It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Sherlock in possession of a unit two prompt must be in want of a research question. It is a truth less universally acknowledged that a English 105 class in possession of a course blog must be in want of a week nine post from yours truly.
Though we may be missing an arch-nemesis, our own evil Professor Moriarty, we do have an equally daunting adversary in formulating a cumulative research question for our unit two research. In order to properly complete our assignments for unit two, we have had to become our own Sherlock Holmes, investigating our chosen subcultures, observing meetings, searching for clues in body language, speech patterns, and whims of others. We do this in the service of researching in the social sciences, but more so with the personal aspiration of foiling our villainous inquiry, our didactic curiosity with a thorough interrogation.
It is on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 that the relevant events of this blog post begin. Lest anyone forget, March 4 was National Grammar Day. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Though our Feeder 2.2 deadline for unit two was extended to Friday, March 6th (by 11:59pm), Feeder 2.1 grades were released. The mere existence of grades can correlate to the worst of times for midterm-riddled university students.
On Tuesday we explored writing conclusions and techniques for condensing text as well as held a workshop day, which was not so tragically (or tragically, depending on what you prefer) cut short. Though we ran out of time to do so in class, for homework we were tasked with exploring genre models for ethnographic studies. This task entailed analyzing the form and organization of the writing, then compiling a list of the sections into which the paper was organized. Within each list, the analysis should have also included the type of information included as well as techniques the author used to present this information. Though this assignment was a group assignment, it required personal reflection about how to implement techniques or learn from mistakes in the forms studied.
On Friday the Final Draft of Feeder 2.2 was due, the rough drafts of which we submitted on Monday and held a revision workshop for Tuesday. Many students were not able to complete a second observation of their chosen subculture by the Monday due date as a result of time constraints, so the chief priority of revisions before Friday entailed either completing another observation or interview.
It is of paramount importance that I fulfill my task of reporting diligently on the relevant events of last week. In order to do so properly, I must tell you that Thursday’s class was World Book Day in the UK. My conscience is at ease with the knowledge that you, audience, are informed of this. Thursday’s class involved discussing ways text can be edited or condensed as well as the process of writing conclusions. It was also a day Instructor Mr. Blom was being observed, thus there was a plethora of lively interactions uncharacteristic of the 8:00am class, including a rambunctious cacophony of chicken nugget jokes. In regards to condensing text, recommendations were made to cut sections, then paragraphs, then sentences. Additionally, one should also ensure there is an even amount of detail throughout (removing areas that are too specific) and eliminate redundancy, unnecessary qualifiers, and unnecessary modifiers. When writing a conclusion paragraph, it is best to compose an upside-down triangle model. Allow me to explain this analogy, dedicated reader. Start specific, get broad. Begin with your specific thesis, the argument and its compelling proof, and end with a sweeping sentiment that forces the reader to think or leaves them with an outlook towards the future.
As for what I did during my time between classes? I must confess to you, keen reader, I revised much of my Feeder 2.2. I found my first observation to be lacking in adequate analysis as well as an additional observation. When recording our observations, it can be quite tempting to slip into a Faulkner-esque stream-of-consciousness narrative, akin to Darl’s “I am I and you are you and I know it and you don’t know it…” or Vardaman’s “Jewel came back. He came up the road and got into the wagon. He was walking. Jewel hasn’t got a horse any more. Jewel is my brother. Cash is my brother…” (passages from William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying). This, while great fun to read from Faulkner, will serve none of us well when facing the coherence of thoughts and feelings section of the rubric.
Parting is such sweet sorrow, I know. Remember, fellow classmates, that with unit two, you are doing a service to your subcultures. It is your duty to tell their stories accurately, and report truthfully. Your duty is to storytelling. When telling their story, it is dreamed as it is told. You must hope that others might dream with you. It is through this that imagination, language, and memory combine to create the wonderful the illusion of aliveness.
Link to the beautiful image here
Purchase your wonderful copy of As I Lay Dying here
Other literary references made:
I am currently Reading:
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
(I highly, highly recommend)