Only you can prevent

....werewolf expository writing. My youngest writes home after the first week of second semester:

It turns out that every Expository Writing prof. has a different
theme for their class, which I didn't know when I registered. My class was
all about werewolves, so I dropped it. We would have had to read four books
about werewolves. Some of the other classes looked really cool, so I'll take
it some other time.

This is my favorite method of teaching and learning, but I can understand his not wanting to read four books about werewolves. I love getting students to examine a subject from every dimension and in every medium.

Warren Zevon's Excitable Boy album has the classic howling "Werewolves in London"

I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's... his hair was perfect...

How cool! A global Wikipedia-style critique of tiki bars! Critiki I have only one Trader Vic's on my life list. When I went to the King Tut exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute in the summer of 1977, I had a pina colada at the Trader Vic's in the Palmer House.

Sent my middle son a "Mike's Pirate School" t-shirt to wear on his European wanderings. Texas Tech's Red Raider football coach, Mike Leach, is totally into pirates, and relates that interest to coaching. Oh, my gosh. I get recharged thinking about a Pirate School style of teaching!

New York Times Magazine, December 4, 2005
Coach Leach Goes Deep, Very Deep

''Your body is your sword. Swing your sword.''

Each off-season, Leach picks something he is curious about and learns as much as he can about it: Geronimo, Daniel Boone, whales, chimpanzees, grizzly bears, Jackson Pollock. The list goes on, and if you can find the common thread, you are a step ahead of his football players. One year, he studied pirates. When he learned that a pirate ship was a functional democracy; that pirates disciplined themselves; that, loathed by others, they nevertheless found ways to work together, the pirate ship became a metaphor for his football team. Last year, after a loss to Texas A.&M. in overtime, Leach hauled the team into the conference room on Sunday morning and delivered a three-hour lecture on the history of pirates. Leach read from his favorite pirate history, ''Under the Black Flag,'' by David Cordingly (the passages about homosexuality on pirate ships had been crossed out). The analogy to football held up for a few minutes, but after a bit, it was clear that Coach Leach was just . . . talking about pirates. The quarterback Cody Hodges says of his coach: ''You learn not to ask questions. If you ask questions, it just goes on longer.''
Hodges knows -- the players all do -- that their coach is a walking parenthesis, without a companion to bracket his stray thoughts. They suspect, but aren't certain, that his wide-ranging curiosity benefits their offense. Of all the things motivating Texas Tech to beat Texas A.&M. this night, however, the keenest may have been the desire to avoid another lecture about pirates. Even now, their beloved coach had his left arm in the air, wielding his imaginary sword.


NPR's Bailey White coaches much younger students--first graders--to read with the bait of the Titanic disaster. She writes about it in the "Maritime Disasters" chapter of Mama Makes Up Her Mind.

Learning is about seizing the imagination and challenging students to push themselves up to the next level. Two of my sons had a wonderful first grade teacher pushing them to read so they could move up to "Hank the Cowdog"! Wherever Miss Sacone is now, I send her my thanks!

1584, from Gk. lykanthropia, from lykos "wolf" + anthropos "man." Originally a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a wolf; applied to actual transformations of persons (esp. witches) into wolves since 1830 (see werewolf).

late O.E. werewulf "person with the power to turn into a wolf," from wer "man" + wulf (see wolf; also see here for a short discussion of the mythology). The first element probably is from PIE *uiHro "freeman" (cf. Skt. vira-, Lith. vyras, L. vir, O.Ir. fer, Goth. wair). Cf. M.Du. weerwolf, O.H.G. werwolf, Swed. varulf. In the ancient Persian calendar, the eighth month (October-November) was Varkazana-, lit. "(Month of the) Wolf-Men."

Department of English Language and Literature
English 220.006 Expository Writing

MWF 1200-1250
MH 217
Legends of the Wer Wolf
Why have wolves and werewolves fascinated many cultures throughout history? Why does the myth about lycanthropes fascinate the human culture still? What is it about the symbol of the wolf, both as a symbol of evil, war, and lust and as a symbol of dawn, light, and protection that attracts people continuously throughout the ages?

We will trace humankind's belief in the werewolf through selections of such ancient and modern myths and texts as: the Greek myth that Zeus turned King Lycaon of Arcadia into a wolf, thus originating the term Lycantrhope; Shakespeare's contemporary John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, depicting lycanthropy as a pathological condition of melancholia and delirium; the Franciscan text, Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches) used during the Inquisition; Blackfeet, Pawnee, and Cheyenne wolf stories, which depict the ability to shape-shift into a wolf as a powerful responsibility; and 1933 Guy Endore's The Werewolf of Paris-- the counterpart to Bram Stoker's Dracula; the 2005 illustrated novel Cry Wolf by Douglas Crill; and much more.
This will be a writing intensive course. We will write journal entries every week to help us explore how to write about the function of werewolf outsider narratives in different cultures. We will write a creative narrative about our own perceptions or experiences with marginalization. We will write four short essays critiquing the cultural constructions of the symbolic wolf-man as the outsider or “other.” In these shorter essays we will learn how to incorporate secondary critical texts with our own ideas and arguments, thereby expanding our knowledge of writing research papers. We will learn how to analyze and argue with and against the grain in our primary and secondary texts. We will engage in the draft writing process, revising and expanding our four shorter essays into four longer ones in order to master the rules and structure of the closed form, academic essay.

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