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9-10. FINAL WEEK ASSIGNMENTS *due Thu, noon

FINAL WEEK ASSIGNMENTS (#9-10) | Due Thu, noon

9 (6/29) | Introduce Essay 3: The Music of Language, The Language of Music

READ (again, if necessary):
Essay 3 Assignment | MLA Citation Quick Guide

DO: –8 Essay 2 Workshops

10 (7/1) | Final exam. Final Portfolios due (Google Drive folder with the 4-5 below items).
Submit your folder with the following contents using the Google Form on website:
–Essay 1 | first draft, final draft, and a brief note on the revisions you made
–Essay 2 | |first draft, final draft, and a brief note on the revisions you made
–Essay 3 (optional)
–4 Listening Logs
–3 Revised blog posts | for each post, include: 1 original, 1 revised. (1 doc for all of this, please)
–Final Exam

THE DETAILS…

Welcome to the final week, crew.  I will re-iterate my admiration of all the work you’ve done—and it’s been *a lot.*. Thank you for joining me this June for a fabulous course.

As you know, the course ends this week, and so I am posting the final 2 assignments together below.  Several details on each of our things to do:

  1. Be sure to read the Essay 3 assignment sheet and draft this essay if you want extra credit; great for those of you wanting to boost your final grade.
  2. If you haven’t yet, read the MLA Citation Guide (link above) and use it twhen you comment on 8 classmates’ Essay 2s. You don’t have to limit yourself to commenting on MLA Citation and Works Cited stuff, but please comment on at least one citation change 1 classmate could make.
  3. Please be sure the link to your Google Drive folder (your final portfolio) is working. This is the link you submitted during week 1. If you’re not sure your previous link was shared correctly, you can re-submit your info on the form here. Here’s what to make sure you’ve put in the folder:

–Essay 1 | first draft, final draft, and a brief note on the revisions you made
–Essay 2 | |first draft, final draft, and a brief note on the revisions you made
–Essay 3 (optional)
–4 Listening Logs
–3 Revised blog posts | for each post, include: 1 original, 1 revised. (1 doc for all of this, please)
–Final Exam

NOTE: Please be sure you’ve made a revision note describing the changes/additions you’ve made to both Essay 1 and 2.  This note can be a separate document or at the beginning of your final drafts.

DUE: Thu, noon.

  1. Complete the final exam in no more than 75-minutes. I want your essay for this to be quick, but super thoughtful; well-explained but not necessarily polished. Don’t worry too much about grammar and citation and formatting.  DO worry about the connections between ideas in different sentences; making effective paragraphs and paragraph breaks; establishing connections between paragraphs.  This is what I’ll be looking for.  NOT a five-paragraph essay, but something more innovative and creative than that.  THANK YOU—Peace! M

 

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8. 6/25 (due 6/29)

8 (6/25) | Comparing Content, Comparing Form & Style
READ:
–Roupenian, “Cat Person” (p. 76) —Essay 3 Assignment MLA Citation Quick Guide –Find, read, and summarize (below) one article using a Research Resource

  1. Please read Kristin Roupenian’s “Cat Person” and consider as you read the ways in which this short story is similar to and different from Alice Munro’s “Wild Swans.” For starters, both stories are about ambiguously unpleasant sexual encounters that could be considered sexual assault, depending on how you interpret/define this term (sexual assault). This is one broad similarity, but I want you to see if you can notice other, more specific similarities.  I also want you to take note of the differences between these two stories: how are the two sexual encounters described in each text different?  How are the styles of these two writers—Roupenian and Munro—different?  You don’t need to write anything (although you can), but this is what I want you thinking about as you read.
  2. Please read the MLA Citation guide (link above) and give Essay 2 feedback to two (2) classmates. In your feedback, please indicate where and how the writer could improve either their in-text citations (when they quote) or their Works Cited page (at the end of their essay).
  3. I want you to find and read a research article using the resources linked above—preferably an article that helps you make a connection/comparison between your main Essay 2 text and another work of literature that it is similar to in some way. Once you’ve read your research article, I want you to write 2 paragraphs below.

3a. A paragraph summarizing the research article you’ve found.  In this paragraph please also explain how this article’s content connects to the main text you’re analyzing (and, if possible, the text you’re comparing your main text to).

3b. A paragraph that gives an overview of the major similarities and differences between your main Essay 2 text (the one you are close reading and analyzing) and the other text you’ve found that is similar to it in some ways.  At the end of your paragraph, include a new statement about what makes your main text unique (i.e., different from the text it’s similar to.

 

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7. 6/22 (due 6/25)

Interpretations involving Definition: How to Define Sexual Assault?

READ:
–Munro, “Wild Swans” (p. 69)
–Young, “Feminists Want Us…” (p. 143)
–Experiment with searching on 3 Research Resources; try to find an article related to your Essay 2

  1. It may seem obvious, but definition—the act of proposing what a word or idea means, does, or is about—is actually an incredibly powerful interpretative strategy. A definition is an interpretation. We have been working this week on close reading passages from the text you are interpreting for your Essay 2.  For this assignment, I want you to get practice defining words/ideas that are important to the text you are interpreting.  We are going to get this practice using Cathy Young’s “Feminists Want Us…” (a provocative—possibly offensive—article on the politics of defining sexual assault) and Alice Munro’s short story, “Wild Swans” (a rather twisted tale in which an ambiguous sexual encounter—possibly assault; it’s debatable–takes place).  First, I want you to read Young’s text and then respond with a paragraph describing what you think her view/definition/interpretation of sexual assault is.  Consider both what she thinks IS sexual assault AND what she thinks IS NOT sexual assault (saying what a thing is NOT is just as important to forming a definition as is the ability to say what it IS).
  2. Second, I want you to read Munro’s “Wild Swans” and write a paragraph summarizing the story that is focused on whether or not you would define its “main event” as a form of sexual assault. Be sure to include a close reading & analysis of one quotation from the text as well as your own specific thoughts about what YOU think the definition of sexual assault IS and IS NOT.
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6. 6/18 (due 6/22)

6 (6/18) | Partners in Crime: Identifying Repetitions in Literary Texts
READ:
–Poe, “The Purloined Letter” (p. 182) | NOTE: It’s long; give yourself time!

Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Purloined Letter” is a (longer) short story that shares certain similarities to Junot Diaz’ “The Money”: they are both crime stories—in fact, they are both “double-crime” stories, in which an initial crime is replicated by a second crime.  This is precisely why we are reading them alongside each other: in hopes of comparing the two texts to see what similarities and differences we notice.

Close reading and comparing: these are the two main skills we will be working to develop in the writing of Essay 2—an essay in which you are asked to make an interpretation of why and how a text is unique.

Close-reading involves the careful examination and analysis of the author’s wording of certain passages in a text.

Comparing is a strategy you can apply to identify the similarities and differences of two passages within one text (e.g., in “The Money,” the passage where Diaz’ friend breaks into his family’s home vs. the passage where Diaz himself breaks into the friend’s home).  However, comparing can also involve looking for the similarities and differences between passages from two different texts (e.g., the passage in “The Money where Diaz breaks into his friend’s home vs. the passage in Poe’s “The Purloined Letter” where Dupin sneaks into the Minister’s chamber to steal back the letter).

For Monday, I want you to start your Essay 2 by close reading two different passages from one of the works of literature at the beginning or end of the PDF reader that you like.  (It’s your choice which text you focus on for Essay 2).

To do this, I want you to apply what you’ve been working on in your Listening Logs—specifically, identifying repetitions within a work of art.  This is one of the key skills that will improve your listening to music and also your ability to analyze and write about literature (as well as many other things…).

The two passages from one text that I want you to find to closely read and analyze will involve some sort of repetition that links them together.  I’ve already repeated (!) this example from “The Money” countless times, but think of the passages in the money involving thievery; there are at least 3:–the friend’s thievery
–Diaz’ thievery when he breaks into his friend’s house
–Diaz’ thievery when he considers keeping the money from his mother.

Once you’ve identified two passages that repeat the same idea or theme, I want you to post them in your response below.  I want you to:

  1. Introduce the title and author of the text and summarize the “big picture” of what it is about.
  2. Describe the repeating idea/theme you’ve noticed in both passages
  3. Transition into the quotation using a signal phrase (e.g., Diaz writes, “[quotation].”)
  4. Transition out of the quotation by explaining again how it shows us the repeating idea/theme you’ve noticed. Refer to specific words/phrases in the quoted passage (e.g., In this passage, we see the repeating idea of thievery turn up again in Diaz’ reference to “burglarizin’.
  5. Discuss what you think is unique about the content of the passage, including its word choice (e.g., Something I notice in this quotation is the slang version of the term “burglarizing” that Diaz uses.)
  6. Discuss the effects this passage has on you as a reader (e.g., Diaz’ use of New Jersey slang here speaks to me and probably many other readers who’ve grown up hearing vernacular versions of English being spoken on the street.).
  7. Discuss questions you have about the passage (e.g., Something odd about this passage is the way the narrator presents himself as guilty of a crime by characterizing his act stealing back his family’s stuff as a form of “burglary.” Why might he have done this?).
  8. Transition into the next passage you’ve found that repeats the same idea (e.g., Another passage where Diaz presents himself as a thief of sorts is at the end of the story where he tells us he has thought of keeping his mother’s money for himself.).
  9. Repeat steps 3-7 using the second passage you’ve found.

 

 

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4. 6/11 (due 6/15)

4 (6/11) | Repetition
For Monday, read:
–Gladman, “Calamities,” excerpts (p. 193) / Race & Repetition…With a Difference
–Serpell, “Triptych: Texas Pool Party” (p. 199)

In the coming days, I want us to move on to thinking about the effects of different kinds of repetition in writing.  In essence, Essay 1 is an assignment built on repetition: you absorb the key events of a story and you repeat them… with a difference.  In Renee Gladman’s work “Calamaties,” she explores the different effects of anaphora: a technique involving the use of the same phrase to begin subsequent sentences, paragraphs, etc.  Her anaphora—“I began the day…”—leads her to many different destinations: complicated musings on race, even more complicated interactions with family, and so on.  Ultimately, we begin to lose our sense of the literality of her anaphora—does it really matter what day it is that she is beginning?—and begin to relate to her repetitions more as launching ramps for thought than attempts to represent an actual day…

Meanwhile, in Serpell’s “Triptych”—a re-telling of a 2015 moment in the ongoing saga of police brutality against POC in America wherein a white police officer tackled a black teenage girl in Texas— we again see anaphora in play toward the end of the first section: check out all the sentences repeatedly beginning with “we” or “joy” or other words.  A rhythm thereby builds up, among other effects of Serpell’s repetition.  But more broadly speaking, Serpell repeats the story of this Texas pool party that took a turn for the tragic; each of the text’s three parts tells this story from a different perspective—and in a different writing style that aligns with the perspective being represented.  Let this be an inspiration to those of you protesting and also those of you re-writing your Essay 1 stories from new perspectives…. Perspective and style are almost always linked together

  1. Post a reading response to one of the above readings. Below are the guidelines. For those of you wanting more of a prompt to chew on, try describing each of the three perspectives in Serpell’s text: who is writing—that is, what is the voice which tells—each of the three versions of the story here?  What do you notice about the style used to represent the perspective in each section?

REMEMBER: For each reading response, you will pick a quote from the assigned reading and introduce this quote with the proper context (author name and title).  You will then go on to discuss one question the quote raises for you about the reading and then try to answer that question; in your response, analyze the meaning of at least one specific word or phrase in the quotation.

  1. Write 2 paragraphs of anaphoric sentences. (See definition and example of anaphora above.) In your first paragraph, begin every sentence with the same phrase.  In your second paragraph, do the same thing, using a different phrase.  NOTE: It probably makes sense to try this using material from your Essay 1—however, this isn’t required.
  2. Read 2 more of your classmates’ essays and post your responses to those essays as comments. Feel free to read my responses to Starlyn and Victor for inspiration.

M

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Video- How to create a new post for Listening Log, etc.

Sorry for all the background noise! #Construction

Also for anyone who’s post appears as “Uncategorized” If you find your post and click edit, then all you have to do is choose “Listening Log” under categories just like in the video below! Don’t forget to click “Update”.

I hope this is helpful!!

 

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Preliminary Announcements and Tasks

Hi everyone,

You’re on my list for the June edition of English 1121 at City Tech–glad to have you and to begin the class online this coming week.  I’ll have a good deal more for you on Monday when I post the first assignment to our OpenLab site.  In the meantime, there are a few preliminaries I’ll ask you to do (by Monday morning, ideally):

1) Go to the course site and follow the notes/links on how to set up an OpenLab account (if you don’t already have one) and join the course.  (You have to do this to submit day-to-day writing assignments and receive grades on the OL site.)

2) Create a Google Drive folder (with link-sharing enabled) for sharing Essay drafts and other assignments with me (if you don’t have a Google account, I apologize, but you’ll have to create one of those first).

3) Copy your Google Drive folder URL; you’ll need it when you fill in your info on this Contact/Info form I need you to complete.

4) Sign up for a time to meet with me on one of the coming 4 Wednesdays.

5) Begin reading the Course syllabus & assignment calendar.  You might also begin perusing our course readings.

Feel free to write with any comments or questions.  And look out on Monday for assignment #1–I’ll be posting it to the OpenLab site, so you’ll want to check there.

Excited to read you all–welcome!

Monroe

Monroe Street
English Department, City University of New York
Psychoanalyst, Institute of Expressive Analysis

 

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Listening Log

Post below your weekly Listening Logs.  Please make a your own new post for the first week and then post each subsequent week (2-5) as a comment under your original post..

Instructions (from Syllabus)

Throughout the course, you will be responsible for closely listening to 1 song of your own choosing per week and writing three (3) lists of notes: (1) 2-3 phrases/lyrics that strike you; (2) 2-3 repetitions you notice (in the music and/or the words); (3) 2-3 changes that you notice (in the music).

10% of Final Grade

Essay two -Final Revision

Marcus Robinson

English 1121

Essay Two

 

I can personally describe “The Money” by Diaz” as a double crossing story between a boy and a thief. The story is about a poor, but hard working family who’s just making it. During the story the family’s house was robbed due to a so-called “friend”, because of that, the narrator went to go take back the money . During the first paragraph we are introduced to a family of seven with five kids. They are depicted as having little to no income. Diaz states “ All the Dominicans I knew in those days sent money home. My mother didn’t have a regular job besides caring for us five kids, so she scrimped the loot together from whatever came her way. My father was always losing his forklift jobs, so it wasn’t like she ever had a steady flow.”  By using that language, we begin to see that this family works hard for everything they have in their life. Diaz cleverly uses words like “broke” and “scrimped” and “lost” to illustrate how little this family has. The mother of the family has a hidden part in the house which saved up money for her family. Even the kids knew not to touch the money. Burglary is a big thing that occurs in this neighborhood, the son in the text states “ Everybody got hit; no matter who you were, eventually it would be your turn. And this summer was ours.” At this point Diaz already set in motion the family getting robbed. “Still, we took the burglary pretty hard. When you’re a recent immigrant, it’s easy to feel targeted” said the son right after he has just been robbed. When he said “ easy to feel targeted” I can relate on the level where you feel like everyone picks on you because of your race.  It is also proven and shows people of lower class tend to stick and live together. So in a way the same habits of robbery influence the neighborhood because they are surrounded by the same type of people. This is also another reason why Diaz thought about keeping the money from his mom.  The way Diaz used similes to give life to a situation is genius, when the son was comparing the robbery to a “CSI-Style investigation.” That gave the text a detailed and yet fun description on the robbery. As soon as he figured out who took the money which were his friends,he wasted no time taking back what belonged to the family. What is most interesting is when the term “burglarizing” to describe what the cops would think of him if he was caught stealing. Because of all the crime and burglary occurring around him, he used that to say he is simply stealing. What is really unique about this text is towards the end when he thought about keeping his mother’s money for himself. It’s kind of ironic in the sense that he would want to keep it considering he just got robbed and now is about to rob his mother. Especially towards the fact his mother scrapes up whatever money she can and his dad is always losing his job.  

 

‘The Money’ can be similarly  compared to ‘The Purloined letter’  by Edgar Allen Poe. Both stories follow the idea of a double crime story.  ‘The purloined letter’ is about a letter that was stolen from the royal capital. Both stories share the same idea where an item was stolen and then later received. The story takes a more in depth robbery between political officials. Perfect of the police have a mission to find this stolen letter and take it from a thief in the minister’s apartment. Perfect proceeds to inform Duplin that someone has stolen this letter and it holds power. Duplin,  is this Gatsby like figure who is a mastermind behind a robbery.  Perfect and his police performed  a long and thorough search on his apartment, after finding nothing, and checked every corner no letter was to be found. Perfect was disappointed again after a second search a month later. At this point Perfect is lost in the case with no direction. Until one of his officers informed Perfect that Duplin had a plan of his own, he would provide the letter to the police for a reward. Perfect then goes to confront Duplin about his plan and offers him $50,000 as a reward, Duplin then all of a sudden has the letter for the reward. Perfect is bamboozled by this statement and Duplin explains how he made it possible. 

Two things that interest me most are the Story of Duplin and Perfect. They are both in the same story but take on two completely different roles. Perfect seems to never find his answers and he is being manipulated by Duplin. Duplin states “”Yes,” said Dupin. “The measures adopted were not only the best of their kind, but carried out to absolute perfection. Had the letter been deposited within the range of their search, these fellows would, beyond a question, have found it.” The only reason this story took place is because of Duplin’s plot for the letter and money. Just like in ‘The Money’ by Diaz, even though the son stole back the money from his ‘friend’, he considered keeping the money for himself instead of giving it back to his mom. How Duplin also uses ‘Mathematicians’ to describe how people don’t really know the truth. Just like Plato stated in “The Republic’ “art is imattive’. In the text Duplin states “As a poet and as a mathematician, he would reason well; as a mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all.” Meaning Perfect doesn’t really know the truth or what’s going on. In ‘The Republic’ art was compared to couches and the different type of people who make them. Duplin describes the truth with math and science in this text. When Duplin heard about the letter he made one true goal in mind, get the letter for his cash reward. What is ironic about this text is also how Perfect always failed despite his name being Perfect. Whats also interesting is when Diaz used the term ‘ burglarizing’, Duplin said ‘the thief must become the thief’.  Both text have terms in them that describe thievery as well.

In conclusion Both texts fall in the same idea of a double crime story .  In “The Money” by Junot Diaz, the language the author uses contributed to the main plot to happen. First the family was described as poor and barely making ends meet. Because of that it led the son not only to take his money back but think about keeping the money. This style of writing is very investigative in a way. For example when the money got stolen in ‘The money’ the son thought of many people who could have done it. The same thing applies to  ‘The Purloined letter’ , When Perfect and the cops tried so hard to find the letter, he just couldn’t and just kept looking. The two short stories also have very descriptive language that help develop a double crime story. Just like when Duplin had a secret plan, when perfect went to go confront him he offered a reward for the letter. Duplin then goes to give a very investigative description on how he obtained the letter.

 

Revision Notes

For my revision from the first essay to the final draft I focused mainly on grammar issues. I had some quotes that needed to be fixed as well as some spelling mistakes. Another major difference is I added more explanation after my quotes. This helped me give a better description and analysis on both of my two stories. I also have alluded Dupin to “The Great Gatsby.”

 

Essay 2 Draft 1 (Unfinished)

Jamal Taylor

English 1121

Professor Monroe Street

6/21/20
Essay 2 Draft

 

In every story, there seems to be qualities and characteristics that make a story unique. There may be similarities and differences  that enable readers to compare and contrast between two different stories. Language, form, literary elements & techniques, structure, etc. , can be factors in discovering the uniqueness of a specific text. Something that is unique is considered different and stands out from the ordinary. Two pieces of text such as, “The Money” by Junot Diaz and “The Purloined Letter” by Edgar Allen Poe will be analyzed and  compared to find what makes these texts unique and discover their similarities and differences. 

The text, “The Money”, by Junot Diaz is about a Dominican family that immigrated to the United States. Though they are in a wealthier country, Diaz and his  family are burdened by poverty. With the small amount of money they get, they still have to send some money back to support their grandparents in Dominican Republic. While away on vacation. One of Diaz’s friends breaks into their house and steals Diaz’s Mom’s secret stash of money. Diaz’s friends found out about the stash of money from a conversation he had with Diaz when hanging out together. His so called “friends” secretly despise Diaz without his knowing and talk about him behind his back. When Diaz and his family return from vacation, they find the stash of money missing, and their door was unlocked. During another conversation between Diaz and his friend, he gets a feeling that his friend stole the money because of his behavior. Diaz then breaks into his friend’s house and takes back his mom’s stolen money.

Diaz writes, “I, who could take the change out of my mother’s purse without thinking, couldn’t have brought myself even to look at that forbidden stash”. Diaz also writes, “And if mine had been a normal neighborhood this is when the cops would have been called and my ass would be caught burglarizing”. Finally he states, “I popped up the dolt’s mattress and underneath I found my D. & D. books and most of my mother’s money…And that was how I solved the Case of the Stupid Morons”. When analyzing the first quote, we could see that the thought of stealing came through Diaz’s head regarding his mother’s money from the phrase, “I, who could take the change out of my mother’s purse…”, and the phrase “…my ass would have been caught burglarizing “. These phrases show how thievery is universal in everyone when the opportunity presents itself. Diaz uses the word “burglarizing” to emphasize that no matter if the money was his to begin with, stealing is stealing. Diaz had a thought of stealing his mother’s money but hesitated when realizing the consequences of those actions. Thievery seems to be the primary repetition in this passage. 

This passage is uniquely written because  it displays both the good and bad sides of burglary. It also showed the perspective of what people are willing to do when an opportunity is given to them. Being poor and in poverty makes people desperate and negative. The fact that the story is written in Junot Diaz’s perspective shows us how he was thinking, and also displays to the reader the significance of his mother’s money. Since we know that his family sends money back to Dominican Republic even though they are poor, that helps readers to see how valuable the stolen stash of money was to his mother because they were already struggling to pay bills.

 

One event that strictly stands out from the other parts of this text is the mother’s emotionless reaction after Diaz, her son, retrieve her stolen cash. This part of the story was very unique due to the fact that Diaz’s mother placed a high value of importance on her stash of money. I would’ve expected her to have a more joyous and grateful reaction after having the money back in her possession since they were tight on money. In the last passage of “The Money”, Diaz states, “It took me two days to return the money to my mother. The truth was I was seriously considering keeping it. But in the end the guilt got me”. This is the second time Diaz accuses himself of thievery without committing to the action of stealing. Diaz states, “Except that a couple of days later I was moaning about the robbery to these guys I was hanging with at that time and they were cursing sympathetically…”. The repeating theme expressed by this passage is the accusation of thievery. Being that Diaz trusted these “two dopes”, people he considered friends, their odd behavior led him to believe that they were the ones that stole the money. The irony is that he uses the words “cursing sympathetically” to describe their attempt to avoid suspicion. It’s unique how the outer appearance of Diaz’s friends displays innocence, but we know internally that they are guilty. Also, it’s unique how Diaz was able to write a passage that portrays how his friends’ body language compromised their innocence. 

Majority of communication between people is nonverbal, and even the words themselves have little meaning until they are said with a specific tone or emphasis. It’s the way someone portrays themself not just their appearance alone. The play on who’s innocent or guilty makes this passage much more unique than the rest of the story. It shows how a person’s dialogue is not always a full representation of their actions. Why would a so-called “friend”steal from his “friend” that shows nothing but trust and kindness? How can a person look another individual in the face and be able to pretend to be in their best interest at heart, but secretly despise that person of whom they see everyday? Diaz was very successful in showing thievery in the good and bad characters. These creations acknowledge that on both sides of poverty, people, good or bad, are all capable of thievery if given the opportunity to benefit from it.

 

In Edgar Allen Poe’s, “The Purloined Letter”, a valuable letter is stolen from Paris’ royal apartments. The Prefect Monsieur G and the Parisian Police search the entire premises and fail to find the stolen letter in Minister D’s hotel. Monsieur G increases the reward to 50,000 francs a month later to whoever can find the letter. Detective  Minister D. Dupin requests Monsieur G to sign him the check and then hands him the valuable letter. 

One repeated theme from “The Purloined Letter” is that a valuable item is missing and then retrieved back into the owner’s possession. There is a passage in the story where Minister D finds the letter even after the expert detective and police failed to recover it. This is a unique part of the text because Minister D proceeds to explain his way of thinking that led him to the letter. He strategizes in his mind using a specific type of logic, and shows how the letter was hidden in plain sight. The Prefect was so busy trying to look in places where things are hidden rather than obvious locations. For example, “”

.

  

 

In both of these passages, something of value and importance is taken from someone’s property, but then gets retrieved back to its rightful owner. This repetition can also be conjoined by the action of thievery. Meaning that both passages contain a level of burglary in order to steal and retrieve the stolen items.

 

–Need Feedback on how to organize my information 

–I have a lot more to add.

Essay 1 Assignment Final

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11F4bxJQLOBrJr8-ayQtaVqV5UT9cWvC2V9mZPAOx10k/edit?usp=sharing

Jamal Taylor

Professor Monroe Street

English 1121

Essay 1

6/8/2020

 

Intro

 

Interpretation is portrayed through different perspectives or viewpoints regarding a specific event or situation. I chose the story “Exercises in Style” by Raymond Queneau. This short story talks about a man entering a crowded bus where he then has a confrontation with another man while on that bus. Then has his friend fix the button on his pocket. I will be using this story as an example or reference  point because of the style and adapt this style into a personal experience of mine. I will be interpreting the two perspectives of my mother and a Middle Eastern Store worker at a beauty supply store. In summary, My mom and I entered our neighborhood beauty supply store because my mom needed to buy more relaxers for her hair. She’s been coming into this specific store for years. We live in a primarily black and Hispanic neighborhood in the Bronx, New York. Shortly after my mom enters the store, one of the female store clerks asks my mom if she needed help with finding any items she needed. After my mother says “no”, the female store clerk continues to follow us through each aisle of the store. My mom notices and quickly gets infuriated and we both leave the store. These two perspectives will portray how non-black store owners view black and brown people in the neighborhoods they sell to.

 

The Store Clerk

It was a slow Saturday afternoon, and I just finished stocking the shelves for my boss. There was only one other pale-Spanish lady near the front counter. She was looking at wigs and asked my boss, who was sitting by the register, to retrieve a stylish shoulder-length wig with nice bangs. I was sitting on a stool in front of the counter, waiting for shoppers to come in. We’re used to the slow afternoon crowd since there’s not much foot traffic during this time of day. I then noticed a middle-age black lady and her black child walk into the store. I noticed her purse was open as she slowly walked up and down the aisles. I asked myself, “Why wouldn’t she have her purse open?”.  I calmly walked up to the lady and asked her if she needed help with anything. She said “No”. Judging by her body language, I knew she was lying. She obviously needed something, or else she wouldn’t be in the store. Why would she let me help her? If I had helped, she would’ve been able to buy the item and leave. Why waste time looking for something she obviously has no idea where to get it from. 

As I reflected upon this situation, I came to the conclusion that this woman was stalling for something. In my mind I said “Maybe she’s trying to steal. That’s why her purse is open. She wants us to believe she’s a normal shopper, so when we’re not looking she can slip some products into her bag”. It was clear to me now. I’ve seen plenty of her kind ,day-in day-out, try to steal from stores in this neighborhood. It’s not right, so I’m going to put a stop to it. I need to get her out of the store, so I came up with the perfect idea of keeping a close eye on her. She thinks no one is watching, but I am, from afar. Whichever aisle she went down I stayed at the end of that aisle. I knew she was trying to steal because as soon as she noticed me down an aisle at the back of the store behind her, she became agitated and aggressive as she stormed out of the store. I was glad to have once again stopped another black thief from stealing . I can’t stand working in these neighborhoods. Why can’t they just work for a change and earn a decent living instead of taking from people’s hard earned money. Business would be so much better if we were in a better neighborhood.

My Mother (The Black Lady)

“Damn! I forgot to get my hair relaxer from the beauty supply store.” 

She exclaimed in the car. 

“Okay, let me drive up and park in front so I can get upstairs and cook dinner.” She said to me. “Come on son, give me your hand.” 

“Mommy just needs one more thing and we can go home.” She said comfortingly. “Mommy just needs her relaxer.” She said, taking me by the hand. 

“Oh come on!” She said angrily. 

“They moved it again?!” She said, feeling confused. 

“This is the third time they moved it. It’s usually in the middle aisle of the store.” “Hmm, lets see. Is it here in the front aisle?” 

“Nope, gotta keep looking.” she said with a determined look in her eyes. 

Is it here in the middle? No again.” *Sighs*. 

All of a sudden a lady asked me, “Miss do you need help”. 

I said “No, I’m okay”. “I just got here.” 

“Haven’t even been in the store two minutes, and she’s already asking me if I need help.” “No, I don’t need help.” she said speaking through her thoughts with an impatient tone. “They always do that.” 

“Thanks for the offer but if I needed help I would’ve asked.” she said replying in her mind without uttering a word.  

“Okay, where was I?.” she said to herself. “Oh yeah, Relaxer.” 

“Maybe it’s back here somewhere.” 

“Sure enough, it’s right here.” she said with certainty. 

“Wait, isn’t that the same lady that just asked me if I needed help?” she asked as she reflected. “Yep, her again.” speaking with disappointment. 

“She thinks I didn’t see her following me the other two times.” she said feeling increasingly annoyed. 

“Let me just see if they have the relaxer with the olive oil in it, but I don’t know if they have it. Let me just ask the store owner.” she said after attempting to ignore the clerk. 

“I looked behind me to make sure I put the other box back and I saw the same store clerk down the aisle I just passed.” 

“She was looking directly at me.” 

I Decided to ignore it, but when I saw her again at the end of the aisle I couldn’t take it anymore. In all of my frustration I put the box of relaxers back where I got it, and proceeded to walk out of the store with my son. The moment before I stepped my foot out the door, I told the clerk and the owner: 

“If you’re going to follow me around  the store, then you don’t need my money.” she said, talking sternly to both the owner and employee. 

“I’m not gonna give my money to any establishment that suspects me of a thief.” she said getting increasingly agitated. 

“You think I didn’t notice you following me and my son, step-for-step, Nah?!” she said harshly. Giving all of her focus towards the suspecting store clerk. 

“You’re so busy watching me because I’m black rather than paying attention to the Spanish chick that probably steals from you more than me.”  

“But because you think all of us are gonna steal, you don’t need my money!” she said with an unforgiving tone. Angrily, I left the store. 

As she collected herself and focused more of her attention on me she said, 

“Son, remember, if any business racially profiles you or assumes you’re stealing, they don’t deserve your money.” she said to me sternly.  

“Take your business elsewhere.” 

“I go there all the time and they treat me like that?!” 

“Unbelievable!”

Conclusion

Honestly, writing from the perspective of the store clerk is quite difficult because I had to assume, based on her actions, that she was racially profiled but mom and I. Another difficulty was writing through the interpretation of my mom. Back then I was just a kid and it was ironic how vivid this memory was to me. From writing these two interpretations, I learned how each individual’s interpretation is different and unique even if both people witnessed the same event. Different styles of language portray different messages to readers because it affects how we interpret who’s being affected by the situation. Language also allows us fluidity and flexibility on how easy or difficult is to interpret. Similar to the human brain, Interpretation is affected negatively and positively by nature versus nurture.  

Essay two draft one

Marcus Robinson

English 1121

Essay Two

 

I can personally describe “The Money” by Diaz” as a double crossing story between a boy and a thief. The story is about a poor, but hard working family who’s just making it. During the story the family’s house was robbed due to a so-called “friend”, that leadinding into one of the sons of the family taking the money back. During the first paragraph we are introduced to a family of seven with five kids. They are depicted as having little to no income. Diaz states “ All the Dominicans I knew in those days sent money home. My mother didn’t have a regular job besides caring for us five kids, so she scrimped the loot together from whatever came her way. My father was always losing his forklift jobs, so it wasn’t like she ever had a steady flow.”  By using that language, we begin to see that this family works hard for everything they have in their life. Diaz cleverly uses words like “broke” and “scrimped” and “lost” to illustrate how little this family has. The mother of the family has a hidden part in the house which saved up money for her family. Even the kids knew not to touch the money. Burglary is a big thing that occurs in this neighborhood, the son in the text states “see that bike again. Everybody got hit; no matter who you were, eventually it would be your turn. And this summer was ours.” At this point Diaz already set in motion the family getting robbed. “Still, we took the burglary pretty hard. When you’re a recent immigrant, it’s easy to feel targeted” said the son right after he has just been robbed. When he said “ easy to feel targeted” I can relate on the level where you feel like everyone picks on you because of your race. The way Diaz uses similes is genius when the son was comparing the robbery to a “CSI-Style investigation.” That gave the text a detailed and yet fun description on the robbery. As soon as The s figured out who took the money which were his friends,he wasted no time taking back what belongs to the family. What is most interesting is when the term “burglarizing” to describe what the cops would think of him if he was caught stealing. Because of all the crime and burglary occurring around him, he used that to say he is simply stealing. What is really unique about this text is towards the end when he thought about keeping his mother’s money for himself. It’s kind of ironic in the sense that he would want to keep it considering he just got robbed and now is about to rob his mother. Especially towards the fact his mother scrapes up whatever money she can and his dad is always losing his job. 

 

‘The Money’ can be similarly  compared to ‘The Purloined letter’  by Edgar Allen Poe. Both stories follow the idea of a double crime story.  ‘The purloined letter’ is about a letter that was stolen from the royal capital. Both stories share the same idea where an item was stolen and then later received. The story takes a more in depth robbery between political officials. Perfect of the police have a mission to find this stolen letter and take it from a thief in the minister’s apartment. Perfect proceeds to inform Duplin that someone has stolen this letter and it holds power.  Perfect then does a long and thorough search on his apartment, after finding nothing, and checks every corner no letter was to be found. Perfect was disappointed again after a second search a month later. At this point Perfect is lost in the case with no direction. Until one of his officers informed Perfect that Duplin had a plan of his own, he would provide the letter to the police for a reward. Perfect then goes to confront Duplin about his plan and offers him $50,000 as a reward, Duplin then all of a sudden has the letter for the reward. Perfect is bamboozled and Duplin explains how he made it possible. 

Two things that interest me most are the Story of Duplin and Perfect. They are both in the same story but take on two completely different roles. Perfect seems to never find his answers and he is being manipulated by Duplin. Duplin states “”Yes,” said Dupin. “The measures adopted were not only the best of their kind, but carried out to absolute perfection. Had the letter been deposited within the range of their search, these fellows would, beyond a question, have found it.” The only reason this story took place is because of Duplin’s plot for the letter and money. Just like in ‘The Money’ by Diaz, even though the son stole back the money from his ‘friend’, he considered keeping the money for himself instead of giving it back to his mom. How Duplin also uses ‘Mathematicians’ to describe how people don’t really know the truth. Just like Plato stated in “The Republic’ “art is imattive’. In the text Duplin states “As a poet and as a mathematician, he would reason well; as a mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all.” Meaning Perfect doesn’t really know the truth or what’s going on.

In conclusion Both texts fall in the same idea of a double crime story .  In “The Money” by Junot Diaz, the language the author uses contributed to the main plot to happen. First the family was described as poor and barely making ends meet. Because of that it led the son not only to take his money back but think about keeping the money. This style of writing is very investigative in a way. For example when the money got stolen in ‘The money’ the son thought of many people who could have done it. The same thing applies to  ‘The Purloined letter’ , When Perfect and the cops tried so hard to find the letter, he just couldn’t and just kept looking. The two short stories also have very descriptive language that help develop a double crime story. Just like when Duplin had a secret plan, when perfect went to go confront him he offered a reward for the letter. Duplin then goes to give a very investigative description on how he obtained the letter.

 

or google link. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JETokD3FiDWNrw47m2B0Y70GBcNbphfcII5p49qn-Yg/edit

 

 

 

Listening Log 4

Song: LOVE. by Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari

 

Lyrics that strike me :

 

“Love or Lust”

“If I minimized my net worth, would you still (love me)?”

“Just love me”

 

Repetitions I noticed:

 

“I wanna be with you”

“Just love me”

“So give me a run for my money”

 

Changes noticed:

The lyric meanings go from wanting to be with someone to wondering if they love you for your wealth or for you. “Just love me” has a deeper meaning as the song goes on and you realize he means love him for him not his money rather than it being him asking the person to love him in general.

 

Listening Log 4

Song used: “Rock Bottom”-Eminem

Lyrics that strike me

“Money will brainwash you and your ass mindless”

“And yesterday went by so quick it seems like it was just today”

“Live half a life and throw the rest away”

The lyrics in this song strike me because you feel his pain and anger towards society, which is a contrast to most songs you usually hear, which is often about how they waste money like toilet paper.

Repetition

“When you want something bad enough to steal”

“‘Cause your mad enough to scream but you’re sad enough to tear”

“That’s Rock Bottom”

Structure

The song retains the same tone and there are no changes over the course of it.

Listening Log #4

Song: Touch Off

Artist: UVERworld

3 phrases that strikes me:

“さぁ俺の番だ 先頭バッター”

Who’s turn is it now? Who’ll destroy us?

“何が失敗かなんてまだ知る前に”

What am I missing? Why is it useless?

“導火線見つけて”

I have to find the fuse before it disappears

“そこにFIRE”

IT’S ON FIRE

These phrases mean to find a way to escape from an ongoing timer bomb. You have to find a way to stop the timer.

3 phrases that repeats:

“わずか数センチだって 願った場所に向かって”

It’s only a few centimeters more (yeah) The place we want to reach (yeah)

進んでゆく 止まるなんて Na, Na, Na…

So we cannot stop now Na, Na, Na…

心に購って 諭しては諦める

When I lose my hope And give up for even second

“そんな未来で何が言える?Na, Na, Na…”

What kind of future will that bring me?

“進んでゆく 止まるなんて Na, Na, Na…”

That’s why we cannot stop now Na, Na, Na…

3 things I noticed in the music:

  • I noticed that the guitar rhythm and sound fits perfectly in the song.
  • The tone of the song mostly stays the same, until the rapping part appears at the end of the song.
  • This song is a popular Japanese Rock anime song.

Listing log #4

Kwame Manuh

 

We don’t talk anymore by “ charlie puth”

 

Repetitions I noticed.

“We don’t talk anymore”

“We don’t love anymore”

“What was all of it for”

 

Changes I noticed.

 

The song starts with a lone musical tone and then it moves into the high pitched volume.

Secondly, the artist also uses another artist to portray his love for the girl. This girl is her girlfriend who was used in the music video.

Also the music also shows that the boy showed he loved the girl and his words were beyond a reasonable doubt that he loved the girl.

 

Striking Phrases.

 

“I wish I would have known that wasn’t me”

“ Should have known that your love was a game”

“I hope you are lying next to some somebody”

 

These phrases striked me because he tried to understand why the girl he loved so much didn’t love him back. He also tried to understand the girl and not force himself on her. He is such a gentleman who understands love and what It takes to become a boyfriend to a girl. I think that the artist has an overwhelming emotion towards the girl and he tries to express it in the music .

 

Listening Log 4

Song:  Juicy – The Notorious B.I.G (Biggie Smalls) 

Repetitions:

“Don’t let’em hold you down”

“Reach for the stars”

“I’ll give you good and plenty”

Noticeable Changes:

-The artist transitions from the boastful tone of a glamorous rich life, to back to talking about his struggles growing up in brooklyn..

-The base cuts off as the last part of the chorus is being played after the last verse.

-In the very beginning and the very end, only the instruments can be heard.

Striking Phrases:

“Stereotypes of a black male misunderstood”

“Considered a fool, ’cause I dropped outta high school ”

“No heat, wonder why Christmas missed us”

This song embodies the life of a black male in America, growing up in the ghetto , and making a better life for his family through his talent. As a black male myself, I’ve witnessed those same struggles Biggie speaks about in this song, which makes this song nostalgic and relatable.