Course greeting & introduction
-- Have read course packet pp. 1-7 on Reading Actively. These pages provide examples of what "active reading" means and looks like; reading this material now will help you in all subsequent reading for class.
-- Have read in course packet Birnbaum's short story "Subtotals" pp.71-73; be ready to discuss in class.
-- Diagnostic essay: have ready to turn in to me today a 1 and 1/2 - 2 page essay where you describe to me what reading is like for you. This diagnostic will give me an idea of your current writing style and proficieny, and will give you an idea of how I grade. Remember, this is only a diagnostic (look up the word if you don't know what it means); it is not for a grade (so no plagiarising to try to impress me, either -- that totally defeats the purpse of this short essay). Have ready to turn in to me during class. (See "formatting" section of the Course Policies site for details on margins,fonts, etc.
-- e-mail: submit to me (at firstname.lastname@example.org) by tonight a brief self-introduction and locator information, containing:
Supposedly, you're not laboring today -- that's the point. Nevertheless, we still have things to do for the week. Caveat: do not leave readings for class until the last minute, especially the assignment for Wednesday.
-- read in packet pp. 45-55, Roland Barthes' essays "The Death of the Author" and "From Work to Text." Barthes (who died in 1980) remains one of the most influential thinkers of the post-Second World War era. He almost single-handedly created the field of Semiotics that we know today, and his studies of literature (both the writing and the reading of it) still offer as much insight now as they did back in the 1970s. "The Death of the Author" offers ideas not so much about the killing of "the author" (in the wake of Nietzsche's theses on God and religion) as the "disappearence" of the point of authority that we call "the author" (noting, of course, the author in author-ity). "From Work to Text" offers ways to rethink what becomes of a "work" through the act of reading it, which reduces it to a "text" -- and how everything, at some level, becomes a "readable" "text". We'll discuss both pieces in class.
-- In the course packet, read p. 9 ("Nick's Proofreading Marks") and pp.11-24 (various pages of editing hints, etc) in preparation for return of your diagnostic essay. Read through the comments/markings I've left on your essay, and consult packet p.9 ("Nick's Proofreading Marks") and pp.11-24 (various pages of editing hints, etc) to see what I marked and why (see especially pp. 11-12, "Guerilla Editing" and p.15 "Using my marks/comments"), so you can begin to locate possible writing "problem areas" on your own. You do not need to revise your diagnostic essay.
-- see also the 1000-level paper writing tips site (if you haven't already) to see what pointers you can pick up already to help make the jobs of writing and revising easier.
-- have ready to turn in to class the grammar diagnostic I'll have given you on Wednesday.
-- have read in course packet Julio Cortázar's short story "A Continuity of Parks" pp.75-76; be ready to discuss in class.
-- have read handout of Umberto Eco's Six Walks in the Fictional Woods, Chapter Three, "Lingering in the Woods" to discuss and apply in class. This is the third chapter in a book on reading by Umberto Eco, Italian novelist (The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum), essayist and semiotician. Eco discusses what happens with time as we experience it while reading -- how what happens between the words on a page and our reading them warps time by "slowing down" or "speeding up."