Timeline

This timeline makes visible our workflow in the course. Bookmark the page on your web browser and, if you use one, on your phone. The timeline is subject to change as our work evolves and the class develops.

Success in this class begins with you managing your time, committing regular effort several days a week to reading, thinking, and writing, and proactively seeking assistance when you need it.

Week 1

Tuesday January 22 Introduction to the course. Teaching and Learning in the Open. The Essay Course Blog. Books and timeline. Writing and Domains. Overview of Domain of One’s Own project: kscopen.org. 

  • Following our first class session you will request an account using this Google Form. You will then receive an e-mail with a link to create a domain on KSCopen.On Thursday, in class, you will do a WP installation to create a project/portfolio site on your domain and a second WP install to create a subdirectory that will be your blog for this course.

We will also be reading together with the web-annotation tool Hypoethes.is

Sign up for an account by following the Hypothes.is Five Step Instructions. 

Access The Essay Hypothes.is Group. When you have created an account, this link allows you to join the group “The Essay.”

Thursday January 24 Discussion of Siddartha Mukherjee’s essay, My Father’s Body, at Rest and in Motion. We will review our thoughts on Mukherjee’s essay posted on Hypothes.is, discuss the essay, and do a WP maker session to build your course blogs.

Class follow-up reminders:

  • Follow the Timeline and Read I will update the This Week page with an outline of your work for next week. Enjoy the reading!
  • Send me your URL The Universal Resource Locator is the web address of your domain and blog. I will need it to syndicate your blog to the course site:. Your www.yourdomain.kscopen.org/nameofyourcourseblog
  • Build your course blog. Read Setting Up Shop: Your Domainon the course web site. Then read and work on your site using the post Create | Manage | License. The create section is metacommentary, the manage page will guide you through your work on the WP dashboard, and the license section will take you through setting up a Creative Commons License.  Questions? I am also ready and willing and able to  help with any and all kscopen.org or WP questions. Just toss me an e-mail. Or go to the well-organized and comprehensive WordPress Codex.
  • E-mail me to make an appointment during my office hours during week 2 or week 3 for a brief conversation about the course, questions you may have, and your aspirations for the semester

Week 2

Our reading this week will be centered around the question of the essay as a literary form, the history of the essay, and of essaying as a cultural activity. On Tuesday we will begin with the writing of the sixteenth-century French writer, Michel Eyquem De Montaigne, whose prose is often cited as among the first instances of the essay, and then look at commentaries on the essay in the early nineteenth century by William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. On Thursday we will talk though selected definitions of the essay. As you read, be thinking about the essay you will be writing this week on the nature, form, and purpose of the essay. During week two you will also be building your course web site on kscopen.org. Your goal for the end of the week is to have an attractive and functional space to begin sharing your writing. Your site will have a brief personal biography or statement, and pages to organize draft materials, as well as other features. On Thursday we will look at a few examples of your sites, and talk about the basic protocols for posting your first essay.

Tuesday January 29 Discussion of the Essays of Michel de Montaigne, available on the Project Gutenberg site. Make some notes on his prose style. Discussion of selected definitions of the essay to 1925: Montaigne, from “Of Practice, “Of Repentance,” and “Of Vanity” (1580), 1-6; Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “Montaigne, or the Skeptic,” 23-24; William Hazlitt, from “On the Periodical Essayists” (1815), 13-18; Charles Lamb, from an unpublished review of Hazlitt’s Table Talk (1824), 19-22; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Quotation and Originality; William Gass, “Emerson and the Essay” (1982), 106-09

Discussion Partners: Ashley and Sonja 

Thursday January 31 Discussion of more recent definitions of the essay: Jean Starobinski, from “Can One Define the Essay?” (1983), 110-15; Philip Lopate, “What Happened to the Personal Essay?” (1989), 127-36; Robert Atwan, “Notes Towards the Definition of an Essay” (2012), 194-201; Carl H. Claus, “Toward a Collective Poetics of the Essay” (2012), xv-xxvii

Discussion Partners: Ashley and Michael and Nicole

Due Sunday February 3: Essay 1 An essay on the nature, purpose, and form of the essay. We will talk about the possibilities for this essay during class. This essay will be around 1500 words, or six double-spaced pages. At the end of the essay, write a 500 word descriptive commentary of your method: What exactly you are trying to convey? What specifically are you trying to do as an essayist in this essay? Using examples from your essay, how have you chosen to go about doing it? 

  1. Your blogs have syndicated to the course site. Your blog is listed under Contributors. Readers may click on your site title to navigate to your blog
  2. Your blog posts will be automatically syndicated to the course blog. Your most recent post will appear under “Selected Essays.” Your blog posts will also appear on the “From the Blogs” page on the course site (and from Give and Take > From the Blogs)

nota bene: The matter of titles; or, titles matter. Writing blog posts or short-form essays in the public domain poses interesting questions about assigning titles. First, note that the essays you write are to be posted as blog posts (not on a page, as it will not be syndicated); second, note that “Hello World” is the default post on your theme and should be deleted; third, note that the name of your blog appears under contributors. And so if your site has a generic title (such as “The Essay”) I have put your first name + the word essay. Let me know if you change your site title and I will change the link

The work for this week is getting comfortable in Word Press-organizing and cleaning up your blog-and rethinking, refining, and developing your first essay. We will be talking about essaying as a practice of constructing and contributing ideas in the world

Editorial Assistants for Essay 1: Rachel and Daniel and Michael.The Editorial Assistants Page explains the job of work.

I have posted a new and brief comment in Teacher Talk called The Etiquette of Freedom

Tuesday February 5 Domain Work (bring your machine!). Visit from Dr. Sharpe to talk about advising and mentoring

Thursday February 7 Writing Workshop The editorial team will guide our in-class work and their notes will appear on the Workshops page by Thursday morning. Read the post The Etiquette of Freedom in Coursework. And if you have the time, read my friend John Lane’s essay Partial Totality You should continue thinking about and working on your first essay. a couple of questions to consider. What idea does your essay take up? What is the intellectual, ethical, and civic contribution of your essay?

Looking ahead: Sunday February 10: complete revisions of essay 1. Looking for models for shaping essays? There are places to go. The essays in the recently published issue of Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments are interesting. Consider in particular Sarah M. Wells, The Violence of the Given WorldWe can talk about the shape of this essay next week, if you wish. If you are interested in absorbing more examples of essays, click on the category nonfiction in the header or in the page on the banner image of the frog.

Begin reading / thinking about essay 2. 

Week 4

Sunday February 10: complete revisions of essay 1. Begin reading / thinking about what you would like to do for essay 2. We will talk about the second essay on Tuesday during class. I am interested in the emerging collaboration around an idea: a semester of writing in which you do less responding to and rehearsing of other people’s expectations for your writing and more defining for yourself essays that are motivated by what you are trying to do as a writer of an essay. If you think about your essay less in terms of a prompt from me, that is, how would you set to work on a piece of writing (and essay) that makes an intellectual, ethical, and/or civic contribution of some kind?

Tuesday February 12 Discussion of the poetics of the essay: William Dean Howells, from “Editor’s Easy Chair” (1902), 36-37; Jose Ortega Y Gasset, from “To the Reader” (1914), 38-39; William Carlos Williams, “An Essay on Virginia” (1925), 48-50; Katherine Fullerton Gerould, from “An Essay on Essays” (1935), 61-4; German Arciniegas, “The Essay in Our America” (1956), 78-81; Hilaire Belloc, “An Essay upon Essays upon Essays” (1955), 51-54. Also read (and annotate using Hypthes.is if you are so moved) Ross Gay, Some Thoughts on Mercy(The essay is published in the online journal The Sun. The category “Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories” has a number of interesting essays for students and writers of the form)

Discussion Partners: Michael and Alli and Rachel

Thursday February 14 

Discussion Partners:  Roy and Kyle and Daniel

May your snow day have been restful and uneventful. Here is a revised checklist for your work in class and in the days that follow:

  • Teacher Talk: check it out! The post Thinking and Making picks up on our last class with a few reminders to keep everyone moving. 1) The comments and feedback you received on essay one are archived on the Workshops page; 2) Please archive your process commentaries. Usually creating a page is the easiest method; 3) Change your default WP username. Click on the image for a screencast with yours truly guiding you through the steps; and 4) keep thinking about essay 2 (more on this below)
  • Tuesday Discussion We Did not Have we missed the opportunity to talk about the readings and to be guided by the observations and insights of our discussion partners; and so I have written an essay Born of Books? intended to weave into sentences and paragraphs the comments of Michael and Rachel as well as my comments designed to distill a few of the lessons we might take from the readings
  • Thursday Class Discussion I will be looking for reading notes by our discussion partners for tomorrow, Roy, Kyle, and Daniel. Please get them to me be tomorrow morning. The readings are listed on the Week 4 page and the timeline: Mariano Picon-Salas, from “On the Essay” (1954), 71-77; Theodor Adorno, from “The Essay as Form” (1958), 82-87; Aldous Huxley, from The Preface to Collected Essays (1960), 88-90; Michael Hamburger, “An Essay on the Essay” (1965), 91-93; Gerald Early, from the Introduction to Tuxedo Junction (1989), 137-41; Nancy Mairs, Essaying the Feminine” (1994), 142-46; Rachel Blau Duplessis, from f-Words: An Essay on the Essay” (1996), 147-50; Cynthia Ozick, “She: Portrait of the Essay as a Warm Body” (2000), 151-58; Sara Levine, from “The Self on the Shelf” (2000), 159-66; also read the short personal history piece The Machine Stops published in this week’s New Yorker by the incomparable essayist Oliver Sacks.
  • Looking Ahead to Essay 2 The second essay is described on the Timeline in Week 4. I am asking you to write an essay that begins with a couple of assumptions taken from the readings this week. I say, “Let’s consider Hilaire Belloc’s comment that “stuff is infinite” and the essayist who “finds in the unending multiplicity of the world unending matter for discussion and contemplation”; and also let’s consider Ortega Y Gasset’s modi res considerandi, or as he translates the Latin, “possible new ways of looking at things,” and his description of ideas taken up by the essayist so that that the essay becomes “a pretext and an appeal for a wide ideological collaboration.” So the assumptions are 1) “stuff is infinite,” 2) there is unending matter for discussion and contemplation, 3) an essay can be one among many “possible new ways of looking at things,” and 4) the essay is a space for “ideological collaboration.”

So what “stuff” will you choose to write about? How will you approach the “unending multiplicity of the world unending matter for discussion and contemplation?” We will talk more about this in class. The stuff might be the stuff in our heads, those ideas (such as “Mercy”) that we are always trying to get to one way or another; or the stuff might be person, thing, place, region—a physical definition of stuff (such as a forest or a fish) that is always open for discussion and contemplation. Let’s talk in class about the deadline, too, as we have not talked about this essay and you need time to think and to write. We may need to adjust the editorial assistant workflow next week, too.

  • The Fred Fosher Award I have set up a new page on the course web site to bring to your attention an award of 1000.00 for excellence in writing. Years ago as chair of English I set up the endowment for this award with a KSC alumni, Bruce Levine Mellion, named after Bruce’s favorite teacher, a friend of mine and former English department member at KSC. I encourage all of you to consider applying for the award.

Due Tuesday February 19: Essay 2 Know what you are doing and do it well. Your essay will be 1500 words, or six double-spaced pages. At the end of the essay, write a 500 word descriptive commentary of your method: What exactly you are trying to convey? What specifically are you trying to do as an essayist in this essay? Using examples from your essay, how have you chosen to go about doing it?  

Some of you may still be interested in thinking with the ideas of the writers we are reading, sharing with your reader what you are coming to know. If this is the case, I recommend looking beyond the essayists on essays in our anthology. The Mason Library, for example, has a number of resources on the essay, including introductions by a guest editor to selected volumes in the annual Best American Essays series edited by Robert Atwan. Phillip Lopate also has an anthology, The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present that has a helpful introduction of the personal essay.)

Week 5

Tuesday February 19 Due: Essay 2. Please submit the essays no later than midnight so Mark and editorial assistants may begin reading on Wednesday. Discussion of selected commentaries on the essay:  Jia Tolentino, The Personal Essay Boom is Over; Michael Depp, On Essays: Literature’s Most Misunderstood Form; and Laura Bennett, The First-Person Industrial Complex. Listen to Talk of the Nation, Writers’ Views: The Art of the Essay, a discussion led by Neal Conan with Hilary Masters, Robert Atwan, and Meaghan Daum, and bring your notes on the conversation to class. Consider Sam Anderson’s What Cross-Country Skiing Reveals about the Human Condition

Discussion Partners: Lexi and Alexa 

Thursday February 21 Writing Workshop: “Wait, what am I doing?”

Editorial Assistants for Essay 2: Alli and Roy

Week 6

Sunday February 24: complete revisions of essay 2. Reading and thinking about essay 3 should be underway

Tuesday February 26 Begin conversations of Crafting Presence: The American Essay and the Future of Writing Studies. I recommend that you purchase the book to mark up. However, the full text is available by request in the Dspace archive at the University of Colorado, a repository service that collects, preserves, and provides access to digitized library collections and other scholarly and creative works from several academic entities in Colorado.

As you read, consider how the book “seeks to establish common ground among literature, creative writing, and composition’s approaches to essay analysis so that teachers and students can articulate more precisely and consistently their understandings and expectations for essays” 15-16. Our discussion will focus on the “Introduction” (3-19) and chapter two, “The Genre of Presence” (20-59). We will also bring to our conversation The Essay is the Genre of Presence: An Interview with Nicole B. Wallack

Discussion Partners: Rachel, Dan, Mike, Ashley, Alli

Thursday February 28 Discussion in Crafting Presence: The American Essay and the Future of Writing Studies“Creating a Self Made of Images in Essays” (167-96) and “Learning the Essay” (197-212)

Discussion Partners: Roy, Sonja, Kyle, Lexi, Alexa, Nicole

Due Sunday March 3: Essay 3 This essay will learn from, reflect on, and share observations about the style of a writer whose essays you believe are worth knowing. This essay is a bit longer than the first two. It will be 3000 words, or twelve double-spaced pages. You have two weeks: one week for reading. Another week for writing. (Of course you will be reading and a writer during the first week and writing as a reader during the second week.)

Here is a series of steps to help guide your process:

  • Choose an author–James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, John McPhee, Adrienne Rich, Wendell Berry, David Foster Wallace, Annie Dillard, Mary Oliver, see the list below for more suggestions. Get a book of essays, or find the essays in the Open Library, as soon as you can, by your author
  • Read. Remember that as you read you should be reading and a writer, learning from the essays how a writer does her work.
  • Then write. You might consider this essay a documentary of (of or pertaining to facts) or a commentary on a body of work by a writer. Your essay will inform, drawing on the essays as well as any secondary materials (the essayist writing about essaying, or commentary). Your essay might explore the essays as kind of essay-personal, conversational, or opinion; philosophical; critical; humorous; pastoral; autobiographical; scientific; documentary; or political. 
  • Continue reading. Wallack’s chapter on “historical thinking” in essays and her chapter on “Errors and illumination” provide examples of this kind of writing (although her aperture is open wider, looking across books of essays by different writers). Another way to go at this essay is to discover a way of writing that exemplifies a poetics of the essay using one of the categories in Ned Stuckey-French’s “Thematic Guide to Entries in the Bibliography,” 217-22:

The Essay as embodiment of mind in the process of thought; as embodiment of personality or projection of the self; as a mode of discovery; as an open, unmethodical genre; as pointed and purposeful genre; as a pleasurable rather than polemical genre; as skeptical, antidogmatic; as an attempt, trial, or experiment; as conversational or familiar in style; as an allusive, intertextual genre

The Essayist as candid, genuine, truthful; the essayist as made up, impersonation, persona; the essayist as having a distinctive style or voice, the essay as a gendered form

The Essay in Context: the essay as different from methodical discourse, academic theme, article; the death (or revival) of the essay; the essay as modern; the essay as middle-class or intended for a middle-class audience; the essay as genteel, old fashioned, organic, quaint; the essay and the new media; the essay as ephemeral or less important

The Best American Essays Series offers a marvelous offering in the art of the essay. Atwan’s essay in Publisher’s Weekly The Top Ten Essays Since 1950 makes an informed case for the post-war essays and essayists you might want to know. And Atwan and Joyce Carol Oates, who edited The Best American Essays of the Centuryprovide you with a list of authors to exploreMark Twain • W.E.B. Du Bois • Henry Adams • John Muir • William James • Randolph Bourne • John Jay Chapman • Jane Addams • T. S. Eliot • Ernest Hemingway • H. L. Mencken • Zora Neale Hurston • Edmund Wilson • Gertrude Stein • F. Scott Fitzgerald • James Thurber • Richard Wright • James Agee • Robert Frost • E. B. White • S. J. Perelman • Langston Hughes • Katherine Anne Porter • Mary McCarthy • Rachel Carson • James Baldwin • Loren Eiseley • Eudora Welty • Donald Hall • Martin Luther King, Jr. • Tom Wolfe • Susan Sontag • Vladimir Nabokov • N. Scott Momaday • Elizabeth Hardwick • Michael Herr • Maya Angelou • Lewis Thomas • John McPhee • William H. Gass • Maxine Hong Kingston • Alice Walker • Adrienne Rich • Joan Didion • Richard Rodriguez • Gretel Ehrlich • Annie Dillard • Cynthia Ozick • William Manchester • Edward Hoagland • Stephen Jay Gould • Gerald Early • John Updike • Joyce Carol Oates • Saul Bellow At the end of the essay, write a 500 word descriptive commentary of your method: What exactly you are trying to convey? What specifically are you trying to do as an essayist in this essay? Using examples from your essay, how have you chosen to go about doing it? 

Week 7

Spring 2019 Fiction Slam Winners (L-R) Dan Carney Olmstead, Alexa Unger, and Lexi Palmer. The first-place went to Lexi who will represent KSC in the final Fiction Slam in Manchester

Editorial Assistants for Essay 3: Sonja and Kyle and Lexi and Alexa and Ashley

Tuesday March 5 Writing Workshop. Sign up for individual conferences

  • Save a copy of the English 402 Self Assessment to your desktop. Complete the Self Assessment and send to Mark by e-mail before your conference day and time
  • Send Mark an e-mail with a one- or two-page prospectus for the series of essays (3-5 pieces) you plan to write during the second half of the semester. See The Essay Collection page for a description of the project

Thursday March 7 Individual Conferences Friday March 8 Individual Conferences Due Sunday March 10 Second Version of Essay 3

Week 8

No class: Spring Break!

Week 9

Tuesday March 19 Writing Workshop: TBA. Case Study of the essayist Michael Branch and his column in High Country News Rants from the Hill.

Read After Many Years a Wave Goodbye and consider Mike’s description of the rant:

Only recently has the wonderful word rant come to mean “an angry or aggressive tirade or diatribe.” I, instead, invoke rant in its earlier, nobler form. Starting around 1600, to rant meant to express oneself in “an extravagant or hyperbolic manner”—with the important caveat that this was understood to be a good thing. The archaic noun form is even more cheering, as a rant was “a boisterous, lively, or riotous scene or occasion; a festive gathering; a romp; a spree.” It is in that spirit that I have shared Rants from the Hill with you for the past six years. Take care of yourself, and your own small corner of the planet, and keep laughing.

Read Towering Cell Phone Trees and Such Sweet Sorrow: An Airy Meditation on Flatulence and Independence. Browse the titles and the essays, at least until HCN says you need to subscribe.

Thursday March 21  Writing Workshop: TBA. Read David Foster Wallace, Shipping Out: On the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise (Harper’s 1996). Let’s talk about what this essay is doing.

Week 10

Tuesday March 26 Writing Workshop

Annie Dillard and the Essay. Read The Death of the Moth and How I wrote the Moth and Why. Interested in reading more? The Mason Library offers places to go, including the collection Holy the Firm (1975) in which the essay on the essay appears. You can read Holy the Firm in the Open Library. Her collection The Writing Life (2009)

  • Post your Prospectus on your blog. Give the post a title that reflects the idea(s) you are working with in your essay sequence
  • Read the prospectuses. Find 5-6 that interest you and make a comment on the blog posts. Your comments should be designed to help the writer move ahead with the essays

Thursday March 28

“What can I do with an English major?” A workshop with Emily Robbins Sharpe (and with students in William Stroup’s section of English 215). 

Questions and discussion of essay sequence. Sunday March 31 post a complete draft of an essay in your sequence and post to your blog

Week 11

Sunday March 31 post a draft of an essay in your sequence and post to your blog any time this week. Continue to send Mark any representative or exemplary essays (such as the one we read and discussed by David Foster Wallace, or that Nicole sent by Annie Dillard) that we will use for continuing our conversations about essay writing strategies.

Tuesday April 2 Practice as poetics: workshop using examples of essays from your essay sequences

For next time: Read David Madden’s short essay On Laughing: notes on the funniest sound there isand William Carlos Williams’ longer essay Against the Weather: A Portrait of the Artist Post your thoughts on the texts using hypothes.is before class

Thursday April 4 Practice as poetics: workshop using examples of essays from your essay sequences

Wait, what?: reviewing the idea idea

“The comparison makes us suspect that the art of writing has for backbone some fierce attachment to an idea. It is on the back of an idea, something believed in with conviction or seen with precision and thus compelling words to shape. . . . Very various talents have helped or hindered the passage of ideas into words.”

–Virginia Woolf, The Modern Essay

“The relationship between the essayist’s idea and the form is dynamic: in essays, we do not house our ideas in our formal choices, we enact them” (27)

“The notion of idea is a rich one because it more fully accounts for the ways in which professional essayists make meaning on the page. They do so directly when they articulate explicit claims or thesis. They also do so indirectly through aspects of the writer’s presence. Unlike the notion of thesis or claim, or even argument, the concept of idea speaks to the ways in which meaning infuses all conceptual and and aesthetic dimensions of an essay.”

–Nicole Wallack, Crafting Presence

Sunday April 7: post a complete draft of a second essay in your sequence and post to your blog. Write a commentary on what you are doing in your essay–or trying to do. (This can be at the end of the essay or on a separate page.)

Check it out!

Week 12

The approach to structure in factual writing is like returning from a grocery store with materials you intend to cook for dinner 

–John McPhee

Consider what John McPhee has to say about structure in nonfiction writing. His Structure is useful. The essay first appeared in January of 2013 in the New Yorker and is included in his book Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process. Intrigued? Have a look at Tim Bascom’s thinking about structure in Picturing the Perfect Essay: A Visual Guide By Monday you should have two essays posted on your blog. Our in-class collaboratories are predicated on your writing. Please also make sure that you have read the most recent entry in Teacher Talk, Houses and Chairs

Tuesday April 9 Collaboratory: portfolio workshop and critique. During the week, read and comment on the essays of a 3-5 of your classmates. Focus attention on 1) what the author is doing (is it self-evident? Is there more than one thing going on? Is the conceptual work of the essay accessible to you as a reader? and 2) what the writer is doing well: be specific, offer constructive commentary on the strategies the author is using, options or suggestions for developing the piece of writing, beginnings and middles and ends, the use of scenes or anecdotes, sections and segmenting, sequencing, and so on For next time: Read David Gessner Learning to Surf

Thursday April 11 Collaboratory: portfolio workshop and critique

Sunday April 14 post a complete draft of your third essay in your sequence and post to your blog. Write a commentary on what you are doing in your essay–or trying to do. (This can be at the end of the essay or on a separate page.)

For next time: Read The Rules of the Asian Body in America by Matthew Salesses, an essay that appeared in Unruly Bodiesa pop-up magazine created by Roxane Gay and Medium that explores our ever-changing relationship with our bodies — the emotional, the psychological, the cultural, and the scientific. Unruly Bodies has a fabulous set of essays to read

Week 13

Schedule a meeting with Mark, when you are ready, to talk about your essay sequence, during week 13, 14, or 15. Let’s talk when you have a sequence of essays and you are primed for a conversation and ready to work your way to a completed essay sequence.

Before you meet with Mark, post on your blog a reflection (put it on a reflection page, if you have one, or a process or journal page) that takes up a series of questions that will be useful for you to think through and helpful for me to read as we work together in the next few weeks:

  • What have learned about the essay this semester?
  • What have you learned about writing?
  • What have you learned about yourself as a writer?
  • How might what you have learned in the course stay with you or be useful beyond this class–whether in another class or, if you are graduating, in your writing beyond school?

Tuesday April 16 Collaboratory: portfolio workshop and critique. We will look at The Rules of the Asian Body in America by Matthew Salesses, an essay that appeared in Unruly Bodies, a pop-up magazine created by Roxane Gay and Medium that explores our ever-changing relationship with our bodies — the emotional, the psychological, the cultural, and the scientific.

During the week, continue to read and comment on the essays of a few of your classmates. Focus attention on 1) what the author is doing (is it self-evident? Is there more than one thing going on? Is the conceptual work of the essay accessible to you as a reader? and 2) what the writer is doing well: be specific, offer constructive commentary on the strategies the author is using, options or suggestions for developing the piece of writing, beginnings and middles and ends, the use of scenes or anecdotes, sections and segmenting, sequencing, and so on

Thursday April 18 Collabratory: Portfolio workshop. Continue discussion of essay elements

Sunday April 21 Due: Essay Sequence

Week 14

  • Meet with Mark to discuss the opportunities and challenges you are facing as you work this week on completing your essay sequence 
  • Develop and curate the collection of essays that will showcase your intellectual, ethical, and creative capacities as a writer. The collection includes
    • final versions of the three essays composed during the first half of the course
    • the essay sequence completed during the second half of the course, and
    • a selection of at least two essays that you have written (and/or published) over the past four years as English majors at Keene State College Together the essays will situate you historically, intellectually, and culturally; engage rigorously and ethically with ideas, data, and texts by others; and reflect on your ideas, values, and sense of self
  • Review your first self-evaluation and use it as a checklist for completing the required minimum work in the course. Reread your essays and make any changes that arise in rereading what you have published on your blog. Give a final round of thinking to the organization of your blog, the effectiveness of the theme you are using. If you have not already, complete work on your domain (license, etc.)
  • Complete a reflection on your essay sequence. Post this on a reflections page, if you have one, not as a blog post (that will be syndicated
  • Complete the final self-evaluation (I will have this complete and will post here by Friday
  • Choose an essay that you plan to read aloud in class during the final three class meetings. Send Mark the title of the essay so that he can write up the program for the in-class readings: no later than Sunday April 28, please!

Week 15 

This week we will celebrate our work this semester. Each of you will have twelve minutes to read a featured essay from the essay sequence.

Tuesday April 30 Featured Essay Readings 

Alli, Rachel, Michael, Sonja, Roy

Thursday May 2 Featured Essay Readings 

Daniel, Nicole, Kyle, Ashley, Alexa, Lexi