Journal 6: Eating Together

1. What is happening in this poem?             In this poem, two friends are sharing a meal together. From the distinct language the poet uses, we can deduce that the friend sitting across from her is dying from cancer since there are phrases like “what’s killing her eats, too” and how her face was puffy from medication, radiation I’m guessing since she used to have thick hair and now wears a man’s cap.   2. What images do you recall?             There are several distinct images described here, but there are three that stood out to me the most. The first was when the poet was describing her friend’s smile when the waiter asks them how they are liking their food. The second, when her friend leans over the table to dip her bread in the poet’s oil sitting on the plate. I can just imagine my sister doing that, taking or using the food on my plate for her. And the final, when the poet says “her face, puffy from medication.” I can just imagine two friends sitting with each [Read more...]

Journal 5 TS/IS Ch 2

I’ve never been overly excited to add quotes into any of my writing. If feel like simply paraphrasing, or even just completely rewriting ideas into my own words makes my entire piece seem to flow more smoothly, and become more understandable to both me and the reader. I realize that using quotes are an important aspect of writing, but I feel this chapter of They Say/I Say didn’t show or teach me anything new that I didn’t know to begin with. I feel that just because a writer doesn’t like to use quotes, doesn’t mean they’re lazy or think they can do it from their own memory, like this book claims. It simply means they feel their writing won’t benefit from a direct quotation. Which leads me to wonder if, in the future chapters, we will go over topics like paraphrasing or simply restating ideas without quoting an author. Chapter three was mainly about direct quotations. I wonder, are certain types of quotes more beneficial at different points in writing. This is the type of information [Read more...]

Journal 1: Consider the Lobster

1.  Imagine you could invite David Foster Wallace into the discussion in our classroom.  What questions would you ask him about this essay? I would ask Wallace if he believes that animals have emotions. He acknowledged that lobsters exhibit a preference for things, but never really confronted the idea that higher leveled animals with more evolved systems could potentially have emotions. Then I would ask him why he thinks that we believe some animals to be of more importance, and abhor the consumption of certain animals (like dogs or cats) when other animals are “ok” to eat, like cows and pigs. And if we discovered that animals do have emotions, does he think people would stop eating all animals, or if tradition would override emotion in this situation?   2.  Use that experience to think about larger issues, specifically, what are the limits of a written discussion?  How might you anticipate your audience’s questions when you write? There are many limits to written [Read more...]

Journal 4: They Say/I Say Response

The first several pages of They Say/I Say have already provided me with several strong ideas and formats to consider while writing. I like how the templates offer an efficient way to include all pieces of an argument. Yet, I don’t think that we should always rely on templates for our writing. I would like to learn how and why these templates provide a strong course of writing, and then develop an original template myself. I’ve never like just going by the books and mindlessly filling in blanks when and where I’m told. There were several pieces of this chapter that struck me as demeaning. Whenever a higher leveled English class brings up the five-paragraph essay, I have to cringe and feel defensive. Yes, it is considered to be an early stage writer’s support system, but to blame young writers for following this structure, which is all any publicly schooled student has been taught, is irrational. A student cannot be to blame for the type of public education they received. When we are [Read more...]

Journal 3: Imagery

The room didn’t smell. Or at least, it did when I had walked in. By now though, my nose had become accustomed to the pungent scent of wet dog along with the lingering antiseptic. After a few extra moments, I noticed a hint of cat urine which only served to blanket my nose from the hue of dirty rodent cages. The scent was so pungent I could almost taste it. It had been overwhelming at first, but such a strong and abusive odor had numbed my nose over the short period of time that had passed since strolling in through the spotless double glass doors.             It was sound that abused my next sense. Deep barks that were almost silent save for the reverberations within my chest, harsh yelps that pierced the ears along with a dash of desolate howls; every chord was punctuated by such deep and unending sadness. It struck something deep within my, trying to tear my heart into tiny pieces to be handed out among the dozens of animals locked within fence cages which clanged like dozens of [Read more...]

Journal 2: How I Write

When I have a writing assignment due, I end up doing the worst thing possible: procrastinating. I wait until the day, maybe even the night before the assignment is supposed to be turned in until I decide to pull out the necessary materials and begin writing. But when I do finally set my mind to the assignment, I usually blast through it. I have to complete the entire paper in one sitting. I’ll read whatever passage I need to (annotating along the way) and connect it to the writing prompt or problem. Then, I’ll handwrite a rough skeleton of the main ideas I want to hit along with their supporting sub-points. I use this handwritten piece while I actually type up my paper. I’ll also usually revise as I go, changing ideas or topics so that they more easily flow together. When I’m completely finished my paper, I briefly skim over its entirety before turning it in the next day.

Journal 1: Consider the Lobster

1.  Imagine you could invite David Foster Wallace into the discussion in our classroom.  What questions would you ask him about this essay?  I would ask Wallace if he believes that animals have emotions. He acknowledged that lobsters exhibit a preference for things, but never really confronted the idea that higher leveled animals with more evolved systems could potentially have emotions. Then I would ask him why he thinks that we believe some animals to be of more importance, and abhor the consumption of certain animals (like dogs or cats) when other animals are “ok” to eat, like cows and pigs. And if we discovered that animals do have emotions, does he think people would stop eating all animals, or if tradition would override emotion in this situation?   2.  Use that experience to think about larger issues, specifically, what are the limits of a written discussion?  How might you anticipate your audience’s questions when you write?   There are many limits to written [Read more...]