I like to begin my classes with a quote or a question, so here’s the first quote and questions of this semester:

When you write, it’s like braiding your hair. Taking a handful of coarse unruly strands and attempting to bring them unity. Your fingers have still not perfected the task. Some of the braids are long, others are short. Some are thick, others are thin. Some are heavy. Others are light.


Take a moment and think about the following questions:

Why does Danticat equate writing with braiding?

Why are you taking this class in particular?

Why do you think others are taking this class?

What do you hope to gain from this class?

What does this quote and questions have to do with one another?

Some Thoughts

Anyone who has braided hair knows it is a challenge. It’s a skill. It’s not something you can learn overnight. Braiding and writing are both skills that need time, effort, and a lot of patience. Everyone in this class is bringing different experiences with writing–the good, the bad, and the so-so–and some of you may wonder why you need to take a writing class at all. After all, we’re at New York City College of Technology!

Some of the reading may be difficult to understand in one read–which means you’ll have to read it more than once! Some of the writing will be “easy” and some will be the opposite of easy, but as long as you make an effort with everything I assign this semester, you’ll be happy with your experience (not to mention the grade)!

Everyone in this class is a writer. Whether you are writing a text, a paragraph, an essay, or a novel, you are all writers. Read that again: You are all writers. I realize this course is a requirement for everyone. Those sitting around you might have had negative experiences with writing in the past or they might have had awesome experiences. Whatever your reasons or expectations for being here, please know that I and your peers are here to read and respect you.

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