Saturday, February 7, 2015

february forever (Blog Post #4)

hi everyone.

happy bday j-dilla.


your music continues to grow and shape new realities, as we celebrate your life and work. (and check out the symbolism and imagery of the pharcyde's "runnin'" prod by Dilla)

february is a month that is built for poetry in some ways, and information in others.  it's my husband's birthday, jdilla (my favorite producer)'s bday, there is much to celebrate, especially this year!  but i have traditionally always been depressed in february - i used to say that february was my nemesis because i suffer from seasonal affected disorder.  i think that all of humankind has this diagnosis and that we are healthier when we are in temperate climates and eat fresh foods.  i have lost a few close friends in february, so it is a time of extreme joy and reopening wounds.

yet i love the winter, even when the wind bites my face in half and pushes my numbness around like salt on the sidewalk.   it pulls poetry out of me, because there is a harshness to winter that electrifies my keyboard.  i feel inspired, which is why it's a month for poems.  i have a love hate relationship with the news, because i crave the knowledge of "what's happening" in the world, but will read an article and only double the number of questions on my tongue.  i read and then i think about it - who wrote that?  what were they trying to say?  do i really understand the message?  what are their goals and motivations?  did they get paid to write that?  by whom?

we all assess the quality of our information all the time - without realizing.  as we move in our new unit, from the fiction of ghosts in 124 to the real streets of the bronx, detroit, chicago and oakland, ferguson and brooklyn, gaza and los angeles... we are going to be looking at information.  the power it holds, who holds the power, whose information looks differently and why.  we will review some of the most pertinent news that has happened in my absence, so let's start there.  What's one news story that really impacted you in December and January?  Maybe something you wanted to talk about it class, or did discuss with Ms. R, Ms. Cotton or Ms. Overton?  (boko haram killings in Nigeria, charlie hebdo in Paris, anti-police protests and police shunning the mayor in NYC, State of the Union address, free community college, ISIS and Jordan, what else?)

so, when we read something - we're used to annotating, then talking about it, then writing about it. one thing that we're going to be adding in this unit is the idea of questioning what we read.  we read in order to understand - the 5Ws, the "gist" of the story, the theme, conflict, character -- but we also read in order to ask questions. "is it true or untrue?  do we agree with this?" is the beginning, but then we also interpret what we read, and decide what WE think about the information we have received. this is why i like informational writing - because there is no NEUTRAL, but its purpose is to put the facts out there, and let people form their responses.    one goal i have for this unit is going to be to evaluate the source of our information, to determine if it is reliable (can we trust it?  how do we know?)  what's one of your goals for this unit, as we read, question and study informational writing?

hopefully, what you'll find is that we'll end up asking a lot more questions than we answer, and that's okay.  the poetry website is open, if you feel inspired (and are looking to start the semester off strong):  international poetry guild  (you can write an anti-love poem, or a love poem to a strange audience)  we'll also be reading and listening to all new information, and figuring out what we think about all of it.  will we fall in love with the truths that february brings?

i look forward to seeing you soon.  i miss you guys!

xo
ms. lauren

16 comments:

Weldy G. said...

Well, you're right Ms Lauren the black history month of February is most about poetry and informational facts about the black community. Also, I like the fact that this month we're trying to understand and analyze the current events articles that we read. One story that impacted me in December was the killing of the police officers by the black male from Maryland. Honestly, I think that I'll like this lesson very much

Linda. O said...

One story that really impacted me in December and January was the Eric Garner case when we shared our opinions about what we think about it and i wanted to talk about because the police felt that blacks wants to lie to get away with something they felt he was lying so they didn't pay attention to what he saying.

Debbie Rosee said...

Hey Ms.Laruen,

I love how descriptive you was while writing this. I also think the same way when i read and wonder what made the authors think or expressed their selves in that specific way. One news story that impacted me was all the news reports about Eric Garner, because it shows me that history will never change. Its sad to see that cops will go but so far to address their power and authority.. to kill an innocent man. However one goal I have for this unit is to study informal writing.

Love Debbie Hardnett ..

Anonymous said...

Devin Natera Says....

Happy birthday MR.jDILLA enjoy your music

Derrick RICHARD said...

The person that wrote this is a person that really thinks about winter and February. What they are trying to says is that when winter comes it pulls that person out of poetry and loves to write poem of what is happening in the world. i understand the message. Their goals and motivations is hat they need to fight this disorder and to do that is not not think about this and write poems. They get paid to write that because they want to feel this person emotions.

Unknown said...

A story that impacted me, that I read during December to January is about an Mexican men who got shoot in 2011. He claim that he was crossing the border and he was caught by an American policeman and the policemen shot him because he took a rock and he had no reason why to shot him. One of my goal for this unit to read more news and be informed about whats going on outside.

Anonymous said...

In August we all heard about the tragedy of Mike Brown shooting by a police officer it was a tragedy not just for his family but also for people around a nation because this incident had happened before, which made it very devastating .
-alice

Briana S. said...

A story that has been in the news since December is the story about a guy that was shot in the staircase because of a police officer that was carrying a gun shot into the darkness and accidently shot Akai Gurley an unarmed 28 year old black male.

Anonymous said...

Janée said ...
Hey miss Lauren! miss you too!
A story that seriously impacted me is President Obama's State of the Union address. It impacted in which it opened my eyes of the various wrongs in our country. Although I was not oblivious to that fact, I was oblivious to a particular problem. The division between the political parties. The same political parties that have a substantial impact on the way we are governed. It made me think, if the minds of these people were just more united then problems that involve police abuse, racial discrimination, and poverty can be resolved. This may be very obvious, but I feel that numerous people become naive to the fact that political parties have been the very foundation of our country since the 1700s. If this division of political parties can somehow be united than we will not only have stronger country, but less complaints overall on racial discrimination, poverty, ect. If this same thought process is thought out completely then people can see that this is the root of the problem. There bias views create stereotypes and influence people to act the same.
One of my goals as we read, question, and study informational writing is to think thoughtfully and be open to other opinions. Along with going above and beyond in analyzing whatever we read, annotate or write.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you say and feel about winter and February.In a way,I question the Mike Brown case,and it has me still wonder what truly caused it to happen.Was it years of racism,a misunderstanding,or something else?The media tends to spread misinformation,and thus,we need to seek out the truth because of it.I think I'll enjoy this new lesson,as I always want to know the truth about something
-Kelvin

Anonymous said...

One story in he news that really impacted me was the police shunning. I have my reasons and I'd rather not discuss it in class.One of my goals for this unit is to get a full grasp on what my peers think about certain things.There is no certainty that I would fall in love with what February brings. So far its nothing but snow
- Onajah J.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion i don't really like February because of the winter but i like it because its my birthday month and the whole weather thing kinda effects the mood of it -Alisha D.

Anonymous said...

Well Ms.Lauren i agree with you i do think February one of the hardest months because of the wheater and what not but this semester i do plan on reading more and welcome back ~barbara

Unknown said...

One news story that impacted me was about Eric Garner and all of the Black Lives Matter reports because it shows that there has been a lot of violence put no solution.One goal as we read, question and study informational writing is to know and understand what happens in our world.

Gloria García said...

A news story that really stayed with me since I heard it was the free community college because it shows how president Obama supports education to continue and give it to people who cannot afford it. I would want to see whether people will appreciate it or not, which would be a shame if they don't. One of my goals for this unit is to learn new things of informational writing and study different topics of it.

Unknown said...

well one news impacts me is the eric garner becayse he went thruough so much when the cop was choking him,. its not right for someone to be chocked to death just because he stopped a fight or for any reason at all.