Friday, October 15, 2010

Shirt

Today in class we read Robert Pinsky's poem Shirt. (Wait for the play button to appear): Listen to Pinsky himself read the poem. Feel free to read the poem again several times on your own. It's surprisingly dense and makes some stunning imaginative leaps.

Remember:  your extra credit assignment is to:
  1. choose an article of clothing you were wearing today;
  2. determine the country of origin where the clothing was manufactured;
  3. investigate the working conditions in that area (feel free to use the web here, but also consult our expert librarians.  you might also consider interviewing people from the region or people who are familiar with the civil or labor situations in that country) — yes, even if the U.S.!
  4. determine U.S. trade agreements/restrictions with that country;
  5. relate your findings to the poem and to Frederick Douglass;
  6. write your investigative and imaginative findings in an original poem of your own, a dialogue, a short or an online multimedia creation — 2 page max — essay (on, say, the question of whether one can be free without being economically free), or by choosing some other genre to convey what you've learned.  You might take a tip from Pinsky and invent a character in order to relate part or all of what you have to say.

Of course it's complicated.  That's why it's called Extra Credit.  Remember this outside project is due Monday (though we will give you extra time if you have a plan for an idea you'd like to pursue by then). NOTE: Pinsky's poem appears below.

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