Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Action List for Thursday, December 4

There is nothing you have to do for class on Thursday, December 4. It may help if you have chosen a topic for your final project. But we're going to storyboard in class.

Do remember than any revisions of essays one and two must be sent to me by noon on Wednesday, December 3. I will not accept any late revisions.

Blog Postings are Done

I have just checked everyone's blogs and will figure out blog grades in the next few days. I'll email them to each of you individually through Blackboard. And, no, you can't backdate any entries and say that I missed them later. I've checked each blog, and anything that was not there five minutes ago does not count. I've used Blogger too long to know that there is no lag between posting entries and having them appear.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Action List for Tuesday, December 2

There are only a couple of weeks left in class, believe it or not. But there are still things to do.
  • Go back to the book assigned to you and find five specific pages where you think the author is doing something interesting and effective with her or his use of words and/or images. Team One has Bechdel, Team Two has Thompson, Team Three has Spiegelman, and Team Four has Satrapi.
  • Compose a blog post that lists those pages and describes why you think they are so effective and post it before class.
Be prepared to discuss your choices in class.

Prompt for Final Graphic Memoir

This is it! Your final project for this course! As you know from the syllabus, you are going to complete your own graphic memoir for this course. You have read work by several writers. You have thought about what makes a good graphic memoir and what makes a week one. You have judged the work of others. Now, it's time for you to put all that knowledge and all those opinions to work.

You will create a four to six page graphic memoir. It's a memoir, which means that you should take a moment from your life and tell its story. It's graphic, which means that you should use words and images to tell that story. This is not a huge amount of space, so choose a focus carefully. If you would like to base this graphic memoir on the portrait that you created early in the semester, that would be fine.

There are many options you can use to create this, all of which I will describe in class. For those who do not come to class on Tuesday, November 25, the methods I recommend include:

1) Completing It by Hand: It is very possible to create this by hand, drawing the images and writing out the words or typing out the words and sticking a printout of them with photographs on a piece of paper. Or you may do some combination of techniques. If you choose this method, then I do recommend turning in color photocopies. Keep the original safe.

2) Using Comic Life: If you own a Mac or want to use one in a campus computer lab, then you might want to try out this program. It's what I used to create the first page of the course syllabus. This program was invented just to create documents like this. You'll have to use photographs or scanned images, but this program does make it relatively easy to create panels (and gutters) and add word balloons. If you chose this option, you can create a PDF and take it somewhere that has a color printer, such as the campus printing store in Hillyer.

3) Using Microsoft PowerPoint: PowerPoint does allow you to import images and create word balloons, but you don't have the ease of creating different types of panels. Still, you can use PowerPoint to complete this project if you intend to use photographs or scanned images.

There are other options, too, such as Microsoft Word or graphic design programs like Adobe InDesign. I don't care how you create it. I just want you to have paper copies with you in class the day this due.

When I grade this, I will not be looking at your artistic ability. I will be looking at the ideas behind the artwork. It's possible to earn an A for this assignment by drawing stick figures on a piece of paper if your work shows effort and depth. Remember everything we have gone over in this class. I'll look at how you use the gutter, synaesthetics, and line. When it comes to grading, I'll be evaluating your ability to choose a focus, create coherence, and exhibit details and depth.

Along with the memoir, please write a one to two page statement that describes what you tried to accomplish in this memoir. What choices did you make and why? What parts of the memoirs we read this semester inspired you and why? What parts of McCloud did you try to incorporate into your own work? You can email this statement in .doc or .rtf as long as it arrives before class on Thursday, December 11.

This is all due at the start of class on Thursday, December 13. You should bring two copies to class that day. You will put one copy out for everyone to read and give one copy to me. Color photocopies or printouts will be fine. I will keep my copy on file, and you can take the other with you. If you created the original by hand, then you may want to keep that to yourself in case something happens to these copies.

Be aware that I may invite guests to join us that day such as other faculty and administrators. Many people are interested in what is happening in these first-year seminars, so I may invite them so that they can see.

Warning: I will absolutely not accept any late work for this assignment. If it is not in at the start of class on that day, then you will receive an F for this part of the course. I have been known to go to my office, grade final projects, and turn in those final grades before checking my email or mailbox for late submissions. So no late work for any reason, got it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Action List for Tuesday, November 25

As you have been told ad naseum, essay three is due by noon on Sunday, November 23. For class next week, you do not need to prepare anything. I will be going over the final project in detail, showing you the different ways you can complete it (including different technologies you can use).

Revisions, Deadlines, and Fairness

At the end of class today, I made a decision after talking with one of your peers. I will allow those of you who did not turn in essay one or essay two to turn either or both of those essays in by the time revisions are due, which is by noon on Wednesday, December 3.

I think this is fair for a few reasons. One, those of you who turned in essays on time received extensive feedback from me, which will really help guide you during revision. Two, those of you who turned in work within the late period did not receive comments from me but do have the option of meeting with me to go over your essays. Three, those of you who did not turn in work during the late period will now be allowed to turn in essays one and/or two by the deadline for revisions but without the opportunity to discuss the work with me.

This seems fair because those who turn in work on time clearly benefit from it. Those who turn in work late have some benefits but not all. And those who did not turn in work late will not be in danger of failing the course but will not have the benefits everyone else had when it comes to preparing those essays.

But let's be clear about deadlines. Essay three is due by noon on Sunday, November 23. My standard late policy does apply to this essay, which means it must be turned in by noon on Sunday, November 30 (but will receive no comments). I will not accept any submissions of essay three after this final deadline. You will not be able to revise this essay.

Revisions of essays one and two are due by noon on Wednesday, December 3. I will not accept late revisions.

The final project, which I will describe in class on Tuesday, is due at the start of class on Thursday, December 11. I will not accept late submissions of the final project.

I certainly understand that some of you have had trouble working with time management in the transition to college. Therefore, I am allowing the chances for revisions and late submissions that I describe in this post. But the deadlines as described in this post do stand. Get them in your calendar, check out what is due in your other classes, and make plans for finishing this semester as smoothly as possible.

If you have questions or concerns, let me know.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Action List for Thursday, November 13

On Thursday, we're watching the film version of Persepolis, and there's nothing to do to prepare for it. Just come ready to watch!