Homework for Thursday, March 7 (no class Tuesday)

Hi everyone– we don’t have class on Tuesday, March 5. This is JUST FOR THIS CLASS. We will meet again on Thursday, March 7.

For March 7:

  • Read “Car Crash While Hitchhiking”
  • On March 7, please bring in a printed copy of the piece you will be revising. You will get feedback from one or two classmates (of your choice). See details about the revision assignment here. 
  • Keep working on your revision, due March 12. Remember what Tanya said: focus on one or two aspects for revision (making the scenes more vivid, cutting out fluff, just FINISHING the thing, etc). Don’t try to make the whole thing perfect

By the way, here is a website for help with procrastination. You don’t have to look at it, I just thought you might find it interesting, since it came up today!

Homework for Feb 29

If you haven’t finished Zoraida, READ IT!!  Remember that Tanya Rey will be zooming into our class on Thursday.

With this in mind, come to class with at least 2 questions (written  down!) for Tanya– they can be about Zoraida, her writing process, or whatever you want. Remember that we’ll be doing revisions soon, so if you want to ask her about that, go ahead!

If you haven’t submitted your short story yet, please do (details below).

Also, here is the webpage on character arcs, if you find it useful.

Another way of thinking about plot:

  • the writer teaches readers what to expect
  • something unexpected happens
  • the character reacts
  • something (usually the character) changes from beginning to end.

Remember that you have a revision (graded assignment due on March 12.) This will be 4-6 pages of work.  Keep working on it!

Assignment 2 due by 10 AM, Tues Feb 27

Hello my dears! Remember that your short story assignment is due on Tuesday. Please post by 10 AM.

 This will be a story OR the first few pages of a story.  2-4 pages (double-spaced). 

Use whichever of our in-class writing exercises you feel most excited about/ energized by  as a starting point. These were: 

  • Rewriting a fairy tale (or rewriting a story from your past) 
  • A scene from three distances: Far, Middle, Close
  • The Storymatic story (This was the one with the cards. You started with a character and then I gave you an event)
  • What happened yesterday/ a journey, using one the language you would use to talk to a friend or relative
  • An important event in your life, told from the perspective and voice of someone else who was there. 
  • Storymatic: two characters  

Also remember that we will be discussing “Zoraida” by Tanya Rey in class on Tuesday.  Don’t worry about reading it “right” or getting the correct answer. Just sit back and read the thing. Find a place you are comfortable and can focus for a while. Here’s what I’ll be asking you.  Keep in mind, there are no right or wrong answers.

  1. What happens in this story? Where does it begin? Where does it end? (in other words: what changes from the beginning to the end?) 
  2. What stuck out to you? What did you notice? 
  3. Where are you confused? What more do you want to know?
  4. Find a place where Rey uses concrete, significant detail

Homework for Tuesday, Feb 20

Read “Zoraida” by Tanya Rey. Try reading with a pen in your hand– what do you like/ not like– SPECIFICALLY about it. Mark places you get confused/ intrigued/ annoyed. why? Also, take note: how is Rey using language? What about it is surprising/ interesting/ confusing?

Trigger warning; there is some homophobia and racism mentioned here.

Tanya will be visiting our class (on Zoom) on Feb 29 to talk about this story!

For Thursday, Feb 15


For Feb 15, your homework is to read “Bullet in the Brain” by Tobias Wolff.  We’ll discuss the story in class on Thursday. (If that link doesn’t work, try this one. You only have to read pages 1-5 if you use this link)

I will be collecting your notebooks on Thursday so I can give you credit for your in-class writing– including the work we did today. Feel free to add to today’s assignment if you felt like you were on a roll!!

Stay warm and safe!

Feb 13– class on zoom

Hi everyone– it turns out CUNY has moved all classes tomorrow due to the upcoming snowstorm (!!). We’ll be meeting on Zoom at our regular class time (2:30 PM). I’ve sent you the Zoom link via email and text and I’ll put it on Blackboard too.  I can’t post it here because this site is public and we don’t want Zoom bombers!! If you have a problem finding the link, email me at: chall@citytech.cuny.eduAlso remember your two poems are due tomorrow. Details below. 

HW For Feb 8 and Feb 13

For Feb 8: please read the love poems packet. We’ll talk about these in class.

For Feb 13: Please upload two poems (preferably on the same document) to this folder in Perusall. You MUST have a Perusall account to upload!

I will also collect your in-class writing notebooks. I’m not going to read these or comment– I know they’re private. I’m just giving you credit for doing the work. If there is something in there that you really don’t want me to see, fold the page over and I will not look.


  • Two Poems. Only one can rhyme, but you do NOT have to make either rhyme (in other words, at least one of your poems must not rhyme.)
    Use our in-class writing as a starting point– but go where you want to go with it! You can revise, add, rearrange, whatever you like!!
  • Must be turned in by 10 AM so I can read them before class
  • Please give your poems titles!!
  • Please title the file clearly with your name and the name of the assignment (for example: CarrieHallPoetry.doc)
  • Use word doc or PDF and double check that it has uploaded, and you can open it!! If using Google Docs, you will have to save your document as a .docx or .pdf and upload it here. It’s easy! Go to the FILE dropdown and click on DOWNLOAD. From there, you can choose your document type.

    Here are some of the in-class exercises we did, if you need help remembering:
  • Names (you could write a poem about your name)
  • In depth-description from a small part of The Garden of Earthly Delights, by Heironymous Bosch
  • Epistolary (letter) poem, such as to Superman!
  • Concrete, significant detail poem describing a staircase or hallway you remember
  • Love poem
  • Choose a feeling and a noun (try forces of nature, animals, household objects). Combine the two to make a metaphor. Write about it!

Homework for Thursday February 1

Please read all the poems in the poetry packet before Thursday’s class. Be sure to bring this packet with you when we meet again! Remember that homework is 30% of your grade.  See the page “course readings” for digital copies of the poems, if you prefer to read online.

Look for examples of Concrete, Significant Detail (CSD) .  Be prepared to discuss: What poem did you like the best (and why?) and any questions you might have about the poems or poetry itself! 

I also strongly suggest you join this website as a member– that way, you’ll get emails when I’ve posted announcements or assignments

To Join this class:

Login to your OpenLab account and follow these instructions to join this course.

If you’re new to the OpenLab, follow these instructions to create an account and then join the course.

Also, if you haven’t yet joined Perusall– please do it now. That’s a requirement of this class! (Info on joining is below!)

By the way, here’s a zoomable image of The Garden of Earthly Delights, the painting we wrote about in Tuesday’s class

Hi! And welcome to our first day of class!

Day One HW: 

First,  join our Perusall site This is very important, as, after today, this is where you’ll be submitting all of your writing!  Basically, you just need to go to Perusall.com using this link:  https://app.perusall.com/join/hall-jw42d If you still have questions, this page has more info 

You may be asked to provide our course code. It is: HALL-JW42D

Second, re-watch “(un)Learning my Name” by Mohamed Hassan 

Third, click “comments” above, and in your comment, introduce yourself to us and your name.

You can do this however you want– you can write a poem, a brief story, or just a conversational paragraph . You can even add a link to a video. Or record an audio file and link to it. Or draw something and upload the image. Whatever you want. Remember: we’re all about composing in the 21st century, so feel free to do what you think would be interesting for us to see/hear/learn about. You can use the work you did in class as a starting point.



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