Write Your Heart Out or Write Your Heart In
Instructor: Aaron Chandler
Phone: (336) 545-9671
Office: 01E Petty, 4-3294
Office hours: 8:30a.m. to 9:30a.m. MWF
“If we had to say what writing is, we would define it essentially as
an act of courage.”
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO BE DOING HERE?
1.) Writing and rewriting on a daily basis. By doing this, you will establish a writing voice that is comfortable and true to who your are.
2.) Reading and critiquing the work of your fellow students. This will deepen your understanding of how effective writing is made.
3.) Reading the work of published writers, which will refine your ability to evaluate different perspectives and differing claims.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
Regular writing is vital to any attempt to command a language. Let’s explore “command” as a metaphor for language use. Your words are an army. If you abandon them, you are powerless to defend yourself against invasion. If you deploy them recklessly, they’ll be scattered and ready for defeat. If you understand their strength and purpose, however, you can have them disembark prepared, march with confidence, evade wrongful attack, overpower obstructions, and defend the things you love.
But language can also reveal. It brings what is (you, me, dirt, television, you-name-it) into the open for the first time. You may be suspicious, but language can serve as an extra sense. Language can allow you to catch sight of the world beyond the eyes, or live through someone else’s eyes. It’s for reliving the past, learning the world, and hearing your own voice as you’ve never heard it before: the way other people hear it.
Careful reading is the other half of language’s bargain. You will learn to read published writings, the work of classmates, and your own words with care and respect. The natural enemy of both care and respect is hurriedness. We are all busy and will always be busy. But by giving generous attention to what you read, you create time instead of spending it. If what you are doing is valuable, and only you can make it valuable, time is never wasted.
Research. Most students dread research and with good reason. It can be boring and difficult and can go on far too long. If this sounds true to you, you may have been made to look into subjects you don’t care anything about with old tools you haven’t been trained to use. It’s like a boss making you dig the foundation for his new house with a spoon for zero pay.
But research is fundamentally detective work. It’s reading your grandfather’s war correspondence. It’s learning how many times a hummingbird’s heart beats in a minute. It’s figuring how much an Indiana farmer makes off a bushel of corn versus a bushel of cannabis. It’s figuring out who should be your president and where you should eat lunch. You have to do research whether you go to college or not. But, if you go to college, you can get really, really good at it.
WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES?
The creation and maintenance of a journal. You’ll write in this journal for ten minutes three times a week throughout the semester. I hope you’ll keep it up after that. Keeping a writer’s notebook can help you generate ideas for papers, relieve your mind of distractions and, best of all, help you figure you what you actually think. Some of this will be from in-class writings, so your attendance is necessary. You must always bring your journal to class because I will collect them unannounced.
DRAFT CREDIT 20%
The writing and substantive revision of four essays. I will provide you with specific parameters and suggestions for each assignment. With my assistance and with the assistance of your peers, you will help these essays realize their full potential. Hang on every draft of every paper. You’ll need them for your portfolio. Related to this are the TWO CONFERANCES each of you must have with me to discuss you writing and your grade in the class.
Assisting your classmates in the revision of their essays. They need your honesty and your attention and you need theirs. To do this you need to come to class in body and mind. You need to participate, speak, and think. This is your class. Help me make it something enjoyable, instructive and useful to your future.
You will finish the course by turning in a portfolio of all the work you’ve collected from the semester. It can included journal entries and free-writes but it must include at least three of the assigned essays. Twenty-five pages of this portfolio must be substantial revisions of writings you’ve been working on all year.
Wendy Bishop, On Writing: A Process Reader
Mary Pipher, The Middle of Everywhere
A Writer’s Resource
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF CLASSES AND READINGS
OW-On Writing: A Process Reader WM-Writing Matters
MOE-Middle of Everywhere AWR- A Writer’s Resource
m 16 Meet, Greet, Write
OW Leonora Smith “The Five Paragraph Essay,” p.284
w 18 OW Spike Lee, “Journal Entries: Do the Right Thing,” p.196
WM Jones-Hyde, “Journaling 101,” p.32
f 20 OW Lorrie Moore “How to Become a Writer,” p.7
OW Scott Russell Sanders “The Most Human Art,” p.488
m 23 OW Anne Lamott “Shitty First Drafts,” p.319
NARRATIVE ROUGH DRAFT DUE (800 words)
w 25 OW Richard Straub “Responding to Other Student’s Work,” p.349
f 27 OW “Classroom Authors: Olander and Overcast” pp.33-47
m 30 WM Joe Wagner “Creative Writing in the Composition Class,” p.38
NARRATIVE REVISION DUE (1000 words)
w 1 OW Raymond Carver, “Sunday Night,” p.222
OW Winston Weathers “The Winston Weathers Writing Way,” p.22
WM Janet White “Interpreting Our World,” p.40
f 3 OW Evans D. Hopkins, “Lockdown,” p.247,
m 6 LABOR DAY!
“We have two classes in this country: the working class, and the one whose teacher has left the room for a few minutes.” FRANK WALSH
w 8 Brent Staples, “Just Walk on By,” p.252
WM Hannah Milstead “Wilco Travel Plaza,” p.83
f 10 WM Heidi Harahan “Making Workshops Work,” p.18
ETHNOGRAPHY ROUGH DRAFT DUE
m 13 Handout: John Jeremiah Sullivan “Horseman, Pass By”
WM Liz Vogel, “Revision Take Two, Take Three. . .” p.42
w 15 OW Scott Arkin “iChat,” 224
WM Liz Wilkinson “The Writing Center,” p.49
f 17 OW Toby Fulwiler, “A Lesson In Revision,” p.325
m 20 ETHNOGRAPHY REVISION DUE
w 22 Conferences
f 24 OW Stuart Greene, “Argument as Conversation,” 445
m 27 Handout: Bill McCabe “War of the Worlds”
w 29 OW Melissa Goldthwaite, “This, Too, Is Research,” p.431
WM Temeka L. Carter “Rookie’s Guide to Research,” p.45
f 1 WM Joe Wagner, “Academic Integrity,” p.47
AWR Chapter 22 p.184
m4 INVESTIGATIVE ROUGH DRAFT DUE