Unit Three

Payton Moore

December 2, 2014

English 231, 02

Professor Jane Lucas

Critical Reflection

I chose to develop a lesson plan for my creative project because I wanted to research what goes into an everyday class period behind the scenes. In order to write a lesson plan I had to search online for what is involved in planning a lesson as well as reached out to a former teacher to ask for their guidance. I found teaching a successful lesson has more preperation work than just simply showing up and “winging it”. I planned out what I feel will be needed for the children to read deeper into the story and think critically about what is going on behind the lines. When students read on their own they have a different view than when it is discussed in class or read aloud. The more times something is heard the more it is understood and more ideas are generated. Having the students in groups will also contribute to thinking; by allowing each other’s thoughts to trigger more thoughts.

The story I related my lesson plan to is, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates. I chose this story because the teenager is putting herself in danger and does not even realize what she is doing to herself. When students are not learning yet not given the opportunity to ask questions or discuss what is going on it also puts them in danger without them knowing. They are giving the teacher the impression that they are up to standards, yet could truly be behind. The connection here, if students are not honest they are hurting themselves, as well as if you are not honest with the adults who care in your life, you can be putting yourself in just as much danger. Both cases the people in danger are unknowingly doing it. Connie, in the story keeps lying to her parents about where she is going with her friends because she wants to feel as if she is older. When Connie’s parents find out and she realizes she has been taken advantage of, Connie finally realized the problem with her lying and secrecy. She had put herself in danger, thinking she was harmlessly hanging out with friends. In the classroom, students are also put in danger of their own education if they do not understand a concept yet do not say anything to get help but don’t realize what has happened for many years later. This has hurt me the most in my personal education, as a child I never understood basic concepts and today, I struggle to read, basic math, and how to spell. Connie’s parents also noticed they could have read deeper into Connie’s stories she told to know she was lying. I feel teachers can read deeper into students to help them before it’s too late.

The dialogue used in this particular story makes it seem as if it were real life conversations. It allows readers to connect as if they were having a conversation with their parents or friends. In the film shown, “Smooth Talk”, when the father confronts Connie in the car, it made my heart drop thinking the emotions Connie was feeling because I’ve been there. Oates made this story easily relatable.

Work Cited

“Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?” The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters.

Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 651-663. Print.


Extra Cerdit Oates

The story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates has been created into a film adaptation directed by Joyce Chopra; “Smooth Talk”, which has actors portray the story in real life.  The story is about a teenage girl who has troubles getting along with her family, lies to get out of the house, then, ends up being in a situation with a male taking advantage of her that she did not know how to handle.  A major difference between the story and film is the ending.  The ending in the story is very brief, leading the reader to ponder what happens to Connie.  The film gives vivid detail of what happens to Connie, showing that she was not majorly harmed by Arnold and made it back safely with her family. Another small difference is in the film; Connie’s father sees her out on the road across from a bar when she was “at the movies” and did later confront her, while in the story he did not confront her.  In Oates’ commentaries, she mentions how the stories’ tone, language, and details changed from draft-to-draft before she was satisfied (Oates, 985).  Oates also stated, “Connie’s ambiguious relationship with her affable, somewhat mysterious father (well played by Levon Helm) is an excellent touch” (937).

Works Cited

Oates, Joyce Carol. “Smooth Talk: Short Story into Film.” The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 934-938. Print.

—. “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?” The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 651-663. Print.

Smooth Talk. Dir. Joyce Chopra. Perf. Laura Dern, Treat Williams. International Spectrafilm, 1985. DVD.

Unit Two Revision

The Question

When comparing “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway to “Black Man and A White Woman In A Dark Green Rowboat” by Russell Banks it seems they have many similarities and differences. The two stories are both about making the choice of abortion or not. Each couple has to evaluate the positives and negatives of this choice to see which consequences are worth it.

“Hills Like White Elephants” is mainly dialogue back and fourth between the American man and his lady. The story starts off with a lengthy description of the setting. They are sitting at the train station in the bar waiting for the next train to arrive. While waiting the couple orders a few beers and she tries to talk to him about the big decision ahead. He tries to ignore the question and act like he does not care.

In “A Black Man and A White Woman In A Dark Green Rowboat” it is about a couple struggling in an interracial relationship. The woman is very controlling and wants to have an abortion while the man does not want to have one. He wants to have the child and raise it. The woman does not take in account the feelings of the father, and it really irritates him. He finally gets so irate with the woman’s selfish attitude that he leaves her and lets her do what she wants. The woman is very stern in her decision to have an abortion as she had already made an appointment to have her mother take her for the procedure. Banks adds the detail that her mom is going to take her to the doctor for the procedure to allow the reader to know that she has thought about this decision and included her mother in her considerations.

Comparing the similarities the two stories; both are about deciding to have an abortion or not, mistreating a pregnancy and having another influence. The women are influenced each by their man. Both settings take place in a hot time and in an unusual location to have this conversation. “Hills Like White Elephants” takes place at a bar in a train station, while “Black Man and A White Woman” takes place in the middle of a lake on a boat by the ladies trailer. Each of these locations are seemingly relaxing places to clear your head and not have to stress about anything. While on the boat in the water, the woman is lathering herself in suntan lotion, though it is harmful to the baby that she does this. It shows her lack of knowledge or feelings toward the pregnancy blatantly in front of the father. On the other hand, sitting in a bar drinking beer also harms the baby in the growing stages showing the mothers lack of discipline towards alcohol. Each of these stories do not come right out and say the decision they are making; it has to be implied by the reader that it is about having an abortion.

When looking at the differences, “Hills Like White Elephants” is mostly dialogue used to tell the story while “Black Man and A White Woman In A Dark Green Rowboat” uses events to tell the plot. Hemingway also uses the male character to be the typical male portrayal in America, whereas he is in control and very carefree. The male is very masculine while the woman is very shy, indecisive and cares about the males’ feelings. In Banks’ story, he has the woman being very controlling and the male being the one who sits back and lets her rule him. She is not concerned with his feelings, only what will be best for her.

Hemingway and Banks both have different intentions in the way they chose to write these stories. Neither of them directly said “They have to decide to have an abortion or not”, it had to be comprehended by the reader. The reader must take time to really read the story closely several times, study and analyze critically what the author is trying to say with his words. Once you are critically thinking about the words, ideas start to spark in your mind about what other messages Hemingway or Banks could be hiding in their writing.

These stories have many messages that you must “read between the lines” to understand the underlying messages. It really helped me that we read the stories in class and discussed them, as well as having a few class members act out “Hills Like White Elephants” in front of the class. I like how both authors leave you wanting more at the end of each story; wanting to know what happens when she gets off the boat or gets onto the train. Comparing these stories to each other really helped to bring out points in one another that otherwise may not have been brought out.

Analysis of “Barbie-Q”

The best of the best is what we all think we need and will not satisfy ourselves until we feel we have it. In reality there will always be something better out there, but being satisfied with what you have is what is the hardest part to learn. In the short story, “Barbie-Q”, by Sandra Cisneros two young girls learned this lesson. They not only learned this lesson but they received a blessing after. The girls love to play with Mattel Barbie Dolls. They were very poor and could not afford to get many interchangeable outfits like other children got for their dolls’; they also only had one doll each. At a young age they realized they did not have all the privileges that most children had, yet still were thankful for what they were given. While walking through the local flea market the girls’ spotted Barbie boxes in a pile full of rubbish. The girls flew to the register, then additionally spotting more boxes. There was a warehouse fire the day before so the company was trying to liquidate all damaged goods. The girls were able to get the dolls at a rate they could afford and made the best of the dolls being slightly damaged.

The author, Sandra Cisneros, was raised in the ghetto of Chicago. Her father was Mexican and her mother was Chicana. This allowed for her to grow up knowing what a struggle was, not only through herself but watching others around her. She had a love for writing poetry and for writing stories that had not been written before. Cisneros also wanted to make sure anyone could pick up any of her works and be able to read them without having to read a previous work. She wanted to give everyone a fair advantage so no one felt like they were not capable to read and comprehend her stories.

Barbie-Q is a unique name for this writing, considering the events that happened to form the short story. The moral of this story is something everyone can learn from no matter what age and can be applied to most any situation. When things seem to be bad, you have to remember someone will always have it worse and someone will always have it better. Life is not fair. These girls were satisfied with what they had and understood the situation they were in. As stated in the story, “We have to make do with your mean-eyed Barbie and my bubble-head Barbie and our one outfit apiece not including the sock dress” (Cisneros, 184).  The girls were able to be creative and make a dress for the dolls out of a sock. If they were to go buy numerous outfits they would not have sparked imagination, creativity and teamwork to build the outfit out of a sock. We as a society need to learn to play with the cards we have been given to spark ideas before trying to trade. As a whole, people are not satisfied with their lives as much as they were two generations ago.  And I truly believe it is because peoples expectations of what they “deserve” are too high, and parents want to give children what they didn’t have creating spoiled, lazy, dependent children.

The girls were so pleased to stumble upon the damaged dolls. They did not care that they were melted, smelled of smoke, sooty, or discolored. Being raised to not have much, finding anything that they could use their creativity to turn into something more was all the girls wanted. Now, instead of being handed things on a silver platter, they can work with the bare minimum and be creative. “If you dress her in her ‘Prom Pinks’ outfit, satin splendor with matching coat, gold belt, clutch, and hair bow included, so long as you don’t lift her dress – who’s to know?” (184). The girls make this reference to say that they can make due and cover up imperfections such as a melted leg. If we lived our lives with this mentality our perspectives of numerous things would change. We would look at the glass as half full than empty.

Overall, a major theme of this story is making do with what you have will teach you numerous greater lessons in life. Material things that everyone else has, does not define who you are as a person, and not having them will elaborate your capabilities in life.


Declining Degrees

The movie Declining Degrees is a great movie that I’d recommend for any student wondering if college is right for them.  The portion I have seen so far interviews four students who are each getting a feel for what college is like and what they need to do to stay in school.  One student, Britney, claimed she was not enjoying school because she was not being challenged enough.  She was on the verge of transferring out when she found a science class with a professor who changed her perspectives on school.  She learned she is passionate about science and can be challenged.  Another student had just left home for the first time and wasn’t exactly sure how he was going to like being away.  I can relate to him because coming to Lenoir-Rhyne is the first time I’ve been away from my family.  He also was not positive on if he wanted to go to school or not, neither was I.  I still debate everyday if I will be here long enough to earn a degree.  The most eye-opening part of the movie was they not only interview students, but professors.  The professors talked about how teaching was not the main goal anymore, which relates to an article I am studying for my FYE class.  The professors are so busy doing research for themselves they are not concerned with teaching the students.  Though, a problem many schools are finding out about their students is they are neither pushing themselves nor doing much work outside of class because professors are letting them slide.  The professors aren’t holding students accountable for work, therefore students don’t have to do what is assigned and still make passing grades.  I can’t wait to watch the rest of the movie because it gives me another perspective to look at, as well as, shows other students situations that I can relate to.

Blog Response 2

The excerpt “Sorority body-image problem” by Catherine Mitchell, is about a young woman deciding if greek life is right for her.  She is a transfer to UNC Chapel Hill and feels that the thing to do for new chapel hill students is to pledge a sorority.  She finally signed the papers to pledge, then was scrutinized about her weight.  The author is trying to show that greek life is not for all people, college is all about experience and you must do what you want.  You cannot base your life decisions on what students are “suppose” to do.  The author is also trying to ask what greek life is and why people would want to join.  The author kept readers interested by thinking she was just having a tough time choosing which sorority to pick, but in the end she threw a curve ball saying that she was discriminated against because of her weight.  This makes me start to think of the negative effects that pledging a sorority can have.  It also makes me question if she was doing something wrong too because only one of ten sororities asked her to join.


Prescription Fruit

“The fruit and vegetables prescription program allows doctors to prescribe fresh fruit and vegetables to overweight or obese patients by giving them “health bucks”, redeemable at local fresh markets.” (Natural News)


            This quote means that some doctors in New York are now allowed to prescribe patients fresh fruits and vegetables.  They issue a “health buck” instead of a prescription.  The health buck allows the patient to go to local fresh markets and get the fresh goods for free or discounted prices.  The goal of this program is to get people to eat healthier foods without price being a factor.  People have argued that they would eat healthier if they could afford the healthier food.  This program will see if this is a legitimate argument since the city is fixing their complaints. 

            I personally think this plan is a good concept but I do not think it will work.  People will still be too lazy to prepare the food themselves, as well as, needing to cut out the fast foods.  They have been using money as an excuse and now that the excuse is gone, it will just show that they are not willing to change their lifestyle.  Loosing weight to become healthier requires a lifestyle change.  To read more about this article, go to www.NaturalNews.com

Revision of Introduction


A music preformance major, all the way from Henderson, North Carolina.  Very interested in music, so you’ll often times find him in the music building or singing in the school choir.  His name is Nick Andrews.



A music performance major, all the way from Henderson, North Carolina.  You will often times find him in the music building, singing in part of the choir, or even playing an instrument around campus.  This well rounded freshman at Lenoir-Rhyne is named Nicholas Andrews.