Day One Writing Assignment

We’re going to start the semester with a short, no-pressure writing assignment, designed to get you accustomed to some of the tools we’re using and thinking about the issues the course will raise. It’s also an opportunity for you to establish a baseline for your progress over the semester.

Without further ado — your instructions are below the break …

1. Get set up on the course site as an author (you will need to create an account and then I will add you as an author) and start a new post. Categorise your post as ‘Day One’.

2. Write a quick couple of sentences introducing yourself — your preferred name and pronouns, your major, where you’re at in your college career and anything else you want to share.

3. Free-write, or write a brief one-paragraph reflection (full sentences) on your ideas about feminism, science and literature.

Some ideas to get you started, but don’t feel bound by these:

  • What does ‘feminism’ mean to you? What does ‘speculative fiction’ mean to you?
  • What kinds of images come to mind when you think about ‘literature’, ‘feminists’ or ‘scientists’?
  • Where have you encountered these kinds of people or texts in the past?
  • How have those encounters shaped your ideas about literature, science or feminism?

In working on this at home, know that this is a no-pressure situation. The piece should take you about 15 minutes, max, to put together — think first impressions. It isn’t a formal piece of writing or high-stakes.

4. In class on Thursday, we brainstormed a list of answers to the question, ‘What makes a class successful?’

Whiteboard showing list of brainstormed responses to question 'what makes a class successful'

Click to embiggen – will open the full jpeg in a new tab

The full list of responses was:

  • student-instructor feedback
  • free, open, judgement-free communication
  • involvement and participation
  • comfort to ask and answer questions
  • student work ethic
  • interest in material (inherent or found)
  • desire to learn
  • a cooperative, comfortable and committed environment
  • focussed students with a sense of accountability
  • willingness to engage and participate <- A PROCESS
  • perspective changes / broader horizons <- AN OUTCOME

Think about these last two points and ask yourself, ‘What can we, as a class, do to make our class successful in either of these two ways?’ What promotes a willingness to engage and participate? (Is there a difference between engagemnt and participation?) How can we be open to perspective changes? What broadens horizons? Compose a couple of sentences that offer your ideas for how we can meet these goals and make our class successful for everyone in it.

Please post your introductions before midnight on Sunday.

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