Batman and Wheatley: Syllabi and Stuff

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9/12/2007 5:31 AM

I got up and worked on my “Syllabus Quiz” for the second meeting of ENC101. I really like Michelle’s idea and I think that there is a good chance that this will help the students to better understand the class requirements. I have to admit, chagrined, that there are things that aren’t as clear as I would like them as I went over my syllabus to write the quiz, and so this is a work in progress. I am especially disappointed that I didn’t include the diminishing grade scale for late papers (x% less per day late). This is one of the many ways that I can see WiD (Writing in the Disciplines) helping me to improve my teaching.

I read the assignment for ENC101 today, and I love Miller’s Batman in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Now the art is just my style, not too detailed or “fine.” The coloring is wheat is really catching me this time. On page after page the majority of the colors are black white, gray and indigo, with just one element of color. Sometimes it is the Yellow of his logo (twinned with his utility belt, a brown rifle and the report from Harvey Dent’s pistol on pages 44 – 45) and other times it is a wry joke (like on page 19 where the milk and groceries are the only color of a female victim called “mommy” by the mutant perp). Just brilliant.  I’m worried that the students won’t know all of the villains and particulars of Gotham (e. g. Arkham Asylum, DA Harvey Dent, Dick Grayson , etc.).

Reading Wheatley’s poems for my Afro-American Literature class has me excited and puzzled (as I hope the students are). Is she being ironic when she writes of the “mercy” in “On Being Brought From Africa To America[?]” I really don’t know. I think I am applying late 20th Century (faithless) values to an 18th Century religious context. At least this time I “got” “On Virtue.” She has to have lust in order to pray so hard for “virtue” (read chastity). I’ve got to look up “pinioned” so that I can better interpret this poem.

We cancelled soccer practice yesterday because of the rain. I wish I could say I got more work done with the extra time, sigh.

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