So, the rhetoric of New Year’s is sort of interesting… all of this talk of “new year, new you!” and an insistence that the next year will be infinitely better than this past year was, fresh starts and do-overs abound, and there’s a strange belief that at the stoke of midnight, something magical happens: there’s a countdown, a sparkly ball, champagne sparkling apple juice, and cheers and smiles and kisses. But why? What is it about this holiday (why is this a holiday?) that makes us want to celebrate? And why do we celebrate it this way?


Post at least once over break. You can write about anything you want, but maybe consider commenting on this New Year’s phenomenon I was just rambling about…I’m interested to know what you think of it. Do you participate in the practice of resolutions? The countdown? Nothing? Are you surly about it? Okay, you get the idea.

The paper. Draft, brainstorm, develop, revise. Read the assignment sheet. Thursday and Friday after break will be work days so make sure you have stuff to work on. Those days will be more useful to you for the essay if you have a full (though rough) draft going into it.

The project. Read and annotate like a beast. Very few of you had the quantity and quality of notes I had expected to see at this point. That’s not a jab; it’s an expression of genuine concern. Read the assignment sheet. Really get to know your author’s style. Refer to that “incredibly tedious guide” I gave you a while back. Remember the in-class work we’ve done with identifying style and writing style statements. You have everything you need to do well on this, but you’ve got to make use of those resources and pay attention to the assignment’s objectives, articulated on the assignment sheet.

Get some rest. Play in the snow. Drink hot cocoa. Eat cookies. See you in January.