest member to join the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Oakland Chapter. See http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1968/may/09/violence-in-oakland/ (this is a letter sent to the NY Times to protest Lil' Bobby Hutton's killing) and http://www.pbs.org/hueypnewton/people/people_hutton.html (historic background) and  http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAhuttonB.htm

This will be class today. There will be a writing reflection connected to the Museum visit (smile).

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Frontline World: Engaged Citizenry Cyber-Assignment. Complete between October 25-Nov. 6

Cyber-Assignment 1

Visit http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/socialentrepreneurs.html
This assignment will help students better articulate what a social entrepreneur is.

Assignment: Respond to 3 stories from Thursday, Oct. 25 to Tues., Nov. 6. Post your Frontline World Responses (3) here (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?

5 Why did the person decide to address this issue?

6. How does the community own the process, that is, feel as if they are integral to the success of the venture or business?

7. What are some of the challenges faced by the entrepreneur and/or community?

8. What are the measurable outcomes?


Class Recap

Today in class we watched one of the Frontline World episodes on Social Entrepreneurs and talked about this assignment. Here is a link to the summary of that program.

Homework is to catch up in Pidd. We are at Possessives. Today we did the Possessives and POV quizzes. I returned the Synthetica Essays to students who had emailed them to me.

I have read all the Afeni essays.

If I haven’t read yours, it means I did not see it. I only received one McCall essay today. They were due.  Remember, this is the substitute assignment for Dyson. The book report essay is due in November, check the date. Many students have stated that they plan to use Dyson instead for this assignment. 
I don’t want students to use Dyson for this assignment. I want you to choose another book of your own. I know what I said, I changed my mind (smile). If you plan to write the Dyson essay, you do not have to write the McCall essay.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

There is no play on Thursday, October 18, 2012. We meet.



Byron Hurt in conversation with Tupac Shakur. Choose one of the 4 elements Hurt identifies in Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. Write a scene.

Homework Assignment:

1. Keep reading Dyson. 

2. Keep doing the exercises in Pidd. We are on Be-Verbs.

3. Identify 10 arguments Dyson raises in "Portraits of an Artist." An argument is a claim or statement that is debatable, that is not an absolute fact.

Cyber-Assignment for Homework:

In 250 words minimum, discuss the evidence Hurt presents in the film and whether or not you agree with his premise that commercial rap is misogynistic, violent, and promotes a negative stereotype of black manhood.

I want you to visit http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/hiphop/ for background information on the film and director. In your essay cite a song which supports Hurt's claim(s) or refutes it. You can include the URL in your essay as the reference.

Think about Tupac where would his music fall in the continuum that Hurt portrays? That Dyson discusses? Talk about Tupac's work in light of Hurt's argument in your short essay.

Give examples of lyrics and songs that prove your point.

Hip Hop Beyond Beats and Rhymes, directed by Byron Hurt
From http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/hiphop/

Filmmaker Byron Hurt, a life-long hip-hop fan, was watching rap music videos on BET when he realized that each video was nearly identical. Guys in fancy cars threw money at the camera while scantily clad women danced in the background. As he discovered how stereotypical rap videos had become, Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist, decided to make a film about the gender politics of hip-hop, the music and the culture that he grew up with. “The more I grew and the more I learned about sexism and violence and homophobia, the more those lyrics became unacceptable to me,” he says. “And I began to become more conflicted about the music that I loved.” The result is HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, a riveting documentary that tackles issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s hip-hop culture.

Sparking dialogue on hip-hop and its declarations on gender, HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes provides thoughtful insight from intelligent, divergent voices including rap artists, industry executives, rap fans and social critics from inside and outside the hip-hop generation. The film includes interviews with famous rappers such as Mos Def, Fat Joe, Chuck D and Jadakiss and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons; along with commentary from Michael Eric Dyson, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Kevin Powell and Sarah Jones and interviews with young women at Spelman College, a historically black school and one of the nation’s leading liberal arts institutions.

The film also explores such pressing issues as women and violence in rap music, representations of manhood in hip-hop culture, what today’s rap lyrics reveal to their listeners and homoeroticism in hip-hop. A “loving critique” from a self-proclaimed “hip-hop head,” HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes discloses the complex intersection of culture, commerce and gender through on-the-street interviews with aspiring rappers and fans at hip-hop events throughout the country.

Hip-hop has been accused of glorifying violence, misogyny and homophobia, and at the same time has been lauded for its ability to simply “tell it like it is.” Such controversial debates over forms of expression can rarely be boiled down to a simple case of wrong versus right. Instead, they are complex and multi-layered and must take into account the larger cultural context.

HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes goes beyond polarizing arguments to explore hip-hop’s most contested issues. How do limited perceptions of masculinity play into a culture of violence? What roles do misogyny and homophobia have in hip-hop culture—as well as in wider mainstream cultures? And are the media and music industries really to blame?

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Revisions Strategies: Literary Moves

Today in class a couple of students came early to complete Essay Exam 1; another student came to check-in on how he is doing. We had a great conversation.

When we shifted from A-232 to A-205 we watched a video: Revision Strategies. We then read, or rather Elijah read the two chapters aloud. We then talked about it.

The Works Cited for the optional freewrite is:

Skwire, Sarah and David Skwire. Writing with a Thesis: A Rhetoric and a Reader. Ohio: Wadworth,   2007. Print.

The Write Course: Revision Strategies. Annenberg Learner. 1980s. VHS.

If students don't reflect on the material now, it will be the freewrite on Tuesday, October 16, 2012.

Homework is to catch up in Dyson. Read the second section. Finish the book for October 23. We will write a short essay on Tuesday about one of Dyson's many arguments. We'll brainstorm first. Look at "I Always Wanted to Make a Book out of My Life." In this chapter, Dyson clearly outlines the book and his goals. Check back and forth to see is he accomplishes this.

In Pidd we reviewed the errors in Essay 3: Point of View. That essay was due Tuesday. Turn it in Tuesday. If anyone missed the Essay Exam 1, you can come to class early on Tuesday. I will be in A-232 from 8 AM to 9 and 11-12.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Essay Exam 1 Complete; MCE 1

Today in class one student completed Essay Exam 1, and turned it in. If you missed the first essay exam, and want to make up the -0- grade, make an arrangement with me to make it up within the next week. You can make it up this Wednesday or Thursday this week. Perhaps Monday next week during my office hour.

Everyone completed the MCE 1. the total correct was 50. Students took their exams home. Homework is to write a short narrative analysing your errors per section. Give the total for each section, cite the questions you missed and give the grand total out of 50.

A sample introduction and first paragraph could be this:
                                 Choosing One's Death Is Easier than Passing this Exam

I just completed the Multiple Choice Exam 1 from Stewart Pidd Hates English. I hate this book (smile). Out of 50 possible, I missed 10--not bad, but I expected to do better. The exam was divided into sections and of the five sections: list them, I missed the most in the Sentence Punctuation errors.

I only missed one question in "Confused Words." I am still unclear on the whole "lie/lay" scenario  When is the correct word "lie" and when is it "lay," still confuses me. I think I need to substitute the words: "recline" and the phrase "to put or place" when thinking of which one to use. Take for instance number five: "Kookie Rama (s. lies/ b. lays) in bed and smokes unfiltered Camels", I wrote "lays," instead of "lies" or "reclines." I'll do better next time (smile).

Homework Continued

Reading homework is to complete the first section in Dyson's Holler. Read up to chapter 4 (105). For next Tuesday read Portraits of an Artist. For Thursday, Oct. 18 read "Do We Hate Our Women." Finish the book for October 23.

Today we also practiced literal paraphrasing. We will continue doing this in class on Thursday. Bring your books to class. We will spend most if not all class in Dyson, going over the first section using summarizing and paraphrasing. We are meeting in A-205 now on Thursdays.

We are going on a field trip Thursday, Oct. 18 to see Hamlet at Cal Shakespeare Company at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheatre in Orinda. Tickets are $20. We are going to carpool. The play starts at 1:30. We will probably leave the campus at 12:30 PM. You can bring lunch or snacks, dress warmly in layers. Sometimes it is cold up there. It is an outdoor theatre.

Here is a link to the theatre: http://www.calshakes.org/v4/ourplays/2012_Hamlet.html

More Homework
In Pidd keep doing the exercises up to "Essay 3: Point of View." We can go over the essay on Thursday. If everything is clear, finish the essay and turn it in.


Pronoun Case: Essay Exam 1

Pidd teaches us to pay attention to the details. Make sure you do so in your own writing. Proper nouns need to be capitalized. There should be two spaces after a period. Don't forget to complete the ellipsis exercises in the ancillary before typing your Pronoun Case body paragraphs.

Note the following:

Check your sentences against the errors recap:

1. ". . . Ditch wanted to come with Camper and I . . ." (1).

2. "the General attacked two of the hill divers, Camper and
I . . ." (1).

3. ". . . Ditch was smarter than Camper and me . . ." (1).

4. "Me and Camper laughed . . ." (2).

5. "It was me . . . " (2).

6. "you are almost as pretty as her" (2).

7."[I]f the Pidd men, Sid and me, can do a little camping . . . (2).

Monday, October 08, 2012

Last Thursday we reviewed ellipses marks and did the Quiz for Ellipsis Marks. I'd planned to give the MCE 1 and the Pronoun Case Quiz, but students were still working on the exercises, so we will complete the essay this week. I returned Essay 2, Pronoun Agreement. 

I reviewed the essay, Synthetica with students who had completed the exercises. Those students were instructed to bring in the completed templates types electronically for Tuesday, Oct. 9. 
We talked a bit about Dyson, not much. Students leave as we shift between classrooms. I am looking at A-205. If it is free, we will begin meeting there this Thursday, Oct. 11.

I will put up a sign on A-200 and A-232. 

There is more. I have to check my notes from last week. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


I Always Wanted to Make a Book out of My Life. . . .

Thursday in class students started their essay. We also reviewed SPHE Essay 2. Students were to complete the templates for today (smile).

Students were also supposed to bring in Dyson's Holler if You Hear Me.  Today we completed the introduction and conclusion for Essay 2 together, students then worked on the body paragraphs. Bring the completed essay to class on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Also read the Introduction and Preface: "I Always Wanted to Make a Book out of My Life." Some students didn't have the second edition, so I gave them a copy of the new intro to the 2006 edition. We read a bit and then stopped to reflect in writing on the work so far. I wrote the summary on the board.

For the Dyson reading logs, include a list of words you cannot pronounce and do not know what they mean; also keep a list of persons Dyson references you do not know.

Type the logs.

We will have an exam on Thursday on all the grammar covered up to Pronoun Case. We might not have time to type the essay. Complete the templates though. Pronoun Case is Essay Exam 1.

Reflections on a Revolutionary 27 September 2012 (I forgot to publish this (smile).
Students spent the first hour of class writing their first big essay or thinking about their first big essay and what they wanted to say about Afeni Shakur's life. The essay is due, Monday, October 1, 2012 vis email. Students are to include:

1. Final Draft of the essay, which includes the Initial Planning Sheet and Outline; 2. Any Cyber-Assignments connected to Evolution of a Revolutionary. One cyber-assignment is a poem Tupac wrote his mother; 3. The Reading Logs (if they are typed.)

Send all of this to coasabirenglish201@gmail.com

I gave students the assignment outline for the semester (3 pages). If you were absent, make sure you get a copy.

Students were also to complete the templates for SPHE Essay 2, Pronoun Agreement. We'll finish the essay Tuesday in class.

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