So I’m as sick as forty dogs and can’t get off the couch. I’m hoping this plague will subside and I will be back Wednesday, but for now: couch. That means a little rearranging. Again.

I read your blog posts in response to the essays and the movie and I have to say, I am really impressed by what some of you wrote. All of you did the assignment and it was great (well, actually, not all of you did…still waiting on a few) but a few of you composed pieces that would be lovely essays. And so, you have stumbled upon one of my motives for making you blog: you end up writing brilliant, essay-quality stuff without really realizing that’s what you’re doing. Mua-ha-ha. In any case, well done; keep it up.

Ok. Then, over the weekend, you read those animal rights essays for Monday and had that quiz and, as for all quizzes, you’re allowed to use notes/CRJs and all that good stuff. Quick note about that: whenever you are reading an essay for class that isn’t an obvious content essay (like Bitzer, or a chapter out of a text book, or something) it’s a candidate for a CRJ. Remember I’m never going to collect all of your CRJs, but I will call for one around midterm (yikes, that’s like now…let’s call it next week, okay?) and the end of the term. You choose which one to submit. Yes, you could go back and re-read an essay and fake a CRJ but the fact that you can always reference them on quizzes is supposed to be your motivation for doing them when the essay is assigned. So, that got long-winded, but I just wanted to remind you of that/finally address it if I actually haven’t but only think that I have. Keep pestering me if it doesn’t make sense. Seriously.

After the quizzing time you had time to prep for the debate that is supposed to be tomorrow and I’m betting that you have questions about what you’re supposed to be doing. Rest assured that if you’ve read the essays well and are willing to engage in friendly, dramatized debate with your classmates, you will do fine. What you really want to know, though, is how to prepare: I’d say type or write out an overview of each author’s main argument and approach along with some comments regarding the pros and cons of these different approaches. Consider what a panel of experts might ask each author and jot down a few questions. This is not extensive, serious debate prep, but it should be solid and workable. Does this help? I hope?

Okay. Tuesday. The debate is not happening, so you get another day to prep–hey consider bringing in some props–could be fun. Instead, you’re going to do some similar argument analysis and pro/con stuff, but with a different topic. This is meant to be a partner thing, but you can certainly work by yourself if you’d like. It’s further practice in argument identification and then synthesizing your own response (ie: exactly what the AP exam measures). The topic is same-sex marriage which was way more timely last fall (when I collected these articles) but still an interesting argument to explore. Pretend like it’s a year ago if that helps you. Or just run with the perspective that it’s a year later and same-sex marriage has been legalized…what’s different? What are the conversations surrounding this topic now? You’ll find that a number of topics we explore are inherently political–that’s where the meaty rhetoric is, so we go there.

I’m going to get off the couch for the third time today and make some more tea/get more NyQuil/reload my supply of tissues. Pathos, pathos, pathos, you can’t be irritated at my absence because I’m sick, pathos, pathos

Miss your faces, see you soon.