When Diversity Faces Reprisal: Threats to Sustainability in Composition, by J.D. Meyer

I’m a fan of the sustainability in composition model shared by Derek Owens of St. John’s University and Mary Newell of the U.S. Military Academy. Discovering their research vindicated what I had already been doing in my Developmental English/Writing courses and the textbook that I wrote for the class. There is no doubt that my students enjoyed writing about their lives, and I found them to be interesting; some writings became edited student essays in my textbook. Likewise, the vast majority of model essays reflected my experiences and studies.

Yet there is little doubt that many administrators and instructors would oppose much of my work, finding it too wide open. Here is my favorite way to summarize my detractors’ arguments, “Once I share the titles of these two edited students’ essays, I’ve made enemies: My Favorite Job: Driving a Tank in the Bosnian Conflict and My Favorite Music: Chopped, Screwed Dirty South Rap.” Critiques include “too regional and idiosyncratic,” too left-wing, too right-wing, too pro-military, too counterculture, too Texas, and not White enough. A recent article from Business Insider showed Texas to be the least popular state in the nation with other states, confirming a suspicion by a neighbor made several years earlier. Yet one should note that the prompts themselves weren’t controversial in themselves.

However, I’ve seen two horribly repressive persuasive essay prompts from the local community college: “(1) Why did you choose this college, and which is your favorite campus—no criticism is allowed. (2) Persuasive Essay: No controversial topics, such as abortion or marijuana legalization.” In the first instance, we see a case of pure propaganda. The depressed acquaintance had to be urged not to drop the course. In the second instance, we see a situation in which permission should have been sought before writing. Moreover, each instructor provided only that one narrow prompt.

The most gruesome model essay that I’ve ever seen in a textbook was about assisted suicide for the sickly, referring to the suicides of an elderly theologian couple. It has become a fixture in many Developmental English textbooks, and I challenged this essay in my essay, “Disputing Assisted Suicide of the Sickly.” https://bohemiotx.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/disputing-suicide-advocacy-for-the-sickly-a-model-essay-in-developmental-english-textbooks-by-jd-meyer

My main guidelines for essays were as follows: (1) The topic should be sufficiently broad or narrow to complete in the required length of the essay (typical). (2) No essays about committing crimes. (3) No reliving of sexual conquests or blunders. It hadn’t occurred to me that assisted suicide would be viewed as viable by the American textbook industry.

A common prompt is the “worst” something (as well as favorite), whether it’s a restaurant, job, boss, or whatever. I warned against writing about the reliving the worst of its category because one could get depressed, mad, and not finish their essay. On the other hand, it may be tough to decide which was the best or favorite restaurant, job,or boss, and you’d waste time trying to decide honestly which was #1 or #2. So settle for telling me about something in your top one-fourth.

Two of my oldest essays would escape criticism, especially from the elderly MeTV crowd: “A Favorite TV Series—Secret Agent” and “A Favorite Movie—The Fountainhead.” These would offer a touch of post World War II history as well. A couple of edited student essays would be accepted, such as “A Favorite CD—Natalie and Nat Cole” (through the miracle of modern recording technology) and “Comparing Two Jobs: Burger King and Target Warehouse.” Hey, that first essay was about contemporary music, and it’s safe.

I don’t mind teaching for the standardized test, and my persuasive chapter offers “A Study Guide for the THEA: Impressions and Objective Analysis.” That’s the all-important exit exam for all three Developmental courses. However, my human interest biography of Bruce Dickinson, best-known as the Iron Maiden singer, would probably face opposition for his genre and the critic wouldn’t bother to discover Bruce can fly jets, fence, drive tanks, host music programs, write fiction, and more. Orthodox forces have a narrower definition of what’s truly human.

Perhaps we could devise some cynical essay self-censoring model to save something besides the grammar chapter. The ad hominem logical fallacy is criticizing the product because of its creator, regardless if the product happens to be good this time. Dr. Maulana Karenga, the developer of Kwanzaa, faces such abuse because he was somewhat violent and Communist as a young man before settling down and becoming a star professor. Many want to over-generalize in their criticism or rightly fear reprisal from administrators and being ignored by textbook adopters. Maybe we should learn to anticipate and sadly acquiesce to it.

On the bright side, composition is one of the biggest college textbook markets; maybe it’s the ultimate regional market also. Keep some essays in Texas or leave them as prompts. Dr. Richard Florida, Business and Creativity professor at the University of Toronto, found that heavy metal is most popular in Scandinavia. So maybe I should look for an anthology over there. Dr. Florida became famous for his 4 T’s model of creativity leading to economic growth: talent, technology, tolerance, and territorial assets.

Somebody suggested that I go towards the ESOL market after seeing an account of my talk, “Knowing Spanish can Reduce Stress.” Earlier, somebody pointed to Diversity classes for counselors and social workers. Much of my African-American Studies chapter should be reserved for HBCU’s. The very social injustice and even ecological crises lamented by Derek Owens could easily be supported by a conservative establishment bent on socializing students for the workforce. Maybe enforcing nationwide, generic topics would be a strategy. As previously noted, the prompts are rarely problematic, but the individual response can show plenty of variety.

To conclude, collaboration among authors may be the safest route of all. There could be packets for various regions. Maybe a Texan could get wild and check out what’s going in another heavily populated state, such as New York or California. The Psalmist wrote, “Without counsel, plans go wrong , but with many advisers, they succeed.” Collaboration was the hallmark of Apple Computers in the Steve Jobs era too. Ekaterina Walter provides applicable insight from the business world. Knowing and understanding your customers have never been this important. Building long-term relationships so you can retain customers sounds much like college retention. Ms. Walter’s colleague, Nagy Thomas, CEO of Sprinklr, urges businesses to “hear the voice of the customer…Personalized experiences are helpful resources for those in need.” Let’s provide Developmental English and College Composition textbooks that inform, entertain, and persuade to borrow an expression from John Langan, the godfather of Developmental Reading and Writing textbooks.

ABSTRACT Approaching Cognitive-Behavioral and Existential Therapy Through Neo-Confucianism (December 1984). Joffre Denis Meyer

Joffre Denis Meyer, B. A. Texas A&M University Chairman of Graduate Committee: Dr. William R. Nash -/- The thesis is an effort to bring Neo-Confucian insights to modern cognitive- behavioral and existential therapy. The adaptability of Neo-Confucianism is illustrated through the growth-system inherent in its concepts. Frequently, Neo-Confucian sages and modern psychologists used virtually identical statements. Moreover, humanity faces the same basic issues while the particularizations vary.

The importance of reason, manners, appropriate behavior and self-actualization remains constant. However, the methods of their attainment change with time. The history of the Confucian/Neo-Confucian tradition is filled with such conceptual modifications. -/- Neo-Confucianism is a syncretic philosophy that utilized elements of Zen, Taoism, and Legalism within Confucian teachings. This adaptation increased the sages’ ability to communicate with a wider range of people. In effect, the Neo-Confucian movement was perhaps the earliest practice of eclectic counseling. Neo-Confucianism itself has undergone development from its eleventh-century origins to the present-day scholarly journals. -/- The researcher does not believe the key issue in inter- disciplinary studies is whether psychology is being applied to philosophy or vice-versa. Neo-Confucianism pragmatically asserts that the true test of a philosophy rests in its ability to help the individual. Mere intellectual exercise contradicts the unity of knowledge and action.

The thesis has five chapters. The existential therapy chapter uses a predominantly Western psychology format while the cognitive-behavioral therapy chapter uses Wang Yang-ming’s Four Axiom Teaching as an outline. -/- The thesis also includes Neo-Confucian cognitive-moral development observations reminiscent of Lawrence Kohlberg’s stage theories. Neo-Confucianism could be described as an education in evolving from preconventional to principled reasoning. Occasional parallels are drawn between process philosophy and Neo-Confucianism as well. -/- There is also a chapter in which Confucian commentaries are provided to actual case studies faced by Albert Ellis and Maxie Maultsby. A Chinese glossary is provided at the end of the introduction. There are five figures in the text, two of which are summarizing models in the conclusion. -/- . (shrink)

My Illnesses & Pills: Strengthening the Immune System–One Way to Battle the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic, by J. D. Meyer (2nd Edition)

Dang, I’ve been feeling good for four years! But I fit the stereotype of someone that ought to be “fixin’ to get sick”—lungs illness, namely COPD (since 2005) and asthma (since 1986). I got on the combination of SSDI, Medicare, and Medicaid by 2012. I’m writing this article about my illnesses and pills because medical professionals may find clues to finding a way to battle the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. Dealing with the pandemic takes three routes in the medical community: building the immune system, finding antibodies, and discovering a vaccination. My article represents the way for educated laymen to contribute.

I take at least 15 pills per day (11 different pills)—a motley mix of prescription drugs, vitamins/minerals, and OTC drugs. I have more health issues than Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS). Quitting cigarettes was important as was quitting snuff tobacco. Nowadays, I occasionally indulge with Smoky Mountain Herbal Snuff (Wintergreen Flavor). It’s made from corn husks and molasses; it’s made in Sandy Hook, CT.

Here are the rest of my diagnoses: Mixed hyperlipidemia E 78.2, Essential (primary) hypertension I10, atherosclerosis heart disease of native coronary artery without angina pectoris I25.10, and macular degeneration. Furthermore, I get monthly allergy shots for Bermuda and Johnson grass, and I have sleep apnea.

Now let’s check out my daily pills. Prescriptions: Daliresp, Montelukast, Dilacor (DILT), Omega 3 Acid Ethyl Esters (4, Take two twice daily), and Prednisone. Vitamins/Minerals: Magnesium, CoQ10, Vitamin D (2), Ocuvite (Vision Health). That last pill is a mix of Vitamins A, C, E and Zinc, Selenium, Copper, and Lutein. Over the Counter Medicine (OTC): Vitamin B-Complex with C (general health)& Loratadine (non-drowsy generic pill for allergies).

Here are the drugs that I inhale. Obviously, I have a rescue inhaler, and it’s Combivent (albuterol + ipratropium). I graduated from the albuterol inhalers a while back. But my nebulizer fluid is albuterol only. Then I take Advair twice daily, an anti-inflammatory.

Here are the occasional OTC drugs and vitamins/minerals: Sudafed (nasal congestion), Mucinex–aka. Guaifenesin (chest congestion/bronchitis). , Milk Thistle (liver health) and rarest of all—Turmeric Curcumin (anti-inflammation). Before I got health insurance, Mucinex and Sudafed were very frequent companions. I’ve become a member of the Chris Cuomo Fan Club and explained the joy of Mucinex on his website.

Let’s hope that my list of medicines and illnesses helps medical researchers during our pandemic crisis. I was invited to join the local Community Health Workers (CHW) coalition several years ago because of my explanation of lung health issues for the layman. I used to be a teacher–mostly Developmental English/Writing (college level), ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)for all levels, and all-level/ most subjects substitute teacher.

Some of those drugs and whatnot represent a journey! Magnesium is a new friend. First I was put on statins and developed heart issues. Then I found CoQ10 and that helped. Then I had a phase of Red Yeast Rice–a more organic, mellow statin. Then I read a couple of journal articles against it and stumbled onto Magnesium. Magnesium is the super mineral. It’s good for excess fat, arthritis, COPD, and even more issues!

My most recent drug is prednisone—previously som’n just for acute attacks. I passed a recent chest X-ray, but my pulmonologist felt that I needed prednisone. After all, I’ve had a low moderate Forced Exhale Volume (FEV) for years. I may be 6’2” and 61 years old, but my FEV is comparable to a short elderly lady’s lungs, or just one lung, or a very short child’s lungs. Stop smoking, stay indoors, or wear a mask/bandanna when shopping.

BIG 4 Clusters of Commonly Confused Words (CCW)

Commonly confused words, or homonyms, are words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings.  The Big 4 Clusters of CCWs refer to the four sets of the most commonly misspelled homonyms. These word clusters reached this status because they’re such commonly used words. See, I just used one!

But seriously, let’s classify these words according to their function instead of the more typical, “they’re, their, there, etc.” style. Maybe that will make their spelling easier to rememberAssignment: Write twelve sentences using each of these words in its own sentence.

CONTRACTIONS

1. it’s = it is (3rd sing.)

    It’s sunny today.          

 

 

2.  they’re = they are (3rd pl.)

     They’re at the brown brick house.

     Walt and Gloria are at the brown brick house.              

3.  you’re = (2nd  ) you are

    You’re a good cook. You’re good cooks.

 

  • Note that all three of these contractions use “is” or “are” with a subject pronoun.
  • I have used two sentences on #2 to show how a pronoun (they) substitutes for third-person subject nouns.
  • “You’re” is the same word for singular and plural, just as “you” refers to one or more people and can be the subject or object of the sentence.
  •  “You all/y’all” in the South and “You guys” in the North appear to be slang efforts to deal with the lack of two separate words for the second person singular and plural.

POSSESSIVE

4.  its (3rd sing.)

     The house needs its sink fixed.  

It is rare for something without a gender to have or own something.

 

5.  their (3rd pl.)

      Their house is near the park.

      Ray and Dorothy’s house is near the park.

6. your (2nd)

 I like your

   website(s).

 

 

 

      • Notice that none of these possessive pronouns use apostrophes—unlike a noun(s) functioning as a possessive adjective would require an apostrophe. For example: “Danny’s screwdriver” could be referred to as “his screwdriver” if somebody else was talking about it.
      • The odd reality about #4 “its” is noted in the box.
      • I have used two sentences in #5 to show how a pronoun (their) functioning-as-an-adjective substitutes for third person possessive nouns, which in this case serves as the subject of the sentence.
      • “Your” is the same word for singular and plural.  

ONE SPELLING, TWO MEANINGS 

  homonym Definition/description Example
7. to preposition before a noun or pronoun meaning “towards” She went to the cafeteria.
8. to When used before a verb; the word becomes an infinitive and can’t function as the main verb of the sentence. I love to sing with Spanish tapes while reading lyrics to improve my listening comprehension and have fun doing it.
9. too also (“tambien” in Spanish) I want some chips and hot sauce too.
10. too Over-doing or under-doing of what is desirable. (“demasiado” in Spanish). We put too much salt in that casserole. Is he considered too small to play linebacker in college?

 

ETC.

I don’t have a category for all of these words; here are the two left over from our Big 4 Commonly Confused Sets of Words.

 

11.  there = refers to direction or location.

      There is a red truck coming down the street.                                                   

12. two = 2.

I kept two kittens from the first litter.             

 

 

                        MOST CONFUSING OF THE BIG 4 CCW’S

“It’s” and “its” receive my vote for the most frequently confused pair or set of words in this category; this seems to be a unanimous decision. Even books and website entries may show this error, a lack of editing.

Furthermore, animals that you don’t know are referred to by “its” For example, “The jaguar hurt its paw.”

On the other hand, you should refer to animals that you know personally by their gender—not “it” or “its.” Obviously this applies to house pets, a favorite farm animal, and even more creatures if you’re a zoo employee or in a related profession. For example, “Fluffy is friendly to all visitors. Also, when she lived with a previous owner, Fluffy used to visit a neighborhood-gathering spot frequently and gained much respect for her rat-catching ability.”

 

http://www.edhelper.com/language/language_samples113.html  EdHelper provides “List of Homonyms” 252 groups of words. You’ll need to provide the meaning for the words.

ABSTRACT: Approaching Cognitive-Behavioral and Existential Therapy Through Neo-Confucianism (December 1984).

by Joffre Denis (JD) Meyer, B. A. Texas A&M University

Chairman of Graduate Committee: Dr. William R. Nash

The thesis is an effort to bring Neo-Confucian insights to modern cognitive- behavioral and existential therapy. The adaptability of Neo-Confucianism is illustrated through the growth-system inherent in its concepts. Frequently, Neo-Confucian sages and modern psychologists used virtually identical statements. Moreover, humanity faces the same basic issues while the particularizations vary. The importance of reason, manners, appropriate behavior and self-actualization remains constant. However, the methods of their attainment change with time. The history of the Confucian/Neo-Confucian tradition is filled with such conceptual modifications.

Neo-Confucianism is a syncretic philosophy that utilized elements of Zen, Taoism, and Legalism within Confucian teachings. This adaptation increased the sages’ ability to communicate with a wider range of people. In effect, the Neo-Confucian movement was perhaps the earliest practice of eclectic counseling. Neo-Confucianism itself has undergone development from its eleventh-century origins to the present-day scholarly journals.

The researcher does not believe the key issue in inter- disciplinary studies is whether psychology is being applied to philosophy or vice-versa. Neo-Confucianism pragmatically asserts that the true test of a philosophy rests in its ability to help the individual. Mere intellectual exercise contradicts the unity of knowledge and action.

The thesis has five chapters. The existential therapy chapter uses a predominantly Western psychology format while the cognitive-behavioral therapy chapter uses Wang Yang-ming’s Four Axiom Teaching as an outline.

The thesis also includes Neo-Confucian cognitive-moral development observations reminiscent of Lawrence Kohlberg’s stage theories. Neo-Confucianism could be described as an education in evolving from preconventional to principled reasoning. Occasional parallels are drawn between process philosophy and Neo-Confucianism as well.

There is also a chapter in which Confucian commentaries are provided to actual case studies faced by Albert Ellis and Maxie Maultsby. A Chinese glossary is provided at the end of the introduction. There are five figures in the text, two of which are summarizing models in the conclusion.

https://www.academia.edu/4683421/Approaching_Cognitive-Behavioral_and_Existential_Therapy_through_Neo-Confucianism_M.S._thesis_in_Ed.Psy_at_Texas_A_and_M

https://www.academia.edu/1703755/The_New_Confucians (2008)

 

 

The Four Persuasive Strategies, by JD Meyer, Edited and Hosted by Casey Cunningham

The Four Persuasive Strategies, by JD Meyer,
Edited and Hosted by Casey Cunningham
Introduction
This is the first time I’ve chosen a major section from my textbook of Developmental English/Writing for the main part of a UU service, as opposed to something from Unitarian-Universalism or other compatible liberal religion or concept. I used a couple of short narrative essays as children’s stories previously. But I chose the Four Persuasive Strategies to be the main part of a service because I kept noticing how much they come up in real life as well as academia. Furthermore, it was one of the earliest sections that I adapted in my teaching career. I found the Four Persuasive Strategies in a Silver Burdett-Ginn textbook for middle school before my renaissance at Mountain View Community College in the west Oak Cliff part of Dallas. Naturally, I’ll show the strategies at work in some persuasive essays too.
Persuasive documents seem to have the best chance of influencing the world beyond academia, as opposed to narrative, descriptive, compare-and-contrast and whatnot. I found a couple of great definitions for “intellectual” and “public intellectual,” by Dr. Ali Mazrui, a Ugandan-born scholar who now teaches for the Institute of Global Studies in New York. Dr. Mazrui was cited as one of the world’s Top 100 public intellectuals, according to http://www.foreignpolicy.com . First, an intellectual is “a person who has the capacity to be fascinated by ideas and has acquired the skill to handle some of these effectively.” But a public intellectual “communicates ideas and influences debate outside of one’s own field.” Thus a letter to the editor of one’s hometown newspaper represents a modest and common effort to be a public intellectual.

The Four Persuasive Strategies are (1) Give an Example/Call for a Precedent, (2) Predict Results, (3) Prepare for or Respond to Objections, and (4) Demand for Fairness. A Chu Hsi style Neo-Confucian could say that these persuasive strategies allow us to investigate the principles of events or ko-wu. During my revisions of this talk, I recall that I referred to the Demand for Fairness strategy previously when I asserted that the Wiccan Rede, “Harm No One; Do What You Will,” captured the essence of the Golden Rule. Later I remembered that “For Jaded UU’s and Newcomers” implicitly contained a Prepare for Objections theme. This service was based on a blog at Belief Net by Barbara Bonhiver, a third generation UU at All Souls UU of New York City.
By the way, there are other possible persuasive strategy models. A Cal State website points to the writer’s character, logical arguments, and the emotions of the audience as the three ways to persuade.

Part 1: The Four Persuasive Strategies, Literary Criticism, and Fair Use.
Please check your program for the chart of the four persuasive strategies. At Texas College, I divided these four strategies into two categories. Time Orientation for Give an Example and Predict Results and Empathy Orientation for Prepare for Objections and Demand for Fairness. Then I added a focus for all four persuasive strategies. When we give an example, we are drawing upon the past or present. When we predict results, we are looking toward the future. You can make cause-and-effect arguments easily with the time orientation strategies. On the other hand, empathy means we understand how other people feel. Preparing for objections—the “Yes, but…argument”–has a heavy cognitive/justice dimension while the demand for fairness leans toward the affective/mercy dimension. Preparing for, or responding to objections, gives the other guy partial credit while the demand for fairness is the Golden Rule.
One can find persuasive statements that show characteristics of more than one of the four persuasive strategies; real life rarely falls into such neat categories. Moreover, book knowledge can’t be divorced from common sense that much either, particularly when it comes to career success. Writing success didn’t begin for me until a college instructor told me about writing every other line in a rough draft. Seeing the importance of revision came later, particularly with church services—to the point where I now feel like a “terrier with a slipper.”
With these tools, we can not only write a better persuasive essay but better comprehend current events and defend ourselves with words. Yes, successful persuasion includes a lot of common sense. To persuade means to change another person’s beliefs, actions, or some combination of the two. It is one of the three purposes of writing; the others are to inform and entertain, according to John Langan—the godfather of Developmental English and Reading A good way to recommend—a mild form of persuasion—is to use an “if…, then…” statement. I urged students to use such a statement in their conclusion paragraphs. We’re not supposed to give new information in the conclusion, but a recommendation still makes it as legal.

(1) Give an Example or Call for a Precedent is a way to cite something from the past or present in the hopes that something will happen again or won’t happen again. A key to spotting this strategy is seeing a reference from history. I knew that I had to read about James Luther Adams when Tom Stovall told us that Adams was the leading UU theologian of the 20th Century. Building on the past makes the progress of history possible. That remark reminds me of my old hero, Alfred North Whitehead—the founder of process theology. George Washington set a precedent by only serving two terms as president—something that was followed by all presidents until Franklin Roosevelt. Soon after FDR, the two-term limit became law. On the other hand, how many times have you heard that Hitler did the same dumb thing as Napoleon: attack Russia in winter with inadequate clothing?

(2) Predict Results means to offer an opinion of the future based on what’s happening now. This can be the most exciting strategy of all. The preseason football magazine industry is built on such thought, as is the new science of futurism. Here’s an example proofread by our friend Liza Ely about one of her favorite organizations, Pachamama: “I predict the Internet will continue to connect people based on shared interests and it will serve to correct the excesses of multinational capitalism. For example, one of the Pachamama Movement website groups is dedicated to environmental sustainability, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment. This includes preserving the rain forest and educating the industrialized world on the consequences of their choices. Another Pachamama group advertises the work of third world artisans.” Remember the recent service on community building that Liza Ely did
with Dr. Eric Best? Communities can exist on-line when they bring people together for a purpose and promote harmony. I just discovered in an old Nichiren Shoshu/Soka Gakkai booklet that the Chinese word “te” as in Tao Te Ching, not only means “strength” but also “character, leadership, and karma”—aka. cause and effect, you reap what you sow—hmmm.

(3) Prepare for/Respond to Objections is what we do when we anticipate the other guy’s arguments. It’s what a fair teacher does when (s) he gives partial credit. It’s what the quarterback does when he calls an audible at the line of scrimmage if he seems something unexpected. Picture this assertion, “Yes we should get an urban planning team and ask for community input, but if we don’t hire some out-of-state consultants, we could easily return to the same old inbred ideas.” That’s my summary of our Tyler 21 economic development project. I contributed to the Northside Revitalization group frequently. Remember when I called it the “Yes, but” strategy? If you point out some similarities in your critic’s thought, you may be seen in a better light. I remember there was a book series that proclaimed, “Those who don’t know their opponents’ arguments don’t completely understand their own.” Have you heard that Bible verse about the specks in two people’s eyes? I’d like to update that passage by saying, “Don’t make fun of someone’s glasses frames when you need new bifocals.”

(4) Demand for Fairness is the Golden Rule—doing to others because that’s what we want done to us or don’t want it done to us. Here’s an example of Calling for Fairness that I sent to one of the Obama websites: “I would like to see the Afghan people have the chance to develop windmill technology because of their incredible windy season, and so a third World country won’t end up like us—full of air pollution.” Afghanistan’s famed mountains and valleys create a windy land. Part Four of this service will show this strategy in action frequently.

In my seventh edition, I added an extra section after the Four Persuasive Strategies called, “Literary Criticism: Advanced Persuasion,” based on The Crisis of Criticism, an anthology of essays by Maurice Berger. Criticism must evolve or it will atrophy, shriveling due to lack of use or tired re-runs. Berger asserts that the strongest criticism can actually offer hope for that field’s future, as it can “engage, guide, direct, and influence culture.” The criticism can inspire and stimulate new forms of expression.
This spring I encountered a USC website: the Stevens Institute of Innovation http://www.stevens.usc.edu, and it taught me about fair use of copyright and proved what Berger predicted. Fair use means the proper use of copyrighted material, not plagiarism. A key trial showed that fair use is transformative—a new form of expression. Two Live Crew successfully defended themselves in a law suit versus the producers of Roy Orbison’s song, “Pretty Woman.” The court declared that despite the rap band borrowing the chorus, the stanzas made a parody or satire of the chorus: a proper transformative work of the older musician’s song. I might add that such modern snickering may have the appearance of a rougher mentality, but it actually provides a moral lesson missing from our naïve would-be “tamer of the shrew. Above all, I was relieved to discover that my pronoun use chapter section was indeed transformative—something that had been in the back of my mind for months.
Returning to Berger, he warns that criticism at its worst is when it sinks into the narrow world of provinciality—a lack of relevance to the world at large or I may add—a watered-down version of it. On the other hand, the “shock jocks” like Imus and Howard Stern mistake freedom of speech for license without responsibility, to paraphrase an assertion from the hip-hop address of 2001. Casey noted that the shock jocks may not even have a desire to use real persuasion but are “playing to the already convinced.” The bad side of conservatism is when they act as censors, telling us who should not be in our gospel of inclusion because our heroes are subhuman or heretics.
Maybe time or good public relations are the only things separating what is considered orthodox or “out there.” We can read in Belief Net about the spiritual nature of the late Beatle, George Harrison, and how he popularized yoga. But did you know that a singer named Bruce Dickinson also flies jets for a British airline? Bruce also has a BBC radio talk show, was a leading fencer, wrote two novels, and narrated science programs for Discovery UK—despite being the lead vocalist for Iron Maiden, a leading British heavy metal band. Don’t worry, I wrote a brief biographical sketch of this intelligent musician in the appendix of my textbook and put it among my nearly twenty articles at http://www.associatedcontent.com –giant freelance journalism website. The ad hominem argument was the only logical fallacy that I defined in my developmental textbook because logical fallacies traditionally are covered in College Composition, the next English class. Ad hominem arguments attack the person rather than the action itself.

Part 2: Unitarian-Universalist Views of Evil
This would be a great time and place to endorse my current favorite UU brochure. It’s “Unitarian-Universalist Views of Evil.” I’ve been highlighting and making notes from this flyer. Sure I’m familiar with our Seven Principles, like upholding the dignity of the individual. But I really wanted to learn some of our officially sanctioned views of badness, so that I can understand and deal with people more effectively. I found myself coming up with some rather medieval reasons for human badness that didn’t do me any good in an absence of knowing some views on this topic by UU ministers. I saw the results, so I wanted some examples to follow.
One statement by Victoria Safford really sunk-in: Evil is “the degree of heartbreak…a sense that something has been blasted apart the collapse of what we thought was true about the world and human nature.” She sees this heartbreak more than the magnitude or cold-heartedness of the event as her main criteria for assessing evil. Of course, the other two are important as well. Paul Razor, the editor of the pamphlet stated that evil is “a reality to respond to and confront” and includes “unnecessary human suffering, not inevitable.” “Our choices matter: We can either enable or ignore the evil around us, or we can help overcome it.”
Patrick O’Neill observes that UU theological starting point is the dignity of the individual and liberating the human spirit from narrow thought and lifeless creed–not the degradation of a fallen species. But people are only inclined to do good roughly “three-out-of-five times on the average, but those few degrees are the difference between peace and Armageddon. Press down for good,” proclaims O’Neill. Elizabeth Lerner brings up the Greek views on order versus chaos. Change can prevent stagnation. “But too much chaos keeps any system from the ability to nurture, protect, or cherish. Chaos attacks or debases goodness and meaning,” according to Lerner.

Part 3: Persuasive Essays, the Strategies Within, and Pleasant Surprises
My textbook has been a long-term ongoing project. The first edition was a tiny 47 pages in ’97. The seventh edition of ‘08 reached 275 pages; 100 pages were added after leaving TC in ’06. The Persuasive chapter has model essays to go along with the persuasive strategies, essay prompts, and test-taking skills, as one would expect. Let’s look at examples of persuasive statements from some essays and the strategies behind them.
Some of the essays have extensive footnoting, like “Get Out of the Gutter, Wilonsky,” a letter to the editor of the Dallas Observer that was never published. I wrote a fiery letter to the editor because Robert Wilonsky wrote a destructive criticism on heavy metal and its fans. Let’s look at a few of my critiques. Metal introduced “good soldier, not war criminal” lyrics to popular music—quite a precedent. Wilonsky seemed angry that Aska, a local glam metal band, had a contract to play at military bases. He even surmised that the only thing metal fans hated worse than their life was yours. Wilonsky makes himself into the raging sociopath that he can’t stand—way beyond unfair. Now that’s a good statement to remember if you’re about to throw a fit of righteous indignation! Then he claimed that all music is a cheap knock-off of what preceded them. I countered with a perspective from Alfred North Whitehead that the idea of evolution or concrescence would bewilder or turnoff Wilonsky; furthermore, alternative rock wouldn’t show such frequent resemblances to HR/HM if the latter were indeed dead. Those two statements resemble the time-oriented persuasive strategies.
On the other hand, my letter to the Tyler paper was accepted back in Spring ’07—a rebuttal of English immersion being the answer for limited English speakers’ language learning. The Tyler, Texas newspaper editorial board apparently wanted to see ESOL and Bilingual Education programs destroyed. My essay concluded on a kindly, fair note: “Maybe one way to assess an argument in education is to see if its proponents have something joyful to say about teaching and being with students.” I moved this essay to the compare-and-contrast chapter next to a similar essay written a decade earlier. The only statement that the two essays had in common was a reference to the high rate of functional illiteracy among native-born Americans. Some folks claim that book knowledge and common sense have nothing in common, as if teaching subject-verb agreement is no different from staking your career hopes on the mastery of ancient Sanskrit. Choosing effective topics for study involves common sense.
About 10% of my textbook is edited student essays, and they all have the subtitle, “The Students Take Over.” The only student essay in the persuasive chapter is “My Favorite Music: Chopped, Screwed Dirty South Rap.” I concluded that the chopped innovation; that is, taking a famous chorus from a non-rap genre and writing rap stanzas around it, could be one of the greatest musical innovations of modern times. Once in a therapeutic moment, I wrote a bilingual song in which I lifted the chorus from “Y Todo Para Que” (And All for What) by mega norteno-tejano band, Intocable, and wrapped some rap stanzas in English to create the song, “You Try to Make Me English Only.” Sometimes it’s good to proclaim a precedent in a different friendly audience from the other choir you’ve been preaching to.
And now, let’s look at some pleasant surprises from my post-TC days. I used to feel that I wouldn’t be comfortable teaching a predominantly literature English class in high school since I was so adjusted to the grammar-composition focus of Developmental English. Furthermore, I still believe that the top-heavy literature component of high school English has created weak skills in grammar and composition. Nevertheless, I had a great time subbing in two classes when two Roman works were being studied. I alerted these classes to the four persuasive strategies inherent in Marc Antony’s eulogy of Julius Caesar and Medea by Archimedes—the latter a long-term assignment. Casey suggested that I look at these texts for a follow-up service, or maybe this one.

Part 4: Street Frustrations
However, my latest revision of the post-chapter quiz omitted questions best classified as revealing “street frustrations,” not something we should have in a textbook, unlike a narcocorrido. But maybe we should talk about one of them in church. For example, “charge it to the game,” includes accepting the sad reality that some associates will steal from you and lie to you and probably do the same to anybody else. So my former question asked, “If you think ‘charge it to the game’ is nothing but a rationalization for lying and stealing, then your persuasive strategy is…Fill in the Blank. Demand for Fairness.” On the other hand, ‘charge it to the game’ addresses that you put yourself or been put in harm’s way. Thus we face a statement that unites an “anti-fairness” strategy with a response to objections strategy. Analyzing that one was pure induction!
Here’s a demand for fairness that I kept, and it’s from the Keynote Address of the 2001 Hip-Hop Summit in New York City, convened by Russell Simmons: “Every time you use your rap song against another rapper and the magazines publish your words, the people you love then turn on the people you have spoken against. (With) leadership comes responsibility. You did not ask for it, it is imposed on you, but now you have to accept responsibility that you have never accepted.” There were a few feuds between rival rappers several years ago that got quite ugly.
How do I cope with the concept, “People will take your kindness for weakness,” in light of the Golden Rule? It sounds purely devilish at first glance. However Confucius wrote, “Goodness without a love of learning leads to simplemindedness.” For me, this means visiting with whomever shows up first instead of making the plans or effort to see the friends that you like the most. Extroversion has its drawbacks. I admitted to that difficulty in my textbook.
I find it intriguing that my potentially controversial examples were mostly representatives of the Demand for Fairness strategy, or what we UU’s would label as the dignity of the individual.

Conclusion
One weekday morning on C-Span, they had a hearing on the trade with Cuba issue. On the Call for a Precedent side, someone mentioned that all the big countries trade with Cuba like China, Japan, Brazil, the European Union, and more—so why shouldn’t we? On the other hand, Cuba is weak on the human rights issues to the point where they have stolen copyrights! So the Predict Results camp says that we need to withhold some goodies from Cuba, so they will change. We don’t have to do what everybody else does.
Next time besides those two Roman stories, I’d like to do a follow-up that examines the definition of “soft power,” by Harvard political science professor, Dr. Joseph Nye. Soft power is non-coercive persuasion that can be used by people and nations, and it reminds me of one of Adams’s Soft Stones of Liberalism. I discovered soft power in the Great Decisions book for 2009.
You can tell that those four persuasive strategies are ever-present in my brain—just waiting to tackle data from the outside world and make sense of it. To close, “If you enjoyed hearing about Meyer’s revamped Silver Burdett Ginn’s Four Persuasive Strategies, then use them yourself in your quest to make sense of the world, see the sacred in the secular, and the deceiver at the gathering.” Let’s have a feedback question-and-answer period, so the conclusion really doesn’t happen until you in the congregation have your chance for clarification. Thank you.

Final Exam for Developmental English/Writing, by Mr. J.D. Meyer: Spring 2005… Edited by Mentor, Lew Sayers

8 Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement: Circle the correct answer

1. Present Tense Verbs
a. The penguin squawks at the bulldogs.
b. The dogs barks at the penguins.

2. Words/Phrases between Subject and Verb
a. Some students who quit coming to class need to be ignored
and not tracked down by me.
b. That instructor with the Acura and the Mustang have a second job

3. Subject after the Verb
a. There are too many students “chillin” in their rooms.
b. Where is the keys of the reading instructor?

4. Compound Subjects
a. LaTonya and Adelia are on the honor roll.
b. Barnes and Noble have a bookstore in south Tyler.

5. Indefinite Pronouns
a. Everyone were watching the basketball playoffs in the dorm.
b. Almost everyone eats rice daily in China.

6. Agreement with Nearest Subject when Joined by “or.”
a. Either the cats or the dog attack unwanted, rude visitors on my command.
b. Either asphalt shingles or metal is used for roof construction in East Texas.

7. Collective Nouns
a. Our team has a new coach.
b. The squadron have certified airplane mechanics for maintenance.

8. Special Cases
a. Her glasses need adjusting immediately.
b. My black trousers has a tear on the side.

COMMA RULES
1 Between Items in a Series: Single and Multiple items.
2 Between Compound Sentence
3 After an Intro. Word, Phrase, or Clause
4 Two Commas around Interrupters.
5 To Separate Quotes from a Sentence
6 Before a Non-Essential Phrase
7 To Prevent Confusion

Comma Exercise: Just list the rule used, and each rule is used once. I provided the commas this time.

9. We went to the zoo and saw cheetahs, elephants, and quetzals
10. Joe asked, “Have you finished writing the final yet?”
11. Texas A&M and the Dallas Cowboys, two teams who’ve struggled lately, have new head football coaches
12. She wants to go to the biker club, but he wants to watch interior decorating shows.
13. Where is the cat, Willie?
14. The student is borrowing my stapler, which is purple and very modern-looking
15. After I finish writing this test, I’m going to work on my wonderful website.

Paragraphs: Match the synonyms; write your answer in the middle column. The answer is the letter next to the definition.

16. Unity……………… a. Relevance
17. Support……………. b. Sufficient
18. Coherence……………c. General statement giving the essay’s structure
19. Sentence Skills ……..d. General statement about a paragraph.
20. Topic Sentence……….e. Clear links between ideas
21. Thesis Statement……..f. Grammar

Irregular Verbs: Is the underlined word(s) used correctly? True or False

22. He drank too much Dr. Pepper after payday.
23. I have wrote my essay.
24. Where have the students hidden from me today?
25. He driven to his favorite place in the country.
26. Somebody stolen some tests, so I changed the order of the answers—ha, ha!!!
27. Have you did your essays?
28. They wrote a three-paragraph essay and flunked.

Run-Ons and Fragments: Match the Definition to the Term.

29. Comma splice…………A…….A run-on when only a comma is used …………………………………. instead of end punctuation or a comma …………………………………..and coordinating conjunction
30. Fused Sentence……… B…… A fragment with a subject and verb that ………………………………….is an incomplete thought without an ………………………………….independent clause because it starts ………………………………….with a subordinator.
31. Added Detail Fragment…C……. A run-on in which two or more
…………………………….sentences are stuck together with no
…………………………….punctuation.
32. -“Ing” or “to” + Fragment… D…A fragment that could have been a
…………………………….non-essential phrase at the end of the
…………………………….sentence, often a “grocery list” of ……………………………………items without a subject or verb.
33. Dependent Word Fragment…. E……A fragment without a main verb.
……………………………..Instead there is just a gerund or …………………………………….infinitive.

Quotation Marks: Circle the right answer.

34. What is my “southwest to northeast” rule of quotation marks?
a. It’s a blatant take-off of a Cary Grant movie.
b. These directions mean that the comma goes after the quotation marks at all times
c. The comma goes in the southwest, and the quotation marks go in the northeast. Or the period goes in the southwest, and the quotation marks go in the northeast.

35. Which is a paraphrased statement?
a. Mother said, “You sure look pretty today.”
b. Mother said that I sure look pretty today.

Which types of words need an apostrophe? True or False. Clue: Three are true.

36. Plural nouns: The cat’s have a bowl.
37. Singular nouns showing possession: The comma chapter thrilled Mr. Mason’s classes.
38. Contractions: It’s very humid today.
39. Singular pronouns that show possession: It’s roof needs to be fixed.
40. 3rd Person Singular Verbs: Ricky run’s pass patterns
41. Plural nouns showing possession: The puppies’ owner wants to give them away.

Writing: Prewriting, Introductions, Thesis Statements, and Conclusions

42. What is something we see in introductions that we don’t see in conclusions?
a. attention-grabber and thesis statement.
b. categories for the essay topic
c. recommendations.

43. What is something we see in conclusions that we don’t see in introductions?
a. attention-grabber and thesis statement
b. categories for the essay topic.
c. recommendations.

44. When is prewriting most important?
a. when you have lots of time for an essay or report.
b. when you are uncertain about your choice of topic or find a topic difficult.
c. if it’s for extra credit.

45. An attention grabber is mainly___________ while a recommendation is chiefly________
a. persuasive…………..entertaining
b. entertaining…………persuasive
c. informative………….entertaining
d. entertaining…………informative

Match the part of speech with the examples
Part of Speech Examples
46. a, an, the…………………… . a adverbial conjunctions
47. at, beside, from, of………………..b articles
48. “FABSONY” like—and, but, so, or…….c subordinators
49. if, until, while, though…………….d prepositions
50. furthermore, however, indeed…………e coordinating conjunctions

Answer Key for Developmental English/Writing Final, by J.D. Meyer

8 Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement
1. a…………………. 5. b
2. a……………………6. b
3. a……………………7. a
4. a……………………8. a

7 Comma Rules
9. 1………………….13. 7
10. 5………………… 14. 6
11. 4………………….15. 3
12. 2

Paragraphs
16. a………………..19. f
17. b………………..20. d
18. e ……………….21. c

Irregular Verbs
22. T………………….26. F
23. F………………….27. F
24. T………………….28. T
25. F

Run-Ons & Fragments: Match the Definition to the Term
29. A………………..32. E
30. C………………..33. B
31. D

Quotation Marks
34. c…………………35. b

Which types of words need an apostrophe?
36. F………………….39. F
37. T………………….40. F
38. T………………….41. T

Prewriting, Introductions, Thesis Statements, & Conclusions

42. a…………….. 44. b
43. c…………….. 45. b

Match the part of speech with the examples

46. b…………….. 49. c
47. d…………….. 50. a
48. e

SOL Tuesday: Meet my Developmental English/Writing Textbook, by J.D. Meyer

I taught Developmental English/Writing for ten of my 20 years in teaching. Inspired by my mentor, I started writing my own textbook for the course, and it grew to 350 pages. The chapter sections are Grammar, Introduction to Writing, Descriptive, Persuasive, Compare-and-Contrast, African-American Studies, and Appendix. Introduction to Writing starts with how to write a paragraph before moving on to short narrative and process essays. The goal of the course is to write a good five-paragraph persuasive essay for the exit exam. A fine compare-and-contrast essay can be four-paragraph block style. I added the African-American Studies chapter when I became a full-time instructor at an HBCU. I’d been an adjunct instructor at a predominantly Mexican-American community college. The Appendix contains the expected quizzes and answers, as well as vocational counseling info and Spanish lessons.

My textbook is copyrighted with the Library of Congress and illustrated with Flickr photos. I have published some chapter sections as articles, and you can find them through my Academia.edu website: https://independent.academia.edu/JDMeyer I felt that giving a way some chapter sections would be a good way to gain publicity. However, now I’m on SSDI, Medicaid, and Medicare, so trying to publish a textbook could be a disaster–big money in August, followed by no medicine for COPD. Meanwhile, Paul Quinn College–an HBCU in SE Oak Cliff (Dallas,TX)–has made a great comeback in part through Open Source textbooks. Dr. Michael Sorrell became president of the declining college and introduced those main policy changes. Open Source textbooks are free materials normally found online, so the cost of college decreased.

Analysis of a Favorite Song: “Dissident Aggressor,” by Judas Priest written by Tipton, Halford, and Downing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_mpt8xyZVI

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/judaspriest/dissidentaggressor.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/opethpainter/3350397864 Rob Halford (singer).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/opethpainter/3349600875
Rob Halford & Glenn Tipton (guitar).

“Dissident Aggressor” (1978) is a hard rock/heavy metal (HR/HM) song with lyrics that show sympathy for those who flee to free countries. It’s from their third album: Sin After Sin. In this case, our song’s protagonist is attempting to escape Cold War Era East Berlin. Musically, this song features a lengthy and powerful bass solo by Ian Hill, critically acclaimed as one of the best of his career.
Many years later, thrash metal heroes, Slayer, redid this Judas Priest song splendidly. The haunting guitars show lots of distortion in both versions of “Dissident Aggressor,” fitting in with the chilling theme of the song.
The song starts with “Grand canyons of space and time universal, my world is subjected, subjected to all,” a verse that shows the nature of a wide-ranging spirit of empathy felt by songwriters among others.
“Hooks to my brain are well-in,” reminds me of the Greek legend of Sisyphus, the hard-working hero who always pushes a boulder up a hill. In this case, our angry East Berliner’s desire to escape is like having hooks in his brain that pull him toward freedom. Citizens of East European countries were not allowed to leave from 1945—1990.
Brief uprisings were brutally crushed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), a gigantic country dominated by the Russian state. Later, several states like Ukraine, Lithuania, Armenia, and Kazakhstan—to name a few—left the Soviet Union during the fall of Eastern European Communism.
We get a vivid picture in our mind of his determination when we read, “Through cracked, blackened memories of unit dispersal, I face the impregnable wall………Exploding, reloading, this quest never ending, until I give out my last breath.” This “impregnable wall” was the Berlin Wall, built after the end of World War II and not torn down until 1990.
Thus the chorus may seem less disturbing than it would be in isolation, “Stab, Bawl, Punch, Crawl. Hooks to my brain are well-in. Stab, Bawl, Punch, Crawl. I know what I am. I’m Berlin.” As you can see by the analysis of this song, hard rock/heavy metal song lyrics can support traditional American ideals—far from the stereotype of this maligned musical genre.

Footnote: Furthermore, a few years after Priest wrote “Dissident Aggressor,” MTV did a documentary entitled “Iron Maiden behind the Iron Curtain,” a series about fellow British heavy metal band, Iron Maiden and their courageous musical tour in Eastern Europe. In retrospect, Maiden received some credit for supporting the cause of democracy by fighting communism through free speech and the entrepreneurship of the music industry.

Discussion Question: Do you agree with your author-instructor when he claims that his endorsement of the lyrics for “Dissident Aggressor” supports the foreign policy of Ronald Reagan? Previous president, Jimmy Carter, made a remark that we had an “inordinate fear of Communism,” which was dismissed as silly in light of Communist movements in places like Nicaragua.
Is there a strong chance that our hero in “Dissident Aggressor” could have proven to be an armed-and-dangerous man once he escaped East Berlin? Could your author-instructor be trying to make his “headbanger” music interests seem less counter-culture?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pacroon/2802578447 The Berlin Wall
Maps of Germany – Visit us for more German Maps Cold War Era West and East Germany.
Note that Berlin was in the heart of old East Germany, but it was a divided city and the western half belonged to the democracy, West Germany, yet was surrounded by communist East Germany.
https://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/quarterly/2001no2/fulton.html
“Using favorite songs as prompts,” by Michael Fulton
http://www.LessonPlansPage.com/MusicWriteRapSong68.htm
“How to Write a Rap Song,” by Bob Urbani

SOL 17: Publicizing my Developmental English/ Writing textbook through Open Source on Academia.edu, by JD Meyer

In response to “What summer writing are you doing now that will inspire your future students?”

I wrote, copyrighted, and illustrated a Developmental English/Writing textbook for my students. I taught this course for ten of the years from 1994-2006 with my textbook for seven of those years as the primary textbook.

For many years, I’ve published some chapter sections as free samples to interest publishers in my textbook and gain fans along the way. I have a website at Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/JDMeyer I used to have a Pageout website at McGraw-Hill before it was discontinued. A few of my chapter sections are at Open Stax of Rice University, formerly known as Connexions. My Subject-Verb Agreement Module is one of the top articles for both Academia.edu & Open Stax.
However, I’m on SSDI for asthma & COPD–not to mention other issues that were revealed later when I got on Medicare, Medicaid, and Cigna Health Springs. If I make more than an extra $120/month, I’ll lose some life-saving medicine and no telling what else. A big money August could really mess me up!

Then I learned of the Paul Quinn College turnaround success story. This HBCU in the SE Oak Cliff was in severe danger of closing until PQC got a new president, Dr. Michael Sorrell. Dr. Sorrell’s major reforms were to build the “We Over Me” Farm in the former football stadium, and have students do some of their work-study there to ease the cost of a private college. Furthermore, he required instructors to use free Open Source materials for textbooks. My textbook may have been cheaper than the rest, but it wasn’t free.

Recently, I added “The Four Persuasive Strategies for English/Writing,” “Promo-Pack for Descriptive Essay Section,” “Subjects, Verbs, & Other Parts of Speech with Prepositions Chart (89),” and “College Retention: Vocational Counseling & Publicizing Psychological Type Theory– The Personality-Vocation Match” to my Academia.edu site.

My motivation to add these chapter sections and essay was based primarily on two factors: commitment to the Open Source paradigm advanced by Dr. Michael Sorrell and finding out that a young cashier at the nearby Family Dollar is trying to get a GED. I almost did cartwheels when long-time Internet honcho-friend, Angela Maiers, like my Four Persuasive Strategies chapter section. She’s the originator of the You Matter paradigm.

To conclude, teachers don’t always go away after retirement if they keep writing and interacting with others—especially if the writing includes a textbook in a critical need area.