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Reading Response Journal Assignment

Reading Response Journals (RRJs) are an informal space for you to explore the readings as well as your own reading
process. The first step to writing an RRJ is to read carefully, taking notes on the text as you go. RRJs should include the
following:

1. A brief summary of the chapters (5-8 sentences) including major events, characters, and important information about
setting (place and time).
 This section details Dana's attempt to get free papers. In the process, Rufus breaks his leg.
Dana, Kevin, and Nigel rush to his side to help him get up and keep moving. Rufus is outraged
to find out that Dana is married to Kevin, a white man. Dana must explain to him that her
marriage to Kevin is not illegal in California, where they are from. In addition, they must
explain that they come from a different time entirely. Rufus begs Dana to stay with him. Dana
comes to terms with the horrors of the time they are in and realizes she must deal with them
for as long as they are there.

2. Your response to the reading (5-8 sentences) including your opinions about and reaction to the assigned
chapters. This section is a place to think deeply about the book and the emotions and complex ideas it brings up for
you.

 Dana's need to help Rufus, even after he called her the n word, shows that she is a kind
person. This section made me realize that even in times of negativity, helping others is so
important. Though skin color brought up a great deal of controversy in the year 1819, Rufus
was able to ignore that fact that Dana was black and Kevin was white in order to get help
from them. He grew fond of Dana and did not want her to leave, which reminded me that
children are taught to hate another group of people, they are not born that way. Even today,
children learn hatred toward other people through the actions of those that raise them. If we
teach children to be kind, as kind as Dana, they will grow up to be kind, as well.

3. An explanation of your reading process. How did this week’s reading go for you? Discuss specific sections that
made you confused or questions that you have about the text. Point out strategies that helped you overcome
challenges in your reading. Respond to the following prompts to develop your ideas:
 This reading went well for me because ______
 The most challenging thing or parts were __________ because _________
 The strategies I used to figure things out included __________
 I remembered that earlier in the book __________
 This part of the text made me think of _________ from my other class or other text/reading.

 This reading went well for me because the material was enjoyable and the characters have a
lot to say.

 The most challenging thing or parts were reading Rufus' confusion to Dana revealing they are
from a different time and place because he is young and trying to imagine myself in his shoes
being told this story, I felt like he wanted more out of the experience.

 The strategies I used to figure things out included putting myself in Rufus' shoes to try and
understand how a person his age would take the information being presented to him.

4. 3‐ 5 “significant words” from this particular reading—words that you feel are important or give meaning to the chapter,
or that you have decided to learn to develop your academic vocabulary explain the significance of these words to
you or the text.
Insurance - Dana says she wants to take out some insurance to make sure that Rufus does not become
like his father. I found this significant because she sees that Rufus has the potential to be
negative like his father or be open-minded and understanding of things that may seem out of the
ordinary to him.
Human - Dana is seen as property in the year 1819 because of her skin color, but Humans are not
property. I found this significant because Dana was almost accepting of Rufus saying she belonged
to Kevin, even though she knew that she was much more than that.
Afraid - Kevin says he was afraid for Dana because if she was alone, she could be hurt by the
people. Dana had not even thought about it until he said it. This is significant because she was
not concerned for her safety - though she should've been - and Kevin did so because of how much he
cares for Dana.

5. 2 discussion questions. These should be open‐ended questions that could lead to an interesting conversation, not
fact‐based yes or no questions.

Type your discussion questions in the box

You will receive complete credit on every RRJ (20 points) by thoughtfully completing the 5 sections as described above,
looking at the rubric to check completeness, and by turning your RRJ in on time. The RRJs are a space for you to think
through the readings without having to worry too much about grammar, organization, and the other requirements of more
formal writing assignments. However, do follow basic rules such as capitalizing I and using appropriate language.