Week of October 3: (NIGHT class) Bodega Dreams, continued

Announcement: don’t forget that the first paper is due next Tuesday 10/3 by Midnight EST. See the assignments page if you need another copy. Note that the ACE Center in Lehman’s Old Gym is open from 10-2 on Saturday if you need last minute help with your paper. For help formatting sources, Purdue U’s online writing lab (OWL) is one of the best, most trustworthy sources. For the visually inclined, see their YouTube playlist.

For Tuesday, October 3, Read pages 55-107 in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams.

Continue following the major themes of the book and refer to the questions from last week for guidance. Also begin to look at how characters evolve and change over the course of the book. Finally, mark what you think might be key turns in the plot (storyline) and significant developments.

Student presentation by Stanley, Angela, and Veronica

Below: Highlights from today’s class. Major themes and character sketches. (If you’re curious, you can see the lists developed by the day section here.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Thursday, October 5, Read pages 108-157 in Bodega Dreams. Continue following the key themes and characters outlined. Highlight/underling passages of the book that you think show good examples of these themes or changes in key characters.

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Week of October 3: (DAY class) Bodega Dreams, continued

Announcement: don’t forget that the first paper is due next Tuesday 10/3 by Midnight EST. See the assignments page if you need another copy. Note that the ACE Center in Lehman’s Old Gym is open from 10-2 on Saturday if you need last minute help with your paper. For help formatting sources, Purdue U’s online writing lab (OWL) is one of the best, most trustworthy sources. For the visually inclined, see their YouTube playlist.

For Tuesday, October 3, Read pages 55-107 in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams.

Continue following the major themes of the book and refer to the questions from last week for guidance. Also begin to look at how characters evolve and change over the course of the book. Finally, mark what you think might be key turns in the plot (storyline) and significant developments.

Student presentation by Ed, Ian, and Gustavo [Edit: names corrected!]

Below: Highlights from today’s class. Major themes and character sketches. If you’re curious, you can see the lists the night section developed over here.

 

For Thursday, October 5, Read pages 108-157 in Bodega Dreams. Continue following the key themes and characters outlined. Highlight/underling passages of the book that you think show good examples of these themes or changes in key characters.

Week of 9/26 (NIGHT class): Short Eyes and Bodega Dreams

short_eyes

Announcements:

  • Again, no CUNY classes Thursday for Rosh Hashanah: see you next week
  • Also: you should have signed up for a group presentation in class. If you haven’t, contact me immediately. I’ll send an email to connect all the members and some additional instructions this week.
  • If you missed class, be sure to download the instruction sheet for our first written assignment that’s due Tuesday 10/3. See the Assignments page

Recap from this week’s class:

  • See my lecture notes on Piñero on the Lecture Notes page
  • Intro to Short Eyes and historical contexts
  • See the short background clip on the 1971 Attica prison rebellion

Tuesday 9/26: Finish reading Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243 in Outlaw) and watch the film version embedded below. Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

Watch the film version of Piñero’s Short Eyes (1978). Piñero has a few scenes in the beginning as the fictional character Go Go. The famous soul vocalist Curtis Mayfield has a part also in addition to creating the soundtrack.

 

 

For Thursday, September 28th, we’ll move to the first novel of the semester. Read pages 1-54 in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams.

A few things to pay attention to in the book are:

  • The characters Quiñonez creates and what slice of city life they show
  • How urban space is shown in the book and what different characters think about their surroundings
  • The role of culture and what it means
  • Quiñonez’s relationship as a writer to Pietri and Piñero (there are numerous references to both and their poetry throughout the book)
  • The “American Dream” and what it means to the characters in the book
  • How different generations of immigrants/migrants relate to the city and city life
  • Race and gender relations
     

    This isn’t a complete list, but these are a few key things that jump out at me. Begin to look for connections/ similarities / differences in things we’ve read (and other things you’ve read/ watched /studied in other classes, etc).

 

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Week of 9/26 (DAY class): Short Eyes and Bodega Dreams

short_eyes

Announcements:

  • Again, no CUNY classes Thursday for Rosh Hashanah: see you next week
  • Also: you should have signed up for a group presentation in class. If you haven’t, contact me immediately. I’ll send an email to connect all the members and some additional instructions this week.
  • If you missed class, be sure to download the instruction sheet for our first written assignment that’s due Tuesday 10/3. See the Assignments page

Recap from this week’s class:

  • See my lecture notes on Piñero on the Lecture Notes page
  • Intro to Short Eyes and historical contexts
  • See the short background clip on the 1971 Attica prison rebellion

Tuesday 9/26: Finish reading Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243 in Outlaw) and watch the film version embedded below. Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

Watch the film version of Piñero’s Short Eyes (1978). Piñero has a few scenes in the beginning as the fictional character Go Go. The famous soul vocalist Curtis Mayfield has a part also in addition to creating the soundtrack.

 

 

For Thursday, September 28th, we’ll move to the first novel of the semester. Read pages 1-54 in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams.

A few things to pay attention to in the book are:

  • The characters Quiñonez creates and what slice of city life they show
  • How urban space is shown in the book and what different characters think about their surroundings
  • The role of culture and what it means
  • Quiñonez’s relationship as a writer to Pietri and Piñero (there are numerous references to both and their poetry throughout the book)
  • The “American Dream” and what it means to the characters in the book
  • How different generations of immigrants/migrants relate to the city and city life
  • Race and gender relations
     

     

    This isn’t a complete list, but these are a few key things that jump out at me. Begin to look for connections/ similarities / differences in things we’ve read (and other things you’ve read/ watched /studied in other classes, etc).

 

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Week of 9/19 (NIGHT class): Miguel Piñero’s Plays: Short Eyes

short_eyes

Announcements: We meet next Tuesday only; there are no CUNY classes next Thursday for Rosh Hashanah. Also: you should have signed up for a group presentation in class. If you haven’t, contact me immediately. I’ll send an email to connect all the members and some additional instructions within the next week.

Tuesday 9/19: Read “The Drama of Miguel Piñero” at the front of Outlaw and then read Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243). Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

Thursday 9/21: Rosh Hashanah–class doesn’t meet. 

Watch the legendary singer Curtis Mayfield sing one of the songs from the film version (he also had a small part in the film and composed/performed the soundtrack).

Watch the preview for a 2012 production of the play in Los Angeles.

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Week of 9/19 (DAY class): Miguel Piñero’s Plays: Short Eyes

short_eyes

Announcements: We meet next Tuesday only; there are no CUNY classes next Thursday for Rosh Hashanah. Also: you should have signed up for a group presentation in class. If you haven’t, contact me immediately. I’ll send an email to connect all the members and some additional instructions within the next week.

Tuesday 9/19: Read “The Drama of Miguel Piñero” at the front of Outlaw and then read Piñero’s play Short Eyes (pages 193-243). Short Eyes is set entirely in a prison (actually a house of detention: think Riker’s Island). Think about what the setting means and how characters react to it. Also consider how Piñero’s own experience and outlook on life shape what and who he writes about.

Questions to think about to guide your reading:

  • What characters does he show in the play?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • What similarities or differences do you see with his poetry?
  • What’s the setting he chooses and what side of the city does that show?
  • What are some of the key themes the play deals with?
  • Identify key points of the play where the storyline (plot) turns or changes. Mark significant points where this happens in your book and write them down in your notes. What causes the plot turns and how might actors on stage make them believable?

Thursday 9/21: Rosh Hashanah–class doesn’t meet. 

Watch the legendary singer Curtis Mayfield sing one of the songs from the film version (he also had a small part in the film and composed/performed the soundtrack).

Watch the preview for a 2012 production of the play in Los Angeles.

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Week of 9/12 (NIGHT Class): Miguel Piñero’s Poetry

201206181054540.Miguel_Pi_ero_noticel

Tuesday, September 12th: We move on to Miguel Piñero and read poetry selections from Outlaw: The Collected Works. Read the “Introduction to the Poetry of Miguel Piñero” at the beginning of the book.

  • Then read:
  • “La Bodega Sold Dreams”,
  • “A Lower East Side Poem”,
  • “The Book of Genesis According to San Miguelito”,
  • “This is Not the Place Where I Was Born”,
  • “Black Woman With the Blond Wig On”,
  • “Kill, Kill, Kill”. (Up to page 17.)

It’s not a lot of reading, however, you must read the poems slowly and carefully and choose 2 of them to read more than once. Take notes on key points that you think are significant, funny, interesting, or do a nice job of telling the story of the city. As with Pietri, while reading the intro at the beginning of the book with Piñero’s bio, look for cues from his life story that show how he approached his writing.

Questions to think about as you read:

  • Based on Piñero’s biographical story, how do/don’t his stories match the life he’s living?
  • How does Piñero’s work differ from Pietri’s in form or content?
  • What language does he use and what effect does that have on his poetry?
  • What audiences do you think Piñero is writing for?
  • How do the characters in Piñero’s descriptions of “Loisaida” (Lower East Side) differ from Pietri’s characters in El Barrio

For Thursday 9/14, read the following poems from Outlaw:

  • “Running Scared”,
  • “Seeking the Cause”,
  • “New York City Hard Times Blues”,
  • “Bastard Streets”, and
  • “The Lower East Side is Taking”

Again, it’s not a lot of reading, but you need to read the poems slowly and carefully. Take good notes and think about the questions above as you read.

If you keep up with the weekly reading and take good notes, then you’ll be well prepared for the midterm and final exam and get much more out of the class!

Watch Piñero read “Seeking the Cause”