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


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


8. 6/25 (due 6/29)

8 (6/25) | Comparing Content, Comparing Form & Style
–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.


7. 6/22 (due 6/25)

Interpretations involving Definition: How to Define Sexual Assault?

–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.

6. 6/18 (due 6/22)

6 (6/18) | Partners in Crime: Identifying Repetitions in Literary Texts
–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.



5. 6/15 (due 6/18)

5 (6/15) | Crime & Short Story Plot Form | Questioning Enigmas to Frame Interpretation


–Diaz, “The Money” (p. 23)
–Essay 1s, 6 or so
Essay 2 assignment sheet
–Skim the remainder of the readings (below) to get ideas for Essay 2

We are now reaching the midpoint of the course and as such need to begin shifting towards Essay 1 revisions and Essay 2.  With that, the reading assignment for Thursday is light, so as to allow you more time to do the following:

–Read Diaz’ “The Money” (p. 23) if you haven’t already. There is no formal writing assignment I want you to do in response to this short story (yet), but I do want us to think about what the key events in this crime story are. On the other hand, I also want us to think about what events/details are NOT essential to this story.  Also, please consider the question of whether or not this is a kind of “double crime” story—a kind of revenge plot in which one crime is paid for by another.  In keeping with this, I want us to think about how this story is centered around at least one “enigma” (look this term up–you will be rewarded!)—one of which is the question of who committed the robbery, which the story (like many crime stories) resolves through the “detective work” of the narrator.  However, one of the other enigmas of the text that I want you to examine is the way (well, ways, plural) in which the narrator (the “I” who tells this story) incriminates himself: I call this an enigma because it’s not altogether clear or certain (nor can it be) why he (the narrator) might choose to do this and what effects his self-incrimination might be supposed to have on us as we read.  Does the fact that he (the narrator of “The Money”) shows us his own criminal impulses make us like him more? Hate him? What else does this “enigma” of this text (the self-incriminating aspect of the narrator) do to us?

  1. Read and comment on the Essay 1 drafts of 8 of your classmates. This will bring your total number of feedback comments to 10 so far. It’s up to you whose essays you choose to read and give feedback on.  Below, again, are the guidelines for providing essay feedback.  REMEMBER: you are not (yet) required to comment on other students’ HW responses/comments—just their Essay 1s!

27 times throughout the course (1 per student), you will be expected to post your feedback on other students’ essays to the blog as a “comment” under the post each student-author will create (which will contain their essay as well as a note containing any specific feedback requests).  In your feedback, please comment on at least 1 specific passage in the essay you’ve learned something from (and explain what you’ve learned) and make 1 specific suggestion about one passage in the essay that you think could be improved (explain how to improve it).  Please quote from the essay at least once in your post.

  1. Read the Essay 2 assignment sheet and skim the remainder of the readings in the first and last sections of the PDF reader in order to begin deciding which text you want to focus your Essay 2 on. Post below a paragraph describing how you understand what you will be doing for your Essay 2 and what your plan is. Please also post any questions about the assignment if you have any.

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.


3. 6/8 (due 6/11)

3 (6/8) | Essay 1 first draft due now (not a final draft! You will revise this! If you haven’t yet, please make a separate post with your Essay 1 file/link in it under “Essay 1 Feedback”)

FOR THU, 5pm

–Queneau, “Exercises in Style,” excerpts (p. 1) / Many ways of telling a story / Aggression in a moving vehicle

NOTE: Please post responses to prompts 1 and 2 below as a reply/comment to this post.  If you make a separate post, it’s much harder for me to keep track of and organize your work—so no guarantees on my seeing it!  Parts 3 and 4 ask you to comment/post elsewhere as discussed.

  1. For Thursday, I want you to look back over your work on the different interpretations of Beyoncé’s work by Hooks, O’Reilly, Simmons, and Berlatsky. Then I want you to do two things with this work: 

    A) I want you to re-read your work carefully and revise anything that is amiss. Just because I’m not grading your prompt responses based on grammar doesn’t mean you can’t notice grammatical issues, typos, etc. that may be in need of fixing! Post your revisions here along with one question about grammar that you’ve encountered while revising.

    B) Make a list of possible ways to connect Plato’s text on art to the different interpretations of Beyonce that we’ve read. For instance, at least of the commentators on Beyonce proposes a view of art that is similar to the one that is similar to the one Plato critiques: that “art imitates reality,” more or less. Which commentator(s) suggest(s) this?  On the other hand, who seems to be suggesting a view of art more in line with what Plato advocates for: the notion that art ought not simply imitate reality but that it ought to extoll moral virtuousness in order to make viewers better people?  List any other connections you notice as well.

  2. a. After reading the excerpts from Queneau’s “Exercises in Style,” I want you to choose 2 of the “exercises” (i.e., chapters, story versions, etc.) and compare them.  What similarities do you notice between the two stories?  What differences do you notice?  How would you describe the differences in “style” between the two exercises?  Provide a quoted passage that exemplifies each style.

b. Based on 2a (and anything else you’ve read for the course so far… or your own outside experience), how would you define what “style” is—and what the different facets of a writer’s “style” are?

  1. Look through the Essay 1s posted to that part of the OpenLab site. Write feedback for 2 students’ essays. Guidelines for Feedback are below:

27 times throughout the course (1 per student), you will be expected to post your feedback on other students’ essays to the blog as a “comment” under the post each student-author will create (which will contain their essay as well as a note containing any specific feedback requests).  In your feedback, please comment on at least 1 specific passage in the essay you’ve learned something from (and explain what you’ve learned) and make 1 specific suggestion about one passage in the essay that you think could be improved (explain how to improve it).  Please quote from the essay at least once in your post.

  1. Write an entry (as a comment) in your listening log. Please choose a song that is a “re-mix” or re-make or “cover” of another song. (This is what we’re doing with Essay 1: re-mixing a short story in our own way.)

2. 6/4 (due 6/8)

2 (6/4) | The politics of interpretation / Sex in a moving vehicle…

Note: instead of 2 separate, longer prompts, I’ve given you 6 or so shorter-answer prompts for this assignment; see below.

Also, please complete a draft of Essay 1 by Monday and make a post under the category “Essay 1 Feedback” containing a PDF/DOC or Google Doc link to your (shared) file.

New readings for this assignment (due Monday 5p)

–Berlatsky, “Beyonce: Sex Terrorist” (p. 153)
–Plato, The Republic, Book X, excerpts (it’s long! If you’re short on time, you can just read where there are highlights and/or black lines next to text) (p. 94)

Once we complete the two readings above, we will have read a handful of texts all dealing with the problem of what interpretation is—including several texts that revolve around what I’m calling the “politics of interpretation.”  These texts—Beyoncé’s “Partition” (and her contemporaneous Time cover photo), the Bell Hooks interview, the Bill O’Reilly & Russell Simmons interview, Noah Berlatsky’s Beyonce: “Sex Terrorist,” and Plato’s “Book X” of The Republic—all confront us with two more specific questions regarding

a) what poetry, music, and art’s role in society ought to be

b) why (art) interpretation matters to us as a society.

In Plato’s text (p. 94 in the PDF)—written more than 2300 years ago in ancient Greece—we enter into a dialogue between the philosopher Socrates and his pupil Glaucon in which Socrates argues that art and poetry are fundamentally imitative—meaning that they are more concerned with replicating the appearances of things rather than the true nature of things in themselves.  (Socrates gives several examples of “things” that an artist or poet might copy—a couch, the reigns of a hourse, etc.—while knowing next to nothing about such things.).

  1. In the first section of your response, I will leave it to you to figure out whether you think Plato (& the character of Socrates through whom Plato speaks) thinks this imitative aspect of art is good or bad and the kinds of values he thinks art should project—what he thinks art should try to get people to do or think, the sort of things he thinks art should represent, etc. (Read carefully!) You are also welcome to respond to Plato’s views on art; he’s a famous philosopher, but that doesn’t mean we have to agree with him!

It would appear possible to connect Plato’s view of art and poetry to the point Ruefle makes in “On Beginnings” : albeit from very different places, times, and mindsets, both writers seem to arrive at the notion that art and poetry are interpretations.  For Plato, this is because art imitates the way objects in the world from a particular angle or perspective; for Ruefle, poetry seems to interpret in language a mode of thought or inspiration that came to the poet’s mind in part from outside language.

This leads me to the next question I’d like you to respond to (after reading everything, viewing Beyoncé’s “Partition” video, and looking at her Time cover photo, linked above):

  1. What does Beyoncé’s work appear to be an interpretation of? (You can be creative with your response because I’m not sure I have a “correct” answer to this question in mind—it is, after all, a matter of interpretation what her work seems to be interpreting.)

Next I want us to consider the interpretations of Beyoncé by Hooks, O’Reilly, Simmons, and Berlatsky.  It strikes me that 2400 years after Plato, there is still a debate going on about what the role of art in society should be.  With that in mind, I want you to (a) tell me what each commentator’s interpretation of Beyoncé’s work and argument about art is and (b) provide a quotation from each text that shows the commentator’s perspective.

3a (Hooks’ interpretation of Beyoncé and argument about art’s role in society):
3b (Quotation from Hooks):

4a (O’Reilly’s interpretation/argument):
4b (Quotation from O’Reilly):

5a (Simmons’ interpretation/argument):
5b (Quotation from Simmons):

 6a (Berlatsky’s interpretation/argument):
6b (Quotation from Berlatsky):

 Note: your responses to prompts 3a–6b need not be long—they can be single sentences—but they should be well thought out.

Very much looking forward to reading your thoughts—please post responses to 1–6b below.


PS. For next week’s “Listening Log” (not due till next Thu, don’t worry!) I want you to choose a song that is a “re-mix” of another song. This is, in a way, what we are doing in Essay 1; we’re making a “re-mix” of a short story (or several “re-mixes”).


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


1. 6/1 (due 6/4 by 5p)

6/1 Blog Assignment

Hi crew—and welcome to Comp II, online edition, special courtesy of Covid-19.

Ok, so just to clarify a few things: this is not a “synchronous” class, meaning that generally speaking, we will not be meeting in “real time”; instead, I will be posting 2 assignments per week—one on Mondays (due Thursdays at 5p) and one on Thursdays (due Mondays at 5).  The only “synchronous” aspect of the class is that you will be required to “meet” with me in “real time” (via chat, Zoom, etc.) for 15m on one of the upcoming 4 Wednesdays.  This will just give us a chance to get to know each other a little bit better and to discuss your involvement with the course and any questions you might have.  The other “synchronous” aspect of the course is the “drop-in hour” I will be hosting on Zoom on Wednesdays from 1:30p-2p.  This is optional, but any of you are welcome to meet with me (and whoever else shows up) in “real-time” then.

As you may have gleaned, this online course will thus be very “textual”—because assignments will be delivered largely via posts to OpenLab, you will be expected to do a lot of careful reading (in addition to doing a lot of writing); to learn in this class, you will be expected to read not only assigned works of literature (etc.) but also the posts I will be making such as this one, containing various forms of instructional material.  To me, this makes a lot of sense for people working on their written language skills, as pretty much the best way to improve your written language skills is to read and write a lot!  That said, for those of you who are “visual & auditory learners,” I sympathize—and this is why I will be making myself available to you on Wednesdays via Zoom as mentioned.  Anyone who feels like they learn better from visual, auditory, and “real-time” interaction is thus strongly encouraged to come every Wednesday to Zoom at 1:30p (just click any of these links).

Questions about anything in the course?  E-mail is the best way to reach me: Monroe.street.alt@gmail.com.

OK, so what I would like to begin with this week is a series of reading and writing assignments having to do with the question of what interpretation is—which, as I’ve explained in the Essay 1 Assignment Sheet (link above in “Course Materials à Essay Assignments”), is the fundamental skill this class will seek to help you with; being able to interpret & analyze both texts and real-life events is a skill that will take you far in both college and life.  Literature, I feel, can be a very fun and interesting environment in which to practice interpretation.

So let’s get reading & writing: you’ll note that a draft of Essay 1 is due in your Google Drive Folder next Monday.  (You will revise this draft significantly using feedback from me and the class and turn in another final draft of it at the course’s end.). In the meantime, I’m going to ask that you read through the following materials for Thursday:

–Course Syllabus & Essay 1 Assignment (in “Course Materials,” above)
–The following readings in the Course Readings PDF (also in “Course Materials,” above)
–Ruefle, “On Beginnings” (p. 84) / The poem as unfinished interpretation
–Beyonce, “Partition” (p. 36)
–Hooks, “Are You Still a Slave? Conversation on Beyonce” (p. 145)
–O’Reilly, Interview w/Russell Simmons on Beyonce (p. 149)   / Sex and the Platonic ideal of art…
–For ideas on your Essay 1 draft, skim: Diaz, “The Money” (p. 23) and Queneau’s “Exercises in Style” (p. 1)

Here’s what I want you to write for Thursday 5pm (write & save a copy of your response in your word processor of choice—Google Docs is great bc it saves automatically—and then post as a comment below)

1) 1 comment and 1 question about the Course Syllabus
2) 1 comment and 1 question about Essay Assignment 1

3) A reading response to 1 of the literary/critical texts we’re reading this week by Ruefle, Beyonce, Hooks, or O’Reilly.  For each reading response you do for this course, 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.

4) A creative response of some kind to the following prompt:

Among many other things, part of what Mary Ruefle is doing in “On Beginnings” is to play with our notion of what a poem is—where it begins, whether and how it ends, etc.  One thing she suggests about a poem is that it is an unfinished “interpretation.”  What do you make of this suggestion?  What—for Ruefle and for yourself—is a poem an interpretation of?  Conversely, how does Ruefle’s suggestion that a poem is an “interpretation” change our understanding of what an “interpretation” is?  What, for you, in an interpretation?  Please write a response that touches on some of these questions without necessarily answering them in order or as a list.  (Every good text is a list, but not ever list is a good text.)

5) Post your first “Listening Log” by making a post in that section of the blog (see “Student Work” above) be sure to check the category on your post that says “Listening Log”).  The instructions for that (one more time) are:

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).


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