Not much to say about the MWF class today -- we didn't really talk about race so much. Instead, we discussed the diagnostic essays that they did on the second day. Our discussion focused on basic elements that good essays have -- such as a point/ argument and then supporting evidence/ discussion. We also covered the "fun stuff" like basic types of grammatical problems and writing style issues (tone, wordiness, etc). I didn't think this would take the entire class but these folks had lots of questions and we had a good time! Afterwards, we spent the rest of the class on logistical concerns -- I needed to make sure everyone was comfortable with using our class web site and I wanted them to respond to the first writing prompt I posted (mostly to make sure that they get the idea of posting comments!). And that's it! A writing intensive day!
As a researcher, I am now trying to "code" their diagnostic essays (I made copies of all of them) -- I am surprised -- and delighted -- that most of them seem thoughtful on the issue of race and are expressing no resentment or hostility about the topic yet. But the semester is young, I suppose! (and I haven't done the essays from the Monday evening class yet!) :D