Monday, May 21, 2007

Lesson Plan Week 8

Lesson Plan Week 8 Writers and Ideas

1. Creative Writing Summer Quarter

  1. Issue of 4 or 5?

  1. Seeking Light general reaction to the reading/lecture

  1. Book reactions?

  1. Creative Responses?

  1. Study Questions

    1. (Mandatory) Find 2 examples from the book of a student “abrecamino”. What way did they open? What chains did they break?

    1. Explain the similarities between this book and “Impulse to Love” or the similarities between the students’ journey and Bodeen’s. What is it about these students that Bodeen identifies with?

    1. Add to the vocabulario section with definitions of your own.

    1. Explain how the stories in this book are/are not examples of “Naïve”, “Primitive” or “Outsider” art.

    1. Why does Bodeen focus on women in Latino literature/culture? What is he trying to say/teach to these students and to the reader?

    1. How do the photographs contribute to this book? (This is a crappy question, please only answer it if you can make it interesting).

    1. Provide a footnote for one of the historical/literary figures in the Images of Women section.

  1. Break
  2. Preview of Jenifer’s book
    1. Alaska
    2. Poulsbo
    3. Sister
    4. Father
    5. Centrum

Study question for Jenifer’s book

  1. In the blurb on the back, Joseph Stroud says, “what strikes me most about her work is how elegy turns from grief to wonder to praise.” Find an example of grief and example of wonder and an example of praise in one or several of her “elegiac” poems.

  1. Epigraphs are short quotes that precede a work of art that usually IMPLIES the theme of that work of art. Terry Martin has one at the start of each of her sections. Lawrence does not. That’s your job. Find an appropriate epigraph for each section of this book and write a brief explanation of why you chose it. What are you trying to imply about this section?
  2. What is your favorite section? Explain your preference.

  1. What type of sonnet is “Stephen’s Passage”? Where is the turn?

  1. Other than the sonnet, what other “formal” poems are you able to find? What are the other forms she uses? (At least one is syllabic?)

  1. Explore the motif of stains/color that has been pressed into things, in the book. Find them. Find connections? What does this thread imply?

  1. In the poem, “Home Economics” the speaker listens to a story about abuse. Her reaction is, “No shit” but she’s digging a tracing wheel into her palm then follows the “dotted line” back to her desk. Explain how this reaction serves as a good example of Lawrence’s voice/style as a poet.

Last meeting?


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Letter from Antonia and Maria Caro

10 de mayo de 2007

Estimado profesor Bodeen y audiencia:

It is an honor to have been chosen to read this letter and our poems in class. We really appreciate this opportunity and hope that you enjoy learning about Latinos experiences and lives. Saludos desde Valdivia Chile.

We remember as if it was yesterday that we were in the Latino Literature classes, not only because we enjoyed being there but also because we learned about the power that a poem might have in someone’s life. Being in Neruda´s homeland helps to understand his writings and poems. We are planning a trip to Isla Negra, one of Neruda´s home. This place was one were he inspired to write many of his poems, just by looking at the sea and its immensity. In the month and a half that we have been in Chile, we have learned a lot about the Chilean culture, literature and most importantly their history. This has helped us to understand Latinos differences and similarities. Now we know that not all Latinos think, act or live the same way and especially women. I see the Latina’s power on the streets, and in education. One would think that Chile is a country where women have more power than in other country because they have a female president, but that is not the reality. From my point of view, many women are struggling because of the Machismo, and men dominance. Women are very reserved, and quiet. People do not talk to foreigners, and it is really hard to make friends with them. They are very reserved, and most of the time do not interact with others.

At the end of April we had the opportunity to go on a week long trip to Bariloche, Argentina. It was amazing to see how Argentinian´s are more open to people and how friendly they were in general. I could observe that Argentinian women have more confidence in themselves than Chilean women.

As Latinas we consider ourselves very strong women who are striving for a bright and better future not only for ourselves but for other women. We want to make a difference in our future students´ lives. ¨we want to make a way where there is no way¨ this is one of the reasons that we are in South America, we want to explore other lands and learn from people who have different ideas. I have noticed that we are not the same since we got here, this experience has had a big impact in our lives, and we will never be the same. Now, I see the world with different eyes, the eyes of our roots, nuestros antepasados, Los Incas, Los Mayas, Los Mapuches y Huilliches, porque nunca seremos los mismos y su sangre corre por nuestras venas. A world that screams and wants to express its
greatness. El cual fue opacado y nunca volvera a ser lo que fue.

Gracias por su atención y espero que puedan ver hazi como nosotras con nuevos ojos una perspectiva del mundo diferente.

Disfruten de los poemas y las fotografias.

Antonia y Maria Caro

Seeking Light Part 1

Seeking Light Part 2

Monday, May 14, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

About Seeking Light

Here's an article about the Latino Lit class from the Seattle Times.


Consider Alma Varela. She arrived in the U.S. alone at 14 to live with her sisters. She learned English and gradually made the transition from living with her parents in Mexico City to Moxee, a farm town of 1,050 in Eastern Washington. Now 20, she has kept writing through it all.

Varela has since graduated from Davis High School and works full time as a receptionist at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic while taking a full course load at Yakima Valley Community College.

She remembers Bodeen's class as a refuge. "It was very welcoming. Everyone just knew each other had the same background. Their parents might be here, or not. We left something behind, and we came here not knowing what to expect."

The class helped her think about that and write about it. "It was a way to say something. Not just do an assignment but to say something that really means something, and learn that our past is important.

"It was hard, but it was easy, like I was ready to yell it out. It was all piling up. There wasn't anything we weren't allowed to say, and that's how we went as far as we did. I know all the stuff we did was not the most poetic writing. But it was all important."

Study Questions for Seeking Light

Study questions:
  1. (Mandatory) Find 2 examples from the book of a student “abrecamino”. What way did they open? What chains did they break?
  2. Explain the similarities between this book and “Impulse to Love” or the similarities between the students’ journey and Bodeen’s.What is it about these students that Bodeen identifies with?
  3. Add to the vocabulario section with definitions of your own.Explain how the stories in this book are/are not examples of “Naïve”, “Primitive” or “Outsider” art.
  4. Why does Bodeen focus on women in Latino literature/culture? What is he trying to say/teach to these students and to the reader?
  5. How do the photographs contribute to this book? (This is a crappy question, please only answer it if you can make it interesting).
  6. Provide a footnote for one of the historical/literary figures in the Images of Women section.

Intro to Seeking Light in Each Dark Room

The book is the result of Bodeen’s Latino Literature class at DHS.

Sequel to “With My Hands Full/Con Mis Manos Llenas”

Much of it is not professional writing

Again, structure helps us understand the book
Part 1: The call to the journey (read the first poem)
Part 2: Extended writing from three students
Part 3: Epic spiritual journey by Neruda/imitation poems in 12 parts
Part 4: Letters to Women (6 women in Latin American culture/history)
Part 5: Interviews with Mothers/Fathers—the journey inside the family, with captions
Part 6: Their own stories, finally
Part 7: About the Authors and Vocabulario

Tough book to read straight through, or even get your arms around but also, ambitious on the part of the students and the press.

Also, a document that will probably grow in importance over time

Took the students around the country: New York, Texas, Seattle (x2), Vancouver?

The plan for Monday is: Part one of documentary followed by a panel discussion for the lecture. Part two of the documentary followed by readings from Manuh Santos, Eloisa Gonzales and Michelle Martinez. Maybe from DHS?

Reading assignment for Seeking Light

Preface, Bodeen

Part 1:
The Unknown Passage, Obisbo

Part 2:
Kunayaya/Abre Caminos/My Life, Santos (Read his whole section here)
The Way Where the Path Lay, Martinez (Read her whole section here)

Part 3:
The Path to Macchu Picchu, Gonzalez

1. Whizar
2. G. Perez, O. Rosales
3. Gamboa, Rosales
4. Whizar, Rosales
5. Gamboa
7. Whizar
8. Gonzalez
9. Rosales, Estrada
10. G. Perez, A. Caro
11. Estrada
12. Caro

Part 4:
In Each Symbol, This Many More, Bodeen
Letters to Malinche: Estrada
Letters to Guadalupe: Caro, Whizar
Letters to Sor Juana: Whizar
Letters to Rigoberta Menchu: Whizar, M. Caro, A. Caro
Letters to Gloria Anzaldua: A Caro, Paloma Perez

Part 5:
An Original Story and Otro Imagen de La Vida, Gonzalez
Because the Good, A. Caro
Our Father’s Story Through, A. Caro
My Clear Way, Gaston and Paloma Perez
The Voice of Reason in My Father, Rosales
The Dispenser of Strength, Courage, Rosales
My Dad, A Library of Experience, Estrada
Something Rare and Special, Estrada
You Can See Life: Gamboa

About the Authors:
A. Caro, M. Caro, Estrada, Gamboa, Gonzalez, Michelle Martinez, Gaston and Paloma Perez, Oscar Rosales, Manuh Santos, Whizar

Abrecaminos, aclarar la garganta, bocono/a, cholo/a, correveidile, escuchar, familia, frases trilladas, ganas, guia, HB2330, imagines de mujeres, luz, machismo, oscuro, patron, pocho/a, poeta, raices, ser, suenos, testimonio, traducer, truth

Here's where the collaborative poem section comes from

Latino Literature Macchu Picchu Section (abridged)

Section I. For each section start with a process that you are comfortable with that includes the following: read the section; get a sense of the theme or direction; find a line that you like; begin writing about your own life.

Section II. Go somewhere where you go everyday. Instead of asking everyday questions, ask new questions. Large questions, surprising questions. In writing this poem, you want to explore, search out questions and problems. Go new places. Neruda climbed to Macchu Picchu. He had to go up in order to go down. He had to leave his own home in order to find it. Explore.

Section III--Neruda says human beings are husked like so much corn. There's not one death, but many deaths. Everybody gets a daily ration of death.

Write about the little deaths. But don't just consider material death. Consider relationships that have died. Consider the bad things in our society that kill our spirit. Write about the things that hurt us everyday. And then, don't consider death all bad. The old dies so the new can be born. We give up destructive behaviors in order to create new ones.

Surprise yourself. Explore.

In Neruda’s poem, this is the shortest poem, but in yours, it may be the longest. Write it in three parts.

1. Write a first section talking about it, exploring it.
2. Get real specific. Write about the little deaths that specifically relate to you.
Say what hits you.
3. Be a voice for others. Sea voz para otros. After you tell your story, tell a story about muertes pequeñas that others live through, others who have no voice, others who have no pen or paper for weapons,

Section IV a.--Write a letter to death. Bring death down to size. Write about what death looks like in your world. What does death look like? What does Death say? Do?

This is real death. Who have you lost? Write about this loss.

Tell about this person’s life. Write about the loss. Remember the life.

Or, write about the greatest loss in your life. Maybe it was leaving your pueblo in Michoacán.

Describe the loss.
Describe the memory.
Remember the person or the place.

Section IV b. Sometimes in our journeys we lose the trail, or we get stuck. Estancado. No sabes para donde ir, para que hacer. This is ok. This will happen. Maybe you’ve had a time like this in your life.
Explore your memories of this time.
Describe where you were.

What are your memories? What happened? How did you get back to the trail?
Find a line in Neruda that can help you connect to this.

This is one way to write this section of the poem.

Section V--
This is another section I combine with Section IV. Read and study it with
Section Section IV
Deny Death.
Kick Death in the teeth.

After the loss is the memory.

What did you learn from the wound? How does the wound make you stronger?

Write three one line stanzas.

Section VI--Here Neruda writes to Macchu Picchu. You write to Pablo Neruda.

Here Neruda speaks to the challenge of going up Macchu Picchu. Here Neruda discovers the challenge to mankind. Write to your challenge. Face it head on. We all have many challenges before us. Identify one. Write to it.
How has Neruda changed from the young man who wrote the love poems to become the mature man who is writing Las Alturas de Macchu Picchu?

Tell Neruda how you are changing.

You are going up the mountain now. What is your mountain? What is it like making the climb?

Section VII--Here Neruda discovers in Macchu Picchu, something created and made by human beings that will last forever--a "permanence of stone and word."

Write a letter to whatever is permanent for you.

What makes you special?

Describe how you are more open? What possibilities do you see now, in you that you didn’t before?
Write this letter to something or someone like this: Always present, constant. It might be music. It might be a soccer ball. It might be religion. It might be your mother. Or a friend. Describe this constant thing, idea, person. Write to this thing or person, but write in such a way that an outside reader can see what you see.

Section VIII-- Carta de Amor—A Love Letter

Write a Love Letter to something you love, or someone you love. Describe your love. Be surprising. Don't write about feelings. Write about what you see and hear. Write about how your love makes the world new.

Tell a secret about living that you know, that you have learned.

Name a river somewhere in the world that you have crossed, or seen. What is it like crossing this river?

What do you want changed about this world?
What will you do to change the world?

Section VIII additional ideas/ examples

It's dangerous to cross rivers. River crossings change us forever.

Rivers are rivers. Rivers are more than rivers. To cross a river is to become a river. You are crossing a river into yourself. You are done swimming in the rivers of others. Now you are swimming in the river that is you. You are a river. Here is my poem, River Dreams, that comes from your class and my experience.

Section IX--
Make a list of important things in your life.

Make a list of ten adjectives.
Make a list of ten nouns.
Put them together in new ways like Neruda does:

"solemn bread."
"immense eyelid."
"stone bread."
"stone rose."
"Thrones toppled by the vine."

Neruda loved surrealism. These are surrealistic images. They come from our dreams. They change things.
Everything is changed. Everything goes. It is a new world.
Section X-- Explore something in your life journey that you're curious about. You know some things, but not all things. Something's left unfinished, some doors are still unopened. Explore the mystery. Write directly to the mystery. Ask your questions.
Begin four lines by stating:

"I want to know...
"I want to know...
"I want to know...
"I want to know...

Begin four lines like this:

"Tell me...
"Tell me...

Talk directly to the mystery.

Don’t limit what you write about, but be aware of what your life is. The job of the writer is always to write about the life he’s living, or that she’s living. What is mysterious to you? In this life? Your life? From this point of view.

Section XI--Now that you've travelled this far, what have you learned? Write about what you see and what you don't see.

"I see...
"I see...
"I do not see...

Keep it specific. Keep it from your life. Describe.

Section XII-- A la Cima What is new? What is different? What does your new awareness tell you? Say it. Speak. Hable.

Name your power.
How have you been told that is yours to do?

At the top.

Some of us who have made the journey are incredibly joyful. Some of us are still in the heart of the struggle. But Macchu Picchu is a lugar sagrado, a sacred place. And being here, arriving at the summit, even in el medio de la lucha, sabemos que nuestras vidas son sagradas.
Making the journey changes the point of view. It doesn't mean la lucha is over. Maybe it means la lucha empieza, that the struggle begins. The difference is this, now that I see the sacred nature of me, of my life, I am able to bring more to the struggle.

I. Re-vision. Revisar. See again.

A. Problems in your rough drafts include:

General, abstract language.
Not enough study on Neruda’s Las Alturas de Macchu Picchu
Not taking your own life seriously enough.
Not knowing how to take risks in writing.
Not believing you can write what you see and hear.
Not believing that your life is a journey.

If you were telling your story, you wouldn’t have these problems.

B. If you were being real you would write more specifically, with more details.
If you write what you see and hear, you will write a realistic poem about your life that remembers where you have been, and tells your story.

Most of you need to revise/to change/to see again/to add to your 12 poems. I’m estimating most of you are at 50-60% of meeting my requirements. This is neither good or bad. It’s fact. It’s what I see when you show me your poems. It’s what I hear when you read them. You have lots of work to do.

What haven’t you written about? This is your story. These are your 12 poems. Find a way to tell your story, to say what you need to say.

Remember, carnales, y carnalas, your poem is not an essay, and it shouldn't look like one either. You're writing the story of your life! It's not a newspaper story. You're not writing this for a test score or a grade in the gradebook. You're doing this to save your life. You're doing this because you're a little bit payaso. You're writing a poem because you see the world un poco diferente que los otros. And your poem should look like a poem. It should not look like this. When you go out on Saturday night you don't look like this, and don't look like this in your poem, either. ¿Me intiendes?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Michael Daley Discussion

Here's a place to comment or ask questions about Daley's reading and lecture.
Registration is easy and painless.