First of all, I encourage you to attend this FREE event next Wednesday at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. I am obsessed with this place. I have never been disappointed by their productions and this one promises to be entertaining. The website I just linked too will also give you directions for getting there and where to park. (Tip: their parking lot is tiny so either arrive REALLY early or park elsewhere.) See you there.

On to the other things:

I have only met with three students about revision essays. This concerns me a wee bit. I really hope you are not making some kind of unforgivable mistake with your essay since there is no safety-net, revision option, and it basically serves as your culminating written work for this class. See previous post. Due Monday. I will collect the original essay and the new one only, not the in-betweens.

Your blog study project is the last grade to go into the almighty Skyward. It goes in the 85% category. It’s your last opportunity to demonstrate that you understand how language works. Show me that you get rhetoric. Give us your astute observations and analysis of the blog–all elements of it–and talk about how it all works. What makes this blog interesting/effective/entertaining/etc? Your presentation has to work. It has to be obvious that you know what you’re talking about (the elements of rhetoric/language as well as the various components of the blog–content and form) and that you have carefully prepared your presentation. Remember, you should be so comfortable with your blog that you could just show up, pull up the blog and go, but you should not literally do that. Prepare. Have a visual aid for us. Make your visual aid rhetorically appropriate (remember visual arguments? remember font?). Also, use your visual aid/handout. Like I said, we’re not going to keep a tally of your ums, but if we think you’re unprepared or it seems like you don’t really know what you’re doing, we–your audience–can tell and, as the magic of rhetoric goes, that defaces all your credibility and then we will get restless and unruly. Just like you are analyzing the content and form of the blog, you are evaluated on the content and form of your presentation. As a rule: never forget your audience.

Some resources for your consideration:

A caution: if you’re gonna get all fancy on us, you must be practiced and not lose sight of the goal here. If you’re going to play it safe and go with Power point or the Google apps version, or whatever else you might be plotting, you must be practiced and not lose sight of the goal here. Creativity is always worth something, but creativity can’t simply replace quality content. They have to go together.

BLA final assignment: Figure out your arrangements for viewing your group’s documentary together. If that’s impossible, figure out a way to at least have a discussion together about it. There are online “view together” tools that allow virtual discussion as you view. Fine. Do that. There is something about watching a film as a group that cannot be replicated, though, and I want you to experience that. I want you to have conversations about the film as (or probably after) you watch it. What argument does this film raise? Is it the same as/similar to/different from the argument your book raises? Is it more or less effective? What rhetorical features of the film make it so? Then allow your thoughts to simmer a bit before you post your response. I’m interested to know what you think about the book you read and the film you viewed, but you cannot simply voice your opinions. You have to also explain them and comment on what these arguments mean for society (or whoever/whatever). Compose a legitimate, thoughtful, intellectually sound response.

Final exam: I do not recycle tests from previous years so that copy you just paid 20 bucks for is basically worthless, unless you plan to set it on fire to keep warm so your final exam doesn’t exist in its finished state at this time, and probably won’t until I hand it to you. You can expect it to be fairly similar to the term 1 final, though. There will be MC questions, there will be some writing, there will be some things that challenge you to prove your skills and your knowledge. Weird, huh? A final exam that does these things that final exams are supposed to do? My point: review what we’ve done. Revisit anything that isn’t solidly a part of your everyday thinking. You can pretend to study by leafing through things and trying to memorize terms if it makes you feel better, but that is not the same thing as preparing for a final assessment of what you’ve learned.