Your last assignment of the semester:

what did you learn about the differences between the sexes and the way they communicate?

Also, on texting communication—what facilities understanding? Persuasion?

For instance, are short texts still better than long ones?


Your Journals are due Thursday, Dec. 7.


So as it turns out, Tuesday, Nov 21, follows a Friday schedule. That means we don’t have class. And the next time I see you is when we return from Thanksgiving break.

Your rough draft of your research paper will be due our first day back from holiday. Please type it up (you should have written a number of pages by hand by now…) for my ease of reading and submit it. This is will not be given a letter grade. However, it must be “passed” in order for you to proceed with your Research Paper.

Journal Check is on hold until further notice. Look forward to seeing you and have a happy and safe holiday.

Also, looking ahead to December, a reading assignment:

I would like you to have completed reading your entire Stephen King memoir before mid December. To that end, please answer the following 4 questions in your Journals before Dec. 5:

1.) What “formula” did King receive in a rejection letter that helped him to write second drafts?

2.) How does King feel about pronouns?

3.) Does Stephen King think that you need to take a class in order to learn how to write?

4.) What does this proofreader’s mark mean? (below)


For Thursday: Be prepared, if called upon, to talk for three minutes about your current state of research. You may use visual aids or other supplementary aids if you like. The class will respond for two minutes. We will do this towards the end of class and during “Lab,” time permitting.

Journal Check Day. All your notes and printouts and handouts so far. This includes notes on your Stephen King reading. As per usual. Also: Please indicate in your journal if you posted some sort of movie review or comment on OpenLab.

By next Monday, you MUST have at least five handwritten pages about your topic and the research you have done or your mother will be invited to class.*


*P.S. Taylor’s mother may simply come if you are having a hardship. So watch out.


Upcoming Assignment Dates (Near Future):
Nov 16: Journal Check
Nov 28: Rough Draft Due

Upcoming Dates (Distant Future):
Dec 12: Final Research Paper due
Dec 14: Class Potluck Party
Dec 19: Final Exam

Your top 5 topics: what are they? What keeps you up, fascinated, reading late into the night, even when you shouldn’t?

Now whittle them down and ask yourself what is the Issue behind them. What might this new research paper really be about?

Put these reflections in your Journal for Tues .


For Halloween’s class you must: finish your “Odradek” highlights/codes; finish your “Odradek” drawings (visual representation) and bring to class so that we can tape them to the walls.

Continue to highlight in your movie reviews, this time for “analytical language.” You should now have three colors of highlight.

Continue to read in your Stephen King book.


Print out one more movie review from a reliable source (for a total of three now) on the movie you have chosen. Highlight (in the same color) the language that you feel is “opinion” or to put it more strongly, “judgement.”

Continue Reading in your Stephen King book and answer:

Did Owen practice the sax? Why did his parent stop his sax lessons? What three elements does SK think are in every story or novel?


Vocab homework for Thurs, Oct 19: On one side of the index card you received: write the definition of a word you did not know that you learned during our in-class exercise; on the other side of the index card, write the etymological roots of a word you already knew. Include any information about this word, its other possible meanings, where it came from.

OpenLab: Write a “comment” on another student’s movie post. Feel free to comment on comments, or to comment on posts that are not related to movies on our site.

Continue to read in your Stephen King book.


Before next class (Tuesday):

  1. Post your movie review to our site’s home page. Also tell us (somewhere in the post, or in Comments) what your two other reviewers said, in quotes. Be sure to include their name and publication. If you want a brief example, I already posted my thoughts on “Mother!” that I shared with you this morning. You can go and take a look. Be creative if you like. And please comment on each other’s posts in support. Do you like/agree/disagree with your fellow student’s reviewers? Let them know! I will be looking very favorably on the latter and giving points for comments!
  2. Print out a review for the film you chose. It must have been published in one of the publications in my “top” list.  I will write the list below. Print out more than one, if you like! Just bring it/them to next class and also bring your highlighting pens.The New York Times,     The New Yorker (magazine),     The L. A. Times,       The Chicago Tribune,                       The Guardian (UK),           The Washington Post       …and maybe Rolling Stone.


Read at least 20 more pages in your Stephen King memoir. Tell us:

What does Stephen King define as “telepathy”?

What inspired him to write Carrie?

Take three copies of the Kafka story and impose some kind of restraint/constraint upon it. Don’t tell us what your constraint(s) are.

Continue to make a visual representation of what you think Odradek looks like (you can draw, paint,  sculpt or render in any way). We will have a mini exhibit of these in the classroom by Oct. 30.



Read at least 20 more pages in your Stephen King memoir. Tell us:

What does Stephen King define as “telepathy”?

What inspired him to write Carrie?

Read the Kafka short story, “The Cares of a Family Man.” (It is only one page.)

Continue to transcribe your Inner/Outer Dialogues in transit or in public spaces. (Again, be cognizant of your surroundings and be safe and circumspect.) You will work this material into a 500-word document. For formatting style suggestions, please see the Menu Item, PAPER FORMATTING, above.


Continue to gather more Inner/Outer dialogues while you are in transit (on the subway, bus, etc.). Be cognizant of the fact that you are in public, and be safe! Be prepared to share what you heard next class.

Remember: we meet outside the Library at 10AM on Thu, Sept. 28, where we will take roll. The Librarian will take us in for Orientation.

Writing Assignment: write what it is you are not supposed to talk about. What are you not supposed to say? No one will read this.

Reading Assignment: read 40 more pages in your Stephen King memoir by Tues., Oct 3. Answer the following in your journal: what did Miss Hisler tell him? What are “Happy Stamps”? Name two things that John Gould taught him.


Your next Reading Assignment, to be completed for our next class on Tues, Sept 26, is:

Read your Stephen King Memoir from the very beginning (including all the “Forewords”) until you reach section “9” of Chapter One. (Each edition of the book is different, so the exact page numbers will differ. For instance, in the pdf version, it’s on page 29.) You will know where to stop when you get to the part where his aunt pays him a quarter each for his stories (see below). Then: In your journals, tell me, very briefly, what sorts of illnesses and other lousy events happened to him as a child. Four or five will do.

Continue writing on Beauty on your own (“When I see something beautiful, I…”; “My definition of beauty is….”) Continue to bring your writing in to class. To reiterate: this writing will be worked into a 500-word paper for me.  Same format as before. Due, typed, on Oct 3.

Post on the Blog if you have not, already. Those who wrote in their journals about John Cage can also do so on the blog, if they like. It would be nice to at least have some excerpts of people’s reactions in “COMMENTS” and such to add to the mix of voices. We will try to hear these read, regardless of in print or via blog, next class.

Did I post a photo of a picture you drew on the board? Comment, please. Explain. 🙂


Continue to work on your essays on Beauty. They will be due Oct 2. The format is the same as for the previous essay. (See PAPER FORMATTING, above.)

Your reading is the chapter called “Toolbox” from the Stephen King book, On Writing: A Memoir.  Please respond in your journals with your opinions and observations on the following two topics in this chapter — vocabulary and grammar. Do you agree or disagree with what King says on these topics? We will discuss this on Sept. 20.

Also, don’t forget: we meet outside the Library next class, Sept 18 for Library Orientation Day.


Your first reading assignment, “Notes on Beauty” by Peter Schjeldahl, was distributed in class. Read this essay and write a very short summary of it in your journals (one paragraph is fine). Also, find two or three points of Schjeldahl’s that you liked most and be prepared to quote them in class (Wed, Sept 13).

We began writing in class. Continue at your own pace. Be prepared to share your writing (in process) next class (Wed, Sept 13). Looking ahead, you will be developing this writing into your


Your next assignments are:

  1. Re-read the Stephen King “Toolbox” selection and note SPECIFICALLY what he says about vocabulary and grammar.

2. a) Respond with a COMMENT to an existing blog post on our Home Page or b) Write your OWN BLOG POST by hitting the “+” sign on the upper dashboard. You may respond to anyone’s post. This is in addition to the fact that you also need to…

3. …write a COMMENT on the blog post on the HOME PAGE about John Cage’s 4’33”. At least one and a half paragraphs, minimum (unless you choose some other cool form of linguistic communication). Tell us anything…if you liked it, or not…tell us…whatever you think. Tell us if you noted sounds that occurred in the room, naturally and what they were.
4. Play this video of  4’33” once more, with one or more other people present. Note their reactions. Also, to note *YOUR OWN REACTIONS* upon watching it a second time. Be prepared to discuss this next class (Tues, Sept 19).


Your new textbook requirements are noted here in MATERIALS/SUPPLIES  so please check. You first reading in the Stephen King memoir was distributed in class. Please read and make note in your journals of how you feel about what King says about grammar and vocabulary. Do you agree? Be prepared to discuss next class (Thurs). Also, your first papers are due Thursday. I want to take a moment to reiterate that my Office Hour is Thurs from 1-2pm, and my email is on the front page of this website , and if you ever need to speak with me privately about a hardship or a need for an extension it is up to you to find me and ask.

Coming up: your next paper for me, on Beauty, will be due Oct. 3.  Please continue to develop your freewriting on this topic and we will discuss further. The format will be the same as the previous paper (see below).


Hi, Class. Your next assignments, due on Sept 12, are: 1) Complete the grammar exercises that I handed out. Confused? Don’t know the rules of punctuation, etc? Well, remember this style guide? It’s called the Purdue OWL, link here. Look around. Explore. Find your problem area, and read. That should help you a bit.


2) Read the essay I handed out by Peter Schjeldahl called “Notes on Beauty.” Note in your journals three things he said that you found most interesting or most agree with and be prepared to discuss them in class. Were you absent, and didn’t get the handout? The above essay is easily available as a pdf Online if you look it up.

P.S. We will discuss further required readings next class. You can check “MATERIALS/SUPPLIES” now for updates if you would like to get a jump on things. I just updated it.


Upcoming dates of importance and, as always, Assignments:

Our Library Orientation Day will be Thursday, Sept. 28. We will meet at our usual class time (10AM) at the entrance to the Library. Please don’t come to our classroom on that day. (I will take attendance at the Library.)

Writing: Continue to write about your family (or your particular essay topic (see below)) without the word “the” in your journals. Your first Paper Assignment will be this essay. It will be due on Thursday, Sept. 14. It will be handed in to me with the following format criteria:

Length: 500 words

Format: Double-spaced, typed (font should be any clear, readable font in 12 point size).

Info needed on first page of this paper:

Your Name; Your Professor’s Name; The Class and Section # (ENG 1101 LC32); The Date.

And now, on a lighter note, your vocabulary assignment: use the word “emological” in a sentence.


Your next writing assignment is two-fold. First: write a COMMENT to a blog post on the front page of our course site. I started one already, so go see. You can write any length. Try to make it at least a paragraph, though!

Second: continue to write in your journals under the constraint of not using the word “the” on the following topic: Tell us about your family. No length limit, but you should write at least two paragraphs. If you prefer to choose the other topic/prompt we discussed in class, you may do so instead. The latter was: Sometimes thinking about something can be better than the actual experience. You can wax nostalgic here if you like and choose to reminisce: Remember when things were better? Back when I…  No matter your choice, you may not use the word “the.”


First writing assignment: tell me about your morning — how you got to school, what it was like, etc. — without using the word “the.” No length, but try to write a minimum of two paragraphs. Handwritten. Due: next class.

Need vocab work? Pick three words from our recent readings and define them.

Are you a research person? Tell us about either of the authors, or the Oulipo Group, or the concept of literary constraint. Share what you learned in your notebook and tell about it next class.