Adapted from Virginia Schwartz
Weekly Journals (10 of 12 possible weeks) This assignment is very open. Your goals and purposes are up to you, and they may change from week to week or over the course of the term. Your target is to submit two (2) full pages, which should become easier over time (and will likely be easier for certain weeks than for others). These journals are for my eyes only, and you will never be asked to share them with the group. Some options:
• You can write to me (commenting on our readings, the class, something that stuck with you, a problem that you’re having, etc.).
• You can unpack and respond to things that are referenced but not discussed in the readings (Googling events, terms or names mentioned but not dwelt upon, etc.), thus deepening your understanding of the readings.
• You can write more to yourself (in the way you would typically use the word “journal”). • You can use these as notes for the readings to prep for discussion/to make connections throughout the semester
(or between this class and others).
The only real requirement is that you directly address the week’s class in some way (reading, discussion, etc.). The idea here is that you’re writing to learn, using a specific, private form of writing to process your thoughts and feelings for the week. If you naturally incline to professional writing, you might analyze something; if you prefer more of a freewrite, that’s great too. Try to be clear and specific, and explain general statements to make them more meaningful. In other words, don’t just mention or gloss over ideas and skip to the next thing, but try to use specific examples and explanations to engage in each of the things you discuss. This means that while you may write about pretty much anything, your goal should be to engage deeply with what you’re writing rather than to fill up space. If you get stuck, you can respond to any of the thinking questions posted on Canvas every week for specific readings. No matter what style you choose, these are more for you than for me. They should go in your portfolio at the end of each unit after I return them to you. Ideally, they will form a picture of your thoughts for the unit and the course. Note: Though these are private, you can use them as brainstorming for things you want to bring up in discussion. These journals are:
• Due every Thursday at the beginning of class in hard copy (or via e-mail if you are absent) starting in week 3
• Typed in 11- or 12-pt font and double-spaced (if you’d prefer to handwrite these this is fine, but they then need to be 2.5-3 pages)
• Your name should be on each journal, but they don’t need a title or anything fancy