6 December 2011

It’s my birthday.  I wish I had some witty thing to say, but mostly I’m just happy to see your beautiful faces today.  I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth to get to know new –and remarkable– students every year.  🙂

In class, you’ll have your first meeting discussing your book with others who are reading the same title.

Commencing today, we are learning and practicing a new critical reading skill.  I would call it “reading like a writer.”  In fact, that’s how I think of this unit in general.  As a result, the reading you do in your chosen memoir as well as in the sample excerpts we’ll all study together has only one real purpose: to prepare you to write a memoir.  In other words, our reading is in service of writing that is to come (Task 4).  I do this because it’s the most practical way possible to learn to read like a writer.  You start paying attention to how the writer is writing rather than just to the content of the text because you’ll need the information!  🙂

In class, I’ll give you an extensive Memoir Journal Prompt and a sample journal entry (it’s the same I’ve used with Creative Writing students, and appropriately so for this unit).  The prompt is one that’s targeted to help you analyze like a writer, so it may feel slightly uncomfortable at first.  But you have time to practice over the several meetings you will have with your group.

  • Your mission in your meeting is to do the thinking and planning for the journal entry by talking about the issue
  • Then tonight, please write out the actual journal entry.



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