Hello, English 101 and English 102 students.
I write this from a dorm room at the very beautiful Evergreen State College. I had no idea how expansive and extensive and tree-filled this gorgeous campus is! Deer literally frolic (with their fawns! I saw Bambi!) as we walk from our lodging to the buildings where we are attending seminars, working on our action plan, and receiving a LOT of homework. Yes, teachers give each other homework at these things.
As I think about what you might write Blog #2 about this week, I find that I am hungry to read and understand your individual and group experiences in class this week.
For example, in English 101, you learned about the moves of the academic essay (like the title as a mirror, and what purpose an introduction serves, and what exactly is a topic sentence) as you read Paul Tough’s essay in more detail. Just describing what happened as you did this (telling the narrative) and talking about what you learned (or struggled with) is valuable, because while you think you will remember . . . trust me– by Week Eight– you will NOT. Think about it for a moment– how much, specifically, can you remember about a random day from Week Two spring quarter? I know for me, it’s a total blur.
In English 102, Lindsey did a number of activities to help you INVENT for your research paper. Remember that the theme for this week is The Importance of Being Curious. How many of you have never taken this step before writing a paper? Please also realize/keep in mind that what the T/TH class did was different than what the MW class did . . . so as you write about that chocolate bar, T/TH class, the MW class will learn from reading what you wrote.
Each class also has another assignment this week– the 102 is writing their research proposals, and the 101 is practicing a specific form of note-taking. Both of these assignments are to be posted as Blogs, but their are NOT Blog #2.
Therefore, you could also write about the PROCESS of completing that assignment in your Blog #2. So for the English 101 students, you might write about how long it took to complete the notes . . . how HARD it is to paraphrase the topic sentence of EVERY paragraph. 🙂 The English 102 students might write about their research process so far– what databases you consulted, whether you went to the library or stayed at home, what you found that interested you . . . how your thinking about your topic is shifting based on what you writing.
I highly urge you not to put any of these assignments off. While they are informal, they are very important– the more mindfully you sit down and use them as exercises to “think on the page,” the better your larger, more formal projects will be. For the English 101 class, everything you are doing is working towards a better Essay #1. For the English 102 class, everything you are doing is getting you to a better research paper draft.
Remember that Blog #2 can cover multiple topics– you don’t have to stick to one idea and develop it for 800 words. It can be very helpful to treat it like a diary entry about class this week– what you did, what you learned (about grit (English 101), about curiosity (English 102)), what questions you have, what you are thinking about in regards to the ideas or assignments.
I have missed you all this week, and thought about your learning (as I learn about learning!) so much. Even if you just write 800 words about what you did in class this week, I will be fascinated. Remember, I never assign anything I am not genuinely interested in actually reading!