Jessica Danielle Powell's English 170W Blog
The Long Development of a Short Story.
My Cover Letter: Dear Reader
Posted on December 19th, 2011 at 8:46 pm by Jessica Danielle Powell and

Dear Reader,

This website is an analysis of Kate Chopin’s, “The Story of an Hour”. In addition this website is a compilation of assignments I’ve completed during the course of my English 170 Introduction to Literary Study Writing Intensive Class at the City University of New York Queens College. English 170 Introduction to Literary Study Writing Intensive is a hybrid course meaning that half of  the class was I n person and the other half was virtually, also known as Web Wednesday’s. Every post that is beneath this post is a product of In Class Discussion, homework assignments, and “Web Wednesday” writing assignments. In addition there are pages that are listed towards the bottom that are the result of homework and project assignment through the semester. Most of these assignments from class focus on Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and aided in the process of building this blog page. So, no, this page isn’t thrown together idea’s based on opinions but rather a semester long study and analysis of a classic and controversial short story.

The process of building this web page was tedious and required hours of meditation on the topics discussed in class and independently, studying, and continuous reading of “The Story of an Hour”. The hour or so I spent in class a week was not enough time to process the information necessary to build this page or fulfill the expectancy for all of my weekly assignments. On the bus, walking home, eating pizza, before I go to sleep, while studying, I always thought “O.K. so how can I make this assignment easily understood by anybody…anywhere?” This mindset required me to try on different mindsets and perspectives. So, in essence the process of building this web page was tiring, but building this web page was like exercising to lose weight (Time for an ANALOGY) At first your body is sore and you are so tired and in so much pain that you don’t want to get out of your bed in the morning, BUT, despite how much pain you are in you KNOW that you are in better shape then you were yesterday. I know that despite how sore my hands are from continuously typing in order to work this page out that I am in better literary and literal shape than I was when I started. I hope this page does the same for you.

My strength upon entering the class was being able to criticize literature using the New Critism method. Do you think I knew what I was doing when I criticized literature before entering this class? The answer is NO, I sure didn’t. MY ultimate weakness was being ignorant of the methods that I use to understand and comprehend literature. Once I understood and knew the method’s I was using or that I could use to criticize literature I became a lot more confident in using different methods. In addition, I wasn’t able to have such a long attention span and focus on literature before I began producing these pieces of writing. I always tried to “get finished” with everything quickly. But now I have a longer attention span, a greater focus, and a better understanding of literature and of course on my own writings about literature.

As a writer I still face the challenge of being able to sit down and confer with my work face to face. Although while I’m writing it I’ve learned to take my time, after I’ve written something it’s still difficult to read it back to myself. But, I’m confident that this issue will be resolved. By writing all of these pieces of literature I have become:

  1. A Faster Typer (insert chuckle here)
  2. More able to understand how I can write using different literary perspectives
  3. Better able to focus on my writing and spending more time with my writing
  4. Patient with myself and my abilities
  5. Able to better appreciate what’s required for the English Major
  6. Respond to language with a clearer eye and a sensitive state of mind
  7. Find and use different Secondary Sources (Scholarly Ones of course!!)
  8. Better able to express myself digitally

I’m glad I took this class despite the fact that I was really nervous about it once I heard “Literary Criticism” because I’m in better shape now than I’ve been my whole life…and it feels good.

(Puts on sunglasses and walks into the sunset while dramatic movie music plays)

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Comments so far:

Link Here | December 23, 2011,

Great website (and you got it in your favorite color)! I really like your cover letter and how it describes your intellectual growth. I can see in your analysis page that the work you did really is like “exercising”–you’re making yourself go through all the proper steps of interpretation in a logical fashion. You do a very good and thorough job. (Also–your presentation is great; I think the color-coding is a great idea and I can imagine it would be helpful to do with a class–pass out a bunch of markers and highlight a text.)

  Kevin L. Ferguson |

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