Class 15 TUE MAR 07
Catch up on Conferences
If this were the spring semester, now would be the time for Spring Break. Perhaps you promised yourself you were going to buckle down and catch up on missed assignments by the midpoint of the semester. If so, that time has come. Follow the link to the Mandatory Conferences chart and make an appointment for your Thesis Progress chat. If you have the luxury of traveling someplace warm, remember conferences can happen anywhere.
- Read “The Dilemma of the Skincare World” by schoolcookiemonster.
- Leave a Reply praising its author specifically for what you found most impressive about the argument.
- Leave a Second Reply with a more critical response indicating where you were confused by, or not convinced by, or downright antagonistic to the argument.
- Open the page: Definition Rewrite Workshop
- You will be assigned a paragraph.
- Work with your group to absorb and analyze the feedback for the paragraph.
- Select one of your group members to “present” the feedback to the rest of the class.
- Present feedback for the paragraph.
- Leave detailed reactions to the feedback sessions in your daily Agenda Notes.
IT’S LATER THAN YOU THINK
- The middle of the semester comes knocking. And the consequences seem real and immediate. The White Paper that a few weeks ago was a vague pledge to “donate when I get my tax refund” is suddenly an overdue bill, and the Definition Argument is still pretty iffy, while the Causal Argument certainly can’t be accomplished until my Hypothesis is nailed down to something like a firm Thesis that another author might want to refute.
- By midnight, I’m required to post a Progress Report for each of you at the Starfish Reporting system.
- About half of my students are usually ready for this drastic rise in the sea level. The other half feel as if they’re suddenly drowning.
- Right on cue, students who aren’t ready to fully commit to their research miss a class, maybe two classes. They ignore emails and texts from their professor, figuring that he’s too busy to pester them more than once.
- Once the deadlines for the Short Arguments are past, they no longer feel like a weight around the neck. It’s easy to let those delinquencies slide for a few days. A week. After 48 hours or so, they start to elicit a reaction like “what’s the point?”
- For some, this slide is irreversible.
- For the in-betweeners, interaction with the professor is something to dread. Coming to class late, leaving early, or sneaking out to avoid confrontation, seems like a reasonable survival technique.
- I get it.
- I, too, put things off.
- I do them when I absolutely have to.
- I do them poorly sometimes because I haven’t left myself enough time to do them well.
- But I’m an idiot.
- You don’t have to be.
- The people I have to report to are reasonable people who gladly work with me when I acknowledge my thoughtless procrastination, my dread at confronting the problem.
- If you have to be like me, be like that version. The guy who acknowledges he’s late and his work is not up to par and who’s committed to making it better.
- Be the enlightened version of me.
- Don’t miss classes. Don’t ignore my texts or emails. Don’t think you’re too late, or too far behind, or too confused to catch up, or too fill-in-the-blank.
- IT’S THE HALFWAY POINT. (Well, to be honest, it’s past half way.)
- You can turn this sucker around.
- If you start the climb, I will push you up that hill like nobody else who ever had your back.
- But I won’t pull you up.
- You have to take the first step.
- If you haven’t posted your first Short Argument yet (Definition/Categorical), post it immediately, as soon as you can.
- And if you’re not going to be ready to post your Causal Argument in less than two weeks, your Refutation Argument two weeks later, then post something that looks like a 1000-word Argument. Ask for very specific feedback. Get into the game. Pretend it’s essential to you. It might not feel like it right now, but I am your biggest supporter and fan. Until you let it slide.
- Don’t. Let. It. Slide.
- Very few of the 50% who start to fade at the middle of the term do well at the end of the course. Beat those odds. Right now.
- End of rant.
Quick Review if needed
Visual Analysis of a Complete Argument
- A Sample Analysis: Thai Life Insurance
- Here we examine just 10 seconds of a 2-minute long-form commercial produced by the Thai Life Insurance company to promote the universal human good of doing small selfless gestures for others. How in the world is that supposed to sell life insurance?
- Follow the link to this post and leave a brief Reply indicating how you feel about my interpretation of the ad that the young man is a stand-in for the girl’s absent father and a lesson to viewers that if the dad had died with an in-force life insurance policy, the girl wouldn’t have to beg to fund her education.
Advanced Advice for your Visual Rhetoric Rewrite
- You won’t need this yet, but when you’re ready to revise your Visual Rhetoric argument, you may benefit from reviewing feedback I have offered to students in earlier semesters.
- Link to Revision Advice for Visual Rhetoric