Archive for the ‘Syllabus and Introductory Material’ Category

SnapeCollege Admissions Essay: One of the first things we’re doing is writing college admissions essays and resumes.  Here’s a great (and short) article on admissions essays: writing the essay sound advice from an expert.  Or you can read it here.  Bring prompts to class to work on.  (If you aren’t applying to a college that requires an entrance essay, use the 2017 common app).  A polished draft of one of your entrance essays is due on September 18.

Why?  You might ask . . . in many cases it won’t make or break your admission chances, but the entrance essay is an opportunity to introduce yourself, in your voice, and bring out things that don’t normally appear on an application or resume (so don’t just repeat your resume).  Here’s a good article SHOWING what the admissions essay can do:


“Hidden Gold in College Applications.”

Resume (also due September 18): As far as resumes, there’s a wealth of information out there — search for it!  Resumes have changed a lot since your parents or I learned how to do them, namely by becoming more dynamic, so I encourage you to do some research on your own beyond what we tell you.  Look at examples and use templates to format your resume properly and attractively.



snow-1136225_960_720In case you missed class between 8/30 and 9/4, here’s the activity on Tobias Wolff’s “Hunters in the Snow”  Read carefully and as you read pair details from the story — setting, objects, events, descriptions, etc. — with the patterns we outlined in class from How to Real Literature Like a Professor.

Some potential signifiers might be: North Star, Frank’s Ring, The dog (and its shooting), Setting: night, snow, etc. Tub: obesity, secrecy, etc. Frank: pedophilia, philosophizing, Kenny:  bullying, shooting dog, Kenny dying while Frank and Tub open up to each other . . .

And finally, use those elements you just analyzed to write a three part thesis that identifies a theme explored by Wolff.  (See Essay Writing Overview )

Rockwell, Girl with Black Eye 1953.jpg

Here are some of the texts and ideas we’re covering in the first week:

And now for texts to apply these ideas to: “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid.

And here’s a super fun, unique short story originally published in Vanity Fair in 1932: Ordeal by Cheque

Put together your interpretation of the text, but remember to stay within a supportable range of interpretation:  Girl Finding an appropriate Range of interpretations