Essay #1

IS-E 100

We’re going to begin with the premise that this research is correct.

Watch RSA Animations’ Video of a Daniel Pink lecture:  Drive

Thus, our class operates on 3 principles:

Autonomy-As much as possible, topics are chosen by you, genre is chosen by me.   As much as possible, due dates for first drafts and revisions are up for negotiation.  As much as possible, what topics we cover in terms of grammar and writing process is up for negotiation.

Mastery-I operate on the basic premise that writing is like basketball.   You may not play a game every day, but if you want to get better you handle the basket ball, practice dribbling, shoot free throws, just get on the court and try different things..  Thus, if you want to get better at writing, you write…a lot.

In addition, I will actively ask you participate in discussions, getting to know your classmates, feeling comfortable with speaking up.

Purpose-To that end,

Blog Post #1:  “Why do we write?”

Write 250 words on the above topic.

Lab Work:  

1) Type your first Blog Post into MS Word.   In the interest of making it easy to find, save it with a simple title of “Lab Assignment-1” on your flashdrive or on the desktop.

Then open up your e-mail, put my e-mail address ( in the “To:” slot, and “Lab Assignment/Blog Address” in the “Subject” slot.

Attach “Lab Assignment-1” to this e-mail.

2)  Before you press send, open up

Sign-up to create a blog (give it a name you’ll remember).   Copy the text from your word file and post it in your blog as your first post.

In the body of the e-mail, write the name of your blog (it should look something like: )

Then send.


Guiding Question.   Why do we write and when was the last time we wrote?

List student responses on the board.

Listen to J. Ivy’s “I Need to Write.

Here’s the text:

I Need to Write
By J. Ivy

I need to write
I need to sit my black, narrow ass down and write
Yeah, the hustle got me hustlin’ but
I must live myself out a time for me well
“What about me?” I ask
“What about the stories that I need to tell?”
I need to write

Cause can’t nobody do it for me
Can’t nobody document my inspirations the way I can
Can’t nobody compliment my aspirations the way I can
Only I can, Only I can, Only I can
So, I need to write

I need to gather up some words and write
I need to gather up some thoughts and write
I need to write
Cause I’m tired of the same old pieces
I know yall tired of hearing the same old pieces
Cause the same old pieces got the same old problems

But I got new problems, more problems,
Problems that change, problems that rearrange
This homeless cat asked me for some money
But got mad when at me cause I aint got no spare change
I need to write

Me & my girl been arguing
I need to write
My boy told me that we need to take it to the next level
So I need to write

My pops died and it’s hard dealin with it
I need to write
I know yall can’t wait for the book
I need to write

I need to write
I need to write

They done stole my hooptie?
I need to write
The cops said I fit the description
I need to write

Wait, wait, hold on, hold on
You mean to tell me my wallet look like a gun?
I need to write
My lil brother got mugged by some grown thug
I need to write

You talkin bout me behind my back?
I need to write
I aint got it no more
I need to write

My ex tried to fuck my boy
I need to write
The weather been actin awfully funny
I need to write

It’s time to take Jesus off that cross
I need to write
Cops killin brothers
Cops killin sisters
Free Mama Mia
I need to write

Wait, wait, wait
You gone kick off WWIII
And possibly drive me?
I need to write
Oh so I’m gay cause I don’t wanna fuck you?

I need to write
They was takin good care of little Freeman boy
But what about the shorties in the projects?
I need to write

You sayin I’m bogus cause I didn’t come to your event cause I was tired?
I need to write
I distinctly remembered askin for 6 wings with mild sauce
Why does this shit only have 4?

I need to write
I think about writin third person cause the first is hurt
Life is a job and the birds is workin
My soul is rehearsin for when the lord pulls the curtain
Words are words but maybe it’s your actions that’s doin the cursin
I need to write

Just yesterday, it was illegal for me to write
Where my pen at?
I need to write

Homework:  Read Kurt Vonnegut’s How to Write with Style on page 39 in the 80 Readings for Composition textbook.

Vonnegut Powerpoint

Pair students and have them generate a list of how college is different than high school.

Collectively write the differences on the board.

Audience:  How would the list be different if you were explaining it to someone who doesn’t understand high school or American high school?

Blog #2 What did you wish you knew before your first week?

Read Annie Dillardfrom An American Childhood on page 312 in the Readings for Composition textbook.

Homework for Thursday.

We’re going to be writing about College.

  1. What is college?
  2. How is it different than high school?

Blog #3  

In what ways is Annie Dillard’s childhood experience “American?”


What would be an idyllic college experience?

Had students list…The American Dream and their American Dream, then put them on the board and discuss.

Lecture:   4 Types of Sentences.

Important Terms to understand.

1.  Dependent Clause-a clause that has a subject and a verb but CANNOT stand alone as a sentence.

2.  Independent Clause-a clause that has a subject and a verb and CAN stand alone as a sentence.

1.  Simple Sentence-Has a subject and a verb or a subject and two or more verbs (compound predicate) or two or more subjects and a verb (compound subject).  By definition,  a simple sentence is an independent clause.

2.  Compound Sentence-Has two or more independent clauses joined with coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).

3.  Complex Sentence-Has at least a dependent clause and a independent clause.

4.  Compound/Complex Sentence-Has at least a dependent clause and two independent clauses.

And for bragging rights…what type of sentence is the 2nd sentence (at 4 pages long) of Rick Moody’s Purple America ?  You have a 25% chance of guessing right, but I want to know why you picked what you did.

Background for Essay #1

Homework:   Read 107-114 in R.I.P. in preparation for Essay #1

Trailer for The Walking Dead.

And for background, the wikipedia link to Max Brooks’ World War Z

How to begin?   List what you think are major points about college.

Audience:   the point of phrasing the question the way I did is to get you to think about who your audience is and what do they know.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s