Saturday, January 6, 2018

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Main Street Rag (@MainStreetRag)
Poets are invited to send three unpublished poems online; the deadline is January 15th, 2018. . Winners will...

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Paul R. Koch

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tweet by New Pages on Twitter

New Pages (@newpages)
#Litmag @Foliate_Oak is seeking to celebrate newness in 2018. They are seeking fresh writing and art that is upbeat, zany, and humorous from those of you not yet published by them. Check out past issues and consider submitting, #writers.

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Paul R. Koch

Friday, December 15, 2017

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New Pages (@newpages)
#Writers, don't forget online #litmag @trampset wants your brave, honest work of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction for publication in future issues.

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Paul R. Koch

Friday, December 8, 2017

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New Pages (@newpages)
#Writers, remember @criticalread is accepting true stories of the fine, literary, and performing arts. Check out pieces online and consider submitting your own personal essays.

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Paul R. Koch

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Danger of a Single Story

Of Mice and Men Socratic Seminar

Prepare for the seminar by reading the text, preparing your notes, and thinking about connections between this story, other stories we have read in class and other stories you, or your classmates, researched during the project.


The Setup


The Rubric

Why do you think the novel Of Mice and Men named after this poem?

List 5 stereotypes for men and 5 stereotypes for women.  Where do stereotypes come from?  How are women portrayed in the novel?  Why does the author portray women this way?

What is empathy? Why is it an important human characteristic?

Why is it important to society for people to be accepting of those who are different? What lessons can we learn from those whose live lives different from our own?

What is an individual’s duty to others?

Why is it important for people to feel like they belong?

What can the struggles of others teach us about ourselves? How can people’s struggles define who they become?

What are the elements that build a strong friendship? Lennie and George had an unusual friendship - how are people transformed through their relationships with others? How do you know if a relationship is healthy or hurtful? What can we learn as readers from the relationship between George and Lennie?

Can mercy killing be justified?

How are the experiences of migrant workers like Lennie and George similar to what people go through today?

What is the American Dream and to what extent is it achievable for all Americans? In what ways does the American Dream mean different things for different Americans?

ON TURNING UP IN HER NEST WITH THE PLOUGH, NOVEMBER, 1785(A farmer ran over a mouse nest with his plow while tending to his fields)

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

          Wi’ bickerin brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee

          Wi’ murd’ring pattle! 

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion

Has broken Nature’s social union,

An’ justifies that ill opinion,

          Which makes thee startle,

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

          An’ fellow-mortal! 
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
          ’S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
          An’ never miss ’t! 
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
          O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
          Baith snell an’ keen! 
Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary Winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
          Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
          Out thro’ thy cell. 
That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
          But house or hald,
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,
          An’ cranreuch cauld! 
But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
          For promis’d joy! 
Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
          On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
          I guess an’ fear!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Tweet by the Same on Twitter

the Same (@__the_Same__)
Call for submissions: We are now open to #poetry #submissions ! Send us your best work, Ladies! (All work accepted before the end of the year will be considered for the annual print #anthology, regardless of publication date.) @submittable #womenwriters

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Six-Word Memoirs: Life Stories Distilled : NPR
Once asked to write a full story in six words, legend has it that novelist Ernest Hemingway responded: "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn."

In this spirit of simple yet profound brevity, the online magazine Smith asked readers to write the story of their own lives in a single sentence. The result is Not Quite What I Was Planning, a collection of six-word memoirs by famous and not-so-famous writers, artists and musicians. Their stories are sometimes sad, often funny — and always concise.

The book is full of well-known names — from writer Dave Eggers (Fifteen years since last professional haircut), to singer Aimee Mann (Couldn't cope so I wrote songs), to comedian Stephen Colbert (Well, I thought it was funny).

The collection has plenty of six-word insights from everyday folks as well: Love me or leave me alone was scrawled on a hand dryer in a public bathroom; I still make coffee for two was penned by a 27-year-old who had just been dumped.

Larry Smith, founding editor of Smith magazine, and Rachel Fershleiser, Smith's memoir editor, talk about the experience of capturing real-life stories in six words — no more, no less.Fershleiser's six-word memoir? Bespectacled, besneakered, read and ran around. And Smith's: Big hair, big heart, big hurry.

Six-Word Memoirs: Life Stories Distilled : NPR:

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Make It Better List - 1st Q mini lessons

On Cracking White City

On Cracking White City
The following oral history, recounted by James Farmer Jr., explains how the
Committee of Racial Equality (which later became the Congress of Racial Equality)
successfully integrated the Jack Spratt Coffeehouse in Chicago in 1941.

We went in with a group of about 20 — this was a small place that seats 30 or 35
comfortably at the counter and in the booths — and occupied just about all of the
available seats and waited for service. The woman was in charge again. She ordered
the waitress to serve the whites who were seated in one booth, and she served them.
She ordered the waitress to serve two whites who were seated at the counter, and
she served them. Then she told the blacks, “I’m sorry, we can’t serve you, you’ll have
to leave.” And they, of course, declined to leave and continued to sit there. By this
time the other customers who were in there were aware of what was going on and
were watching, and most of these were university people, University of Chicago, who
were more or less sympathetic with us. And they stopped eating and the two people
at the counter she had served and those whites in the booth she had served were not
eating. There was no turnover. People were coming in and standing around for a few
minutes and walking out. There were no seats available.
So she walked over to two of the whites at the counter and said, “We served you.
Why don’t you eat and get out?” They said, “Well, madam, we don’t think it would be
polite for us to begin eating our food before our friends here have also been served.”
So a couple of minutes went by and she announced that she would serve the blacks,
the Negroes, which was the term used then, in the basement. We, of course, declined
and told her we were quite comfortable. She then said, “If all of the Negroes will
occupy those two booths in the back we will serve you there.” We declined again. She
said, “I’ll call the police.”

The Gandhian Motif
Then I said to her, “Fine, I think that might be the appropriate step.” By the
way, we, still following the Gandhian motif, had called the police in advance, being
completely open and above board, everything, in notifying the authorities. We called
the police department and told them what we were going to do. In fact, we read the
state civil rights law to them. They weren’t familiar with that. [Laughs] They assured
us that if we followed the pattern which we outlined to them over the phone, there
was nothing they could do to arrest us. They’d have no grounds for making an arrest
because we were within our rights to insist upon service. And we asked them if they
would see that we were served as they were obligated to do by law, but this they
would not do. No, they wouldn’t do that, but they wouldn’t arrest us.

Police Arrive
So we said, “Perhaps you should call the police.” She did. Two cops came a few
minutes later, looked the situation over, said, “Why, lady, what did you call us for?
I don’t see anybody here disturbing the peace. Everything seems to be peaceful.”
She said, “Won’t you throw these people out on the grounds that we reserve the
right to seat our patrons and would serve some of them in the basement?” The cop
didn’t know. He went to a telephone booth and made a call. I guess he was calling
headquarters to see if they could do that. He came out and said, “Nope, sorry, lady,
there’s nothing in the law that allows us to do that. You must either serve them or
solve the problem yourself.” And the cops then walked out. On the way out they
turned around and winked at us. [Laughs]
We stayed there until closing time and then got up and left and went back the
next day, a little bit earlier, and stayed until closing time. And so on. They then tried
again to negotiate — without success. We went back in, oh, several more times and
tied up the whole afternoon, tied up all the seats. They were doing no business at all.
Finally they cracked. The next time we went in, they served everybody. And
accepted money. Did not overcharge us. We then sent an interracial group, a smaller
group, in the next day. Everyone was served. We then sent an all-black group in and
they were served. We waited a week and sent another black group in, and they were
all served. We sent individual blacks in and they were all served without any problem.
So we then wrote them a letter thanking them for their change in policy.

“Prelude,” from My Soul Is Rested by Howell Raines, copyright © 1977 Howell Raines.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


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