Some readings may be found online at mexingtonkentucky.wordpress.com or at the various websites linked in the class schedule below.


For purchase on Amazon (paper copy): $4.84

Living Out Loud: Our Stories, Our Struggles.


Shadows Then Light. (Free pdf)


Instagram (download as iPhone app)



A significant component of the course will entail becoming familiar with online resources to enhance the research of your academic compositions. You can expect to work independently, with partners, and with small groups of classmates to investigate, and share findings, as well as to practice and evaluate your project.


Tardiness, Attendance, Participation, and Late Work Policies

TARDIES: We meet at 3:30pm—not 3:40, not 3:50, and certainly not 4:30. I do not tolerate tardiness, and I find it disrespectful. If you have problems with the time commitment for this course, I suggest finding another section that better suits your schedule. Excessive tardiness will be noted and will affect your final grade.

ATTENDANCE: Attendance is mandatory. Class discussion depends on the entire class being present. Because this course meets two times a week, you are allowed three unexcused absences throughout the course. After that, your final grade will drop by one letter grade for each additional absence. Prolonged absences due to illness or absences due to having to attend a university sponsored event (athletics, theater, music, field trip) will be excused if you provide me with proper documentation from an appropriate authority. You are responsible for all work due for any missed class as well as for the readings and work for the following class. You are also responsible for any work covered during the class you missed. You should get the phone numbers of a couple of your classmates in case you miss a class. You can also contact me by e-mail.

PARTICIPATION: Students must participate actively in class. This is not a lecture course; it is a hands-on course where participation and interaction are required for learning and success. Participation means being a part of class (not checking e-mail, texting, playing games, doing homework for other classes). Be aware that grades for participation are not only based on how much you talk in class but also how respectful you are to your classmates, to me, and to your work.

LATE WORK: The assignments in this class build upon one another and culminate in your final research assignment. It is necessary for you, then, to complete each assignment before the next begins. Late or skipped assignments will seriously hinder this process. I RESERVE THE RIGHT NOT TO ACCEPT ASSIGNMENTS PUBLISHED LATE. That’s in bold and caps so you get my emphasis, de veras.  If you feel that you will not be able to make a deadline, or if you must miss class on the day the assignment is due, you must contact me in advance so we can work something out. If your assignment is not published by the time I get to where I ask you to publish it online, I will skip you in the grading and you will receive no points. Don’t take the chance my friends.


The research project is a term long, and it will be completed in three stages—assignments 1-3 and published as a WordPress website. Your assignments will focus on issues discussed in class, or your reflections responding to readings/documentaries/writing from the course. Three major assignments will form the core of your study. You can use your Instagram posts/images/videos to compose these assignments, but you must edit the pieces. Each assignment will be 500 words and published on your WordPress site.

Your assignments will be published on a site that will become an extended single text archived online. The revised larger project will develop with the additional information and insights you gain through your fieldwork as you become more familiar with the issues facing local Mexican communities. With a research assignment like this, you will be free to add information and observations gained over time instead of feeling that earlier assumptions and conclusions are set in stone. Use the readings in class and your instincts to guide your topic choice and how you connect all three assignments.

You will depend on your classmates, tutors in the Writing Center, and me as readers who will help you make decisions about how to present material and how best to interest your audience, but ultimately you will be the expert on your particular study of your chosen topic. You can spend a lot of time developing and revising, working on certain aspects of your writing, and all of this effort and expertise will be reflected in your final project and your grade. That means that your attention to revision and your awareness of your own work habits, strengths, and weaknesses will become a very important element of your writing process. Your final course grade will be based primarily on your participation, active blogging, and your community engagement.

Assignment 1: 2/5

Assignment 2: 3/5

Assignment 3: 4/2


Instagram Posts 

You will compose 200 Instagram posts for the semester. This will generate material for you to use for your formal assignments, as well as serve as a space for you to experiment with archiving your research. The dates for the sets of 50 posts are listed below.

IG Posts set 1:  1/22

IG Posts set 2:  1/30

IG Posts set 3:  2/19

IG Posts set 4:  3/12


Evaluation / Grading

The break-down of grading is as follows:

IG Posts:                       40 POINTS

Also archived on your blog (200 x 0.2 points each)

Compositions:           45 POINTS

Assignment 1              10 points

Assignment 2              15 points

Assignment 3               20 points

Participation               15 POINTS


Total                                     100 POINTS

Grade Equivalencies:

A         90-100

B         80-89

C         70-79

D         60-69

E          0-59


Section VI of the University of Kentucky Student Affairs Code states that all academic work‚ written or otherwise‚ submitted by students to their instructors or other academic supervisors‚ is expected to be the result of their own thought‚ research‚ or self–expression. See section 6.3.1; online at http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/Code/Section%20VI.pdf.

In cases where students feel unsure about a question of plagiarism involving their work‚ they are obliged to consult their instructors on the matter before submission. When students submit work purporting to be their own‚ but which in any way borrows ideas‚ organization‚ wording or anything else from another source without appropriate acknowledgment of the fact‚ the students are guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism includes reproducing someone else’s work‚ whether published or not. Evidence of plagiarism will be dealt with according to the university’s regulations.


The UK Writing Center tutors are trained to help you revise your writing. If you believe you need additional help with your writing, or if I ask you to set up a regular meeting with a tutor, you should make an appointment at least one week prior to when an assignment is due. You can also get online help by visiting the Writing Center. The Writing Center is located in W.T. Young Library, Room B 108B, in the Hub (lower level).

I offer one point of extra credit for each documented tutoring session you’ve attended. See me for details if interested.

Students with Special Needs

If you are registered with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and require special accommodations to complete the work for this course, you must produce a letter from the DRC that details what you need before I can grant you these accommodations. Special accommodations cannot be granted retroactively. This is a non-negotiable class policy. Please contact the DRC at 257-2754 if you have questions about your eligibility for special accommodations.


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