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

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.

Kwanzaa #3: Collective Work & Responsibility—Smith County 2015 Education Report & Kwanzaafest of Dallas are Examples, by J.D. Meyer

Welcome to Principle #3 Night: Collective Work & Responsibility. According to Dr. Maulana Karenga, the founder of Kwanzaa, Collective Work & Responsibility is “to maintain and build our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our own and solve them together.” http://www.officialkwanzaasite.com

The Public Intellectual

I believe that Kwanzaa is the effort to serve as a public intellectual. Dr. Ali Mazrui of the Institute of Global Studies in New York defined the intellectual as “a person who has the capacity to be fascinated by ideas and has acquired the skill to handle some of these ideas effectively.” Dr. Mazrui continues that a public intellectual “communicates and influences debate outside of one’s own field.” http://binghamton.edu/igcs/docs/Newsletter30.pdf He was a Top 100 Thinker, according to ForeignPolicy.com in 2005.

My former teaching colleague, Ibiyinka Solarin, offers a description of the public intellectual and how Wole Soyinka of Nigeria fits that model. Mr. Soyinka was the first African Nobel Prize in Literature. Dr. Solarin notes that the the real intellectual is engaged with society and contributes in his/her own way to impart knowledge and lower ignorance. The intellectual has varied reading , exposure to other cultures, and shows courage versus the establishment. http://www.gamji.com/article3000/NEWS3736.htm

Smith County 2015 Education Report & Claritas/PRIZM Zip Code Clusters

We saw a great example of the Third Principle of Kwanzaa at the Rose Garden, October 20th. The Tyler Area for Partnership in Education http://www.tylerareapartnership4education.org/ launched the Smith County 2015 Education Report—an unprecedented collaboration between education groups, city leaders, and non-profit agencies. http://www.tylerareapartnership4education.org/#!community-report-card/ax6nf

They discovered that only 20% of Smith County students earn a post-secondary credential, a figure that sinks to just under 10% among economically disadvantaged students. Economically disadvantaged students are defined as those who qualify for a free or reduced price lunch. Not only is this a slump from the 35% figure for adults with a post-secondary credential, but 65% of jobs will require such education nationally by 2020.

Tyler (71.8%) and Chapel Hill (71.3%) have the highest percentages of economically disadvantaged students in the eight-city Smith County—well over the 60.2% for Texas. Meanwhile, Bullard (34.8%) and Lindale (45.9%) have the fewest poor kids.

However, Tyler has a solid average income of of $47.4K per year. How can both figures be possible? Could that mean we have a tiny middle-class here? Let’s look at Claritas/PRIZM zip code clusters for zip codes 75701, 75702, and 75703. https://www.claritas.com/MyBestSegments/Default.jsp?ID=20&pageName=ZIP%2BCode%2BLookup&menuOption=ziplookup# Out of 66 clusters, only #53 Mobility Blues is present in all three Tyler zip codes in the Top Five. Furthermore, 75702 ranks in the top 1/5th nationally for #62 Hometown Retired. Only 3-15 clusters rank in the top half while two barely miss the top half at #34 and #35.

The Three Focus Areas for Education

There are three focus areas: (1) Kindergarten Readiness, (2) Middle School to High School Transition, and (3) Post-Secondary Readiness, Access, and Success. One statistic really jumped out at me: the discrepancy between high school graduation rate and college readiness. Virtually all graduate from high school: 94% in Smith County and 88% nationally. However, only 56% of both groups are college ready, and just 58% in Smith County and 54% nationally even enroll in education after high school. Students could take the traditional four-year bachelors degree or two-year associates degree routes, but there also shorter certificate and apprenticeship routes.

The answer for lacking readiness beyond an apprenticeship is developmental, or remedial, education. There are three subjects: (1) Developmental English/Writing, (2) Developmental Reading, and (3) Developmental Math.

Post-Secondary Readiness: Developmental English/Writing Study Guide for the Exit Exam

I taught Developmental English/Writing for ten years: five as an adjunct in Mountain View Community College in North Oak Cliff and five full-time at Texas College, the HBCU in North Tyler. By the way, this course is called Developmental Writing in junior colleges and Developmental English in four-year colleges. The Smith County Education Report called for a “restructuring of Developmental Education,” a common suggestion. I wrote an article that I called “Follow-Up to the Smith County 2015 Education Report.” It’s 6 1/3 pages with ten sections and a staggering 21 references. I published four of these articles. https://www.academia.edu/19181221/Follow-Up_to_2015_Smith_County_Education_Report I concluded the article by asking if the over-emphasis on literature in high school at the expense of grammar after middle school could be a major cause for a lack of readiness for College Composition, the first official college English course. The final link goes to my study guide for the Developmental English/Writing exam. It’s based on the official practice exam and includes that link. My analysis reviews the test maker’s categories and my impressions, along with questions and answers.https://www.academia.edu/18726274/THEA_Study_Guide_for_Developmental_English_Writing_Exit_Exam

Middle School to High School Transition: Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV)–A Focus on Cognates

Let’s backtrack to the Middle School to High School Focus Area. I’ve published material on Bilingual Academic All-Level Vocabulary (BALAV)–A Focus on Cognates. https://www.academia.edu/1744169/Bilingual_All-Level_Academic_Vocabulary While informal English has most of its roots in German, technical English has most of its roots in Latin, and French is the main source for formal English. Spanish and French are Romance languages, meaning they’re descended from Latin. Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian are the other Romance languages. For example, “inundacion,” is the Spanish word for “flood.” If  I were to say that the Bangladesh prime minister is a leader in climate change because her country is frequently inundated, that’s using sophisticated English.

The Hispanic population in Smith County is rising, especially among the young. Meanwhile, the African-American population is remaining steady and the White population is falling. Tyler ISD’s largest ethnic group has been Hispanics for several years, and many are in the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) group—those who need ESOL or Bilingual Elementary education. Most secondary education textbooks actually have glossaries in both English and Spanish. I like the glossaries that alternate back and forth between languages for each term, rather than first all the heavy words in one language followed by the other.

I can attest to figuring out a new language through an incredibly great lesson in ESOL class. Our instructor divided us into groups, and we deciphered an essay in Portuguese based on our knowledge of Spanish. I love reading public signs written in Spanish and English to keep my skills solid. At Church’s Chicken the other day, I found out the Spanish word for “simmer;” “biscuit” is exactly the same in both languages. There’s a weird myth that Mexicans and others from Spanish-speaking countries move to the USA with little kids only, so they don’t need Spanish subtitles after fifth grade. Maybe their teachers can get away with grunting to them about the glossaries. I’ve seen LEP newcomers in high school simply copying their English textbook into their notebooks since they didn’t know what was going on in class.

Eds & Meds” and the Local Home Construction Boom: Help the Home Health Care Aides & Start More Construction Apprenticeships.

The main approach I took in follow-up article was to analyze the dominant occupations in Tyler, especially Colleges and Hospitals, affectionately nicknamed “Eds & Meds.” More descriptive than prescriptive, I cited the pros and cons listed by experts on urban planning, such as Dr. Richard Florida. Many of the success stories are in large cities, such as Houston, Cleveland, and Philadelphia.

Later, I found a list of the 15 fastest growing occupations in the USA. Home health aide is by far the largest nationally, and it’s a low-paying job that doesn’t require a high school diploma. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.t05.htm What if there were grants, scholarships, and maybe communes available for star home health aides so they could pursue a certificate or associates in fields like surgical technology and physical therapy assistant at Tyler Junior College?

A sound man/boat house builder friend told me about the home construction business boom. http://www.kltv.com/story/28527392/home-construction-booming-in-e-texas Then a star local construction business owner (home and business) liked my article, as well as the idea of apprenticeships. My Twitter M.D. friend voiced her support for apprenticeships as a way to move up without debt. Think about it; if post-secondary credentials are rare among the poor, have quick programs.

Kwanzaa Today: Kwanzaafest of Dallas and More

Now that we have shown how a major city project fits in with a Kwanzaa principle, how is Kwanzaa doing these days? It’s spreading around the world from the USA. Education World reported in 2014 that Kwanzaa is “the world’s fastest growing holiday.” http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson039.shtml I noticed celebrations in South Africa last year, England this year. Older folks born between 1948-1964 are more likely to celebrate Kwanzaa in this country http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2011/12/who_celebrates_kwanzaa_the_holiday_in_statistics.html , but there are more Black Studies programs in colleges than there used to be.

Kwanzaa spin-offs have had major success, notably Kwanzaafest of Dallas–held on the second Saturday weekend of December. This festival had its 25th anniversary this year, selling 60K tickets. http://www.johnwileyprice.com/kwanzaa-main.php Kwanzaafest has health screenings, recycling, high school debate, an obesity 5K walk/run, and more. John Wiley Price, long-time councilman, is the master-mind of this project.  Amherst University Black Student Union presents awards to students exhibiting the best of the seven principles in early December http://amherststudent.amherst.edu/?q=article/2015/12/08/unpacking-kwanzaa-critical-reflection-cultural-holiday.

Conclusion

Once again, the seven principles of Kwanzaa–Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work & Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith–are principles universal to all humanity.The “made-up” accusation carries little weight in the light of Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, and the other folks’ religions or holidays. But Kwanzaa endeavors to improve the community and to offer activists a chance to serve as a public intellectual.

Why I Teach for World Teachers Day (2nd Edition)

I love to teach because I enjoy research and explaining it to students. I’m a people-person who is very extroverted, despite spending a lot of time reading and writing. The highlight of my 20-year teaching career was ten years in Developmental English/Writing, a pre-College Composition course. It’s one of three remedial college courses; the others are Developmental Reading and Math. I’ve substitute taught in every grade from PK-12 and in most subjects, aside from upper level math and science. Writing this article poses a challenge since the prompt is “Why I Teach” rather than a biography of one’s teaching career. Yet the latter would be supporting details.

I should answer why I taught Developmental English/Writing. I prefer teaching grammar and writing to literature, partly because the former two seem more essential. For me, literature is watching a re-run of The Rockford Files or JAG. My first five years were as an adjunct at Mountain View Community College, a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in North Oak Cliff. My last five years were full-time at Texas College, an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) in Tyler. Remedial education presents a boom area. It’s a fixture at community colleges and open-enrollment colleges. The USA has the paradoxical reputation of the world’s best colleges but fairly weak elementary and secondary education. Sounds like developmental education is ready for the rescue!

Furthermore, I wrote, copyrighted, and illustrated a textbook for my course. Several chapter sections have been published as articles–partly to build an audience.  Connexions of Rice University is the most prestigious. Voices.yahoo was discontinued in summer 2014. Writing a textbook really is taking your teaching to a higher level. The toughest part of my task will be transferring hard-copy back to documents in the computer. Some chapter sections no longer live in cyberspace due to the “passing away” of computers, flash drives, CD’s, and the possibly extinct floppy disks.

I struggled with required Spanish in my mediocre B.A. era, but I started self-study of Spanish again after completing secondary certification in English and Social Studies. I found myself drawn to substitute teaching and adult classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). My first lesson for me was how to order a meal in a taqueria. An early lesson for adult ESOL classes was “At the Construction Site” for the men, and “Cleaning Supplies” for the wives.

Later I subbed in Bilingual Elementary and Spanish, up to 4th year. I published  a clothes unit article and a songs article at Lesson Plans Page. I taught ESOL partly to see the world while staying in north and east Texas; plus it fits in with my meat-and-potatoes approach to Language Arts. Later I developed Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV). It’s a search for cognates because technical English is descended from Latin and formal English is derived from French–both Romance languages like Spanish. Informal English is descended from German. Most Texas secondary textbooks have a glossary in English and Spanish.

I communicated with a disability rights group to see how I could make some extra money without losing SSDI or Medicaid/Medicare–ideally through my textbook. To summarize, a trial work period can be nine non-consecutive months. COPD & asthma started me on disability before other issues were discovered. However, my Medicare D would crater if I made little over $100 in a month. So if I finally do something with my textbook again, it better be Open Source (aka. “free”).

I serve on the transportation committee of East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN), and teach people how to use the Tyler bus map. Together with explaining the practicality of the two-bus hub structure of Tyler Transit for a rectangular city, I’ve written a couple of articles on nearest bus stops for the five lines and organized three transpo. committee field trips. I’m so excited that we went to Tyler’s newest Mexican grocery store during Hispanic Heritage Month 2015–Supermercado del Pueblo in the northwest side of the city. Otherwise, North Tyler is a virtual food desert unless you go to the Super One (a branch of Brookshire’s) on the southeast edge of the Northside. Thank goodness for dollar stores!

My aptitude for teaching showed at a remarkably early age. I watched Spanish on the local PBS channel as a five-year old. There’s a laminated Dallas Morning News article tacked to a wall in my place about me getting on the show! Unfortunately, I flaked out and quit studying Spanish because of my disapproval for my weird elementary school’s methods.

I developed an passion for paleontology in 1st grade. I gave nine lectures that year, even to 8th grade. I still remember the geologic time table. On a humorous note, I wrote song called, “Diplocaulus, I’ll Never Stop Loving You,”  a song dedicated to large boomerang-headed amphibian of the Permian.

I developed an interest in Japan in 3rd grade, followed by the Mayas and Aztecs in 4th grade. Seventeen years later, I wrote a M.S. thesis entitled, “Approaching Cognitive-Behavioral and Existential Therapy through Neo-Confucianism.” A few years ago, I downloaded my thesis onto my site at Academia.edu  A Twitter fan since late 2011, my thesis was “favorited” by the South Asian Psychology Conference of Sri Lanka. I added information to “The Boston Confucians,” a Wikipedia site. I was invited to “Friends from Afar”  a closed Facebook group and the Ruist Fellowship–two Boston-based Internet groups; the former has discussions and the latter gives and checks essay homework!

To conclude, I keep up with my beloved Twitter site at bohemiotx, write articles at my two Word Press articles, and work on my textbook. I belong to the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN) and the Community Health Workers Coalition (CHW). Studying and tweeting about my health issues has really gotten me recognized in the health care social media field! I got a big charge the other idea by explaining how to make pho, the national dish of Vietnam, to a veteran on the bus. That same day, I gave a list of Maya cities on the Yucatan Peninsula (after the Toltec invasion) to a newlywed, who could only afford to sail around the coast. Old teachers may retire but they never stop teaching.

Table of Contents for Grammar Champion, by Joffre (“JD”) Meyer…excerpt from earlier Developmental English textbook

Grammar Champion, by Joffre (“JD”) Meyer…excerpt from earlier Developmental English textbook

1. 1st Page of Grammar 1
2. The Three Most Basic Verbs: Be, Have, and Do—All Irregular/
Sentence Function Types (4) 2
3. Subjects, Verbs, and Other Parts of Speech 3-5
4. Commonly Used Prepositions (89) TABLE 6
5. Examples of Prepositional Phrases Used in Sentences 7
6. Sentence Types 8
7. Capitalization 9-11
8. Big 4 Clusters of Commonly Confused Words (CCWs) & Quiz 12-14
9. Fragments 15-16
10. Coordinating and Correlative Conjunctions 17
11. Compound and Counterfeit Compound Sentences with
Review of Simple Sentences and Exercise. 18
12. Helping and Auxiliary Verbs 19
13. Run-Ons/Longest Legal Sentences 20-21
14. Missing Coordinating Conjunctions Lead to Run-ons 22
15. Apostrophes, including Pet Peeve Grammar Errors 23-24
16. Subordinating Conjunctions TABLE 25-26
17. Complex Sentences (DC, IC) and (IC DC) & Exercise 24
18. The 8 Comma Rules and Exercises 25-26
19. Comma Rules: #6 vs. #3/ 2nd Most CCW Cluster 27
20. Adverbial Conjunctions TABLE 28
21. Quotation Marks 29-30
Subject-Verb Agreement Unit: 22-26
22 The 1st 4 Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement w Sample Sent’s 31-33
23. The Last 4 Rules of Subj-V Agreement with Sample Sent’s 33-37
24. Subject-Verb Agreement Quiz (with answers) 37-38
25. The Moods of Verbs 39
26. Verb Tenses 40
Irregular Verbs Unit: 27-32
27. Irregular Verbs Defined/Thoughts on Standard English 41-42
28. Irregular Verb Spreadsheets 43-47
29. Patterns to Irregular Verbs with TABLE 48-49
30. Irregular Verbs Quiz 50
31. How to Write Fake Answers for Irregular Verb Exercises 51
32. Lie vs. Lay: Two Very Confusing Verbs 52
33. Pronoun Use and Misuse 53
34. Other Punctuation Marks 54-55
35. Review for Big Commonly Confused Words Exam 56
36. Big Commonly Confused Words Exam 57-59
37. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers 60-61
38. Least Disturbing Grammar Errors: Sympathy from the Author 62
39. Last Page of Grammar: 63-64.

Utilizing the #You Matter Paradigm by Angela Maiers in Composition Textbooks, by Joffre (“JD”) Meyer

On Utilizing the #You Matter Model by Angela Maiers
for Sustainability in English Composition & Developmental English/Writing Textbooks,
by Joffre (“JD”) Meyer

The “You Matter” educational model developed by Angela Maiers looks like an ideal complement for the sustainability in composition theories of Derek Owens. Whereas sustainability vindicates the validity of one’s neighborhood and career goals as source material, “you matter” brings an articulate method for affirming the individual.
Let’s start with highlights from the You Matter Manifesto. (1) You have influence through solving problems by contributing your genius in a new way. (2) Your insight can find original solutions if you have enough passion and don’t surrender to indulgence. (3) Your actions define your impact; you have a gift that others need. (4) Our presence is important, for we can realize that we matter in small encounters.
In concluding, Angela Maiers defines to matter as to be significant and relevant, as well as consequential and important—perhaps not locally, but elsewhere. Through the Internet, I was able to discover the persuasive and uplifting work of Angela Maiers and renew the defense of my philosophy of writing textbooks.
In “12 Ways to Let People Know They Matter,” Angela Maiers begins with a quote from the late Jackie Robinson, the baseball star. Robinson proclaimed, The measure of a life is its impact on others, rather than one’s accomplishments.” Maiers notes that those who simply believed in her made the biggest impact on her, not necessarily raved about her expertise or accomplishments. Once again, my analysis of her article will attempt to apply “you matter” to sustainability in composition.
Angela Maiers reveals that we ask, “Do I matter to you?” For the classroom, this implies we should allow a wide range of essay prompts and model essays for our students in our textbooks and assignments. In that we way, teachers show they really care about what the students are saying.
A great mattering question for the writer is, “What rocked your world (not necessarily today)?” Young kids ask out loud, “Is this okay?” Developing writers have the same feeling inside; they need encouragement. Cynicism sucks the life out of work, business, and people, according to Angela Maiers. For years, I have acquiesced to the cynic-supported fear that I should settle for only submitting my grammar chapter to a textbook publisher.
An open teacher/writer could be so inspired by his students’ wide ranging essays to include some as edited student essays in his/her textbook. Edited student essays turned chapter sections received the subtitle, “The Students Take Over,” in my textbook. It’s like talking nicely about the other in conversation shows what has been shared. Offering hope is as contagious as its opposite. Teachers can lift students above their circumstances or send them into a tailspin, cautions Mrs. Maiers.

Chapter Sections Published as Articles from my Developmental English/Writing Textbook (revised)

#
Chapter
Chapter Section Title
E-Journal Where Published
1
Preface
English Grammar & Writing Websites
Annotated Link Page
Academia.edu
https://www.academia.edu/1744436/English_Grammar_and_Writing_Annotated_Link_Page
2
Grammar
Big 4 Clusters of Commonly Confused Words
Lesson Plans Page
http://lessonplanspage.com/labigfourclustersofcommonlyconfusedhomonyms412mo-htm/
3
Grammar
Second Cluster of Commonly Confused Words
Lesson Plans Page
http://lessonplanspage.com/lamoreclustersofcommonlyconfusedhomonyms412mo-htm/
4
Grammar
Subject-Verb Agreement Module
Academia.edu/ Connexions http://legacy.cnx.org/content/m34353/latest/
The Learning Magazine
5
Introduction to Writing
Applying Psychological Type Theory to Writing
(Other English Skills)
Academia.edu (illustrated) Connexions
https://www.academia.edu/1744008/Applying_Psychological_Type_Theory_to_Writing
6
Descriptive
Vietnamese Dinners in East Dallas
Asian Correspondent
http://asiancorrespondent.com/32633/vietnamese-dinners-in-east-dallas/#
7
Persuasive
Reflections: What has Humbled, Impressed, and Sobered You about this Semester in Junior College?
Lesson Plans Page http://lessonplanspage.com/lassobamareflectionspersuasiveessaymodel1112mo-htm/
8
Compare-and Contrast
Before and After a Significant Event:
Becoming a Tejano Music Fan Improves my Spanish (with questions)
Academia.edu
https://www.academia.edu/1885403/Compare_and_Contrast_Essay_Before_and_After_a_Significant_Event–Becoming_a_Fan_of_Tejano_and_Other_Regional_Mexican_Music_Improves_my_Spanish
9
African-American Studies
Kwanzaa Summary & Reflections
Connexions/Academia.edu/KMI

Click to access 10587127.pdf


10
African-American Studies
Questions & Answers from the 1895 Atlanta Exposition Address by Booker T. Washington
Connexions
http://cnx.org/contents/998a3df5-a015-408b-9fdf-610c0242acc0@2/Questions_with_Answer_Key_for_
11
Appendix
Developmental English/Writing Final
Teachers-Pay-Teachers
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Developmental-EnglishWriting-Final-107532

Disputing Suicide Advocacy for the Sickly: A Model Essay in Developmental English Textbooks, by JD Meyer

“The Right to Die,” by Norman Cousins: Published by Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Cengage

Originally published by Joffre (JD) Meyer, Yahoo Contributor Network Nov 7, 2011. Voices.yahoo will end tomorrow; a footnote was added.

Wordsmith-a Developmental English/Writing textbook by Pamela Arlov at Pearson Higher Education-includes “The Right to Die,” by Norman Cousins as one of its model essays in the Argument (Persuasive)/Social Issues categories. This essay is about the suicide of Dr. Henry Van Dusen and his wife, Elizabeth. They had become increasingly feeble over the years and felt that their lives were being prolonged artificially beyond human dignity. Importantly, Dr. Van Dusen had been the president of Union Theological Seminary; he was a famous voice in American Protestant ethics for over a quarter century-hardly your typical case for suicide advocacy. The caption under the article’s title states, “Suicide is traditionally considered a tragedy, even a sin. Under certain circumstances, can it be considered a triumph over a slow and painful death?”

An Internet search shows how popular this article has become. McGraw-Hill offers the essay through Primis On-Line and Cornerstones. The Familiar Essay, by Mark R. Christensen includes “The Right to Die also through Cengage. Cyberessays reports that the states of Washington and Montana passed a Right to Die law in 2009.

Dr. Van Dusen left behind a brief note asking if the individual has the obligation to go on living when all beauty, meaning, and power of life are gone. Isn’t it a misuse of medical technology to keep the terminally ill alive when there are so many hungry mouths to feed? What if there’s nothing left to give or receive from life? Why should an unnatural form of living be considered better than an unnatural way of dying?

Exercising free will can mean suicide, according to Dr. Van Dusen. A call for the exercise of free will is quite common in philosophical and theological literature, and Dr. Van Dusen wrote on free will extensively during his career. Despair and pain weren’t given as reasons for The Van Dusens’ justifying of suicide.

Importantly, Norman Cousins admits that suicide is alien to the theological tradition of the Van Dusens, as it is in most cultures. However, no comment was made in this article about the kamikaze phase in World War II Japan or the current Islamic extremists. The Van Dusens regretted that their children and grandchildren may be saddened and not accept their decision. Yet Dr. Van Dusen believed that theologians and all of us should debate his case for suicide for the terminally sickly.

In concluding, Cousins asserts, “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. The unbearable tragedy is to live without dignity or sensitivity.”

My initial reaction to this essay was shock that assisted suicide for the sickly would be a topic in a Developmental English or College Composition course, as opposed to maybe an advanced medical ethics or philosophy course. I wouldn’t risk the appearance of trying to euthanize the grandparents of remedial students. Having a disability for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) myself makes me a bit squeamish when I hear a call for suicide of the chronically ill.

Once suicide is approved under these circumstances, the cases for acceptable suicide could become extended. What if one felt he or she was too poor to have a dignified existence? The extremely poor can earn as much as $1000/month. Maybe the chronically unemployed or those with a flawed background check could make a case for their own death too. An elderly neighbor feels that there are two unforgivable sins: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and suicide. Fortunately, the former seems like the most unlikely and esoteric possible form of swearing. My neighbor’s views are probably considerably more common than advocacy for suicide of the sickly.

On another note, adding mullein leaves (gordolobo) to my coffee pot this morning has helped my breathing far more than traditional medicine over the past week–including albuterol for my nebulizer, generic Mucinex, and prednisone. There were also some eucalyptus leaves and whole garlic pieces in that odd drip coffee bin, which had been ineffectual without the gordolobo. At least in Texas, you can buy a package of gordolobo or eucalyptus leaves for $1 each in the Mexican spice and herb section of the grocery store.

Later I stumbled upon a story about the later life of Norman Cousins (1915-1990) at http://www.happinessandlaughter.com/ Norman Cousins was the longtime editor of the Saturday Review and had received hundreds of wards, including the United Nations Peace Medal and nearly fifty honorary doctorate degrees. But in 1965, Cousins became very ill with ankylosing spondylitis, “a degenerative disease causing the breakdown of collagen.” It was believed that the writer would die within a few months, and he was almost completely paralyzed. But Cousins found a way to cure himself, not kill himself; he checked out of the hospital and started taking massive amounts of Vitamin C and watching funny movies! Cousins regained the use of his limbs and he returned to his full-time job at the Saturday Review. Cousins later wrote a book on his ordeal, Anatomy of an Illness in 1979. Thus Cousins chose life over suicide unlike Dr. Van Dusen. I’m glad that Earvin “Magic” Johnson chose life, as today is the twentieth anniversary of his announcement of retiring from pro basketball due to contracting the HIV virus.

Footnote: Originally, I wrote this article for Voices.yahoo, which is discontinuing its services as a citizen journalism website on July 31, 2014. At final count, my 38 articles gained 23,869 reads in roughly six years. This article represents revenge for being told never to disagree with anything in the textbook by a couple of short-lived bosses, as well as not to teach subject-verb agreement for indefinite plural pronouns (others, both, many, few, several) because Wordsmith omitted them. However, a few months before writing this article in early November 2011, I had sent an op-ed to a news station called, “Could Assisted Suicide Lower the Unemployment Rate?”
Fortunately, I changed my mind and have since gotten on Medicare & Medicaid–together with receiving housing assistance. Lately, I go to food banks instead of receiving Meals-on-Wheels. My Subject-Verb Agreement chapter section has received well over 9000 reads through Connexions of Rice University and my Academia.edu website. I’m a Twitter fanatic @bohemiotx with over 1400 followers and a member of two community organizations: East TX Human Needs Network (ETHNN)and the Community Health Worker (CHW) coalition…and hoping for a second career. I’ve never had more wonderful friends, and most of us see each other at Stanley’s Famous Bar-B-Q of Tyler–a regionally known place just two doors down from my apartment in the Hospital District, also known as Midtown.

College Composition Topics–Give Regional a Chance, an Issue of Sustainability–You Matter

Sustainability in composition marks the biggest paradigm shift in curriculum and instruction for composition since the multicultural revolution. Yet rather than supplant multiculturalism, sustainability links it to other movements, such as environmentalism–but with a broader meaning than is traditional. This op-ed will look at sustainability as concern for the students’ immediate environment. This means students and book authors can write about what matters to them in their environment; the “too regional” critique would no longer have merit. Note the subtitle, “Give Regional a Chance.” Yes, that’s a take-off of John Lennon’s famous song, “Give Peace a Chance.” Edited student essays can catch the public’s eye by expanding the range of model essays that answer the instructor/author’s prompts. I can personally attest to the new worlds that my students opened for me.

Derek Owens on Sustainability

Derek Owens (2001) expanded the definition of sustainability in his book, Composition and Sustainability–published by the Refiguring English Studies of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE). Check out the blog The Bookfish by Steve Mentz to read Owens’s book online. http://www.stevementz.com/blog/?p=355 Furthermore, ERIC provides a fine abstract for Composition and Sustainability too.

The Refiguring English Series “examines the role English should play in larger society and public policy.” https://secure.ncte.org/store/books/series/refiguring Sustainability has an inherent interdisciplinary style, such as public policy and sociology or marketing and philosophy. Among other things, it should expand the already wide range in human interest stories while maintaining relevance.

In the “Chameleon Vision” chapter, Owens defines sustainability as “meeting today’s needs without jeopardizing the well-being of future generations.” We collaborate with our environment and depend upon it. Therefore, sustainability includes simply allowing students to write about their environment–whether it’s that barbecue restaurant on the next block, their favorite rap or duranguense band, a hope for a gospel concert to come to town, or their favorite job as a tank driver. As you can see, the political connotations could be liberal,conservative, centrist or none at all. Owens asserts to let students think about stories that belong to them and want to preserve. Could he be asking our faculty, students, and textbook authors to think like anthropologists?

Here’s a chance to bring real students’ interests to the desk through fairness in topic choice. Check this website for a wide range of exciting essay prompts http://www.goodessaytopics.com/ This can mean no less than the difference between passing and failing in developmental courses. A boring or irrelevant cluster of composition prompts can alienate students–especially the marginal ones. English faculty function as “gatekeepers and catalysts,” according to Owens. Owens proclaims it’s time to get away from anthologies that remind one of a “greenhouse or wax museum for the same small number of species…Move outside the safety zone and bring in the outsider.” The freedom inherent in composition topic choice could lead to provocative inquiry and inspiration.

Maybe the composition or developmental English instructor would feel free to share their pop culture interests in such a liberated environment. In my case, I might start with the many careers of Bruce Dickinson, the Iron Maiden singer who flies commercial jets for a British airline, the Iron Maiden jet. He has written novels, hosted a BBC radio talk show, and did a documentary on tanks. Dickinson is a top fencer who has a line of fencing equipment. Most recently, Dickinson started his own brand of mail-order beer called “The Trooper” after the famous song. Lately, I’ve noticed that many of my model sentences are amusing–a factor that can increase textbook engagement.

On Branding

The state of brands and how they affect well-being was measured by media consultancy Havas Media. The study examined how people interact with businesses in a world full of crumbling institutions; a brand will stand apart from the crowd if it makes people’s lives better and more meaningful. Branding research has insights relevant to the sustainability in composition topic movement.

“What’s the trick to making a brand meaningful? Focus on outcomes, not outputs. The criteria, says Haque, are simple: “Did this brand make you fitter, wiser, smarter, closer? Did it improve your personal outcomes? Did it improve your community outcomes? Did it pollute the environment? We’re trying to get beyond “did this company make a slightly better product” to the more resonant, meaningful question: Did this brand actually impact your life in a tangible, lasting, and positive way?” http://www.fastcoexist.com/1678768/the-brands-that-survive-will-be-the-brands-that-make-life-better?partner=best_of_newsletter

#You Matter

Finally, Angela Maiers is a leader among educators on Twitter, and we have been mutual followers of each other for some time. Ms. Maiers of Iowa has introduced the hashtag #YouMatter to dialogue on education. What could show a student or an aspiring author that they matter more than allowing flexibility on topic choice? Plenty of essay prompts and the ensuing essays have the chance of making someone angry, whether teacher, student, or administrator. It could be due to political views, love or disdain for contemporary culture, appreciation or distaste for multicultural or regional topics, and “too controversial” to name a few. It’s really important for an instructor to provide a choice of essay prompts for the student. She is also a member of General Leadership, an e-journal founded by General John Michel–another Twitter associate.

Summary

To conclude, Owens notes the unique position of the composition instructor because of the freedom to explore. According to John Langan, the dean of Developmental English and Reading instructors, the purpose of writing is to inform, persuade, and entertain.The vast majority of courses have a set body of knowledge that the instructor must cover. Let’s allow our Composition and Developmental English/Writing students to report their world to their instructor and college itself. Branding research confirms the common sense observation that people want a meaningful product. Angela Maiers has developed #YouMatter into a philosophy of education through the primacy of acceptance–a close relative of sustainability. The arguments against regional topics appear more like censorship than a quest for a generic national prompt list.