Friday, January 28, 2011

Class In Television Essay Assignment

Your first essay assignment for this class is to write a 5 paragraph essay analyzing how a class (upper, middle, or lower) is represented in a television show. Use the chart we made in class to organize your thoughts while you are watching the program. Once you have completed the chart, check out these tips for how to get started thinking about a paper. Make an outline. Here are some ideas for how to make and use an outline. When you turn in your paper, you will be expected to turn in your chart, an outline, and the draft. The draft should be double-spaced, in Times New Roman font 12 pt, and your name, the date, your course and section, and my name should be in the upper left hand corner, single-spaced. 
The Writing Prompt
Television shows are a common way that we learn about cultural norms. What class is represented by the television show you watched? Is it represented accurately? (Answering this question may require some research on your part.) What ideas about that class does the show give you, and do the ideas it gives you about one class imply something about another class? Why do you think this television show presents its particular ideas about class? Is it, for example, to make poor people feel better about being poor? To make middle class people nervous about losing money? To make wealthy people feel guilty about their wealth? Make sure you have a solid idea and argument. Good luck and happy TV watching!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Born Rich

Watch at least 20 minutes of this documentary.

(If the embedded video doesn't appear on your screen, here's a link.) This is a film made by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson empire. The movie garnered a lot of controversy when it came out, and Johnson was even sued by one of the kids who participated in the movie. Here's a link to Jamie Johnson's articles for Vanity Fair. Read one of them. Think about what the concerns of the ultra wealthy are and how they behave. Does this insider's perspective offer you any new insights into the upper class? Write a paragraph about what issues this video and article raise for you and leave it as a comment. Make sure to include your name as it is listed on the roll.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Poke around Found Magazine. Find a letter or photograph that interests you, and copy it down or print it and bring it to class. Start imagining the person who wrote it, who it was written to, or what's going on in the picture. You will use this as a starting point for your first writing assignment. DO NOT FORGET TO BRING 3X5 CARDS TO CLASS.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Tracey Duncan                                                                       
2027 Harris Hall
Office hours: T/TR 2-330pm
You are expected to come to class. Students who do not come to class will not be successful. You can miss 3 classes, excused or unexcused, with no grade penalty. Upon your 4th absence, your grade will be dropped one letter. On your 5th absence, it will be dropped another letter, and so forth. Students who miss 7 or more classes will receive an F.
If you miss class, you will need to get the assignments from a classmate. No late work will be accepted.
Class Blog
We will be using a blog for collaborative assignments. This is not optional. The url is based on your course and section number. It will be one of the following:

If you are in my Wednesday class, you will need to check the blog every Tuesday by noon for any assignments or announcements. If you are in my Tuesday/Thursday class, you will need to check the blog every Monday and Wednesday by noon for any announcements. You are responsible for anything announced or assigned on the blog.
Daily Quizzes
There will be a short quiz at the beginning of every class based on readings and previously discussed material. If you are late, you will not be allowed to make up the quiz.
Major Assignments
There will be an essay due the first week of every month, beginning in February.
Grade Breakdown
Daily Quizzes      20%
Participation       10%
HW, etc.               10%
Essay 1                  10%
Essay 2                  15%
Essay 3                  15%
Essay 4                  20%
The standard Southern grading scale will be used.
For each class, you will be expected to have paper, a pen or pencil, The Longman Writer, and a 3X5 index card.