Highline Community College
Winter 2001
Rosemary Adang, Instructor
Office 15-201, ext.3822
Office hours: 11-11:50 daily & by appt.

Email: radang@hcc.ctc.edu

 

Literature 100:

Reading Imaginative Literature

 

"Every man [or woman] who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting."

                   --Aldous Huxley

 

Texts
Required:

Literature and Its Writers. Ed. Ann Charters & Samuel Charters

The Joy Luck Club. Amy Tan

Recommended:
A college-level pocket dictionary and writing handbook

Supplies A notebook for a reading journal

 

Course Content

Literature 100 is an entry way into a lifetime of active reading of challenging, provocative literature. We'll read, discuss, analyze, and write about fiction, drama, poetry. In this class, you'll strengthen your perceptions and thinking through your own exploration of literature, as well as from the ideas of your classmates and your instructor.

Course Outcomes

Students who successfully complete Literature 100 will be able to

• Enjoy a wider range of complex, high-quality literature.

• Use the aesthetic, analytical, and structural sensibilities needed to explore and appreciate literature.

• Understand creative elements of literature, including point of view, tone and style, character development, plot, setting, emotion, theme, word choice, sound, rhythm, image, and symbol

• Think actively, engaging in close reading, analytical writing, and well-informed and open-minded discussion.

• Listen to and consider the thoughts of others, synthesizing the best parts of many perspectives into one stronger, more developed view.

• Identify, consider, and even empathize with a variety of individual and cultural perspectives.

• Openly and actively share ideas, questions, opinions, and feelings about literature and related ideas.

 

Course Methods

Reading Assignments: You will read approximately 150 pages of literature per week, including fiction, drama, poetry, and criticism. A major part of your responsibility is the willingness and ability to spend many hours outside of class reading the assignments and writing responses in your course journal. Reading can be pleasurable, exciting, or even sometimes relaxing, but it can also be hard work. Don't leave it until the end of the day when you are tired; give yourself the time to read carefully when you are alert and actively involved.

Journal Responses (JR): You'll keep a journal with entries exploring the significance of the assigned literature. Your journal will be a source of material for class discussion and assigned essays. You will turn your journal in twice during the quarter for review. I will be looking for thoughtful, explorative entries for each assigned literary work. In class, we will discuss a variety of ways to respond and explore. Three questions to try to answer in your responses are

1) What is the writer trying to do?

2) How does she or he try to do it?

3) Why is, or isn’t, the work important, effective, memorable, etc.

In each journal entry identify questions that you have and dramatic questions that the literary work presents (we’ll discuss this in class). Write those questions down and be prepared to contribute them to class discussion. The journal is worth 20% of the course grade.

Seminars: Seminars are a type of class discussion in which students are responsible for discovering important points to discuss and developing the discussion of those points. In a seminar, the instructor observes, and the students are responsible for maintaining purpose and focus of the discussion. One way to structure a seminar is to begin with reading parts of journal responses and suggesting seminar questions. The dramatic question mentioned above is one kind of seminar question. Seminar questions are idea questions--questions that open the door to exploration of meaning. In class, we will discuss the nature of seminar questions.

"Judge a man [or woman] by his questions rather than by his answers."

--Voltaire (1674-1778)

Class Attendance & Participation: These are both crucial to successful completion of this course. According to Woody Allen, "80% of life is being there." Research in learning has shown a remarkable correlation between attendance and achievement. If you must miss a class, contact me as soon as possible to make arrangements to receive any information you need to stay on track. (Email is the best way to do this as I can attach most handouts in my reply.)

Each of us is a part of the learning community with a responsibility to shape the quality of our work through active, positive participation. Involvement means being prepared for class; speaking up to share your perceptions, ideas, feelings,and questions; and making it possible for others to speak up by being an involved listerner. Positive participation always includes having completed any assigned homework.

10% of the course grade will reflect participation, which will consist of attendance, preparation, and quality of involvement in class activities. If for some reason you have to arrive late, check with me after class to make sure the attendance sheet is corrected. The participation grade will also reflect your demonstrated level of preparation in class (use of journal entries & seminar questions, scores on quizzes, ability to use specific examples from the literature), and your active involvement in terms of good listening and open, focused exploration of the literature.

Group Work: We will often split up into small groups for tasks that must be completed quickly and cooperatively. Always appoint a note taker and stay on task. You will also complete several group assignments in which your group will study particular aspects of literature in order to present them to the class and facilitate discussion.

Group Project: As the final project for the course, you will work with a group of students to study and present a more in-depth look at a particular author’s work, based on the casebook selections in Literature and Its Writers. You will receive more specific instructions and criteria in class.

Take-home Essay Tests: You'll respond to three exams in which you’ll analyze literature from each of the three genres we'll be studying (poetry, fiction, and drama). Your responses should be focused on theses, clearly expressed, well developed, supported with specific examples, typed, and well edited (to eliminate unnecessary words and errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage).

Do not ever give in to copying or paraphrasing the ideas of others without giving credit where credit is due. Plagiarism is intellectually and ethically self defeating. A plagiarized paper can not receive a passing grade.

GradingI will grade your work on the A-F scale, which will be translated into the 4.0 scale (see below) for your final course grade. You will earn grades on essays, reading responses, and participation. Class activities must be completed on time for credit toward the participation grade. Essays and reading responses must be completed on time or a letter will be subtracted from the grade for each class day that the work is late (an A+ would become a B+, etc.). Exceptions may be made in the case of illness or hardship if you make an appointment to discuss the delay with me and provide evidence of the illness or hardship.

A+ = 4.0

A = 3.7

A- = 3.5

B+ = 3.3

B = 3.0

B- = 2.7

C+ = 2.3

C = 2.0

C- = 1.7

D+ = 1.3

D = 1.0

D- = 0.7

F+ = 0.5

F = 0.3

F- = 0.0

On ungraded assignments and activities (credit for # completed):

98-100=A+

96-97%=A

94-95%=A-

92-93%=B+

89-91%=B

85-88%=B-

82-84=C+

79-81%=C

75-78=C-

70-74=D+

65-69%=D

60-64%=D-

55-59=F+

50-54%=F

45-49%=F-

Grade Percentages:

Participation (attendance, preparation, involvement) 10%
Journal 20%
Take-home essay tests (3) 20% (each)
Final Group Presentation 10%

Welcome to Literature 100: Reading Imaginative Literature. I invite you to begin your work with an openness toward learning from your reading and writing, your experience, your classmates, and me. I challenge you to explore the literature with a willing heart and a searching mind. As the instructor, I promise to provide all the support, encouragement, and instruction that I possibly can in the coming weeks. I'm glad to be here. I look forward to working with you.

 

"There are three great questions which in life we have over and over again to answer: Is it right or wrong? Is it true or false? Is it beautiful or ugly? Our education ought to help us answer these questions."

John Lubbock (1803-1865)

 

 Schedule of Assignments

This is a tentative schedule of assignments. Changes may be made to adjust to the needs of the class. Assignments should be completed by the date listed or given in class. Quizzes on readings, syllabus, and class work may be given without notice. Pages listed are from Literature & Its Writers unless otherwise noted. Journal responses (JR) should be 1-2 pages long unless otherwise indicated in class. 

 

Week

1

1/8/00

Course, Instructor, & Student Intros.

1/9/00

Intro. to reading & thinking about literature

JR:xxxv-xxxix & 1-14

1/10/00

Ways of thinking about literature

JR: 1543-1546

1/11/00

Ways of thinking about literature

JR:1547-1550

1/12/00

Intro. to Poetry

JR: 601-608

 

 

Week

2

1/15

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—No Class

1/16

Poetry cont.

JR: Ch.8 609-626

1/3 of class journals due

1/17

Poetry cont.

 

1/18

Group Planning &

Poetry cont.

JR: Ch.9 627-648

1/19

Group Contract due & Poetry cont.

1/3 of class journals due

Week

3

1/22

Poetry Seminar

JR: Ch.10,11 648-700

1/3 of class journals due

1/23

Mixed group poetry discussion

1/24

Mixed group poetry discussion

1/25

Large group discussion

JR: Ch.12 701-724

1/26

Poetry discussion cont; take-home essay test assigned; Fiction intro

Week

4

1/29

Intro. to fiction cont.

JR: 31-47 & Story TBA

1/30

Fiction cont.

JR: 48-65

1/31

Fiction cont.

JR:"Sonny’s Blues" 68-91

2/1

Group planning & fiction cont.

*(See below)

2/2

Group contract due & fiction cont.

Poetry take-home essay test due.

Week

5

2/5

Fiction cont.

2/6

Fiction seminar

2/7

Mixed group fiction discussion

2/8

Mixed group fiction discussion

2/9

Large group discussion, & take-home essay test

given

Week

6

2/12

Intro. to drama

2/13

Drama cont.—Sophocles

2/14

Drama cont.

2/15

Group planning & drama cont.

2/16

Drama cont.; group contract & take-home essay test

Due

 

Week

7

2/19

Presidents’ Day—no class

2/20

Drama cont.—Shakespeare

2/21

Drama cont.

2/22

Drama cont.

2/23

Drama cont.

Week

8

2/26

Drama

Seminar

 

2/27

Mixed Group drama discussion

2/28

Mixed Group drama discussion

3/1

Large group discussion

& take-home test assigned

3/2

Intro. to The Joy Luck Club

Week

9

3/5

The Joy Luck Club cont.

3/6

The Joy Luck Club cont.

3/7

The Joy Luck Club cont.

3/8

The Joy Luck Club cont.

3/9

The Joy Luck Club cont.

Week

10

3/12

The Joy Luck Club cont.

3/13

The Joy Luck Club cont.

3/14

The Joy Luck Club cont.

3/15

The Joy Luck Club cont.

& take-home essay test assigned

3/16

Group Presentations

Week

11

3/19

Group Presentations

Course Journals Due

3/20

No class

3/21

Group Presentations & take-home essay test due

Final Exam schedule:

10-11:50

3/22

No class

3/23

No class

* From this day on, all reading assignments and journal responses will be given in class.