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 issues.

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.

  • Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual.5th Ed.Boston: Bedford, 2010. Print.
  • Hemmingway, Ernest. The Old Man and The Sea.New York: Scribner, 1980. Print.
  • Kanae, Sistah Tongue. Honolulu: Tinfish Press, 2001. Print.
  • O’Hearn, Cluadine Chiawei.  Half + Half: Writers on Growing up Biracial + Bicultural. New York: Pantheon Books, 1998. Print.
  • A bound journal of your choice to write in (you’ll need this almost every