Questions to prep for the exam

One of these three questions will be the exam question. In your answer, we’re looking for about 300 words (the length of your blog posts) and strong structural functions.  During the exam, you may NOT use your essay and must write your answer on the paper provided in your packet.

1) In a well-structured and well-developed paragraph, present a counter-argument to Solnit’s thesis and evidence. Be sure to use specific evidence from the article to support your answer.

2) In a well-structured and well-developed paragraph, explain why Solnit makes the point, late in her essay, that “the Arab Spring was first of all the North African Spring.” How is this distinction important to the larger argument in her article? Be sure to use specific evidence from the article to support your answer.

3) In a well-structured and well-developed paragraph, explain Solnit’s example of the history of the Pequots and how it fits into her larger argument. Be sure to use specific evidence from the article to support your answer.

Homework change for Thursday

Instead of writing another blog post for Thursday, concentrate solely on composing and practicing your speech. Repeated vocalizing of your speech increases your fluency and decreases nerves, so try for at least 5 times. When you present your speech, you will be allowed one notecard with only key words on it. (Full sentences will encourage you to read your speech, which will sound wooden and kill your eye contact.)

Prompt for Thursday’s Speech

In a well-structured one-minute speech, you will present additional information on one of Solnit’s historical examples we listed on our first day of class. This is simply an informative speech, so you won’t need to present an argument or analysis, but you must present clearly articulated information on your topic. You must also give oral citations for all your research material. For most people, it will make sense to introduce Solnit at the beginning of the speech to set the context for why you’re talking about the Arab Spring, or the Triangle Trade, or Charles Black, etc.

Therefore, tonight’s homework is to begin researching your topic. Come on Wednesday with at least three credible sources at your fingertips for discussion.

Finally, everything depends on you bringing your map to class on Wednesday, so please remember!

Blog Post #2

In order to practice the four structural functions we discussed in class today, answer the following question:

Q: According to Solnit’s essay, how was the end of apartheid in South Africa also liberatory for white South Africans and others outside South Africa?

Requirements for the assignment:

1) You must submit your assignment as a comment in this thread. Make sure your name is at THE TOP of your post.

2) Your writing should be free of spelling and grammar errors; paragraphs should be clearly structured.

3) Any and all sources, including Solnit’s essay, must be cited with in-text citations.

Note: We strongly recommend that when you write this assignment, you do so in a Word document or other processor, and then copy and paste. It is very easy for Internet to fail or a computer to crash in the middle of a post, with the result that you’ve lost all your work.

Sample Para—i.e. answer for Post 1

In her article “The Arc of Justice and the Long Run,” Rebecca Solnit provides a definition of hope that shows she values political and cultural resistance to oppression. Because Solnit is invested in seeing possibility for equality and justice even when the reality is that there is lots of injustice, lots of oppression in the world, she defines hope as “a sense of the grand mystery of it all, the knowledge that we don’t know how it will turn out, that anything is possible” (8). Solnit contrasts hope with optimism, which she asserts only acknowledges the idea that “everything will be fine no matter what”; in her view, hope is more realistic because it allows for unpredictable events that may turn out good or bad in the long run (8). The very unpredictability of historical change means that even centuries of oppression may yield an unexpected turn. To support her argument, Solnit gives examples of unpredictable events—like the return of the Pequots to human history and the way music with African roots has traveled the world inspiring people to fight for self-determination—that highlight her concern with political movements that free people from bondage and restore their ability to control their lives.

Blog Post #1

Hello FastTrack students! As your first writing assignment, you’ll post a 300-word answer to this question:

Q: How does Solnit define “hope,” and why is this definition significant to her larger concerns about politics and social justice?

Requirements for the assignment:

1) You must submit your assignment as a comment in this thread. Make sure your name is at THE TOP of your post.

2) Your writing should be free of spelling and grammar errors; paragraphs should be clearly structured.

3) Any and all sources, including Solnit’s essay, must be cited with in-text citations.

Note: We strongly recommend that when you write this assignment, you do so in a Word document or other processor, and then copy and paste. It is very easy for Internet to fail or a computer to crash in the middle of a post, with the result that you’ve lost all your work.

Solnit Reading

Students,

If you haven’t been able to yet, please be sure to download and print the Rebecca Solnit article. We will be using this article throughout the rest of the week. The article begins after the first page, with the weekly schedule – apologies for the extra pages lumped in there at the beginning.