That’s a wrap!

I submitted final grades on Dec. 22, so they should be approved and posted by now. You can view your grade in PAWS. If you have a C or above, this means you passed portfolio review. Nice work and good luck in 102! If you have a C- or below, this means that you did not pass portfolio review and you need to re-take the class. In this case, you should have received letters explaining the details; I sent the letters Dec. 19 or 20. The letters also mention the student appeal process, which is detailed in the green Student Guide.

Best wishes to everyone in your future coursework. This site will remain active as long as my domain name is active (i.e. a long time), so you can always find my contact information if you lose the paper syllabus.


Writing Contest with Ca$h Prize

If you think one of your portfolio essays is prize-worthy, then please consider entering it in the Virginia Burke Writing Contest. The contest was created to recognize the outstanding work of UWM students enrolled in introductory writing classes. I don’t know what the prize is exactly, but the email says: “the winners receive both cash prizes and valuable gift certificates.” I am thinking… money to buy more textbooks! woo-hoo! Here is the entry form you can download as a PDF file. Good luck!


assignment 3.3

I believe that Laken’s purpose of the story separate kingdoms is to show her audience that if someone has a profession and that’s the only thing they can do, she wants us to know what the effect can be if someone such as colt has an accident that renders them incapable of doing their job. She chooses to write her story in two columns with colts “kingdom” on one side and Jack’s on the other column. I believe she is trying to show her readers the two different perspectives in the same time period. To show us how jack and colt deal with their current situation.

The audience that Laken seems to be appealing to is anyone who has struggles, which I guess is everyone, I don’t think she really has a specific audience, she definitely had the readers in mind when she decided to write the story in the two-column format. This format could be very attractive to an audience that likes unique ways of storytelling, people who look for a story that they can analyze, and read the way they seem fit.

I believe that Laken thinks that family struggles are tough to go through, but she sees that family is everything, and that families will stick together through the toughest of times but there will need to be sacrifices made. She is influenced by the fact that if someone has a profession that they have been in for the majority of their life and all of a sudden get in an accident that incapacitates them that they should try and see the good in things and not take anything for granted.


assignment 1

After reading through the syllabus and course description I had a pretty good understanding of what to expect and what was expected of me as a student.  Some initial questions that came to mind in regards to attendance was what if you have strep throat or a sickness that prevents you from attending class for several days? I was concerned about the participation part of the course because I do not contribute my thoughts on things in class that much, but I believe that the assignments and final portfolio will overcome my lack in participation.

I was excited to be able to learn more about critical thinking and reflecting on my own work because that is an area a struggle in. I am also excited to see that there are several scheduled conferences with you, the teacher, where we can talk and touch base on my status in the class and things that I can improve on. I am excited to be a part of this class and to start learning about new strategies and exercises that can help me build on my writing skills.


Assignment 4.5

The one thing about Wallace’s essay that I never really understood was why Wallace himself never states whether he thought about how lobster’s feel prior to going to the Maine Lobster Festival.  It is obvious that he thinks this way after seeing what takes place and how lobsters are “prepared”, however, Wallace never talks about what caused him to bring up the entire piece in the first place.  Wallace does let us know that he enjoys eating lobster and he will continue to do so.  While this may be a little hard to believe given the amount of time he took to research all the reasons why humans should hold back and think about the lobster, it still makes me wonder how long he has thought that way.

What remains stuck in my mind is how Wallace refuses to tell his readers how a lobster can be “prepared” and eaten without causing it pain and agony.  He goes through a bunch of different way’s how you can “prepare” a lobster, but none seem to give the lobster peace.  It makes me think that there is no possible way you can cook a lobster without giving the lobster some form of discomfort.


Instructions for Completing Late Work

If you have late assignments, you should type and print the assignments, label each assignment with your name and the assignment sequence number, and give a stapled packet to me during class. Do not post late blog assignments to the blog at this point. Remember that you can complete an extra credit assignment if you have a lot of late work. The assignment description is uploaded on the schedule for December 10.


Looking Towards the Final Portfolio

As you should know by now, your final portfolio is due at the start of class on Friday December 10. I will not stay the entire class period waiting for late portfolios, so make sure that you are on time that day. On portfolio collection day, you will submit a final portfolio that includes two revised interpretive essays of your choice and one reflective essay about the two interpretive essays. Below are important guidelines for the reflective essay and critical details about the presentation of your final portfolio and assignments required to pass the class:

Reflective Essay Guidelines
You have been asked to reflect on writing choices throughout the semester. You have reflected on at least two of your own interpretive essays (Baxter, Laken, and Wallace) and you have received feedback from me about those reflections. In the post-revision worksheets, you have reflected on the revision process and how class activities affected your writing. In responding to student samples, you have reflected on your classmates’ writing in relation to the course goals. The final reflective essay will pull these various reflections together into a clear and coherent overview of the two interpretive essays in your final portfolio. The reflective essay should help your portfolio readers understand your revisions, your writing process, your awareness of the course goals, and your progress as a writer during the semester.

Since we have already completed reflective activities during the semester, you should have some idea of how to meet the goals of the reflective essay, found on page 6 in the Student Guide. However, there are a few important things you should keep in mind when writing your reflective essay:
1. This essay should be every bit as rigorous as your interpretive essays. In fact, the language of the “Goals and Outcomes” stresses that this essay must meet the criteria for the reflective essay AND the interpretive essays.
2. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this essay is easier than the interpretive essays. You are still presenting a unified reading that relies on textual support (you have to use examples from your papers—quotations will be best—to support your controlling purpose).
3. This essay analyzes two different essays. There is no set organization for this essay, but you should start thinking about how you can best tie the two portfolio essays together in a coherent reflective essay. The student samples I posted on the Documents tab might give you ideas for organization.

The optional due date for a draft of the reflective essay is Dec. 3. You can submit a hard copy to me on this date, and I will give you revision guidance. Note that my feedback will be very broad – you are responsible for the editing and organization of your essay.



Portfolio Preparation
If you have completed all assignments in the English 101 sequence, you are eligible to submit a final portfolio. The final portfolio should contain one copy of each essay (two interpretive, one reflective). These should be clean copies, and each essay must be stapled individually. Your name should appear nowhere on these essays. Instead, where you would normally put your name, you should use the first nine digits of your UWM student ID number. So, when you cite yourself in the reflective essay, your MLA in-text citation might look like this: “Here you are quoting your controlling purpose in the Wallace essay” (998737921 2). These three essays should go into a manila file folder labeled with the first nine digits of your UWM student ID number, our course and section number (101.001 or 101.007) and the semester (Fall 2010). You should review the additional information about the portfolio review process on pages 15 – 17 in the green Student Guide. Note: the UWM bookstore will run out of manila folders during portfolio submission week. I recommend getting your folder soon.



List of Required Assignments
The following assignments must be completed before you are eligible to submit a final portfolio. You cannot pass the class unless you submit a final portfolio.
Assignment 1 (blog post)
Assignment 2.1 (blog post)
Assignment 2.2 (blog post)
Assignment 2.3 (blog post)
Assignment 2.4 (in-class activity)
Assignment 2.5 (blog post)
Assignment 2.6 (printed essay draft)
Assignment 2.7 (printed assignment)
Assignment 3.1 (printed essay revision)
Assignment 3.2 (blog post)
Assignment 3.3 (blog post)
Assignment 3.4 (in-class activity)
Assignment 3.5 (blog post)
Assignment 3.6 (printed essay draft)
Assignment 3.7 (printed assignment)
Assignment 3.8 (printed essay revision)
Assignment 4.1 (blog post)
Assignment 4.2 (blog post)
Assignment 4.3 (blog post)
Assignment 4.4 (in-class activity)
Assignment 4.5 (blog post)
Assignment 4.6 (printed essay draft)
Assignment 4.7 (printed assignment)
Assignment 4.8 (printed essay revision)


Revision of Your Wallace Essay

For Assignment 4 Part 8, use my comments (in addition to any peer feedback you received) to revise your Wallace essay. Be sure that your target page length is at least 3 pages – this is the minimal space you need to develop a convincing and well-supported interpretation of Wallace’s complex essay. Anything shorter than 3 pages will appear undeveloped, and I encourage you to strive for 4 pages of careful interpretation and summary. Also, many of you are neglecting your works cited page. This is absolutely a requirement and you will put your portfolio on the line if you do not have a correct works cited page for each interpretive essay in the portfolio. The DK Handbook that you purchased for the class is user-friendly; the MLA tab will tell you what you need to know, but I will also give frequent reminders about citation in class. The paper format (12 pt font, 1 inch margins, etc.) is also detailed in the MLA tab; many of you have been improvising paper format, but eventually you will need to follow MLA guidelines in your portfolio.

The Wallace revision assignment is due in class Monday November 15. Please print and staple your revision.


assignment 4 part 5

Wallace was able to make most of what he said very clear and concise, but there was one puzzling thing about his paper. He organizes everything so well, but then uses his footnotes to go off on tangents which, to some, could hurt his paper. Some off the footnotes provide deeper insight to terms and situation that Wallace does not want to have to explain at the risk of hurting his flow and making things jumbled. Other footnotes just seem to be random tangents where there is not much substance to what he is saying and has the feel of being things just popping into his head. “Consider the Lobster” is a very interesting, well argued essay, but the footnotes can cause confusion.


assignment 4 part 3

Wallace leads the reader through the motions that ultimately led him to the discovery that lobster should not be eaten. Wallace comes right out and says it too he is not afraid of what people might think or say because that is what he wants. Wallace wants his reader to ponder whether they are better off eating lobster as gourmet food or even at all. To make this all painfully clear he describes how the lobster will squirm and try to escape when put into boiling water and says that lobster act the same way a person would which is an alarming thought to think that you are eating/killing something that acts as you do.

“Consider the Lobster” was published and assigned by Gourmet magazine which the connotation of the name “Gourmet” would prompt for who the audience is going to be: Foodies, people who do not just enjoy eating, talking about, preparing, and learning how to make food, but savor and often times act with an air of arrogance and shit-doesn’t-stink attitude. Wallace wants to put forth so much evidence, in a way that speaks loudly, but is not in your face, in Gourmet magazine that the foodie readers will have no choice to at least consider the possibility that eating lobster is wrong.

Lobster dinners can go for outrageous amounts of money and lobster is considered such a delicacy today that when Wallace arrived at the MLF and saw this “High-class” delicacy being boiled and sold by the thousands he began to examine the lobster and form new opinions of the creatures existence. This gives the context for what “Consider the Lobster” deals with and allowed him and hopefully his foodie readers to see the eating of lobster in a new, not so taste-bud tantalizing light.