Monday, September 23, 2013

They Say I Say Table of Contents

For Thursday, look at the table of contents to They Say I Say. If you haven't been able to buy the book yet, you can find the table of contents at this link. 

Based on our free writing, pick a section that relates to your interests and then pick two articles from that section you might like to read. You can browse or start reading but you can also just go by the titles.

If none of the sections relate to your interests, write a question that describes some of what you want to learn about. Try to make it a question that can't be answered by a simple google search. We'll try to find articles to relate to these questions.

In the comments, give the section and article titles and a sentence or two about why you picked them, or write the question we will look for articles to answer.

Assignment for Tuesday, September 24th

Read "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell (handout). No written assignment, but circle parts that strike you for whatever reason and any that confuse you, and be ready to discuss it in class.

If you haven't already, be sure to post your summary of the Coney Island description. Also cast your vote for the essay(s) that are of interest you from They Say in the post below.

Assignment for Tuesday, September 17th

Finish reading the Coney Island chapter of Colson Whitehead's "The Colossus of New York"
As you read, circle any unfamiliar vocabulary. Then look it up at least two of these terms in a paper dictionary or online, and/or figure out its meaning from the context.

In a short blogpost, identify two of the vocabulary words you looked up. Give the page number they came from, the definition, and what you think the sentence now means.

Then write a paragraph that summarizes this chapter. How would you describe Whitehead's view of Coney Island and what he wants us to understand about this place?

If you have trouble posting you can leave your post as a comment or print it out to turn in. By next week we'll make sure everyone is able to post on the course blog.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


i would like to vote for number 16.IS FAST FOOD THE NEW TOBACCO? and for number 4."YES / NO / OKAY, BUT": Three Ways to Respond as well. 

Hi professor just to remind you (MAJDALIN) Is Nour!!!
The author started by describing Coney Island as a place that people go to in order to escape from the extremely hot city and to spend a good time as well. Then he described the beach, how people act on it, and how easily people can lose their things in the sand. After that he explored the negative sides about Coney Island which were how dirty the beach was with the cigarettes butts, wood drifts, seaweed bums and other metal things everywhere in the sand; Moreover, the poor equipment in the rides was another negative side about it. He also imaged the happiness of the kids who were enjoying playing and drawing different shapes with the sand. At the end he described the island as a dead place in the winter because it’s like an off season for this island when no one goes there.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Coney Island

In the chapter, Coney Island by Colson Whitehead, there were two words that I did not know the meaning of. These words are "rickety" and "sinew". "Rickety", which is found in page 95, means weak; shacky. Knowing the definition of "Rickety", the  sentence "Seems so rickety" means that the structure of the roller coaster Cyclone is weak. "Sinew", which is also found in page 95, means strenght. The sentence, "This ride is them throwing punches and you ride on their arms, dip and rise and coast and roll on shiftting muscle and sinew", to me, means that the author is describing a fight in which included a strong punch.

           In this chapter the author describes the setting of Coney Island in his point of view. For example, he tells the reader about the well known roller coaster named Cyclone, kids constructing "cities" made of sand, the behaviour of the people that are in the location and comparing the difference between Coney Island in the winter and summer. Colson Whitehead gives the reader an image that Coney Island is an unenjoyable and unpleasurable place. He states that sand will get in your food and the temperatuer in the area is high. I believe the author is only describing Coney Island in a negative manner and not focusing in the positive things that Coney Island has to offer.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Coney Island homework


The two vocabularies are corrosive and rickety which I'm defining on page 95.The definition on corrosive which is: tending to cause corrosion which in other words in destroyed and damaged like in metal, stone and materials which slowly cause by aid rain and chemical exposure. The sentence in context that has this meaning; "withstand the corrosive agents in fear sweat." this sentence mean that the amusement isn't safe which brings a great amount of fear on the person point of view. The amusement was abandoned with rusting paint almost to believe is haunted. The second word is rickety which mean structure or piece of equipment that is poorly made and it’s likely to collapse. The sentence in context that states its meaning; "Seems so rickety." this sentence mean to me that place seems to be broken down and all the missing parts with damaged looking rides or something in the text that I have read. I truly believe that whitehead is showing the reader how to understand that Coney Island is a place for fun without being affected by the rusting molded rides and other parts as rusting metal bars from the rides. People came to learn the history and have a great time while they explored the place. He also give the reader the description of the place by weather, the decreased of poorly equipment in the rides. But give a good plot about Coney Island of how people enjoyed and have a good time.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The People Speak: Additions to Syllabus/Votes

Based on our discussion on Tuesday, please note the following additions to our class policy:

- The professor will provide weekly feedback to each student about his or her writing, as long as he/she completes the writing we're doing and comes to class to get the feedback. This may be in the form of comments on our course blog or written comments on work you hand in.

- Students will choose some of our course readings and writing topics. Starting week two, we'll brainstorm ideas and arrange to do this, so bring your ideas.

- Both the professor and student will make every effort to be in class on time; both will be flexible in the case of an emergency or unforeseen obstacles.

- The professor and the students will treat one another with respect in class and in all other communications. We will make an effort to listen to each other in class. We may strongly disagree about ideas, but we will be respectful in the ways we discuss them and avoid personal attacks. We will also be respectful of student/faculty difference, whether based on gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, or disability, in line with LaGuardia's policies on harassment and non-discrimination. When we critique pieces of writing, we will do so in the spirit of helping each other become stronger writers rather than tearing each other down.

- If either a student or the professor feels the other has broken these agreements (or others from the original syllabus), he or she will take the initiative to speak to the other person one on one, and try to resolve the problem. If a student feels another student has done so, they can speak to that student individually or ask the professor for guidance.

- We will be considerate in how we use our cell phones in class. We'll make sure they are on mute or vibrate and don't interfere with what we're doing and our ability to listen to each other. We may use them to answer questions that come up in class. (You'll still want to excuse yourself if you have to talk on the phone, of course.)

- Students will decide the degree to which they feel comfortable speaking out loud in class. The professor won't call on someone unless they volunteer. We will help those who don't speak as much feel like a part of the group by working in small groups and responding to each other's work in writing or communicating outside of the class and one-on-one. When considering the students' grade, the professor will look at the completion of written assignments both in and outside of class, group work, absences, and lateness, but not how often the student speaks in class. Regardless of how often a student speaks, he/she will make an effort to be alert and attentive and will not sleep in class.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Monday, September 9th, 2013: Working with Images

- Select a card from the box. Don't think too much: take one that grabs you.

- With a partner, choose one of your images. Working together, write one paragraph that describes what you see in as much detail as possible. Don't (yet) speculate about what it means, how it makes you feel, or what you think the artist was up to. Be "objective": just describe what you see. (Not as easy as it sounds!)

- Then, working by yourself this time, go the opposite way. Be "subjective": talk about why you picked it, or why you think your partner did, what it reminds you of, whether you like it, or anywhere else the image takes you.

- Exchange your "subjective" paragraphs with your partner. What connections and differences do you notice?

We'll continue with this work tomorrow.