May 14, 2019

Dear class,

Sorry it took me a while to scan second part of “The Lover” with an app on my phone, that is why the slightly angled pages but it’s all legible, checked page number-wise and ready to be printed. 

You prompt is to write the character arch of the woman throughout the book from the beginning of the plot to the end of it. Where does her journey in the book start, who she is, what is her socio-economic background and how her character develops and how you see it. This is minimum 200 words. 

Next class is our last class. Please make sure you attend the class with your hard copies on time so that we can have a good farewell session. 

I will return your papers which I’m still holding on to and please make sure you post this response here but no need for hard copies from these responses because I will not have a chance to return them.  I’ll leave comments on your posts in blog.

Deadline: Monday 8pm

So next Thursday we don’t have class. You have time to turn in your final essay paper as a document by email and posted under relavant tab “Final Drafts” until the May 21st at 8pm. Other instructions are found in the syllabus and you can email me with any question.

Again, just like your first draft, late papers will not be accepted. 

I had a very good experience with you as a class, despite the fact that it’s been an early morning one and inevitably not so convenient of timing for many, but thanks to those of you who were on time, on top of deadlines, read the books, participated in class discussions and those of you who made a connection and conversed. Even if you didn’t, maybe and hopefully this semester planted the seeds of some questions for you. Just like it did for me. I am humbled and privileged to be given the opporunity to read your writing and being privy to your thought process and creative efforts. Thanks for your trust. 

See you in class on Tuesday. Please come to class prepared to discuss the second part of “The Lover”

Kind regards,

Riazi

 

May 7, 2019

Dear class,

This week’s prompt is to summarize the first part of The Lover by Marguerite Duras (also included in our resources).

I want you to pay special attention to language and tone.

Please bring your hard copies of H2G2 and The Lover to class.

Kind regards,

Riazi

April 30,2019

Dear class,

Here is your writing prompt:

Choose two to three themes that Douglas Adams explores in Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy, and write one paragraph related to the theme, along with evidence from the text.  I would like to know how you see the author (for example) discussing “politics” in an imaginary cosmos. Or how does he speak of “language” while depicting a universe where multitudes of creatures cohabit. (Minimum 200 words).

Please mention the theme before your paragraph and if there is any other theme you feel like exploring and it’s not listed below, do not hesitate to go ahead with it.

Communication

Despair

Perspective

Absurdity

Power and Politics

Language

Nature of Life/existence

Philosophy

Environment

Intelligence

Technology

Survival

Bring your hard copies underlined and explored and torn and stained with tea, coffee and chocolate.

Enjoy your break!

Riazi

April 11, 2019

Dear class,

Below are the submissions for our weekly creative blog:

Jenise and Daniela.

Looking forward to reading your work!

Jenise:

Jenise Lopez 04_09pdf

Daniela:

A Place to Remember
Close your eyes. Hear the wind wrestling through the leaves. Smell the warm damp air. Feel the sun caress your skin. All around you is life. And then there’s the gate. The giant gate. The white rusted copper gate. Tall and rigid. It stands alone amongst the organic.The gate keeps everything in and everything out. On this side of the gate there is life. On this side of the gate there is green and yellow and brown. On this side of the gate there are chirps and tweets and growls. Walking towards it you can feel the leaves scrunching beneath your feet. The branches and twigs  brush against your arms. As you get closer it gets quieter. The life around you becomes hushed as if it too knows of the gates existence. Step. Step. Less green. Step step. No more winding paths. Step. Step. The smell of metal fills the air. Step and there it is. It’s like the sun even knows that life ends here as it hides behind the distant trees. The wind knows not to disturb its presence. Everything stops at the gate. And there you are staring it down. And there it is staring right back.

April 9, 2019

Dear Class,

We are reading rest of Pedro Paramo for next week.

Your prompt is to pick one character and

1-Tell us the story of character as recounted in the book (minimum 100 words). This is in 3rd person narrative.

2-Write a monologue from that character’s point of view. (minimum 150 words). This is a first person narrative.

Please remember these characters are dead and as we talked about them, they are talking ghosts, so please take these dramatic elements in to consideration.

*Please don’t pick Juan Preciado or Pedro Paramo

This is an example of a story from a ghost’s point of view. Please note the tone you develop for your character.

Deadline: Monday 8pm

Have a very good weekend.

April 4, 2019

Dear class,

Here is our creative blog for Thursday.

We have Juan and Samantha Perez.

Deadline Wednesday night 8pm

Enjoy!

Juan

Juan Franco 4/2/2019

ENG 162W

Holy Tree

Suddenly I woke up with my hands tied behind my back on the back of a truck driving through what seemed to be a very rocky or bumpy road. Everything seemed a blur to me, I felt dizzy and all I could remember was dropping off our bags at the hotel room and going out to enjoy the remaining of the night. I noticed I was alone on the back of the truck so struggling I removed the blindfold from my eyes, and right away all my senses returned to my body. I could smell the vegetation around me, the moisture of the mud on the road, plants and trees, I heard birds chirping from far and close to me as the car moved, I also felt some pains on my body as if I had fallen and hurt myself and finally I saw that we were driving on a very narrow cliff road. After a few hours driving, the car stopped I had my blindfold taken off and I was removed from the car and escorted by some men that had the appearance of a savage soldiers or something like it, they had armor made of wood and no guns of sign of any connection with technology besides their truck. They took me to the entrance of what seemed to be a secret place because the door was covered with branches and big green leaves. We went through the door and then a long path that was surrounded by plants, flowers, and small thin trees that their ends at the top connected giving the illusion of a tunnel made form these trees. The path took us to this place where there was this colossal tree with its roots spreading all over the ground and up other trees, the tree shot up to the sky and had like a natural glow. I had never seen anything like it so with admiration and stunned with my eyes following from the bottom to the top of this tree, my first reaction was ”Holy s…” ”Holy Tree! is the name” a deep voice shouted, I sounded like it came from the inside of the tree …

 

Samantha Perez

my creative vblog

April 2, 2019

Dear class,

It was great to see you all today and to pick up our reading. I will disregard tardiness today since we were returning after a week, but let’s make sure we are on time starting next Tuesday (I understand some of you don’t care, but focus and presence is an essential part of a writing class and as your instructor I care about that). Also biking to school is a great idea and it’s the season for it–if it’s not windy and if you are within an hour biking distance from campus and in case it fits in with your commute plans. I will personally start doing that and recommend it. In that case, you will be all awake and we will enjoy one another’s company.

For next class we are reading half of Pedro Paramo (All pages of this pdf). Your writing response is to summarize these 50 pages.  (Minimum 200 words).

Please do not forget to respond to your classmates’ posts. Your response to summary can include your opinion on your friend’s perspective towards story: What they have included and what they have left out.

We also have the Spanish version in our resources, in case you prefer Spanish version, it will be interesting to have some of you read it in original language.

Please keep in mind that your essay drafts are due April 16.

Juan and Samantha Perez are up next for creative blog.

March 28, 2019

Dear class, here is Ashely’s and Samantha Henry’s creative blog.

Deadline Wednesday night 8pm.

Ashley:


Ashley Rojas
English 162W
March 24
         The smell of roasting corn instantly hits the nose and is unforgettable. Families making their way to the vendors with the money already in the hands ready to take the first bite of the corn. The smell of roasting animal fat completely takes over you. The buildings, take you back nearly 700 years into the past. The massive flag waving is unable to be missed. You stand in an empty lot filled with small booths of purple and orange. The lot is surrounded by richly ornate buildings with hundreds of years of history behind them. The sun is almost a spotlight that shines directly on this rich with flag with history. The rich white cottony clouds are incapable of hiding this spotlight of a sun. I walk a few steps to a bridge giving me a clear view of structures dating back to the times of the Aztec I look right at my feet at my beaten greyed shoes only to see that its clear glass and I’m looking down at the grey stepping stones of a pyramid that dates back 700 years. I turn my head and smile, day of the dead celebration has begun. We will now journey to the tombs of our loved ones and place a glass of water, bright and beautifully bloomed marigolds, and a loaf of bread.
 

March 26, 2019

Dear class, here is your writing prompt. It is composed of 3 parts. Each 100 words minimum.

1-What is Orientalism? Please read Edward Saeed’s introduction to Orientalism thoroughly (p.1-37), and then summarize and put it in your own words. Try your best to explain it as clear and objective as possible. (100 minimum)

2-Do you see a connection between “Bodak Yellow’s” video clip and what Said is carefully drawing on the discourse of Orientalism? Or you do not find similarities? In other words, look at “Bodak Yellow” through the lens of Said’s critical view of how the binary system of Orient vs. Occident, dictates the dominant colonial systems of thinking. What is your opinion? (100 minimum)

3-(Optional): Here you can give us an example of Orientalism you have come to observe in daily life, or in the field of art and entertainment. 

In addition, you can read this article which revolves around orientalism in Hip Hop culture and also watch this video, on the history of Orientalism and how it’s translated in Cardi B’s video. 

Orientalism is only one byproduct of this power struggle, there is other phenomena like “cultural appropriation” across cultures which again, perpetuates the status quo power dynamics feeding into stereotypical identities, resulting in dehumanizing, silencing and eradicating the underdogs. 

Deadline March 25 Monday 8pm.

On Tuesday we are going to read said’s article, discuss this and your writings.

Have a great weekend.

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2017/08/168749/cardi-b-bodak-yellow-problematic

March 19, 2019

Hi everyone,

We are reading first 50 pages of Memory for Forgetfulness by Mahmoud Darwish (first 50 pages of the pdf). To be exact, the last page ends in this line: “And for the poor to grow poorer.”

Please read this beautiful poetic piece and bring your copies to class and be prepared to discuss it so we can avoid yawning. I will be curious to hear about your favorite passages, which will not hopefully all reside in the first couple of pages. Meaning, read the whole thing. I assume most probably you have experienced living through a war, but this piece gives us a perspective of what goes on within human mind and the environment ravaged by senseless destruction.

In response write a “prose poem” (Minimum 200 words) to express your emotional reflection on this piece. You can also pick a specific passage and reflect on it. In case you decide to do the latter, please copy and paste the passage which you were inspired by. Word count for your writing does not include the quote.

You can do a bit of research about prose poem, but we have certainly read likes of it Natalie Diaz’s book: “The Last Mojave Indian Barbie” & “A Woman with No Legs”. Here is another example of prose poem which lives as an installation piece in High Line.

Definition: Prose Poem is a piece of writing in prose having obvious poetic qualities, including intensity, compactness, prominent rhythms, and imagery.

Have a great weekend and I’m looking forward to reading your pieces.

Kind regards,

Riazi

Feb 28, 2019

Deadline is 10pm tonight.

Pueblo  – Kevin Rojas

 

A small town surrounded by friendly locals who make their living from selling gifts of the earth. Widely known for their fruit trees and flowers, the streets are always crowded with smiles and laughters. This is the place where festivals take place with beautiful carpets of flowers. The streets flourishing with high spirited women dressed in a tunic-like dresses, performing traditional dances. As you walk through the energetic streets you’ll come across packed tents that host delicious home made meals and flavorful popsicles and sweets. The luscious aroma of the food sparking your cravings. Most of the crowd are groups of children lined up for the colossal and stomach-churning rides. High pitched screams and laughter, every one is having a great time. Fire-works lighting up the sky with vibrant colors, but this small town’s greatest gift of all, is it’s majestic view. Whether you are on top of a terrace or just driving around the city, you can see this Volcano from afar with its cloud of smoke.The massive presence of the volcano hovering over this small town can be felt throughout.The people seem to not even notice it anymore and just go by their daily routines.  At first you’ll think it’s just an erupting inferno, but it’s more than that. As you stare into the view you’ll feel the breeze and smell the earth. It’s peaceful and perfect, this small town is perfect.

Feb 26, 2019

Dear class,

As I mentioned in Wednesday’s email, we’re reading first 100 pages of “Just kids” for next Tuesday February 26. Please bring your copies and be prepared to discuss the book. Writing is due 5pm on Monday February 25 as perusal and here is the prompt:

Patti Smith thrived during 60s and 70s when New York city was considered a haven for artists, poets, musicians and thinkers. How do you see this environment reading “Just Kids”? You can pick one of the two approaches below for your writing this week:

1-You can pick a neighborhood, avenue or area, and describe that location in your own words. This can be an imaginary picture of a place, while it can also be based on a photo (attach the photo), or a passage of the book. (Please make sure your research is within 60s and 70s time frame in New York city)

2-Based on the evidence provided by the author, compare New York city city as you currently see it, in comparison to what Smith has depicted. I would like you to be as specific as you can get about this. This can be real or imaginary.

Please refrain from binary, positive/ negative judgements about the location and try to provide evidence. In other words show me the old and new city (location) as opposed to expressing your emotions about it.

200-500 words

Email me if you have questions.

—–

Since time is some reality in reality, we did not get a chance to thoroughly discuss “Whereas”, as our time was short. But for those of you who are interested, I placed a pdf of the book in our drive. Layli Long Soldier, is an astute poet from Oglala Lokota nation who resides in Santa Fe. A full chapter of “Whereas” is dedicated to a reflection on the apology provided by US government to Native Americans delivered during Obama’s presidency. In addition, there is an interview with Layli Long Soldier which I recommend listening to: “The Power of Real Apologies”.

Feb 19, 2019

Dear class,

Thanks for a great timeless valentine class.

This weekend, we are reading chapter 4 of Wisdom sits in Places starting page 105 in your pdf. Although no response is necessary to this chapter, you should be prepared to talk about it once we discuss it in class. I might ask you of your favorite or preferred passage in this chapter or ask questions. Again, print it out, underline and annotate and bring your own print to class. You distract your classmates by sharing prints and phones are not allowed.

Your writing this week, will be a “place-making” as explained in Wisdom sits in places according to Western Apache culture. In this writing narrated in 1st person and present tense (as explained in the book) you will portray a location for us as it used to be and give us a sense of what’s happened there before. Please refer to our discussions in class today and stories like “Snake’s water” or “Shades of shit” (or other place-names stories) in the book to get a sense of what can be done.

You can also take a creative approach with this. Since you might not have access to information of your “ancestors”, you can use your memory to recount events or stories that have taken place during your lifetime, memories that you feel still linger in an actual location you know of, and recite it for us as you envision them in your mind’s eye. As a solid example: Has anyone experienced gentrification? This can be a way of telling us of a place that once has been, and what it is replaced with (Remember changes in landscape in your reading?). You can take any creative approach with this, but it would be nice if your writing doesn’t give class horror and nightmares, but if you have to, then probably you have to and it’s ok. In case you have a question about this prompt email me.

200-500 words/ Due 5pm Monday Feb 18

You can also attach a photo to this writing, to give us a backdrop for imagining your site. Add the photo to your comments with  “choose file” is below the comment box.

Just a heads up Melissa and Ramon are up for creative blog next week. Melissa and Ramon you may send me your prompt along with your photo before Tuesday 10pm.

Have a great weekend everyone.

 

Feb13, 2019

Hi everyone,

It was beautiful to read your creative posts today.

According to syllabus we are supposed to read 71 pages from Basso’s “Wisdom Sits in Places”. Please note this is 71 pages from the pages marked on your pdf, so I think you would have to print out around 140 pages in case you print out full pages. But since some pages are only one sentence or paragraph long, my suggestion is to print two pages in one, so we cut less trees. Please do not come to class without your print or book.

As you all know, according to CUNY calendar next we don’t have class. So you have more time to work on this paper, please read it in a timely fashion and do not postpone writing it since there is so much material to cover in this book and I would like you to read it slowly and gradually and reflect on each chapter. This paper is due on Tuesday 10pm. You also have to comment on one post (minimum 70 words).

Our creative blog will be posted by Robin. Robin please email it to me by Tuesday midnight. Class responses to creative blog are due 8pm on Wednesday.

Also creative blog spreadsheet is updated.

Writing prompt for the first portion of “Wisdom sits in Places” by Basso:

What kind of information and insights place-names represent in western Apache culture? Describe at least three different aspects of what place-names symbolize. Please refrain from only listing the aspects (One paragraph each).

Following your answer to above question, I would like you to reflect and write on:

How is the concept of history and its particular manner of narration unique in western apache culture? To be more exact: how is storytelling, and voice of the place-maker incorporated in recounting history and how does this affect our understanding of places?

(200-500 words)

February 5, 2019

“What if Eve was an Indian

& Adam was never kneaded

from the earth, Eve was earth

& ribs were her idea all along?”-When my Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz

 

All three themes explored in “When my brother was an Aztec”– environment, brother and body– are undeniably connected to poet’s life on Mojave reservation as a native American. How would you describe this connection with the land? How has this connection influenced the poet’s life? Note that, this is not necessarily a positive or negative impact. Support your argument with evidence from the poems along with your own interpretation. For this reason, you can look at the book as a whole, or you can pick one or two poems. (Minimum 200-400 words).

This assignment is due Monday 5m. Post it as a comment on this blog post. Bring the printed copy on Tuesday.

Starting Monday 5pm, you have until midnight to comment on one your classmate’s responses. (Minimum 75 words).

 

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