Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Extra credit opportunities

A few members of the class have asked about extra-credit opportunities. As I've said, the best way to improve your grade in this course is simply to concentrate on doing the regular assignments well. I do accept extra-credit work, but please understand that it takes much more work to raise your grade than to simply make a high grade at the outset.

With that caveat, you may choose to write a 300- to 500-word essay to replace one quiz grade and one in-class writing grade. The essay will be graded pass/fail and will not hurt your grade unless you plagiarize. A passing grade will be averaged as a 100 in both your quiz and in-class writing averages.

Choose one of the following statements and argue for or against it, with examples and citations:
  • The best option for the U.S. in Afghanistan is to cut and run; we need to withdraw our military forces now.
  • The tea party movement is a shining example of democracy in action.
  • Sarah Palin is a force to be reckoned with in American politics.
  • The government's new mammogram recommendations are a good idea.
  • The U.S. policy toward nuclear containment in Iran is working as it should.
Papers are due no later than Thursday, December 3, 2009.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reading for Thursday, November 19, 2009

OK, scholars, here's your assignment for Thursday. Please remember, this story is for you to read before coming to class. It won't do you much good (either for your quiz grade or for your understanding) if you try to read it for the first time on the screen while we discuss it Thursday morning.

"The Jilting of Granny Weatherall"

Also, please have some idea of what the story is saying and what's really going on. "Jilting" has been around long enough that a simple Google search will give you more than enough critical writing on the story. Here's a good plan: read the story first, come up with your best interpretation, and then check your theory against some of what's been written online. Whatever you do, don't come to class with an "I have no idea" attitude.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vocabulary for Tuesday, November 17, 2009

fiat (not the car)

Reading for Tuesday, November 17, 2009

1. Read "Why the Gun is Civilization"
2. Do a Google search for this title and see if you find the same essay attributed to another author.
3. Who really wrote the article? What's the story here?