Transience Essay What are your first steps in starting an essay?



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Transience Essay

What are your first steps in starting an essay?

  • What are your first steps in starting an essay?
  • Analyze the question/prompt
  • Answer the prompt/thesis statement
  • Outlines?

Steam rose from my teammate’s shoulders as we stepped off the ice. I could smell the sour stink of his gloves. As we walked into the hot, humid locker room, I could hear the tearing sound of tape, as guys unrolled athletic tape from their shins and wrists. Not one person spoke, until I took off my helmet, rose, and addressed my teammates.

  • Steam rose from my teammate’s shoulders as we stepped off the ice. I could smell the sour stink of his gloves. As we walked into the hot, humid locker room, I could hear the tearing sound of tape, as guys unrolled athletic tape from their shins and wrists. Not one person spoke, until I took off my helmet, rose, and addressed my teammates.
    • “I want to say something to you guys,” I said.
    • The guys stopped taking off their velcro straps from their shoulder pads.
    • “I’m proud of being your teammate,” I said.
  • I wasn’t able to finish, as I sat back down and buried my face in my hands, sobbing, realizing how quickly my career in hockey ended. I had started with rollerblades at a park, then I lifted weights, went to hockey camps, did plyometrics, windsprints, overspeed training, and all of it funneled into this moment, where it all came to an end so quickly.
  • A woman and her pack of children are stomping their feet and using their hands on their faces as megaphones, booing at me as I hunch at the free throw line, wiping the sweat off my forehead using my jersey. The clock says 30 seconds remaining. Although I’m exhausted, my feet pounding in pain and my thighs burning, I feel as if the game passed by in a snap.

Experiences

  • What experiences have you had with transience? Write a scene (using sensory details).
  • How have you responded to transience? Fear or wonder or something else?
  • Why? Write more than one sentence.

How do you feel?

  • On a separate sheet of paper, answer the following questions.
  • How long do you think you will live?
  • What objects in the world last longer than this amount of time?
  • How does this make you feel?

How do you feel?

  • This clean-wipes canister will live longer than you. Your toaster will live longer than you. Your frying pan will live longer than you. How do you feel, knowing how quickly time passes?
  • For example: I feel joy and celebration knowing how short life is, because it forces me to pay attention and be grateful for every second of my life.
  • Or: I feel terror and loneliness from knowing how short time is. What is the point of life if it all gets taken away at the end? To me, this short life of 70-75 years is not enough, and knowing that it all comes to an end makes me feel helpless and lonely.

Introductions

  • You are making a first impression. What do you do when first meeting someone you want to like you? Charm? Humor? Sincerity?
  • Writing is a social act.

Introduction

  • Anecdotal using Scene
  • Rhetorical Question
  • Interesting Factual statement
  • COLLECT NOTES on these moves.

Introductions

  • Write an introduction for each “move.”
  • Anecdotal using scene
  • Rhetorical question-then context
  • Interesting statement of fact

Introductions

  • Rhetorical Question
    • First sentence grabs reader’s attention and asks a rhetorical question.
    • Rest of introduction talks about the “who”, “what”, “where” of argument.
    • Who: Us, a moth, any object having transience
    • What: Transience
    • Where: Earth, the heavens, your backyard.

Introductions

  • Examples:
    • “How should one respond, knowing that their toaster would outlive them?”
    • “Does a moth, who lives for one day, fully live life?”
    • “How should one respond knowing that a canister of clean-wipes outlives them?”
    • Write your own.

Introductions

  • Rhetorical Question
    • who, what, where of argument.
    • Who: Moth, people.
    • What: Transience
    • Where: Living rooms, kitchens.

Introductions

  • Rhetorical Question
  • How should one respond, knowing that their toaster would outlive them? As I stand in my kitchen, my elbows on the counter, staring at my toaster, I see my reflection (who, where). I see how these eyes, these teeth, these ears will turn to dust, to nothing, to transience (what). THESIS:
    • who, what, where of argument.
    • Who: Moth, people.
    • What: Transience
    • Where: Living rooms, kitchens.

Now

  • Take out a piece of paper. Label it “Thesis.”
  • Take out another piece of paper. Label it “Statement of fact introduction.”

Write this on your “Thesis” paper.

  • Driving Question for Thesis: How should we respond to our transience? With terror and anxiety, or with hope and wonder?
  • When realizing our own transience, we should respond with hope and wonder.

10/31/2012

  • Take out the “TRANSIENCE” packet.

Write this on your “Thesis” paper.

  • Driving Question for Thesis: How should we respond to our transience? With terror and anxiety, or with hope and wonder?
  • Answer the prompt with your thesis.
  • Example: We should celebrate our short lives from the cradle to the grave as an experience to cherish in all of its splendor.

Introductions

  • Interesting Statement of Fact
    • Start introduction with a compelling fact.
    • Tone of introduction is factual, objective, and scientific.
    • Writer is telling reader, “I’m not messing with feelings. It’s all facts, baby.”
    • Good for writing that is heavily leaning on logic
      • Research papers
      • Science writing

Thesis

  • Turn in your thesis in the back tray.

Introductions

  • Take out ANOTHER piece of paper.
  • Write “interesting fact” on this paper.

Introductions

  • Interesting Statement of Fact
  • Look up an interesting fact about time:
  • Winged adult moths live for one week.
  • Once the adult house fly hatches from the pupal stage, it has an approximate life span of 15 to 30 days. Females are able to start producing eggs after two days of life and will continue to lay eggs for about a month.
  • The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy 100,000-120,000 light-years in diameter containing 200–400 billion stars. Depending on its structure the entire galaxy has a rotational rate of once every 15 to 50 million years. The Milky Way is estimated to be about 13.2 billion years old, nearly as old as the Universe.
  • Michael Jackson’s face will last 1,200 years buried under the earth.

Transience Essay

  • Take out:
  • “Clocks” by Tommy Kim
  • Aubade” by Philip Larkin
  • “Pensees” by Blaise Pascal
  • “Encounter” by Czeslaw Milosz
  • The thesis/statement of fact introduction you wrote the previous day.
  • (Extra Fun! Vocabulary: Doltish, Asinine, Moronic, Vapid)

Transience Essay

  • If you FULLY understand the process we covered yesterday, of writing a thesis and introduction, raise your hand.
  • If yesterday’s process was UNCLEAR, just sit tight, and we will kick some ______!
  • We will have 10 minutes to explain.

Introductions

  • Start first sentence with interesting fact
    • The Milky Way is estimated to be about 13.2 billion years old, nearly as old as the Universe. If you subtract 13.2 billion by 70, which is the average life span of a man (WHO), the numbers don’t move. Our lives are but tiny dust specks, not affecting the universe, here one day and gone the next. (Transition from intro to thesis) We are transient, living creatures (WHAT), in our kitchens and living rooms (WHERE), whose reaction to the vast 13.2 billion can be either terror or wonder. (Then slap on your thesis).
    • Who, what, where of argument.
    • Who: People, beings, living creatures
    • What: Transience
    • Where: Living rooms, kitchens, schools, anywhere!

Introductions

  • BIG, contentious statement (usually funny)
    • Start introduction with loud-mouth statement.
    • Humor is needed or else you sound like a jerk.
    • You win argument by showing silliness of it all
    • Persuades by satire, entertainment

Introduction

  • Scene
    • Use 3 out of the 5 senses
    • Quickest way to emotionally convince the reader
    • Pure storytelling
    • Mr. Kim is nuts about this one. But you should learn other techniques.
  • Who, what, where of argument.
    • Who: People, beings, living creatures
    • What: Transience
    • Where: Living rooms, kitchens, schools, anywhere!

Introduction

  • Take out a piece of paper.
  • Label it “Scene Introduction.”

Introduction

  • Turn in “Scene Introduction” in the back tray.

Introduction

  • Scene: Write 3 sensory details about a time you felt transience. When you felt like your life seemed short:
    • EXAMPLE: MR. KIM: WHEN HE CAMPED AT JOSHUA TREE UNDER THE ROOF OF STARS AT NIGHT.
    • 3 SENSORY DETAILS
    • The intense light from the dense cluster of stars.
    • The sky purple, rose, indigo.
    • The smell of cold, dry desert wind, of dry rocks and dust.

Introduction

  • Scene: Write 3 sensory details.
  • I arrived at Joshua Tree National Park in the evening. I felt lost during that time, as if my life was a boat without a rudder, floating and drifting. I parked my car on the dirt clearing and put on my jacket. I rolled onto the hood, lying on my back, and I gazed up at the intense light from the dense cluster of stars. The sky was purple, rose and indigo, a palette of colors. The smell of cold, dry desert (WHERE) wind, of dry rocks and dust washed over my face. The hood of the car was warm on my back. As I looked up, I (WHO) couldn’t help feel so small and insignificant, as if the duration of my life (WHAT) were simply a clock hand moving a millimeter. I felt small, but my reaction to this smallness was surprisingly lightness. I felt a strange wonder looking up at that star splashed universe. (TRANSITION TO THESIS) This feeling was also felt by writers.
  • Who, what, where of argument.
    • Who: People, beings, living creatures
    • What: Transience
    • Where: Living rooms, kitchens, schools, anywhere!

Introduction

  • Write your thesis after each of your introductions: Scene, Rhetorical Question, Factual Statement.
    • Example:
    • I arrived at Joshua Tree National Park in the evening. I felt lost during that time in my life, as if I were a boat without a rudder, floating and drifting in the sea of conflicts in my life. I parked my car on the dirt clearing and put on my jacket. I rolled onto the hood, lying on my back, and I gazed up at the intense light from the dense cluster of stars. The sky was purple, rose and indigo, a palette of colors. The smell of cold, dry desert wind, of dry rocks and dust washed over my face. The hood of the car was warm on my back. As I looked up, I couldn’t help feel so small and insignificant, as if the duration of my life were simply a clock hand moving a millimeter. I felt small, my time here on earth too short, but my reaction to this smallness was surprisingly lightness. I felt a strange wonder looking up at that star splashed universe. But I wasn’t alone in feeling this response. In the essay “The Death of the Moth” by Virginia Woolf and the poem “Encounter” by Czeslaw Milosz, both writers argue that our transience is an occasion for wonder and celebration, our short lives from the cradle to the grave an experience to cherish in all of its splendor. I find this assertion to be true.

Introduction

  • Read your introductions to a partner. Choose your favorite one.

In groups of 2:

  • In groups of 2:
  • Take out two pieces of paper
  • Hamburger Hot Dog your papers.
  • Read each person’s introductions.
  • Critique the following items for each introduction:
      • Transition from introduction to thesis
      • Presence of: WHO-WHAT-WHERE
  • 5. Vote for each partner’s best introduction on center diamond.
    • For full credit, you must turn in all reviews.

Hamburger Hotdog Paper

  • Writer’s Name: Tommy Kim
  • Rhetorical Question Introduction:
  • Statement of Fact Introduction:
  • Scene Introduction:
  • Reviewed By: Brendon Wydra
  • Favorite

Introduction

  • Note the following items for each introduction:
  • Is the “who-what-where” of the argument present?
  • Do the sentences following the first sentence flow properly? In other words, is the sentence after the rhetorical question relevant or just wacky?
  • Is the transition from introduction to the thesis smooth? Or does it need a transition word/phrase?
  • Is there even a thesis with “F.A.T.T.”?
  • YOU MUST ADDRESS ALL 4 OF THESE ITEMS FOR EACH INTRODUCTION, “RHETORICAL QUESTION, STATEMENT OF FACT AND SCENE” IN ORDER TO GET FULL CREDIT.

Hamburger Hotdog Paper

  • Writer’s Name: Tommy Kim
  • Rhetorical Question Introduction
  • -First line is a great hook, interesting.
  • -Second sentence didn’t quite make sense with first sentence.
  • -Third sentence didn’t stay on topic from first sentence.
  • -Transition from intro to thesis was rough and wasn’t smooth.
  • Statement of Fact Introduction
  • -First sentence was interesting, and made me want to read more.
  • -The WHO, WHAT, WHERE were clear and dead-on.
  • -Transition from intro to thesis was smooth, expert, and professional gangsta.
  • Scene Introduction
  • -Sensory details were strong. Made me want to eat the paper.
  • -Sense of place was like reality TV
  • -Transition from scene into thesis was rougher than driving without wheels. Needs to use more transitional words.
  • Reviewed By: Brendon Wydra
  • Favorite: Statement of Fact Introduction

Outline (Do Steve Jobs Assignment)

  • Choose two quotes to support your thesis.

Finding Quotes to support your thesis

  • Take out a piece of paper.
  • Hamburger-Hotdog a regular piece of paper.
  • Write your thesis in the middle diamond.
  • Choose two quotes to support your thesis on the two halves.

Hamburger Hotdog Paper

  • Writer’s Name: Tommy Kim
  • Quote #1
  • Author: Virginia Woolf
  • Title: “The Death of the Moth”
  • Say: Watching him, it seemed as if a fibre, very thin but pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body. As often as he crossed the pane, I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. He was little or nothing but life… As I looked at the dead moth, this minute wayside triumph of so great a force over so mean an antagonist filled me with wonder. (Page Number )
  • Quote #2
  • Author: Czeslaw Milosz
  • Title: “Encounter”
  • Say: That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive, Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.
  •  
  • O my love, where are they, where are they going. The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles. I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder. (1)
  • Quote #2 -- Counterargument
  • Author: Philip Larkin
  • Title: “Encounter”
  • Transience is an occasion for wonder and celebration, our short lives from the cradle to the grave an experience to cherish in all of its splendor.

Underline and number each move:

  • “If good things lasted forever, would we appreciate how precious they are?” 

Counterargument Essay Moves

  • Transition into thesis
  • Thesis Paragraph #1
  • Introduction to quote
  • Say #1
  • Mean#1
  • Matter#1 Paragraph #2
  • Transition from matter #1 to next paragraph
  • Introduction to quote (Moves 7 & 8 could be the same sentence)
  • Say #2
  • Mean#2
  • Matter#2 Paragraph #3
  • Transition from matter #2 to next paragraph
  • Introduce counterargument quote (Moves 12 & 13 could be the same sentence)
  • Say #3 (Counterargument)
  • Mean#3
  • Matter#3 (Introduce THE UNTOLD) Paragraph #4
  • Transition into last paragraph
  • Restatement of thesis
  • Connect thesis to original fact, scene, opinion or the rest of the world Paragraph #5

Thesis: Our transience is an occassion for terror and anxiety.

  • Quote #1
  • Say: “Have always known, know that we can’t escape
  • Yet we can’t accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones couch, getting ready to ring in locked offices.”
  • Mean (What does the quote “mean”?):
  • This quote claims that death is inescapable, that death cannot be influenced by any of us.
  • MATTER (How does this matter to the thesis?):
  • Ultimately, we are powerless against this fate of death, and we have no say on our life-clocks. In other words it’s like watching a man stand on a beach, numb, still, as the tsunami of death begins to consume him, and this shared fate can only bring terror into our lives.

Thesis: Transience inspires fear and terror, because death is indubitable, and we cannot escape the vise of our fate.

  • Quote #1
  • Say: “Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
  • That this is what we fear, no sight, no sound
  • No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with
  • Nothing to love or link with.”
  • Mean (What does the quote “mean”?):
  • This quote by Larkin implies that we are scared of death because we have never experienced, and we don’t know what to expect.
  • MATTER (How does this matter to the thesis?):
  • Ultimately he is correct because the cold touch of death is unescapable. The image of nothing, of darkness without “taste or smell” is terrifying because it cannot even be imagined.

Thesis: Answer to a Question

  • Quote #1
  • Say: “Watching him, it seemed as if a fibre, very thin but pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body. As often as he crossed the pane, I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. He was little or nothing but life… As I looked at the dead moth, this minute wayside triumph of so great a force over so mean an antagonist filled me with wonder. ”
  • Mean:
  • Woolf explains how fragile life for this moth is, and how quickly its life could be taken regardless of the moth’s efforts. Death is not opportunistic. Life vanishes.
  • MATTER:
  • In this case, Woolf finds a “thin but pure” thread that exalts this moth into more than a pathetic insect swallowed by transience. Even though the moth’s life is small, its being is vital, full of mystery. Woolf then extends this minute death as an occasion to gaze longer, using the moth as an analogue to look at one’s own life with just as much attention, noticing the flitting seconds pass with wonder.

Hamburger Hotdog Paper

  • Writer’s Name: Tommy Kim
  • Quote #1
  • Author: Tommy Kim
  • Title: “Clocks”
  • Say: Watching him, it seemed as if a fibre, very thin but pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body. As often as he crossed the pane, I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. He was little or nothing but life… As I looked at the dead moth, this minute wayside triumph of so great a force over so mean an antagonist filled me with wonder. (Page Number )
  • Quote #2
  • Author: Czeslaw Milosz
  • Title: “Encounter”
  • Say: That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive, Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.
  •  
  • O my love, where are they, where are they going. The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles. I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder. (1)
  • Mean: Woolf explains how fragile life for this moth is, and how quickly its life could be taken regardless of the moth’s efforts. Death is not opportunistic. Life vanishes.
  • Matter: In this case, Woolf finds a “thin but pure” thread that exalts this moth into more than a pathetic insect swallowed by transience. Even though the moth’s life is small, its being is vital, full of mystery. Woolf then extends this minute death as an occasion to gaze longer, using the moth as an analogue to look at one’s own life with just as much attention, noticing the flitting seconds pass with wonder.
  • Mean: In these stanzas Milosz presents two transient images of a person accompanying him on a cart ride and a hare, a moment that had passed uneventfully.
  •  
  • Matter: In other words, through the poem, he seizes time, recalling those flitting moments of the past and holding them up to be gazed at, allowing them to become objects of beauty and wonder. The small ration of time we are given do not create “sorrow” for Milosz. In fact, Milosz uses these two brief images of transience as open displays of wonder.
  • Thesis: We should celebrate our short lives from the cradle
  • to the grave as an experience to cherish in all of its
  • splendor.

Introduction

  • Write your thesis and transition into your thesis after your favorite introduction:
    • Example:
    • I arrived at Joshua Tree National Park in the evening. I felt lost during that time in my life, as if I were a boat without a rudder, floating and drifting in the sea of conflicts in my life. I parked my car on the dirt clearing and put on my jacket. I rolled onto the hood, lying on my back, and I gazed up at the intense light from the dense cluster of stars. The sky was purple, rose and indigo, a palette of colors. The smell of cold, dry desert wind, of dry rocks and dust washed over my face. The hood of the car was warm on my back. As I looked up, I couldn’t help feel so small and insignificant, as if the duration of my life were simply a clock hand moving a millimeter. I felt small, my time here on earth too short, but my reaction to this smallness was surprisingly lightness. I felt a strange wonder looking up at that star splashed universe. (Move #1) But I wasn’t alone in feeling this response. (Move #2) In the essay “Clocks” by Tommy Kim and the poem “Encounter” by Czeslaw Milosz, both writers argue that our transience is an occasion for wonder and celebration, our short lives from the cradle to the grave an experience to cherish in all of its splendor. I find this assertion to be true.

Introduction

  • Take out the essay “Clocks” by Tommy Kim.

Introduction

  • Writing can be reduced to a series of moves. Let’s see what kind of moves Mr. Kim has!

Move #1 and 2

  • Write your thesis after your transition into your thesis.
    • Example:
  • I’m lying in bed, in the dark, and all I hear is the soft traffic in the background. The cars passing sound like distant surf. My windows are black, and I can’t see. The red digits of my digital clock hasn’t changed. I lie in agony awaiting for the piercing sound of the alarm clock to haunt my sleepless night. The thought of death keeps running constantly through my head, wondering if anybody will remember me or miss me. (Move #1) This feeling of transience can be a celebration, even in the face of eminent death. (Move #2) We should celebrate our short lives from the cradle to the grave as an experience to cherish in all of its splendor.

MOVE #3, PARAGRAPH #2!

  • Introduce quote “move”
  • Use the following templates:
    • Pascal was a writer obsessed with the idea of our transience. In his essay, he states, “(Quote)”.
    • Mr. Kim, an unbelievably amazing teacher working at Birmingham, artistically represents this idea of transience in his essay, “Clocks.” “(Quote)”.
    • Milosz was a writer whose attitude toward our transience was beautifully represented in his poem. “(Quote)”.
    • Larkin was a writer obsessed with his own death, his own transience, and it shows in his poem, “Aubade.” “(Quote)”

Move #4 - 6

  • (Move # 4) O my love, where are they, where are they going The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles. I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder (Milosz 1).
  • (Move # 5) In this passage, Milosz explains how two transient images of a person accompanying him on a cart ride and a hare passed quickly. (Move # 6) In other words, through the poem, he seizes time close to his chest, recalling those flitting moments of the past and holding them up to be gazed at, allowing them to become objects of beauty and wonder. The small ration of time we are given do not create “sorrow” for Milosz. In fact, Milosz uses these two brief images of transience as open displays of wonder.

Move #7 & 8

  • Transition “move” into paragraph #3
  • Use the following template:
  • Not only does (Writer#1) highlight_____________,
  • (Writer #2)also emphasizes how___________.

Paragraph #3: Moves 9-11

  • Move 9 (Say): I am swept with the infinite tides of time, yet this awareness intensifies the blood pumping through my capillaries, arteries, veins, allows me to feel the cool, dry air entering my lungs. My body becomes a repository for time, and I exhale, feeling the air escape, celebrating the new breath.
  • Move 10 (Mean) Kim explains how his own transience allows him to have a hyper awareness of his own body, allowing him to feel reality with an intensity that overwhelms him, allowing beauty to enter his life. Move 11 (Matter) In this case, Kim reacts with hope and wonder to an event heavy and inevitable as death, an event that would have most people afraid. Paying attention to your own transience can have this type of power over your life.

Paragraph #4: Moves 12-13

  • Although many writers take the optimistic view of transience, there are some writers who take a darker view. Philip Larkin did not celebrate the inevitable experience we all share, and in fact wrote with the burden of dread, as exemplified in his poem, “Aubade.” “But at the total emptiness for ever/ The sure extinction that we travel to/And shall be lost/ in always./ Not to be here,/ Not to be anywhere,/ And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.”
  • Mean:
  • Matter: In this case one might say(Downplay quote) ,however, if one analyzes the situation more deeply, this example is misleading because, (bring in the “unmentioned”)_.

Paragraph #4: Moves 12-13

  • (Writer #1 & 2) had deep (Describe how writer #2 felt about transience) beliefs about transience. They felt the same way I did when (Mention your scene…should be at least 2 sentences). Ultimately, transience should be responded with (terror and anxiety/wonder and curiosity), because in the end, we are all transient ((Use an image with sensory detail) like the shadow of a bird, rippling across our face 

Essay Rubric

  • If you are finished, turn in the following, stapled:
    • Your Essay
    • The rubric, graded by your partner (attach the paper your partner WROTE on)

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