Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In the article that was originally published in Salon.com, Mary Elizabeth Williams argues that expensive items have more value and they maintain more. She believes that some particular things should be valued more. I agree with her point of view, some specific expensive things worth their money. On the other hand there is a variety of stuff that cost less, in the same good quality and condition with those that cost more.

The author claims that it makes more sense to buy a pair of sunglasses that costs more but its going to last longer. She gives an example by saying that her family after four years had to buy new cabinets because the brand-new cabinets from IKEA broke. Furthermore in the very first paragraph the author emphasizes how shocked she was when she learned that camisoles from Old Navy cost only $2. She believes that its ridiculous for a company like Old Navy to sell camisoles for $2.

I am a student in New York City and from my experience I believe that in stores like IKEA, Target and Forever 21 you can find cheap suitable things. Williams mentions that food like sushi must cost more. But things are not that easy because there are a lot of families that don't have the comfort to have dinner every night at expensive restaurants. That is why in New York you can find every little thing you are looking for in different stores and prices.

On the contrary as the author asserts there are items like an iPhone or a $7000 Viking range that cost a lot more but you are 100% sure about the quality. The best thing a man can have is choice. You can either buy a cellphone that costs $250 or one that costs $600. Its your choice and your money. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In-Class Work: Thursday, November 21st

In your group, discuss each of these questions about the CAT-W and come to a group decision as to your answer. Try to get everyone on board, but vote if you need to.


1) You have to know a lot about the subject of the passage to do well on the CAT-W.

2) After summarizing the passage in your first paragraph, don't mention it again: stick to your own ideas.

3) Your examples should speak for themselves: don't spend too much time explaining how they relate to the idea.

4) Try to put as many different ideas in one paragraph as you can.


List the five categories you'll get a score in.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Work for Monday, November 11th

FOR EVERYONE: Buy a newspaper or look at one online. Pick and read an article that you think the CAT-W might use. (It might be longer than what would be on the CAT-W). Read it and take notes: what is the main argument? What do you think? Bring the article to class.

OPTIONAL: Do a practice test based on any of the prompts on the CAT-W LaGuardia wiki. (Here's the link.) You can email it, post it on the blog, or bring it to class.

Revise any of your practice tests or other responses/essays.

You can do these optional assignments anytime between now and your test date.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Resources for CAT-W

As we've discussed, the CAT-W test builds on the skills we've been working on all semester: summarizing what we read and responding, looking at the author's argument and his/her evidence, organizing your thoughts, and using clear writing that makes sense.

Remember that you can come see me before or after class or during my office hours, W 1-2, Th 12-1, or another time by appointment, to discuss our work.

You can also go to the Writing Center, E111. Tell them you want to work on CAT-W practice or a specific grammar issue and they will me more than willing to help you. Or, you can bring something you've written for our class.

Here are some on-line resources: John Jay college has a very good website to review the main things to remember on the test.

LaGuardia's CAT-W wiki has some sample passages ('prompts') and handouts and worksheets for grammar practice.

The general writing section of Purdue's OWL site is a good resource if you know what specific issues you want to work on. Keep in mind we aren't doing research on the CAT-W, so those materials won't be relevant.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

        In the essay, "Blue-Collar Brilliance" by Mike Rose, the writer informs the reader that jobs that do not require a school diploma, does not mean that the workers are not intelligent. In fact, the author states that these jobs require special skills in order to get the job done. For example, just like his mother, a waitress must be able to carry multiple objects in their hands, analyze the customers behavior as well as being able to satisfy their needs. Also, you must be able to solve problems so that you can continue to work efficiently and effectively. This requires a lot of mental and physical work.
       With regards to Mike Rose's argument, Mike Rose has a brother named Joe Meraglio who did not finish High School but yet he is intelligent and does his job very well. Joe Meraglio started off working at General Motors in the assembly line and gradually increased his position to supervising the paint and body department. When he was in the assembly line he had to learn how to learn "how to efficiently use his use body by acquiring a set of routines that were quick and as well as being able to  preserve energy". Joe needed to solve problems that prohibit him to complete a task as well as being able to learn the functions of the machines around him. He became very skilled and knowledgeable which caused his promotions. However, this would not been completed without physical and mental work.
          I agree with Mike Rose because based on my personal experiences, I had to complete difficult task that was taught to me in school. While in training to become an Auxiliary Police Officer I needed to become skilled in many things in order to pass. In school I was taught to memorize words and follow directions. This helped me a lot because I was able to memorize radio codes and be able to follow directions that were given to me. But in school I was not taught to read people's body language which is extremely important when your an Auxiliary Police Officer. At first in my training, I will confront innocent people because I was not able to read their body language very well. Many of these innocent people would get frustrated and shout that they did not do anything wrong which was true. Over time I had to learn by myself how to read body language very well. Through the process in training I've stopped potential crimes that would harm the community. Now I am skilled and able to read body language effectively and stop crimes in the real world without the help of school.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

In the article "You're 16, You're Beautiful, You're a Voter" by Anya Kamenetz, the author believes that teenagers at the age of sixteen should be able to have more "adult rights and responsibilities". Anya Kamenetz is convinced that if we give sixteen year olds more responsibilities, they will meet the standards that young adults should be in. The author gives examples such as driver's permits, drinking age, voting and financial responsibilities as steps that can be given to sixteen year olds in order to make them into a strong individual. 
One of the responsibilities that the author uses to support her claim is giving sixteen year olds driving permits. In order to receive a drivers permit, you need to take an exam to test your knowledge about the rules that must be followed in order to drive. Once you have taken this exam and passed the requirements then you are able to drive in the streets with an adult. To drive you must take responsibility in returning home before curfew and being able to follow the rules at all times. The author states that when teenagers are given a driver's permit there is a " 38 percent reduction in fatal crashes among the young drives" (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety). This proves that by granting a teenager the ability to drive they will proceed situations with caution and be aware of the responsibilities it takes to be safe. As a result, adults are able to view sixteens year olds as adults because of the duties they have to face and overcome.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Writing for Monday, October 21st

Choose ANY essay we've read together this semester. ("Coney Island,"  "Shooting an Elephant," "A Talk to Teachers," "Watching TV Makes You Smarter," "Thinking Outside the Idiot Box," "Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter," "Is Google Making Us Stupid," "Don't Blame the Eater," or "Blue Collar Brilliance.") Choose something you liked, or something you hated, or something that made you think, or made you angry, or created any other strong reaction.

Write a short essay of at least 300 words responding to the essay you've picked. Follow these guidelines.

1) In your first paragraph, introduce and SUMMARIZE the essay.  Use paraphrase, not direct quotation. Then write one sentence talking about your response: what you liked, hated, what made you think, etc.

2) In at least three body paragraphs, develop your reaction in more detail. Talk about why you liked/didn't like it, what you thought was interesting/important, etc. Use specific examples from the essay. Again, paraphrase, don't quote directly. The essay you're writing about should be in each paragraph.

3) In your last paragraph, talk about the "so what." Why does it matter if we believe the author's argument? What big moral, ethical, philosophical questions does the essay raise?

In many cases, you'll be able to use the shorter assignments/blog posts as a starting point. Look at my comments and make revisions as you expand your work.

You can post your essay on the blog, type it and print it out, or write it by hand. Take about ten minutes to read over your work. Try reading your sentences out loud and see if they make sense.