Thank you, everyone, for an enlightening semester and an enjoyable last class. A few announcements:
*If you are missing any glossary entries, we negotiated a absolute last final no-later-than deadline of end-of-day Thursday (which means I will look at them as soon as I wake up on Friday to finalize grades). If you don’t have 15, take this opportunity to finish!
*I gave final exam grades to everyone in class. If you want your final exam grade but weren’t in class, let me know and we can make arrangements.
*I will be sending you comments and grades for Project #2 by replying privately to your Project #2 post.
*Finally, we talked in our last class, to mirror our first-day conversation, about what fiction we’re reading now or this summer, and sharing recommendations. If you have favorites to share, or are seeking recommendations, comment here. I hope you all have big reading plans for the summer!
Enjoy your summer school, summer jobs, summer studies, and most especially, summer fun!
In class on Tuesday, we discussed some of the passages we had selected in our groups. We also talked about instructions for the exam and the logistics. I said that I would make final decisions. Here they are:
We narrowed down passages to the eight listed in the post on passages. Review those.
We talked about instructions and logistics about how many passages you need to write about, etc. Here are those answers:
- How many passages will appear on the exam? Six
- How many passages will you have to choose and write about? Three
- How many different texts must you cover in total (identified and compared to)? Four (each passage you identify plus one from before the midterm)
- For comparisons, how many from the first half of the class, and how many post-midterm? at least one from before the midterm
Finally, here’s a bonus: correctly completing Part 1 (identification) for the other passages will earn you extra credit!
In class I mentioned that now is the time to finalize your glossary entries. This means making sure you have 15, and making sure they have the right category (glossary) and are edited and revised as needed to follow the Glossary Project instructions.
Please ask questions here by replying to this post.
About Project #2:
Annotations from a previous similar assignment
Here are additional thoughts to help explain Project #2 better:
Imagine you’re reading a novel for class. You’re reading it on a tablet, on your phone, on your computer, and when you tap on a word or a highlighted section, information appears. That information could define a word you might not have known, or could explain who a person referred to is/was, or could provide data about something that would help you understand what the author is referring to. Or it could link you to passages in other texts that relate, or to information about the author’s biography, or to important literary criticism written about that novel.
What would reading in that format be like?
What if you could contribute to a project that asks readers to do this work? How would that digital annotated text help you understand the text better than reading it in its original format?
Project #2 asks you to make an argument about how a digital annotated edition of Quicksand by Nella Larsen could help readers understand different aspects of the novel better.
To complete Project #2, you have several different pieces to bring together:
- A post that includes a research annotation, approximately a paragraph long, using three outside sources that you refer to in a Works Cited list
- Two posts that each include a glossary entry that connects in some way to the topic you have chosen to write about
- A post that includes the business letter to an editor at the Hathi Trust project (the organization that made the digital image of Quicksand available online) in which you argue for the benefits of a digital edition by making specific reference (by paraphrasing, quoting, and/or summarizing) not only to Quicksand but also to your research annotation and two glossary annotations.
Questions? Please keep asking them! This is the best way for me to know that I need to provide more or clearer information!
Important upcoming dates:
- Annotations due today, M 4/23. Please post them on our site by the end of the day. Choose the category “Research Annotation” and use any tags you think are appropriate.
- W 4/25: Please bring a draft of Project #2 to class on Wednesday for peer review.
- We will begin the next section of our readings, focusing on contemporary fiction. Get ready to share your ideas about what you enjoy reading as we read the short fiction and accompanying materials I will share with you.
The day has finally come to post Project #1! Add a new post and do the following:
- Give your project a title in the field for title
- Add your Part 1 (retellingl, with a title at the top
- Then add Part 2 (comparative essay) including a title.
- Choose categories (not sticky categories): Project #1, plus the category for the original short story’s author’s name.
- Add tags. At a minimum add a tag for the narration style you used. Choose the narration style from the list of tags so we all use the same format.
- If you are not comfortable sharing your work openly, change Visibility from public to private.
- In class on Monday, I will ask for a reflective cover letter (instructions will be provided). Think about your process and accomplishments so we can be purposeful about our writing process and resulting product.
I hope everyone knows that CUNY canceled school for today. And I hope this snow day is a welcome break in your hectic midterm schedule.
We’ll need to revise our reading and posting schedule. I’m waiting for official word from the college about how to make up the class. Often the college will decide that students should complete an additional assignment rather than attending a make-up class, unless there is a reading day that could be used for making up the class. I’ll reach out when I know what I’ve been instructed to do.
In the meanwhile, I encourage you to continue reading Quicksand and revising Project #1.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reply here or to reach out to me via email.
Congratulations on completing the midterm exam! We’re moving ahead with work for Project #1 and with our next unit of literature. For Wednesday’s class, please do the following:
1-prepare as final a version of Part 1 and Part 2 of Project #1 as possible, and bring your work to Wednesday’s class. We will devote some time to peer review. If you have not already had your required meeting with me, please schedule one as soon as possible.
2-be sure to have bought/borrowed/rented a copy of The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen, and read Chapter 1 of Quicksand, pp 29-44. Bring your copy of the book to class on Wednesday.
3-respond to this post by 10am Wednesday with a comment (100-150 words) about what stands out to you in the first chapter about the protagonist or about the world she inhabits. Include a relevant quotation from Chapter 1.
Drawing from the themes and conflicts that we identified in our tagging activity in class yesterday, I have developed five prompts for the midterm exam (which is on Monday). On the exam, I will narrow down the choices to three, and you will choose one. As I have recommended before, if you prepare for at least three of these questions, you will be guaranteed to have at least one of your preferred questions on the exam.
You will not be allowed to bring the stories to the exam. Instead, you will be able to bring one sheet (typed or handwritten) that includes the quotations you would want to use in writing your essay. I will collect this sheet with your exam booklet.
Here is a draft of the exam, including the instructions:
In a well-developed essay, consider how two of the short stories we have read this semester compare in their approach to one of the following issues, topics, or themes. Compare (that is, write about similarities and differences in) two examples from each story, using quotations from your quotation sheet as evidence to support for your thesis-driven essay.
- the use of gruesome, macabre details to develop characters (i.e. characterization)
- the significance of setting details, including their symbolic significance
- patriarchy or oppression as a dominating force or as a force to be overthrown in the plot
- the intricate relationship between freedom and death
- marital or familial relationships as restrictive and/or empowering
(on the exam, this will be a list of three)
Guidelines and tips: (these will be on the exam instruction sheet, but it’s good to familiarize yourself with them before the exam)
- You must use two stories we have read this semester for this essay, excluding the story you are writing about in Project #1.
- Your essay should be 500-600 words—if you’re writing 5 words per line, that’s 5-6 pages in the blue book, fewer pages if you get more words per line. There’s no need to count all of the words: check to see roughly how many words you write per line on a few lines, then multiply that by 20 (lines per page) and the number of pages you have.
- To get started, you should choose one of the questions and the two texts you will use to write the essay, based on the work you did to prepare for the exam.
- Take time before you start writing the essay to think about what you want to write, and use the blue book to write down notes, lists, outlines, or other planning-writing before you start writing the essay.
- There’s no need to skip every other line, but you might want to skip a line or two between paragraphs to give yourself space to add in any additional words or sentences when you re-read your essay.
- When you include a quotation, even though it is already on your quotation sheet, please copy it into your essay.
- Be sure to leave yourself enough time to proofread at least twice.
- Rather than using whiteout or making a mess, when you need to make a correction, just cross out what you want to delete.
Getting Ready for the exam:
- Re-read any stories you think you want to write about
- Annotate the stories you think you want to write about as you re-read so you get the most out of reading them
- Practice by drafting a thesis statement and outline for three to five of these topics
- Prepare your quotation sheet for three to five of these topics
- Ask questions by replying to this post
- Share ideas by replying to this post
- Get some sleep
- Eat a good meal
- Print (or write) and bring your quotations sheet
- Come to class on time!