For Tuesday (11/1)


More syllabus adjustment.  For Tuesday, read Frost’s two poems: “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

Also, take a look at Hiram Powers’ 1844 statue, “The Greek Slave.”  For now, make a list of all of the descriptive details you notice when looking closely at the statue – – everything from color to hair style to feet to clothing etc.  Bring this list to class.

On the book clubbin’ front: you should all now have copies of your selected novel.  Go to our forums and create a reading schedule.   Remember, we want to be done actually reading the book by the end of Fall Recess (11/29).  (If your want to finish sooner, that’s great.)  Your reading schedule should include: page assignments per week, plus a weekly reading log.  The reading log will be the place where your group collects its impressions, notes, and insights into the novel.  Create a doc for your reading schedule by clicking on the “docs” button on your group page.

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For Thursday (10/27)

For Thursday, let’s discuss Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

I’ll also introduce our next out-of-class writing assignment on “American Selfies”

Don’t forget to join our Forums site, create your profile, and join your book club group.  You should have your book in hand by the end of this weekend.  Set up your first reading assignment via your group space on the Forums site.

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For Thursday (10/18)

For Thursday, blog about the meaning of this quote in the context of Douglass’s Narrative: “I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact.”  Based on our reading of Douglass’s work, what is significant about the distinction he makes here between “a slave in form” versus “a slave in fact”?

And, read the Emily Dickinson poems that I’ve collected here.  As you read them, think about connections you see between Dickinson’s poetry and Emerson, Whitman, and/or Douglass.

The book club groups will open for membership tomorrow morning.  Check back here for a link to the page where you can sign up for your group.  And, here’s the link to sign up for your club.



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For Thursday (10/13)

Remember: no class on Thursday.  I’ll be at a conference in San Diego.

For Tuesday, then: finish reading Frederick Douglass.  After you’ve finished Douglass’s autobiography, blog about connections you think you see between Douglass and Whitman or Emerson.

Also, we need to launch our book clubs.  On Tuesday, bring the title of at least one novel that you’ve read fairly recently or that you’d like to read.  The novel should be: contemporary (published within the last decade) and written by an American writer.

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For Thursday (10/6)

Don’t forget: no class on Thursday.  Instead, I’ll be holding office hours during class.  (If you had trouble finding a spot on the sign-up sheet, stop by my office at 12:30, and we’ll see what we can do.)  Before you visit, be sure to check out the BYON prompt and sample essay.

If you’re not revising your BYON essay, you can get started on the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  We’ll talk about the first five chapters on Tuesday, October 11.

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For Tuesday (10/4)


For Tuesday, we’ll discuss the closing section of Whitman’s 1855 version of “Song of Myself.”  You can find this section here.

To help you with the revision of your BYON essays, I’ve written up a pretty detailed prompt and posted a sample BYON essay (thanks to one of your gracious comrades).

In addition, I’ll hold office hours on Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to noon in my office (HUM 553).  You don’t have to sign up for an appointment.  On Thursday, October 6, we won’t meet in our classroom at the usual time.  Instead, I’ll hold office hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For these office hours, I’ll bring a sign-up sheet to class on Tuesday.

Before you come to the office hours, be sure to read the extended prompt and take a look at the sample essay.  Also, be sure to bring your earlier version of the essay.

My goal in all of this is simple: I want to evaluate your best possible work.

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For Thursday (9/29)

More Walt! We’ll read the 1855 Leaves of Grass up to the lines: “Failing to fetch me me at first keep encouraged,/Missing me one place search another,I stop some where waiting for you.”

Your other assignment for Thursday: go back to Emerson’s “The American Scholar.”  Find one or two sentences from Emerson’s essay that seem directly connected to Whitman’s poem.  On your blog, quote those two sentences and explain how and why they are connected to Leaves of Grass.  


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