What’s happening today, Monday, Sept. 29th, in class

8-8:15: attendance, questions about using My Reviewers, watch the Kismet and Cog videos:

The Kismet robot head: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KRZX5KL4fA

The Cog interactive robot project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbZ9_rUZZMA

8:15-8:45: Please complete questions 1 and 2 below on your own; when you are finished, reply as a comment on this post:

1. “In the case of Cog, we build a ‘thou’ through the body. In the case of Kismet, an expressive face and voice do the work. And both robots engage with the power of the gaze. A robotic face is an enabler; it encourages us to imagine that robots can put themselves in our place and that we can put ourselves in theirs” (Turkle 85).

Explain why these sentences operate as a “thesis statement” for chapter 5. To do this, refer back to any of the examples below and show how it exemplifies and extends Turkle’s central claim.

-the Kismet speaking a “foreign” language (87)

-the narrative about Neela (93-94)

-the narrative about Estelle (96-97)

-the narrative about Edward and Shawn (98-99)

Which of these examples do you find to be the most compelling illustration of Turkle’s main claim? Are you skeptical of how fully any of Turkle’s examples “prove” her thesis? Why or why not?

2. Skim chapter 5 by reviewing the subheadings for each section. What do you notice about the structure of this chapter? What commonalities do you see between the structure of this chapter and others we have already read?

8:45-9: Discussion

9:00-9:10: break (Note: may need to call IT about using printer in our room). See me if you need help with PDFs.

9:10-9:25: Take out printed papers (or view them on screen). Open the assignment sheet from two weeks ago and the model paper from last Monday’s post, which I will talk through next to the rubric. How successful was this definition essay? I’ll show you what I see on My Reviewers, and we’ll look at a few of your peer reviews for today.

9:25-9:45: Re-read your paper and fill out a rubric for your individual paper.

9:45-10: Meet your peer review group (we will continue with peer reviews on Wednesday). Go around the group and explain why you filled out your rubric as you did. Direct your readers, if they have not already reviewed your paper, to help you focus on at least one specific challenge when they review your essay.

10-10:10: In a large group, we’ll share back impressions we had reading our essays a week after writing them. What was your experience as a reader of other essays and how did it influence your approach as a writer?

10:10: I will collect your rubrics before you leave and give them back to you on Wednesday. We will return to peer review groups during the second half of class.

HW: Re-read your classmates’ short posts on today’s blog from the first half of class. Like TWO of the comments posted today about chapter 5, then comment on ONE that you felt was especially clear and insightful–tell the writer why you selected his or her comment. Read chapter 7 (through the end of Part I) and be prepared to answer a similar set of questions about that chapter during the first half of class on Wednesday. Finally, please complete the peer review on My Reviewers if you have not already. We will discuss these reviews in person in small groups during the second half of class on Wednesday. You will be able to view your comments on screen and talk with your group — when we come in on Wednesday morning, please sit with your peer review group!

Today, Monday, Sept. 22nd, in Eng 101

Aim: Now that you’ve turned in the first draft of your formal assignment to me (via email), we are going to continue practicing reading as writers, observing Turkle’s stylistic choices as we take note of her argument.

8:00-8:15: questions on paper submission, reminding of grading, attendance

8:15: Focusing in on chapter 4

What’s a thesis statement?

8:30-9: Please take about 30 minutes to do the following, which you’ll post just before the break as a comment on this post,

  • Isolate a “thesis” statement for the chapter 4. Type it out, with a proper citation, noting what type of thesis statement it is (analytic, expository, argumentative, or some combination of these).

Here are the notes we took in class on developing a thesis statement: finding the thesis

  • Write out and cite three summary sentences from anywhere in the chapter that refer back to this thesis. What is a summary sentence? The last sentence of the paragraph–imagine the story or argument is a liquid you’re pouring into a funnel to condense it to a main stream or flow of an idea; the small opening of the funnel is the summary sentence; it focuses the paragraph.
  • What kind(s) of “enchantment” is Turkle describing in this chapter? Describe it in a few sentences.
  • Which example in her argument in this chapter do you find most compelling? Why?
  • Of which example are you most skeptical? Why?

Please post before the break.

9:05-9:15: BREAK

9:15-9:25: Review the responses and “like” any you found especially clear and well thought out. LIKE 2, COMMENT on 1.

9:25-10:15: Large group discussion

What are your impressions of Turkle’s use of examples so far? Whom do you think she is trying to convince with these examples? Whom might she not convince?

For next time…

We will not meet this Wednesday (all of CUNY is closed Wed. to Fri. for the Rosh Hashanah holiday). Before we meet again on Monday 9/29, please read chapters 5 and 6 of Alone Together. In the next couple of days, you will also receive a few things from me. First, I will send you an email assigning you a peer review group and giving you directions about how to read your group members drafts before next class. I will also post those groups on the blog. Secondly, you will receive feedback from me modeling the types of comments I would like you to make on your classmates papers in anticipation of the peer review session.

*Update as of 9/23–please read!

My Reviewers is the name of the website we’ll be using this semester to conduct peer reviews of your formal writing assignments. The site will allow us to record and organize both my comments on your work and all your peers’ comments in one easy-to-access space that we’ll keep returning to all semester. To register for MyReviewers, please follow these instructions: http://myreviewers.com/help/students/register/

Register as a “new user” and use this class registration code: LEADING123 

Once you have created a new account, log in to My Reviewers to upload your draft. The draft must be uploaded as a PDF. To save a Word document as a PDF in Microsoft Word, go to “save as”–under the file title, you’ll see a line for “type of file”–from the drop down menu, choose “PDF,” and save the document in a folder you can find again. If you are working in Google docs, you can go to “File” and “download as PDF.” If you’re work in pages, export the file as a PDF.

Once you are logged into MyReviewers and have a PDF ready to upload, follow these directions: http://myreviewers.com/help/students/upload-a-document/  Select “Project 1” and “early draft”

By Wednesday afternoon (9/24), you will be placed into peer review teams of four people each. Outside of class, I will review your draft and offer comments; you will also provide feedback to the members of your group. Your comments should include 1 note per page and at least 3 “community comments”: http://myreviewers.com/help/students/community-comments/. To use a “community comment,” follow these instructions: http://myreviewers.com/help/use-community-comments/

In a nutshell… here’s what you should do between now and Sunday night:

  • as soon as possible, create your MyReviewers account and upload a PDF of your first draft!
  • review your group members’ first drafts by logging into http://myreviewers.org and opening the papers of the people in your assigned peer review group, following the commenting instructions above.
  • For Monday, September 29th, please bring in a hard copy of any comments you received on your paper so that you can discuss them in person with your group, get clarification, and work toward your revision.
  • finally, for next class, please read chapters 5 and 6 in Alone Together. 

I recommend that you review this sample definition essay and read the comments composed by a classmate on this draft before you begin commenting: sample draft of definition with peer comments

Today, Sept. 17th, in Eng 101

8:00-8:15: attendance; anyone bring in “sociable robots” to share? If so, what is/was satisfying about your relationship with the “intelligent machine”? See new links page on blog, especially “Weird Sony”

8:15-8:30: reviewing comments for today: our aims are to connect various sections of our reading through the work of defining and to smooth out our summary paragraphs.

Same routine as last time–LIKE 2, COMMENT on 1. Does the paragraph smoothly integrate quotation, summary, and paraphrase? Does it successfully ground the definition in examples? Does it provide the information you need to begin to understand the importance of this term to Turkle’s larger argument in the section/chapter/book?

8:30-8:45: Discussion of comments

8:45-8:55: BREAK [start to review definition handout if you’re back early]

9:00: Introduction to definition essay: definition essay assignment sheet (0974)

9:10-9:30: read around of sample definition essay, discussion of strategies and shape of the piece

Remember that we might use Winokur’s structure as a model for our own essays, beginning by showing how this term might be misinterpreted, then proceeding to define it by dividing it into subcategories or types (in other words, types of intimacy discussed in Turkle’s book, types of companionship, types of “sociable” robots, or individual features of what Turkle calls “the robotic moment”):

starting the definition essay 9 17

9:30-10:15: Begin working on your draft. I will come around to offer help as you work.

To get started….

  • Review the assignment sheet for the first formal essay (embedded a few lines above in this post) and decide which term you’ll write about. As you make a decision, weigh all the options, consider the writing you’ve already done for the course, and evaluate the term you’re most interested in expanding upon through an example from your own experience.
  • Once you have a term, please review the entire book to the end of chapter 3 (you might even peak ahead to the end of chapter 4) and select five foundational quotations, from at least TWO different chapters, that include or directly allude to the term you’re defining.
  • Start listing these five foundational quotations in a Word document that you will save and EMAIL to yourself at the end of class.

For Monday, September 22nd, you will read Alone Together through the end of chapter 4 and finish composing your 900 word/3-page draft (you may write more than that, but not less!). Please email me the draft as an attachment before class begins (dzino@lagcc.cuny.edu).

Advice for writing: When writing an essay based on a definition, imagine yourself explaining to someone else what’s unique about how Turkle uses and defines the term you’ve chosen. How does Turkle encourage us to think beyond our normal assumptions about this term or idea (i.e. companionship, intimacy)? How does she use a term to identify and explain a trend or large-scale change that the average person might not otherwise notice (“sociable” robots, “the robotic moment”)?

Our agenda for Monday, Sept. 15th

8:00-8:15: housekeeping (everyone have the book?); schedule check-in; questions?

Opening discussion: What’s satisfying about our technologically mediated relationships?

See a snapshot of these notes from our opening discussion

8:30: Read through all posted comments:

  • Do they fulfill the assignment? (Go back to the bottom of the previous post remind yourself of the task)
  • How fluidly do they integrate quotation and paraphrase?
  • How successful are they overall in summarizing the selected section of the text?

“Like” what you think are the two most successful responses, and comment on one by answering the questions above. Then we’ll discuss your choices.

Remember what we discussed about smoothing out quotes and providing any missing information about multiple speakers:

board notes 9 15 smoothed out quote

9:30:  Introduction to our first formal writing assignment, modes of definition; the purpose of defining (assignments sheets will be distributed on Wednesday)

Dictionary definition: including a formal definition of a word from a dictionary before developing your point. Even common words may require you to take this route so that you and your reader have the same frame of reference

Expert’s definition: presenting an expert’s definition of a term to show that you have found support for your understanding of a word

Comparison-contrast: contrasting your definition of a word with the way it is typically used or with the dictionary definition of the term; if it is an unfamiliar term, you might show how it is similar to another concept

Description: defining a term by describing its characteristics: size, shape, texture, color, noise, and other revealing traits

Exemplification: giving examples and illustrations of ma concept to enable your reader to understand it better; these can get specific and should supplement the definition

Negation: explaining what something is not in order to limit the definition and eliminate misconceptions

For additional information about how to approach definition essays, see this sample, which we’ll work with during class on Wednesday: Writing a Definition Essay



Please read chapter 3, “True Companions,” and do the following:

Select ONE term or concept addressed in the chapters we’ve read thus far from the list below.

  • intimacy
  • “the robotic moment”
  • companionship
  • “sociable” robots

Explain it as a reader and a writer. In other words,

  • define what this term means in the context of Turkle’s argument (please cite the page/pages where it appears and decide whether quoting Turkle’s exact use of it is necessary),
  • explain why understanding this term, whether a general concept or a specific phrase, is important to grasping the argument of the chapter as a whole (it may help to tie it back to the chapter title like we did in class), and
  • indicate how Turkle creates her definition: does she use any particular strategy from the list that appears at the start of this post?

Please post your response no later than 9 pm on Tuesday, September 16th. Your comment should be approximately 200 words and smoothly integrate quotes from the text with your own paraphrases.

Finally, if you have any “robotic” companions from when you were growing up, ones that would fall into Turkle’s categories of machines that we might have relationships with, bring them to class on Tuesday. We’ll start class discussion with a brief investigation of these objects!

Our agenda for Wednesday, Sept. 10th

8:00 – 8:15: Announcements and housekeeping. Any new class members? (Fill out course info sheet and get a syllabus!) Review blog and note new theme. Note library visit and changes to reading schedule. How to access LAGCC email on your phones (the app is Outlook 365 for Android and iPhones and Exchange for Windows phones). Possible class photo? Note privacy options for blog

8:20-9:40: Discussion of Author’s Note and intro–What does Sherry Turkle tell us about herself, in her own words?

Our aim, in brief–working together: What language is most important to quote if we want to understand the way Turkle describes her stance as a researcher? How would we paraphrase Turkle’s background based on the quotes we’ve collected? How would we summarize her claims about her stance on the subject of technology use and what her book is “really” about?

Class notes from today can be found here!

9:40-9:50: Break

9:50-10:10: Repeat exercise in small groups using one section from the introduction; share quotation, summary, and paraphrase paragraphs.

FOR MONDAY 9/15: Please read chapters 1 and 2 of Alone Together. Embedded here are PDFs of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. By Monday morning, everyone should have the book with them in class (please bring it with you every time we meet).

On Wednesday morning you began writing a paragraph that integrated quotation, paraphrase, and summary, based on three quotes from one section of Sherry Turkle’s introduction. Complete that paragraph on your own, focusing on defining the term or phrase introduced in that section’s subtitle (“the robotic age,” “connectivity,” or “romance with machines”). See the class notes if you need a reminder of how we moved from quotation to paraphrase and summary.

Then, after you’ve read chapters 1 and 2, select one section from either chapter (separated by one of the capitalized subtitles) and compose a second paragraph of about 150-200 words based around three quotes from that section. As you move from quotation to paraphrasing and summary, aim to define for your reader the meaning or main point of the subtitle of the section you chose.

For additional advice about quoting and paraphrasing sources, please see Gordon Harvey’s Writing with Sources, Chapter 2 (especially pages 15-16): http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic930980.files/WritingWithSources.pdf

*Please post no later than 6 pm on Sunday night. I will read and record all responses at that time. Posts that come in after this cannot count toward your course grade.

**I recommend that you compose in a word processing program first, then cut and paste your comment to avoid losing your work if the website freezes for some reason. Paste these two paragraphs in a single comment on this post (scroll down to “Leave a reply” to post a comment).

Welcome to English 101!

8-9:30 am: information sheets, class member introductions, syllabus overview

9:30-10:15: Writing exercise, what’s due for Wednesday

For next class: you will be able to access a PDF of the author’s note and  PDF of the intro  to the required text, Alone Together, here [it will be scanned and posted immediately after class]. Please complete this reading and send me an email by midnight tomorrow, Tuesday, 9/9, using the following template:

Dear Professor Zino:

Include an opening sentence that shows me you’re thinking about who’s reading your email — ME!–and you’re trying to relate to your audience: remind me how we know each other, say something about adjusting to the first week of classes, etc. Anticipate your audience’s interests, concerns, or priorities.

Tell me how you found the first reading. How much did it resemble something you’d read on your own? Note the page of a particularly challenging passage; quote it.

Summarize an idea you’re especially excited to discuss when we return Wednesday morning.

Conclude by telling me when/if you have the required text.

Sincerely/thank you, etc.

[full name]

Please use this format for all emails. Send you email to dzino@lagcc.cuny.edu.