Read the assigned readings for Friday, found in Week 4 Readings. Three of the readings are very short stories (some just a few pages long) from the same collection, published last year by professors at FIU. The other is the Metropolitan Diary, which is a page in the NYT where New Yorkers publish stories about the most “New York” things that happened to them–pick any 3 Metropolitan Diaries to read.
I want you to read through these texts carefully to get a sense of how these writers write about their cities.
a) Write a paragraph about the 3 stories about Miami. Which did you connect with most and why? The 3 stories about Miami all have very different moods–which story’s mood did you connect with most? Which most clearly portrayed the Miami you know? Which one had clearest imagery? What do you think the stories share in common? How do they portray Miami? Use examples to indicate that you read the stories.
b) Then write a short paragraph explaining which Metropolitan Diaries you read and what they showed about New York. What are those stories like? What stands about to you about the three you read?
Your answer to Part 1 should be at least 300 words long.
Then, write your own Metropolitan Diary! In other words, tell us a story about living in Miami. Your story should tell us something that happened to you that feels “so Miami” or something that might make the listener think: “only in Miami.” (Or, if you aren’t in Miami, but somewhere in Broward or similar, you can pick a story that, to you, represents that city.) The story must be something that is about living in a major city (in other words, it shouldn’t be about nature, like the Everglades). Your story should be at least 250 words long. It can contain dialogue, if you want. Do provide vivid details – enough to help us envision the scene.
It should also be a true story. Remember, this isn’t a creative writing class, but rather a class where we reflect on our relationship to the spaces we inhabit; this assignment is an opportunity to show us one way to see Miami, by telling us something that happened to you here. What’s one story that reveals Miami’s character to people who have never been here? Or, what’s one story that reveals what it’s like for you to live here? This can be a story from the recent past (last week) or you can reach back even further (5 years ago, 10 years ago, or more).
Resist the urge to tell the story in a rambling, stream-of-consciousness way. Carefully edit the story so that it is clear and easy to follow. This is a composition course, after all!
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