Final Assignment: Read/View “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Post a Response (Due: Thurs. July 1)

Hi Everyone,

 I have completed reviewing your letters on a current issue (Assignment #2). After reviewing my edits and suggestions, please revise these letters (using the same document).

We finish the summer session in high style and grand fun.  I ask that you read (and then watch) William Shakespeare’s extraordinary play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Written in 1596 (one year after  “Romeo and Juliet”), the play is a brilliant and zany exploration of true love, true hate, and the arbitrariness of human emotions. As Puck, the mischievous spirit, famously says: “What Fools These Mortals Be”!

I. Watch my video lecture “Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Age,” which introduces the play.

II.  Read  William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1596)

If you prefer, here is a modern text translation of the play. You can read the modern translation next to Shakespeare’s original text.

III. View: Film adaptation of the play (1968) by the Royal Shakespeare Company (on Amazon Prime).  I recommend watching the film with the SUBTITLES to fully enjoy Shakespeare’s magnificent language.

I also recommend the NYC “Shakespeare in the Park” production (1982):  (Midsummer Night’s Dream Part I,  PART TWO  . This is free.

IV. Post a Response to a speech, scene, character, theme, or other dramatic element that you find particularly intriguing.  I’m also very interested to hear your thoughts on the fantastic film (and/or play) version of the work.  Did you enjoy the film (or play as it was acted)?  What scenes/which actors did you like the best? BE SURE YOU DON’T REPEAT WHAT A PREVIOUS STUDENT HAS WRITTEN.  DON’T USE OUTSIDE SOURCES FOR THIS. I WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU THINK.  The modern text translation of the play may be helpful here.

REMINDER: To post a comment, simply click on “comments” (above), write comment, and “post”

Possible themes and topics to consider (be sure to provide quotes to support your assertions):

  • The challenges (frustrations and humiliations) of love
  • The role of dreams (and the forest) as representative of the human subconscious
  • Puck’s love of mischievousness (the role of the troublemaker or “trickster” figure)
  • Transformation (theatre/art as chance to view alternative possibilities) (human fickleness)
  • Reason vs. unreason (desire) as opposing forces
  • The natural world (of chaos and play) set against the urban world (of laws and obedience)
  • Gender/power issues in the play (how is power over others played out?)
  • Analysis of the play-within-the-play (what’s so funny about Bottom’s group of actors? What role does it play?)
  • The moon as a symbol of “lunacy” – Night vs. Day as symbolism
  • Inconstancy vs. constancy (who stays true to themselves? who changes affections regularly?)
  • Illusion vs. reality (how does the play help viewers distinguish between each?)
  • There’s some intriguing “climate issues” in the play.  When Titania and Oberon do not get along, their negative energy has disastrous  effects on the weather (storms, droughts, and floods). See Act 2, Scene 1 lines 90-100 especially.

JUNETEENTH is now a Federal Holiday!!!

Dear Students,

As we read essays on the history of racial injustice by James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates, let’s take time to celebrate our new Federal Holiday: JUNETEENTH.  This Saturday (and every June 19th) marks the end of slavery in the United States following the Civil War (1861-1865).  Please watch a brief video on the signing of this bill by President Biden and VP Harris as well as an article on events taking place in NYC and Brooklyn this weekend.

Week Three: Write a Draft of a Letter on a Current Issue that Deeply Concerns You (Draft Due: Tuesday, June 22nd by Midnight).

Terrific job, students, discussing the powerful essays and documentary film on the topic of long-standing racial injustice in this nation.  You chose excellent quotes and passages to work with from the famed writers James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates.  Several of you also made keen observations on the remarkable Baldwin Film Documentary. You can view your grades on Essay#1 and this post on the gradebook link (on the right).

For this week, I want you to continue to work on integrating quotes from outside sources and connecting them to your own ideas.  As a review, pay particular attention to properly integrating quoted material. Here is a helpful tool, created by Professor Caroline Hellman:

The Quote Sandwich

     1.  Bread: Set up and introduce quote. Include the author, text title (capitalized), and publication year.  Summarize the text fully (this will take several sentences!)

Example: In “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing,” Jose Olivarez writes about the challenge of navigating different aspects of his identity in school settings. (continued in other summary sentences)

  2. Veggies/ meat/ tofu: The quote itself, with a page citation if possible (if no page, cite paragraph #)

Ex: Olivarez writes, “I’m telling you this because I wrote a book of poems with one foot in the past, one hand in the present, and a nose on the future” (4).

3. Bread: Analyze quote. Avoid repeating the quote or merely paraphrasing. Instead, say what the quote means, and then explain how it relates to your own writing.

Ex: Here Olivarez emphasizes the importance of his family history in his writing, as well as who he is as an individual. His point relates to…


I also recommend re-reading James Baldwin’s essay to his nephew.  This time, rather than focusing on Baldwin’s topic, focus on his rhetorical moves (writing choices).  Your next writing assignment is to write a similarly styled letter to someone you know, an imagined person, or perhaps a figure of authority in the Government, Church, or Community.  I want you to focus your letter on an issue you find important.   Possible topics include racial injustice, gang violence, anti-Asian violence, gentrification of your neighborhood, your preference for NYC’s mayor, climate change, safe bike lanes, a safe return to our college campus, gender inequality, sexual harassment, immigration pressures, raising the minimum wage, on-line bullying, the fight for press freedom, etc.

Here is the full assignment:

(2-3 pages, double spaced) (DRAFT DUE: Tuesday, June 22)

The two letters by Baldwin and Coates we have read–as well as the accompanying documentary film we’ve seen – speak out on inequality and injustice. For Unit 2, write a letter to the next generation (or a figure of authority) about a social issue that concerns you. Identify who you are, background about the issue, and specific current events or experiences that have led to your concern. Address whether you feel there are potential solutions to this problem, and what they might be.

For additional background information on your issue, find and refer to an article on the topic you found in the New York Times.  Be sure to integrate a quote from this article (and perhaps one from Baldwin and/or Coates), using “the quote sandwich.” 

I recommend that you get a free subscription to the New York Times using this link:  Academic Pass account 

Also provide a full citation for this article at the bottom of your letter (author’s last name, first name, “title of article,” title of sources (NYTimes), date of publication).

Please upload your draft of this letter to our Google Doc Drive.

Week Two Assignments: Post by Monday, June 14 (by midnight)

Excellent job, students, with your literacy narratives, which I enjoyed very much. I have made suggested edits of all the drafts that have been uploaded to our googledrive. I ask that you review these edits and comments and revise your essay, using the same documents (you can easily “accept” many of my corrections). Pay close attention to my content comments as well as my punctuation/style/grammar corrections. When you have completed your edits, I will give your final essay a grade and post it in the gradebook link (to the left). If you haven’t uploaded your essay yet, please do so ASAP (and email me at mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu).

I believe all of you will benefit from reviewing comma and semicolons rules. Here are two videos from Texas A&M Writing Center that I want you to watch: COMMAS and SEMICOLONS. Keep in mind that this site is filled with additional videos and materials to improve your grammar.

As writers, we can all continue to improve our vocabulary, as English has the most words out of any language. As you read this week’s essays, note the strong vocabulary our authors utilize. To develop your language use, I recommend regular reading but also using dictionary.com, which provides not only definitions but a thesaurus, and much more. In addition, here is a list of words all college students should know.

For this week, I want you to read eloquent and moving pieces on racial injustice by two renown writers: James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates. I ask that you think not only about the content of these pieces but the choices the writers make — including Coates’ choice to borrow the “letter” form from Baldwin. I also want you to watch a powerful documentary that follows the life of James Baldwin and the social issues he championed. For all of these pieces, I want you to post a comment on a particular line, paragraph, scene, or theme you found especially profound and important.

READ: James Baldwin “Letter to My Nephew” (1962) and Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Between the World and Me” (2015)

WATCH: Raoul Peck, I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin documentary)

POST: Comment on a particular line, paragraph, scene, theme, or rhetorical move (from Baldwin, Coates, and Peck) that you found especially interesting. Be sure not to post on what a previous student has posted on. Please post on one of the readings (Baldwin, Coates) and film OR both readings.

REMINDER: To post a comment, simply click on “comments” (above), write comment, and “post”

For the week after this, I will be asking you to find an article on an issue of importance to you from the New York Times. I will ask you to write a letter on this topic to someone you care about, similar in form to Baldwin’s letter. Your letter will also use quotes from the article you picked. I will provide more information on this assignment (Unit#2) next week.

Opportunities with NYPIRG – posted for Kevin Dugan

Hello everyone! NYPIRG, the student advocacy group at City Tech, is offering opportunities to join students from across New York this summer in advocacy and volunteer opportunities. To learn more, please visit https://bit.ly/NYPSUM21.

Every other week throughout the summer, NYPIRG will be hosting citywide Student Activist Meet-Ups and Student Leader Meetings. Student Activist Meet-Ups allow you to join students from all across New York to learn about how you can get involved, as well as learning new skills from NYPIRG staff members. Student Leader Meetings are based on NYPIRG’s different issue projects including environmental protection, higher education affordability, establishing a public bank, improving our mass transit, and so much more! If you are at a campus with a NYPIRG chapter in the fall, we also offer for-credit internships where you can learn how to lead campaigns that work on issues in our communities and across New York.

To learn more about these opportunities, please fill out our form at https://bit.ly/NYPSUM21. If you have any questions, please make sure to include them at the form and someone will get back to you as soon as possible!—–


Kevin Dugan he/hisRegional Supervisor
(516) 361-4006New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)

Weekly Office Hours and Writing Center Information

NOTE: Weekly Office Hours will be every Wednesday  (10:00-10:30 am)

Course Zoom Link: ZOOM

Meeting ID: 851 8309 5557               Passcode: 623155


Writing Center Information

The Writing Center is offering online tutoring for City Tech students from Monday to Thursday in June 2021. Students who need help with essays, research papers, lab reports, etc. are encouraged to make appointments on Setmore with our writing tutors for one-on one Zoom tutoring.  All genres of writing are welcome!

Writing tutors will meet with students for 45-minute sessions. When coming in to meet with a tutor, students should share electronically the assignment guidelines along with a draft of their work.

For more information, please visit the Writing Center OpenLab site.

Video Lecture on first Writing Assignment (Essay Draft due Monday, June 7 — midnight deadline)

Be sure to first read the post below this post for first day instructions.
Hi Students,
I. Please watch my video lecture that covers writing tips, discusses our course site, and provides directions on the first writing assignment.

Here is a powerpoint version of my talk:  Writing-Process

II.  After watching this video and reviewing the powerpoint, read George Orwell’s “Why I Write” and the student essay by Ashiley Thomas.

III. Next, begin brainstorming and outlining your own literacy essay.  

IV. Draft your essay and upload it to our googledrive.

Please email me regarding any questions or concerns.

Prof. Mark Noonan


Welcome and First Day Checklist

Welcome to City Tech and English 1121!

Please watch my welcome video here.

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.

Note that our course is asynchronous, which means that we do not have regular meeting days/times. We will interact through discussion on our course site here, and I will have weekly office hours. If you can’t make it, don’t worry; you can always call or email me (mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu) 

Below is our First Day Checklist, due 6/1.  I will post our  Week 1 assignment Tuesday 6/1.

Please be sure to read over the Syllabus and Course Schedule (under COURSE INFO). If you want to get started with the reading, everything is there. We are all in this together! I look forward to working with you.

  1. Register for OpenLab and join our course. If you’re new to the OpenLab, follow these instructions to create an account. Once you log in to your OpenLab account, follow these instructions to join this course.  Please add a profile photo–it makes a positive difference in how we interact with each other. If you have any questions, email me. If you need OpenLab help: consult Help or contact the OpenLab Community Team
  2. Post your introduction paragraph.
    • To write a new post, click the + sign at the top of the page, fill in the subject heading, add your info and click on ADD MEDIA to upload a photo of yourself or something you enjoy (pet/place in the world/ favorite food/ etc.  You can elaborate on your chosen photo in your Intro. When you are done, to publish your post, scroll down and check off OUR COMMUNITY in the Category Sticky and Categories. Click Publish. Note: You can choose to link to a video intro of yourself, instead of writing, if you prefer.
    • In your intro, include your pronouns , how you would like to be addressed, where you are from, where you reside now, your academic interests/ major,  favorite author/writer and why, and anything else you’d like to include.
    • Before next class, check back to read your classmates’ responses and reply to a few. What are some things we have in common? What are we learning from each other or encouraging each other to contemplate?

Final post midnight summer dream

“Or, even if the lovers are a good match, their love might be ruined by war, death, or sickness, so that the affair only lasts an instant. Their time together might be as fleeting as a shadow or as short as a dream, lasting only as long as it takes a lightning bolt to flash across the sky. Before you can say “look,” it’s gone. That’s how intense things like love are quickly destroyed”.

This entire scene breaks my heart because it’s so common even in real life. For example in the Asian culture it is common for family to look at the husband and match their social hierarchy,  pay, and looks. If not matched it’s a  sign of disrespect. If you haven’t given anything else to your parents then you basically owe them marrying a significant other of their choice. Most of the time it is for bragging rights. I’ve had multiple friends break up because they’re parents were never going to be be okay with who they loved. No matter the strength of it. It makes sense how do you disobey the people who gave you most important ( food,water,shelter)? Most  get to flee early and live their lives but in tradition, if you married that is when you may leave the house. Love is scary. It’s an ache that you can’t control  in any circumstances. In this play Heermia is pushing to marry her lover knowing that she’s going against her father.


The film adaptations of a book can be excited to see. Really though, especially while reading the scripts imaginary play-especially on words all you could think was “what in the world, back then was MESSY AND OWNED THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE END. GOSH,” when really it blew your imagination away. I admit, while attempting to read the play, I got pretty far into it from the great communication that seemed-the words were nothing short of passion. Well who’s the ‘bad guy’ oh, but he earned some bonus point of sense, I kept arguing between Lysander and Hermia as he owned his confessions to Hermia’s Father, seemingly away, there communication was the greatest effort of love. Shakespeare, gives each character exactly what they were created for- character. I was intrigued, So I had to watch the film.

See I went from, ‘what, who, where, why,’ I would say in instance. This play, however zapped so fast I had to double back a versus, Am I inconsistent or is this play really just consistent. At the start of the play, right off it’s entirely nothing but passion, a 3 odder love-ship between Hermia and Lysander, then of course his unconventional courtship ‘beggar with a choice,’ Demetrius. Yup, this must really be just a consistent story line, just different sides of passion whos fate got tested, when the moods switched. As the king states, knowingly in Acts 1 Scene 1, “People who can restrain their passions and stay virgins forever are holy. But although a virgin priestess might be rewarded in heaven, a married woman is happier on Earth. A married woman is like a rose who is picked and made into a beautiful perfume, while a priestess just withers away on the stem (70, Theseus). As clear as day, during the Film adaptations of 1969, by the Royals Shakespeare Company, when night fell  “(the time of night that always hides runaway lovers), we plan to sneak out of Athens (Acts1, Scene 1. lines 211)” As characters are placed in moments of passion each different objectives for creeping, true intentions were revealed, of both passion within received clarifications, from without.

Violet’s: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Final Post

 A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a romantic comedy, written by William Shakespeare around 1595. It’s full of joy, laughing, and love, as well as magical fairies and dreams.  However, there are many complex interplays between the plot and the characters. The play is set in two places and is in Athens and a forest outside Athens. As there are many characters and many scenes in the play, I have found act one scene one particularly intriguing me a lot. From this scene, I’ve discovered love is a mysterious energy that causes individuals to behave in illogical ways.

 In act one, scene 1 of A midsummer night’s dreamTheseus, the Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, former Amazon Queen, discuss their upcoming wedding in four days. Egeus, a nobleman, complains to Theseus about his daughter Hermia’s preference for Lysander over Demetrius. Hermia declares that she cannot marry Demetrius and that she would prefer to die than marry anyone other than Lysander. Lysander has found another woman Helena is in love with Demetrius. Theseus said Hermia has to obey her father otherwise her choices are to die or become a nun. Hermia and Lysander decided to run away from Athens. Then Helena walks in, expressing how much she loves Demetrius but her love is not acknowledged. Hermia and Lysander tell their plan to Helena and she tells Demetrius Hermia and Lydsnders plan where they are going just so she can have a chance to see Demetrius. This scene introduces many key characters and sets the stage for the play’s major conflict. When the four lovers entered the woods, the real confusion in the play starts. When Robin Goodfellow, a fairy, employs magic to make Demetrius love Helena again, he accidentally causes Lysander to fall in love with Helena. He attempts to straighten things out, and he succeeds in making Demetrius fall in love with Helena. Both men now love Helena, but neither loves Hermia. Almost everyone is unhappy until Robin sorts out the problem and the four Athenians pair off into couples making everyone happy.

Helena’s character is my favorite in this play because she reflects on the illogical nature of love as she explains her affections for Demetrius, despite the fact that he has treated her horribly.

According to Lysander’s statement, one of a Midsummer night’s Dream “The course of true love never did run smooth,” which indicates one of the major themes of A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s that is the difficulty of love. This significance is exemplified by the imperfect affection between the four young Athenians. Lisander likes Hermia, Hermia likes Lisander, Helena likes Demetrius and Demetrius likes Hermia more than Helima. A typical number imbalance where two men create emotions towards the same woman resulting in one woman having too many suits and the other having too few. The play has a lot of promise for a conventional conclusion, and the story is built on a quest for internal balance in many ways; that is, when the lovers’ tangle resolves into symmetrical pairs, the play will have reached its typical happy finish.


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