Due Date: Wednesday, January 18 (email) and Wednesday, January 25 (online discussion and test)
- Refine and practice your online-communication etiquette
- Understand the differences between a nonfiction form like the essay and more artistic forms like memoir and fiction (for example)
- Review some techniques professionals use to get started
- Observe masterpieces of craft built on the same subject in multiple genres to understand the direction of the course
- Take an objective test on those masterpieces to earn a grade, establish your place in the course, and demonstrate comprehension
Means of Evaluation (100 total points for all three components)
- Professional email demonstrating criteria laid out by Michael Leddy in "How to Email A Professor", due Wednesday, January 18 (25 points).
- Participation in Online Discussion 1, available from Wednesday, January 18 through Wednesday, January 25 (instructions to follow in the next post) (25 points).
- Test on Orientation Lecture, Syllabus, Course links (above) and readings, available from Wednesday, January 18 through Wednesday, January 15 at midnight (50 points).
(Warning: Mature Themes and Language to follow!)
- Memoir: “Would Our Two New Lives Include a Third?” by Ronda Kaysen
- Short Story: "Hills Like White Elephants," by Ernest Hemingway, p. 69 in Portable Literature
- Poem: “The Mother,” by Gwendolyn Brooks
- Poem: “The Abortion” by Anne Sexton
- Newspaper Article: Weldon Gets Thirteen Years in Abortion-Pill Case
- Spoken-word poem: “Black Barbie Doll,” by Red Storm
- Video: “Brick,” Ben Folds Five:
- Song: “Love Has Come For You” by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell on PBS:
Our course orientation is conducted via three components:
- a professional email securing your spot in the class (and preventing withdrawal as a no-show),
- a thoughtful response to the assigned readings and viewings shared with your classmates through an online discussion,
- and finally, a multiple-choice test demonstrating that you experienced and understood the syllabus, readings, and viewings.
None of these components is optional: you must fulfill all three to remain in the course. However, this post is the reason you won't have to come to campus. It it is organized to prepare you for the coursework ahead and to make sure that you know what you are getting into.
Repeat: you will demonstrate that you have done your part through the email, discussion post, and the multiple-choice test available to you at your Blackboard account from Wednesday, January 18 through 11:59 P.M. on January 25. You must take this test by the deadline; there are no extensions.
If you do not send me the assigned professional email by January 18, you will be withdrawn as a no-show. There are no deadline extensions because seven days is more than ample time to make a decision about the class and write an email.
However, if you do not participate in the first Online Discussion, due on January 25, or do not take the scheduled Orientation Lecture test also by January 25, you will lose the points for each element of this unit (a total of 100 of the 1,000 available).
You may opt out of some points if you choose, but if you fail to complete the email by January 18, I will withdraw you from the course as a no-show. This is not negotiable.
Click on the link for "How to Email a Professor." Michael Leddy offers lovely advice about how professors and students can make the best possible impression on one another in online communications. Send me an email that adheres to the principles laid out in this post by Wednesday, January 18, for 25 points (and the freedom to remain in the class).
In this email, please tell me about your experience with creative writing--either in classes or for fun on the side. Tell me also about your artistic ambitions and how this class can help you fulfill them.
View the PowerPoint lecture, "First Things First." As you view the material, take careful notes. This material will dominate the test.
Read the Course Syllabus. Why should you? Because a syllabus anticipates and tries to help you avert possible dilemmas. Click on this link to view an old Ikea commercial which shows why an ounce of anticipation is better than a pound of regret. The best surprise is no surprise. Pay particular attention to the "Format," "Grading," "Late Penalties," and "Computer Excuses" sections.
Read all the pieces at the links at the top of this piece. Read them in order: memoir to TV performance. This is the direction of our course: we begin with memoir and end with screenplay.
The most challenging piece is "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway on page 69 in the Portable Literature textbook. If the story confuses you, click on the Commentary by Timothy O'Brien, published in The Hemingway Review and made available by California State University, Sacramento. I included this reference because the story is a masterpiece of inference, and I don't want you either to miss the nuances or to feel overwhelmed by the artistry.
Then click on the links for the remaining poems, essays, and videos, savoring each one. Don't skip a single one. Read or view several times before taking the quiz.
Participate in the first Online discussion (up to 25 points) in order to meet each other. Since you will be commenting on each other's work and offering tips to make the work better, you need to start this session on friendly terms. This post opens on Wednesday, January 18 and is available to you until Wednesday, January 25. You will need to do the readings before you can post.
Start your preparation for the Orientation test, which will open in one week. There is a lot of reading and viewing, so I have given you plenty of time to prepare.
When you are prepared, you will take the multiple-choice test on your reading comprehension between Wednesday, January 18, through Wednesday, January 25. The test is easy if you've done the reading and revealing if you have not. This component is worth 50 points.
To take a quiz in Blackboard, follow these directions:
- Have both required textbooks and the syllabus at hand before you begin the quiz.
- Log into Blackboard: http://learn.valenciacollege.edu/
- Click on our class—CRW 2001.
- Click on Tests in the left sidebar.
- Click on Orientation Lecture Quiz. You will have 60 minutes to take the quiz. Keep an eye on the timer at the right. If you let the 60 minutes elapse before you have finished, the test will shut down on you.
- Click Save Answer or > after you have finalized your choice for each question. The check mark that appears at the right means that you have answered the item, not that you have gotten it correct.
- Click Save and Submit at the end of the quiz.
- You have only one attempt at this quiz, so be sure to follow all of these directions.
- If you encounter a problem with Blackboard, call the helpline immediately at 407-582-5600. Then send me an email with the exact time Blackboard went down. I will try to resolve a problem only if you have followed these instructions. You will also find a help link in the left sidebar of our course home page.
Your score will post in Blackboard when the time period for test-taking expires.
Caveat: Each part of this Orientation assignment earns points that are part of your final course grade and cannot be made up after the respective windows close.
Email me through Atlas if you have any questions.