Friday, August 14, 2009

"A Rose for Emily" thesis

Write a single thesis for this story that focuses on a single paragraph, and its relationship to the meaning of the story as a whole.

Post, and comment on whose thesis you think works best, and why, based the following rubric.


4. Complete Understanding, 3. Developing understanding, 2. Some understanding, 1. No understanding

Thesis statement contains the following components: 1) title and author, 2)identification of paragraph utilized, 3)major theme of story.
Thesis statement illustrates a grasp of relationship to paragraph to the story as a whole.

"Indian Camp" Thesis

For this assignment, I want you to write a thesis for Hemingway's "Indian Camp". Remember the key elements of a thesis: 1) names the title and author, 2)identifies structural, i.e., language-based, characteristics, and 3)connects them to a major concept, i.e., theme, of the story.

In other words, the thesis connects structure--of plot, characters, imagery, tone, etc.--to what it all means for the reader.

Post, and comment on whose thesis you think works best, and why, based on the following rubric.


4: Complete understanding, 3: Developing understanding, 2: Some understanding, 1: No

Thesis statement contains the following components: 1) title and author, 2)identification of structural characteristics, 3)major theme of story

Thesis statement illustrates a grasp of story and author’s technique.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Prose Analysis Assignment

Part of what we do in this class is look closely at prose style in order to see how language, narrative voice, imagery, diction, and tone shape the meanings of a story. In OLD SCHOOL, Wolff practically makes "style" a character in the novel. There are, of course, two major camps: Hemingway and Faulkner. Both were giants of their age, in different ways, and with very contrasting works of literature. In a two page paper, I want you to compare the prose style of Hemingway and Faulkner in two short stories we have read in class, or two you have read on your own. You must have a CENTRAL point, a thesis, that compares the two writers in regard to their writing style, and how that style shapes their works in distinctive ways.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Click Here for William Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily"

Hemingway's Six Word Story Assignment

You will create a visual story as a group project based on the following challenge from You will be divided into groups of three and create a six world story like that of Ernest Hemingway: "For sale: baby shoes, never used." Remember the guidelines of our blog. Do not post a recognizable picture of yourself or another student or reveal personal information in any way. Use appropriate language. You may use your own photo or a photo from Flickr. We will post the assignment on our blog not on Flickr.

About Six Word Story

Ernest Hemingway was once prodded to compose a complete story in six words. His answer, personally felt to be his best prose ever, was "For sale: baby shoes, never used." Some people say it was to settle a bar bet. Others say it was a personal challenge directed at other famous authors.

I'd like you to post a photo with a Six Word Story in the title section of a Flickr photo. Be as inventive as possible. Have those few words tell the whole tale, and let the picture be its visual interpretation. Just make sure the title of your pic does indeed contain SIX WORDS in English. If it does not, it will be deleted. Also, if it's not a story, but only a headline or description, it may also dissapear.

And even if you don't have a photo, share the best Six Word Story you can think of. Or, add your Six Word Story to another's picture in the group. If you have a 6worder that just can't wait, the thread Six words in search of a photograph is a good place to post it and someone might have the perfect photo for you.

Be sure to tag your photos with "sixwordstory" or "6WS". It would be nice also, if you would add "For six word story" in the text portion under the photo. It's a link back to the group, and helps people find other Six Word Stories to enjoy. To make it easy, just copy the italicized line below and paste it in below your photo!

For six word story.

And most importantly, have fun!

assignment found in

Melhuish, K. (2008, April). 2.0 be or not 2.0 be: How english teachers are embracing the world wide web. English in AOTEARDOA, 23-30. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from ERIC database:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

from The New Yorker...

Dept. of Inspiration
Writers at Work
by Ben McGrath May 23, 2005

A room of one’s own, in which to write: it’s an old and chronically romanticized idea—the solitary space, with an ashtray, an Olivetti, the morning light just so. Each writer has his own preferences and fetishes, of course. For Proust, it was walls insulated with cork, to keep sound out. For Bellow, a tilted drafting table, so that he could write standing up. Cheever looked out a window facing the woods; Hawthorne turned his back on one. Joseph Heller worked atop a shag carpet. The ideal persists, in a wireless age. Amy Tan surrounds herself with furniture from Imperial China.
In Queens, recently, an artists’ collective called Flux Factory commissioned architects to design three writers’ “habitats”—human terrariums, essentially, into which writers would move for a month’s time, as part of a “living installation” called “novel.” Three subjects relocated to the boxlike spaces about a week ago, and on June 4th they are expected to emerge with finished books. The Flux designers did not seek advice from other working writers about what makes a productive or inspirational space. Their guiding principle seems to have been: Just think what Solzhenitsyn could have written had his prison cell been properly feng-shui’d.
The week before the writers moved in, Flux’s president, Morgan Meis, gave a tour of the unfinished boxes. “This one is pretty much a hobbit hole,” he said of the first box, which was constructed mostly from found materials, bounty from a month’s worth of “dumpster diving” by its designer, Ian Montgomery. Meis sat down and made a serious face, impersonating a writer. “So you sit here and concentrate, and you look out,” he said, gesturing toward a dirt trough, where fast-growing grasses were to be planted, “to mark the passage of time.” He added, “The roof will grow, too. The space will be growing through the month, as you write.”
Nearby, an architect named Paul Davis was tinkering with the space his firm, Salazar Davis, designed for the writer Laurie Stone, a wood box with translucent walls and a ramp through the middle. He had read some of Stone’s work for inspiration. “A theme of her writing seems to be herself and her thought processes—how she evaluates herself in relation to external circumstances,” he explained. “She said that when she finds herself in scary circumstances, that incites her to make beautiful things. So we wanted to take a friendly little happy cube and unsettle her in a provoking way.” For a retreat, he built her an alcove for yoga.
The third habitat, for Ranbir Sidhu, is the only one that prominently features books as d├ęcor. “We’re working with units of storage to deal with writing as product,” Mitch McEwen, one of the designers, said. “It’s a literal writing factory.” The product on display included John O’Hara’s “Gibbsville, Pa.”; a travel guide to Budapest; the Grolier Encyclopedia, Volume IX (Red-Str); “Kant’s Life and Thought.”

One of the most time-honored elements of writing-room mythology is the preference for a particular writing instrument. As Jill Krementz demonstrated in “The Writer’s Desk,” William Styron requires No. 2 pencils and yellow legal pads, and John Ashbery likes a Depression-era Royal manual typewriter. Jonathan Franzen still uses MS-DOS software on an old I.B.M. clone he found in the classifieds for a hundred and fifty dollars. At Flux, each writer was issued a Mac laptop. The rules forbid the participants to watch television or leave their boxes for more than ninety minutes a day, but, perhaps unwisely, they encourage a more contemporary method of wasting time: blogging. By day three, yoga was evidently not enough to keep Laurie Stone from going stir-crazy. She wandered out of her box and began cataloguing the items in the Flux Factory kitchen for her blog: “A 15-roll sack of Bounty paper towels. A five-pound plastic jug of honey with sticky cap. A 32-ounce bottle of red hot sauce. A two-quart vat of Kikkoman soy sauce. A crate of oranges. . . .” A novel it was not.
A trip to Flux during visiting hours last week suggested that the writing process may be the same wherever you do it. Grant Bailie, who now occupies the hobbit hole, was sitting, Indian style, in front of the window, smoking. Ranbir Sidhu was sitting at his desk, sipping from a large coffee mug and staring at a mostly blank screen. Laurie Stone didn’t respond to a couple of knocks on her wall. She appeared to be napping.

Hemingway in Italy

World War I

In October of 1917, Hemingway signed on as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. When World War I erupted, he traded covering drug raids and union strikes for action on the Austro-Italian front line.

On the morning of June 7, 1918, 18-year-old Hemingway stepped off a train at Milan's Garbaldi Station and assumed the duties of a Red Cross ambulance driver. As he distributed provisions to troops one night, an Austrian mortar shell shattered his knee, killed one of his companions, and blew off the legs of the second. Hemingway was then hit by machine gun fire, sustaining 227 separate wounds in his legs. He was shipped to Milan to recuperate, and there met and fell in love with a twenty-something nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky.

The pair took long walks past the Duomo cathedral and through the bustling shops of the Galleria. Von Kurowsky dismissed him as too young then (after he had returned to the States) wrote to tell him that she had found someone else. Ten years later, Hemingway recounted his experiences in "A Farewell To Arms," his 1929 novel about an affair between a wounded World War I soldier and his nurse.When Hemingway next revisited Italy, in the 1940s, he was a world-famous writer, charging around in a limousine, shooting at the private reserve of an Italian baron, and pursuing the eighteen-year-old beauty who inspired "Across the River and into the Trees," his 1950 novel about an aging soldier chasing a younger woman in post-war Venice.