Older fans of my blog may remember a little talked about section of the site called Pass the Pen. It was originally designed to be an opportunity for me to share this space with other thinking individuals and give them the chance to talk to a large audience. Remember? Yeah that part of the site didn't do so hot, so when the site was revamped I decided to scrap it. Well for one time only I've decided to resurrect Pass the Pen in the form of a new post. So let's get ready to pass the pen one mo' 'gain and see what some of my students have to say.
All last month when I wasn't in Seattle, or fussing about racism, homophobia, and sexism (though honestly, when am I not?) my students were working on rhetorical analyses. Because I am insane and easily bored, I decided that my students at Clark Atlanta and Georgia Gwinnett wouldn't analyze just any text, oh no. They would choose films, music, or television shows that they enjoyed and hold them under a critical lens. Then, once they analyzed the mess out of these texts they would then create a blog post (not unlike the ones you see here) that analyzed the text of their choice. I figured it would be a good way to flip the assignment on its head, and force them to use a method of composition that isn't just a standard five paragraph, 2-3 page essay.
Personally, I think the assignment turned out pretty well. While of course, there were some people who could've done A LOT better, but I realized that when you give the students a little bit of freedom and engage them, they can gather better what you want them to do. Its the type of assignment that takes a special type of teacher, I admit, and I think it will become a standard part of my teacher arsenal in future first semester composition classes. But anyway, I'm not writing this post to ramble on about my teaching. I decided to choose some my students blog posts from the four composition classes I taught this semester and publicize them on my own site (because you know, incentives) to show how this assignment played out. So without any further ado, students of spring 2016, I pass the pen to you!
"The Life Of..." by Malcolm Carter (an analysis of Kanye West's discography, particularly The Life of Pablo)
"To the Empire!" by Jazmine Harris (an analysis of the television show Empire, particularly S1)
"The Awakening Lotus Flower Bomb" by Kyra Beasley (an analysis of Jhene Aiko's album, Souled Out)
"Believe It!" by Christopher Ross (an analysis of the anime Naruto)
"Don't Change the Channel" by Derrykah Webber (an analysis of Frank Ocean's album, Channel Orange)
"Bittersweet Revenge" by Quiavious Wainwright (an analysis of the film Brotherly Love)
"Harry Potter - The Legend!" by Haley Dunne (an analysis of the film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)
"The Savior of Mankind and Dogs!!!" by Tono Jackson (an analysis of the film version of I Am Legend)
"The New Sound of Our Generation" by Edleea Brewster (an analysis of Travis Greene's album, The Hill)
So feel free to read my students' blog posts, and please don't hesitate to leave them questions, comments, or concerns below! And as always, don't forget to like, share, and subscribe!