ENG 1121


Homework for Next Week (post due by Monday noon 2/29)

Read: José Olivarez, “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing” and “Mexican American Disambiguation” (2018)

Annotate: Think about Olivarez’s texts. What are some interesting CHOICES he makes in his writing? Who do you think he is writing FOR (who is his intended audience)?

Watch (In-Class): 2019 LAF student video on Olivarez. Share any response you have to the student comments. Can you relate to something a fellow City Tech student articulated?

Post: Choose a favorite line or section from Olivarez’ poem or essay. Explain what you found interesting about this section or quote. Try not to repeat what a student before you has commented on.

Homework for Next Week 2/23 (Post due by Monday at noon)


READ (and take notes):

  1. George Orwell “Why I Write”

Also in WHY WE WRITE PDF (20-37)

2. “Why I Write” by Aaron Barlow in WHY WE WRITE PDF (70-76)


In 1-2 paragraphs, describe an important moment in time when a teacher, mentor, or family member taught you an invaluable skill or life lesson. Carefully describe both the person and the lesson with close details.

William Blake: “The Tyger”

Link to Coleridge Poem: “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Homework for Next Tuesday

  1. Re-Read: Barack Obama’s excerpt: A Promised Land


2. Read (and take notes): George Orwell “Why I Write”

Also in WHY WE WRITE PDF (20-37)

3. Post: In 1-2 paragraphs, discuss an incident in your life in which you surprised someone (or just yourself) by accomplishing something quite unexpected.

Image result for oval office
Barack Hussein Obama, Sr..jpg
Image result for barack obama grandparents


READ (and take notes):

“WhY i Write” by Aaron Barlow in WHY WE WRITE PDF (70-76)


In 1-2 paragraphs, describe an important moment in time when a teacher, mentor, or family member taught you an invaluable skill or life lesson. Carefully describe both the person and the lesson with close details.

Homework for next Tuesday

  1. Read (and take notes!): Vanity Fair Interview on Barak Obama’s new memoir

2. Read: Obama’s excerpt,  PromisedLand 

Here is a published shorter version: A Promised (if you’re short on time).

3. Post a response to issues raised in Caroline Hellman’s “In Defense of the

Classroom” . In a paragraph or two, discuss your experiences taking on-line

classes last semester. To post, click on “comments” above, write your post in

the text box, and post. Post due by Monday, 2/8.

Image and Article: The West Colonnade in the White House



Welcome to City Tech and English 1121.

Our class meets Tuesdays on Zoom from 6:00-8:30.

We begin on Tuesday, 2/2. Here is the zoom link: Zoom

This is an advanced course in communication skills, including the expository essay and the research essay. This course further develops students’ reading and writing skills through literary and expository readings.

We are continuing to live through a very difficult time in our city, country, and world, and trying to adapt. In our class, we will prioritize intellectual nourishment, community, and humanity. If you have any concerns about the course or college, or if there is any situation preventing you from participating, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

I can be reached at: mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu

Professor Mark Noonan

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UNIT #1 WHY THEY WRITE Week 2 Obama Excerpt

A few of President Obama’s main ideas were the collections of personal memories that included his time in office, the in depth description of his voyage through the White House, and early recollections of his journey to Presidency. The way he described his walk down the west colonnade. From the change in his stride, to his  brief flashbacks of past presidents, who also walked that pathway, illustrated his memories so vividly.
One goal to his writing was to give his reader a sense of commonality. He somewhat achieved his goal, with the personal touches he added, and realistic accounts , but his life is still far from average.

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