For Thursday, February 7

Hey everyone– great work in class today. For Thursday, I would like you to write a rough draft of Unit 1 Part 1– your Learning Narrative. Please post this on OpenLab and bring a paper copy to class. Both copies are important!! At least 500 words. (Final is 850 words)

What do I write about? In this essay, you will be writing about an experience you had with learning that you think would be interesting or important to an audience outside yourself. What about your experience is worth hearing about? It might be something dramatic, like Gilyard’s experience, but it also might be more low-key, like Tan’s (HERE in case you lost it) or Graff’s (posted HERE. You don’t have to read this, but it’s another example, should you get lost.) You do not have to quote Tan, Gilyard or Graff (but you can if you want to!) They are there as examples of learning narratives. Remember the video we watched in class– your readers will benefit from both anecdotes about your experience and reflection that tell them why those anecdotes are important. Also remember that even if you have 3-4 anecdotes, they should be somehow related to each other. There should be some thread that connects them all.

All of that said, for Thursday, you are writing a rough draft.  I know this sounds weird, but you really just need to get enough words down on the page– you’re gonna change things. Also, you never know what you’re going to write until you actually write it. The main thing here is to get started. (HERE is an article, called “Shitty First Drafts” which talks about how to get started if you’re lost. It’s not required either, but it might help.) Also, a great place to start is in a scene– you’ve written a couple. If you get stuck, explain to your readers why this scene is important. What does it tell them about education or learning? You don’t have to start in a scene, by the way– but if you’re lost, start with something you’ve already written!

Still stuck? Here are some of the ideas we had for scenes or topics in class. You don’t need to use any of them, but they’re possible starting points:

  • Overcoming odds and obstacles(or not overcoming them) 
  • What I learned from living in New York City
  • What I learned in school
  • What I learned outside of school
  • Peer pressure
  • People who believed in you (and those who didn’t.) 
  • Personal breakthroughs
  • What I learned from my family (this doesn’t have to be positive!)
  • Being looked down upon for being different
  • Experiences with different Englishes
  • How your Mother Tongue affects your learning
  • Learning on the street

Here is a guided explanation of how to do an X-page and write a scene with someone who is not me!

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