Theme Reading/Activity 1
Read the following excerpt from Peter Elbow’s Writing Without Teachers (1973). After reading, set a timer for 5-10 minutes and try to freewrite as Elbow describes it. Use a pen and paper, not a word processor (this will let you write a little slower, emphasize, underline, scribble, not be bothered by autocorrect etc). Donâ€™t stop for anything. Donâ€™t put down your pen until the timer goes off. To make it easier to get started, try responding to this question: “Who are you?”
Once the timer goes off and you have completed your freewrite, take a minute to read it over. Where do you repeat yourself, change topics, ask questions, babble etc. In other words, what are some things you notice about your writing. Did you write any answers to the question of â€œwho are you?â€ that perhaps you didnâ€™t expect?
After reading it over, post a paragraph summary of the freewrite here. This summary allows you to share the parts of your freewrite you think are interesting and keep private the parts that are personal. After the summary paragraph, include a paragraph of reflection. How did this exercise work out for you? Did you find it difficult? Interesting? Entertaining? Frustrating? Most importantly: do you think this freewriting method could help lead you to topics worth researching later on in this class?
Per the syllabus, late homework assignments will not be accepted after the assigned due date and time and cannot be made up, for any reason. This assignment locks after the assigned due date and time, and your instructor cannot unlock it for you.
Theme Reading/Activity 2
Read the following excerpts from Thomas Kingâ€™s The Truth about Stories (if you’re pressed for time, focus on the first 10 pages) and Jim Corderâ€™s â€œArgument as Emergence, Rhetoric as Loveâ€ (the first 3 sections are most important). As you read, try and form connections between the two arguments. How are they similar? How are they different? What purpose does each one serve and for what audience are they written?
Last week you responded to Peter Elbowâ€™s freewriting task by attempting to answer the question â€œWho are you?â€ This week, think about your identity in terms of the stories/narratives that you tell about yourself and that society tells about you. You might think about how you would answer the question of â€œWho are you?â€ as compared to how different people might answer it for you. How would your parents answer it? Your best friend? Your classmates? Stranger on the bus? What stories/narratives inform your answer and what stories/narrative inform theirs? What power do these stories or narratives hold? What responsibilities do they come with?
Post a response here that addresses some of these questions. Your response can take the form of structured paragraphs (around 250 words) or it can be more creative (personal narrative, poetry, comics, music, video, collage, etc). Use whatever genre best makes your point. Be sure to finish your response with a reflection on how contemplating your identity in forms of stories/narratives from a variety of perspectives might lead you to discover a research topic of interest for this class.