February 7

“Shooting an Elephant” or “My Mother Never Worked”

For either “Shooting an Elephant or “My Mother Never Worked” (you choose) decide what the heart of the essay must be. The titles suggest a topic, yet the essays focus on topics much more in-depth. First, what is your chosen essay’s true subject? Second, what evidence supports your claim? Third, respond to the essay. Choose two or three images or ideas that remained with you after the reading. We will discuss both essays in class and you will have a sentence combining activity to complete. Come prepared to discuss both essays.

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January 26

Hurricane Katrina Response 1

01 Sep 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA — Residents wait to be rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans September 1, 2005. Chaos and lawlessness hampered the evacuation of New Orleans on Thursday and a U.S. senator said thousands may have died in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast. In New Orleans, shell-shocked officials tried to regain control of the historic jazz city reduced to a swampy ruin by Monday’s storm. Bodies floated in the flooded city and authorities still could only guess how many people had died. — Image by © David J. Phillip/Pool/Reuters/Corbis

First, describe the overall impression on you. Second, select three details from the image. Describe the detail and interpret its meaning. Finally, think about how one of those details might mean something completely different if looking at it from another perspective. I will create on example below. Also, be sure to copy your work before you submit it! Otherwise, you may lose it all.

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November 28

Finding and paraphrasing outside sources in Victor Rios’ “Punished”

Search chapter 4 for three examples of expert opinions or sources. For example,

“Labor historian Robin Kelley argues that young people become involved in “play”–the seeking of personal enjoyment despite their detrimental circumstances.” (75)

Then, re-write the expert opinion in your own words. For example,

“In his study of labor history, Robin Kelley finds that no matter where a young person lives, they want to enjoy themselves by playing around.”

I included all the important information but re-wrote it in my own words.

Homework. Do the same for Chapter 6 on a separate sheet of paper.

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November 28

Paraphrasing with “Harmful Myth of Asian Superiority”

Paraphrase the following quotes from Ronald Takaki’s essay. (Re-write them in your own words).

A) “For all their hard work and long hours, most Korean shopkeepers do not actually earn very much: $17, 000.00 to $35, 000.00 a year, usually representing the income from the labor of an entire family.”

B) “Most Asian Americans know their ‘success’ is largely a myth.”

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October 14

Response to Minority Report: Hurricane Katrina’s Aftermath


After reading the Green Family’s story (last week) and learning about what happened to the most vulnerable people living in that area, please respond with your thoughts and opinions about:


  1. What conditions do you think allowed for the devastation?  How was it possible for so many people to be hurt in this way by a natural disaster everyone saw coming?  (Think about how a disaster might affect the people in this community)
  2. Take at least three quotes from Jay-Z and Neyo’s song, “Minority Report” and a) explain what you think it means and b) why is this relevant (important) for reader’s to understand?
  3. Make a prediction.  If we had a devastating earthquake here in the Bay Area, how do you think the people living in Walnut Creek would be affected?  What about the people living in Alameda?  What about the people living in East Oakland or South Hayward?




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October 3

Thesis Paragraph English 269 for Wednesday, October 5

Decide what topic you wish to write about.  Remember in class we brainstormed and came up with examples:  1) women 2) class 3) ethnicity 4) education.

Write a thesis paragraph that begins with your statement with topic + your opinion.  Then include your evidence from the book.  It can be a quote or an event.

Example:   In House on Mango Street, author Sandra Cisneros questions the role of women in Latino culture.  In “My Name”, the narrator, Esperanza, imagines a new name for herself.  She says she was named for her aunt who was born in the “Chinese year of the Horse”.  She says her aunt was bad luck because that’s what the Chinese believed about women born in that year.  Then, Esperanza says the Chinese, like the Mexicans, don’t like “their women strong.”  She calls that a “Chinese lie” to show how much she disagrees with the way she believes Chinese and Mexican culture prefer women to act weak.

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September 20

For “Inside Out” an excerpt from Francisco Jimenez’ The Circuit

Write a reader response to “Inside Out.”  Be sure to follow the standard format.  You should always start like this:

In “Inside Out”, an excerpt from Francisco Jimenez’s memoir, The Circuit, the narrator … 


Discuss what you think of the narrator’s experience.  What do you empathize with?  Is there a purpose to Jimenez’s telling this particular school narrative?  Is there anything you can relate to and how do you relate?  Feel free to write as much as you like.  Copy your work before you click submit.


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