Imagine you're a student in my class ...
OK, I've been accused of trying to turn this into a food blog. It does seem lately that I've been digressing into food-related matters. Well, here's another digression -- and everybody is invited to go foodie.
The origin of this writing project is an assignment in my Essay Writing class. During the term, the students write two in-class essays as a way of learning how to take essay exams -- preparation, time management, and those sorts of skills. The students are given readings on the essay topics and discuss them in class ahead of time, and then on the day of the in-class essay, they have the whole two-hour class period to write the essay in the form of an open-book, open-note exam.
Because I believe students write better when the topic is something they care about, I let them choose the in-class essay topics each term. Usually, the topics are fairly standard issues: DWI, the death penalty, same-sex marriage, and the like. This term, however, the students chose two unusual topics: Egypt and cuisine.
Egypt is a challenging topic because it's such a rapidly moving target. One of the students has proven to be a great resource in class discussions -- her husband is Egyptian and they lived there for seven years. With the insights she provided, the students had really good background to write their essays.
And then there's cuisine. There are all sorts of directions a writer could go with that one. The readings I gave the students included an article about the revival of home cooking and a very, very scholarly treatise from the James Beard Institute.
By the time I got done writing the essay prompt, I realized I had some interesting questions that might be fun for more than just my class. So I'm opening it out to my readers in the form of a writing challenge. Pick one of the topics in the essay prompt below and write a blog post about it. Unless you're actually enrolled in a college-prep composition course, you don't need to restrict yourself to the conditions of an essay exam; just write what you want to write about the topic. Once you have written your post, put a link to it in the comments here. Or if you don't have a blog, email your entry to byrnes.carol.anne (at) gmail.com and I will post it here for you. Deadline for entries is March 31.
Essay 4 (in-class)
Choose one of the following topics and write an essay that meets the English 0950 course objectives (clear main idea, good support, consideration for an educated reader, organization, reasonably correct mechanics):
· What is your favorite cuisine? Give details to explain why.
· Define “American cuisine.” What sets American cuisine apart from others?
· How does the enjoyment of food bring people together? Give examples from your own experience and/or from materials you have read.
· Red or green? Explain.
· Write a review of your favorite restaurant. Use details and examples to show the reader why he or she should eat there.
· In what way does the cuisine of a country or region reflect its culture? Show the connection using specific details.
Labels: food, friends, fun, new mexico, rhetoric, teaching, work, writing