For Tue 9/29

Finish reading :

Lauren Duca, “The Viral Virus” + Christopher Lane, “Addicted to Addiction” + Jerald G. Block, “Issues for DSM-5: Internet Addiction” + Griffiths et al. “The Evolution of Internet Addiction”

Post a Media Share (#6) related to one or more ideas you encounter in these texts.

Continue reflecting on social issues you might write about for Essay 2.  Are there any ideas in the above texts that resonate with ideas you get from a song you’ve heard and might like to write about?

  1. Never give up

Never go back on to your word

Never leave anyone behind

Never let darkness be the only one in you 

Never feel alone


2. This list can be connected to my essay because in my essay it’s mostly inspired from Naruto. Most of the life lessons I learned are from Naruto and can be inspirational to other people who are feeling alone or might be depressed. But the list did give me some thoughts to include the lists in the essay.


Police Brutality

Gun Violence 


Social Media 


4. In the text it states,”…began with the Great Introversion Declaration of the summer of 2013, after Buzzfeed’s ‘31 Unmistakable signs You’re an Introvert’ went viral, triggering a flurry of copycat content. With this, I believe I can understand the saying of ““Every good text is a list, but not every list is a good text.” One came from another like if it’s some whispering game where we would have to guess what was originated but ended up something completely different and stories can be changed and misunderstood.   


5. For Friday 9/25

We worked on the various uses of listing today—including the use of anaphoric lists to generate new thoughts and the use of sub-lists (what you did when responding to other people’s Media Share #4).  What I want you

For your comment below, please:

  1. Post your list of anaphoric sentences from today’s Zoom 5. (If you didn’t attend, please watch the recording and do the prompt highlighted in yellow on the link to the Zoom 5 agenda I emailed you earlier today; also, for those who missed, please post a creative summary of the meeting.)
  2. Post a quick note on how you might connect your list above (in #1) to something in your Essay 1—did it occur to you to expand on a thought that came out in your list? Do you think you can find a place to include anaphora in your Essay?  If so, where?
  3. Post a list of 5 social issues possibly relevant to Essay 2.
  4. I studied with a writer in college whose mantra was “Every good text is a list, but not every list is a good text.” Connect this to what Lauren Duca is saying in “The Viral Virus.”  What are some of the critiques she makes of texts that are only lists?  (Bonus points if you catch the word she uses to describe this genre of online text.)

For Tuesday 9/22

For Tuesday 9/22, 5p:

  1. Read Lauren Duca, “The Viral Virus” and Christopher Lane, “Addicted to Addiction.”
  2. Post a Media Share (#5) related to any of our three most recent readings: Serpell’s “Triptych: Texas Pool Party” or Duca’s or Lane’s texts…

That’s all for now—will try to catch up on reading, responding and grading in the coming week, I promise!

#4. For Friday 9/18

For Friday 9/18

OK, so I’d like to take this week to catch up on several things, including Essay 1 feedback and revisions to last week’s writing assignment related to Serpell’s text (#3, for Fri 9/11). We will speak more about this text in our Zoom meeting this week, and I’d like you to re-think and re-write what you wrote in response to it for last week (or, if you’ve yet to complete last week’s work, you lucked out and now have a second chance ;). Please share your revised responses as comments on the original prompt post.

In addition—also for this Friday (9/18)—please read 3 Essay 1s and share feedback for each of them as a comment responding to each person’s post.

Lastly—and still for this Friday (9/18)—please read at least 1 other person’s Media Share #4 (their list of weird stuff they’ve seen online) and comment on it in the following way. I want us to keep working on identifying patterns in lists, as this will help us to establish connections between different parts of Essay 1 and also to begin topics to research and write about for Essay 2 (more on this in the weeks to come). So what I want you to do is this: read the person’s Media Share #4 list; then make 2 sub-lists, each containing a few of the things on the original list that have something in common. Title each sublist using a word or phrase that describes what each of the items in the sublist has in common. Here’s my example from last week:

Original List of weird shit I’ve seen on the internet – > What have I learned from the internet? (question to connect this to Essay 1 assignment)

–an owl eating a man’s rooftop strawberries
–a gaping butthole, sent via anonymous link
–a hog galloping through a city
–a semi-nuclear explosion in Beirut
–video of the Twin Towers falling
–a polar bear cuddling a dog
–a Trump supporter being shot in Portland OR
–George Floyd being asphyxiated by a police officer

SUBLISTS (based on topics/patterns/themes I’ve noticed in my original list above)

–a semi-nuclear explosion in Beirut
–video of the Twin Towers falling
–a Trump supporter being shot in Portland OR
–George Floyd being asphyxiated by a police officer

–an owl eating a man’s rooftop strawberries
–a hog galloping through a city
–a polar bear cuddling a dog

AGAIN: what I want you to do is read someone else’s original list and comment on it with two sublists organized in terms of patterns, topics, themes that *you* notice in their original list.

For Tue 9/15

1. As your Media Share (#4) for Tuesday (9/15), please share your lists of things you’ve seen online that we worked on toward the end of our last Zoom meeting.  Include a link to at least one of these things.

2. Read & comment on one other person’s Media Share (any of them—a post with no comments or only a few comments, preferably).

3. Read & comment on one other person’s Essay 1 (scroll down and choose carefully). In your feedback, tell them what you think the conflict they should try to develop is as well as a moment in their essay that they should expand into a scene (a “movie in the mind”).

Alexandria Dorato/ Writing Prompt on “Triptych”

A. A triptych is a set of three associated literary, artistic or musical works deliberately to be appreciated together. Serpell titled this text “Triptych” because she divided it into three parts to show three different point of views. It starts with part one which is “Summertime”. Part two is “Perseus” and part three is “What Was Said”.

A1. “Summertime”

This section of the text which is the first out of all three parts is told in the perspective of the 15-year-old black girl who was tackled by a white police officer. I believe this part was told first since she is the person who was attacked and she leaves the other perspectives for later to develop the conflict. She discusses what she is observing throughout the first part of the reading and states “The heat rises up, sings against the skin. Clothes fall off, swimsuits blossoming from beneath, in colors as neon and elaborate as the sunset to come. We dance and we dance. All of this beauty, all of this rolling, dipping brown flesh, like desert dunes in the shadow or desert dunes in the sun”. She is aware of her surroundings and notices “Frowning white ladies by the pool shaking their heads at us. Country-ass dudes with bellies hanging over their shorts, with that look in their eye. We catch snatches of words from their eye”. These people were being racist which obviously made her feel uncomfortable. The girl and her friends were just minding their own business and people still had something to say of course, according to the girls perspective which is first person point of view.

A2. “Perseus”

This section is told by the racist police officer who tackled the 15-year-old black girl. He uses imagery while describing the tragic incident. The police officer stated “And swiftly, once more, I plant her. Her snakes of hair, braided like whips, fling in my face. I trap them, a web beneath my palm. Her tender torso is wrapped in thin smooth cloth the color of raw sun, her slender arms are mere vines. I root her face. Down. Into the ground. I am on my knees now. I am kneeling on her”. He still views her as a threat even though she is an adolescent.

A3. “What Was Said”

In this part, the reactions from the people who were watching the incident took place. “What is wrong. You’re hurting her. Why are you holding her down for. Can you not. Why are you dragging her”. It was obvious to me that this part of the text was in the observers point of view because everyone was asking why he was tackling her.

Extra Credit:

Serpell telling this story in three different “lenses” lead us to think differently about the main conflicts because our focus is mainly on figuring out what perspective each part is being told from. It distracts me in a way from the main conflicts due to her continuous effort on making me feel that I’m actually in the scene because of how descriptive it is. I find Serpell’s writing to be creative and I actually wanted to just keep reading because it progressively got interesting throughout the story by using different perspectives.

B. Version 1 (my perspective)

Parties, parties, parties! That is what I thought my senior year would consist of but unfortunately Ms. Corona had to ruin that along with several other things for me. My friends and I wanted one last get together to wrap up senior year so we went to seaside for the week which I know is very basic. It was the four of us on our way to Seaside and I just felt tension in the car the whole way there. No one was talking, the music was low and it was just weird vibes. I looked to my friend to the left which is the friend that my whole essay is about. She told me to look at my phone. It said “you don’t understand what it’s taking inside me to not punch her in the face right now”. I was confused. What could have possibly happened now? Look at this picture Alex, this picture just can’t be real. She was saying this out loud just so the driver which was one of our “best friends” could hear. Jess was driving us to Seaside which was who was seen in the picture with Jess’s toxic boyfriend. Would you like to explain this picture Arianna, you conniving bitch! Jess what are you talking about? That isn’t me, I would never do that to you. Oh really? There is also more pictures and screenshots of texts with your little secret. I’m officially done with you and Alex is leaving with me. Good, he never loved you anyway. And that is when Arianna got her black eye. Let’s go Alex before I go to jail. How are we supposed to get home? I didn’t bring my car so there we were, waiting on the side of the highway as I watch a tumbleweed roll by.

B. Version 2 (my other friend who was watching everything happen point of view)

I am the friend that always ends up to be stuck between all of the fights. We arrived at Seaside and it was just awkward. I was waiting for the whole situation to calm down before I called Alex to see how Jess was doing. I couldn’t wait any longer and I know they were alone so I had to call. Jess answered Alex’s phone and says “I swear if this is Arianna I suggest you hang up the phone right now before your other eye turns black”. Relax, it’s Olivia. Oh hi Liv, tell that bitch to get lost! I asked where they were and they were still in the same spot we left them at so I sent them an Uber so they could go home and it wouldn’t be in my mind anymore. Arianna had no words, she just pretended like nothing even happened. This had to be one of the most awkward moments of my life.

3. For Friday 9/11

1. Read & comment on one other person’s Media Share #3 (someone with no comments or only a few comments).

2. Read & comment on one other person’s Essay 1 (scroll down and choose carefully). In your feedback, tell them what you think the conflict they should try to develop is as well as a moment in their essay that they should expand into a scene (a “movie in the mind”).

3. Namwali Serpell’s “Triptych: Texas Pool Party” is the next on our reading list, and what I want you to pick up on here is not only the conflict at the heart of this essay—racism, police brutality, and so on—but also the extremely creative way in which Serpell plays with perspective in this experimental narrative. You’ll notice that she tells the story in three parts, hence the title. Each part re-tells the same story from a different perspective. Here’s what I want you to respond to in this text and how:

A. First, tell me why Serpell may have titled this text “Triptych” (hint: click the link above). Then I want you to describe to me the perspective—the point of view—from which each of the three parts is written. For each part, consider: is this one or more than one person narrating and how do I know? Is this even a person narrating—and how do I know? If this is a person, can they be identified—and how do I know or not know? If so, who is this person—and how do I know?

You’ll notice I just said “how do I know” about five thousand times. This is because I want you to get into the habit of asking yourself this question when you interpret texts you are reading. To that end, in each of your responses—to parts 1, 2, and 3 of Serpell’s text—I want you to include one quotation to serve as evidence of who you think the narrator is (who the perspective of each part belongs to). This will be fun…and probably hard!

A1. Part I

A2. Part II

A3. Part II

Optional/Extra-credit: How does Serpell’s telling this story through these three different “lenses” lead us to think differently about the main conflicts—racism, police brutality, etc.—that are at stake in this text? What, moreover, do you think of Serpell’s work?

B. I want you to write two versions of a scene for your Essay 1 (a scene, remember, is a description of action that allows your reader to form a “movie in the mind”). In the first version, I want this scene to be written from your perspective (using “I”). In the second version, I want you to experiment (like Serpell) with writing the same scene from another perspective. You can write from the perspective of another person present in the scene, from the perspective of an animal present in the scene, an object present in the scene (a desk, a phone, a car), and so on…

B1. Scene for Essay 1 from your perspective (“I”)

B2. Same scene, told from the perspective of another person, animal, or object

Work Due Tue 9/8

  1. Respond creatively to someone else’s Media Share (1 or 2).
  2. Read & post a Media Share (#3) related to Dayna Tortorici’s “My Instagram” (in readings).
  3. Read & comment on 2 classmates’ Essay 1s. Guidelines for commenting:

In your feedback, please comment on at least 1 specific passage in the essay you’ve learned something from (and explain what you’ve learned) and make 1 specific suggestion about one passage in the essay that you think could be improved (and explain how to improve it).  Please quote from the essay at least once in your post.

NOTE: Please scroll to the bottom until you find someone who has yet to receive a comment from someone else—or someone who has only received 1-2 comments.  We have to make sure everyone gets feedback!

2. For Friday 9/4

Unit 1 | Appearances that Deceive…
Scene and Conflict

Although by now we’re acquainted with Essay 1, I’ve yet to comment on the theme of our readings so far in the first unit of the course—the idea that appearances can be deceiving—which is something you might (still) consider writing about for your first essay.  In Naylor and Coates’ texts, they allude to the ways in which race—or, in the case of Naylor, racialized language—can be deceiving: the “n-word” doesn’t always mean something bad (even if at first glance or hearing it seems to); meanwhile, for Coates, the very notion of race—or looking at a body in terms of its “race”—is a fiction, the product of racism rather than its cause.  On the other hand, Chu’s text confronts the deceptive appearance of a person’s gender: while a body may appear to be that of a man, a transgender person like Chu may nonetheless feel more like a woman at times (even if obtaining a vagina via surgery doesn’t quite clinch this feeling).  In the next reading, Mirene Arsanios tells a twisted “love story” of sorts that highlights the deception involved in contemporary romance, rooted as it is in text-based (mis-)communication.

Remember the readings for this course are there to inspire you to take chances—as all of these writers have—with becoming vulnerable and chancy in your essays-in-progress.  Please take inspiration from both what these writers are writing about as will as the WAYS in which they are doing so.

OK, so for Friday (respond to 3A and 3B as a comment below; label each part A and B, please):

  1. Comment on another classmate’s “Media Share” (1 or 2, doesn’t matter). In your comment, include at least 1 thing you found interesting about their post and 1 question you have about it.
  2. Read Mirene Arsanios, “April-May-June.”
  3. A. Something I want you to notice about both Chu’s text and Arsanios’ essay is the way that both of them center around a CONFLICT—as do most good stories—and yet how neither of these texts ends in a way that really resolves this conflict.  These are both well-told stories (as your Essay 1 will be) but they aren’t stories that lead to a happy ending or an epiphany.  Each writer concludes their work in a way that is messy or unsatisfied or confused in some way.  For this part of the prompt, focus on either “The Pink” or “April-May-June” and explain what the main CONFLICT of the story is before moving on to analyze how the story ends.  What remains unresolved?  What questions are left unanswered?

B. Both of these writers create vivid scenes in which time slows down and we become able to imagine a kind of movie-like documentation of the writer’s mind perceiving the world around them as well as their own inner thoughts.  (I’ll be talking a bit about this on the Zoom call for this week, so please refer to the recording of that for more explication of some of the key scenes from these two texts and the elements that make up a “scene.”)  For this part of the prompt, please write a long (2+ paragraph) scene that you might want to add to your Essay 1.  When thinking about a scene to write, first think of a central CONFLICT related to what you’re writing your Essay 1 about and try to think of a SCENE that shows this CONFLICT building (or exploding!).