Composition I

College is often described by parents or
people outside of academia as the “ivory tower”; it is thought of as a naïve
and sheltered place where idealistic students and teachers go about their daily
business ignorant of what is going on in the “real world.”  Yet all of us
here, students and teachers alike, are a part of the Hawai‘i and national
communities at large and affected by the same issues plaguing these larger
communities: homelessness, domestic violence, food sovereignty, economic
downturn, discrimination, oppression, environmental degradation, etc. 
Thus, we will use this Composition I (English 100) class to hone the tools of
writing and language that you already have as students and use them to address
the crucial issues that affect us as residents of Hawai‘i.  You will
investigate, describe, and perhaps even present solutions to the problems that
you find important by focusing on writing for specific purposes, situations,
and audiences as well as on various aspects of the writing process, such as freewriting,
brainstorming, outlining, writing, and revision.  We will pursue questions
such as what does it mean to be a member of a community?  What is the use
of a community?  What holds a community together?  What are the
responsibilities that come with community? To allow us to actively these
questions (inside the classroom and out), we will discuss various sources, such
as newspaper articles, visual representations of Hawai’i, Youtube videos,
documentaries, stories and legends, and essays that deal with these

Course Work:

You will be required
to complete five formal essays, reading quizzes, homework assignments, and
frequent writing exercises.

Required texts:

Our main text will
be The Value of Hawai‘i: Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future. Other readings
will be disseminated electronically.  I encourage student feedback on
topics that they are interested in (in regards to Hawai‘i and/or language) and
try to shape the reading list accordingly.  For example, last semester,
our assigned texts included Ho‘iho‘i Hou and music by and about George Helm,
translations of articles from the Hawaiian-language newspapers, testimony
against the genetic modification of kalo, Hawaiian poetry, stories about surf
spots, etc.