Writing Strategies session #9: Friday, June 18th, 2010

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  1. Oral reports: tell us about the C.S. Lewis book you read. Also, give me the reference for the book you read, using the MLA format. A big thank you to all of you who presented today. I especially want to thank those of you who read some more difficult books, e.g. Till We Have Faces (顔を持つまで), Out of the Silent Planet (in Japanese 沈 黙の惑星を離れて―マラカンドラ 火星編 (別世界物語)) and Mere Christianity (キリスト教の世界). I hope you will be inspired to read more.
  2. Mini-lecture on some key ideas or themes in C.S. Lewis’ books:
    1. Seeing and believing. In “Prince Caspian“, at first only Lucy can see Aslan while the older children do not, and they do not believe Lucy at first. In “Till We Have Faces” 顔を持つまで, the older sister Orual cannot see the palace where her beautiful sister, Psyche, lives, because Orual is jealous and does not accept that Psyche can be happy without her. In the New Testament, in Matthew 5:8, it is written “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Perhaps Lewis’ message is that the pure in heart can see certain things that others (who are not pure in heart) cannot see.
    2. Natural Law. Lewis believed that there was a natural law that all people everywhere understood. This law is deeper than religion, because it can be found in almost every religion on Earth. In “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, Lewis writes about Edmund on page 97, “deep down inside him he really knew the Witch was bad and cruel.” There is more to the Natural Law than this, but this is a good example of it.

Homework: Quiz questions for chapters 10 and 11:

Chapter 10 questions:

QUIZ

  1. Which of the following things could the Beavers not take?
    • ham, tea, sugar, loaves, matches, handkerchiefs, sewing machine
  2. At the Beavers’ house, which character stayed calm?
  3. Can the Beavers and the children get to the Stone Table before the witch? Why/why not?
  4. Was it snowing when they began their journey?
  5. What did they do in “the old hiding place for beavers”?
  6. What presents did Father Christmas give to
    • Peter?
    • Susan?
    • Lucy?
    • everyone?
  7. Who is “the true King”?

Chapter 11 questions:

QUIZ

  1. What sort of time had Edmund been having?
  2. Was the Witch nice to him?
  3. Did she give him Turkish Delight?
  4. What did she give him to eat and drink?
  5. What should Maugrim do to whatever he finds in the Beavers’ house?
  6. Could the wolves follow the children’s trail? Why/why not?
  7. Why was Edmund cold in the sledge?
  8. Who gave the animals the plum pudding?
  9. What does the Witch do to the animals?
  10. What does Edmund say just before she does this?
  11. How does the Witch react when she sees the animals eating and drinking and enjoying themselves?
  12. What happens to the weather?
  13. “Winter is over, spring has come.” Why?

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Writing Strategies session #8: Friday, June 11th, 2010

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  1. Discuss your answers to chapter 8 and 9 discussion questions with your partner.
  2. Teacher’s comments on last week’s discussion questions.
  3. Checked the answers to chapters 8 and 9 quiz questions.
  4. Mini-lecture: the change in children’s reading. For about 2,500 years, until the late 17th century in England, there were no children’s books. Children who learned to read began reading the famous classic works of literature. These are what C.S. Lewis read as a boy. He read Latin and Greek and so read Homer and Virgil in the original languages:

Homework: Finish reading your book by C.S. Lewis and prepare a short oral report (about 2 minutes) for next class. If possible, bring the actual book to class. Give the main points of the book, and tell us if you liked it or not and why.

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Writing Strategies session #7: Friday, June 4th, 2010

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  1. Handout on Aristotle (A is A).
  2. Guidelines for book report #1 –
    1. in Japanese, because I want to encourage students to read other books about C.S. Lewis.
    2. presentations on June 18th. Presentations in Japanese, 2-4 minutes in length
    3. you must give me the title of the book you read using the MLA style. Here is an example. Let’s say you read this book: カスピアン王子のつのぶえ You would write, C.S.Ruisu. kasupian ooji no tsunobue. Trans. Teiji Seita. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2000.
  3. Questions for chapter 6.
  4. Summary of chapter 6.
  5. Questions for chapter 7.

Homework: read chapters 8 and 9 and answer the questions. (Download the questions for chapter 8 and for chapter 9 from Google Docs.)

Write  summary of chapter 7.

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Writing Strategies session #6: Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Christmas Robin...:O)
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  1. Returned last week’s homework. List of C.S. Lewis books in the DWC library – list ALL the books which are in English AND the books which are in Japanese in the library. If your homework has an X on it, please do the assignment again CORRECTLY.
  2. Chapter 4 and 5 discussion questions.
  3. Write a summary of chapter 5 (dictation).
  4. Mini-lecture: how do we know what we know?
    1. A key point in the story “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is the matter of knowledge and belief.
    2. Some things we can know, some things we cannot really know, we must believe them (or not); we must either rely on and believe other people, or we mus rely on and believe our own heart or conscience.
    3. What can we know and what cannot we know? What can we know and what must we believe? How can we tell the difference?
    4. For example, is it raining now? We can know by looking out the window or opening the window. We do not need to believe. It would be stupid to believe when we can know for ourselves. We should not believe or rely on other people when we can confirm facts for ourselves.
    5. On the other hand, where are you now? In Japan? In Kyoto? How do you know? In fact, you do not know, you cannot know, you can only believe. This is Japan because everyone agrees that it is Japan. In such a case, we would waste a lot of time if we insisted on confirming for ourselves; we can save time by believing, by relying on other people.
    6. To know something for ourselves means to check, using our own 5 senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting).
    7. Another way to know something instead of believing, is to use logic, as the Professor does.
    8. In chapter 6, Edmund asksPeter, “How do we know which side [the robin] is on?” It is an intelligent question. In this case, logic is not the answer. It is impossible to know, to confirm for oneself. The only thing to do is to trust one’s instinct or listen to one’s heart.

Homework:

  1. Read C.S. Lewis. “It All Began With a Picture”. Of Other Worlds. Ed. Walter Hooper. Orlando: Harvest, 1975. 42
  2. Answer the questions for chapter 6 and chapter 7.
  3. If you were absent on Friday and did not hand in your homework for last week, you must either email me your homework or give it to me next Friday. Next Friday is the last day I will accept it.
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Writing Strategies session #5: Friday, May 21st, 2010

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  1. Returned quizzes on chapters 2 & 3.
  2. Returned homework from session #3. Comments:
    1. Read the instructions. The instructions were to write three paragraphs to answer the question, “What is a fairy tale?”
    2. Lucy Barfield is not Lewis’ daughter or granddaughter.
    3. Comparison. Which is the more useful comparison:
      1. Compare human beings with monkeys;
      2. compare human beings with rice-cakes.
    4. #1 is more useful. Why? Because human beings are similar to monkeys. Therefore, a comparison is useful: it can lead to new knowledge, new insights and understanding. Human beings and rice-cakes are too different. A comparison between them is unlikely to reveal new knowledge or insights.
  3. Reading and writing. Comprehension questions to chapter 4 and chapter 5.

Homework:

  1. Choose a book by C.S. Lewis in Japanese translation to read and write a report about by the end of this semester. Tell me the book you have chosen next Friday. If you are absent on Friday, please email me your chosen book title. You cannot change your choice after you have told me, unless I tell you to choose a different book.
  2. Research and write two paragraphs in English about the history of the fairy-tale.
  3. Write the information about the movie of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” using the MLA style (see your MLA textbook, page 9, #38).
  4. Read and make notes on chapter 6.
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Writing Strategies session #4: Friday, May 14th, 2010

  1. Discuss your homework answers with your neighbour.
  2. Hand in your homework.
  3. Chapter summaries. Your summaries are mostly too detailed. Give only the important information.
  4. Using the proper format, take in dictation sample summaries for chapters 1, 2 and 3.
  5. Chapter 4: read and translate. We read and translated up to page 39 (top paragraph).

Homework:

  1. For next week (May 21st): go to DWC library and list all the books – in both English and Japanese translations –  by C.S. Lewis. Divide your list into fiction and non-fiction titles.
  2. Borrow from the DWC library at least two books by C.S.Lewis in Japanese translation and begin reading them.
    1. You must read one book by C.S. Lewis in Japanese and write a report about it this semester.
    2. The book can be either fiction or non-fiction.
    3. Any title is OK except the two textbooks (“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “The Magician’s Nephew”).
    4. Choose your book by session #6, May 28th.
  3. Finish reading chapter 4 and write a short summary of it in English.
  4. Read and prepare chapter 5.
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C.S. Lewis resource page

I’ve added a resource page to this blog. Check it out. Please add to the list by leaving a comment. Thank you.

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Writing Strategies session #3: Friday, May 7th, 2010

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  1. Writing: answer questions about chapter 1.
  2. Answer questions about chapter 2.
  3. Answer questions about chapter 3.

Homework:

  1. Read the dedication, and answer these questions:
    1. How old is “too old for fairy tales”?
    2. How old is “old enough to start reading fairy tales again”?
    3. Who was Lucy Barfield?
  2. What is a fairy-tale? How is it different from other genres, e.g. fantasy, myth, legend? Write three paragraphs. Write your paper using the “Student Paper” format I showed you last time (see last time’s handout). It can be typed or hand-written, and should be double-spaced.
    1. give examples of well-known fairy-tales, including fairy-tales you read (or had read to you) as a child,
    2. give examples of typical fairy-tale characters and themes,
    3. and compare fairy-tales with other genres, such as traditional stories. For example, are Japanese traditional stories 昔話 fairy-tales? Why, or why not?
  3. Visit the C.S. Lewis Resource page, click on the different links, listen to C.S. Lewis’ voice, leave a comment.
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Writing Strategies session #2: Friday, April 23rd, 2010

  1. Read and translate and answer oral questions on chapter 1.
  2. Academic writing: writing for the reader
    1. Proper format for written academic paper
    2. handout #1
    3. Write your name and date on a piece of looseleaf paper, using the format in the handout #1
    4. Re-write your self-introduction for the reader:
      1. Where were you born? Where in Japan is it?
      2. What is it famous for? (If you use Japanese words, explain them for the reader).
    5. Proper MLA style for referencing book titles (MLA handbook, page 3
    6. Write the title of our textbook using this MLA style, on your looseleaf paper.
  3. Assignment #2 (for session 3, May 6th):
    1. Finish reading chapter 1.
    2. Write a summary in Japanese of chapter 1 in 5 sentences.
    3. Leave a comment on this blog, with the title of the book(s) you have read from cover to cover in English. Include a link to the book (e.g. on Amazon Japan) using the HTML tag you learned in this class, so that other readers can find out more about the book.

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Thank you for your comments and emails

Day 212: The Modern American Family Gathering
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Dear Writing Strategies students,

Thank you for your emails and comments. I checked them 07:15, Thursday April 22nd. You can still send me an email and leave a comment (please do, if you have not done so already). It will be counted next week.

Your comment does not appear immediately: I must approve it first. I do that when I next go online (about once a day). So if your comment does not immediately appear, please do not write another one. It will appear the next day.

To protect your privacy, do not write your full name on this blog. (I edited some comments to leave just the family name.)

Today, it is raining. I hope you enjoyed the weather last week. I look forward to seeing you all in class tomorrow, April 23rd.

(By the way, this picture has nothing to do with Writing Strategies, but I just liked it! The title is “The Modern American Family Gathering”.)

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Class blog for Sheffner's Academic Skills & Writing Strategies at DWC