Composition I

Aloha mai kākou!

One day a man of the people said to the Zen master Ikkyu: “Master,will you please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?”

Ikkyu immediately took his brush and wrote the word “Attention.”

“Is that all?” asked the man. “Will you not add something more?”
Ikkyu then wrote twice: “Attention. Attention.”

“Well,” remarked the man rather irritably, “I really don’t see much depth or subtlety in what you have just written.”

Then Ikkyu wrote the same word three times: “Attention. Attention. Attention.”

Half angered, the man declared: “What does that word attention mean anyway?”

And Ikkyu answered, gently: “Attention means attention.”

What does all of this have to do with you? In this class I want you to think about attention in terms of critical thinking and self-reflection. Using our text book THE WORLD IS A TEXT: WRITING, READING AND THINKING ABOUT CULTURE AND ITS CONTEXT and, of course, our minds, we will examine issues involving gender, race, ethnicity, and pop culture while paying close attention to what these issues mean to you. As this is a writing class, you will of course be expected to hone your writing skills, with a number of essays and regular journal entries, in ways that effectively convey your attention to the texts we will be reading, our group discussions, and the world around you. All of you are unique, and I want you to remain attentive to that which makes you unique–your interests, your families, your histories, and your senses of place. The issues we will discuss in class will provide a lens for you to think about and even challenge your understandings of yourself, others, and the world around you.

Welcome to ENG100! What it means to write successfully varies a great deal from one situation to another. We communicate our opinions, ideas, and feelings everyday in different forms: letters, poems, narratives, essays, lists, blogs and status updates, just to name a few. In this course we will focus on the various choices writers make, and how they relate to that particular writer’s goals and audience. We will look at writers who write about writing as well as writers who are using innovative mediums for expression. Writing is something we have to work at, and in order to be successful writers we must be active readers and writers. One of the central topics of this course will be the process of writing. Through individual and collaborative writing you will discover your own process and learn how to make your writing purposeful and effective in different contexts. As academic writers, we will also be attentive to the proper use of grammar.

Required Materials:

  • Lisa Linn Kanae, SISTA TONGUE (which can be purchased at the University Bookstore)
  • An active email account & access to the internet. We will be actively posting and checking material on:
  • Ability to print multiple copies of assignments

Suggested Materials:

  • A good style guide / MLA handbook

These sites will work as well: