TBT: in a daze

I wrote the following post October 12, 2010, while I was a doctoral student teaching Professional Writing at University of South Florida, Tampa. *     *     * I remember working at FAMU’S Writing Center, when one of my most stern, yet caring, English professors shared with me her frustration regarding a student’s desire to argue with her about a grade he DESERVED in her class. As … Continue reading TBT: in a daze

FAMU just tried it w/its Blue Lives Matter talk

Florida A&M University (who, by the way, Wendy Williams, graduated Wimbledon’s first Black woman’s single crown winner, Althea Gibson; acclaimed cancer surgeon Dr. LaSalle Leffall; congresswoman Carrie Meek; singer/actress Anika Noni Rose; & screenwriter/director Dee Rees to name a few) is holding a university-wide conversation this afternoon that its organizers have titled: “Healing Voices: Black and Blue Lives Matter | A Conversation.” What. thee. hell? … Continue reading FAMU just tried it w/its Blue Lives Matter talk

Madea Comes to FAMU

Recently, I sat on a discussion panel in Florida A&M University’s Writing Resource Center where three other colleagues of mine & I were invited to discuss our literary contributions to the English department’s required Freshman Communicative Skills II reader, Writing from the Hill. The custom text, which includes an anthology of poems, short stories, creative non-fiction, visuals, & a play, reflects a literary genius that … Continue reading Madea Comes to FAMU

rEVOLution Haikus: A Class Assignment

If I could, I would teach a poetry class.  Although I have a certificate in creative writing, I cannot teach poetry because academy culture prefers I teach within my discipline: rhetoric & composition.  It’s like checking a box named “African American” when you are also Native American & Hispanic.  I’m light-weight trapped.  Anyway, if I could, I would teach a poetry class.  & today, I … Continue reading rEVOLution Haikus: A Class Assignment

Freewriting about God (with my Improving Writing Students)

This Fall 2013 semester I find myself teaching a group of Improving Writing students who are adamant about God’s existence.  Students refer to God as “He.”  They seem to believe “He” lives in the sky–in heaven.  And although I haven’t asked them yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if they imagine God a white man . . . with dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, and doves flying … Continue reading Freewriting about God (with my Improving Writing Students)

Composing for Martin Luther King

This semester I’ve integrated visual arts, poetry, and technology in my composition classroom by way of Creative Composition assignments that require writing students to explicate their understanding of Martin Luther King’s rhetoric and philosophy.  Students are given creative allowance, and therefore, can choose their medium.  Below are some examples of my students’ creative compositions, and here is my own, (A Poem for MLK), which I wrote … Continue reading Composing for Martin Luther King

On FAMU Students Sharing Their Poverty

I cried today.  And although I often cry, I have never cried in front of the students I teach.  But today I cried—for them.  For their experiences.  For their struggles.  For their triumphs.  Today I cried in honor of and respect for their personhood. Today students silently read Jo Goodwin Parker’s 1971 essay “What Is Poverty?” They were required to engage in a 10-minute freewrite … Continue reading On FAMU Students Sharing Their Poverty

Contemplating Dying: My Apologies to Natalie Goldberg, For I Found Myself Wanting Death

A Note to Readers: The blog entry below is a response to Natalie Goldberg’s writing prompt “Die” taken from Old Friend from Far Away:The Practice of Writing Memoir.  Improving Writing students were rquired to spend 10 minutes of non-stop writing in reponse to a prompt of their choice; I blogged with them. After class, students were required to re-read their freewrites–to thoughtfully examine their content–and then to rewrite (or … Continue reading Contemplating Dying: My Apologies to Natalie Goldberg, For I Found Myself Wanting Death

Reader Response Haikus for Improving Writing 2300

After reading Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury” and overhearing a student discuss the art and challenge of writing haikus, I challenged my Improved Writing 2300 students to write a haiku in response to any of the readings we have engaged in.  To date, students have read Jo Goodwin Parker’s “What Is Poverty,” Naomi Klein’s “No Logo,” Alice Walker’s Introduction to We Are the … Continue reading Reader Response Haikus for Improving Writing 2300

Black Women’s Poetic Genius: In Response to Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury”

Every time I read Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury,” I feel like swallowing Mari Evans’ “Who Can Be Born Black” and throwing it up into the universe—with hopes that none of it hits the ground, but splatters on everybody’s faces.  In her 1970 poem, Evans asks, Who can be born black and not sing the wonder of it the joy the challenge And/to … Continue reading Black Women’s Poetic Genius: In Response to Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury”