7th Period English 12
McLean High School [email protected]
 
WELCOME TO THE SEVENTH PERIOD GRADE 12 WEBSITE

This website is designed to help you succeed in the class.  If you check it in between classes as required, you will always know what is due and when.  Use this site when you are absent from school so that you can come in with completed work on time.

NOTE: FINISH READING KITE RUNNER FOR THE EXAM...AND BE SURE TO BRING YOUR BOOK WITH YOU -- THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!See the exam section in the assignments below for more information on how to prepapre.

FOR THE REMAINING DAYS OF THE SCHOOL YEARREVIEW UPDATES HERE BETWEEN EACH CLASS; SCROLL DOWN SO YOU KNOW WHAT THE SCHEDULE IS FOR THE WEEK AFTER THE MEMORIAL DAY BREAK...IT IS VERY DIFFERENT DUE TO SOL'S! 

IMPORTANT NOTICES...REVIEW ALL INSTRUCTIONS ON DUE DATES POSTED BELOW!  AT THIS POINT, MUCH OF THESE DATES ARE "PAST DUE" AND SIMPLY PRESENT THE HISTORY OF FINAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE CLASS. "TEACH-A-LESSON" PRESENTATIONS WERE DUE MONDAY, MAY 21/WEDNESDAY, MAY 23/FRIDAY, MAY 25;  PORTFOLIOS FOR THE FIELD TRIP WERE DUE FRIDAY, MAY 25; FINAL COPY FOR THE SHORT STORY IS DUE THURSDAY, MAY 31.

EXTENSIONS WERE GIVEN ONLY WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE TEACHERS.  OTHERWISE WORK THAT IS PAST DUE CAN NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED.

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1.  YOU STARTED YOUR SHORT STORY THE WEEK OF MAY 6; DRAFTS WERE CREATED IN CLASS AND AT HOME; THE FINAL PRODUCT OF 8 TO 10 PAGES IS TO BE TURNED IN ON MAY 31.

HERE ARE THE ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS AND "TIPS" FOR THE SHORT STORY as previewed in class.  They are posted here as a reminder as you complete your story.

THE SHORT STORY FINAL DRAFT:

The FINAL draft of your short story will be due Thursday, May 31
...that's the Wednesday right after Memorial Day weekend. 

Make sure you set up setting (a clear time and place; including as many as two supplementary settings); characterization (two or three central characters and perhaps two or three secondary characters); meaningful dialog (write authentic -- "believable" dialog that fits the characters AND provides information about inner/outer conflict); central conflict (one primary conflict only -- usually, this includes two "sides"...an outer conflict that is easy to see and a corresponding inner conflict that illustrates the turmoil within one or more of the characters; and at least one symbol (person, place, or thing). 

The other consideration is point of view.  Think about this carefully and be selective: first person allows you to provide MUCH information about the character who is most involved in the conflict; third person allows you to be the "all-knowing" narrator who can get inside the minds of all characters, and who can look back and even forward in time.

Last:  Invent a "microcosm" for your story...that is, the "miniature world" of your story. 

IF YOU FOLLOWED THE SCHEDULE PROVIDED AT THE BEGINNING OF MAY, YOU BROUGHT THREE TO FOUR PAGES OF YOUR SHORT STORY DRAFT TO CLASS ON THURSDAY, MAY 17. THAT INTERMEDIATE PRODUCT CANNOT BE TURNED IN LATE.

2.  WE STARTED THE "TEACH A LESSON" PROJECT IN MID-MAY; PLANS WERE SUBMITTED THE WEEK OF MAY 6; PRESENTATIONS BEGAN THE WEEK OF MAY 13; ALL PROJECTS WERE COMPLETED BY MAY 25; EXTENSION TO THE THE LAST WEEK OF MAY WAS GIVEN ONLY WITH ADVANCE APPROVAL, AS NOTED ABOVE.

3.  YOU HAVE BEEN READING "KITE RUNNER"...COPIES WERE SUPPLIED AT THE BEGINNING OF MAY.  IF YOU HAVE MISPLACED IT, LOCATE IT AND COMPLETE THE READING PRIOR TO THE EXAM.

To prepare for the "long essay," go to any web site for a major U.S. newspaper -- such as The Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, to name a few -- and read a professional book review in the newspaper's on-line book section.  Make yourself familiar with how a professional book critic assesses the value of a national bestseller.


FOR THE EXAM, YOU WILL ENTER THE CLASS WITH YOUR BOOK AND WILL RETURN THE BOOK AT THAT TIME.  NEW COPIES WILL BE ISSUED AND YOU WILL WRITE TWO ESSAYS -- ONE "SHORT" AND ONE "LONG" -- DURING THE EXAM PERIOD IN THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE. MORE DETAIL TO COME ON THIS.

4. THE FIELD TRIP OCCURRED MAY 5; SOME OF YOU COMPLETED IT ON YOUR OWN IN THE WEEKENDS FOLLOWING, ONLY WITH THE TEACHERS' PERMISSION. THE FIELD TRIP "PORTFOLIO" WAS COMPLETED FOR FRIDAY MAY 25; YOUR ASSIGNMENT WAS TO MATCH THE IMAGES OF PLANTS, ANIMALS, AND ARTWORK THAT YOU IDENTIFIED DURING THE FIELD TRIP AND MATCH THEM WITH LITERARY WORKS FROM THE SAME NATION, CULTURE, AND CENTURY...AS CLOSELY AS POSSIBLE.  Specifically, you created a scrapbook...or a booklet...or a series of small posters...or one large 2 foot by 3 foot poster that matched your selections from all four exhibit areas and the garden photography with appropriate literary refrerences.  The field trip website reviews what needed to be accomplished during the field trip -- including images from the exhibits as well as images of yourself at those exhibits.  The literary "matches" for your pictures included information on the writer and the written work (title, when published, which language, etc.); you excerpted enough from the poems, parables, epics, short stories, play, novels, etc. that you chose so that anyone viewing your portfolio could easily make the connection between your "display" and the "literary works."  Hopefully, you made your work colorful and exciting -- and had some fun with it! 

IF YOU DIDN'T JOIN US MAY 5 FOR THE SCHEDULED TRIP:

My recommendation to those who did not attend on May 5 was to plan to "make-up" the trip, as noted above -- in groups of two or three, approved by me in advance.  That is, the option was to follow the same instructions and achieve the trip on your own no later than the weekend of May 26/27. Waiting until that weekend to complete the trip, AND having your portfolio done and submitted by May 29 was acceptable if approved in advance and done to the highest standard possible, given the extended time.

It is history now, but for those who skipped this project entirely, here is what you missed:

GO TO THE WEB SITE FOR THE FIELD TRIP!  http://www.quia.com/pages/jteacher/page105


THE SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY, MAY 29 THROUGH FRIDAY, JUNE 1:

Tuesday, May 29
7:20-9:25 2nd Period
9:25-9:35   Break
9:40-11:55 6th Period
12:00-2:10 4th Period

Wednesday, May 30
7:20-9:25 3rd Period
9:25-9:35 Break
9:40-11:55 7th Period
12:00-2:10 1st Period

Thursday, May 31
7:20-9:25 6th Period
9:25-9:35 Break
9:40-11:55 5th Period
12:00-2:10 7th Period

Friday, June 1
7:20-9:25 5th Period
9:25-9:35 Break
9:40-11:55 1st Period
12:00-2:10 3rd Period


A. THE WORLD CULTURE/WORLD LITERATURE FIELD TRIP TO SELECTED EXHIBITS IN THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUMS WILL BE SATURDAY, MAY 5.  STUDENTS NEED TO ARRIVE BY 9:30 AND THE EVENT WILL BE OVER AT 2:00...SPECIFICS WILL BE PROVIDED.  WE NEED MANY PARENTS TO ACCOMPANY US, SO PLEASE ASK YOUR THEM NOW!  PARENTS WILL BE INVOLVED IN SUPERVISION, NATURALLY, BUT NOT OF THEIR OWN CHILDREN...ALSO, THEY WILL ALSO BE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN THE LEARNING ACTIVITY ITSELF.

b. THE EXACT REQUIREMENTS FOR THE "AS I LAY DYING PROJECT" ARE POSTED BELOW..  THE FINISHED WORK WILL BE DUE TUESDAY, MAY 1.  PLEASE START EARLY...SORRY, BUT IN THE FOURTH QUARTER, NO LATE IS TAKEN!

FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL:

ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, WE WILL CONTINUE THE "DINNER PARTY" WRITING EXERCISE...For Wednesday, bring in "cut-outs" of the three characters you selected for your "dinner party (remember the class activity -- and the written diaolog you started?)  To do this, go to the internet, find a photo of those famous figures, cut them out (with scissors -- remember the third grade?) and bring them in.  We will use tape to set up a "dinner party" at you individual desk and write more diaolog.  Sounds silly, but it leads to some good things as you prepare yourself to write characaters and effective dialog for your short story.

1.  For Tuesday, May 1, plan and complete the project for As I Lay Dying, in which you either (a, HIGHLY RECOMMENEDED) "insert yourself" as a character in the novel, writing approximately five chapters that can be inserted in the last 50 to 60 pages of the novel, or (b, AS AN ALTERNATIVE) "modify" the last 50 to 60 pages of the novel by removing all but three of the characters/character chapters and creating a three-page reflection that explains how this editing of the text clarifies the meaning/themes of the novel.


In both cases, you will have to do some fabrication -- that is, whether you remove and reassemble pages of your book, or use photocopies and assemble pages that way, the finished product that you turn in will look like typeset "book" pages, not manuscript pages on 8 1/2 x 11 inch standard paper.  Please do this as neatly as possible.  Please, as much as possible, try to match the type font and the actual page size used in the real book.

If you "insert yourself" as a character (option A), you need to write in five chapters in which you are physically involved as a character in the story, actively participating, watching, commenting -- whatever you please.  Be YOURSELF...have the reactions you would have.  Use YOUR voice...no need to "southern it up."  Two chapters can be a half page, two can be one page or more, and the last one should be two to three pages.  These are "book pages," not separate typed pages -- be careful!

There are MANY places where you can appear -- many!  You have the barnburning -- Dewey Dell and her trials -- Anse's actions at the end -- and more.  Try to react to the situations -- don't create new ones UNLESS you want one of your chapters to become the new "last chapter."


FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL:

1. Finish "As I Lay Dying" for Thursday, April 19.  In the week following -- going into May -- plan to develop a project in which you either (a) "insert yourself" as a character in the novel, writing approximately five chapters that can be inserted in the last 50-60 pages of the novel, or (b) "modify" the last 50 to 60 pages of the novel by removing all but three of the characters and creating a three-page reflection that explains how this editing of the text clarifies the meaning of the novel.

2. On Tuesday, be prepared to continue "brainstorming" your "teach a lesson" presentation.  You have developed some good initial ideas!  Make sure you get a sense of what two other people you will be working with, and look at what you feel you can manage as a "lesson" in 20 minutes.  Bear in mind that you are teaching all members of the class a skill that they can achieve to some degree on their own.  The basic sections of your lesson are "introduction" (presenting the skill to be learned); "demonstration" (showing how the skill is applied, step-by-step), "guided practice" (a simplified version of the skill that everyone can achieve with help from you or a member of your team), and "independent practice" (the students do their best to demonstrate that they have learned the skill).

3. On Thursday, be prepared to start the "Short Story" project (in class).


HAVE A GREAT SPRING BREAK!

Coming up for the fourth quarter, just so you know:

1.  The "As I Lay Dying" project...you get to be Faulkner (month of April) 50 points

2.  Write the short story!  (all quarter) 150 points

3.  The "Teach a Lesson" project (work with a partner)  75 points

4.  The last novel of the year (in June) one quiz, 25 points

5.  Final exam, as required, involving the last novel of the year  50 points

6.  The film festival (starting after Memorial Day -- participation in class)


FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, AND FRIDAY, MARCH 30:

Finish reading the first 100 pages of "As I Lay Dying" for Wednesday.

Take the "facts-based" on-line quiz on Thursday night -- at home, open book.  Focus is on setting, characterization, basic conflicts, use of perspective, and other essential story elements.  In essence, if you have read you will be fine.  This is a "reading check," not a comprehension test.

FOR MONDAY, MARCH 26:

There is a quiz coming up Thursday night for "As I Lay Dying" -- the first 100 pages.

So, keep reading "As I Lay Dying" -- if you are on top of this one already, and you got your copy two or three weeks ago and started reading, then you are fine. If not, get going!  You will feel like you are dying yourself if you wait until the last minute before taking the quiz.

It's a difficult read, there is no doubt, but an important experiement in literary creativity that I want you to be exposed to.  Faulkner called his "tour de force"...his best example of his best potential as a writer.  It is one of the works that put him on the "world literature" map, so to speak.

As I said in class, I won't mind if you feel like you need to check on-line guides, but I say this knowing that they are just horrible and will probably get you off track.

It is VERY important to have a clear sense of time/place, characters, and plot/conflict FROM THE BEGINNING...so maybe one of the on-line guides would be good for that at least.  As you read, keep all of this in mind: (1) the reality of the impoverished rural southern culture is tough to handle, but quite accurate and very appropriate here; (2) the tricks played on perspective by allowing MANY different characters to tell the story can be infuriating, but you have to admit, everyone in a story WOULD have their own perspective; and (3) the use of "stream of consciousness" narration -- that random string of thoughts that runs through a narrator's head -- can completely lose you at times, but, let's face it, the human mind works that way. 

Fortunately, since you read the "southern trilogy" last week and did so well on the quiz, you are at least ready!

See you Monday for our return to Africa...


FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 22

Take the on-line quiz on the so-called "southern trilogy" of short stories (the three we have read over the past week and a half; refer to past assignments below).  The quiz will go up at 4:00 on Wednesday afternoon and go down at 11:00.  Set aside 30 minutes to review and 30 minutes to take the quiz.

DO NOT MISS THE QUIZ.  NO MAKE-UP IS POSSIBLE.  Any serious issue needs to be covered with an e-mail from a parent the night of the quiz...that is the only form of excuse that will be accepted.

The questions will include basic story comprehension and some "reach" questions involving classroom presentation.

This is one of the last grades of the quarter -- worth 30 points.

Advance warning: The quiz next week is on the initial reading of As I Lay Dying (the first 100 pages).  This quiz will be worth 30 to 40 points.

The two quizzes together = 20 - 22 percent of your quarter grade.


FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 20:

...and for the weeks coming up before spring break:

...YOU HAVE A GOOD BIT OF READING TO DO and two quizzes...

...READ all three short stories in the "Southern trilogy" that has been assigned for out-of-class reading....(SEE BELOW)  THERE WILL BE A QUIZ...this Wednesday night, at home, on-line.

...READ THE FIRST 100 PAGES OF AS I LAY DYING BY MARCH 28 (SEE BELOW).  THERE WILL BE A QUIZ next Thursday, March 29, at home, on-line.

BUT FIRST...

Hey, seniors!


Yes...you!

An important bulletin:

It's not over yet!  June will be here soon enough, but until then keep reading and keep coming to class.  Attendance was a little off this week and not enough are reading.

As I said many times, in the second half of the year you can't stop working and I can't stop doing my job, but I can do things the way I would prefer as long as you stay with it.

That is "as long as you stay with it." 

So..."stay with it."  That is the deal.

There are still quizzes to take, papers to write, and projects to do -- more spread out than before, and we have some more flexibility.  But there things to do just the same.

THERE ARE TWO QUIZZES COMING UP BETWEEN NOW AND THE END OF THE MONTH, as noted above.  I put this in allcaps because I know that some of you have trouble reading.  But you probably are reading if you got this far.

The first quiz will be on three stories in the little Southern trilogy I have put together for you: Rose for Emily, A Worn Path, and Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge.  The first two were assigned over the past week; the third is your assignment for Tuesday.  Here is the link:

http://fiction.eserver.org/short/occurrence_at_owl_creek.html

Set during the Civil War, this is one of the most famous "anti-war stories" in American literature -- and one of the first.  On one level, it is a very straightforward story about a man that is to about to be put to death; on a different level, given the changes in time and the use of stream of consciousness in the narrative, it is seems about the differences between life and death...and the grey area in between.

So, hit the link an read this story in its entirety.

Here is what reading in its entirety means if you are confused:

Start with the first word, and keep going.  The words will become sentences.  The sentences lead into paragraphs.  Along the way, there are the structural parts: setting, point of view, character, dialog, conflict, voice...and eventually symbol and theme.  But somewhere along the way you catch on to something you didn't know about humanity, and it's usually something worth thinking about.  That's what reading really is.  A way to get to a bit of wisdom that enriches the sense of the world around you.

WITH THAT IN MIND, ON "AS I LAY DYING":

Now that you have the novel, start reading (if confused about what reading is, please note instructions above).  YOU WILL NEED TO READ THE FIRST 100 PAGES BY MARCH 28.  THERE WILL BE A QUIZ,as noted above.

Before leaving you, let me close by saying:

On absences...sorry, meant to say before; I am calling parents if you don't come to class...sorry, just doing my job.  And you are just doing yours...


FOR FRIDAY MARCH 16:

Read one other story -- by yet another famous writer from the South at about the same time as William Faulkner.

The story is "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty.

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/41feb/wornpath.htm

This isn't a "southern gothic" of the type that "Rose for Emily" is, but it is VERY much a story of the South.  Here you have the story of a disenfranchised elderly African-American woman who takes on a challenging and often strange journey.  As you read you will notice that there are some aspects in common with Faulkner's story...a small rural town in the South with accompanying small town characters, an intriguing female protagonist, and a bit of a mystery to solve within the narrative.  You might even notice a "mythic" feel to the journey...note the old woman's name -- how about that!  And maybe you should think of a journey full of trials that is truly "epic" (hint) that should be familar from English classes of the past!

We will have a discussion of the same type that Mr. Perez led on Wednesday.

Please keep this in mind: your reading of these two stories and a third dealing with stream of consciousness, along with participation in class is VERY important .  It will help you as you start reading "As I Lay Dying." Note that all three stories will be part of an on-line quiz coming up next week.


FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, TWO THINGS:

1. BE SURE TO READ THE TEXT ON THIS LINK:

http://southernlitreview.com/reviews/as_I_lay.htm

(This site also contains a link to an on-line store for purchase of "As I Lay Dying.")

ALSO:

2. BE SURE TO READ THIS SHORT STORY BY WILLIAM FAULKNER, THE AUTHOR OF "AS I LAY DYING."  Use either one of these links OR you can find one by "googling' the phrase "On-line text Rose for Emily Faulkner"

http://resources.mhs.vic.edu.au/creating/downloads/A_Rose_for_Emily.pdf

http://flightline.highline.edu/tkim/Files/Lit100_SS2.pdf


FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 12 TO MARCH 16:

We will continue with presentations.

I will also introduce William Faulkner, the American author who is often seen as one of America's best writers -- of "world status."  We will read one of his short stories and start one of his novels.

To introduce yourself to that novel -- and to BUY YOUR OWN COPY FOR USE IN CLASS -- go to this website:

http://www.amazon.com/As-Lay-Dying-Corrected-Text/dp/067973225X

OR

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/as-i-lay-dying-william-faulkner/1100009020

AND

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/as-i-lay-dying-william-faulkner/1100009020?r=1&ean=9780307792167&cm_mmc=Google+Product+Search-_-Q000000630-_-As+I+Lay+Dying-_-9780307792167

The used copies are available for at low as a penny, and shipping is very low.  Please order this weekend!


FOR WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, AND FRIDAY (MARCH 8, 9, AND 10)...BACK TO THE PRESENTATIONS!

Be prepared to go with your "passion project" presentation if you haven't done so already...

...ADVANCE NOTICE:  We start a new book next week.  You will need to buy your own copy so that you can highlight the text -- even rip the pages out, believe it or not! (there is a reason for this.) The total cost of a used copy of this book plus shipping should be about $6 or $7, including shipping.  If this is a hardship for anyone, let me know and I will buy one for you, no trouble.

There will be two quizzes of 30 points each...along with the passion project presentation and the written test for Siddhartha, you have the 150 points for the second half of the quarter.

FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 6:

(This posting has been updated -- read through all text below to be prepared for the in-class writing.)

Make sure you have the read the entirety of Siddhartha.  There is a written test on Tuesday -- I will cover some essentials in class and then you are on your own for an in-class essay.

As you prepare, consider the ideas that you encountered in class or in your own mind relating to the three "paths" Siddhartha experiments with.

Make sure you understand the basic structure of each of the three -- that is, what goal (or lack of goal) did Siddhartha have in mind as he (1) sought enlightenment with the Buddha; (2) gave in to the pleasure of the material world; and (3) became more in harmony with the world around him and at peace with himself.

A prompt will be provided -- a question about Siddhartha's growth and change that you will address in a timed essay of one hour or less.  It is important to be familiar with the nature of Siddhartha's journey on the three paths, and how it is that he finally ends his "suffering" and finds contentment.  It will be important to understand how Siddhartha transitions from someone who has "no clue," so to speak, to someone who has true enlightenment. 

For preparation, re-read the end of chapter "By the River."  The passage to focus on includes the final pages in which Siddhartha spells out how important it was for his "ego" to die (how arrogant he had been while on the first path), and how important it was to live the wild life on the second path so as to destroy that part of himself.

Also, check the passages that refer to "wisdom" -- what it is and how to attain it.  You encounter some mentions of suffering, knowledge, and wisdom earlier, but there are more definitive statements in the last chapter, "Govinda."

The final thing to consider is just what "enlightenment" is.  After all of this time, he finally gets there!  We know this at the end with the description of the kiss and the smile.  But what is it exactly -- how would you describe it in your own words?

UPDATE:  The prompt is likely to be provided in the form of a hand-out, potentially in this form.  You are welcome to use this (in addition to the points provided above) to prepare.

TIMED WRITING FOR “SIDDHARTHA”

Read the instructions below carefully before you start! 

Think about this general statement before writing anything:

“In many works of literature, a physical journey - the literal movement from one place to another - plays a central role. As you read the novel, the travels and experiences of the main character can reveal the central theme.”

Then write an essay that is structured as follows:

In the first paragraph of your essay, identify what you believe the central theme of Siddhartha is.  Make a “statement of theme” in a complete sentence, as always. 

In the following paragraphs, reflect on the three phases of Siddhartha’s life described in the book and discuss how his journey helps to establish and develop the theme of the novel. 

Be specific, but please do not summarize the plot in your answer.  (It is possible to fall into this trap and it makes a very weak essay.)  Instead, briefly identify the three phases of his personal development as he (1) travels from home (with Govinda  to seek Buddha), (2) crosses the river to the city (where he meets Kamala and gets involved with Kaswami), and (3) finally returns to the river (where he lives with Vasudeva and, in the end, reveals his enlightened state to Govinda).  Then explore how the author uses Siddhartha’s personal development to explore and develop the theme you identify in your first paragraph.

The best way to organize this essay is to refer to the physical changes in environment as described above, but to focus on his “internal journey” as he travels. On one level this is the classic “coming of age” novel – a bit like Huckleberry Finn, for instance, in which we see the character grow and change inside, becoming a more experienced and aware person.

Specific references to key scenes is important – including page numbers can help. 

Try not to get “hung up” on any one part.  You have 50 minutes, and there is not enough time to dwell on any one phase for too long.

BRING YOUR BOOK WITH YOU -- YOU WILL TURN IT IN AT THE END OF CLASS.

Until then, I wanted to share some video for Anouska Shankar, the world's leading sitarist.  Below is the video you saw in class; the one beneath it shows her in performance with her father, the great (and now humbled) Ravi Shankar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CnhcGpmH9Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xB_X9BOAOU


FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27 AND THE WEEK:

(Note: Final discussion of Siddhartha will be on Friday...finish the the novel!  There will be an in-class writing on Tuesday next week instead of a test.)

1.  Finish the written portion of your "passion project," using the outline you have already completed, AND prepare and practice your presentation.  GUIDELINES FOR CREATING THE FINAL WRITTEN PRODUCT AND THE STRUCTURE FOR THE PRESENTATION ARE BELOW.

A.  WRITTEN FINAL

Use the three-page outline you prepared to create a clean three to four-page long report.  (I don't want to call this a paper, since it is content for a presentation and not a stand-alone paper.)  IF YOU WROTE YOUR OUTLINE IN A "PAPER" FORM, YOU MAY BE CLOSE TO FINISHED...BUT THAT'S "CLOSE TO FINISHED, OKAY? Whether your outline was "bullets" or a more finished piece of writing, you now need to present a professional finished work that is clear, cohesive, and well-researched, with NO "writing wipeouts."  THE "WORKS CITED" (references) NEED TO APPEAR AT THE END OF YOUR REPORT.  There must be three, -- four or five if you like -- all of which come from the on-line databases (Scroll down to ealier assignment if is still confusing).  THESE REFERENCES NEED TO BE IN THE FORMAL "MLA FORMAT."  (Use the MHS library "noodlebib" resource, if that helps.)

AS ALWAYS: MUST BE TYPED IN 11 PT. COURIER DOUBLE-SPACED.

B.  THE PRESENTATION

YOU WILL SPEAK FOR APPROXIMATELY 8 MINUTES...if it turns out to be seven, that's fine; if it turns out to be nine, then no trouble. DO NOT MAKE AN OVERLY SHORT OR OVERLY LONG TALK; EITHER ONE RESULTS IN A POINT DEDUCTION.  Even those of you who are feeling a lot of "passion" should keep it at nine minutes or under; it is good practice to restrain yourself and learn how to make a presentation that is compact and precise...and therefore more effective.

THE FORMAT for the presentation that I suggest is this:

30 seconds:  Introduction: State your "passion."  Expand a bit...don't just say, "I am here today to talk about ice hockey, an awesome sport that I have loved since I was little."  Instead:  "Today I would like to share the story of how I fell in love with a form of creative expression that combines my artistic talents with interest in technology: photography.  Since discovering the joys of taking pictures as a child, right up to my most recent show here at McLean High School, photography has provided both a creative outlet and a pre-professional exeprience that I value highly."

2 minutes:  General presentation and discussion of your passion.  Emphasize your personal history with your area of passion, including early experiences all the way up to your most recent experiences...how did this become your passion in the first place?  Highlight what actions you are taking most recently that help us understand how this works for you. (Look for ways to involve the audience...perhaps have them think over their own experiences, or to "quiz" them on what they know.)

2 - 3 minutes:  Some form of demonstration or specific presentation that helps us see, feel, hear, etc., why all of this excites you.  This is the "multi-media" segment of the presentation, perhaps involving a Youtube or other media -- music on CD, a poster, for instance -- or perhaps the use of a prop (for instance, a piece of sports equipment if your passion is a sport, a photo album if your passion is photography, a musical instrument if it's music, a paint set and easel if it's art, a white lab coat to wear if it's medicine, etc.) 

2 - 3 minutes:  Presentation of the person who has been the most influential to you.  I ask you to WAIT until this part to share this part of your presentation so that your description of a famous, accomplished adult doesn't obscure your own passion and your own life experiences.  As we listen to you making the connections, it will be easy for us to see how this figure impressed you or has come to represent your involvement with your passion.

30 seconds:  Closing.  DO NOT REPEAT YOUR INTRODUCTION -- no, no, no!  Having presented all of this, perhaps suggest how this passion will play out as a part of your future.  This is a great time for an inspiring "famous quote"..."in the words of (your person's name)..." 

HIGHLY IMPORTANT:

Practice!  Read through it multiple times.

Read your presentation if needed -- no trouble!  Some of us are more comfortable reading. 

However: I would like to see you attempt to "talk us through" your presentation -- a bit more formal than a conversation, but not a stand-up address like something a visitor to the school would make in a morning assembly.  Because this is your passion/your person, speaking informally but with confidence may be eaiser than you think.

ALSO:

If I need to have the LCD player set up, please e-mail; same for any other special preparation.

E-mail me if you get stuck!

FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21 AND THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23:

Read the next section of Siddhartha...pages 47-85.

PLEASE CREATE TYPED REPLIES TO THESE QUESTIONS AND BRING TO CLASS.  THIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF A QUIZ GRADE, AND IT WILL ALLOW ME TO EXTEND THE START OF PASSION PROJECT PRESENTATIONS.  Scroll down to the Thursday assignment to see what direction those presentations are going.)

Question 1:  Go back to the beginning of Part One -- in which Siddhartha begin to think about his need to achieve a higher awareness/enlightenment.  Compare this to his great disappointment at the end of Part One, in which his hopes are dashed and he feels completely without direction.

In your response to this question, explain what went wrong...how could he start out so positively, and then "crash" at the end?  Be specific and write at least two paragraphs of several sentences each.

Question 2:  (Referring back to Question 1)  Okay, so:  Going forward in Part Two, what is Siddhartha's response to this...what direction does he go in now?  An easy answer might be something like, "well, he starts off on a spritual path and winds up on a pathway that takes him to more earthbound, self-indulgent experiences."  Okay, but I should tell you that I can read Sparknotes, too, and I know how to give zeroes so please -- let's not go there! :)

In your response, look for the pages and passages that describe how he comes to pick this more "self-indulgent path."  What are his goals now?  Are these goals met...in the short term, what comes of his commitment to going in this new direction?

Bear in mind that he does go down this new pathway with a sense of peace and contentment, not resentment over his earlier disappointment.

Bear in mind that Kamala is a "courtesan," by the way.  Please look this up if you don't know what it is.

Write at least two paragraphs of several sentences each.

Question 3:  Siddhartha casts off his identity as a shramana and becomes a man of the world enjoying "a life of pleasure" and the rewards of the material world.  So, how does he change in terms of mind and spirit? (That is, how does he change "inside"? What sort of person does he become?)  Bear in mind that this story is very much a "coming of age" story.  The changes he expereriences define his progress as an adult.

Write at least two paragraphs of sveral sentences each.

Question 4:  (Up to page 74)  Review the reading to date and your responses to date.  If he was a friend -- and to be honest, he may be a familiar type -- would you support him on the path he has taken, or would you be critical?

Reply appropriately with some length.

Question 5: (up to page 85)   Look at him now!  Okay...now write a long paragraph as if it were part of an e-mail.  What would you tell him to encourage him to get his (you know what) together...to become a better person, if not the person he once was.  Be your most moral self, but remember he is your friend.

FOR THURSDAY:

Continue developing your "Passion Project."  Students who would like to get ahead of schedule and present on this day are very welcome to do so!  Extra points will be awarded.

For everyone else:

1. The written component of your projects needs to be 1 1/2 to 2 pages (11 pt. Courier, double spaced) for the section describing your passion, and 1 1/2 to 2 pages (same) in which you profile the person who is your model example.  Additional pages for images or other material (a speech by this person, playing statistics, biographical timeline, songs or art work, whatever applies) will be extra pages).

2. You will need to be able to present your project in a six to eight minute time frame; for those that would prefer, it is possible to read it aloud; some others may feel more comfortable simply talking the group through their project, as long as all points are covered.  If you are ambitious, you can turn this into a formal speech.

3.  It is "multi-media," but you may not have a whole lot of extra preparation to do: a written text, images or other supplementary information, and oral presentation is already "muti-media."  If you want to enhance your presentation, then a demonstration, use of a Youtube, or other media is a good idea as long as I know in advance and you don't go over 6-8 minutes.


FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14 AND THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16:

There will be a quiz on the initial reading of Siddhartha.

IMPORTANT: If you missed school or did not remember to come to me for a copy, I suggest that you either buy one at a bookstore at this point -- or come to me Monday and plan to do the reading Monday night. (Your choice...please just be ready for the quiz.)

Read "Part One" -- in the edition of the book you have, that is probably up to page 44.

Take note of the basics, since the quiz is a "reading quiz" focused on the basics: setting, including changes in setting; all characters; internal conflicts of the protagonist (Siddhartha); and external conflicts (things that happen along the way that represent challenge).

Also, as you read, take a moment to look up each of the following terms in a on-line dictionary -- it will really help as your read, and these words will most definitely appear in some form on the quiz!  The terms: atman, nirvana; brahmin, ascetics, and shramanas.

The book tells the story of a young man in India 2,500 years ago who breaks away from his comfortable life to go out and discover what the world is about about.  His goal of meeting the spiritual leader Buddha -- and achieving enlightenment through him -- becomes his goal.   (If you have read about this period in India, and if you know anything about Buddhism from your studies at McLean, you are at least partially prepared.)

Most readers figure out that the story of Siddhartha, a man who seeks Buddha, is very similar to the life of Buddha himself.  More importantly, I want you to realize that the author, a German named Hermann Hesse, was tired of the life he lead as a Western European in the 1920's.   He sought enlightenment himself, turning to eastern spirituality for the answers.  In the novel, he is uses the character of Siddhartha to represent his own journey on his own path.

For more complete context for all of this, produce a supplement like the one you printed out and brought in for The Stranger.  Here are the instructions:

Go to the school website, then to the "Library" page, then to "Databases"

Scroll through and find the link for "Grolier Online."  Use "fairfax" and "fairfax" to get into this one.

Select the "Middle School" tab (don't be insulted...this one is shorter and saves paper) and type in Buddha in the search block.  Go to the article on Buddha and print it out.  READ IT BEFORE COMING TO CLASS...BETTER STILL, READ IT BEFORE STARTING THE NOVEL.  If you don't know much about Buddha, it gives you an adequate framework.

NEXT: Find the "Literature Resource Center" -- use mcle14741_e  , with scottie as the password.  Enter "Hermann Hesse" into the search block, and then look for "Hermann Hesse: Siddhartha" by Johannes Malthaner.  ABSOLUTELY READ THIS ARTICLE and print it out...you are likely to see a little of yourself in Hesse.  (If you have ever just felt like you just had to get away from home, parents, school etc. find out what life is about, he is your man.) 

These two articles make the supplement...bring them to class for a homework check.

Reading the contents of the supplement will tell you enough about Buddha and plenty about Hermann Hesse.  I will highlight the most important parts in class.

FOR THURSDAY -- BUT PLEASE START NOW:

Start the written part of the "Passion Project."

As you know, if you weren't away on a field trip or ill, we have spent quite a bit of time in the library so that you could explore options; I also took class time to suggest a way to approach the project, using my own example (passion = world peace and understanding; person who represents that passion = Gandhi).

You know that  this is a multi-media project featuring a written paper including researched content from the library on-line databases; "multi-media" includes writing, images, artifacts (a physical object you could bring in), and on-line music or video (Youtube, for instance). 

NOTE, BEFORE GOING ON: INFORMATION ON HOW TO ACCESS MHS ON-LINE DATABASES IS SUPPLIED BELOW...SCROLL DOWN.

IMPORTANT, WHILE I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION: Please, no Power Point presentations and nothing I need to load onto my computer. The school is issuing new computers to the teachers and they are VERY serious about that.

Okay, so: for Thursday, create an outline of three pages in which you clearly identify:

1.  Your "passion" -- the activity, subject, or way of thinking that you are most passionate about.  "Activity" would cover topics as diverse as a sport, a volunteer activity, musical performance or a cooking skill; "subject" would cover everything from understanding black holes and global warming to solving problems of the world, such as poverty; or "way of thinking," including lofty concerns such as addressing cultural discrimination or achieving a more peaceful world.

2.  A figure within that area of passion who is a model example.  This could be a famous person living or from history; it could also be a lesser known figure that is the best example.  (I suggests a "famous person" since the figure you select has to be someone you can research using on-line databases.)

Since this is a three-page outline, typed in 11 pt. Courier, double spaced, I suggest that you break it down into a page describing your passion and two pages describing your figure.  Or, you can do half and half if you want...however, do not devote two full pages to the passion and just one to the figure.  That won't help in the next step.

I am now suggesting THREE reference points from the on-line databases.  USE THREE DIFFERENT SOURCES; DON'T USE THE SAME ONE TWICE. Earlier I said that two was enough, but after looking at this more carefully, that will not be enough.  The outline you give me Thursday will include all three references you plan to use.  Please give me the complete citation -- the database source AND the article.

TO ACCESS THE DATABASES: GO TO THE MCLEAN HIGH SCHOOL WEBSITE, CLICK ON LIBRARY, AND CLICK CHECK OUT THE VARIOUS ON-LINE DATABASE OPTIONS. 

EXPLORE A LITTLE!  The databases, as you probably know already, cover a wide array of subjects, events, and people -- contemporary and historical -- everything from from politics to technology to medicine to business...sports, style, music...you name it, it's there.

USE THESE USER ID'S AND PASSWORDS IF NEEDED:

ABC-CLIO  mhspupil  mhspupil
Biography in context  mcle14741_e  scottie
Congressional Quarterly  cqed40852  scottie
Culinary Collection mcle14741_e  scottie
Expanded Academic mcle14741_e  scottie
GaleCengage  mcle14741_e scottie
GREENR  mcle14741_e scottie
Grolier On-line  fairfx  fairfax
Health and Wellness mcle14741_e  scottie
JSTOR  mclean  scottie
LexisNexis VHIGHLANDR School11
Literature Resource Center  mcle14741_e  scottie
Opposing Viewpoints mcle14741_e  scottie
Pop Culture Collection mcle14741_e scottie
ProQuest eLibrary mcleanhs scottie
ProQuest Platinum mcleanhs  scottie
Science in Context   mcle14741_e  scottie
Sports medicine Collection  mcle14741_e  scottie

...e-mail me with questions, but pls. do not wait until Wednesday night!  I won't be available!

BRING YOUR COPY OF THE STRANGER TO CLASS -- IT NEEDS TO BE RETURNED.


For Thursday and Friday, February 9-10:

No reading assignment yet for Siddhartha, the novel we are starting.  There WILL be an assignment due on Tuesday with a quiz.  Part of the Tuesday assignment will be to create a short two-part supplement on Buddha/Buddhism and author Herman Hesse.

THE EXACT REQUIREMENTS FOR THE "PASSION PROJECT" will go up this weekend -- a detailed outline will be due on Thursday!  Just a preview: There will be a written section in two parts (first part, describe your "passion"; second part, profile the person who defines that passion for you).  Graphics (images) and at least one other media is needed.  At least two references are needed from the on-line databases.

On Wednesday, February 8

We will continue working on the "Passion Project" in the library.  Some specific research into your topic and the person you have chosen to represent will occur at that time.  The emphasis in terms of research will be on using the database tools available there on-site and at-home.

The actual requirements for this project -- what you have to produce in writing and images and how it is to be presented -- will be posted this weekend.  Until then, keep focusing on your ideas.

FOR FRIDAY:  We'll start a new novel.

FOR NEXT WEEK: Depending on weather, perhaps some Japanese and Chinese poetry.

COMING UP: A filmed biography of a famous world leader with exceptional language skills is on the way.  We will study some of his speeches and writings as part of this experience...very inspiring stuff!


For Monday, February 6:

With regard to the next assignments we will take on in this class, think more about the directions that interested you the most on Thursday:

a.  a "multi-media project" involving a broad topic in which YOU choose the focus.

b.  an oral presentation about something you are interested in doing or learning more about.

c.  reading and writing poetry

As we go forward, consider the following:

-- The "multi-media project" will involve the general topic of "passion."  For this one, you will be asked to consider what you are passionate about -- what you really care about -- and do the research and writing to make an engaging presentation to the class.

The focus you pick will have to be approved by the teachers, but there is a lot of room. 

Just start with these questions: What do you really love?  What do you really care about...what makes a difference?  What will you continue to do as you go forward in your life?

To enhance your presentation, choose a figure living or from the past who represents the sort of passion, commitment, or desire that most attracts and involves you.  Feature this person's actions and statements in your presentation.

-- the oral presentation would focus on something you know little or nothing about but intrigues you -- what would you like to learn about, explore, and make it part of your life?  What would you do if you could do anything?  In this case, pick something of a serious character -- your focus area of interest would have to involve time, effort, and commitment.  But it would DEFINITELY be worth it.

(An option for the oral presentation would be to select a topic that you have strong convistion about and argue that topic, supported by carefully researched facts.)

BOTH OF THE OPTIONS ABOVE WILL INVOLVE RESEARCH, WRITING, AND PRESENTATION. The research will be specific, involving sources that you would pick for a serious research paper -- no random "googling" to find miscellaneous websites -- not even Wikipedia, as much as it has improved.  You won't really get much information of quality that way...and remember this is important.  Why cheat yourself?

-- The reading of poetry would focus on the Asian tradition, particularly Chinese poetry, as well as literature from Japan and Korea.  (Poetry from a variety of writers of the past 1,000 years will be contrasted with American and European works.)  Reading, analysis and comparison will provide the structure for creating your own poetry in the Eastern tradition.

So think about it.  We start Monday with a trip to the library.  Initial ideas will be developed during class; an outline of the direction you will go will be due Wednesday.


WELCOME TO THE SECOND HALF OF YOUR SENIOR YEAR...

...we are starting things off on the best possible foot, which is:

No formal homework assignment for Wednesday, February 1.

Informally:  Keep thinking about what you would like to do and learn that you feel would fill gaps in your high school experience, or better prepare you for college.

In the next two quarters, we will keep reading and writing...as always.  But there are some opprotunities for you to shape the curriculum a bit to suit your own prefernces.  I will explain in class.

THE WORK FOR THIS QUARTER WILL CLOSE OUT ON JANUARY 27.  With this in mind, all work must be submitted on time and in complete form -- no extensions are possible because there is so little time left.  Please follow the content of this site CAREFULLY...


FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT:

Take the on-line test.  Be sure to have reviewed the novel and the three-part supplement first -- have them on hand during the test.

THE TEST GOES UP AT 3:30 AND BACK DOWN AT 10:00. 

SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO LINK TO TAKE TEST...

but keep reading first!>>>>

>>>>All material on the test has been covered at least two or three times in class...some a half a dozen times.  If you missed a class or two, you may have missed a lot, unfortunately.  My advice is to spend an extra hour with the supplement to make sure you get it...in the end, everything you need to know is in the novel or the supplement anyway.

The test is on the novel, existentialism, absurdism, and Camus' life.

Very little study is needed for the question or two on Camus' life -- just have the handout nearby to refer to.

You will have 50 minutes to answer 25 questions...so study first!

The test is worth 50 points, or 8 percent of your grade for the semester.  Please take it seriously...even if you struggle with the material, you will want to get a 35 or higher.

You can take the test ONCE ONLY.  Students facing a technical issue should e-mail me tonight AND have a parent e-mail separately.

There is no re-make for students who forget...if you have a forgetful friend in the group, text them and let them know!

The academic activity for the semester ends as soon as you hit "submit" for the test.  At that point -- celebrate!  All I can say from this end is "congratulations, I know it has been a long, hard road at school this year."

I will calculate your grades for the quarter and the semester on Tuesday during teacher planning time and send out e-mail reports.


FOR JANUARY 23 through 27:

Please track these assignments carefully!


FOR MONDAY: FINISH READING THE STRANGER, IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY. 

As you read, note the basic aspects of the story itself -- that is, how setting, characterization, conflict, etc. is handled (just as you would with any story -- the basics).

Focus, though, on how external values (that is, the sense of morals and values held by most characters compare with Meursault's own neutrality (that is, he has no conventional sense of right and wrong or consequences for his actions -- he is his own "island.")  You will see these contrasts in every scene.

Focus also on Meursault's own thought process -- note what he thinks about, and how often pure sensation (his sense of the physical world) comes up.

As you near the end of the novel, note how Meursault starts to face the reality of his coming death, leading own to the very "strange" response to how he expects to face death.  The last two pages are a bit hard to understand...although they make more sense if you have been following in class!  Remember the principles of existentialism (such as being "radically free" to develop your own sense of values and make your own choices, although you need to be prepared for the consequences) and  how "happiness" can result -- according to the absurdist ideas -- even when you are facing the worst.  (Remember: "When facing what is worst in life, acknowledge the fact that the worst is a part of life, accept the fact that the world is indifferent, and find a kind of peace -- even happiness -- in that reality.")

We'll go over this in class so it makes more sense...don't worry too much if it seems confusing now.  Relating the end of the novel to the ideas expressed in the "Myth of Sisyphus" essay will help.

FOR TUESDAY, COME IN WITH THE REVISED DRAFT OF YOUR SHORT STORY PAPER.  BRING THE PAST DRAFT WITH MY MARKS ON IT...IMPORTANT! Having the whole package -- the initial draft and the final draft -- is part of your grade.

FOR WEDNESDAY, READ THE BIOGRAPHY OF CAMUS IN THE ARTICLE YOUR PRINTED OUT A FEW ASSIGNMENTS AGO.  Highlight areas that you feel add to his development as a student of existentialism, including his evolution into a philosopher of the "absurd."  Be creative in your choices -- aren't there many examples of "the worst" in life -- maybe suggesting how he would develop the idea that one needs to literally embrace the worst? 

ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT THIS WEEK, THERE WILL BE AN ON-LINE TEST.  THAT'S WEDNESDAY NIGHT. The test will be on the novel (facts of the story), existentialism, absurdism, the "Myth of Sisyphus," and some facts of Camus' life as a philosopher and a writer.


READ THESE ANNOUNCEMENTS AND THEN SCROLL DOWN FOR THE JANUARY 17 ASSIGNMENT.

THE WORK FOR THIS QUARTER WILL CLOSE OUT ON JANUARY 27.  With this in mind, all work must be submitted on time and in complete form -- no extensions are possible because there is so little time left.  Please follow the content of this site CAREFULLY...

For THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, read the next two chapters of the novel...chapter 1 and 2 of "Part Two"

As you read, keep a log designed in this format (handwritten):

Left column -- write down a short summary of key events in the reading with a focus on Meursault's reactions to: being jailed; his interactions with his lawyer; and his interactions with the magistrate and the judge; his meeting with Marie; and his reactions to the newspaper article he finds in his room.  Note particulalrly what is said to him and how he replies back.

In the right column -- as you go along with these key events (the meetings Meursault descibes, what is said, and how he reacts in brief), note down what aspect of the existentialist principles you see there.

Bear in mind that the principles of existentialism are found at the top of page one of the supplement you printed out and read for Tuesday...same as the ones we covered in class on Thursday last week.

Bring this assignment to class -- don't forget -- with your book.  We will continue evaluating the events of the novel with a focus on how Meursault's sitation and thinking correspond to existentialist ways of seeing the individual.  By the time the novel is done, you will see how Camus turns the corner -- in the final pages -- to describe an "absurd" situation.

The existentialism print-out should be in your notebook.  If not, or if you lost track of it, here is the original information from last week:

http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/sartreol.htm

This is the complete text of the information presented in class in brief at the end of last week.  The text at the top -- including the idea that you can be "radically free" -- will be familiar.  Read this carefully and get as much out of it as you can.



Remember Dr. King:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=130J-FdZDtY&feature=related

Also:

See how your life in high school and college -- and new life experience -- can make you the person you will be as an adult.  (One person's story...a writer who was influenced by MLK and the Civil Rights movement.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNe53k91yqE


FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 17 THROUGH THURSDAY, JANUARY 19:

For Tuesday:

You will perform an on-line search focusing on the following: existentialism (the system of philosophical thought presented in class on Thursday), biographical information for Camus, the branch of philosophical thought know as "absurdism" (Camus' extension of existentialism), and an essay by Camus which helped the world to understand what absurdism was.

Specific instructions:

1. GO TO THE SITE IDENTIFIED.
2. READ ALL MATERIAL AS INDICATED HERE.
3. PRINT OUT ALL MATERIAL AND ASSEMBLE IT IN A STAPLED "SUPPLEMENT"
4. PUT THE SUPPLEMENT IN YOUR NOTEBOOK

The first link:

http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/sartreol.htm

This is the complete text of the information presented in class in brief at the end of last week.  The text at the top -- including the idea that you can be "radically free" -- will be familiar.  Read this carefully and get as much out of it as you can.

The second link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Camus

A very interesting and well-written article about Camus' life and works.  Ordinarily I wouldn't assign a "wiki" artcile, but this is a good one...to a a point.  Please stop reading at the section where the editors warn you that the section hasn't been verified.  What follows is a pretty average overview of the meaning of Absurdism...we can do better in class.

Note that Camus was a leading intellectual but also someone with an interesting life.  He was revered as a thinker and philosopher; he was respected for his courage (printing the underground newspaper during the war).  At the same time, there was darkness and tragedy: his wife was a drug addict and he died in a horrible car wreck when he was just 46.  (If you do read to the bottom, you'll find out that he really loved "football."  A great thinker, yes, but also a man of the people and all-around cool guy.)

The third link:

http://dbanach.com/sisyphus.htm

A very important essay -- and the key to the whole "Absurdist" philosophy.  Camus uses the myth of the figure from Greek mythology who was doomed to roll a huge boulder up hill, only to see it roll right back down, over and over.  A truly absurd situation!  Hopeless, as life is, according to the philosophers -- and yet we press on.

In class on Tuesday, we will review the content of the search and apply what you learned to the novel...you will see connections to Meursault and the situation he creates for himself right away.

You will get your papers back during the week, and there will be some specific review before you go to the final.  The final will be due by January 23.

We will continue reading The Stranger and finish the novel by Monday, January 23 for a test that week.

The test on the novel and on the topics from the internet search described above will occur by January 27 at the latest.  The 27th is the end of the quarter and as such the test must be completed by that date.

Please: Keep working hard and make all deadlines -- study for the test.  Close to one-third of the points for the quarter are still headed your way.


FOR JANUARY 10 THROUGH 12:

For The Stranger, read through the end of section I -- that is, through the end of chapter six. There will be a "fact-based" quiz on Tuesday COVERING ALL CHAPTERS FROM 1 THROUGH 6, in which knowing the settings, characters, and events will be important.  There will be a writing part, as always, but that requires no special preparation other than a complete reading of the assignment.

On the 12th, the first draft of your paper will be due.  (Scroll down to see original instructions.)  You have written several literary critiques at this point, but there is a structure here that will help you "work smart," not (overly) hard.

Note that some emphasis is placed on writing a concise, to-the point thesis in your introduction and a concise conclusion that ends the paper with two sentences that DON'T repeat what you just said.  (Remember, your reader -- maybe your friend sitting next to you in class -- is intelligent and can remember what you just told them!)  In the conclusion, wrap up your thinking with a sentence or two -- communicating a final observation -- and use one more sentence at the end to give your reader something to think about.  (This could be a general statement about the power of a short story to reveal a lot in a few pages...something about the author and the link to other works...something universal about the theme...etc.) 

The paragraph of analysis (synthesis, really, as English teachers say) right before the conclusion is REALLY important.  In this paragraph, you pull together your three examples and observations into one "mega-analysis" -- help the reader get the big picture.  This paragraph should truly elaborate on the examples -- make your case! Refer back to the thesis so your reader can see you truly supported your initial claim.  (This paragraph is a bit like the statement a lawyer's makes in court -- all of the evidence in his/her argument has been made, and now is the  time to put it together in the form of a final argument that makes the point.)

Some students have trouble writing a thesis -- no problem.  Here's the easy way...take the "topic" and turn it into a claim that you can (and will) prove in the paper.  (The topics are down in the last assignment...scroll down.)

For instance, if the topic is "State a theme and support it," turn the topic into a well-defined statement and make a claim you can support:

"In (name of story, underlined) by (author name), the key theme that emerges is (state theme as a phrase or complete sentence which communicates a lesson, or makes an observation about life).  This theme is developed as the central conflict reaches a climax and is resolved; in the final paragraph, the author literally states the theme in dialog between two main characters."

For "state the author's purpose," an introduction with a thesis might be:

"In (story title, underline) by (author name), the reader encounters a world of political intrigue, which, though fictional, has a strong sense of historical accuracy.  It is clear in this case that (author name) wants to alert the reader to the very real injustices in her native country, revealing a sense of hopelessness and sorrow among her people.  Given the approach to the conclusion of the story, it seems obvious that she is hoping any reader who becomes involved will feel compelled to help."

Hope that gives you some useful guidance...

...please start on that paper prior to Wednesday night!  Maybe you want to write the thesis and at least find the paragraphs with the applicable supporting material.

...scroll down for original paper instructions...


FOR JANUARY 4 THROUGH 6:

1. We will read The Stranger, a novel by Albert Camus -- initially in class, and then to take home.  There will be a reading quiz next week....and a test later this month. 

FOR FRIDAY, READ THROUGH TO THE END OF CHAPTER THREE.  As suggested, PLEASE BE PATIENT.  Camus is creating a model situation -- not a realistic situation-- and using a "strange" character to illustrate a point about humanity and our place in the world.  We'll talk about all of that in class.

2. We will also talk about what is coming up for your "short story paper."  Three topics are posted here (scroll down).  Choose one and develop your first draft. THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE PAPER WILL BE DUE JANUARY 12.  

The paper should be approximately two and a half pages in length -- NO MORE than three pages (please) -- typed in 11 pt. Courier double spaced, containing six to seven paragraphs, following this structure:

Paragraph One: Intro, stating a CLEAR and PRECISE thesis.

Paragraph Two: Support thesis with an example (some teachers call this "evidence," which sounds a little legalistic to me); make it clear how this example supports the thesis, and provide some analysis for your reader (the so-called "commentary").  Be sure to include some direct reference, that is, at least two "quotes" from the text.  (These are really "excerpts"...resulting in a "quotation."  "Quote" is really just a knickname, so PLEASE never write, "This quote supports the thesis because...")

Paragraph Three: Same as above, new example, following the same logic.

Paragraph Four: Same as above, new example, following the same logic.

Paragraph Five: Overall discussion in which you link your examples in one general analysis.  Show the excellence of your original thinking here and reveal the big picture!

Paragraph Six:  Conclude IN TWO SENTENCES __ THREE AT THE MOST.  Do NOT repeat the thesis or any other part of your paper.  Write an ENDING that provides one last comprehensive observation AND provides a statement or poses a question for your reader to think about. 

(The seventh paragraph, if you use it, can be an elaboration -- an "extra paragraph" -- that helps you expand on any one of your three examples.)

(MAKE SURE YOUR EXAMPLES TO SUPPORT THE TEXT FOLLOW AN ORDER THAT MAKES SENSE TO YOUR READER.  Create a logic for your supporting examples so that you don't jump all over the place.  You might pick supporting examples that go in order from early in the story to the middle of the story to the end, etc.  Or you may pick a broad general example to start with (in the first "support" pararaph) -- establishing some context -- and then provide more targeted, specific examples in the support paragraphs that follow.)

THE TOPICS:

1.  Identify a theme statement for the story and support it.  Your thesis would assert that one clear theme is (your theme statement) which you can support by looking at the way the author handles characterization, conflict, symbol (or whatever combination of story elements you choose).
Please stay away from internet study aids on this one!  I have read them and they are all equally horrible.  Invent your own ideas -- you will haver far better insights than the people writing those things.

2.  Focus on use of point of view OR diction/dialect OR voice OR symbol by the author (choose ONE)...your thesis would assert that the element you have chosen is what makes the story particularly effective.

3.  State what you believe the writer's purpose is...every writer creates a story for a reason...there is something he/she wants the reader to learn or consider.  To go with this option, you would HAVE to do some reading about the author's life and the historical, political, or cultural context surrounding the writer. I actually encourage you to pick this one over the others because you will learn more and feel like you really discovered something. Your thesis would assert that the writer's purpose is (your statement), based on historical, cultural, etc. context (that you can summarize based on your reading) and supported by evidence from the story. 


For your entertainment and enlightenment over the winter break:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2VFgHGKzx4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hluEXi_jew8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzs-GNtf2tY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIZFcKB5qOA&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL1EA3994223C4E84E

SEE YOU IN JANUARY...see my notes below on the work we will be doing during the month.


FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 19:

1. THERE WILL BE ACTIVITIES IN CLASS FROM MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY FOR A GRADE.  Please attend and participate in these in-class assignments.  There is NO homework to be done this week since graded work is given in class.

2. THERE IS NO HOMEWORK FOR THE WINTER BREAK: YOU DID ALL OF THE WORK ON THE PAPER AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.  CONGRATULATIONS ON 100 PERCENT INVOLVEMENT IN THAT ASSIGNMENT.  This is proof that you get what you earn in life!  So enjoy the break.

LOOKING AHEAD:

THE QUARTER ENDS AT THE END OF JANUARY...please sustain focus through the month...complete all assignments on time.  This is the last push for the grade that matters most (the first semester grade).  Trust me, I want that to be the grade you want as much as you do!

WHEN YOU COME BACK FROM BREAK, WORK ON THE SHORT STORY PROJECT WILL CONTINUE.  Three topics for the paper will be supplied; you will choose one and develop a first draft of a paper that will be two and a half pages long.  That draft will be due the second week of January.  After review by your student partner and the teachers, you will revise that draft to final form, due the third week of the month.

At the same time, we will start reading a novel written by a famous French writer.  There will be pre-reading activities, and at least two quizzes.

The paper and the quizzes together will make up one-half of the grade for the quarter: this is a good chance to improve your grade or to keep the grade you are already satisfied with.

So: See you in January!  Have fun but play it safe...

FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16:

CONTINUE WORK ON THE WORLD LITERATURE SHORT STORY PROJECT.  The outline as described below is due Friday.


BE SURE TO HAVE BOTH THE OUTLINE AND A COPY OF THE STORY ITSELF WHEN YOU COME TO CLASS.  BOTH ARE NEEDED TO ACHIEVE THE "NO HOMEWORK FOR THE HOLIDAYS" DEAL THAT WE HAVE.


NOTE: Be sure to choose a short story of 5-10 pages in length or more.  There is some very short fiction in these links, but as you know a true short story is much longer than a page or two!

Look over this list of authors and works that you will choose from for your “World Author Short Story Project.”  You should see the name of at least one author you picked…maybe even two.  If you don’t, please trust me: These were the authors that were VERY popular with other students.  You can’t go wrong with any one of these.

FIND A STORY THAT APPEALS TO YOU AND READ IT TODAY.

The actual assignment – an outline of two pages (announced earlier, scroll down to "For the week of December 12 to 16 ) – is due on Friday.  FOLLOW THOSE DIRECTIONS...the actual topic will be provided when you return from the winter break.

TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS TODAY – don’t just pick one!  You want to learn something from this, but enjoy it, too.  The authors you have chosen are incredible people as well as extraordinary writers.  Just getting to know them is worth the effort; further, if you take advance literature classes in college you will definitely see them again!

IMPORTANT:

It is essential that you research the list on your own – PICK A STORY THAT IS “YOURS.”  DO NOT PICK THE SAME BOOK AS YOUR FRIENDS IN CLASS AND RISK…WELL…WIND UP TAKING A RISK THAT YOUR TEACHER CAN EASILY FIGURE OUT. 

Okay, so don’t do that – this is your story, your reading, your experience….your work, your grade.  Practice being an individual – in college, this will be money on your pocket.  Your professors will appreciate individual initiative and high-quality independent work on a project like this.

Enough said about that.

Below is the list of authors (by last name) and the recommended work with the url.  Underneath is the reference in Wikipedia with that url.

TAGORE  “WE CROWN THEE KING” ‘http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/982/

Read “We Crown Thee King” or pick one from the site.

Read about Rabinthrath Tagore of Bengal/India: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabindranath_Tagore

WOOLFE  PICK ANY TWO FROM THIS COLLECTION http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91h/

IMPORTANT: You must pick two and write about two.  Please stay away from on-line criticism; it is confusing and much too easy for your English teacher to identify. (Please don’t make me into the “big bad Woolfe.)

Read about Virginia Woolfe, American author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_woolfe

JOYCE Stories from his famous collection, “Dubliners”

PICK ANY ONE FROM THIS COLLECTION
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2814/2814-h/2814-h.htm#2H_4_0011

(Note: There are many on-line sources; some are easier to read than others.
Warning: Stay away from on-line guides.  I have seen them all and read them all!

Read about James Joyce, Irish author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_joyce

ALLENDE  "TWO WORDS" http://carkass.livejournal.com/351481.html

This is an amazing writer and person!  I want you to read about her even if you don’t pick one of her stories.

Visit the author’s website: http://isabelallende.com/ia/en/books

Read more about Isabel Allende, Chilean author born in Peru

LESSING "THROUGH THE TUNNEL" http://fictiondaze.blogspot.com/2004/05/through-tunnel.html

There are very few of her stories on the internet – I will give extra credit to anyone who can find a collection of multiple stories available for free on-line.

This is a very popular story.  Do us both a favor if you select it: STAY AWAY from study guides!  They are useless anyway.

AN OPTION HERE IF YOU LIKE THIS STORY BUT WANT TO SEE MORE is to look at a collection of her stories from the school library

Read about Doris Lessing, African writer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_lessing

WILDE THE HAPPY PRINCE http://fiction.eserver.org/short/happy_prince.html
OR – BETTER -- SELECT A DIFFERENT STORY FROM THIS LIST: http://www.wilde-online.info/short-stories.htm

A very interesting man…colorful, to say the least! He showed a lot of insight into his fellow man in his works.

Read more about Oscar Wilde, Irish writer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde

OTHER OPTIONS:

CHOOSE ONE THAT HAS NO ACCOMPANYING STUDY GUIDE ON-LINE.

See Wikipedia for information on all authors.

I would appreciate the efforts by a student willing to get extra credit for the quarter:  Review the list of author names for the Japanese writers and look for references on them in Wikipedia or elsewhere.  They are not as well known. 

FAULKNER “THAT EVENING SUN”
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma01/white/anthology/faulkner.html

(Or choose one)

CHEKHOV  (VARIOUS STORIES)
http://www.russianlife.com/archive/article/params/Number/781/
OR
http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/1944/pg1944.txt

PAZ  “MY LIFE WITH THE WAVE”
http://www.hostosdesign.com/sun%20and%20stone%20shadows/1_MyLifeWithTheWave.pdf

MODERN JAPANESE WRITERS Browse and select one
http://www.archive.org/stream/paulowniasevenst00takeiala/paulowniasevenst00takeiala_djvu.txt

EVEN MORE OPTIONS (sample from these if you are truly stuck...):

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Bjornson/81/

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Chekhov/91/

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Charles/1220/

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Coppee/249/

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Dunbar-Nelson/205/

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Gogol/137/

http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/692/

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/James/1266/

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Miller/1122/

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Montgomery/232/

http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/55685/

http://www.readbookonline.net/stories/Voltaire/33/


FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 12 TO 16:

The "world author short story" writing project starts.

Starting Sunday, I will post the names of the authors that were most popular among all three sections of English 12 (my three classes of seniors) along with one or two stories by each author.  Your job will be to:

Look at the list, find one or more of the authors in your "top three" (the list you e-mailed in the last two weeks) and read those stories.  The url's will be supplied.

Choose one author/one story that you feel is right for you as a centerpiece for your literary critique. (You may decide to choose one of the writers you didn't pick for you list of "top three.") Locate the story using the url and print it out.

Read the story and create an outline that covers these basic story elements: point of view, setting, characterization, central conflict (most short stories have ONE major conflict), and theme (as you see it after an initial reading).  I suggest that you highlight as you read -- it makes it easier to create the two-page outline.

The outline is due Friday, December 16 -- no exceptions!  Two pages, typed in 11 pt. Courier double-spaced.  Use standard margins -- don't skimp on the amount you write by using excessive margins and spacing.

SUBMIT YOUR OUTLINE WITH THE PRINT-OUT OF THE STORY ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16.

MY HOPE IS THAT YOU WILL HAVE NO ASSIGNED HOMEWORK OVER THE BREAK.  IT IS YEAR-END, AND I DON'T FEEL THAT A HOMEWORK IS PRODUCTIVE OR NECESSARY.  HAVING SAID THAT, PLEASE GET THE JOB DONE!  I NEED ALL OUTLINES FROM ALL STUDENTS ON DECEMBER 16....THAT'S THE DEAL.

FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6 -- WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7 -- THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8:

FIRST: Read Act V of Macbeth at any time -- as long as you have read it by THURSDAY!  There will be a fact-based quiz in class on THURSDAY -- know who does what, when, where, why and how...and what happens when it's all over.

SECOND: Watch this video of a PBS interview with Patrick Stewart, star of the modern version of Macbeth we have been watching in class:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_mA4ud9CxM&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLA3E73ABC7DDC0C19

THIRD: Enrich yourself! Watch a video from group "A" below and one from group "B" (two total).

GROUP A (LEARN...)

Sir Patrick (Macbeth) and Kate (Lady Macbeth) interviewed on British TV, promoting the London production at the Gielgud Theater -- a couple of years ago, at the very beginning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CgY0k5lsNg&feature=fvst

Royal Shakespeare Company, in a more recent version than the one we have been watching in class:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAojuVbKQtg

"M" from James Bond (Judi Densch in real life, our Lady Macbeth) talks about her craft:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyCqxMCP7tY

Garfield High School does Macbeth, Act IV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkS1SO0fQ6w

Darth Vader (well, the man with the voice of Darth Vader, internationally recognized actor James Earl Jones) recites Shakespeare at the White House:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJybA1emr_g

GROUP B (HAVE FUN...)

Shakespeare as delivered by impressionist Jim Meskimen (Pres. Bush, William Shatner, Arnold Schwarzenegger,...George Clooney...you name it):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk

The Beatles Do Shakespeare (a bit of Midsummer's Night Dream):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOpEZM6OEvI

Yes, you can be Hamlet when you are five:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCfTXDfSM78

Reduced Shakespeare Company: Comedy improv of Romeo and Juliet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzVyqiskpMk

They say that it's a bad idea to say the title of the "Scottish Play" (according to this comedy group from England..."Black Adder"):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h--HR7PWfp0

One of many raps for Macbeth -- not too bad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4cMHnWIR9k


FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2:

COME IN READY TO PRESENT YOUR ACT IV DRAMAS.


PLEASE CONTACT ME ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT OR DURING THE DAY THURSDAY IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS.  (I WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE THURSDAY NIGHT.)

Scroll down and review the list of requirements...please e-mail each other, text, or meet in small groups as needed if you need additional preparation time...please work out leftover details on your own.

Yes, there will be SOME time for everyone to get organized at the beginning of class...but YES all of the dramas need to be presented during the period.


FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30:

First, scroll down to the assignment given last time on what authors you are most interested in for the literary critique paper...AND E-MAIL ME. CHOOSE A WRITER THAT INTEREST YOU..OR ELSE I WILL NEED TO ASSIGN A WRITER THAT YOU MAY/MAY NOT LIKE.

THE FOCUS FOR WEDNESDAY: Make sure you have read all of Act IV. Think about what you could do in small groups to design a dramatization of Act IV.  Bear in mind that you will finish preparations in class Wednesday and then start presentations on Thursday or Friday.

The parameters:

-- your drama will be no less than 8 minutes and no more than 10 minutes.  At the end of 10 minutes I will need to ask you to stop so the next group can go.  There are six groups x preparation time + 10 minutes of performance + time in
between = a whole class period.  (So there is no extra time.)
-- given the time limit -- you have no more than 10 minutes to present a section of the play that, at full length, would take 25 minutes -- you need to choose what to feature and what can be edited down
-- each member of the group needs to have at least one speaking role; some will have two; one can be a "narrator" if you  choose to use one.
-- use of Shakespearean language is required, but there may be sections where conventional English is helpful.  You can keep a 50-50 mix in mind...if you choose to use modern English at all.  Some students may even want to sing in parts (the witches). I have seen it before and it is very effective
-- you can use a script -- and read during your drama. Memorize and deliver without a script if you feel confident and would like to do this.
-- you need to have props and costumes -- music and special effects if you like.
-- be sure to "block" the performance -- that is, decide who stands where, and how characters will move during a scene.  Do NOT have characters simply read from books at the front of the room...get your characters to do something!
-- this is a good time to shoot for extra points if you need them.  The dramas are worth 25 to 30 points; extra points may go to those who do extra work in the groups.
-- questions?  No problem, but please e-mail by Wednesday night at the latest -- I won't be able to reply to e-mails on Thursday night.

AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MHS STAFF AND STUDENTS:

PLEASE HELP THE SCHOOL NEWS MAGAZINE...ACT BY DECEMBER 6


Need Gift Wrapping Paper for the upcoming holidays?

The MHS Highlander Newsmagazine is raising money by selling
Gift Wrap 

Our award-winning newsmagazine will receive 40 % of all sales.

Please shop online at www.sallyfoster.com.  There are over 200 items to select from—wrapping paper and gifts—all delivered conveniently to your home.

(ORDER BY DEC. 6 to guarantee delivery before the holidays.)

At checkout, be sure to enter The Highlander’s account:  973515.

Each issue of The Highlander costs approximately $3,000 to print and distribute and the student staff is responsible for raising that money. The funds generated by your wrapping paper purchase will help the newsmagazine continue to report and write in-depth stories about the MHS community. 

Thank you for supporting The Highlander!

HAVE AN ENJOYABLE THANKSGIVING!  NO ASSIGNMENT FOR MONDAY, BUT...

...THERE IS AN ASSIGNMENT FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29:


Read Act IV.

We will start an activity in class on Tuesday in which small groups will present a scene or scenes from Act 4 or Act V.  This will involve creating a script, choosing actors, creating costumes and selecting props...you will have the options of adding music and special effects if you like.  We will work on this project in class on Monday and Wednesday and start presentations on Friday. 

ALSO, SINCE YOU WILL START WRITING A LITERARY CRITIQUE IN DECEMBER...scroll down to the November 14 assignment and find the instructions concerning researching the list of world authors and selecting any one, two, or three authors you find of interest...e-mail me with your choices.  As much as possible, I will try to match your choices with short stories by those authors that you can feature in your papers.

THE FIRST DRAFT FOR THE PAPER WILL BE DUE DECEMBER 12.  I'll have a complete schedule when you come back.


ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, TAKE THE ON-LINE TEST FOR MACBETH, ACTS I, II, AND III.

The test will be available on-line from 12:15 in the afternoon until 10:00 on Sunday. 

My advice:

1.  BE SURE YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND ALL OF THE PLAY.  Even if you feel confident about your understanding, skim through one more time.

2.  PLAN TO TAKE AT LEAST AN HOUR, EVEN TWO, PREPARING FOR THE TEST.  You need to study for this one -- whatever you do, don't just sit down and take it! 

3.  SET ASIDE an hour for the test.

4.  TO START PREPARATION RIGHT NOW...use your notes to locate and review the sections of the first three acts that were highlighted. 

Be sure to know the following well:

All of the characters, including how to spell their names. 
All "plot points" are important...external and internal conflict.
Ways in which major figures are characterized through what they do and what they say
The introduction of themes (complete statements of meaning" and use of "motifs" (ideas that appear repeatedly)
The terms of Shakespearean drama.

5.  THE LINK FOR THE TEST WILL GO UP JUST AFTER NOON...as it was with Sir Gawain, all you need to do is scroll down, click on the link, and take the test.

IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ THIS FOR YOUR OWN SANITY:

1.  Don't go forward or back -- you could erase answers.
2.  Read each questions CAREFULLY
3.  If asked to spell something correctly, don't guess!
4.  THE TEST IS WORTH 60 POINTS, BUT THE GRADE YOU SEE AT THE END WILL BE YOUR PERCENTAGE ON THE FIRST 45 POINTS.  There are 15 points of short answer and essay questions that the computer can't "autograde."

Good luck!

No homework for Tuesday; you will read Act IV over the Thanksgiving break for Monday, November 28.  HOWEVER...IMPORTANT: Scroll down to November 14 assignment and look at the list of authors for the paper you are writing in December...I need to see which authors you find most interesting before deciding who to focus on.


FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14

Because of the change in schedule this week -- including Ethics Day -- the assignment I had planned had to be dropped in favor of...some planning of your own!

Read the announcement below, first, then scroll down...

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

HOMEWORK HAS TO BE ON TIME FOR THE QUARTER WITHOUT EXCEPTION.  If you are going to be away from school, get it to me in advance, or through a fellow student or parent ON TIME.  If you are sick, please find a way to do the same thing.  Please do not schedule appointments inside or outside of class during this class...schedule them at other times of the day or after school as much as possible. I can excuse you for guidance visits, but not until the very end of class.

I need to focus on this one: IF YOU MISS A CLASS AS A RESULT OF AN EXCUSED ABSENCE, I NEED YOUR ASSIGNMENT BY E-MAIL (AS SOON AS POSSIBLE) BUT NO LATER THAN PRINTED OUT THE NEXT DAY.  I have to enforce this, I am afraid, since there is a trend now with some students who miss a day of school and bring the assignment in two days later -- in effect, creating a two-day extension on an assignment.  IF YOU KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO BE ABSENT FOR AN EXTENDED TIME (a school trip or college visit), check the website and then e-mail me so we can agree on what to do.

I feel that I have to raise all of this because 15 students out of 75 did not do the assignment for Wed./Thurs this week -- the outline for Act II of Macbeth. A grade of 0/25 is devastating to the interim grade (25 points missing out of 145 points) and a significant impact on the quarter grade...(25/300).

Thank you.

...SO, FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14:

Students who got their "Octavio Paz Bouquet of Blue Eyes" assignment back last week are fine if you wrote a full length submission back in the first quarter and typed it.  If not, you have to write a complete story of a page and a half or more TYPED and get it to me by Thursday, November 17.  This is the first grade of the quarter, so please do not forget. Scroll down to that assignment as given back for October 4 for details.

FOR ALL STUDENTS...If you have read Act II, you are in good shape. Plan to read and finish Act III by Thursday, though...START NOW IF IT'S GOING TO BE A BUSY WEEK. There is an on-line test on Acts I, II, and III equal coming up next weekend...so if you haven't read by Thursday you will be a bit lost.  Don't let that happen!)

I will continue to cover Act II and get to Act III on Thursday so that you will be ready for the test.  Class notes will be critical for the on-line test since the questions and answers focus on what is provided in class.  (With that in mind, please be sure to attend class on both days...arrange an excuse absence in ways that don't conflict, please.)

Here is  some information on an assignment that will be important for you to consider as we go forward over the next month.  For the major paper of the quarter, you will need to read a short story by a "world author" and create a three-page long literary critique that focuses on selected "elements of story."  So that you can plan ahead -- the first draft of the paper will be due in the second week of December,

I do this so far in advance so that it is possible to get through Macbeth, start this paper, and get into the first novel of the modern class BEFORE the winter break.  My hope is to give no homework for that week, but I need your help in order for me to help you.

TO START WITH -- BEGINNING NOW AND DURING THE COURSE OF THE NEXT TWO WEEKS -- go on-line to any source you trust for high quality information and get to know these famous "world" authors.  I prefer for students to get to know the authors as people before assigning a story...everyone would rather read a story by an author they are intrigued by.

Here is the list of authors.  What I am trying to do now is to gauge the interest that students have in these authors so I can pick four or five to focus on...

Allende
Chekhov
Tolstoy
Dostoyevsky
Gogol
Pushkin
Flaubert
Maupassant
Duras
Morente
Wolf
Joyce
Paz
Marquez
Kincaid
Bierce
Faulkner
O. Henry
Cather
Lessing
Kipling
Greer
Wilde
Tagore
Conrad
Mori
Sagan
Walker
Welty
Woolf


FOR THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11:

Students, you do have a survey to take on Thursday -- required by the school.  I have the copies ready to go.  So please come on time.

There will be a class activity Friday in place of homework.

I am trying to seek approval for the other version of Macbeth that we looked at for a few minutes today...it is rated "TV14-V," so it's the same as PG-13 with violence but no language or sexual content issues.  (This would make it about the same as Forrest Gump, with more graphic violence but no language and no nudity or sexual references.)

There is "TVMA" above that -- very much the same as "R."  (A film like "Schindler's List" is "MA" -- if you have seen it, you know it is quite graphic...but then again, so was the Holocaust, a subject is represents with unblinking honesty. Anyway, we are safely below that.) Ours is just "V."

So there's a chance, and I am working on it.  (They show it at Langley and Marshall, according to what I have heard, but it is NOT currently approved by the county.)

Ratings or not -- one of the things that made Shakespeare great was his ability to push the limits a little and take some risks.  His shows were -- it must be said -- very "R."  But the times were a bit coarser and more violent, and being on the far side of the Thames was a sort of moral no-man's land.  He could get away with a lot!

My real intent here, of course, is to share the value of different forms of "interpretation" with regard to dramatic works.  (The state of Virginia wants you to be able to evaluate and critique various interpretations, and so this is one way to get there.)

FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, AN ASSIGNMENT HAS TO BE POSTED OVER THE WEEKEND.  DUE TO INTERRUPTIONS FOR THE YOUTH SURVEY AND ETHICS DAY, TWO HOURS OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME IS LOST AND SO AN ALTERNATIVE ASSIGNMENT NEEDS TO BE CREATED.

IMPORTANT:

HOMEWORK HAS TO BE ON TIME FOR THE QUARTER WITHOUT EXCEPTION.  If you are going to be away from school, get it to me in advance, or through a fellow student or parent ON TIME.  If you are sick, please find a way to do the same thing.  Please do not schedule appointments inside or outside of class during this class...schedule them at other times of the day or after school as much as possible. I cannot excuse you for guidance visits, but not until the very end of class.

For students facing a crisis, the next day at break -- in my hands in my clasroom (B-150) -- is acceptable if there is a note from a parent.

I have to raise this because 15 students out of 75 did not do the assignment for Wed./Thurs this week -- the outline for Act II of Macbeth. A grade of 0/25 is devastating to the interim grade (out of 145 points) and a significant impact on the quarter grade...25/300.

Thank you.


FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9:

BRING IN YOUR IMPACT AID FORMS IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY -- Leandro, Melissa, Hardy, Sean, Cole, Tiffany, John, Sophie, and Haleluya

Read Act II of Macbeth using the on-line text source you are using at home...scroll down to past assignment for the link.

Create a scene-by-scene outline of a page or more in length per scene, HANDWRITTEN NEATLY.  You can use standard outline, bullets, diagramming -- your preference...pencil, pen...with more than one color, please.  (Do a good job: This is homework that reflects your understanding, but it is also for you to use in the future.)

BE SURE TO COVER EACH ONE OF THE FOUR SCENES.  Include changes in setting; characters; key "lines" from dialog, asides, speeches, and soliloquies; developments/changes in plot (old conflict, new conflict); symbols (objects that represented something "larger"); any suggestion of theme (lessons and observations about people that are obvious "bumper stickers.") 

AND...LOOK FOR USE OF POETICAL DEVICES such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, onomatopoeia, allusion...the ones that you already know.  As a guideline, focus on the use of poetical elements within the dialog, asides, speeches, etc. that you select out -- there will be plenty of poetical devices to highlight or underline.

(If you need definitions for any of the terms used above, go to the Literary Terms web site -- scroll down to link at bottom.)

If interested in seeing the production of Othello that my daughter was involved in -- as described in class -- please check the site for the theater.  I DO recommend it, of course!  The site: http://www.folger.edu/whatsontype.cfm?wotypeid=2


FOR NOVEMBER 4:

Make sure you have read Act I of Macbeth; review your notes from class to make sure you are clear on ALL SCENES.  The quiz given in class is likely to consist of 15 to 20 fact-based questions..."true/false," "fill-in-the blank," or simple multiple choice.

Mr. Perez and I are grading the projects.  They will be returned next week!

The Sir Gawain on-line quiz will be returned Friday.



FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2:

Go to this link for "No Fear Shakespeare" and read Act I of Macbeth -- BOTH the original language AND the "modern translation."

http://nfs.sparknotes.com/macbeth/page_2.html

"No Fear Shakespeare" was a resource that came into use many years ago and has been popular with teachers ever since. It is based on the work of a college professor who was trying to help his students deal with 400-year-old words, phrases, slang, cultural references, Biblical and historical allusions...the works!  It is a little different in its present form -- I have some problems with it now since SparkNotes took control of it four years ago -- but I feel it is still a valuable tool.  Caution: this only works if you read BOTH the original and the modern versions.

COPIES OF THE PLAY will be distributed in class on Wednesday.

COMING UP: There will be a quiz on Friday.

FOR PLANNING: Reading and interpreting Macbeth -- and learning about Shakespeare and his works -- will be the focus in class over the next month (through November).  There will be five quizzes, usually on Thursday or Friday...one for each act.

FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC9G_CZVAL8
animated act one scene one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0zm4jzImu8
animated

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFydNpk2Y4I
version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1_I36qHDts
Orson Wells

FOR ENRICHMENT:

http://www.suppressedhistories.net/secrethistory/secrethistory.html

http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/witchtrial/na.html

http://www.thingsinthebasement.com/index.php/site/comments/history_of_witches/

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/witchhistory.html

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15674a.htm

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SALEM.HTM



FOR MONDAY OCTOBER 31:

(THIS NOTICE POSTED WEDNESDAY, THE DAY OF "HARVEST FEST")

I hope you enjoyed the fall festival, but there is work to do, and as I said, things will pile up. So here it is...


THE ASSIGNMENT:

Read the rest of Sir Gawain!  Make sure you know the rest of the story -- the ins and outs -- how the conflicts are resolved. 

Also, consider what you know about chivalry.  Think about Sir Gawain and his exploits in the story...do his actions show that he is a good example of chivalric behavior? 

THERE WILL BE AN ON-LINE QUIZ available through this website on Sunday...it is very easy to take, since there will be a link just below in the activities section.  But PLEASE READ the story using the same link as always, and be ready with the facts before taking the quiz.

(POSTED SUNDAY)

TAKE THE SIR GAWAIN QUIZ BY SCROLLING DOWN TO THE LINK UNDER THE ASSIGNMENT SECTION

THE TEST IS AVAILABLE STARTING AT 1:00 PM AND GOES UNTIL 10:30 TONIGHT.

Here is a notice and some instructions, as they appear on the quiz itself:

"Welcome to your first on-line quiz in this class!  Quizzes of this type are designed to be taken at home, usually on a Sunday afternoon, and often just as reading checks.  Students find that these quizzes are less stressful than in-class quizzes, and the advantage to the whole class is that there is more time for instruction. FOR THIS QUIZ, QUESTIONS COME UP ONE AT A TIME IN A RANDOM ORDER.  YOU SHOULD OPEN THE TEXT OF SIR GAWAIN IN A SEPARATE WINDOW SO THAT YOU CAN  REFER TO IT DURING THE QUIZ.  IT IS TIMED AT 25 MINUTES, WHICH IS FAIR FOR THE NUMBER OF QUESTIONS GIVEN.  Please be careful not to click "FORWARD" OR "BACK"!" This can erase answers.  Your score will come up right away at the end of the quiz."

In order to succeed on this test, it is important that you completed Sir Gawain.  As it says above, you ARE allowed to open up the text of the story on a separate window and use it during the quiz.  For this reason, the quiz is a bit more difficult than an in-class quiz without reference to the story might be.

Please take this test at a time when there are no distractions, and you really have 25 minutes to set aside.  The Quia site may give you a second chance to take it, but bear in mind that it is the first time that counts for your grade.

ALSO: THE CLASS HALLOWEEN PARTY IS ON MONDAY!  PLAN TO DRESS IN GRUESOME ATTIRE...FOLLOW SR&R GUIDELINES, OF COURSE.  IT IS A PARTY, SO BRING ALL OF THE FOOD YOU WANT. BUT, PLEASE: BRING PLATES, UTENSILS, AND NAPKINS...AND, AS EXPLAINED, PLEASE MAKE SURE ALL FOOD IS ONE/ANY COMBINATION OF THESE COLORS: BLACK, WHITE, ORANGE, YELLOW.


FOR WEDNESDAY (NOT TUESDAY), OCTOBER 26:

The project is due.  Visit the site for the project (scroll down, last link on this page) for details -- use the website as a checklist to make sure you have met all of the requirements.

FOR WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19-20:

Start work on the Sir Gawain project RIGHT NOW (sorry for the caps, but there is a lot to do).

First: KEEP READING!  IF YOU HAVEN'T READ AS FAR AS APPROX PAGE 40-45 IN THE ON-LINE TRANSLATION, MAKE SURE YOU DO.  Use the same link for that as always, from Luminarium (see past assignments below for link.)

Then: GO BACK TO THE SIR GAWAIN PROJECT WEBSITE -- SCROLL DOWN TO BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE FOR LINK.  Read the whole content of the site...some due dates for this week are built in.  You'll want to stay on track so you don't crash this weekend!

Do as much as you can going into Thursday so that class time in the library is used wisely. 

IMPORTANT:

The key dates are correct for you in general.  I don't see you Friday, and that does set things off a bit -- I will be making up for this by moving the due date to Wednesday.

WARNING:

This can be a fun project but there is A LOT to do, so don't save it all for the weekend...you just won't make it!


FOR TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18:

Scroll down to the Monday assignment.  Look at the section that runs from Sir Gawain's departure from Camelot to approximately page 30-32 in the text version that we have been using on-line.  If you were planning a film version of the story, what key events ("plot points") would HAVE to be in your film?

We will use this as a starting point for a trip to the library to begin a project I am assigning in lieu of a test...due next Wednesday, October 26.


FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 17:

Follow the instructions for the final draft of your personal (college) essay...scroll down, click on the link to that web site, and MAKE SURE you follow directions.  Bring in that final product to class.

PLEASE BE SURE TO HIGHLIGHT OUT THE SECTIONS OF YOUR PAPER THAT YOU REVISE.  This will be as little as a third of your paper and as much as the whole thing.  I would like to see what your emphasis was while doing the revisions.  PLEASE BRING IN THE GRADED DRAFT FROM FRIDAY -- THANKS.

Going into the week, we will come back to the activity that we started on Friday in which you selected out essential aspects of the first parts of Sir Gawain...imagining that you needed to pull out the most critical elements for what we be a film of the story. On Monday and Tuesday we will head right back in that direction.  Don't worry...you won't have to make a real film unless you have $80 million.  But we will do something similar that will be due on Tuesday, October 25.  This project will count in lieu of a test -- you should thank me for this!  The project involves work but the test is nearly impossible.  (You're welcome.)

To prepare, make sure you have read AT LEAST halfway through Sir Gawain using the on-line text you have been using (same link as below, from past assignments).  This means that you have read at least as far as page 20-30 of that 55 page-long version.  You'll read the next 15 pages or so during the week; that will be as far as you will need to go for the project.

Preview:  We will finish Sir Gawain as soon as the project described is submitted; there will be a final quiz.  Then we start the Shakespearean play I have selected on on Halloween.  That is the day of the famous Annual Shakespearean Halloween Party...details on that to follow.

Also, just for enrichment: Check out this Youtube in which Simon Armitage (from the BBC Sir Gawain video) talks about creating poetry...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXVZseBCfiM



FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13:

There is SOME homework, as announced in class...you covered one activity already and did it well, so it's only "some"!

The assignment:  Read the next 15 pages of "Sir Gawain," using the link provided below.  Please be attentive as you read!  There won't be a quiz this time but there will be a class activity and at least one more quiz in the future and so keeping up with reading and in class is important.

Students who want to watch more of the video are very welcome to do so!  It will be assigned for the weekend, when you will finish Sir Gawain, but watching now can only help.  Spoiler warning: It does give a bit too much away...wait until the weekend if you like to be surprised.


FOR TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11:

As announced on Thursday, there is some reading to do over the long weekend...so please get on it now!  (If you are checking this for the first time on Monday night -- all I can say is OUCH!  Where have you been?)

I have added something for fun, but it leads to the written part....so plan to spend about some time with your computer on watching the video and writing out answers to about 15 questions.

MAKE SURE YOU DO ALL THREE PARTS OF THIS ASSIGNMENT...there will be a homework check and a quiz.

1. Please start out the assignment for Tuesday by reading the first 15 pages of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" -- this covers the appearance of the Green Knight for the "beheading game" straight through to Sir Gawain's departure to face the challenge one year later.

Use the on-line text available through the "Luminarium" site you referred to in the assignment for last week.  This link will take you straight to it:

http://www.yorku.ca/inpar/sggk_neilson.pdf

This reading will take about 30-35 minutes.  THERE WILL BE A QUIZ IN CLASS RELATING TO THESE 15 PAGES --  please make sure you know setting, characters, basic parts of conflict, etc.  The quiz will involve 15 "fill-in-the-blank" questions and a brief essay question (two paragraphs).

2.  Also, to get a taste of the real thing...

Go to this link in the Luminarium:

http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/gawaintx.htm

Click on the link for the first text by Tolkien (that's right -- if you know him -- the man who wrote The Hobbit).  Print out at least one page of the original text for your notebook. This IS part of the homework.  It helps to see the original English, which you now know a bit about yourself from "Sumer is a Cumen In."  It also reminds you that this is a POEM.  They didn't have novels yet, just songs and poems, including their own epics.  Much of the storytelling was still in the oral tradition since literacy was very limited at the time.  (It was easy to cut school since there wasn't much school to begin with.)

3. In addition -- a fun part!  As mentioned above, you will need to watch at least 15-16  minutes of a one-hour-long BBC documentary on-line, and write up some notes.  (I will assign the next 30 minutes for later in the week.)

The video is very informative and entertaining -- much better than the website I was planning to refer you to!  I really mean it: you will like the narrator and the scenery in it and the people you meet are a "laugh" as they say in England.  The narrator, Simon Armitage is a very cool guy over in England -- I e-mailed him today to see what he is up to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74glI1lg1CQ

Here are the questions.  PLEASE TYPE YOUR RESPONSES...maybe have a Word document window open while watching the video.

First, note that Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a poem – a long one – a little like the Odyssey.  The version you are reading is a prose version (that is, ordinary sentences constructed in paragraphs and pages, like a nove

According to Simon Armitage (the popular poet in the UK who narrates this program):

1. About how old is the poem? How many lines?
2. According to Simon, what "five different stories in one" is the poem?
3. Simon recites a passage from the poem right away: “After Britain was built by…(etc.)”  What literary terms for poetry describes the use of repeating consonants? (See the Literary Terms website for this class if you are unsure.)
4. Who wrote the poem?  What was the original title of the poem?
5. Why, according to Simon, is Christmas exactly the right time for the poem to start?
6. How many parts (or “acts”) does the story have?  (These are called “Parsus,” just fyi.)

(Also: the place that Simon thinks is the most appropriate geography for Camelot is Tintagel in the south of England, in Cornwall.  The beaches and surf you see in the video are EXACTLY what you see in Cornwall.  I went swimming there once and it was the biggest “near miss” of my life.  This is one of the reasons people go there now: http://www.camelotcastle.com/?gclid=CPXojLnj26sCFY0s7AodLkeUPA)

7. Okay – so – what is the Green Knight holding in his hand?
8. The small verse of four lines at the end of a passage is called the ____(1)___ and ____(2)____.  Just fyi, the first little couple of words is the ___(1)____ and the ____(2)___ is the four lines after that.  This literary feature of the poem acts as a sort of refrain (like a refrain in a song).
9. What is Simon’s explanation for why the poem loses too much when translated into modern language?
10. According to Simon’s modern day knights, what is “chivalry”?
11. What is Simon’s comment on the “seriousness” of the description of Sir Gawain being put in his armor?
12. There is a funny scene in the video in which Simon visits a pub – at least, you have some very funny English fellows in there who have had WAY too much beer!  What does Simon ask them to help him with?
13. The poem begins in King Arthur’s court – when is it and where is Sir Gawain at the beginning of the second section?
14. According to Simon, what is the meaning of the transition away from the safety of the court to the long journey by foot to Wales?  (Include the reference to nature.)
15. What questions do you have about the poem, based on what you have heard from Simon, or from reading?  If he answers the e-mail from me, I will forward your questions.)


FOR WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, AND THURSDAY,OCTOBER 6:

Time for some time travel!  Welcome to 14th and 15th century England...

Go to this site, which is your time machine, and hit the links so that you have a thorough look around...

http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/

...go in order from Geoffrey Chaucer (a very talented writer) to Medieval Lyrics (some very nice music, surprisingly):

...the part I want you to spend most of your time on would be the lyrics page:

http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/lyrics.htm

There you will find lyrics for a number of songs and the music itself on audio files.  Spend 20-25 minutes listening to the songs.  (Songs are literature -- very poetical, you know?)

Your awareness of the songs of the time will be VERY useful for class on Thursday.

Also, for fun, check this out...what a good Saturday night in the old days would include...a bit of real drama:

http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/medievaldrama.htm

FOR TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4:

Note: This is required for all first period students; it is required for fifth period students who didn't do it in class; it is required for seventh period students who didn't do it in class.

Write a "short short" story in which you use the following words and phrases in the order in which they appear.  Fill in the spaces with narrative, description, more dialog...definitely add to the end to create your own ending (just don't stop at the last line).

In all likelihood, you will find yourself writing something that is a bit on the "magical realism" side -- a bit like Gabriel Marquez.

Use all of the words and phrases -- and, as I said before, use them in the order in which they appear.  Write as much in between as you like to make it in to a story.

hot sweat

scorpion

in the doorway, a one-eyed man

the moon appeared behind a black cloud

the universe was a vast system of signs

the night was a garden of eyes

shuffle of sandals

I felt the point of a knife in my back

"don't be afraid...I'm only going to take your eyes..."

"my girlfriend wants a blue bouquet"

I struck a match and put it near my face...

(keep writing...)

PLEASE TYPE AND GO FOR TWO PAGES.


FOR FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30:

Go to the link below and read the famous story by South American author Gabriel Marquez, "The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings."

http://salvoblue.homestead.com/wings.html

Please get ready!  This one is a bit different.  The genre (category of fiction) explored here is "magical realism."  The settings, characters, conflicts, etc. described in this story could not possibly occur in real life, but they are described in matter-of-fact ways.  You'll have to imagine that these things could be real: a floor filled with crabs, an ancient angel who falls from the sky, a spider lady at a traveling carnival...and more.

So you have the "magical" (or fanciful) and the "realism" (the narrator treats it all like reality).

If you read between the lines you will see that the story is as more about people and their reactions to the mysterious...you'll see.

ALSO:  Read the two college essays on the back of the handout from class.  Consider which one is more effective -- and why?


FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, NO NEW HOMEWORK.

We got a lot done in class.

Coming up:  The drafts of the personal essay go into share/peer review and will be returned by Friday.  You will finish them next week. 

The in-class handwritten essay is something I will take my time on.  You'll get that back next week.  Those essays -- even if not complete -- will help me judge how you think and what you can do, individually and as a whole class.

We have one more story or two to read before moving into the 13th century...I'll explain that later!


FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26:

select one of the possible approaches to your personal essay and develop it into a first draft.  GO TO THE COLLEGE ESSAY SITE FOR EXACT INSTRUCTIONS:

http://www.quia.com/pages/jteacher/page38

DEVELOP ONLY ONE IDEA, not all three.

We will continue the in-class work on the A&P and Araby compare/contrast essay in class.  ANY STUDENT who has not read these stories in full should scroll down to the "World Writers" link at the bottom, click on it, go to that website and locate the links for the full text versions of those stories.

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FOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22:

Not a lot to do -- will take you 30 minutes or less.  Complete reading of "Araby" by James Joyce.  Be mindful of story elements and obvious similarities with "A&P."

You will do some class-based work on Thursday, anticipating a "compare and contrast" essay in which you write about how three story elements or more are developed in the two stories.

Scroll down to link for the "World Writers" page.  Then, once you get there, scroll down on that page to read the story.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------


FOR TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 -- READ ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:

(...and, to save yourself some agony, please do not wait until Monday night! This is FAR too much to do well at 9:00 on Monday...)


1.  First, thanks to those of you that did the "A&P" story element assignment.  It makes it a LOT easier for me to do a good job and makes it IMPOSSIBLE for you to get a "0," obviously.  Sorry, but that's the way it is in this class and in the MHS English department: for homework assignments or steps of a paper or project that are assigned as homework, no work = a 0.  HOWEVER, timely work that is complete = a good grade, sometimes more than full credit, and that = a really nice :) when you see your grade report.

2.  Don't worry about the rest of "Araby," the story by Irish author James Joyce that was an influence on John Updike, the American author who wrote "A&P."  That will be continued in class.  I DO want you to visit the James Joyce website and listen to the sound file for the song about Araby...I played this in class but it was a bit hard to hear.  It definitely gives you a sense of the magical and romantic vision of the fictional place called Araby that the fair of the same name that is described in Joyce's story.  If there was a music video for Araby, this would be the music, and I think it definitely would fit for the train ride out or on the way back.

While you are on that site, check the other links.

Here is the url:

http://www.james-joyce-music.com/song05_discussion.html

3.  THE FOCUS FOR TUESDAY: Start the college essay assignment.  GO TO THE WEBSITE DESIGNED FOR THAT PROJECT AND READ THE ENTIRE CONTENTS, WORD FOR WORD.  VISIT ALL OF THE LINKS.  Don't skim or blow it off, if I can be direct.  If you don't read and visit the links, you are missing the chance to help yourself to do well on the essay AND to learn something about the whole application college game that you may not already know.

I don't re-explain what is needed on an assignment when it is spelled out this carefully...but I will answer questions.  So if you have questions, e-mail.

SO, DO THE "FIRST ASSIGNMENT" FOR THE COLLEGE ESSAY PROJECT -- TYPE YOUR WORK AND BRING IT TO CLASS.

AND...SORRY TO SHOUT IT OUT: DON'T FORGET!!  The interim for this class ends in two weeks and this project along with the A&P/Araby writing is basically your whole grade.

HERE IS THE URL for the college essay website:

http://www.quia.com/pages/jteacher/page38

See you Tuesday...


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

FOR FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16:

Create a TYPED outline for Friday which takes a look at how all 10 story elements in detail.  THIS ASSIGNMENT HAS A 25 POINT VALUE.

The steps:

1.  Look at the definitions of the 10 Elements of Story that appear in the Literary Terms supplement -- scroll down and click on the url to get to the site or refer to your printout in your notebook.

2.  Read, re-read, or skim "A&P" (scroll down, click on link).

3.  As you read, be mindful of how the author sets up and develops the 10 elements...setting, characterization, dialog, conflict, theme -- and so on.  Compare the definitions you see in the supplement with the way these elements appear in the story.

4.  In your typed outline, identify the element, and create your own definition of the element using examples (two or more) from the story.

AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO HANDLE "SETTING" (the parentheses are to be filled in with your own statements and examples):

Setting is the time and place in which the action of the story occurs.  The setting presented by Updike is a small grocery store (your specific references from the story describing the interiors of the grocery store go here, at least two references).  The time period appears to be (your guess as to what date or decade), given some details that the author gives us (maybe an object, clothing, song, or other reference).  It is obviously summer.

HOW NOT TO DO THIS:

Setting is where it is and when it is.  It's a store at the beach and it's sometimes during the summer.

Important: Each element definition will be at least three sentences with the example included.  Be sure to "spread out your examples."  By this, I mean, don't just pick out examples from the first page or two.

Some advice:  Please stay away from the on-line guides...boy, are they ever pathetic!   I would like to know who writes that stuff.  It's an HONOR CODE violation to use them anyway, so just don't.

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FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14:

...Not much to do for homework unless you still need to do your book talk (there are some students who need to go on Wednesday) AND you have already read "A&P," the short story by John Updike (see the assignment from Monday).

We will get into the first literary analysis of the year starting on Wednesday...involving a comparison of "A&P" and a short story by a "world" author.  We'll start in class and move ahead to a draft you can finish over the weekend for next Tuesday.

HERE IS THE ASSIGNMENT FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12:

-- Be sure you have read your summer reading book!  If you didn't read a book, all is forgiven, but you need to get one today and read it right now.

-- We will do the "one minute book talk."  This is a misnomer (a name that doesn't really fit) since these book talks always go for more than a minute...you may talk a little longer, and I may ask questions.  To prepare, review your book and think about strengths and weaknesses...I say it that way because if you did not like your book you can at least recognize what the author did well before launching your missiles! It is all right to be critical, of course.  The truth is that not all books are that great and some deserve the criticism they get.  My advice is to think back to class and review the first five elements of story -- or just check the supplement for literary terms.  Good books have a strong sense of place (setting), believable characters (the result of full characterIZATION), meaningful dialog (substantial exchanges through which you learn about the characters, or about the conflict), an involving plot (conflict) which keeps you engaged, and a meaningful statement (theme) that leaves you with something to think about.  You don't need to touch on all five -- who can do all of that in a minute, you know?  But focus on one or two, and maybe have an example from the text that illustrates your point of focus. (Note: If your book was a piece of non-fiction, such as a biography, most of these elements still apply...for instance, weren't there were some "conflicts" or "problems to be solved" in that famous person's life? Or, perhaps there was a "theme,"maybe in the form of a lesson from that person's life that applies to all of us.)

Next (big jump here!):

Before reading the first short story of the year, think about the last time you were preoccupied with a boy or girl that you saw as someone special but probably impossible to reach.  (We have all been through that one!)  Perhaps you acted on your feelings, and perhaps you just kept them to yourself. 

This is one of these experiences that comes under the category of "universality" -- that is, just about everyone everywhere has been there at least once...if you are like Romeo, of course, you have been there far too many times!  Authors like to draw on universality when writing a story since we can immediately relate to the situation and are quickly interested in the outcomes.

Keep your sense of these experiences in mind as you read this famous short story by well-known American author John Updike, "A&P." (Just copy and paste the link.)

http://www.tiger-town.com/whatnot/updike/

I don't have to explain much about this story since you are teenagers.  It helps if you have had a summer job that you just can't stand, or felt left out because everyone was having a great time except for you.  One little thing:  "A&P" is the name of a grocery store chain from a while back, usually a bit smaller than the big Giants and Safeways we are used to now.

You will use this story as a basis for reading and analyzing your first work of "world literature."  You will see that teenagers around the world have a LOT in common...


Here is your first assignment.

Make sure you complete this assignment on time to get full credit; this can not be "late work."

1. E-mail me using the link above ("Send e-mail") so that I know you have successfully reached the site. BE SURE TO PUT YOUR NAME IN THE MESSAGE LINE SO I KNOW IT'S YOU!

2. Create an English notebook, or create a section in the general notebook you use for all of your classes.

3. PRINT OUT THREE SUPPLEMENTS AND PUT THEM IN YOUR NOTEBOOK.

Scroll down below to find the "English 12 course outline."  Read this supplement carefully so you know what we are up to this year.  Pay special attention to rules concerning grading -- this includes information on the new grading scale, late work, and a way to earn additional points on your quarter grade throughout the year.  Print it out and put it in your notebook.

Copy and paste the section on grading into a WORD document -- it will fit on a single page.  Sign the bottom and bring to class to turn in to me as part of this assignment.  (If you have trouble with your printer, which often happens, be sure to visit the library before class.  The alternative is to e-mail that document to me as an attachment as part of #1 above.)

Scroll down to the links below for "Literary Terms" and "Writing Wipeouts."  Then print out both supplements and put them in your notebook.  Review the contents of both supplements so that you understand how they can help you succeed in this class.

4. It's obvious but I'll just put it in here: Bring your notebook to class!  There will be a notebook check in class, so don't forget. THE NOTEBOOK CHECK INCLUDING ALL ELEMENTS DESCRIBED WILL BE YOUR FIRST HOMEWORK GRADE.

Also, FOR NEXT WEEK: Make sure you have finished summer reading if you are a new student; if you are a returning student, review your summer reading choice so that you can talk about it in class.  A short "book talk" will be the first "in-class" grade of the year.

That's all for now...see you in class!
My Quia activities and quizzes
THE SIR GAWAIN QUIZ
http://www.quia.com/quiz/3351837.html
UNIT TEST: The Stranger, Existentialism, Absurdism, The Myth of Sisyphus, and Camus' biography
http://www.quia.com/quiz/3482796.html
THE "SOUTHERN TRILOGY": A READING QUIZ
http://www.quia.com/quiz/3626678.html
The "As I Lay Dying" Reading Quiz (the first 100 pages)
http://www.quia.com/quiz/3635832.html
Useful links
Last updated  2014/04/05 19:22:25 EDTHits  3773