Calendar – Section 1

A Flexible Calendar

This calendar takes us through to Paper 1. If you missed a class or forgot to write down the homework assignment, check here. I will do my absolute best to keep it up to date.

Week 1—Introductions and Self-Assessment

August 30 (Thursday)

  • Introductions, Welcome to class
  • Syllabus
  • Best class and worst class
    • Expectations
    • Strategies
  • For next class:
    • Entry Prompt (Please bring 4-5 Copies to Class) (est. time: 90 minutes)
    • Practice sharing Entry Prompt as a Google Document (est. time: 10 minutes)
    • Please bring laptop to class Tuesday

Week 2—Settling in and Engaging Text

September 4 (Tuesday)

  • First “First Five Minutes”
  • Peer Review Entry Prompt
  • Active Reading Exercise (From Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards)
    • For further distraction, click here.
  • Start of Term Self-Assessment –If time?
  • What Makes Good Writing Good?”
  • For next class:
    • Start of Term Self-Assessment (est. time: 10 minutes)
    • Read and practice annotating “Some Thoughts on Active Reading. Please leave a comment on the class blog briefly describing your current reading habits and identify at least one new active reading strategy you plan to put to use immediately. (est. time: 20 minutes)
    • Formal Draft Entry Prompt (est. time: 90 minutes) I would like a digital and physical copy. (Please save drafts  separately.)
    • Please bring laptop and “Some Thoughts on Active Reading” to class Thursday. Setting up blog in-class tutorial.

September 6 (Thursday)

  • Formal Draft Entry Prompt Due! (Please make sure that I have both a physical and digital copy of both your free draft and your final draft)
  • Art of Rube Goldberg and Susie Konkel Pass
  • “First Five Minutes”
  • Setting up blog in-class tutorial
  • Active Reading Handout and In-Class Exercise (From Klinkinborg’s Several Short Sentences about Writing)—Follow the thread exercise
  • For HYBRID CLASS HOUR: (Due Saturday midnight):
    • Finish moving into your ePortfolio.
    • 1) Use these links (H1) (H3)  to check out your peer’s ePortfolios (You need not visit every single site. Feel free to select a random sample of ten or so).
    • 2) Return to the CLASS BLOG: Establish your Blog Assignment and leave a significant comment (200-400 words) describing your first impressions of the ePortfolio initiative.Does the project excite you? Do you foresee any potential challenges or problems?
    • 3) Practice linking by incorporating at least one of your peer’s sites as an example in your discussion. For example, if you appreciate the ePortfolio’s visual mode of communication, you may link to a peer’s site that makes the most out of a blog’s visual potential. (est. time 60 minutes)
  • For next class
    • PRINT, read, and annotate Rhys Southan’s “Is it OK to make art??” (Please refer to “Some Thoughts on Active Reading”) (est. time: 45 minutes)
    • First Blog Post:
      • First of all, please post an image of your annotated text into your blog. You need only POST 2-3 pages, but please make sure that you photograph every page, if you think you may want to showcase your annotations in your final Portfolio. Make sure that you save these images, as you may choose to showcase your annotations in your final Portfolio.
      • Next, after you have read and marked Southan’s text, please choose two places that you noticed (found interesting/connected with/remarked on) and expand your thoughts using the exploratory writing methods we discussed in class. In other words: choose at least two marginal comments that you make and “Follow The Thread.” You may choose to handwrite or type your exploratory writing. The important thing is that your brainstorming session is legible as it appears on your blog. Remember to post your finished blog’s link as a comment on the class site (formatted BLOG 1: YOUR LINK) or you will not get credit for you work! Your class blogs should run around 200-300 words. (est. time: 45 minutes)  FOR HELP WITH INSERTING IMAGES, PLEASE VISIT: Help with Inserting Images into Posts and Pages 
    • Please bring laptop and an ANNOTATED COPY OF Southan to class. Your marked text will be worth 3 separate homework points.

Week 3—The Changing Reality of the Text

September 11 (Tuesday)

  • Discuss Active Reading Strategies in light of Southan’s essay
  • Individual-to-Small Group discussion about Southan
  • “Decoding” the essay exercise
  • For Next Class
    • Before rereading Southan’s essay, visit the Effective Altruism website: and spend some time looking around. Notice how you react to the website. Think: does this visit influence how you think about Southan’s essay? How?
    • Now, reread Southan’s essay. Use a different color pen or pencil to layer your active reading notes, one on the other.
    • For Blog #2, compare your second reading experience with your first. Did you notice something new? Did you react differently to one of the author’s claims? Did you read something critically when, at first, you read it as a believer or vice versa? Finally, and most importantly, did “decoding the text” help you better understand a passage? If so, which, and to what extent? In your explanation, please include a hyperlink to at least one resource you used to “decode the text.” Remember, you don’t need to be too particular about your source. Feel free to use Wikipedia or the You aren’t conducting research, just trying to clarify a reference or term that you can’t initially place.  Don’t forget to copy your link as comment onto class blog. (est. time: 60-90 minutes)

September 13 (Thursday)

  • First Five Minutes
  • Class Discussion: Rereading Southan. What’s the point? (20 minutes)
  • Hand out Prompt #1—Annotate (15 minutes)
  • Listen to TED Radio Hour, “How Art Changes Us” (40 minutes)

For Saturday (HYBRID HOUR)

PART 1: Choose a TED TALK discussed in the TED Radio Hour, “How Art Changes Us.”  For your convenience, I’ve posted the links below. As you watch your choice(s), make sure to take notes. Use closed captioning and the pause button. All transcripts are linked here: Titus KapharHaas&Hahn, and Benjamin Zander.

To be clear, Your choice will serve as a source for your first paper, so take care as you take notes. You will place this TED talk into a conversation with Rhys Southan’s “Is Art a Waste of Time?” (est. time: 30 minutes or less)

PART 2: Blog #3: Free write (30 minutes): What are the limits of the art discussed in your choice TED talk? What is the power of the art discussed in your TED talk?


  • PART 1: Visit your ePort Pod and comment on your peers’ free writes. Can you suggest any additional strengths or limits to the art discussed in your peers’ blogs? Can you provide a different perspective?  (150-300 words. est. time: 30 minutes)
  • Print, read and annotate: Barrios Connecting and Argument PDF on placing texts into conversation. (30 minutes)
  • Blog #4: Using one of the strategies discussed in your reading, begin to brainstorm the connections between your choice TED talk and Rhys Southan’s “Is Art a Waste of Time?” Remember, this can be messy. That’s okay! Feel free to doodle, scratch things out, write upside down. Post an image of your brainstorming session into your blog. Finally, below your brainstorming image, begin to articulate what YOU have to say about art. Is it a waste of time? Feel free to include any insight you gleaned from your brainstorming session. Did you settle on an opinion or a sentence that you plan to use in your paper? Did you find a connection between the two texts that you did not previously see? Don’t forget to paste a link to your blog as a comment on the class blog. (est. time: 60 minutes)


Week 4—Revision as Process

September 18 (Tuesday)

  • Free Write: Josef Albers
  • Check out: Open Dress Rehearsals with the PSO!
  • 3 week check-in
  • Discuss Connecting. Brainstorming strategies.
    • Break up into groups based on TED talk choice. Marker Board Activity.
  • Form and Content PowerPoint: TRIAC paragraph.
  • For next class:
    • Read W-2 (Academic Contexts) and W-3 (Writing Processes) (6-16) in Little Seagull. Please bring book to class. (30 minutes)
    • Read: Stakes and the Introductory Paragraph Post. Use the advice in your Little Seagull handbook combined with the Introductory Paragraph Post to draft a first paragraph. 1) Copy and paste your intro paragraph as a comment on the Introductory Paragraph Post. 2) In Addition please bring a paper copy (WITHOUT YOUR NAME ON IT) into class for an anonymous workshop. (60 minutes)
    • Continue to work on your free draft paper. (30 minutes)

September 20 (Thursday)

  • First Five Minutes: motive
  • Did you know: Kanopy?
  • Anonymous Intro Paragraph Workshop. Assign numbers.
    • Choose from the introductory paragraphs— Find one writer’s choice to compliment. Analyze why you think their choice worked.
    • Find one text you want to help make stronger. Please make your suggestion as specific as possible. For example, if the position statement lacks a so what, can you suggest a so what? If the introduction is too cluttered with detail, what could that paragraph stand to lose?
    • Class Discussion.
    • Anatomy of an essay: How to Outline
    • Little Seagull Discussion (pages 45-48) Outlines Pre and Post and Mid (pages 45-48)
    • Coming up with a Tentative Thesis
      • What’s in a thesis?
        • Plot, Coal, An argument has direction and speed
      • In-Class Thesis/outlining Exercise
      • Claims and Evidence—Revisiting Southan—Index Card exercise.
  • For Next Class:
    • Finish Free Draft with two questions and/or areas on which you would like your peers to focus. Due on Tuesday. Please bring 4 copies. *Take 2 volunteers for in class workshop.  Check out this link, if you need help formatting your paper.


Week 5—Peer Review 101


September 25 (Tuesday)

  • Free Draft Due! Exchange papers.
  • Peer Review StrategiesIn-Class Workshops
  • Final Portfolio. What you need to know now.
  • For next class:
    • Prepare Peer Review. Remember to bring in 2 copies of your 150-word comment.
    • Blog #5 (50 words): As counter-intuitive as it may seem, it’s possible to receive a large amount of insight into your own work as you read the work of others. Please write some sentences (around 50 words) about something you learned from this first very important stage of peer review.


September 27 (Thursday)

  • What do we mean by a “suffering world
  • Check out: Radiolab
  • Peer Review: Try to include the Grading Rubric in your conversation
  • Peer Review Discussion
  • How to Make a Revision Plan Strategy
    • Look at an example.
    • Read Peer Comments on your draft
    • Visit Paper Rubric begin to brainstorm your own “Revision Plan Strategy”

For Saturday (HYBRID HOUR) Due Saturday, midnight:

  • Read Anne Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts.” (est. time: 15 minutes)
  • Blog #6: Take a minute to compare and contrast your own first draft (and the experience of writing it) with Lamott’s descriptions. What did you notice? Did anything surprise you about this short essay? Did anything offend you? At the bottom of your post, please describe your “Revision Plan Strategy.” (est. time 30 minutes)

For Tuesday

  • Visit your ePort Pods and comment on each peer’s blog. Feel free to swap first draft disappointments or successes. Suggest strategies that your peers can use to achieve their goals.  (est. time 30 minutes)
  • Blog #7: Read W-4 (Developing Paragraphs) in Little Seagull pages 17-29. This section presents strategies for (a) tightening an unfocused paragraph, (b) developing a claim and overall argument, and (c) smoothing out choppy or incoherent sentences. Please revise (or completely rewrite) two paragraphs based on your reading. Please document and share these changes along with the sections in W-4 that inspired you to make them. (You can take a “before and after” screenshot or cut-and-paste into your blog.)
  • Briefly summarize the changes you made and discuss how you feel these changes have affected your composition overall. Bring Little Seagull and laptop to class (est. time 90 minutes)


Week 6—Writer as Driver

October 2 (Tuesday)

  • Free write: “If we are only interested in results, we defeat the purpose. The process is the purpose.” –Quote pulled from my Headspace App (Check it out!) (Check out the science, too!)
  • Guernica and the Recursive Process
  • Writing as Recursive Process
  • Small group work.
  • Hand back papers/ Class discussion
  • Another way to understand the Academic Essay’s outline
  • For next class:
    • Blog #8: Read They Say/I Say “The Art of Quoting” pages 42-50.
    • Return to your paper in progress and revise at least two quotes based on the advice in They Say/ I Say on how to frame every quotation. Add, swap, or alter your existing quotes so that your choice citation is more relevant and powerful in the context of your argument.
    • Please bring your laptop to class. We will revise papers in class.

October 4 (Thursday)

  • Revision Strategies
  • For next class:
    • Formal Paper 1 Due! (Use the Grading Rubric for Revision)
    • Please print out the lyrics to one of your favorite songs. (Please nothing overtly offensive.)
    • Please bring They Say/I Say to class. If you have a pair of headphones, feel free to bring these along, too.

Week 7—Driving Responsibly

October 9 (Tuesday)

  • Formal Draft Paper 1 Due
  • They Say/I Say “The Art of Quoting” Review
  • Review Active Reading Strategies
  • Assign: Beauty: An Encounter Podcast
  • For Next class:
    • Print, read, and annotate “Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education” By Yo Yo Ma (Please bring to class on Thursday)
      • Print, read, and annotate “Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education” By Yo Yo Ma (Please bring to class on Thursday)
      • Blog #9: Revisit your notes on active reading and understanding context and do your best to describe each of the three contexts we’ve discussed in class. 1) What is the surrounding context for this essay? Where and when was it first published? Who wrote the essay, and what do you notice about the author’s bio? 2) What is the imposed context? What circumstances surround your personal reading experience? What is your purpose for reading this text? 3) Describe the intentional context. What is the rhetorical situation? What is the scope? What is the “so what?” Finally, please choose three unfamiliar words or references to look up. Define or explain these terms in your blog and how Ma uses them in his argument.