Stockton Rhetoric & Composition Class #3A, January 28, 2019

The road to hell is paved with ‘works in progress.’ – Phillip Roth



Have written Informal Essay #1


  1. Review Informal Essay #1
  2. Review Quizzes
  3. Questions on Narrative – Discussion on Shoeless Joe 
  4. Costal’s Keys to Writing #2 & #3
  5. Assignment Review


Costal’s 5 Keys to Writing: 

  1. SHOW don’t TELL
  2. Writing IS Rewriting
  3. Good writing = Strong Verbs
  4. XXX
  5. XXX
  6. XXX

Shooting An Elephant by George Orwell:  When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick–one never does when a shot goes home–but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant. He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralyzed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time–it might have been five seconds, I dare say–he sagged flabbily to his knees. His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years old. I fired again into the same spot. At the second shot he did not collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I fired a third time. That was the shot that did for him. You could see the agony of it jolt his whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs. But in falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed beneath him he seemed to tower upward like a huge rock toppling, his trunk reaching skyward like a tree. He trumpeted, for the first and only time. And then down he came, his belly towards me, with a crash that seemed to shake the ground even


where I lay.

NPR piece.


Read this narrative (and as you read, consider listening to the author read the piece here) by David Sedaris (listen to the author read the narrative below). As you read, consider what you learned about narratives from the Purdue OWL (and any questions posed in class today). Be prepared for Wednesday, to further discuss the quality of this piece and “how” it evinces the tenets of good narrative.

Stockton Rhetoric & Composition Class #3: January 23, 2019

Read and listen to everything due from class #2.

Have questions from your readings Shoeless Joe, Purdue OWL Guide to Narratives


  1. Grammar Inventory
  2. Reading Quiz #1
  3. 5 Minute Personality Test & Discussion
  4. Usage Quiz
  5. Discussion of Invisibilia podcast and assignment review


  1. What is “Rhetoric?” Give an example of it from real life.
  2. Identify three things Ray loves (from Shoeless Joe Chapter One). For each thing, provide at least one sentence describing how you know Ray loves this thing.


Informal Writing #1 (This assignment need not be shared with me. Save it to transcribe on to your blog when we create them)

Consider the themes and over-arching ideas presented in the Invisibilia podcast. Then listen to the podcast here, conducted by NPR’s Fresh Air program. It is an interview with Kevin Hart. Hart was recently embroiled in a controversy involving sexuality. He said some things ten years ago on social media, was condemned for it, stepped down from hosting the Oscars, apologized, and seems to be moving on from it all (his movie has been #1 at the box office for a few weeks now). If you are unfamiliar with this course of events, there’s a pretty good primer for it all on Salon.

***If you are short on time, consider beginning this interview at 11 minutes in order to get to the part of the interview that matters to our discussion.  

Considering both Hart’s story and apology and the “call out” culture described in the previous podcast, write a full page reaction to what you have read/heard. Consider one or all of the following questions:

  1. Does the current “call out” culture provide more of a benefit or a deterrent for us as a society?
  2. If “calling out” stops heinous crimes and curbs unfair behavior, does that make it warranted?
  3. How do you feel about “shaming” as a deterrent in general? Think “Megan’s Law” and public sex offender registries.
  4. How does “forgiveness” factor into “call out culture?” How important is growth and forgiveness? Do you believe Kevin Hart?
  5. Is it different for comedy? In other words, is it “ok to joke” about sensitive issues? Can comedians expect different treatment in these politically correct times?
  6. Do you believe we live in more politically correct times? Is that generally a good or bad thing for us culturally?
  7. I am interested in this idea of funny vs. offensive. Are the rules different? Should they be?