Naturalist’s Site Journal: Reflection and Self-Evaluation

Please answer these questions and include them as a post in your final site journal. Do not make this the lead entry in your Site Journal.

1. What is the strongest entry in the site journal? Why?
2. What did you enjoy about this assignment? Why?
3. What was difficult or challenging about the assignment? What could be improved in your site journal, or what do you wish you had done differently?
4. How did you synthesize your entries as you completed the final version of the site journal?
5. What risks – in the writing, images, ideas – did you take in the site journal?
6. What did you learn about your site and about nature writing by completing the site journal?

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Exam #2 Review

Exam 2 will cover the films and readings we have completed after Week 4, including Steingraber’s “The Whole Fracking Enchilada,” but not the news media coverage of fracking. It will be open book (Xerox copies are okay) and it will consist of passage identification (author and text) with a short explication of the passage’s significance. There will also be a shorter and a longer essay question.

To prepare, read any texts (readings and films) you haven’t read since week 4, and then take another look at those you have, re-familiarizing yourself with the main points and ideas. Think about the major themes and issues we’ve examined since Exam 1. You should also look at Herndl and Brown’s “Rhetorical Model for Environmental Discourse,” positioning the various readings and films within their model, in an effort to synthesize the materials.

Another way to prepare will be to flesh out the history and evolution of green activism, as we’ve seen in the readings and films.

Finally, think deeply about Joyce Carol Oates’ famous quote (on the syllabus) about nature writing and nature writers:

“Nature inspires a painfully limited set of responses in nature writers: REVERENCE, AWE, PIETY, MYSTICAL ONENESS.”

How do the readings for the course align or challenge or complicate her claim?

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Final Site Journal Readaround

Quickly read two of your group members’ site journals, in their entirety. Then answer these questions, posting them on their blog. You have an hour.

  1. How well has the author captured a sense of place, noting the change in seasons and the impact on the site?
  2. What is the strongest entry in the site journal? Why? Which entry could be stronger, and why?
  3. How well does the author analyze (break down into smaller units) certain aspects of the site? How well does the author synthesize (pull things together) the site?
  4. The site journal should feel whole, an organic unit. How well does the author connect the different entries, linking them together?
  5. What suggestions do you have for the author as they revise the site journal for publication?
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Site Journal Peer Review #2

In your groups, read and respond to one another’s site journals by answering these questions and replying directly on their blog.

  1. How well has the author integrated visuals and photos in their site journal?
  2. Which journal entry did you find most interesting? Why?
  3. As a reader, what would you like to learn more about in terms of the site and the author’s research?
  4. What should the author work on as they continue to blog about their site?
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Mount Trashmore

IMG_0025 IMG_0027 IMG_0030 IMG_0031 IMG_0033

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Chancellor Dinner and Mt. Trashmore!

Week 5 is busy! Monday, 10/12 is our FSEM Dinner with Chancellor Chopp and Weds, 10/14 is our community service project Mt. Trashmore.

You should have received the following email. Please RSVP to Claire Brownell.

Dear Students:

Chancellor Chopp would like to invite your First-Year Seminar to join her for dinner on Monday, October 12, at 6:00 p.m. at the Cable Center.  Following dinner, Chancellor Chopp will host a dessert reception in the Ritchie Center.

Please respond to this email <> by Friday at noon and let me know if you plan to attend.  If you do not respond, I will assume that you are not going to attend.

If you require a vegetarian entrée, or if you have any other dietary restrictions, please also let me know in your response.

There is no dress code for the dinner but I would suggest not wearing jeans, t-shirts, shorts.

Guests who have disabilities should request accommodations directly to me.

Chancellor Chopp is very much looking forward to meeting you and the rest of the Class of 2019!

Kindest regards,

Claire Brownell

For Mt. Trashmore, we will meet during class time on Weds, 10/14 and participate in the Center for Sustainability’s Trash audit. Here’s more information and registration (register for 12-2pm). We will complete the Blood Borne Pathogen training in class.


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Exam #1 Review

Exam 1 will be a combination of passage identification questions and several short essay questions. The exam will cover the readings we have done so far, including the shorter pieces by Standing Bear, Owens, Chavez, and the eco-criticism essays, as well as the longer texts by Galvin and Wright, and the film Into the Wild. The passage identification portion will ask you to identify important passages from the readings (that is, identify the author and text), and then briefly explain the quote’s significance. The essay questions will ask you to synthesize the material, to compare and contrast similarities between texts, and to use your skills as eco-critics. If you have kept up with the reading and paid attention in class, the exam should not be too taxing. During the exam, you may use your books, which will allow you to use specific examples from the texts to support your major claims in your answers. You will have the entire period to complete the exam. Your exams will be graded according to the quality and thoroughness of your answers, including the complexity of your main claims and the use of text to support them with specific examples. It is worth 70 points (nearly 20% of your final grade).

To study, I would suggest the following:

  • If you haven’t read everything, complete the readings. And re-read as necessary.
  • Think about the role of interconnectedness in each of the texts: in what ways are the characters, the environment, the eco-systems, and the communities connected to one another?
  • Go back through the texts and consider how nature and human nature are represented in each of the texts.
  • Examine similarities and differences between the longer texts, particularly from an eco-critical perspective.
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