Directions: Students in Cherri's 300 and 102 classes should read the following post, and then, at the bottom, vote on which topic they'd prefer to focus for the last essay project of the semester. If you don’t read the post, don’t vote. If you’re not in the class, don’t vote. The poll won’t let you vote twice from the same computer. If you have trouble, sound your opinion in the comments and your vote will be counted.
Option Poetry: Don't think about the crap you read in high school or those hallmark card poems, we're talking the good stuff, the 90 proof, the kind of poetry that gets a 3-year-old excited to memorize and recite a poem called "Litany" and his mom to tape it and put it up on youtube.
We're talking about the kind of stuff where voices are raised in response to the unfair beauty standards for women and audiences hoot and clap!
We're talking about love poetry that shakes some of your notions of what love poetry is. Maybe you'll read it and be moved to memorize it and recite it to the class or someone you love. Maybe?
There are many ways to approach poetry analysis--by theme or style or whatever--but first we approach it aloud and first we enjoy it. This is a must. I'll pick a bunch of poems and some theory, but you're welcome to contribute some good poems too.
Option New Media and Blogging: Last summer my students wrote blogs and published the drafts and final versions of their essays online. Although it was fun, we didn't really utilize it to its fullest potential. There are some really cool blogs out there and so many cool things that can be done with technologies we have access to on this campus and sometimes from the comfort of our own computers that it seems like we can do more with the English 102/300 format, doesn't it?
What are some good blogs? Well, my blog interests are limited to sewing and home décor and random humor stuff, so you'll have to use your imaginations to expand this format to topics that interest you (starwars+lego+blog), but here are few I think are pretty swell. (Feel free to contribute your suggestions in the comments. I could list dozens, but we’ll do that if you pick this topic.)
A number of sites use a variety of authors to offer a wide range of subject matter to their readers. The blog Nerdist (masterminded by Chris Hardwick) recently ran a series of articles over-viewing all the seasons of the British TV series, Doctor Who, and also runs bits of randomness like this gem and this and reviews books and condoms. As you might have noticed if you clicked open those links, some were word-heavy posts and some were mostly visual. Many blogs skew one way or another, but some mix it up. I tend to like the ones that have words and pictures.
I love Peter's blog, Male Pattern Boldness. Read a couple of his sassy posts about his 'identical' cousin Cathy and take a look at one of his killer photo shoots and see why me and hundreds of other fans--including Casey's Elegant Musings to Cupcake Goddess to Gertie to Sal to his arch nemesis Elaine--tune in every day. He's great at picking out the latest street trends and starting fantastic conversations from the provocative nature of his posts.
Did you notice that long list of people who tune into Peter's blog every day? Well, in the blog-o-sphere, that's how people network. They all read and comment on each other's blogs. They know each other even if they've never met. It's a small world. I know Casey's comments are going to be super positive and that Gertie might have some practical advice or useful technique to pass on—these are their online personas.
I also love the ones on the sidebar to the right. If you want to check out a few, look at Brazen Careerist, Yum & Yuk and Young House Love for a bit of variety.
Okay, I could go on and on, but I'll save it. On to new media, briefly. Have you see all the cool stuff you can do with a white board? Don't believe me, check out this blog post I wrote two weeks ago about bringing more media into the classroom.
Okay, now vote: Whatever content area we choose, we'll be reading, analyzing and synthesizing, too. Oh, and writing. Don't for get the writing. Please post comments if you want. I've allowed for anonymous comments for this one post only, so students who have no idea how to post a comment on a blog can do it anyway.