Finish Pudd’nhead Wilson for Thursday, 10/29

Although we weren’t able to discuss the first section of Pudd’nhead Wilson today, please read the second section (chapters 15-end) for Thursday, 10/29, as is listed on your syllabus. It’s a short book, and we will be able to discuss the most significant issues in class.


Announcement: English Club today

From Dr. Potts:

PLEASE ANNOUNCE: English Club will have a Chocolate Party featuring Kim Burwick, other creative writing faculty and CHOCOLATE at 5:15 on 10/21 (tomorrow night) in the Bundy.  Next Wednesday at 7:00 we’ll be back at Cafe Moro for a SCARY POETRY night. Finally, English Club will have Scary Movie night on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 5:00 in BUNDY. 

Laptop Days Today and Thursday

I’ve changed the syllabus slightly to include not only today but also Thursday as a laptop day.  We’ll be working from these pages:

Part 1: Finding Historical Sources (Tuesday)

Part 2: Laptop Empire (Thursday)

We’ll work on these after discussing the assigned readings for the day.

Readings (if you didn’t have the Great American Short Stories book on Tuesday)

Some of you mentioned that Great American Short Stories was not available at the Bookie.  Here are links to the most recent stories from that volume.  The rest of the stories for the remainder of the semester are in the Course Pack.

Jewett, “A White Heron”

Harte, “The Luck of Roaring Camp”

Crane, “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”

Chesnutt, “The Goopered Grapevine”

(Find more stories here:

Optional reading: Some links to news about The Picture of Dorian Gray

doriangrayWe won’t be reading Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray until next month, but here are some recent news stories about the book:

From Huffington Post:

Publication of The Picture of Dorian Gray scandalized Victorian England, and was even used as a evidence against the author on his famous 1895 trial. The book has been called immoral, unclean, effeminate and contaminating by the critics at the time.

“Why has the book received such negative reception?” I asked Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde’s only grandson, and the executor of his estate.

“It was a very shocking reception,” Holland says. “A year later Oscar decided that he was going to add an extra six chapters. He divided one of them into two, and he added extra chapters when it was turned into a book. It was first published in an American magazine which was sold both in America and in England, and that version was much shorter than the final version which was published in 1891. Oscar had these extra chapters, and significantly he took them out, he suppressed certain things from the book which should’ve been in a magazine, and they were the overtly homoerotic passages.

A play adapted from The Picture of Dorian Gray, starring Wilde’s grandson, Merlin
Holland (picture is from the play adaptation):

Midterm grades

Midterm grades have been submitted.  Ignore Blackboard, which is just adding everything up at this point.

The midterm grade you’ll see is calculated this way:

(Exam 1 Grade + Paper 1 Grade)/2 = midterm grade

In other words, the midterm grade listed is average of your Exam 1 grade and Paper 1 grade, without the weighting process.

The quizzes, blog posts, class participation, and other grades weren’t calculated because the midterm grade is not a binding grade. It is meant to advise you about an approximate grade rather than to give you a definitive calculation of your grade to this point.

Here are the weights for class grades (from the syllabus):

Exams (2 x 10% each) 20 percent
Short papers (2 at 15% each) 30 percent
Report or Group weblog 10 percent
Longer Paper or Project (20%) plus paper presentation (5%) 25 percent
Quizzes, class participation, informal group presentations, and in-class writings 15 percent

Extra Credit Movie Night November 3, 6-8 CUE 209

Mark your calendars: the optional extra-credit movie night will take place on Tuesday, November 3, from 6-8 p.m. in CUE 209 (down the hall from our regular classroom).

The movie will be an episode of the BBC program Sherlock, “A Scandal in Belgravia.”

You’ll be able to use the extra credit in one of two ways:

(1) to replace a low quiz grade with a 10/10


(2) to make up an absence.

You need to be present to receive credit; watching this with an audience is part of the experience.