Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prompt for the Podcast and Final Essay

The last two formal projects for the course have the same goals. You will just be meeting them differently by completing work in different genres. You will complete a podcast and a personal essay. In both of these, the goal is to say something about pain. I do not want you to get too wrapped up in formal conventions; I want you to use each of these projects as spaces to present your gut-level feelings about something related to pain.

There are a couple of different directions you can take for each project. The first is represented by This I Believe, essays where people express their opinions about particular topics. The second direction is represented by This American Life, essays where people tell stories about their lives. In both of these, the point is to speak honestly and offer your individual perspective clearly and forcefully. Do not tell the same story or offer the same argument for each assignment; each one should be a separate piece.

For each project, ask yourself this question: what are you burning to tell the world?

Each project is a space where you can get personal, but no one is required to do or say anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you wish to tell a story about a friend who suffered from drug addiction, you can do that (within standard boundaries of ethics), but you do not have to get that personal. You could offer an editorial about issues surrounding drug addiction instead. Or you could do one for one project and the other for the other. Just remember that you are not auditioning for the latest reality TV program. You are supposed to be offering a thoughtful, individual perspective on subjects related to pain.

You will not be able to revise either project, so give me your best efforts on each.

Podcast: You will create a 4-6 minute podcast and email it to me as an .mp3. If you have a Mac with GarageBand, you can use that, but you can use Audacity on any computer, including the ones in our lab. It's very easy to use, and you can download it on any computer; you may want to download it on a flash drive so you have it with you wherever you work. In this podcast, I expect you to use more than one audio track. The second track can be another person (perhaps as an interview), a piece of music, or an audio selection from a film or TV show. You can do more, too. I just want to make sure you do something with other audio tracks/files. You must email it to me by 6:00 PM on Tuesday, November 25. I will try to post them on Blackboard for everyone to hear.

Essay: You will write a 6-10 page personal essay; please do not go over this length by too much. It's not supposed to be a formal, academic essay, and we'll read some in class if the genre is new to you. You will bring a draft of this essay to class on Tuesday, December 9, for peer response. You must email the essay to me (in .doc or .rtf) by noon on Tuesday, December 16. This essay cannot be late. If it is not on time, I will not accept it.

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