I don’t know about you, but I am quite looking forward to sleeping in this weekend. And painting the weird, angled ceilings of my upstairs. And installing my kitchen cabinets in preparation for maybe getting running water and electricity in my kitchen again for the first time since October 4th. #HGTVliestoyou #I’msickofeatingtakeout #apparentlyIusehashtagsnow

Your rhetorical analysis essays are coming. Just a heads up: They might be coated in a thin layer of construction dust when you get them back. Also you will get them back before winter break for sure. Maybe probably next week. I know you’re eager and anxious because you’ve heard stories of papers dramatically being hurled into recycling bins or lit on fire in the middle of the classroom floor–rest assured, you will get them back and if the result is catastrophic, you can give it another go. That’s always how it’s been, despite what you may hear.

Your blog post assignment this weekend is the “Variations on a Theme” assignment you got in class: Pick an abstraction and write about it in the different modes. Remember to shoot for 100 words per mode but that doesn’t mean you have to hit exactly 100 words for each one; overall balance is the goal. Have fun with it. Try out some strategies and techniques you observed in the essays this week. I’m planning to further develop my puny little example blurbs…though I might find myself pinned under a fallen cabinet and unable to complete it. We’ll see.

So I had this plan to do vocab a certain way and I don’t really like it anymore. For example, we didn’t exactly do any vocab this week. We haven’t exactly done vocab ever except for that one time when I forced it on you. But here’s the thing, you have (likely) still learned some words. So here’s what we’re going to do: you collect 20 words from readings or other things that cross your path containing words you find interesting or foreign. Then you learn these words. Like, beyond simple recall. Really learn what they mean, how they are used, what their stories are (etymology, historical use, etc.)  What. I actually have to know these words? Yes. Learn them. Learning is good for you. What if I never encounter any words that I find interesting or that I don’t already know? Well, broaden your horizons I guess. We learn new words naturally by reading them, hearing them, noting when they show up and how they are used…and then we Google them to be sure. You will collect these 20 words and what you find out about them in some quaint little vocab notebook that you dutifully tote around for the next several weeks. Or in your regular notebook. Or on tiny scraps of paper that you keep in your pockets, Emily Dickinson style. Eventually, you will give me the list of words, their definitions, uses, etymologies, and at least one example sentence each.

If you have questions about this, we can talk about it next week. Power writing will be Monday-Wednesday. Writings due Wednesday 3:00. Don’t be absent M-W. Other stuff Thursday and Friday.