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Portfolio Options w/ Question Prompts Questions to consider when youre brainstorming your critical response* *DO NOT just

answer these questions in your critical response. Use these questions as a basis for finding a theme you want to explore in your critical response. Response- Option #1: Part I: Jennifer (DUE: Oct. 4) 1. What do the details in the section tell you about Jennifer? What do they tell you about her life at this time and her feelings about it? What do they tell you about her possible feelings about it now, looking back? a. Can a more general argument be made from Jennifers experiences as relayed in this section? If so, what might that argument be? 2. The memoir opens with a graphic description of Jennifers rape and the hours following it. What did you think of the decision to describe the crime in such detail? Why? What does this section of Picking Cotton demonstrate about how rape victims are handled immediately after the crime? Response- Option #2: Nature & Dallas Morning News Articles (DUE: Oct. 18)

Links: Dallas Morning News


http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/FACULTY/gwells/DallasMorningNewsShowups12oct2008_Rape_victim_studying_science_of_memory.pdf

Nature
http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080521/full/453442a.html 1. Later in Picking Cotton, it becomes clear that Jennifers memory of the events of her attack is faulty. What passages in this first part of the memoir foreshadow her awareness later on that her memories of the event are not reliable? What reasons do the Nature and the Dallas Morning News articles provide for her less-thanperfect recollections of the event? 2. What larger lessons can readers take from Jennifers part of the story? What lessons does it convey about memory and truth? About the concept of justice and about the justice system? 3. Based on the articles from Nature and Dallas Morning News, what do you think could have been done differently in the hours and days after the attack that might have made the process of identifying a suspect more effective and accurate? Additionally, what might have made the process less difficult for Jennifer? Response- Option #3: Part II: Ronald (DUE: Oct. 20) 1. In his discussion of his time in prison, Ronald writes, Put a man in a cage with beasts and throw away the key, and its usually not very long before the man is a beast himself. In what ways does this apply to Ronalds incarceration? What does Ronald do in order to prevent this outcome for himself? 2. After reading Ronalds account of prison and the articles from the New York Times, Time, and Visual Arts Research, what are your thoughts about changes to the prison system in the US? How might the prison system and/or the large criminal justice system be made more effective? Do you support the kinds of alternatives to traditional prisons and prison activities raised in these articles? Why or why not? Response- Option #4: Part III: Jennifer and Ronald (DUE: Oct. 20) 1. What role does the act of asking forgiveness play in the book? What about the act of granting forgiveness? Were you surprised that Jennifer asked to be forgiven for

her mistakes? If you were in her position, would you have asked? Why or why not? Were you surprised that Ronald chose to forgive her? If you were in his position, would you have been able to do so? Why or why not? 2. Jennifer writes of Ron, To say that we were friends just wasnt enough. How would you characterize Ronald and Jennifers friendship? What purposes does the friendship seem to serve in both their lives? In others lives?

Additional Portfolio Options w/o Question Prompts Response- Option#5: Jennifer & Ronald at South Texas College of Law (DUE Oct. 6) 1. View Jennifer and Ronalds talk at South Texas College of Law (available from Book TV/C-Span 2: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/285402-1 ) a. This talk was delivered at a law school to an audience of law students, lawyers, law school faculty, andperhaps most significantly in terms of what occurs in the Q&A portion of the videoother people who have been wrongly imprisoned and then exonerated. 2. Take notes on the talk as you are listening. 3. When attending a live event you must eventually summarize, it is important to take notes. Here are suggestions on what your notes might include: a. Themes that are repeated b. Audience mood change c. Any visual that strikes you during the talk d. Any spoken part (be it phrase or idea) that strikes you e. Your reaction Response- Option #6: Jennifer & Ronald at ECU (Wright Auditorium: 7pm on Tues., Oct. 4) 1. Attend event and take notes. 2. Consider the audience: a. How does it differ from the audience at the South Texas College of Law? 3. Remember to take notes on the event. Use the note suggestions listed above.