Week of December 18: (Both classes) Final Exam

One big happy family for this week’s post, so one post for both sections. Yay!

Tuesday December 11 was our last class meeting for both sections. (Re)read my guide to final exams, “Zen and the Art of Finals” (PDF), which will help you begin to prepare for our final (and hopefully others as well). It summarizes much of what was in my prep sessions.

As a reminder, the final for the DAY CLASS is scheduled for Tuesday, December 18, 3:45-5:45 PM in the regular classroom.

The final for the NIGHT CLASS is scheduled for THURSDAY, December 20, 8-10 PM in the regular classroom.

If you want to take your exam with a different class than yours, that’s fine: just let me know and show up at the right time.

You might want to check Lehman’s exam schedule (PDF file) for your other classes as well. Be sure to arrange for childcare/ time off work/ whatever you need to do now, as there will be no make-ups, except for extraordinary circumstances. Unless you can provide a hospital or arrest record (your own, not a family member’s), you get no make-up. “My family bought plane tickets to go on vacation” or similar is not an extraordinary circumstance in my book. Consider college a job and be up front with family, friends, etc. about what that commitment means. My other class section is taking the test in the evening, however. You can take it with them if you want. email me for details on that option.

Announcement:

If I still owe you a paper, you’ll get it back via email sometime this week: same as with the first paper.

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Week of December 11: (Night Class) Final Exam Review

Tuesday December 11 is our last class meeting. Read my guide to final exams, “Zen and the Art of Finals” (PDF), which will help you begin to prepare for our final (and hopefully others as well). It summarizes much of what was in my prep sessions. Think about major themes that we’ve been talking about all semester and bring questions to the class. We’ll spend the last class reflecting on the semester and have an open prep/ study session for the final exam with some group brainstorming, a little writing, and who knows what else. Be sure to show up.

As a reminder, the final is scheduled for Thursday December 20 from 8-10 PM in the regular classroom. You might want to double check Lehman’s final exam schedule (PDF file) for your other classes as well. Be sure to arrange for childcare/ time off work/ whatever you need to do now, as there will be no make-ups, except for extraordinary circumstances. Unless you can provide a hospital or arrest record (your own, not a family member’s), you get no make-up. “My family bought plane tickets to go on vacation” or similar is not an extraordinary circumstance in my book. Consider college a job and be up front with family, friends, etc. about what that commitment means. My other class section is taking the test in the afternoon on the 18th, however. You can take it with them if you want. email me for details on that option.

Announcement:

Following our conclusion of Assata, if anyone’s interested in traveling to Cuba, one option I recommend is the Venceremos Brigade. They travel every year during the summer and do so in support of the Cuban people. You’ll get to spend time with Cubans and get a very good view of the people, their society, what life is like there, and their government and social structure. Details at their website and I can put you in touch with people in New York who’ve gone on the trip and can tell you about their experience.

 

Week of December 11: (Day Class) Final Exam Review

Tuesday December 11 is our last class meeting. Read my guide to final exams, “Zen and the Art of Finals” (PDF), which will help you begin to prepare for our final (and hopefully others as well). It summarizes much of what was in my prep sessions. Think about major themes that we’ve been talking about all semester and bring questions to the class. We’ll spend the last class reflecting on the semester and have an open prep/ study session for the final exam with some group brainstorming, a little writing, and who knows what else. Be sure to show up.

As a reminder, the final is scheduled for Tuesday December 18, 3:45-5:45 PM in the regular classroom. You might want to double check Lehman’s final exam schedule (PDF file) for your other classes as well. Be sure to arrange for childcare/ time off work/ whatever you need to do now, as there will be no make-ups, except for extraordinary circumstances. Unless you can provide a hospital or arrest record (your own, not a family member’s), you get no make-up. “My family bought plane tickets to go on vacation” or similar is not an extraordinary circumstance in my book. Consider college a job and be up front with family, friends, etc. about what that commitment means. My other class section is taking the test in the evening, however. You can take it with them if you want. email me for details on that option.

Announcement:

Following our conclusion of Assata, if anyone’s interested in traveling to Cuba, one option I recommend is the Venceremos Brigade. They travel every year during the summer and do so in support of the Cuban people. You’ll get to spend time with Cubans and get a very good view of the people, their society, what life is like there, and their government and social structure. Details at their website and I can put you in touch with people in New York who’ve gone on the trip and can tell you about their experience.

 

Week of November 13: (Night Class) Angie Cruz’s Soledad, continued

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Photo: “Washington Heights Piece” by Flickr user Aoife. Creative Commons licensed.

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Reminder: The next writing assignment, due Tuesday 11/20, is on the Assignments page. You can stream the film from the Video page on the course website. Usual password. Be sure to stop by the Lehman library now if you’re having trouble finding acceptable articles to use. Note that the NY Public Library uses the same databases and any location can help you also. Finally, don’t forget that if you need writing assistance fropm the ACE Center, make an appointment now so you have enough time.

On Tuesday November 13th, we continue with Soledad. Read chapters 4-5: up to page 111 in the new paperback edition.

Presentation by Gabby and Petrice

For Thursday November 15th, read pages 112-164 (Chapters 6-7) of Soledad. Continue tracking the themes we’ve identified and how characters develop in the book.

  • We’ve discussed the settings in class: the split between the East Village and Washington Heights and what each represents. Watch for locations as you read, how Cruz presents them, and what different urban spaces mean to key characters.
  • Point of view. Soledad comes from a female author and the P.O.V. the reader gets is primarily from women. What differences (if any) do you notice?
  • Following on the last point, one key subtext of the book are the various forms of violence against women. Think about this as you read and what it feels like for the various characters to move through urban spaces.
  • Culture. Another point of tension in the plot is the difference between the younger and older generations of characters and between more traditional Dominican culture and the different outlook that the younger, Americanized characters have. What are the differences between how characters see the world and their place in it?

Week of November 13: (Day Class) Angie Cruz’s Soledad, continued

4532037658_c96e8fa3fa_o
Photo: “Washington Heights Piece” by Flickr user Aoife. Creative Commons licensed.

cvr9780743212021_9780743212021_lg

Reminder: The next writing assignment, due Tuesday 11/20, is on the Assignments page. You can stream the film from the Video page on the course website. Usual password. Be sure to stop by the Lehman library now if you’re having trouble finding acceptable articles to use. Note that the NY Public Library uses the same databases and any location can help you also. Finally, don’t forget that if you need writing assistance fropm the ACE Center, make an appointment now so you have enough time.

On Tuesday November 13th, we continue with Soledad. Read chapters 4-5: up to page 111 in the new paperback edition.

For Thursday November 15th, read pages 112-164 (Chapters 6-7) of Soledad. Continue tracking the themes we’ve identified and how characters develop in the book.

  • We’ve discussed the settings in class: the split between the East Village and Washington Heights and what each represents. Watch for locations as you read, how Cruz presents them, and what different urban spaces mean to key characters.
  • Point of view. Soledad comes from a female author and the P.O.V. the reader gets is primarily from women. What differences (if any) do you notice?
  • Following on the last point, one key subtext of the book are the various forms of violence against women. Think about this as you read and what it feels like for the various characters to move through urban spaces.
  • Culture. Another point of tension in the plot is the difference between the younger and older generations of characters and between more traditional Dominican culture and the different outlook that the younger, Americanized characters have. What are the differences between how characters see the world and their place in it?

Week of October 30 (Night class): Do the Right Thing conclusion and Dutchman

On Tuesday October 30, we’ll discuss Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and  the readings assigned for it. To prepare, (re)read the following:

  • The excerpt from from Murray Forman’s book The ‘Hood Comes First: Race, Space, and Place in Rap and Hip Hop (Wesleyan University Press, 2002) on reading urban space, which is a PDF on the Readings page.
  • Then read this article from New York magazine (“The Tipping of Jefferson Avenue” ) on the intersection of race and Brooklyn gentrification.
  • Make a list of themes you saw covered in the film
  • Here’s the sheet of viewing notes (PDF) I gave out in class if you missed/lost it.
  • See my Do the Right Thing lecture notes on the lecture notes page

Photo: Still from the 1967 film version of Dutchman

On Thursday, November 1, we take a sharp turn and read the classic play Dutchman from Amiri Baraka (then named LeRoi Jones). For Thursday, read only the first half of the book: the play Dutchman. Even though it’s short, you need to read it slowly and carefully.

Presentation by Gordon, Nelson, Kevin, and Becca.

Pay attention to the following to guide your reading:

  • What are the key themes or topics that you think the play talks about?
  • How does the setting of the play affect the action? What role does the subway train play?
  • What does it say about life in the city or urban environments?
  • There are crucial points in the play where the plot (action) turns that decide the outcome. What do you think they are?

Read the final few pages of the play more than once. What’s the significance of Clay’s final speech?

Watch the following short YouTube video with Baraka discussing the context of the play and some of what influenced him to write it.

Week of October 30 (Day class): Do the Right Thing conclusion and Dutchman

On Tuesday October 30, we’ll discuss Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and  the readings assigned for it. To prepare, (re)read the following:

  • The excerpt from from Murray Forman’s book The ‘Hood Comes First: Race, Space, and Place in Rap and Hip Hop (Wesleyan University Press, 2002) on reading urban space, which is a PDF on the Readings page.
  • Then read this article from New York magazine (“The Tipping of Jefferson Avenue” ) on the intersection of race and Brooklyn gentrification.
  • Make a list of themes you saw covered in the film
  • Here’s the sheet of viewing notes (PDF) I gave out in class if you missed/lost it.
  • See my Do the Right Thing lecture notes on the lecture notes page

Photo: Still from the 1967 film version of Dutchman

On Thursday, November 1, we take a sharp turn and read the classic play Dutchman from Amiri Baraka (then named LeRoi Jones). For Thursday, read only the first half of the book: the play Dutchman. Even though it’s short, you need to read it slowly and carefully.

Presentation by Fabrice.

Pay attention to the following to guide your reading:

  • What are the key themes or topics that you think the play talks about?
  • How does the setting of the play affect the action? What role does the subway train play?
  • What does it say about life in the city or urban environments?
  • There are crucial points in the play where the plot (action) turns that decide the outcome. What do you think they are?

Read the final few pages of the play more than once. What’s the significance of Clay’s final speech?

Watch the following short YouTube video with Baraka discussing the context of the play and some of what influenced him to write it.