AGENDAPresentation: TermsDiscussion:• In-class writing on Identity• Personal Passing Experience• Being Judged by Concrete IdentifiersLecture: Writing Strategies for in-class essay #1:• Basic Features of a Personal NarrativeIn-Class Writing• A Well-Told Story• A Vivid Presentation of Places and People• An Indication of the Event’s Significance
TERMS1. Bias: A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment; an unfair act or policy stemming from prejudice.2. Culture: Behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, language, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.3. Difference: A characteristic that distinguishes one person from another or from an assumed norm, or the state of being distinguished by such characteristics. Social justice issues such as racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism usually center on the negative perception of difference by the dominant group. Viewed positively, difference can be a catalyst for equity, recognition of interdependence, and a source of personal power.
4. Discrimination: Treatment or consideration based on class orcategory rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice.5. Diversity: The quality of being diverse; a respect in whichthings differ; variety.6. Equality: The state or quality of treating everyone in an equalmanner.7. Ethnicity: A perception of being alike, a sense of peoplehoodby virtue of sharing a common ancestry (real orfictitious), values, and behavior.
8. Fluid Identity: The concept that identity is not rigid but can anddoes change. This idea is often used in terms ofgender, sexuality, and race, as well as other factors of identity.This concept is fundamentally contrary to binary systems. Peoplewho feel their identity is fluid often believe that rigid categories areoppressive and incapable of accurately describing theirexperience and identities.9. Oppression: Arbitrary and cruel use of power; using severe orunjust force or authority. An unjust situation where, systematicallyand over a long period of time, one group denies another groupaccess to the resources of society.Race, gender, class, sexuality, nation, age, ethnicity, disabilitystatus, and religion constitute major forms of oppression.
10. Passing: Historically, passing has been defined in terms of racialpassing. It refers to a deception that allows a person to take advantageof certain roles or opportunities from which he or she might be barred inthe absence of this posed identity. The most common racial passer, ofcourse, was the African American who lacked those characteristicstypical of his race. These mixed race people had physical appearancesthat allowed them to be perceived and treated as if they where white.But passing is not limited to African Americans assuming white roles insociety; it is not even limited to a racial basis. People pass in a variety ofways and for a variety of reasons—from Blacks who pass for white, toJews who pass as Gentiles, to gays who pass for straight, for womenwho pass for men—and the opposite of all of these. Reversepassing, though less prevalent, also exists in multiple forms.
How do we express our own identities?How much do we reveal about ourselvesand when do we do so?How do we decide?What does society expect from us interms of revealing who we are?
Blog Shot #1 Write a paragraph or twodescribing a time when you were unfairlyjudged on concrete identitycharacteristics. ORWrite a paragraph or two describing atime when you passed as someone orsomething you were not. The passingcan be either purposeful or inadvertent.
IN- CLASS ESSAY #1: BASIC FEATURES OF APERSONAL NARRATIVE: •A Well-Told Story •A Vivid Presentation of Places and Peopl •An Indication of the Event’s Significance
In- Class Essay Prompt #1: The Narrative• This essay exam will be next Monday• You can use a one page outline from which to write.• You will have approximately 90 minutes• Bring paper, pens or pencils, and your outlineIn a narrative essay of 500-750 words, respond to one of thefollowing prompts:1. Tell about an experience when you were unfairly judged based onconcrete identity characteristics. 2. Tell about an experience when you passed as someone orsomething you were not. The passing can be either purposeful orinadvertent.
A WELL-TOLD STORYChoose an interesting storyShape it into an exciting or memorable experience• Arouse curiosity, build suspense, and conclude action with the climaxBegin at the beginning• Write an introduction that sets the stage for your tale• Prepare your readers to understand the significance of your event.Develop your story in the body paragraphs• Use action verbs and verbal phrases (the –ing or to form of a verb: laughing, to laugh) • She drew the shades; I took my position; nudging her aside, I passed the crowd;• Use temporal transitions to cue readers and move the narrative through time. • Just after; when; still; no longer; after a few days; for a week or so; before long; one afternoon
WHAT STORY WILL YOU USE?Where and when did it happen?Make a quick narrative ladder:• Setting• Rising action• Climax• resolution
THE GOAL: CREATE A VIVID PRESENTATION OF PLACESRecreate the time and place of the event• Ground readers in specifics: • When? Christmas morning; one day in late fall, Saturday night • Where? At a 7-11 in San Jose, at my Aunt Helen’s Easter party, In the back alley of a club in SunnyvaleName specific objects• White, spherical snowball• City clothes• Translucent skin• Dirty sidewalkUse similes and metaphors to draw comparisons• Simile: The car rumbled like an approaching storm.• Metaphor: I wanted to slingshot myself into the future. (compares himself to a stone)
THE STRATEGY: LISTING KEY PLACESMake a list of all the places where the event occurred, skipping some space after each entry on your list.In the space after each entry on your list, make some notes describing each place. What do you see (except people for now)? What objects stand out? Are thy large or small, green or brown, square or oblong? What sounds do you hear? Do you detect any smells? Does any taste come to mind? Any textures?
THE GOAL: MAKE A VIVID PRESENTATION OF PEOPLEDescriptive details of behaviors or actions• She stuck her hand in the bag and picked up the poor, little dead squirrel.• He drew his hands through his long, greasy hairA bit of dialogue• “Poor dear,” she murmured• “Get out of my house,” he screamedDetail the person’s appearance• A thin woman: all action• He wore dress clothes: a black suit and tie
THE STRATEGY: RECALLING KEY PEOPLEList the people who played more than a causal role in the eventDescribe a key person: Write a brief description of a person other than yourself who played a major role in the event. Name and detail a few distinctive physical features or items of dress. Describe in a few phrases this person’s way of moving and gesturing
THE STRATEGY CONTINUED: USE DIALOGUE TOCONVEY IMMEDIACY AND DRAMAReconstruct one important conversation• Try to remember any especially memorable comments, any unusual choice of words, or any telling remarks that you made or were made to you.• Try to partially re-create the conversation so that readers will be able to imagine what was going on and how your language and the other person’s language reveal who you were and your relationship.
THE GOAL: INDICATE THE EVENT’S SIGNIFICANCE Show that the event was important • Dramatize the even so readers can understand your feelings about it. • Show scenes from your point of view so readers can identify with you. Tell us that the event was important • Tell how you felt at the time of the experience • Tell how you feel about it now, in reflection.
THE STRATEGY: RECALL REMEMBERED FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS• What were your expectations before the event?• What was your first reaction to the event as it was happening and right after it ended?• How did you show your feelings? What did you say?• What did you want the people involved to think of you? Why did you care what they thought of you?• What did you think of yourself at the time?• How long did these initial feelings last?• What were the immediate consequences of the event for you personally?Pause now to reread what you have written. Then write another sentence or twoabout the event’s significance to you at the time it occurred.
THE STRATEGY CONTINUED: EXPLORE YOUR PRESENT PERSPECTIVE• Looking back, how do you feel about this event? If you understand it differently now than you did then, what is the difference?• What do your actions at the time of the event say about the kind of person you were then? How would you respond to the same event if it occurred today?• Can looking at the event historically or culturally help explain what happened? For example, did you upset racial, gender, or religious expectations? Did you feel torn between identities or cultures? Did you feel out of place?• Do you see now that there was a conflict underlying the event? For example, were you struggling with contradictory desires? Did you feel pressured by others? Were you desires and rights in conflict with someone else’s? Was the event about power or responsibility?Pause to reflect on what you have written about your present perspective. Then write another sentence or two, commenting on the event’s significance as you look back on it
GOAL: FORMULATING A TENTATIVE THESISReaders do not expect you to begin your narrative essay with the kind of explicit thesis statement typical of argumentative or explanatory writing. If you do decide to tell readers explicitly why the event was meaningful or significant, you will most likely do so as you tell the story, by commenting on or evaluating what happened, instead of announcing the significance at the beginning. Keep in mind that you are not obliged to tell readers the significance, but you must show it through the way you tell the story.
STRATEGY: REVIEW THE EVENT’S SIGNIFICANCEReview what you wrote for reflecting on the event’s significance, and add another two or three sentences, not summarizing what you already have written, but extending your insights into the significance of the event, what it meant to you at the time, and what it means now. These sentences must necessarily be speculative and tentative because you may not fully understand the event’s significance in your life.
THE GOAL: WRITING A GOOD INTRODUCTION The Strategy: Arouse readers’ curiosity • Begin with a surprising announcement? • Establish the setting and situation? Get readers to identify with you • Tell them a few things about yourself? • Begin in the middle of the action or a funny or important dialogue?
THE GOAL: WRITING A GOOD CONCLUSIONThe Strategy:Conclude with reflections on the meaning of the experience? (avoid tagging on a moral)Should you be philosophical? Satirical? Self critical?To underscore the event’s continuing significance, can you show that the conflict was never fully resolved?Could you contrast your remembered and current feelings and thoughts?Should you frame the essay by echoing something from the beginning to give readers a sense of closure?
FRAMINGFraming is a narrative device that echoes the beginning in the ending. The reader will then think of the beginning while reading the ending.For example, I might begin my essay in the car on the way to an event. Here, I would set the stage for my reader to understand where I was going and what I was doing. Then, I could end my essay on the car ride back home; at this time, I would reflect on the incident, adding some discussion of the significance of the event.Take a few minutes to consider how you might begin and end your story using framing.
HOMEWORKFinish your in-class writing and post it• This will likely be your outline, your strategies, your thoughts and reflections, and your thesis. For some people it will be more; for others less.Study the terms we discussed in class.Blog Shot #2: In one paragraph, imagine the benefits ofpassing. In a second paragraph, imagine the possibleconsequences of passing. Consider passing in multiplemanifestations: age, race, sex, sexualorientation, ability/disability, occupation, class status. Dothey share common benefits and consequences?