Throughout the three plus days of this exercise, please keep notes on your interactions with the materials included in each day’s assignment on Poly Learn, your experiences, and your thoughts and observations. You may type the notes or write them legibly by hand. When you turn the notes in to me, please contain them in a lightweight folder, or staple them securely. I will evaluate your notes on your commitment to the exercise and your willingness to participate fully. Quantity matters, but I am also looking for quality observations and thoughtfulness. At times, I have given you specific things I want you to include in your notes. I will look for observations that show you have interacted with the material I set up for you on each of the three days, and that you have engaged in the activities I have assigned. I will not grade the notes on grammar or spelling, but please remember it makes me grumpy if I can’t read them easily and you do not want me to be grumpy when I grade.
At the end of interacting with the materials and spending the three days paying attention and taking notes, I hope you find something that sparks your interest. Take time to read back over your notes and think about your experiences and observations. Find something you want to write about and compose a paper. This paper should be at least four pages of double-spaced type.
Please include a bibliography at the end of the paper citing at least three sources you use in MLA format. You may use sources I supplied for you, but I will be impressed if you find additional sources because you are interested in further research on your topic.
I will evaluate the paper on the quality of your writing, creativity and commitment to the exercise. I prefer clear writing to flowery or overly intellectual rambling. I am also looking for creative thinking and evidence of increased awareness. Please feel free to write in first person.
Here is how I grade your papers. I read them, usually more than once. I try to remain objective, but at the same time I consider them to be communication from you to me, so I like to keep each of you in mind as I read. I mark any spelling, grammar, syntactical and punctuation errors that jump out at me, but I also read for thoroughness, commitment to the exercise, creativity and insight. My grading is holistic; I consider the paper as a whole.
As I read through your papers, I start to place them in piles of like quality papers. When I have finished, I begin to put scores on the papers, rereading if I have doubts about where to rank the paper. When I put numbers on the papers, I begin at 80%, which to me means you have included everything I asked you to include and the writing is at a level I find adequate. If you haven’t completed the assignment in its entirety or your writing needs improvement, I subtract points. If I believe you brought something interesting of your own to the assignment and the writing is especially clear, I add points. An excellent paper is thorough and well done, but it also goes beyond the assignment to bring creative insights to bear on the subject. I rarely give perfect scores because I believe perfection is rare.
Keep the following words by the poet Mary Oliver in mind as you work on this assignment.
Instruction for living a life:
Tell about it.