(5-5:10pm:) How was your day? Anything in in the day itself that taught you something about you, how you see your life and day and what occurs in both?
(5:10-5:35pm:) What are some of your initial observations on David Sedaris? Feel free to expand from what you texted me, if you did. Is he happy, angry, funny, self-deprecating like Irby at times? Examples?
(5:35-5:55pm:) What essay in particular speaks to you, and why? And I know there’s going to be that one student that says “I don’t relate to him at all, in any essay…” Great. Well, then how could another reader relate to Sedaris, through what ideas? Where are the universal ideas and communication in his writing?
(5:55-6:10pm:) What story from your life would write about and why? Don’t get too into it, as you’ll have time to do that on the next longer essay… just give us the general idea and your intentions with wanting to tell this story. Is it one experience, or a few related ones?
(6:10-6:25pm:) What are you learning about telling a story from one’s own life, from Irby and Sedaris? Why would anyone want to write about themselves? Why not? Why could that be the most difficult form of writing?
(6:25-6:50:) Some thoughts from me, PLEASE READ.
Short reactions from you all have looked good for the most part. Some general comments: Always title your submission with a creative, unique, and relevant title. Give the reader a sense of what you’re going to address. Also, try to have each 2-page reaction 3-four paragraphs. It’s not an essay in the traditional sense, but a reaction. Don’t overthink it. Of course all standard expectations apply (MLA, paragraphing, indenting, punctuation, supporting your idea with examples and argumentation, etc.)
Longer essays: SUPPORT YOUR OPINION. Like with the shorter reactions, title it, and stick to one point. The singular idea and the aggressive and encompassing support of it is what separates the ‘A’ paper from other grades, honestly. As an English 1A student, I expect you to have some considerable handle on these principles. However, I am here to COLLABORATE, as I’ve said since Day 1. Of course this is not the same as being in class, but I am here and more accessible than most instructors.
Build all ideas with support and your conviction and authority, your unique familiarity with what you read. Whether you like it, relate to it, or would recommend it is utterly irrelevant. Your understanding and ability to speak from that understanding is what’s valuable.
Want an ‘A’ in this class? Do all the work, that simple. Collaborate with me. Stay in the chair and develop singular ideas. Don’t summarize, but show and share your understanding of what you read, and build opinions from there.
THE JOURNAL: Use it as you wish, it’s your journal. Feel free to email or text pictures, to show me your involvement with your pages. I regard this as collaboration, and you will receive credit for it.
ASSIGNMENT DUE BY NEXT THURSDAY: Read through (meaning ‘including’) “Big Boy” in Sedaris’ book. Take notes in your journal and be prepared to speak from those.
Also, start thinking about a story from your life that you want to write about, and submit for Essay #2. What will be your main idea, what do you want your reader to walk away with?