Thursday, February 24, 2011


Are you fearful or anxious in certain situations?  I know plenty of people who avoid elevators, though they don't both me at all. Others I know refuse to travel on an airplane, or drive on I-95.  Every person, if he or she is honest, experiences anxiety about something.  In your assignment this week, you will tell about ONE thing that causes you to be fearful or nervous. If you have been lucky enough to overcome that thing, explain how you did so. If, on the other hand, you have to use coping mechanisms, then you should explain what those devices might be.

Here's my example:  I have always been afraid of cockroaches. Just the name of this creature sends shivers down my spine. I blame my irrational fear on my dad who, knowing about my fear, tried to "cure" it (ha, ha, ha) by chasing me around the house with a dead roach on the end of a flyswatter. I knew the dreaded insect was dead; however, that did nothing to stop my incessant screaming nor did it cure me of my fear. It was only when I became an adult and had to deal with cockroaches on my own that I learned to cope with this dysfunctional anxiety. Now, that is not to say that I am not initially paralyzed by my first encounter with one when I turn on a light and see those twitching antennae.  I have learned, though, to face my fear by running out of the room and grabbing a can of Raid, running back into the room, and spraying it with what amounts to a lake of chemicals. Thank God for insecticide! And thank God that I know how to keep a clean home so that I don't have to encounter this vile creature very often.

Okay. Now it is your turn.  remember to use vivid and descriptive language, correcting grammar errors (to the best of your ability) before you publish. You have until midnight on March 1st to post your response.

Prof. McD

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lifelong Learning

School is not the only place where learning occurs. We should be learning something every day we are alive. What have you learned this week? (Nothing academic please!)  Remember to use the R.A.G.E. writing strategy, to  properly punctuate your response, and to apply the appropriate grammar points we have learned in class so far.  Please respond by midnight on Tuesday, 2/22/11.

My response: I have learned that the older I get, the harder it is for me to operate on a shortage of sleep. When I consistently get too little sleep, I am easily distracted and much more serious than I need to be. To keep my joy and sense of humor, I need at least 7 hours of sleep.  Good night!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

100% You!

Each one of us associates with specific groups of people in our world. Often we don't reflect upon those groups, but I am going to ask you to do just that because, even though the groups may change over time, our connection with them helps define who we are.

Here's your assignment: Carefully consider the groups with which you can identify and claim kinship. List the groups and assign a percentage to each one until you reach 100%. You must have at least five (5) groups listed.

Here's my response: I am 30% Christian (I'd like to say 100%, but based upon the restrictions of this assignment I cannot go higher without disregarding the instructions); 20% wife and mother; 15% reader and learner; 10% teacher; 10% creative blogger & photographer; 7% singer; 5% Cuban-American; and 3% Italian-American. That's 100% me!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Colorful Writing

Using original similes and other figurative language is one way to take your writing to the next level. For me, encountering a well-constructed sentence is like being kissed by a young Sean Connery. It is a totally breathless, heart-pounding experience. I am amazed at the level of purposeful creativity that has birthed such an incredible image. 

The only way to become a more colorful writer, of course, is by practicing. So, this week's  assignment will require you to think -- and write -- outside the box. Oops! That's way too cliche. Uh, let me rephrase that. This assignment will catapult you into thinking beyond and writing above your standard phrasing or comparisons. 

Here's your task: What is the color of hunger? Why is that true?

Here's my example: The color of hunger is unpolished copper.  It is a cloudy shine that demands your attention while trying not to dazzle you. To do so might blind you to its importance.

Be sure to post no later than midnight on February 8, 2011.