Instructor Comments :
Welcome to a fast-paced, invigorating English 101 in a 14 week format. We will be reading, writing, responding, and posting on a continual basis throughout the semester --- including day one. So let’s get ready!
THE CLASS BEGINS SEPTEMBER 8 NOT AUGUST 18
This class is NOT a class that will teach basic skills. If you are weak in English or you received a “C” in English 015, this is the wrong choice for you.
Online learning is not for everybody and taking an English class online is for even fewer students. I will assist students to write college-level essays, but I am not equipped to assist students who do not have the fundamentals to succeed in this online environment.
I always encourage students to seek assistance at the SBVC Writing Center. But often online students do not have a schedule that permits them to come to campus.
You can get these books at the Valley bookstore, online such as the Amazon.com site or at Barnes and Noble. Be careful about ordering them online so that they will be in your hands before the start of the class. It is best when you buy from a private party pick one that is shipping from the western United States. Otherwise it might take weeks for the books to get to you. I expect everyone to have the books at the beginning of class. This is incredibly important. You must have your own books at the beginning.
There is a section in the Wadsworth handbook called "Reading Critically." Check it out. It gives many ideas on how to read effectively. This is a skill that you can work on in this class and then apply it to all your college classes.
Required books for the class:
Still Water Saints by Alex Espinoza
Random House ISBN 978-0-8129-7627-4
Many used books available at Amazon.com
Inlandia edited by Gayle Wattawa
Pocket Wadsworth Handbook, 6th edition
Begin reading Inlandia starting with the Introduction and pages 1-54. Still Water Saints pages 1-31.
The first assignment for the class will be an essay:
Place. This semester we will be reading and writing about place, location: the Inland Empire (the IE).In the anthology Inlandia, we will be presented with numerous perspectives, historical, political, personal, critical and imaginative essays, excerpts, poems and other writings that all describe the IE. But place for each of us in this vast area called the Inland Empire is also very personal. It might be the location of our birth or the birth of our children. It could be the apartment we just moved into from places outside the IE. Perhaps it is the elementary school, a particular classroom, a certain desk where we experienced a wonderful school year.
For our first essay (paper #1) we will write in a very different way than the subsequent papers in this English 102 class. We need to understand the class, comprehend how it functions, and how I respond and evaluate to you as students as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to write an essay that does not need research or a great deal of reading. It is designed to get everyone involved in the drafting and revising process right away.
So here is the assignment. After carefully reading Susan Straight’s Introduction to Inlandia and after doing a lot of thinking about how you fit into the IE (or how you don’t fit in!), choose a place to write about. See if you can make this location a metaphor or a symbol of you and how the IE is a part of your life. This will probably come to as you are writing, and you look back at what you have written.
I will also post a draft of this paper for you to see one way of addressing this challenge. (I think it is helpful for students to see an instructor’s struggle to fulfill an assignment she gives a class.) Please note that my draft is merely an example and not the only way of writing the paper.
But this is an expository writing class and not a creative writing class (darn), so there are a few requirements for the paper. They are:
Include at least one quote from the Introduction to Inlandia in the essay
Use the correct MLA format for citing the quotation
Create a separate Works Cited page for any outside source (such as an interview, see below) including the Introduction
The paper should be relatively short, about 2 pages which is about 500 words. It can be lengthier but no longer than 750 words.
It is crucially important to look at the posting on Quotations under the Misc. Stuff Button. The information there will assist you in the manner in which to quote. Also in our handbook, The Pocket Wadsworth Handbook, the manner of quoting and the MLA format is addressed beginning on page 169. Quoting outside sources using the MLA format is a skill you would have covered extensively in English 101. If it is an area where you were weak, you will be able to learn here, in this first paper.
Back to the paper, perhaps you could think of the place as a picture, an image in your mind, or you might even have a picture of this location. The location you choose will hopefully bring you many memories of family, friends, events, and I am sure there are many stories attached to this location. For example, I am thinking of someone in the class remembering their grandmother’s kitchen and the smells of coffee and tortillas or chicken baking in the oven. And I would be hoping for a story recalling the importance of the place for the writer. It might even be the memory of the kitchen table built by the grandfather and polished and dusted by the writer that tickles the memories of place and the IE. It might be what the grandmother talked about, the advice given that becomes the focus of the essay. Perhaps Susan Straight’s statement: “I love the tiny communities that only we in this place know” (xvii) is where this house existed on the north side of Redlands, in a small neighborhood in Colton or in the foothills of San Bernardino.