Day 13: Syntax

1. Summer Assignments (1st, 2nd, 4th only). Some classes received their summer assignments back. We added them to our writing portfolios. Any student who would like to redo parts of the assignment for a higher grade may do so by next Monday, 9/20.

2. Syntax. Students took notes on Syntax on L9.

3. Writing with the syntax of another. Students wrote their own versions of some lovely sentences written by authors. They used these lines to begin telling one event from their plot diagram.

Example of homework (the bold is the part I added):

1. So instead of sitting with my mother in the cool darkness of my living room, I would go back to our diner and fantasize about families, about perfect nuclear families who loved and coddled each other. I would go back to my diner and, sitting across from my solitary father, I would dream about the modicum of closeness we had achieved while I listened to truckers, mumbling almost inaudibly, drinking their coffee black. One a morning, and two on Sundays.

2. I enjoyed such mornings––then as now. But if the talk began to wander, or cross the border back into mundane small talk, we would soon find reason to plunge back into the myth of our family or of some book. We had grown comfortable in our literary and literal solitude, the safest place we knew.”

3. “We roamed. We had given ourselves the freedom of the prairie as soon as we knew it lay across the highway. We walked and memorized the zeniths and nadirs of the piney forest floor, the highs and lows of our conversation.”

4. It means wanting, it means waiting. It is like starting War and Peace and hoping to one day finish it. A slow march. It is the slow drone of cicadas on an oppressive summer afternoon when all you want is autumn, a drone like wanting.

Notice I sometimes changed quite a bit in the sentence and sometimes kept some of the original wording. That’s okay. Use at least a few of these sentences in your syntax piece.

HW: Finish syntax piece. Requirements: One page minimum (handwritten is fine). Must tell the story of one event on your plot diagram. Due tomorrow.