Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Agenda for week of 10.27.08

Julie, Mehretu, Retopistics: A Renegade Excavation (detail), ink and acrylic on canvas, 2001.
Can you believe the year is one-fourth over?
Due on Friday:
  • Your blog completely updated with everything you've done.
  • Sign-up sheet for AP day @ Northeaster on Sat., Nov 15th.
  • Latest draft (hopefully final draft) of College Essay...I will, of course, continue to work on this with you if you so choose.
  • In-class essay, (last of "bootcamp"). Your prompt will ask you to write about one of the following three stories (all in your anthology, which you will need in class to do the essay and can reference the anthology and post-it notes, but no notebook): Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" (419-421), Sandra Cisneros' "Barbie-Q"(422-423), and Virginia Woolf's "A Haunted House"(567-569).
  • Your Reader's Notebook.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some Model Metas

Here's some good model student work for some metas:

For example, look at Ashley's insight (with detailed specifics that refer to the book) for each song on her "soundtrack."

Jenny does the same thing; her meta is not by song, but is more of a personal-prose-reflection.
Both are well done. Pick a style that works for you--but please make sure the quality and depth remains.

Also, here are some nice covers with links to metas from

Friday, October 17, 2008

Agenda for Week of 10.20.08

Andy Warhol's "Ten Portraits of Jews of The Twentieth Century - Franz Kafka". Screenprint on Lenox Museum Box. 1980.

Focus: Irony, Theme, and Symbol

10.20.08: Late entry day and (due to the unfortunate nature of rotation) you will not meet with me this day.
10.21.08: 3rd draft of College Essay due. Two-sided notes on "Theme", pgs. 189-191, "Symbol", pgs. 236-238, & you may want to recheck your summer notes on "Irony." We will have a SLD on Jorge Luis Borges' "The Gospel According to Mark" (pgs. 183-187) & The King James version of "The Gospel of Mark".
10.22.08: AP TEST, SECTION 1, questions 1-24 due in my C House mailbox. I have a Professional Day: I'm actually teaching Thangka painting (traditional Tibetan Buddhist paintings) to Math teachers in the DYS system. Cool stuff. I'm sure you'll use the time off wisely. The Kafka story is rather long, but fantastic (in every sense of the word.)
10.23.08: SLD on Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis." We will focus on the first two sections.
10.24.08: SLD on Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis." We will focus on the second and third sections. After lunch, you will split into groups and retake the AP TEST.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What punctuation mark would you be?

and why?

See you all Tuesday (or at festival.) College Essay (first draft) and rest of Memoir projects due.

Gertrude Stein

photo: "Gertrude Stein & Picasso's Portrait" by Man Ray in 1922. Click here to learn more about the connection Stein to Picasso.

Here’s the link to her page for her audio archives at UPENN.

Here’s the text to “If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso”: Text

Here’s the audio to “If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso”: audio

Picasso's Potrait (1906)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

This weekend, in Lowell...


(I designed the booklet, by the way.)

Here is where I will be:


(curated by Ryan Gallagher and Derek Fenner of Bootstrap Productions)

10 − 5 PM

ALL Arts Gallery

246 Market Street

Meet the editors and publishers of 30 different presses and magazines, purchase their books and journals and “talk shop”. Many of the presses will be offering dis­counts and deals.

I NEED VOLUNTEERS! I can probably kick down 10 bucks (or free tickets--only a couple events are not free) to sit at a press table and give them a break.


(curated by Ryan Gallagher and Derek Fenner of Bootstrap Productions)

11 AM − 12 Noon

ALL Arts Gallery

246 Market Street

The Small Press panel will examine the following two areas:

1. Investigating histories and lineages in the small press world.

2. The future of Small Press Publishing in the 21st Century.

Panelists to include: Ed Sanders (Blake Route, and many other past ventures) Geoffrey Young (The Figures), Anna Moschovakis (Ugly Duckling Presse), Re­becca Wolff (Fence Books), Kyle Schlesinger (Cuneiform Press). Moderated by Joseph Torra (Pressed Wafer).

Marjorie Agosín & Ed Sanders

Emceed by Ryan Gallagher

Saturday, October 11

1:30 – 2:30 PM

Lowell High School Freshman Academy

43 French Street (please use John Street side entrance)

Urban Village Arts Series (UVAS): MUSIC & POETRY

featuring Joe Torra, Eileen Myles & music by Frank Morey

Emceed by Derek Fenner and David Robinson

Saturday, October 11

4 − 5:30 PM

Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center Theater

246 Market Street

There are some other gems, details of schedule below:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Independent Reading Assignments (Memoir)

Image: Painting Title: Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh V 1957
Francis Bacon (Even great artists imitate other great artists.)

You must complete three out of five assignments. They are worth 20 points a piece. The meta-cognition will be worth 40 points—this is where you will be able to “explain a lot of your choices”, so develop all of your ideas completely.

1. Design a cover. You will be graded on the following items:

  • 10 points: Your cover should show creativity, depth in thought, and visually represent important events, themes, or symbols throughout the book. The cover should look professionally and carefully constructed. You may draw or use the computer, but be careful not to commit the visual equivalence of plagiarism.
    If you use someone else’s images, change or collage them until they are your own.
    Make sure you have a front and back cover as well as a spine.
    Spelling the author’s name wrong would be about the worst thing you could do!
  • 10 points: You should provide a 100 word description of the book on the back cover. WARNING: DO NOT PLAGIARIZE THIS!—you will risk a zero for an easy part of the requirements. Remember: the point of a 100 word description on the back of a book is to convince someone in a store to buy the book. Remember this when you write the blurb. Why should someone buy this?

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2. Write a “filler page”. In other words, write what happens in between two chapters or pages or rewrite a page.

  • 10 points: The details and facts in your story are factually and contextually accurate in relation to the existing story. This includes the setting and historical time frame!
  • 10 points: You successfully capture the tone and style of your author.[1]

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3. Rewrite a page, but include yourself. In other words, use the author’s style to write your own memoir.

  • 20 points: You successfully capture the tone and style of your author.[2]

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4. Passage Explication Assignment

  • 20 Points. Please refer to Passage Explication handout.

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5. Mix CD: The Memoir’s Soundtrack

  • 20 Points . Choose 10 songs that you think best fit the memoir (explained in “meta”), whether a connection to lyrics, the tone of mood of the song, etc. Make sure you provide me with a CD.

If you have another creative idea, propose it to me with criteria on which you would like to be graded. I must approve this first.

[1] (which includes, but is not limited to: how author presents dialogue, appropriate word choice, symbols, etc.)

[2] (which includes, but is not limited to: how author presents dialogue, appropriate word choice, symbols, etc.)

Agenda for Week of 10.6.08

Michael Stravato's photo for the New York Times: Cy Twombly at Cy Twombly Gallery in Houston in front of the gallery's largest painting, "Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor." June 3, 2005 (one of my favorite all-time paintings.)
Sorry for the delay in posting.

Focus: Tone, Style, and Diction (continued) & Memoir

10.6.08: Two copies of your first draft of your Creative Style Paper due in class. Begin workshop.
10.7.08: Have comments ready for the two papers you read for workshop. Memoirs should be completely read by now.
10.8.08: Due to the unfortunate nature of rotation, our class will not meet.
10.9.08: Final Draft of Style paper due, with attached Rubric and meta-cognition.
10.3.08: Independent reading project due. 3 of 5 options. You only have to do one of the options if you decide to go to the Mass Poetry Festival and write a short "review" of it on Saturday. Details to follow.

Friday, October 3, 2008


All assignments should be two pages typed, 1.5 spaced. You can go longer if you need, but I’m more concerned about style than you “finishing” some sort of plot—though feel free to.

Make sure you have a title.

100 points total.

• Choose a short story and “rewrite” it in the style of either Faulkner or Hemingway—if the story is “too long”, you can even just rewrite a part of it.
• Write a story in the style of either Faulkner or Hemingway based on a myth.
• Write a dialogue / or even a short story using only lines from both Faulkner and Hemingway. (Each line will need to be cited.) You will obviously be able to capture the “writing style” with this one, so you will be mostly graded on your ability to present a coherent conversation.

50 points:
• Completely matches the style of either Hemingway or Faulkner: syntax of sentences, diction, pacing, and conventions.
• Is free of unintentional spelling, typographical, and grammatical errors—this should be “publishable.”
• Completely achieves objective of prompt.
45 points:
• Matches the style of either Hemingway or Faulkner: syntax of sentences, diction, pacing, and conventions.
• Is free of unintentional spelling, typographical, and grammatical errors—this should be “publishable.
• Achieves objective of prompt.
40 points:
• Completely achieves 2 of the 3 items above.
35 points
• Mostly achieves 2 of the 3 items above.
30 points
• Is successful with one of the items above.

All papers are to be accompanied by a meta-cognitive piece (see handout), stapled to the back. This is also worth 50 points and should provide enough depth for me to see your understanding (again, refer to questions on handout.)

I will read this only after I grade the first part.

Print this rubric and place between your paper and meta-cognitive.