Dr. Joe’s Classes Nov. 24, 2013
Based on the concerns of some students that they don’t know how to start and how to write on, we start today’s class with the following heads-up.
Heads-Up The age-orientedclass will go from two ends: the fundamental and more theoretical end (including vocabulary, grammar, spelling, diction, sentence, paragraph, composition, format, and research); the high and more practical end (mainly writing critique: classics appreciation + writing samples analysis). The two ends will move forward at the same time, full of exercises, so the students will be both theoretically equipped and practically versed in the long run.
The age-oriented class is a step-by-step systematic training process. At the early stage of studying, the students may not have fully got in touch with the comprehensive and complete theories of writing art. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t teach the students the specific writing skills at early stage of the age-oriented class, only we do by leading them to study the masterpieces and to mimic (but not copy) the gurus.
When the two learning ends eventually meet, our students will be strong (with theories and skills) and free (with creativity, originality, and personality).
I. Dr. Joe’s Reflection “Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it's always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” ― Neil Gaiman
Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman(born Nov. 10, 1960) is an English author of novels and comic books.
Novels Stardust (1999) American Gods (2001) Comic Book Series The Sandman (1989-1996; 2013 – present)
II. Some Fun Stuff People Write 1. (Type: dumb guy; close-to-end twist) An Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman all entered a 26-mile long swimming race. After 12 miles the Scottish man gets tired and drops out. Then after 16 miles the English man gets tired and drops out. After 25 miles the Irish man decides he can't finish the race, so he turns around and swims back to the start.
2. (Type: unexpected goal) Smith goes to see his supervisor in the front office. "Boss," he says, "we're doing some heavy house-cleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff." "We're short-handed," the boss replies. "I can't give you the day off." "Thanks, boss," says Smith. "I knew I could count on you!"
III. Important Writings From today, we will start this series of Important Writings. We will focus on the author(s), the historical background, the synopsis, and the importance of the selected writings.
Today we start with this one. TheDeclaration of Independence
1. Historical Background and Author(s) The Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. Instead they formed a union that would become a new nation—the United States of America.
John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence, which was unanimously approved on July 2. A committee had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence.
Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which congress would edit to produce the final version. The Declaration was ultimately a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). The national birthday, the Independence Day is celebrated on July 4, although Adams wanted July 2.
2. The Synopsis The Declaration is not divided into formal sections, but it is often discussed as consisting of five parts: Introduction, the Preamble, the Indictment of King of Great Britain, the Denunciation of the British people, and the Conclusion.
IntroductionAsserts as a matter of Natural Law the ability of a people to assume political independence; acknowledges that the grounds for such independence must be reasonable, and therefore explicable, and ought to be explained.
PreambleOutlines a general philosophy of government that justifies revolution when government harms natural rights.
IndictmentA bill of particulars documenting the king's "repeated injuries and usurpations" of the Americans' rights and liberties.
Denunciation This section essentially finished the case for independence. The conditions that justified revolution have been shown.
Conclusion The signers assert that there exist conditions under which people must change their government, that the British have produced such conditions, and by necessity the colonies must throw off political ties with the British Crown and become independent states.
Signatures The first and most famous signature on the engrossed copy was that of John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. Two future presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, were among the signatories. Edward Rutledge (age 26), was the youngest signer, and Benjamin Franklin (age 70) was the oldest signer. The fifty-six signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia
3. The Importance The Declaration is the foundation of the main stream political philosophy in the U.S. and a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted. It provided inspiration to numerous national declarations of independence throughout the world.
It has become a major statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
This has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history".
Age-Oriented Class Coverage (Big Schedule) 1. Vocabulary 2. Sentences 3. Paragraphs 4. Composition 5. Parts of Speech
6. Punctuation 7. Format 8. Spelling 9. Diction 10. Research and Writing 11. Writing Exercises 12. Writing Critique (Classics Appreciation + Writing Samples Analysis)
Happy Thanksgiving ! See Ya Next Time!