classes

CC 110: Please Don't Steal My Jordans: Wealth and its Discontents

When poet reg e. gaines wrote “i’m styling…smiling…looking real mean cuz/ it ain’t about bein heard just bein seen” in his poem “Please Don’t Take My Air Jordans” he was participating in a discussion about the things we will do to ourselves and each other in order to accumulate the goods and services we most want. In this class, we focus our critical thinking skills on culturally inherited ideas about wealth, class, the American Dream, and the stuff we have to have to be considered cool, and do some investigation of the role of multi-national corporations in the new global economy. We try to answer some questions about why we want what we want, what it means to be cool, and what we need to get ahead in life. Students examine a variety of written and other materials in order to discover, refine, and learn to express their own ideas and opinions about the things that occur in our own lives, in our society, and in the world. Students learn how best to express ideas and opinions ­­­---which words and sentences are most effective and why—so that their point of view can be articulated clearly and effectively in a series of rigorous, required essays throughout the semester.

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CC 110: Math, METCO and Money:  Public Education in America

This class examines a topic most college students are already experts on:  the kindergarten through twelfth grade experience of young Americans.  Students in Math, METCO and Money will look at what works and what doesn’t in the classroom.  We will examine the culture of education in America and the system for training teachers and distributing funds for public schools.  Students will hone their critical thinking and communication skills by writing a series of rigorous, required essays about the history, pedagogy and politics of public education in America.  If you have ever had a bad teacher, wanted to be a good teacher, or thought about the way you learn and why you want to, this class is for you.

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CC112: Controversial Issues in Contemporary Society


The theme of this course is “Controversial Issues in Contemporary Society.” In “Controversial Issues in Contemporary Society,” we will explore topics and questions about which people have interesting and often strong or entrenched positions. We will learn to spot strong and weak arguments for and against a topic, and explore what we think and feel about these important, controversial issues. This course builds on the skills and experiences introduced in CC101 or CC111 by introducing more challenging academic content and more analytical writing, including a research paper. In this course, we will summarize, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information and multiple texts, and learn to formulate well-thought-out and persuasive positions about important issues in our lives, our society, and the world.

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EN205:  Visiting Writers Seminar
This dynamic course will combine in-class writing exercises, workshop critiques and a lecture series of visiting fiction writers.  These writers will bring their literary expertise and creative vision to our classroom.  This smester's theme is short short fiction, so we will be studying the style and content of literary short short fiction.  Pine Manor will host author Steve Almond who will read from his short short fiction and essays and sign books.  Pamela Painter will give a guest workshop.

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Non-Fiction Workshop: Memoir Writing

Good non-fiction is more than just our own version of events. It is a conversation between each author and the world in which we find ourselves, with particular focus on how what we have to say fits into the larger conversation going on in the world. Through our writing we can both document and influence our circumstances, as we strive to create meaning in the service of truth. This class is offered via email, and students must have an email address and a basic knowledge of computers.

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Fiction Workshop: Short Short Stories

Short short fiction has been described by Mark Strand as a story that “can do in a page what a novel does in two hundred,” and by William Heyen as “a roll-top desk on a surfboard.” In this class we will explore the potential of the genre and you, the writer. Each student will write one short piece every week for the class to critique in workshop. Short short fiction can be written anywhere, by anyone. All levels of writing experience welcome.

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Non-Fiction Workshop: Personal Essay

The personal essay is a challenging form with a rich tradition dating back to the Renaissance. Writers of all breeds have employed the essay to convey those ideas, musings, and arguments which won’t fit neatly into poetry, fiction, or drama. Contemporary writers have found it versatile enough for the expression of the philosophical, the analytical, the observational, the humorous, and the nostalgic. In this course, we will discuss each other’s essays as works-in-progress, making suggestions for revision. We will also read and discuss classic and modern works of the form, and consider the publishing market for personal essays. Students will end with at least one essay to submit for possible publication.

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Fiction Workshop: Revising Short Fiction

This class will focus on re-envisioning and rewriting short fiction, with the assumption that any piece can be challenged, improved and deepened with further attention to story and character development. This will be accomplished through assignments, discussion of technique, and class critique. Stories will be enlarged with exercises and honed with respect to language. To take this class you must have previous experience with the fiction workshop, at least one short story that you care about enough to perfect and a willingness to work hard at making it publishable.

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CC101:  Ways of Seeing

The theme of this course is “Ways of Seeing.”  This theme is designed to facilitate critical thinking about the world in which we live.  We will examine a variety of written and other materials in order to discover, refine, and learn to express our own ideas and opinions about the things that occur in our society and our world.  We will learn how best to express our ideas and opinions ­­--which words and sentences are most effective and why—so that other people can understand our meaning and learn from our individual points of view.  College Composition 101 is designed to prepare students for the writing demands of other courses at Pine Manor, and to develop a student’s control of the proper use of the English language and give her confidence in her writing skills.  This class will also encourage students to become alert, active members of our culture through the use of critical thinking and an applied knowledge of how language informs our experience.

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the Laundromat, she stuffs all her clothes into one dryer and optimistically puts in enough quarters for forty-five minutes. Before popping the door closed, she pulls several dryer-sheets from their box and places them among the soggy 

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