short writing assignment
Context for this writing assignment
Marcel Prousts madeleine is one of the most famous examples of the way food evokes memory. In his case, the taste triggered an involuntary memory of his childhood in Combray–but even beyond reminding him of the place, the madeleine brought him to a very specific feeling.
The connections between memory and food have long interested thinkers. How do you connect them?
Following Prousts meditation, think of how food links to memory for you. Select an example of an experience or memory related to food or eating that holds some kind of meaning. Compose a 2-page piece of writing that describes this connection. The food and the memory may be extraordinary or mundane–it doesnt matter. What does matter is that you can explain what is meaningful about the connection. Use this writing piece to convey this meaningfulness to a reader who is, as yet, unfamiliar with you. You are free to be as explicit or implicit as you like in your reflection, so long as you are detailed in expressing your ideas.
Start your writing with a brief reference to Proust to establish the context for your writing. You might mention the madeleine as an example of a certain experience of memory, and then introduce your own experience as similar, different, or a little of both. Then move to describe your experience and what sort of meaning it holds.
The structure for this assignment is open–you may choose to use a thesis-like statement that states directly what your experience is, and why it is experience; or, you might choose to illustrate the significance by describing a story. It is up to you, but make sure that you understand what you want to say about memory and food, and that this main insight is clear by the end of your piece.
Brief reference to Proust to start the piece
Detailed explanation of your experience — use concrete examples
Language that makes clear what subtle meaning comes from this experience: what do your details lead us to understand that might lie below the surface? What do they lead us to understand about your unique experience (for example: emotions, values, perspectives)?
Evaluation – madeleine reflection
You can also view this list on the rubric attached to this assignment.
Relevance to the text: piece makes clear how the details of your experience links to Proust’s madeleine [5 points]
Critical thought: piece demonstrates careful consideration of your experience by using concrete details and explaining how the experience is meaningful; discusses insights that go beyond summary or generalization. [10 points]
Clarity of language: piece’s language communicates with clear grammar and logical flow from sentence to sentence [5 points]