9/17 | HW for Next Monday

HW: A) Read pp. 39-42 and 45-8 in articles packet.
B) Afterwards, look back over all the articles we’ve read.  Decide which article to quote and respond to for your Essay 1 (draft due next Wed).  Post a quotation & response from that article.
C) Post your description of using an app, imitating the way Sherry Turkle describes “Tinder” (notes on this exercise re-posted below).

Look at Turkle’s detailed description of how the app “Tinder” is used on p. 27.  Using a similar level of detail, write a description of an app that you use regularly and/or have had significant experiences on.  How does the app work? How does it affect the way you connect (or don’t connect) with other people? How does it affect how you think and feel?

9/5 Sherry Turkle Prompts and HW for next week

Reading like a writer: Sherry Turkle, “The Empathy Gap” (pp. 8-13).
Parts/”modes” of writing to keep in mind: Narrative is a mode of writing showing change over time. Exposition is a kind of writing that explains something to the reader.  A claim is a debate-able statement made by the writer (not a fact).  A thesis is the largest, overarching claim in a text.  Evidence is observation or fact that supports a claim/thesis.

–p. 8 / 29: What is Turkle’s thesis?  Is there also a narrative here? What change is being shown?  How do we respond to Turkle’s thesis? Agree/disagree? A bit of both?  Why?
–p. 9 / 30: Where do you notice… claim(s)? …Evidence? …Narrative? Your response?
–p. 10 / 31: Where do you notice… claim(s)? …Evidence? …Narrative? Your response?
–p. 11 / 32: Where do you notice… claim(s)? …Evidence? …Narrative? Your response?

HW (for Wed 9/12): Post your responses to Turkle’s article.  Read Serpell’s “Triptych: Texas Pool Party” (pp. 18-25). In Grammar Book, read and do exercises on pp. 17-21 and p. 31.

Media Analysis (led by Amir)


1. As a child always seeing her mother on the phone, when the child gets older will she be like her mother or decide to ban cellular device around her?

2. Why is the mother on the phone ignoring the child or are these two on a trip and the mother need directions?

3. Does the mother seem more interested in her phone or her child?

4. What would you cite to defend the actions of the mother?

5. What questions would you ask in an interview with the mother?

  6. What choice what you have made?

8/29 // Wortham, “My Selfie, Myself” Prompts (+ HW for next wk)

  1. Where do you notice Jenna Wortham (author of “My Selfie, Myself”) using narrative in the first page of her article?  Where else in the article does she use it?
  2. What are some of the reasons you think Wortham chose to use narration in her article?  To what effect? What is she trying to show?
  3. On the second and third pages of her article, Wortham discusses several different purposes of selfies (i.e., why people post them).  Use your own words to describe a couple of them.
  4. Begin writing about a narrative from your own life that connects to prompt 3, above.

    HW for Wed // WRITING: Find some public place where it’s comfortable to sit and people watch.  Sit for 20 minutes and describe in detail what you see and hear: the setting, the people (how they look and act), any significant objects (smartphones, dogs, baby carriages, etc.).  Be sure to record anything weird you notice as well as everything you notice people doing with their phones. READING: In the Articles packet, read Sherry Turkle’s “The Empathy Gap” (pp. 8–13) and Mike Bunn’s “How to Read Like a Writer” (pp. 14–17).

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8/27–Millennials, Online Literacy, Homework

A brief Google Images search for the key term “millennials” yields the following results:


To survive without losing our minds in today’s age of “fake news,” we need to know how to ask questions about and analyze images and info online.  To do this is to practice “online literacy.”  Let’s dive in:

0) What is / who are the subject(s) of this image?  What is its topic, “story,” action?  What objects seem significant to the subject and/or topic of this image?  What might the “backstory” or “context” of this image be?

1) Why might this image [or, taken together, these images] have been made?  What are the possible purposes involved in the production of these images?

2) What might the “message” (or messages) of this image be?

3) How has this image been constructed?

3a) Using what media (photography, photoshop, etc.)?  Using what kind of lighting (natural, artificial, etc.)?  3b) How is the image framed?  (What is in the image and what is not in the image?)  What is the angle from which the image is taken (low, high, God’s eye, etc.)?

3c) How much of the frame does the subject take up?  (How large does the subject appear to be in comparison to the other objects in the image?  Why might this be?)

3d) What is in the foreground of this image?  What is in the background?  Is there a relationship between what is in the foreground and what is in the background?

4) What might be the connections between questions #2 (message?) and #3 (how made?)?

5) Who made/published this image?  When?

HW: Activate CT e-mail and join OpenLab. Post answers to the above questions.  Read pp. 1–6 in Packet 1. Read and do exercises on pp. 1-4 of Grammar Book.