20 March 2018

How to Receive a Paper Back from your Professor


How to Receive a Paper Back from Assessment
One of the most important and, alas, overlooked aspects of learning in college is the appropriate receipt of a written assignment that the instructor has graded, commented upon, and returned to the writer.  Sometimes, a student will immediately open to the last page, check first their grade, giving less attention to the marks, comments, and questions the reader has prepared for the author.  Often, the author will never work through the comments, correct the mechanical errors, or follow up the return of the paper with a visit to the reader during office hours. The following is a list of suggestions designed to help writers learn the most from their marked papers.

1)         When first you receive your paper, put it away until you are out of the classroom and in a quiet place; you are about to do serious reading and need to be free of distractions.

2)         Take out a pencil and piece of paper to make your own notes.

3)         Read you title.  Is there one?  Does it reflect your main argument?

4)         Read your first paragraph.  Has the reader questioned your thesis, case for importance, or methodology? Have you properly written the main text’s title?

5)         Check each first sentence of the body paragraphs.  Do they explain how the interpretive idea of the paragraph contributes to the paper’s thesis? 

6)         Is the quotation format correct?  Is it properly cited?  Do you discuss the use of language in each quotation?

7)         Write down questions the author has written in the paper.  Can you provide answers to them?

8)         Be extra sure to write down any corrections of grammar, punctuation, syntax, and usage.  If you do not understand the error, make a note to ask your reader about those, or refer to a good college handbook to correct each error.

9)         Where did your paper shine?  Where did your reader compliment a phrase, idea, or paragraph?  What do you notice about those parts of the paper? How do they differ from other parts?

10)       Read the comments at the end carefully.  Jot down any questions you have about them to bring to the reader during office hours. 

11)       Imagine the paper with all the questions addressed, all the errors corrected.  What would that paper look like? sound like?  Believe that you are able to construct this paper!

12)       Commit yourself to addressing all issues in the next paper.  Be sure you do not repeat errors! Nobody expects your papers to be perfect, but your reader and you expect each paper to improve upon the weaknesses and strengths of the earlier papers.

13)       Review your notes on this process and the reader’s comments on this paper before submitting your next paper.

29 January 2018

History & Mystery!

History & Mystery:  Reading and Experiencing English & Scottish Literature
Connecting the dots: literature and location.  A big part of our course is not just to teach literature, but to demonstrate and engage students in the phenomenon of literature’s connection to—dare we say it?—the real world.  Great books do not just materialize from the ether; they don’t magically appear during a semester’s syllabus and then vanish into thin air once the course is done. Books are written BY real people FOR other real people to—dare we say it?—enjoy.  To be sure, not all books are fun and games, but then again not all enjoyment is gotten from fun and games.  Serious books engage people in different, deeper ways; this engagement is perhaps a superior (or at least more long-lasting) species of enjoyment than, say, eating ice cream.
In our class we will try to do several things.
First we want to examine the connection between literature and location.  Shakespeare would not have had his plays performed had it not been the London of that time.  And where would Doyle and Stevenson be without Edinburgh as a home base OR London as a subject?
But we also want to teach this literature as a reactive activity, as a part of a larger tradition.  As a case in point, J.R.R. Tolkien, an Oxford professor whose specialty was Anglo-Saxon, clearly drew much of his creative output (LOTR, et al.) from Beowulf, a poem we have from a single, undated and damaged manuscript.  And in turn, J.K. Rowling leaned heavily on Tolkien’s creative work to populate and characterize her Harry Potter opus (invisibility ring/robe, sagacious Gandalf/Dumbledore, one small person with an incredibly world-heavy responsibility, dragons, temptation of power, Dark Lord/Sauron, and on and on). 
Based on our belief that students learn best when they do the teaching, we add to this class a “student-led” component to this faculty-led course.  All students will conceive, research, develop, and orchestrate one or two on-site tours during our trip.  For example, one group of students may want to bring the class to places in Oxford that were used in the Harry Potter films (the library was the Oxford Bodleian; Christ Church was the dining hall, etc.)  To do this, the students might research film records, get permission to visit restricted places or perhaps contact a professional tour, show the class pictures and sound bites ahead of time, and maybe even invent some games (first student to find Blackwell Book Store gets a prize, e.g.).  We’ve listed below a very few options; there are many more, and in fact we encourage you to create your own tours (always keeping them relevant to the reading list, mind).  We would like to see each student part of at least two tours and to work with different teams.
In conjunction with the student tours, we’d also like students to take turns presiding at Open Readings, that is, to read a passage or two aloud to the group when we are at the appropriate location.  E.G. a chapter of The Hobbit at the Child & Eagle pub; a speech from Hamlet outside the Globe, a paragraph of A Study in Scarlet on Baker Street, or a Burns lyric on our hike in the Highlands.

Beowulf (Oxford)
Hobbit (Oxford)
Sorcerer’s Stone (Oxford/Edinburgh)
Study in Scarlet (London/Edinburgh)
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (London/Edinburgh)
Robert Burns (Edinburgh)
Hamlet (London)
As You Like It (London)
Student led tours –
Oxford:  Eagle & Child, Hogwarts Dining Hall, Ashmolean Museum, Bodleian Library, Merton College,  2 or 3.
London: Locations in Stevenson, Doyle, Warner Brothers Studio Tour, St. Paul’s, Westminster Abbey, Globe and Southwark, 3 or 4
Edinburgh:  Hiking tours, Rowling’s, Doyle’s, Burns’, Stevenson’s Edinburgh, Camera Obscura, Royal Mile/Castle, Greyfriars Kirk & Greyfriars Bobby, for additional ideas, check out this website - http://edinburgh.org/101/, 4 or five
Spring semester:
            --get familiar with the literature
            --bond as a group
            --prepare for travel
            --determine tours & readings
            --further activities (Lodge?  Fundraising? Etc.) as appropriate.
May 14-27
            --take student tours
            --see plays
            --visit sites as determined in spring
            --do readings
            --journal, journal, journal
May 28-August 1
            Prepare research paper on accepted aspect/subject/topic.


January
16        T          Introduction.
18        R          Beowulf http://ebeowulf.uky.edu/
23        T          Beowulf
25        R          Beowulf
30        T          Burns (Chavez)
February
 1         R          Burns (Chavez)
 6         T          Hobbit (http://lotrproject.com/map/#zoom=3&lat=1332&lon=1500&layers=BTTTTT)  
 8         R          Hobbit
13        T          Hobbit
15        R          Harry Potter http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Philosopher%27s_Stone
20        T          Harry Potter
22        R          Harry Potter
27        T          Hamlet http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/Texts/Ham/
March
 1         R          Hamlet
6          T          Hamlet
 8         R          Hamlet
13        T          SPRING BREAK
15        R          SPRING BREAK
22        R          As You Like It
29        R          As You Like It
April
 3         T          Tour Presentations
 5         R          Tour Presentations
12        R          Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (Chavez)
17        T          Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (Chavez)
19        R          A Study in Scarlet (Chavez) http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/doyle/mormons.html
24        T          A Study in Scarlet (Chavez)
26        R          A Study in Scarlet (Chavez)

May
 1         T          Reading Presentations
 3         R          Reading Presentations
Grading:  Participation in class discussion of literature:   40%
            Tours & Readings:  20%
            Essay:  40%
Students with special needs must inform the instructor in the first week of classes and he will make all reasonable accommodations.

Office Hours exist to aid students in progressing in the course.  Come see me to discuss the readings, the papers, the class proceedings.  Student who use office hours do better than if they did not; it’s just that simple.  MWF 10-11, 12-1; TR 8:30-9:30, 11-1.  I am not always in my office at these times, so please check with me beforehand.  I am also available by appointment. OM312b.  You may email me or leave a voice mail, but I cannot promise to respond before the next class meeting.  360-438-4336; smead@stmartin.edu

ENG102 Iliad & Sophocles 2018

College Writing II                                                                                ENG102
Spring 2018                                                                                         Professor Mead
ENG102, College Writing II, is designed to move a student from the skills learned in ENG101—thesis building, topic sentences, methodologies, logic and its fallacies, and standard usage—to the deeper skills of welding thesis-building to secondary research.  In other words, now that you have learned, to some degree, to make your own argument, you will now test your arguments against the arguments of others.  To this end, we will read, discuss, and analyze a few important texts (Homer’s The Iliad, and two of Sophocles’ dramas) in order for you to create an interpretive argument about the text that is enhanced by your finding and studying what others have argued about the same text. The key skill here is not so much to find the secondary sources as it is to integrate those sources into your argument.
Remember, secondary sources are not only used to “support” your argument (e.g. “Professor Fred’s article says the same thing that I said, so I must be right.”).  In fact, your original argument wouldn’t be original if it said what others have said.  Secondary sources can be used to set up a context (e.g. “Dr. Smith reminds us that Late Bronze Age Greece was without an alphabet, which explains why Achilles is singing in Book Nine instead of reading.”). To argue against (e.g. “Professor Farcy’s article on Helen’s role in The Iliad misses an important point that can seriously re-orient our reading of the poem.”).  Secondary sources can also be used to situate one’s own opinion within the larger conversation; let’s face it:  these texts have been around for a long time and lots of people have put in their two cents’ worth! (e.g. “The interpretive camps regarding Paris’ character may be divided into the apologists (Worth, Brown, Kelly), the condemners (Parry, Jones) and the symbolists (Franklin. Pierce, Vattier); my argument borrows some of Brown’s regard for Paris, while acknowledging Parry’s incisive reading of Book Four.”).
The best way to read secondary sources is to note 1) what the main argument is; 2) how the author makes the argument; and 3) how you can use the source to support, inform, locate, or challenge your own argument.
This class will be challenging.  You will have to manage your time carefully, read briskly and incisively, and prepare for active class participation.  Unless you have a documented accommodation, you are required to use a print edition of the texts, and to mark up your copies as a sign of active reading.
Required Texts:  Homer. The Iliad. Robert Fagles, trans.  Penguin.
                          Sophocles. The Three Theban Plays. Robert Fagles, trans.  Penguin.
Reading all literature is a matter of going into a foreign country with limited knowledge of the language, customs, and assumptions, but reading early literature is even more so.  The first millennium B.C. in the Eastern Mediterranean was as different a place from twenty-first century Lacey as can be imagined.  Attitudes regrading gender, social constructions, political entities, the divine, war, happiness, and identity were vastly different to the classical Greeks from what they are to us.  Therefore, it is especially important that we take stock of what baggage we are carrying with us as we enter this new world.  While no one can completely eliminate one’s beliefs and prejudices, we must be mindful of how what we bring to the text may in fact distort our reading.  Further, remember that these are literary texts; they are not histories or scholastic studies.  These texts are meant to be enjoyed by their use of plot, characterization, poetry, themes, pace, and insight into the human condition.  Although written for their immediate audiences, these texts have been read, praised, and loved by countless cultures (Western and non-Western), ages, genders, classes, religionists.  You may be confident that there is something here for you.  Find it.
Papers in this class are process-oriented.  This means that you begin the writing process today by reading the texts, taking notes, and beginning to search for secondary sources.  The class meetings and discussions are a crucial part of the writing process, as are notetaking, text-marking, free-writing, drafting, and (most important) revising.  The products of these processes are two thesis-driven essays that make significant use of your secondary sources.  These papers should be roughly ten pages long, exclusive of a Notes page (immediately after the last page of text) and a Works Cites page (immediately after the Notes Page). Pleas submit you papers in the following format:  in a cardboard folder with your name on the outside; with the final draft in the left hand pocket; with at least two earlier drafts that demonstrate the revision process, along with any edit sheets in the right hand pocket. Keep copies of all drafts.  Remember, you must complete all assignments to pass the course. Late papers will be marked down.  Each paper (the final drafts and all earlier drafts) will constitute 40% of your final grade, but because this is a process-writing class, your conscientious reading, notetaking, class discussion, prewriting, and library research will determine much of your final product.

                                                            Syllabus
January
17        W         Introduction. 48 days, 6 weeks and 5 days.
19        F          The Iliad, Book 1 800 B. C.
22        M         The Iliad, Books 2-3
24        W         The Iliad, Books 4-5
26        F          The Iliad, Books 6-7
29        M         The Iliad, Books 8-9
31        W         The Iliad, Book 10-11
February
 2         F          The Iliad, Books 12-13
 5         M         The Iliad, Books 114-15
 7         W         The Iliad, Books 16-17
 9         F          The Iliad, Books 18-19
12        M         The Iliad, Books 20-21
14        W         The Iliad, Books 22-23
16        F          The Iliad, Book 24
19        M         NO CLASSES President’s Day
21        W         Catch-up
23        F          Thesis Deadline
26        M         Edit Session
28        W         Edit Session
March
 2         F          Edit Session
 5         M         Iliad Thesis Paper with five secondaries Due. (40%)
 7         W         Antigone 441 B.C.
 9         F          Antigone
12        M         NO CLASSES Spring Break
14        W         NO CLASSES Spring Break
16        F          NO CLASSES Spring Break
19        M         Antigone
21        W         Antigone
23        F          Antigone
26        M         Antigone
28        W         Antigone
30        F          NO CLASSES Good Friday
April
 2         M         NO CLASSES Easter Monday
 4         W         Oedipus the King 429 B.C.
 6         F          Oedipus the King
 9         M         Oedipus the King
11        W         Oedipus the King
13        F          Oedipus the King
16        M         Oedipus the King
18        W         Conferences.  Research
20        F          Conferences.  Research. Thesis Deadline
23        M         Edit Session
25        W         Edit Session
27        F          Edit Session
30        M         Revision
May
 2         W         Evaluations.  Speeches. Sophocles Thesis Paper with five secondaries Due.
Policies
Dear Students:  Because many studies have demonstrated that we learn more and better by handwriting notes, this class has a no-device policy.  Do not use or put your laptops on the desk.  Phones, tablets, etc. must be in your pockets or bags with the sound turned off. Please obtain a notebook to use exclusively with this class.  I will occasionally peruse your notebook to assist your learning.
Classroom Behavior for the Most Productive Learning:
Arrive before the hour.  Have a notebook, writing instrument,
and text on your desk.
A cup of coffee or a water container is appropriate. A meal is not.
Use the facilities before or after class, not during
(we’ve only 50 minutes).
Keep phones off.
Engage proactively, not reactively. Ask questions. Respond
 to other students.
TAKE COPIOUS NOTES.
Act as if you care, even if you don’t.  This is a crucial life-skill.
You have asked to be challenged by deciding to pursue a college degree.  You may not have imagined what those challenges would look like or how much time and energy you will need to put into meeting those challenges.  Please remember that I will always be asking you for your best, asking you to achieve things you have not achieved before, to manage skills you may not have been adept at before.  Why else take a class?  But please understand that behind my expectations, impelling them, is my desire that you benefit deeply from our collegial inquiry, in preparation for profession life.   
The free pursuit of knowledge is your right, as you are a member of this Benedictine community. Therefore, you can expect at college an environment free of harassment, censorship, intimidation, or retaliation.  Please consider me an advocate if I may serve you in assuring yourself of what is yours. This also means that if my teaching strategies give you cause for discomfort or confusion, please come and speak me.  I promise to listen respectfully and to strive to come to a mutually agreed-upon response.
Speeches are your chance to improve your final grade—and master a new and invigorating skill.  Each student who can memorize twenty+ full lines of Shakespeare with fewer than five mistakes will have their final grade improved by one increment.  Passages must be approved by instructor in advance.
Attendance is required for all class meetings.  Tardiness is counted as an absence, as is coming to class unprepared.  More than three absences (for whatever reason; I do not determine the value of your absence) will result in a lowered final grade.
Along with Preparation, Participation is your go-to means of succeeding in the class.  To be prepared is to arrive early or on time, to have your book open and a writing pad and pen ready; to participate is to have read and considered the text; to initiate class discussion with claims, questions, and shared observations; to take notes that record the whole class conversation.
Students with special needs must inform the instructor in the first week of classes and he will make all reasonable accommodations.

Office Hours exist to aid students in progressing in the course.  Come see me to discuss the readings, the papers, the class proceedings.  Student who use office hours do better than if they did not; it’s just that simple.  MWF 10-11, 12-1; TR 8:30-9:30, 11-1.  I am not always in my office at these times, so please check with me beforehand.  I am also available by appointment. OM312b.  You may email me or leave a voice mail, but I cannot promise to respond before the next class meeting.  360-438-4336; smead@stmartin.edu

Shakespeare 2018

Shakespeare:  Love and the Ordered Society ENG341
Professor Mead                 Spring 2018
Dear Students:  Because many studies have demonstrated that we learn more and better by handwriting notes, this class has a no-device policy.  Do not use or put your laptops on the desk.  Phones, tablets, etc. must be in your pockets or bags with the sound turned off. Please obtain a notebook to use exclusively with this class.  I will occasionally peruse your notebook to assist your learning.
Like many great writers, Shakespeare explored the tensions, connections, and distinctions between personal relationships (romantic love, platonic love, friendship, loyalty, regard, respect) and the common weal (the community, the state, the family, the church).  Early modern thinkers commonly paralleled the head of a household with the head of state.  Shakespeare’s world inherited from the middle ages the notion that people are inherently loving creatures, but that one’s love is always subject to disorder, negativity, or illusion.  Love is also a strong expression of the individual will, which can often come into conflict with the larger, common good.  Conversely, the state might best pursue its goal of order by embracing, insofar as a corporation can, the personal values of compassion, loyalty, and regard for the state’s subjects.
In this class we will read several plays by Shakespeare that deal most directly with the issue of love and government and that relate most effectively to our twenty-first century concerns about order and individual freedoms.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth. Othello, and Antony & Cleopatra all deal with characters who have public responsibilities and personal, sometimes private, passions. Often, these plays offer us comparisons:  the romance of Theseus and Hippolyta in contrast to the passions of the young aristocrats (MND); the questionable moral status of Claudio vs. that of Angelo (MM); the filial loyalty of Portia and Jessica (MV); the families of Macbeth and Macduff; the bloodless Octavius and the passionate Antony—for starters!
Our job will be to read these plays deeply and to try to uncover patterns, suggestions, deliberate contradictions, and maybe even pronouncements that Shakespeare offers to his audience in this area.  Questions we may want to ask could include the following:  Can a bad lover be a good ruler?  Can an attentive spouse be a bad ruler?   Can a state be run like a family? Does the state have a responsibility to encourage, demand, require moral behavior?  Is personal freedom more important than public order?  Is the individual a good model for the state? Is a well-ordered state a good model for a healthy individual?  Can theatre usefully model the public good? In what specific ways does gender enforce or complicate public rule and individual desire—and their performance on the theatrical stage?  I hope you as students will construct many more and better questions than these!
Outcomes you can expect if you are conscientious in reading, writing, office visiting, and participating include
A greater ability to be aware of multiple dynamics in a text
A stronger internal editor when revising
A deeper sensitivity to nuance
A heightened ability to listen to others and integrate their ideas into your literary imagination
A familiarity with the dual nature of drama as both text and performance
A surer confidence in your personal ability to reason, create, and express
A clear sense of all learning as a collaborative act.
Classroom Behavior for the Most Productive Learning:
Arrive before the hour.  Have a notebook, writing instrument,
and text on your desk.
A cup of coffee or a water container is appropriate. A meal is not.
Use the facilities before or after class, not during
(we’ve only 50 minutes).
Keep phones off.
Engage proactively, not reactively. Ask questions. Respond
 to other students.
TAKE COPIOUS NOTES.
Act as if you care, even if you don’t.  This is a crucial life-skill.
Reading Schedule:  Please have the entire play read by the first day of discussion.  Please have the play re-read, at the latest, by the third day of discussion. There will be a brief, factual quiz on the first day of each play.
January
16 T Introduction.  Speeches.
18 R A Midsummer Night’s Dream
23 T A Midsummer Night’s Dream
25 R A Midsummer Night’s Dream
30 T A Midsummer Night’s Dream
February
 1 R Twelfth Night
 6 T Twelfth Night
 8 R Twelfth Night
13 T Twelfth Night
15 R The Merchant of Venice
20 T The Merchant of Venice
22 R The Merchant of Venice
27 T The Merchant of Venice
March
 1 R Measure for Measure
6 T Measure for Measure
 8 R Measure for Measure
13 T SPRING BREAK
15 R SPRING BREAK
20 T Measure for Measure
22 R Macbeth
27 T Macbeth
29 R Macbeth
April
 3 T Macbeth
 5 R Othello
10 T Othello
12 R Othello
17 T Othello
19 R Antony & Cleopatra
24 T Antony & Cleopatra
26 R Antony & Cleopatra
May
 1 T Antony & Cleopatra
 3 R Evaluations.  Speeches.
Policies
You have asked to be challenged by deciding to pursue a college degree.  You may not have imagined what those challenges would look like or how much time and energy you will need to put into meeting those challenges.  Please remember that I will always be asking you for your best, asking you to achieve things you have not achieved before, to manage skills you may not have been adept at before.  Why else take a class?  But please understand that behind my expectations, impelling them, is my desire that you benefit deeply from our collegial inquiry, in preparation for profession life. 
The free pursuit of knowledge is your right, as you are a member of this Benedictine community. Therefore, you can expect at college an environment free of harassment, censorship, intimidation, or retaliation.  Please consider me an advocate if I may serve you in assuring yourself of what is yours.  This also means that if my teaching strategies give you cause for discomfort or confusion, please come and speak me.  I promise to listen respectfully and to strive to come to a mutually agreed-upon response.
Speeches are your chance to improve your final grade—and master a new and invigorating skill.  Each student who can memorize twenty+ full lines of Shakespeare with fewer than five mistakes will have their final grade improved by one increment.  Passages must be approved by instructor in advance.
Attendance is required for all class meetings.  Tardiness is counted as an absence, as is coming to class unprepared.  More than three absences (for whatever reason; I do not determine the value of your absence) will result in a lowered final grade.
Along with Preparation, Participation is your go-to means of succeeding in the class.  To be prepared is to arrive early or on time, to have your book open and a writing pad and pen ready; to participate is to have read and considered the text; to initiate class discussion with claims, questions, and shared observations; to take notes that record the whole class conversation.
Students with special needs must inform the instructor in the first week of classes and he will make all reasonable accommodations.
Papers are to be submitted in a cardboard folder with at least two earlier drafts that show the process of revision (not merely editing and polishing).  Papers are to be thesis-driven and rely on close reading of carefully selected passages for methodology.  Theses must be original, provocative claims of interpretation that offer the reader new ways of understanding the text.  All paragraphs must have topic sentences that connect the paragraph with the thesis as well as make the paragraph’s main claim.  Topic sentences are never statements of fact. I encourage you to build on the previous paper, to read broadly the literature on the plays and the issues before beginning to write, and to develop the idea before concerning yourself with the organization.  HOW you organize your argument is your methodology.
Reading analytically consists of, first, familiarizing yourself with the characters and the plot.  Second, of looking up all vocabulary you might be unfamiliar with. Thirdly, of looking for patterns, parallels, juxtapositions, thematic threads.  Fourth, considering how the function of language adds to or complicates the denotative message of the passage (close reading).
Quizzes are designed to help you master the “first read” of a play: getting familiar with plot and character.  Each quiz will be ten brief questions with factual answers of a simple phrase or word.
Papers are designed to move you from response and reflection to creating and advancing provocative, interpretive ideas.  Four papers are short (2-3 pages) and will require discrete skills (close reading, character analysis, structure identification, responding to other views), all of which will be necessary for your final term paper (10-12 pages).  I encourage you to work from your previous papers as you progress through the tasks so that the term paper will be—whatever its subject—a natural growth from your earlier semester’s work.
Paper #1:  Dramatic Structure.  Choosing either MND or 12thN, construct the shape of the play.  You may choose to use analogies (e.g. “MND is shaped like a rubber band that gets stretched out and snapped.”); pictures, flow-charts, or Venn diagrams; historical parallels (e.g. “Viola’s entering Olivia’s house is like Napoleon’s army entering Moscow in the winter”) or any other comparison that seems suitable to you.  Be sure to support your thesis with canny references to the text, considerations of genre, and anticipation of the counterargument.  2-3 pages, exclusive of visuals. 10% of final grade
Paper #2: Character Analysis.  Choosing a main character from either MM or MV, write a pseudo-psychological treatise that demonstrates how your character has a split personality and how her or his actions in the play successfully or unsuccessfully address this pathology.  Be sure to use judicious interpretations of your character’s spoken words, including inferences, implications, tone, and recurrent imagery in their language. 2-3 pages. 10% of final grade
Paper #3: Close Reading.  Choose one passage, preferably a speech, of 12-30 lines from either M or O.  Interpreting word choice, tone, line breaks, rhythm, rhyme, imagery, sound effects, caesuras, enjambments, diction, and repetition, explain how this speech epitomizes one key issue of the play. 4 pages max.10% of final grade.
Paper #4: Term Paper.  Argue an interpretive claim relevant to our class theme of “Love and the Ordered Society,” being sure to include in your methodology an awareness of dramatic structure, character analysis, and close reading, PLUS integration of at least four secondary sources.  These sources are to be scholarly articles or book chapters from peer-reviewed publications no older than 1990. 10-12 pages, exclusive of Notes and Works Cited pages. You may choose to use as many as four plays (although 1-3 plays are fully acceptable), but A&C must be one of the plays.  30% of final grade.
Grades help you to gauge your progress as a college student in an upper-division class.  In general, a C grade indicates you are doing the minimum to pass the course; B indicate progress beyond expectations; A indicates truly sterling work.  On the other end, D indicates deficiency and F failure.  Please remember that you must complete all assignments to pass the class.  Late papers will be graded down.
Participation 20%
Quizzes         20%
Papers 60%
Required Text:  The Oxford Shakespeare: Complete Works. 2nd Edition.  Oxford UP.
Unless you have a reported accommodation need, you will need to use the print version.
Office Hours exist to aid students in progressing in the course.  Come see me to discuss the readings, the papers, the class proceedings.  Student who use office hours do better than if they did not; it’s just that simple.  MWF 10-11, 12-1; TR 8:30-9:30, 11-1.  I am not always in my office at these times, so please check with me beforehand.  I am also available by appointment. OM312b.  You may email me or leave a voice mail, but I cannot promise to respond before the next class meeting.  360-438-4336; smead@stmartin.edu.

25 January 2018

Homer & Herodotus, Spring 2017

World Literature: Homer & Herodotus
Secondary Texts Available on Moodle
January
24 T Introduction. Martin, “Utterance”
26 R The Iliad, Books 1-2 Nagy, “Multiformity” Slatkin, “Helplessness”
31 T The Iliad, Books 3-4 Austin, “Helen” Muellner “Cranes”
February
2 R The Iliad, Books 5-6 Morris, “2 Cities”
7 T The Iliad, Books 7-8 Bennet, “Bronze”
9 R The Iliad, Books 9-10
14 T The Iliad, Books 11-12 Morris, “Iron”
16 R The Iliad, Books 13-14 Morrell, “Disease”
21 T The Iliad, Books 15-16
23 R The Iliad, Books 17-18
28 T The Iliad, Books 19-20 Morrell, “Chaos”
March
2 R The Iliad, Books 21-22
7 T The Iliad, Books 23-24
9 R The Histories, Book 1. Momigliano, Bakker, Nagy, “Oral & Ancient Greek Poetry.”
14 T The Histories, Book 1. Travis. Research Paper #1 Due.
16 R NO CLASS
21-23 SPRING BREAK
28 T The Histories, Book 2. Lloyd
30 R The Histories, Book 3. Nagy, “Charms of Tyranny.”
April
4 T The Histories, Book 3
6 R NO CLASSES. ADVISING DAY.
11 T The Histories, Book 4. Hartog.
13 R The Histories, Book 5. Irwin.
18 T The Histories, Book 5
20 R The Histories, Book 6. Nagy, “Ainos as Song or Speech.”
25 T The Histories, Book 7. Christ.
27 R The Histories, Book 7
May
2 T NO CLASSES (in afternoon)
4 R The Histories, Book 8. Hornblower.
9 T The Histories, Book 9. Nagy, “Authority of Historia.”
11 R The Histories, Book 9.
15 M Research Paper #2 Due.
Students with special needs must see the professor in the first week of classes, and he will make all reasonable accommodations.
ENG395 is an advanced literature class that also satisfies the general education requirement. What does this mean? Well, to me it means that you are not expected to have read Homer or Herodotus before, but that you have read before, that you have engaged with a challenging text from a world unlike your own and have tried on some level to its meaning into your world. World Literature, in its broadest academic sense, means literature outside of the Anglo-American catalog and there for can be presented in many, many ways. This section of 385 will focus on two works from ancient Greece. The Iliad, composed by someone we call Homer, tells the story of a late-Bronze Age conflict, the cornerstone of classical Greek myth, the Trojan War. The Histories, written (yes, actually written, although probably also performed) by Herodotus, is his fifth-century telling of the Persian War, when non-Greek powers from Asia invaded the Greek peninsula in the early fifth century (all our dates are B.C.E. or if you prefer, B.C. Remember that “5th century” means the four hundreds: early fifth century is 495; late fifth century is 404). This class will call upon you to read both deeply and somewhat quickly, for we shall also be reading secondary texts; these secondary texts are available on the Moodle page in the week that more or less coincides with their reading due dates.
Although I have read and taught The Iliad dozens of times, I have never written or taught a class on both Herodotus and Homer, so in many ways we will be working through things for the first time together. I can tell you that I participated in a Herodotus seminar last summer and so was in a sense a student of this text, and that’s another similarity between this instructor and the students in this class.
So, what is our job and what is the purpose of the class? In short, you are to come to class meetings prepared (this means much more than just having read the material. It means you are ready to engage proactively with the class in analyzing and interpreting the text) to speak, listen, take notes, encourage others while also critiquing others’ ideas and in general being a fully operating member of a literary/historical think tank. The larger questions we will pursue will be to explore how Homer’s poetic work is historical and how Herodotus’ historical work is literary. Another way to put this is to say that our modern ideas of history and literature and the distinction between the two are just that—very modern. Another question we will pursue is the idea of authority. What made a work authoritative to the ancient Greeks? How did they “use” authority or works with authority? It is also my fervent hope that you will also simply enjoy these works as you might enjoy a really good movie or a vacation abroad or meeting a new and interesting person.
Ours is a small class, so the duties of class participation are intensified. This is NOT a lecture class, but a seminar, and so we will all have to be “on” most of the time.
PAPERS. Each paper should be about ten pages long, exclusive of notes and works cited. You should pursue an interpretive question through close reading, analysis, judicious use of secondary sources, and logical argumentation. You may simply want to continue the line of questions we follow in the class, but remember: your ideas in the paper must go far beyond the classroom conversation. Also, there is no need for you to use secondary sources outside of the secondary readings I have given you. You may choose to use other sources, as best suits your particular thesis, but it isn’t required.
Each paper will constitute 40% of your final grade. 20% of your final grade will be based on class participation.
Students who wish to earn extra credit (usually a boost of one or two increments to your final grade) may do so in one or both of two ways. First, you can mentor, assist, or somehow work with first-year students who are reading The Iliad (and writing a research paper) at the same time you are. You can work IN the classroom assisting me (I have two sections: MWF 9-9:50 and 11-11:50), or you can make arrangements with one or more students OUTSIDE of class to run study groups, reading sessions, peer editing activities, or the like. Depending on how much you want to put into this work, your final grade could really get hiked up. The second way to earn extra credit is to memorize and recite to the class twenty lines from Homer with fewer than five errors. Dressing up accurately and dramatically reciting the lines will further goose your extra credit. And yes, you can do both.
Office Hours. OM 312b. MWF 8-9, 10-11, and sometimes 12-1.
TR 8:30-9:30. And sometimes 11-1.
360-438-4336 smead@stmartin.edu

08 January 2016

Literature and Theology Spring 2016

Literature & Theology RLS320/ENG395

Ours will be a very small class, which condition gives it the opportunity of a vigorous and exciting exchange between (and among) students and the professor. The goals of this class center on looking at literature through a lens of theology; in others words, we will read three rather monumental Western works and consider how these texts reflect/argue, posit/complicate, popularize/criticize specific strains of Western Christian theology A.D. 400-1670. Secondary skills developed are critical, active reading; greater facility of integration of library research; familiarity with some of the Big Ideas out there and some of their Big Thinkers; improved writing skills; and improvement of the essential professional soft skills such as the courtesy of listening and speaking, the habit of consistent preparedness, and the ability to work punctually and under time constraints.
Specifically, we will consider historical treatments of time/eternity, space/infinity, divine grace/human will, and God as a character. We will try to look at each author as a whole voice in his own right, but also compare authors in their treatments of similar themes. Paper #1 requires you to treat either one concept or one book of the Confessions and to construct a theological treatise that draws upon concepts Augustine gets from the Gospels and the Psalms; Paper #2 will ask you to explore an element of time or space in Dante as these elements intersect with mortal characters. Paper #3, which may be a continuation of your second paper, will consider how La Commedia treats his Afterworldly geography in light of Book 11 of Confessions; finally, Paper #4 is a grand opus type of paper that can address any aspect of these works—including ideas you have already begun to develop in earlier papers—so long as at least half the paper concentrates on Paradise Lost.


Class Schedule (subject to change)
January
12 T Introduction
14 R Confessions, Books 1-3
19 T Confessions, Books 4-6
21 R Confessions, Books 7-9
26 T Confessions, Books 10-11
28 R Inferno, Cantos 1-7
Feb. 2 T Inferno, Cantos 8-14. Augustine Paper Due (3-4 pp)
4 R Inferno, Cantos 15-22
9 T Inferno, Cantos 23-28
11 R Inferno, Cantos 29-34
16 T Purgatorio, Cantos, 1-7
18 R Purgatorio, Cantos 8-14
23 T Purgatorio, Cantos 15-22
25 R Purgatorio, Cantos 23-28
Mar. 1 T Purgatorio, Cantos 29-33 Dante Time & Space Paper Due (6-8 pp)
3 R Paradiso, Cantos 1-7
8 T SPRING BREAK
10 R SPRING BREAK
15 T Paradiso, Cantos 8-14
17 R NO CLASSES. ADVISING DAY.
22 T Paradiso, Cantos 15-22
24 R Paradiso, Cantos 23-28
29 T Paradiso, Cantos 29-33
31 R NO CLASS (RSA Boston)
Apr. 5 T Paradise Lost, Books 1-2 Dante & Augustine Paper Due (6-8 pp)
7 R Paradise Lost, Books 3-4
12 T Paradise Lost, Books 5-6
14 R Paradise Lost, Books 7-8
19 T Paradise Lost, Books 9-10
21 R Paradise Lost, Books 11-12
26 T NO CLASSES. SCHOLARS’ DAY
28 R Evaluations. Speeches
Finals Week: Literature & Theology Paper Due (8-12 pp).

Required Texts: Confessions, Saint Augustine. Penguin Classics, R. S. Pine-Coffin trans.
Inferno, Dante. Oxford, Robert M. Durling trans.
Purgatorio, Dante. Oxford, Durling trans.
Paradiso, Dante. Oxford, Durling trans.
Paradise Lost, John Milton. Oxford, Stephen Orgel ed.


Grading: Augustine Paper 10%
Dante Time & Space 20%
Dante & Augustine 25%
Lit & Theo (M) 30%
Participation 15%

Attendance: Required. More than three absences will lower your final grade by one decrement per day. Tardiness is counted as an absence. There are no “excused” or unexcused” absences.
Students with special needs must inform the professor in the first week of classes and he will make all reasonable accommodations.
Late papers will be down-graded one full later per day late. You must complete all assignments to pass the class.
Please see labels “Essential,” “Very Useful Stuff” at my blog stephenxmead.blogspot.com for important class policies. A copy of the syllabus and class policies will be there too under the “Syllabi” label.
Office: OM312b 438-4336 smead@stmartin.edu
MWF 10-11, 12-1. TR 8:30-9:30, 11-1.
AND BY APPOINTMENT


07 January 2016

Syllabus for ENG102 A2 & B2, Spring 2016

ENG102 College Writing II
Instructor Stephen X. Mead Phone 438-4336
Office OM312b E-mail smead@stmartin.edu
Office Hours MWF 10-11, 12-1
TR 8:30-9:30, 11-1 AND BY APPOINTMENT http://stephenxmead.blogspot.com/

Text:
The Iliad, Homer. Robert Fagles translation. Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, 1998
The Aeneid, Virgil. Robert Fagles translation. Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition. 2008

Description:
ENG102 is the second half of the writing requirement for all Saint Martin’s students. In ENG101, the first half, you should have been introduced to a number of rudimentary writing skills, among them standard usage, thesis construction, logic and logical fallacies, paragraphing, and developing a strong, precise writerly tone. ENG102 draws directly from these skills (which you are expected to have begun developing, not to have mastered) to include the broadly applicable skill of finding, evaluating, and integrating secondary sources into thesis-driven papers. To these ends, we will read, study, and discuss two major works of Western Civilization which are from the ancient world, but pellucidly relevant to our twenty-first century world. Our immediate goal will be two produce two thesis-driven papers that use no fewer than eight secondary sources each. Much goes into achieving that goal: careful, active reading and re-reading; sharing and responding to ideas in and out of class; pre-writing chores; library work; and an awful lot of revision.

Goals:
Our long-game goals are to produce students who can read with authority and write with power; who can think critically and evaluate sources and distinguish nuances among like things; who understand that all writing, including student writing, is about so much more than the surface message; who realize that being “educated” in the classical sense of the word, is not a luxury for the 1%, but a necessity for the 99%.
Specifically, the successful student will have 1) written two logically argued, reasonably researched, clearly written papers of ten pages each, excluding Notes and Works Cited pages; 2) cited documentation in the MLA style; 3) contributed actively and productively to class discussions; kept to deadlines; mastered the crucial professional soft skills of 1) courtesy in speaking and listening, 2) consistent preparation of assigned materials, and 3) punctuality and the ability to work successfully within time constraints.
Finally, it is my profound wish that students will learn to know and love some wonderful literature and continue to seek out and delve into literary and historical works from long ago and far away [music swells] as a part of a lifelong habit of learning, growing, and developing into full citizens and souls.

Requirements:
First, to attend each class on time, prepared, and to engage actively in class discussions
Second, to complete all the pre-writing, re-writing, and research activities that constitute the process that produces your papers.
Third, to take full advantage of the out-of-class resources to assist you in your work.
You must complete all work to pass the class. Absences in excess of three (absences are neither excused or unexcused) will lower your final grade by one decrement. Excessive absences (more than six) may fail you in the class.

Resources:
Kael Moffat is the Information Literacy Librarian who is most prepared to help you throughout the semester. You can contact him for advice, instruction, mentoring, or even just information. kmoffat@stmartin.edu 360-688-2257
The Writing Center Director is Dr. Nathalie Kuroiwa-Lewis. She runs the Center with trained peer-readers who will help you construct and revision your papers. nkuroiwalewis@stmartin.edu 360-438-4533

You also have yours truly. I encourage you to visit me during office hours (or by appointment) to discuss the books, writing, the class, and other relevant matters.
My blog (cited above) has essential posts of policy (attendance, plagiarism, participation) and information (class handouts, edits sheets, but most importantly a rich addendum to The Iliad under the Homer label; also see Very Useful Stuff for, well, you know.

Students with special needs must contact the professor in the first week of classes, and he will make all reasonable accommodations.
Evaluation:
Iliad paper 40%
Aeneid paper 40%
Participation 20%
Course Schedule:
Week Topic Required Reading

Jan. 11, 13, 15 Introduction, Homer, Research ix-64, Books 1-2
18, 20, 22 MLK, Reading Aloud, Similes Books 3-6
25, 27, 29 Getting to know a character Books 7-12
Feb. 1, 3, 5 Books 13-18
8, 10, 12 Books 19-24
15, 17, 19 Conferences Re-read Homer
22, 24, 26 Conferences/workshops DRAFTS, Drafts, drafts
29, Mar. 2, 4 Edit Sessions More Drafts. Paper Due 3/4
7, 9, 11 SPRING BREAK Virgil, 1-41
14, 16, 18 Virgil, Rome Books 1-3
21, 23, 25 Journeys Books 4-6
28, 30, Apr. 1 Book 7
4, 6, 8 Books 8-10
11, 13, 15 Books 11-12
18, 20, 22 Conferences/Workshops Re-read Virgil
25, 27, 28 Edit Sessions DRAFTS, Drafts, drafts

03 September 2015

ENG101 Fall 2015



College Writing I: ENG101E1
                                                  MWF 9:00-9:50 OM314
Professor Mead                             Autumn 2015
Introduction: “Writing” is a deceptively simple term for the skills and toils involved in college- and professional-level written communication.  Just as reading is more than merely decoding the words on the page and registering sentence ideas, writing is a multi-level process of critical thought; audience awareness; style; correctness; tone; and drawing upon a large inventory of vocabulary, grammatical construction, and topical choices. This is hard work, but it will play off grandly in most of your future endeavors, academic and professional.













This class is based on the following assumptions:
Good writing is the product of critical thinking
Grammar actually matters, up to a point
The best learning occurs when a writer reads her own writing, learns what she is thinking, and improves upon it
Style is essential, not an add-on
You can only choose your writerly voice if you can first hear it
Good writing is the product of much re-writing
Intelligent reading precedes good writing (that’s why we’re reading books)
Class plan: Please come to class a few minutes early; try to have eaten, drunken, and visited the loo beforehand.  Arrange the chairs in a circle and have the relevant materials at hand:  writing instruments, notebook, textbook, etc.  Expect to be called upon often and with the instructor’s increasingly elevated expectations.  Take notes of everything.  Class will sometimes be lecture (e.g. Grammar Fridays), but will most often be discussion of texts (both required books and student writing) and workshopping (e.g. edit sessions).  Active participation is an important part of your final evaluation.














Required Texts:  
                     The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown
                                              Wild, Cheryl Strayed
                                    Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer
RECOMMENDED: How To Read A Book, Mortimer J. Adler

I encourage you to get these books in paperback, so you can mark them up!
Attendance:  Students are expected to attend all class meetings.  You have three free absences (I don’t count “excused” or “unexcused”), beyond which your final grade will suffer.  Students who are required to miss more than three absences due to university commitments can usually work something out with the professor.
Students with special needs must inform the instructor in the first two weeks of classes, and he will make all reasonable accommodations.
Assignments:          
                              Process Paper            10%      ~900 words
                              SideXSide Paper          10%      ~1200 words
                              5Sense Description      10%      ~1200 words
                              Memoir                        20%      ~2000 words
                              Thesis                         20%      ~2000 words
                              Grammar Book            20%
                              Participation                10%
You must complete all assignments to pass the class. Late papers are subject to grade deflation!
Grammar Fridays & Grammar Book:  Each Friday will be devoted to an aspect of grammar, punctuation, usage, style, etc.  Students will take thorough notes and at the end of the semester, submit to the instructor a hand-made Grammar Notebook.  You will be evaluated upon the completeness, correctness, durability, and beauty of the book. The book will of course be returned to you for your future use.
 

Office Hours:  My office is OM312b.  Walk-in times are MWF 10-11, 12-1; TR 8:30-9:30. I am also available by appointment.  You may call me at 438-4336 or email me at smead@stmartin.edu, but I cannot promise to respond before the next class meeting.

Honesty: Even a cursory look out there will tell you that cheating is everywhere.  If you let it into your heart, it will taint your every labor.  Decide today what kind of person you are, for that is the person you will be.  If I suspect that the work you submit is not yours, you will have to convince me I’m wrong, so keep every draft of your work, so you can demonstrate the process of your work.  I love to be wrong in such circumstances, and besides, it will give you practice with presentations and public speaking (“Here, professor, I’ve laid out the changes my thesis went through after the first draft”). The dishonest student will fail the class and be reported to the Provost for further disciplinary action.

                                      Syllabus
August
24         Monday           Introduction
26         Wednesday      The Boys in the Boat, pp. 1-80.
28         Friday              Clauses & Phrases
31         Monday           The Boys in the Boat, pp. 81-145.
September
 2         Wednesday       The Boys in the Boat, pp. 146-191.
 4         Friday              4 Kinds of Sentences. Paper #1 Due.
 7         Monday           NO CLASSES
 9         Wednesday     The Boys in the Boat, pp. 192-319.
11         Friday            The Comma.
14         Monday          The Boys in the Boat, pp. 320-370.
16         Wednesday     Wrap-up
18         Friday             Semicolon & Colon
21         Monday          Wild, pp. 1-44.
23         Wednesday     Wild, pp. 45-115
25         Friday             Voice:  Passive & Active. Paper #2 Due.
28         Monday          Wild, pp. 116-174.
30         Wednesday     Wild, pp. 175-234
October
 2         Friday             Mood:  Indicative, Imperative, Subjunctive.
 5         Monday          Wild, pp. 235-311.
 7         Wednesday     Wrap-up
 9         Friday             Verb Tenses (Well, 6 of Them)
12         Monday         Fall Break.  No Classes.           
14         Wednesday    Into the Wild, pp. 1-37.
16         Friday           Nominalization. Paper #3 Due.
19         Monday        Into the Wild, pp. 38-85.
21         Wednesday   Into the Wild, pp. 86-126.
23         Friday           Dash, Hyphen, Ellipsis, Parenthesis, & Brackets
26         Monday        Into the Wild, pp. 127-156.
28         Wednesday   Into the Wild, pp. 157-186.
30         Friday           Review
November
 2         Monday           Into the Wild, pp. 187-203
 4         Wednesday     Wrap-up.
 6         Friday               Paper #4 Due.
 9         Monday           Student Presentations.
11         Wednesday     Student Presentations.
13         Friday             Student Presentations.
16         Monday          Student Presentations.
18         Wednesday     Student Presentations.
20         Friday             Student Presentations.
23         Monday          Conferences.
25         Wednesday     Conferences.
27         Friday             NO CLASSES.
30         Monday          Conferences.
December
 2         Wednesday     Evaluations. Thesis Paper #5 Due.
 7         Monday          Grammar Books Due in my office.

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