Monday, September 30, 2013

Today in class more students started the Pronoun Case Essay Exam. Bring into class completed for Wednesday, October 2, typed. We will complete the Elipsis Quiz and continue talking about Virgin Soul. Be prepared to write a short essay exploring the topic: virginity.

How does the author, Judy Juanita, use Geniece to define virginity? Many students are not reading the book. I might also add a quiz too (smile). You are supposed to be up to page 144 or something now. October is Black Panther Party History Month.

There are a lot of activities happening internationally. However, Oakland, CA is the birthplace. There is an event later in October at Mills College. Perhaps we could attend together. For homework, I'd like everyone to attend one event connected to Black Panther History.

The two students who attended the book reading at the library do not have to attend another event, but it would be great if you could (smile).

Keep going in Pidd. We are completing the entire book. Students seem to be getting the hang of Pidd. I hope you will be able to transfer the editing skills over to your own essays once we start. This is the goal. I returned essays today. Keep them. I have not recorded the grades, also you will need all your work for the final portfolio due in December.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

We had a special guest this week, Manual Flores, a former student of mine, who joined us to share his Student Success Story. He graduated this Spring with his AA degree. He is 19.

I had students reflect on Manny's talk and what they might use of his to succeed her at COA.

We then reviewed exercises leading up to Pronoun Case, the first of four Essay Exams in SPHE. We also completed the Pronoun Case quiz. We will complete the Ellipsis quiz next week.

Students should be finished with the exercises for this essay by Monday so we can review the answers and identify the errors. Homework will be the Essay Exam.For the two students who completed the exercises, and have the take home exam, continue with the next set of exercises, Possessives.

After Pidd, we discussed Virgin Soul. Don't forget your reading logs. One per chapter and if you are a slow reader, read in advance. There is a lot to read for Monday.

We talked about the protagonist, or main character, Geniece, her granny, her boyfriend, Ellwood. Her family and the fact that she was an orphan. We talked about various themes and issues raised by the writer through her character, like skin color and hair texture.

We talked about her family members and her cousins, her friends and her coworker. 

The action takes place between Oakland and San Francisco philosophically. Geniece is a smart girl who likes to write and this is how she meets Allwood, an assignment for the Tower (now Laney Tower).

Come prepared to talk more about Geniece and her coming awareness of life and people around her, and how that stirs her to action. She lives in a world that is stratified, separate but not equal, but not for long.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Plan

1. Catch up. Students who did not complete the cyber-assignment from Sept. 18, 2013, start it now.

2. SPHE Essay 2

3. Video on the Panther Women

4. Virgin Soul Reading Logs, Literature Circles, and Reading Schedule

5. Homework: Complete Essay 2: Pronoun Agreement in SPHE, read the Literature Circle worksheet and decide which two roles you'd like for the discussion group, and lastly, do the reading for Wednesday.

Read ahead whenever you have time. I gave students reading log worksheets. Here is a link:

We didn't get to the Black Panther Women video. We ran out of time. I showed about 2 minutes. Watch the video and we can talk about it on Wednesday.

We will have a guest, a former student of mine, Manuel Flores (Class of 2013) sharing his success story (smile). He will be here at 1:30 p.m. and then we will have our discuss and close with Pidd.

Homework will be the Pronoun Case Exam essay. We will have the Pronoun Case quiz also on Wednesday.

Today we will look at the video Truth Be Told: Women in the Black Panther Party, a preview to the book, Virgin Soul which we will talk about in more detail on Wednesday.


There are other resources here you might want to read or view.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Reading Assignment for Virgin Soul

Bring Virgin Soul to class Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.

We will read chapters 1-7 (pages 1-43) for Wednesday, Sept. 25.

For Monday, Sept. 30, prepare chapters 8-18, (pages 44-115).

We will hang out here for a bit in Virgin Soul.  I am away October 7-9. Students will have writing assignments connected to the text. There will also be a Pidd essay due that week.

For October 14 prepare chapters 19-28 (pages 116-170).
For Wednesday, October 16, prepare chapters 29-39 (pages 171-212).
For Monday, October 21, complete the book chapters 41-58, (pages 213-306).

Students are to keep reading and vocabulary logs for each chapter. Here is a link to how I'd like the logs written:

This a recap of what the authors state in Reading to Write, chapter 1 under Reading Logs. 

Essay 1

Essay 1 is due Monday, October 28--Fast Draft.

Final draft due Wednesday, October 30 for a peer review. The essay portfolio including a Revision Plan and Reading Logs, and Cyber-Assignments, is due Monday, Nov. 4, via email.

Essay 2: Selecting the book

On Wednesday, October 30, bring the book to class you'd like to read for your second essay. Choose a book about a person or character who is a change agent, a leader, not a follower. You decide if the person is a good influence or a bad influence on his or her constituency. If you'd like to stay in the world of the movements popular in the 1960s, you might want to read biographies or autobiographies of people like Huey P. Newton, Kathleen Cleaver, Angela Y. Davis who is the subject of a new film (2013) Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners, Mumia Abu Jamal, who is also the subject in a new film, Long Distance Revolutionary.

Students will have independent study week of October 7-9. Read Virgin. Nov. 4-6, I will be away again, this time complete your independent reading and/or work on Social Entrepreneur research and writing projects.

You will read your book while we are working on the Social Entrepreneur essay assignments. This is your final essay, which is due in December with the course portfolio.

Book Report Essay due dates:

Planning due: Monday, November 11.

Fast Draft due: Monday, November 18.

Final Draft due: Wednesday, November 20.

Essay with Revision plan due by Friday, November 22.

Presentations week of November 23-25. All presentations include an abstract. Make copies for each of your classmates. If you want me to make copies, print one copy for me.

Social Entrepreneur Essay

Social Entrepreneur Planning Due: Wednesday, December 1. This includes a literature search written in MLA format.  More later.

Each essay will have its own assignment sheet. This is an overview, subject to adjustment and change.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Cyber-Assignment Library Orientation

In 250 words minimally, briefly state what you learned about scholarly research you didn't already know. Secondly, state what knowledge was reinforced in the presentation. Be specific. Bring to class Monday to share. Post here. If your essay is too long, post it in two parts.

What do you want to know more about that you will visit the library again and speak to the librarian about?

Professor David Sparks gave students three documents. Briefly talk about each of them and how you might use them as you prepare for your first essay.

He started his presentation just talking about information literacy and why libraries are important and what use they are to scholars.

Talk about what is meant by primary source verses secondary sources and the benefits of either. Professor Sparks showed us books and a video on this topic. What books on the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense looked interesting to you? Which do you plan to look at as you prepare for the first essay on Virgin Soul.

What is a database and how does a student access it? How do you find an article in the database? What is keyword verses subject searches? What's the difference and what are the benefits of either? Think about breath.

What is the fun part of the research process?

Talk about the C.R.A.P.P. test.

What is an archive? What archives did the professor share which is related to themes explored in Virgin Soul? Where are they located? Are any archives on-line?

How do we evaluate sources for credibility? What are the components of a good source?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Today in class we reviewed Pronoun Agreement up to the essay. We identified the errors in the Jimmy Dent essay, "Go Big or Go Home" (Pollitt and Baker 86-89). Homework is to complete the essay and bring a copy of it into class Wednesday. (I know, I said email it to me. I changed my mind again.)

We also completed a quiz on the chapter.

I will probably be able to read it before class ends. We meet in the library for an orientation. If you have any doubts, just complete the templates in the book and then Monday we can answer any questions. Keep going.

The next section is Pronoun Case (107). This is an exam. We will write this essay in class Wednesday, Sept. 25. Make sure you notice the extra exercises on ellipses marks on page 126 (see box). The chapter ends with identifying the errors.

I will give you a reading schedule Wednesday, Sept. 18 for Virgin Soul. Get the book. Check local libraries. I think it is in our college library. 

I will also give you a schedule for the three essays we will write in class Wednesday as well. I will also post them here. Start thinking about a biography you'd like to read for your book report essay. It would be great if you chose a local author. The book does not have to be a biography, but that would be nice (smile).

For Wednesday, you do not have to bring Pidd. All you need is a notebook to take notes.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Arts for Healing and Social Change

Monday we typed the first Pidd essay. Sentence Punctuation. Today in class, students corrected their essays. For the most part, all students did really well. Student corrected small errors in class for a passing grade.

Other students need to revise their essays by Monday next week. Students can bring in the new draft, stapled to the revision. I know, I told students to email me. I changed my mind.

For students who are catching up, don't worry. Complete the exercises and do as much of the essay that makes sense. I have the writing workshop tomorrow in A-205 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Drop by with questions.

If Thursdays do not work, we can figure out another time, I am here M-Th. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I am here all day 8-3:30 p.m. and I can stay later. It's not a problem when I plan it in advance, but I hardly ever get out of here before 5. I am pushing myself today (smile). 


Homework for the weekend is to do the next set of exercises in Pidd. We are looking at phrases and pronoun agreement in these next two sections. We will write the new essay on Monday. Come to class with the exercises completed. According to our schedule, we are a little behind. Again, we meet in the library on Wednesday, Sept. 18. For Essay 2, you can email me on Wednesday, Sept. 18 by 1:30 p.m.  Remember to paste and attach.

If you are behind or having trouble, see me in my office hour or come to the workshop the following day, Sept. 19, 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Guest Speaker

We had a visitor this afternoon: Mr. Jamar Mears, counselor in the EOPS Department here at COA. He is also an instructor in the psychology department: Student Success. His talk about his time here at the college as a student and how he matriculated was enlightening and inspiring. After the talk, students were encouraged to reflect on their lives and jot down notes of points Mr. Mears made which could improve their chances of academic success here at COA and in the future. He gave specific pointers and for any students who might not have jotted them down, I taped his talk and I can email it to anyone who is interested in listening to it again (smile).

I wanted to videotape him, but I didn't have myself together. We have a library orientation next Wednesday; however, the following week, a former student of mine, Manuel Flores will come in and share his story. He graduated this Spring with a 4.0 GPA. He is a great writer, really great (smile).  He took my English 201 and English 1A classes.


I told students about an author talk at the de Young Museum in San Francisco this weekend. I am going, so if you want to go, call me so we can meet up and go together. I might not come straight back home. My brother lives in the City and the newspaper I write for is also in San Francisco, so I might run errands, but maybe not (smile).
Here is a link to the event:

Here is a description:

Conversation with Authors Luis Rodriguez and Michael Warr, Sat., September 14, 2013 - 3:00pm

Koret Auditorium
A conversation with authors Luis Rodriguez and Michael Warr: Tia Chucha Press in the House: Arts for Healing and Social Change, presented in partnership with the Red Poppy Art House

How can the arts transform neighborhoods? Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams: How the Arts Are Transforming a Community, coedited by Luis Rodriguez, answers this question through essays, interviews, poems, photographs, and paintings that document the rise of the arts as a powerful healing and regenerative force in the poor, working-class, and largely Mexican/Central American community of northeast San Fernando Valley.

Michael Warr’s most recent book of poems, The Armageddon of Funk, is his third to be published by Rodriguez’s cross-cultural, socially engaged Tia Chucha Press (founded 1989). The two authors have collaborated in the integration of the arts and social change for more than two decades, including through the creation of the Guild Literary Complex in Chicago, for which Warr was the founding director. Rodriguez drew on that experience in forming Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural and Bookstore, based in Sylmar, California.

Rodriguez will talk about Rushing Water, Rising Dreams, and Warr will recite from The Armageddon of Funk. Both books were published in 2012 by Tia Chucha Press and will be available for purchase in the Museum Stores for the authors to sign.

Ticket Information

Public programs are free and open to the public. This lecture is first-come, first-seated, with no reservations needed.

Contact Information

Gregory Stock
(415) 750-7694

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


Week 3, Day 2

This was a short week, with Labor Day taking our Monday (smile). We had a good class; it was fast paced, but students seemed to be keeping up. Some students came in with the Pidd essay, Sentence Punctuation already written. It wasn't due yet (smile).

The essay due was the second essay from the Reading to Write handout on the blessings of writing. Students spent the last part of the class sharing their essays with classmates. I didn't like the suggestions for comments in the handout, so I told students to use stars and exclamation and questions marks to annotate the papers. Lastly, students were to write a comment to the writer indicating what worked well in the writing.

Homework is to complete the Sentence Punctuation Essay in the book (31). Do not type it yet. We can type it in class next week.

Some of your classmates went to the author talk, with Judy Juanita, (Virgin Soul) last week at the Oakland Main Library. One student said it was a great event as she handed in her extra credit essay (smile).

Many of you are fine writers, so you should feel confident in the course, even if Pidd is an anomaly (smile).  SPHE is a way to give you language to talk about your writing and editing process is is just a tool. I am looking forward to reading Virgin Soul this month.

Don't forget, we have a library orientation this month, Sept. 18. We will meet there.

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