INSTRUCTOR  Owen M. Williamson, MA  

In case of absence, or if class is ever cancelled due to circumstances beyond Instructor control, students are still expected to complete and submit all assignments shown on this Calendar page if possible.

Week 9:  October 18-22, 2010

Bibliography for collective reports due October 25 for all students.

Mid-term grades e-mail to freshmen via UTEP e-mail address Oct. 18

Read Borders Chapter 8: Career Planning. (pps 166-183) Do Activity 8.1 on p. 170.

Assessment activity that examines the student's interests, abilities, and values. [Academic success strategies] [Learning styles/self assessment]

Discuss UCLA loneliness test results.

Discuss the big rhetorical question, "Who does it serve?"

Public speaking activity—declamation. [Applies to theme / discipline] [Public speaking]

Written exercise


It has been a pretty good semester and you are passing all your courses, though it still depends on how you do on your finals. You arrive home late from studying at the Library on the day before finals week and receive the sad news that a family member of yours who lives on the West Coast (or in Chihuahua City, or some other distant place) and who you haven't seen in years has suffered a devastating stroke and is in a coma. She is not expected to live. You learn that earlier today your uncle in Houston has just quit his job and he will be coming through El Paso in an hour or so in his van to pick up the entire family and then head out for the vigil at the bedside. 

Everyone in the house is madly rushing around packing suitcases. When they see you they yell at you to toss your books somewhere in a corner  and to for heaven's sake hurry up and pack your best black suit or dress and a duffle bag with enough clothes for a week or two.  None of your professors offers "incomplete" grades if you miss the final, and you realize that if you leave now you will almost certainly fail all your courses for the semester.

Your task: If you decide to go, write a persuasive letter in five-part ISARC format to one of your professors, explaining the reasoning behind your decision to fail all your courses. If you decide not to go, write a persuasive five-part letter to your family explaining the reasoning why you are breaking their hearts and (according to them) disrespecting your relative and betraying the whole family.  Either way, use lots of pathos in your letter.

Know yourself, know your professors: reach for an "A" every time.  Discussion of research techniques, and about how to know and become known to your professor.

Do Values A-Z exercise.

Discussion of the dialectic and dialectical reasoning as a learning tool, if time available.

Slide show on Idealism vs. Materialism, or other video TBA. (If time available)


1. Read Kennedy (click for link), 111-3 (example). 

2. Choose any one of your professors, investigate her/him in depth on the Net, interview him/her if desired, and report on her/him in writing and in class. Your written results are due by next week by e-mail. Do not post this on your Wiki. Save a copy of your e-mail to report in class.


1. Written response:  What are your own strongest interests, abilities, and values? How do you know?  And, how do these interests, abilities and values relate to your major, intended major, or future studies at UTEP?  Please go into detail in your answer. Your response should be about three to six paragraphs long. Print this out and bring next week.

2. Read Borders Chapter 8: Career Planning. (pps 166-183) Do exercise on p. 170.


1. Do Progymnasma 9. . [Applies to theme / discipline]

2. Work on Final Report. . [Applies to theme / discipline] [Group/team work]

3. KTEP reports. [Academic success strategies—note taking] [Critical thinking]



Progymnasma 9: Vituperation (Invective).


Carefully follow the BYU website instructions. The subject you choose may be any real, living individual human being who publicly opposes or works against your theme, and may not be a nation, group, family, organization, race, religion, party or team, or a thing.  Your subject may not be anonymous, imaginary or fictional, dead, or non-human. Do not use the ISARC format.  Carefully follow the example given in Kennedy, pages 111-113 for length and style. Do not plagiarize!

If you use or quote any written or online source (or introduce any information that is not common knowledge for an educated person) you must provide both in-text citation and a Works Cited note. Off limits: You may not write about any mass murderer, anyone currently incarcerated, any wanted, indicted or convicted terrorist, or about any past or current U.S. president, vice president, government leader or Federal, State or local elected or appointed official, any government employee, or any current candidate in the November elections.

Directions for Composition
Attack a person or thing for being  negative or vicious. After composing an exordium (introduction), follow these steps:

  1. Describe the stock a person comes from:
    • what people
    • what country
    • what ancestors
    • what parents
  2. Describe the person's upbringing
    • education
    • instruction in art
    • training in laws
  3. Describe the person's deeds, which should be described as the results of
    • his/her evils of mind (such as weakness or indiscretion)
    • his/her evils of body (such as plainness, lethargy, or lack of vigor)
    • his/her evils of fortune (as lack of or corruption of high position, power, wealth, friends)
  4. Make an unfavorable comparison to someone else to escalate your vituperation
  5. Conclude with an epilogue including either an exhortation to your hearers not to emulate this person, or a prayer.





For educational purposes only.

Owen M. Williamson - Education Bldg 211E - phone: (915) 747 7625 - fax: (915) 747 5655
The University of Texas at El Paso - 500 W. University Ave. - El Paso, TX 79968
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