DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Attendance and Participation

Your PUNCTUAL attendance is mandatory.  Attendance is taken each class and lateness is marked after five minutes. Almost each class will begin with a writing prompt or demonstration.  If you miss something, it will not be repeated for you. Each class agenda is available to you online so if you miss a class, find the date of the class  "Weekly Agendas" and look to see what you missed. This is your own responsibility.  Attendance counts for ten points of your final grade.



Throughout the course, you will be expected to participate in small group discussions and whole-class discussions. All of this will happen face-to-face and sometimes online. If you are someone who likes to talk and participate in class, make a point of giving others the space to share their ideas.  If you are someone who is a bit shy-er and tries to be silent during class, make a point to challenge yourself to lift up your voice and share your opinions with the people around you.  Sharing your ideas and questioning peers’ responses are critical to your learning and so participation in class will be also.   Participation will be factored into your grade for this course, but participation does not mean runnin’ your mouth all over the place.  It is about how you talk to others and, most importantly, how you listen to them.  In this class, it will be as impressive, if not moreso, to notice a colleague in class who hasn’t talked much and give them the floor than run your own mouth all the time.  When we reach that moment in the semester when someone says: “Professor Carmen, ____ has been wanting to say something for a while now, can we encourage her to do so” and then the whole class moves in that direction, then we are achieving a real collective. That’s the kind of participation we are striving for here.
Class Agendas

There will be an agenda for each class— think of the agenda as the powerpoint/lecture presentation of the class.  Those agendas will be posted here on the website so if you ever need to look at what we did in a class, you only need to go back and look at the agenda. Please make sure that you leave every class understanding what is expected of you for the next class.


Handheld Devices

Please remember to SILENCE your phones during class and dismiss yourself from the room in the event of an emergency call that you must attend to.  You will be trusted to answer only those calls that pertain to emergencies.  You will also be trusted NOT to text, tweet, facebook, etc. during class (even in the downtime) and especially during groupwork (plus, all the hotties and honies can wait— they will still be there when class is over… truss me on this one, been there, done that!… let em sweat you a little, don’t give in so easy).  Unless you are some kinda world-famous neurosurgeon, ain’t nobody tryna hear that your business is so important that you can’t wait for 90 minutes. Failure to refrain from these behaviors will result in a significantly lowered grade for the class.  Think of it this way: if you were at work in a meeting, you would get fired.  You can’t get fired here, but you can be sure you won’t be promoted as someone ready for college.


School Supplies

You will need to print out your writings for this class.  Other than this cost, there is no other cost to you.  All materials are at this website.


You need to hold on to every piece of writing that you do in this class since all of your writings will be included in your final portfolio.  If you do not already have a gmail account, get one NOW and create a folder on your google drive for just this class.  If your computer crashes or anything like that happens and you don’t have the work from the early part of the class, no concessions will be made for you.


You will need an email account that you check regularly.  You can expect emails from Carmen from one of the following accounts: ckynard@jjay.cuny.edu AND professorkynard@gmail.com.


You will also need regular access to a computer and the internet since all course materials are online.  If you do not have internet access at home, plan to spend a considerable amount of time on campus computers.


Food Policy

Love it! There are two rules: 1) if you bring chocolates (especially peanut M&Ms), you must share with Carmen; 2) clean up after your own self.  Carmen is pretty chill but if you leave a mess, she will take personal offense and treat you as nasty as she treated the rich, snotty kids she went to undergraduate with.  They always made a mess because their homes had domestics to clean everything up, women who looked like Carmen (work that many of the women in her family actually did/still do.)  Do NOT come up in here makin a mess, expecting other folks to clean up behind you.  It won’t be pretty.



All special learning needs will be accommodated in this class by both teacher AND peers.  Please see Carmen immediately whenever and if-ever your accommodations have not been met.  We will work it out until it gets worked out.



Because the assignments of the course strive to be highly original, the likelihood of plagiarism is diminished.  However, in the event that you intentionally copy someone else’s words, you will have to sit down with Carmen and make amends to each author whose work you have hi-jacked. Creative borrowing is cool.  Let’s take this website— it is certainly NOT original given the texts, images and sounds that are borrowed from all over the internet. Go ‘head and RE-MIX in fabulous ways, yes-yes, but know that straight hi-jacking is not cool… we will talk about the differences.  Plagiarism will be an issue that we talk about here in the course because you need some awareness of what those conversations sound like at your college.  Please go here to see John Jay’s policies which are categorized as: cheating, plagiarism, internet plagiarism, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents.


For the purposes of this class (and, if you so choose, for your identity as a writer), a Yoruba proverb will be our guide:  “We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.”  Standing on the shoulders of your elders, ancestors, and community/communities means that you acknowledge them. When you are inspired by someone’s wisdom and vision in your writing, when you are conscious of their imprint, you say THAT… you release that acknowledgement into the universe.  There are many kinds of cultural motifs that can help us understand the importance of such acknowledgement: ceremonies that begin by the audiences calling the names of heroes, sheroes, and ancestors to name them and bring them into the room; formal libations AND informal libations (pouring some out for the homies who were taken from us— for those of you who know the practice.)  Please take seriously the philosophy guiding this Yoruba proverb and the practices just described: you always stop, take notice, and make mention of where you come from and who got you here. Let that guide you as a writing practice.  Make the ways of citing and siting your sources of wisdom a deeper practice than just summarizing, paraphrasing, and memorizing the rules of APA or MLA style so no one can accuse you of plagiarism.  Pay homage to the shoulders you are standing on.  It makes a difference.


Offensive Language

Racist, homophobic, sexist language is generally inappropriate for any classroom but moreso here, given what we are studying.  Such issues will be addressed seriously so don’t go there.


Writing Center

When you go to the Writing Center, take a draft that you are working on and the assignment (or a laptop, notepad, etc to show it to the tutor using the website.)  The purpose is to have someone outside of the class who is not familiar with you or your work offer feedback— that’s what all serious writers do. The Writing Center is in Room 1.68 in the new building.  To call and make an appointment, the number is:  212.237.8569.



Just know right now that at some point in this semester, your bright, shining face needs to be lighting up Carmen’s office so she can hear how you are doing.  No, no one is treating you like a child with this expectation.  But, at least for one semester,  Carmen is responsible for you and she takes that seriously.  Of course, you can come visit and holla atcha girl anytime you want, even after the semester is way over.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.