Week 2 (Aug 30 – Sept 5)

Mon Aug 30

How to do good annotations on Perusall. Talking about our education, and about writing!


READ and annotate on Perusall: “How to Read Like a Writer” by Mike Bunn.  Annotate the heck out of this thing! Do exactly to Bunn’s piece what he’s asking you to do: question why he wrote something a certain way, comment on whether you think it’s effective or not, respond to his questions. If someone has already highlighted a sentence, just click on the highlight and add your own comments — make it a conversation!

WRITE and Post on OpenLab:  Follow up on your annotating by writing a brief post that discusses the following questions.

  • Mike Bunn writes, “You are already an author.” He’s talking to you. What do you think he means by this? What are some of the things you write already? (Yes, we talked about this a little in class, but now’s the time for you to talk about it from your own life. And by the way “Nothing” is not an acceptable answer.) Think of all the ways you already use words in your everyday life. That’s authorship! How will that existing expertise help you in your college reading and writing career?
  • Was there anything you noticed in Bunn’s article that yo u would like to try to do in your own writing? What, in particular? Please be specific!
  • How did you feel reading and annotating like this? I know it seems time-consuming, but what did you learn about reading and writing this way?
  • CATEGORY: Bunn

Wed Sept 1

More about education. Introduction to Unit 1: It’s about an event or experience or memory that had impact on your view of education and/or school. Carillo set up our education system in general. Now time to get personal. What makes it so hard? How about the idea of language, of “English”?

HW: (no class again until Sept 13, so there’s plenty of time!)

READ and annotate on Perusall: “Thoughts after reading Carillo.”

READ and annotate on Perusall: Tan, “Mother Tongue.”

POST in OpenLab: As a blog post (at least 300 words) in which you write about these things:

  • How do you feel about what Carillo is saying? Did you ever get the feeling when you were in school that you were only allowed to accept what someone wrote? That you couldn’t have your own response to it? How did/does that make you feel? In addition, have you ever thought about the difference between “knowledge” and “understanding”? Why would that be important in today’s world?
  • Now that you’ve listened to/read Lysicott and Tan, write about your own experience with various “Englishes.” How has your experience been similar to Lysicott and/or Tan? Please be specific and use at least one quote from Tan or Lysicott in this part of your response.
  • CATEGORY: Englishes

Week 3: No classes the week of Sept 6 – 12

Week 4 ( Sept 13 – 19)

Mon Sept 13

An education narrative is a genre, and genres have conventions.


READ & Annotate on Perusall: Olivarez, “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing” and his poem “Mexican American Disambiguation”

READ & Annotate on Perusall: Barry, “Tardy.”

WRITE on OpenLab: (250 Words) So far in this unit, we have read (and heard) three examples from the genre of the “education narrative.”  Your first essay assignment in this class will be to write in this genre yourself.  So in this discussion forum, I’d like us to have a conversation about what the features of this genre are. Please discuss some of the following:

  • What, from what you’ve seen so far, are the “ingredients” (also known as “conventions”) of the education narrative genre?
  • What do you think might be a place to get started with your own education narrative?
  • What are your questions or concerns about writing an education narrative of your own?
  • If you like, you can also feel free to share an educational experience you had and ask for feedback from your colleagues (and me) to see if we think that might be a solid place to begin writing.
  • CATEGORY: Conventions

Wed Sept 15 – no class

Week 5 ( Sept 20-26)

Mon Sept 20

Brainstorming ideas. Writing descriptive paragraphs.


WRITE a post on OpenLab: Write at least two distinct paragraphs describing one specific incident that changed your views on education using Concrete, Significant detail. It can be what you came up with in class or even something else that occurs to you. Remember what we talked about for PIE paragraphs!

Category: Paragraphs

READ and annotate on Perusall: “SFD” by Anne Lamott. You don’t need to write anything because we’ll be using it in class on Wednesday.

Wed Sept 22

Writing SFDs. How to write a Reviewer’s Memo to add to your draft.


WRITE and add to the end of your SFD: Reviewer’s Memo. This short Reviewer’s Memo (100-200 words) is something you add at the very bottom of your draft. It’s written to your classmates (and me), and addresses these three things: 

  • This is what I intended to do: Here’s why I wrote it. What I hoped it would do. What I want people to take away from the piece.
  • This is how I feel about the project so far: how I think it’s going, what problems I’m having, what I think is working, and what I think I need help with, what I’m proud of, etc.
  • This is what I could really use feedback about: what do you think is working? What is confusing? Does each paragraph address a single idea, or does it wander all over the place? Have I mentioned or used something from the readings? If this were your essay, what would you do next?

WRITE and upload to the Google Drive folder labeled Education Narrative: A Less Shitty First Draft of UNIT ONE (including your Reviewers Memo at the end) . At least 800 words. Pay attention to your paragraphs! 

Week 6 ( Sept 27 – Oct 3)

Mon Sept 27

How to leave really useful comments for each other.


WRITE in the Google Drive folder: Use the Comment feature to leave feedback on at least two other people’s Education Narratives remembering the things we talked about in class and addressing their Reviewer’s Memo concerns if you can. Here are some prompts for the kinds of comments you can leave:

  • I liked (…) because…
  • I got this from reading your work.
  • I found this part interesting because…
  • I got confused here because…
  • I wanted to know more about (…) because…

At the very end (below their Reviewer’s Memo), leave the author a brief note that summarizes what you wrote in the Comments on the side. It doesn’t have to be long; just something to let them know your overall reaction and maybe ideas about revising if you have any (that’s optional). And don’t be formal about it! Talk to them one person to another, like you’re texting or chatting (but with cleaner language).

Wed Sept 29

Writing a Revision Memo.


WRITE and add to the bottom of your Education Narrative Draft: Write a note to yourself (and to me) labelled “Revision Memo” that includes these things.

  • Summary of what people responded to, the good and the bad!
  • The recurring comments you got, and how you think you can address these in general.
  • The comments you disagree with (or that people disagreed with each other about), and whether you think there’s any merit to them. If you do, talk about how you think you can address them.
  • Brief thoughts about what you want to do in your revision (remember: the final revision isn’t due until the Final Portfolio at the end of the term).
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