Attending to King and Alexie

Richard Miller and Ann Jurecic introduced us to seven “habits” that characterize the way a creative, or curious, mind takes something unfamiliar and makes it interesting. Attentiveness is one of those habits,  and as you read the pieces by King and Alexie, I’d like you to pay attention to specific details and the lessons both authors derive from them.

Both authors tell a story about learning to read or write, a genre known as the “literacy narrative.” We’ll begin sketching our own literacy narratives in the coming weeks, so use these examples to identify some of the structure and key attributes that distinguish this kind of story.

Pay attention to details: what are the specific moment(s) of literacy in King and in Alexie? Which details does the author recreate for his reader? Why those, or why are they important for the author?

Pay attention to the point/lesson/significance: where do King and Alexie make sense out of those moments? What’s the lesson, or lessons, they draw from that experience?


  1. Print out both pieces. As you read, use underlining/highlighting, brackets, circles, arrows (whatever you need to pick out details and notice patterns) and use the margins to write out notes, comments, and/or questions about the text. Your own written comments/questions are the most important.
  2. On your ePortfolio, write a two-three paragraph blog post (200-500 words) that reports on at least four annotations you made on the readings. Those are the notes/comments/questions you wrote in the margin.
  3. For each annotation, quote the relevant passage from King or Alexie, quote your note, and then explain what you were thinking when you wrote it, what you’re thinking now that you’re seeing it again. Basically, you want to make the connection for me between the passage you read and the comment you wrote.
  4. Take a picture of one of the pages you annotated and embed it into your post.