Group Conferences – Thursday, Sept. 28th


We will meeting for half hour conferences together with our Peer Review groups from Wednesday’s class. The schedule is below. You are only required to come to your half-hour, but this is a mandatory class session. Anyone who did not submit a draft of the Literacy Narrative should have already contacted me to discuss your situation. Please keep in mind that the draft is a required part of each formal essay, and as I’ve explained before, you cannot pass English 2100 without successfully completing each of the formal assignments.

12:00 – 12:30

Group One: Kareem, Gissele, Mehnaz

Group Two: Rifat, Daniel, Dora

12:30 – 1:00

Group Three: Jeffrey, Radiya, Tanvir

Group Four: Ricardo, Milosis, Jason

1:00 – 1:30

Group Five: Karla, Janiel, Shumaiya

Group Six: Jaylynn, Yana

1:30 – 2:00

Group Seven: Jessica, Jiahua

Reminder – Drafts Due on Wed., Sept. 28th


Remember that when you come to class on Wednesday, you will need to bring three copies of the draft of your Literacy Narrative. This is an essential step on the way to a finished essay; you cannot receive credit for a finished essay without submitting a draft. Some of you may be continuing in the direction that you established in your Pre-Write; others may be choosing to explore something different. Please make sure that you take a look at the comments I left at the bottom of your Pre-Write documents. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about this assignment.

Assignment for Wed., Sept. 21st – Literacy Pre-Write


Length: 2-3 pages

Due: Wednesday, September 21st by 12:00pm

Once you have completed your Pre-Write, please give your file the name: Your Name – Literacy Pre-Write and place it in this Google Doc Folder

Use this assignment as an opportunity to start gathering your thoughts and ideas for your upcoming Literacy Narrative.  This is not expected to be a tightly organized, focussed piece of work.  Instead, it is a chance to write freely, without fixed expectations, in an effort to excavate (dig up) some of your own literacy-related memories, family language stories, and thoughts and feelings about language, school, reading, and writing.  Don’t think of this as a draft of your formal Literacy Narrative; instead think of it as a way to get in touch of your own ideas and associations around this broad topic. Here are some questions you might want to use as entry points into this writing.  I would suggest choosing one as your starting point and then seeing where it takes you.  Of course, if none of these ideas speaks to you, you are free to move in your own direction, provided you stick to our theme of literacy, which we understand broadly as our relationship to language and learning.

For this Pre-Writing stage, don’t worry about polishing your language or sounding “academic”; concentrate on the ideas, memories, and experiences you are trying to evoke and explore and let your writing proceed as naturally and freely as you can. Use the list below to spark your thinking:

–What is your family’s “language story”?  How might you tell it?

–Describe a pivotal school experience.  How did it shape your sense of yourself as a student, a learner, a reader, a writer, a wielder of language, etc.  This could be a positive experience or it could be a painful or difficult experience.

–How has language defined you in relation to power? Can you think of a time when you were either empowered by language or disempowered?

–Tell a story about a parent or other person close to you that addresses our themes of language and literacy.  What does their story mean to you?

–Choose the reading that spoke to you most deeply.  Start crafting your own version of (or response to) that essay.  For example, maybe you were moved by Edward Jones’ story, so you choose to meditate on your own “first day” experience. Or maybe you were inspired by the parent-child relationship in “Mother Tongue” and want to think about your own mother tongue.

–What is a text (this could be written, or it could be something visual like a movie or television show) that is important to you and your personal history?  Describe its role in your development.

–How has your life required you to move between different languages? This could be literal bilingualism, or it could be simply shifting between various forms of English, as we move between family, friends, work, school, and our on-line communities.  What is at stake in these different linguistic spaces?  What does this shifting between languages mean to you?

–Who have the “gatekeepers” been in your literacy story?  Is there a person who looms large for you – either because he/she/they brought you closer to fulfilling your own identity as a wielder of language, or because he/she/they blocked your path and impeded your progress?

Homework for Monday, September 19th


  • Please read and annotate Anne Lamott’s essay “Shitty First Drafts”. You can find this assignment and the link to the essay on Perusall. Please add a minimum of three notes to Lamott’s essay. These could be reactions, questions, definitions, or alternate strategies.
  • Also read George Dila, “Rethinking the Shitty First Draft”, which you can find here on the blog, under the “Texts” tab above. In a comment on this post, please share your reactions to these two essays. Which approach more closely aligns with your own draft-writing style?How has that served you? Which essay did you find more convincing? Why? Your response should be 250-300 words and should be posted to the blog by 12:00 on Monday.

“The First Day”

The details from the text that made a strong impression on me were the ones where the daughter gives her account of the struggles her mom had while trying to enroll her in school. It made a strong impression on me because it showed that an uneducated family is trying to give their child a better future by enrolling them in a school for more educated people. I can link this to my own life as my mom had bad English so when she would go to private and charter school orientations and try to ask questions with her broken English, it was quite embarrassing. The author’s description of the school showed that her caliber of people did not belong there. Everything was unfamiliar and everyone looked different meaning that they did not belong.

Assignment for Wed., Sept. 14th: Sherman Alexie, “Superman and Me”

You can find “Superman and Me” under the “Texts” tab above. Sherman Alexie’s short essay is both a very personal story about the author’s development as a reader and writer and a broader exploration of how race, class, and ethnic identity shape our experiences of education and our assumptions about ourselves and others. Please read the essay, and in a short (200-300 word) response, shared as a comment to this post, please address the following:

— How do you see race/class/ethnicity as forces in Alexie’s story? Include at least one quote from the story in formulating your response.

–Choose one moment or detail in Alexie’s essay that you personally could relate to, describe the element from “Superman and Me” and its significance, and share its relevance to your own story.

Please share your responses no later than 12pm on Wednesday, September 14th.


Hi, my name is Anthony. I am 18 years old, and I’m fully Mexican. I love to play all kinds of sports. I enjoy making new friends with anyone. I’m down with anyone trying to do study groups. I work in Wag which is an app that you can take care of dogs and cats all over New York. I am an only child.

Introductory Post – Radiya Sharif

My name is Radiya Sharif, and my pronouns are they/them. I was born and raised in Queens, but I moved houses often when I was younger. Some other basic facts about me are that I am eighteen years old, my birthday is June 27, and my family is from Bangladesh. My interests include psychology, linguistics, English, and learning languages. I like all of these because they all share one thing in common—they help me understand people better because I tend to be socially awkward otherwise. My main hobbies are writing, creating art, and listening to music. My favorite artists at the moment are Enhypen, Atarashii Gakko, Sabrina Carpenter, Twice, and Niki. Some micro-hobbies of mine include photography, badminton, and cooking. I want to learn how to crochet, make bracelets, and play the electric guitar. I am majoring in psychology because I have loved it ever since middle school where I realized that I wanted to be a resource for people who need it, so their mental health doesn’t end up as neglected as mine was/still is. On a similar note, I really like helping people—my MBTI type is INFP, otherwise known as the mediator, and I also worked at a daycare for my summer job. I want to become a psychiatrist after I graduate.

I took this photo on my second day of college (July 6, 2022). I was taking the train home with my dad that day because he was teaching me the route to and from campus that week. The time was 2:22pm, and I quickly took a photo for good luck. I’m not much of a believer in angel numbers, but this number showed up around me very frequently around that period. If you see a lot of 222’s, it means that good things are to come & that you’ll grow with enough perseverance.

Assignments – Week #3

Read Amy Tan’s essay “Mother Tongue”. You can find the essay in Join the Conversation, our electronic textbook.

As you read “Mother Tongue”, use the commenting tool on Perusall to annotate the reading. Please add four annotations to the text. These annotations are an opportunity to rephrase an idea in your own words, ask a question about the text, draw a connection between this reading and something else you have experienced or read, or to add your own reaction or response to the text. You are also free to offer an annotation that responds to one that has already been shared by one of your classmates.

I have provided some general guidance above under the heading “Annotation”. This should give you a clearer sense of what annotation is and more specific instructions about how to annotate using Perusall

These annotations must be completed before class on Monday, September 12th.