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Cheryl Chaffin MFA, Ph.D.
Phone: 831.477.3700 ext.1418
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Office Hours: Spring 2016

Distance EducationEnglishWatsonville Center

Cheryl Chaffin MFA, Ph.D.
English Faculty

Cheryl Chaffin

BA, MFA, Ph.D.
With Cabrillo College since 2002

ENGL 100 91533
Elements of Writing
Spring Semester 2016 Jan 25 - May 18
Room 1093 Aptos 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Mondays and Wednesdays
Office: Room TBD
Office hours: 10:55 - 11:55 a.m. M/W

ENGL 2 91658
Composition and Critical Thinking
Spring Semester 2016 Jan 25 - May 16
Room 1093 9:30 - 10:50 am
Mondays and Wednesdays
Office: TBD
Office hours: 10:55-11:55 a.m. M/W

English 100 Course Focus:

This pre-transfer level writing course focuses on how writers employ personal life narratives to shape critique of social and political circumstances. In preparation for transfer-level college courses that require academic papers, we examine the ways in which writers use language and thought to convey ideas for social change through exploring the material of their lives. 1) We will begin our class with a personal response to your reading and writing experience after reading Stephen King’s “Reading to Write.” 2) You will compose a narrative or a critical examination of an author’s narrative that examines the larger social, even political, implications of personal experience. In our textbook, 50 Essays, you will read narrative essays by Sherman Alexie, Frederick Douglas, Audre Lorde, Richard Rodriguez, and Maxine Hong Kingston. 3) We will continue in 50 Essays, reading historical declarative documents authored by Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Martin Luther King. From these readings you will craft a social analysis paper that examines how activists have argued for change. 4) We will also read a memoir by Jimmy Santiago Baca, A Place to Stand (2001). Baca’s narrative allows us to explore social issues and to examine what it means to write and to make statements/claims from memory and from life material. Simultaneously, we will also read Baca’s poems in Immigrants in Our Own Land (1977) to compliment our discussions and writing on his memoir of becoming a poet through his difficult years in prison. There will be a thematic essay on Baca’s memoir and an essay exam on Baca’s poetry. 6) Finally, you will choose from two of the three papers you've composed, extending your ideas and adding to your themes, in creating a final portfolio project.

English 2 Course Focus:

This course is on the writer as thinker. That means both the published writers we will read as well as each student as a burgeoning writer, thinker, critic! In the first part of the course we will study forms of argumentation and rhetorical analysis. The readings for the rhetorical section of the course are provided as (electronic) PDF documents in the Blackboard classroom. Please download or view the documents online. I’ve also given you a choice of two articles from which to choose for your first rhetorical analysis paper. Second, we examine autobiographical essays in Readings for Writers: Critical Thought, Ethics, and Autobiography (custom course reader available only at the college bookstore on the Aptos campus), focusing on how the writer uses narrative as a mode of critical thinking. We’ll observe the linkages between creative and critical thinking, and analyze how writers build convincing, thoughtful, rational, even poetic (metaphorical), arguments in their work. Third, students will read Italian Jewish writer Primo Levi’s autobiographical Survival in Auschwitz. In his account, authored in 1946 and successfully published in 1958, the author examines what it means to be human given the existence of and his experience in the World War II German death and labor camps of the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Monowitz camp compounds. As the course concludes, student writers will complete a final thematic paper and short exam.

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