M A I N * N E W S * T O P I C S * L I N K S * R E S E R V E S


Hey, everyone. Welcome to the course. (Our first order of business is to come up with a cool name for me to call you all. Ghostbusters is a bit off, and ghostreaders is a bit boring. Extra credit to someone who can come up with a better tag. How about "The Haunted"?) From now on, I'll be putting announcements on this page having to do with course requirements, changes in these web pages, and other matters. I recommend looking here every time you visit the course hauntsite--at least once a week.


Hey folks, don't forget to send me an e-mail about DuWayne Bowen's talk if you attended it yesterday and want extra credit--it can include your response to the new story "Leaf," questions about the story, and/or any other questions you might want to ask him (perhaps about One More Story or about being a writer....). Thanks!

I'll be available in my office next week for consultations on your final paper. Feel free to set up an appointment with me during exam week.

Finally, if you're planning on rewriting CRE #2, contact me--we can arrange a due date.


Page ranges for Comfort Woman are now up on the main page. I include required ranges for reading by a given date as well as ranges that you should be prepared to discuss in depth for a given class period so that you may plan ahead for each class, and be rereading in preparation for class discussion on a given day.

Please check your e-mail for the course extra-credit policy, as well as for advice on the optional workshopping day planned for this Friday, which I will not attend because I'm heading to DC for an academic conference. Fulfilling all the requirements in the e-mail will also get you extra credit. I can't recommend highly enough that you come to and work hard during the optional workshopping session on Friday; you'll learn more about your writing and how to write during this than almost any other activity except going to the Learning Center or making an appointment with me, and maybe more than either, depending on how conscientous your partner is. If you've been missing classes and discussion questions, attendance Friday can be helpful for your final grade as well, over and above the degree to which it helps you improve your grade on your papers.


The assignment sheet for the second critical response essay is now on-line, in rough draft form. If anything is unclear about this assignment sheet, don't hesitate to ask for clarification.


Please note the addition of page ranges to be discussed in the coming weeks on Toni Morrison's Beloved on the main course page. I can't advise strongly enough that you read ahead and then reread as often as you can. Take advantage of spring break to finish the novel, so that you can reread the specific page ranges with an eye toward topics for discussion. Now that you all have gotten through the mid-term exam, I will expect to see evidence that you're using the skills and ideas from the first half of the course in the second half!


Hey folks, good luck on the exam tomorrow. As of 8 pm today, the short answer/interpretive essay options for Part III are available on the virtual exam page. Now the only thing missing from that page is the list of passages that will form the basis of your answers to Parts I and II tomorrow. (Have to keep you in suspense on that one....)

Be sure to get as much rest as possible before the exam; much better to be alert during the exam and ready to think on your feet than to stay up late doing last-second cramming.

We begin a new unit next week; look to the topics page for a brief preview.


I've made all sorts of changes to the pages related to the exam. Just click on the "mid-term examination" link on the main page, or use any of the below links to get to the "mid-term exam" page, from which you can jump to see a preview of the exam itself or see the answers to frequently asked questions!


Please note that the following pages have been updated: the topics page and the mid-term exam page. Given that the mid-term exam is next Friday, I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with both these pages and begin preparing for the exam as you read Tracks.


Please note the change to the syllabus: you only have to read the first chapter (pp. 1-9) of Tracks for Wednesday's class. We will continue the James/Oates debate at the beginning of next class, so we won't have time to discuss more than Erdrich's first chapter. But feel free to read further ahead--you're still responsible for reading up to page 61 for Friday's class.

I'm changing my office hours this week On Tuesday, I will be in the office from 1-4 pm. On Thursday, I will be in from 10 am - noon and 1 - 2 pm.

Finally, please check your email for an important announcement about the possibility of seeing a film or two outside of class later in the semester. And note the added link I put under Nora Okja Keller's name on the links page that relates to this announcement.


Hey, folks, although the CRE #1 assignment sheet says papers are due at 5 pm tomorrow, I actually won't be leaving the office till 6, so if you find you need that extra hour, don't hesitate to take it.


I will be having extra office hours this week, on Tuesday afternoon from 1-4 pm, and I am willing to meet people by appointment outside of my regular office hours, as well. Please feel free to discuss your ideas for CRE #1 with me, to ask questions about the options you're thinking about writing on, to get more information about the creative response option, or just to shoot the breeze. Another reason to stop by my office is to get information on the departmental honors program, the hours the Learning Center (673-3550) has English/Writing tutors on duty, and the Rosa Parks Scholarship Competition on multiculturalism.

Please refer to the topics page for a preview of this week's readings.


It's come to my attention that there are two technical difficulties we're going to have to deal with: first, there are major server problems, and messages sent to the listserv are not being distributed with alacrity; second, the quality of the copy of Charles Chesnutt's "Po' Sandy" in your course pack is very low.

As to the first problem, have patience, your messages will be distributed or you will receive an error message (eventually). These server problems do crop up at times, and I do not penalize people for late submissions when the problem is clearly with the server, as it is in this case. If your questions have not appeared within several hours of your sending them, or if you received an error message, feel free to send a copy of your questions and/or the error message directly to me (at simon@fredonia.edu)--NOT to the listserv. Basically, the cause of the problem as I understand it now is that the system is being flooded with email messages, and when that happens listserv messages have a lower priority than personal messages. To resend your message to the listserv is to make the traffic jam worse, so don't do it!

In general, when there are server problems, check out this page--when I can't communicate with you over email, I'll put announcements up here. Often, when email is down, internet access still works. It's a funny thing, technology....

As to the second problem, Mark Anderson was kind enough to give the web address of an "e-text" of "Po' Sandy" through the University of Virginia's Electronic Texts Center. If the address he gave doesn't work, you can go straight to the link to the ETC on the links page. Just scroll down a bit. There's also a link to a different "e-text," but it's a much less pleasant reading experience than the one Mark found. If after all these computer problems you just want a paper resource, check and see if the book from which "Po' Sandy" comes, The Conjure Woman and Other Conjure Tales, is on reserve at the circulation desk of Reed Library. (The reserves page says it's not, but that may be a mistake.) If it turns out that this book is not on reserve, I have a copy of the book and will make copies available to you. Come by my office between 10 am and 12 noon tomorrow, or between 1 and 2 pm tomorrow...I'll put a few extra copies in an envelope on the bulletin board outside my office door before I head out.

Well, good luck negotiating these problems, and see you Friday.


The new assignment sheet for the critical response essay #1 is now up and running. Be thinking carefully in the next week or so about which option you want to write on and what kinds of arguments you want to make. Feel free to send me any questions you may have about the essay options. I will not be handing out an assignment sheet in class until I hear some feedback from you on what is clear and unclear about the on-line assignment sheet. I post it to the website to give you a sneak preview and to allow you to have some influence on what the final form of the assignment sheet will be. Take advantage of this opportunity!


Hey, everyone! Congratulations on getting through a hectic first complete week of classes! A few announcements and things to keep in mind as you continue reading over the weekend.

Once again, I appreciate the time you take over the weekend with this course. Have a great weekend and see you Monday.


Let me begin with a reminder of the things you have to do by next Monday's class. First, familiarize yourself with the syllabus and the components that make up your final grade in the course. If you have any questions about the syllabus or the course in general, don't hesitate to ask. Second, familiarize yourself with the resources on these course web pages. Again, don't hesitate to ask questions or make suggestions. Third, read DuWayne Bowen's One More Story in its entirety (it's a very short book) and buy the rest of the books for sale at the bookstore. As of 10:30 am this morning, the course pack was not in the bookstore. I will find out when it will be there, and announce it here. Fourth, subscribe to the listserv (see the "ghostlist" page for instructions). Finally, please take the time to copy the questionnaire below into an email message addressed to me (simon@fredonia.edu), answer the questions, and send it to me by Sunday evening at the latest. Sorry that the questionnaire is so detailed, but it will help me craft assignments and class activities, as well as get a sense of you as an individual. I appreciate the time you take over the weekend on this course. Thanks, and see you Monday.


Phone #:

Other English classes you've taken since high school:
Other classes you're taking this semester:
Other activities (e.g., work, sports) you'll be doing regularly this semester:
Why you are taking this course and what you expect to learn from/in it:

Tell me something about yourself you think I should be aware of or know about.
Finally, ask me a question.

M A I N * N E W S * T O P I C S * L I N K S * R E S E R V E S

EN 209: Novels and Tales, Spring 2000
Created: 1/21/00, 10:50 am
Last modified: 5/4/00, 3:07 pm