Thursday, September 30, 2010

Homework for All - 9/30


Tonight your goal is to complete the story "The Interlopers" by Saki, found on page 150 of your textbook. Be sure that you understand the story completely and that you remember the main events of the plot. We will work on the story tomorrow in class.


Tomorrow you will have a timed writing in class. Your preparation in class today should have gave you some ideas to ponder in preparing for tomorrow. Make sure that you're continuing to work on your final papers - drafts are due on Monday! And, you need to have a copy of Great Expectations on Monday. Please be sure that you have your copy of 1984 with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Office Hours!!!


On Wednesday of this week and Friday of this week, I am going to make myself available for extra help in preparing your papers. I'm here from 3:00 to 4:15 for extra help. If we get backed up or need more time, of course I'll stay later. But, if nobody shows by 4:15 - I'm out, or moving on to something else.

Please don't forget with these papers to cite everything! I will return papers without proper parenthetical and bibliographic citations. Everyone needs to cite everything; this includes any images that you use, or anything that is not your original thought. Those of you working with the critical collections will want to talk to me about citations if you haven't ever cited a TCLC or CLC before, it's a bit tricky.

I'm looking forward to reading A Clockwork Orange with you tomorrow.

9/28 - Homework for Tonight


Today was a relatively productive day in the library. You should continue to work on your final 1984 assignments. Please come to see me this week if you're having trouble or to begin working on your thesis. Once you have the basic idea charted out, the assignment should fall into place.

I'm looking forward to what you come up with here. Also, start reading Great Expecations -- get ahead!

Monday, September 27, 2010

English Work - 9/27


Tonight I would like for you to think a bit further on the story "The Lottery." Please answer questions two, six, and eight. Remember to follow writing rules, use a clear topic sentence to answer the question, and use quotes to support your answer. Furthermore, be sure to explain the quote/detail so that I can see how it proves your topic sentence. Answers should be three to five sentences. I will be very precise when grading these, I ask that you be precise when answering.


I think that we had a good discussion today about punishment and its goals. I would ask that you come back to these ideas as we move through the week. Tonight, you don't have any homework that will be turned it, but it would be a good idea for you to spend some time planning for your final assignment with 1984. Begin thinking of a thesis, think of ideas that you'd like to explore in a criticism, think of an important concept. Don't wast time tomorrow in the library, we'll only go back one more day this week before drafts are due.

Further, make sure that you get your copy of Great Expectations. Beginning the reading this week will be very helpful for you as we move forward. The first six or seven chapters are bland and will take a lot of getting used to.

Have a question, ask it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Seniors: Discussion Board 2 is Posted

One of the biggest hang-ups that I have as a reader is with endings of
books. If a book has a bad ending then I think that the whole experience of
reading the novel can be ruined. So, here's the discussion board posting
for this weekend:

Are you satisfied with the ending of 1984? Why or why not?

Of course, be specific in your answer. Use quotes if you feel it necessary
to prove your point. Remember that if you use a quote then you should
provide a page number.

I look forward to your responses!

If you choose not to respond to the discussion board posting, then I will collect a response via this website or on paper in class on Tuesday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Homework for the Weekend - 9/24

Freshmen: Please refer to yesterday's post to remind you of what needs to be accomplished over the weekend.


Over the weekend you need to finish reading 1984. On Monday we will wrap up the book and begin moving on to some other parallel texts before we move back in time to the 1800's. Be aware that I will be collecting your novels to check annotations soon for a final grade. Once you finish the book, please answer the Discussion Board 2 posting on the google group. You may complete the assignment on paper and turn it in to me. Posting to the Discussion Board is due by midnight on Monday.

Also, today I gave you the final assignment for 1984. You have a lot of freedom in completing this assignment and I'll be looking forward to what you produce. Please let me know if you have any questions getting started with this. The rough drafts of this assignment will be due on October 5th. Also, you need to be sure that you have a copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in class on the 5th. As this will be our next major piece.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Homework for 9/23


Over the weekend I would like for you to review the story "The Lottery." If you couldn't answer the question I asked at the opening of class, you may want to reread the story to review key details. Remember, a key to remembering what you read is to be an active reader. Take notes, underline, highlight, be active!

Once you finish reviewing the story, please answer question one at the end. Bring this question to class with you so that we can work on these together.

Finally, make sure that you have your final draft of your assignment ready to turn in. I will be collecting your final draft, rough draft, and your peer editing checklist.


You should continue reading book three though we have not yet discussed much of it. I will be giving your final assignment to you soon; having this reading done will make your life a lot easier. Also, you may want to go out and get a copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, our next novel. You will need to have this book in class the day after we finish 1984.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Homework for Seniors - 9/22


Tonight you need to keep up with the reading of 1984. Keep reading book three. This can be one of the most challenging portions of the text, but you've got to push through. Keep annotating as you read. Especially pay attention to the information that you should include on the back of the book: themes, motifs, symbols, etc.

Tomorrow we will get into discussing 3.1 and maybe 3.2. Make sure that you review the information in this portion so that we can have a productive conversation.

Let me know if you've got a question...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Sorry that I didn't update sooner. I just found myself thinking of it as I was wrapping up some grading.


I'd like for you to read the story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. Tonight, I would like for you to read the story all the way to the end. As you read, track any new words that you come across. If you don't know what the word means, then you should note it. You can list the words, or you can just mark them in the text (highlight, underline, circle, etc.) I hope that you enjoy this story, the end is pretty intense.


I hope that you appreciated the costume today. Tomorrow we'll spend a bit more time with Marx and then talk about the end of Book 2. We also have our final presentations. Tonight I'd like to set a goal that you read 3.1 and 3.2. Be sure that you annotate. We will move quickly through the end of the text - keep up with the annotations and the reading goals.

Good night!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The beginning of a new week...9/20

I can't believe that September is almost over. I feel like we just got started a few days ago. Anyway, today's post is relatively short, not a lot to get done.


You should be relaxing. You don't have anything to complete for class.


After speaking to a few groups I've decided to keep the pages open. Some groups were having technical problems and I want to be sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to get their project accomplished. I think that the presentations today were all very well done; they showed me that you all are really looking at these ideas and considering them within the text. As for homework, I would like for you to be reading Book Three. I will not give you a reading goal until we finish up with Book Two, which will hopefully be tomorrow. Keep reading! Keep annotating. Be thinking of what you would like to cover for your final project, details about that are just around the corner.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tomorrow is Friday!

I want to start off by saying that I'm really happy to see so many of you coming outside of class to receive extra help. I saw a lot of people today about their essays and to redo homework assignments. Thank you for that! Keep it up! If you haven't seen me yet outside of class, please do so!


I was particularly impressed to see everyone working in the computer lab; there were some technology problems, but I think that we all adapted well. I was really happy to discuss the thesis statements with groups, and I look forward to all of the presentations. Remember that the pages will be "locked" at midnight on Sunday evening. Be sure that all of your work is done by that point.

A few quick things to consider about the group project:
  • When you're coming up with the thesis statements, examine the small details in the text. Look at the detail and nuance in the text and explore the issue of why these seemingly insignificant patterns are significant.
  • Make sure that everyone in your group understands and can discuss the quotes. I want to see that this is a team effort in which everyone contributed.
  • There is no minimum on the number of quotes. I would rather you have five really good quotes with thorough, shared explanation than fourteen poorly done ones. Sometimes less is more.
  • Be sure that with the quotes with images you've discussed the connection between the quote and the thesis and the quote/image.
Lastly, I will be collecting papers from you tomorrow. Remember that this should not read like a typical essay: it's more of a creative writing assignment. I'm looking forward to reading your personal philosophies through narrative this weekend. Don't forget to finish reading book's a real kick in the face.


Your first test is tomorrow - any final questions?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Homework - 9/15


Tonight you should wrap up studying for your Autobiography/Memoir Test. A-day students will have this test on Friday. B-day students will be tested on Monday. Also, today in class we did peer editing. I would like for you to take the edits from class and improve your draft. Make sure that you have a clear tone, that you have a lot of sensory details and imagery, and that you're focusing just on one specific moment. Everything needs to revolve around that one moment. I'll be collecting your final drafts and rough drafts/peer editing on Monday the 27th for A-day and Tuesday the 28th for B-day. Please come see me if you want help.


We're drawing to the end of the week very quickly. Your Utopia papers are due at the end of the week! I've started to see more of you for conferences, this makes me happy. Remember that the point of this is to not only express your philosophy but to do it in the form of a narrative. Don't just say "My perfect world is..." -- instead, present the life of a character/yourself in such a way that your philosophy becomes clear.

Tomorrow we will be going to the computer lab to work on the group pages; we will also schedule all the groups to present. Remember that you need to have book two of 1984 done by this Friday. I want to start seeing more of you speak up in class. Tell me what you think, tell me what ideas you're coming up with.

Finally, if you'd like to sit down with me to review your test or any other assignment, please let me know. The goal is to always improve your standing in class, and not to backslide.

Let me know if you need anything!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Homework and Announcements 9/14

All of you have something due in the next few days. I wanted to go over all of that with you as well as your upcoming assignments.


The rough draft of your memoir writing assignment is due to class Wednesday/Thursday. We will be peer editing these drafts in class. Also, you have a test coming up. Be sure that you're studying the material and using good study habits (be active, summarize, look for common traits).


Tomorrow you will be getting back your tests on Book One of 1984. I'm seeing a lot of strengths in your analytical skills and writing skills, but I'm also seeing some areas for improvement. We'll start the improvement and building process tomorrow.

I really liked today's discussion on "Oranges and Lemons." There's a lot going on here in the text. Personally, I think that there's something really interesting in all of the songs/rhymes that Orwell includes in the text, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Tomorrow, I want us to discuss in some detail 2.7 of the text. Be ready to discuss and answer questions. It's going to get intense.

Finally, I'm seeing a lot of progress in some of the groups pages. I'd like to see more groups putting in data. Remember that the idea here is to discuss the quotes. These things are open to more than one interpretation - if in a group you can't come to a clear consensus about a quote, then this could be telling you something. Our final in-class group day will be Thursday; presentations will begin on Friday.

Alright, time to get back to my book. Almost done with Waiting by Ha Jin (Chinese-born, but now an American) - it's a beautiful story, very interesting. Reminds me a bit of 1984 but it's much happier. Love is doubleplusgood in this book as opposed to doubleplusbad.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Homework/Announcements for 9/13


I really want you to continue the process that we started today in class when it comes to studying and study skills. Go through everything that we've studied this unit and review it. Look at some of the major concepts that we've discussed including tone, conformity, irony, and family (just to name a few). If you want to study with me on Thursday afternoon, or during lunch this week - I would really recommend it. It'll be like a party, but we bring our own lunches and talk about literature...wait, that is a party to an English teacher.

Additionally you have the rough drafts of your personal narratives due to class for peer editing on Wednesday/Thursday. From looking at a few drafts today - I want to make a few brief reminders: most of this assignment is based on you writing about one specific moment and using imagery and sensory details to make that moment come alive for me, as a reader. Make sure that as you're writing, you keep coming back to these two main points. If you want to bring me a draft, great! Make sure that you have time to sit with me for edits.


From logging in to the group, I can see that there is some movement on the group project front. This makes me happy. Remember today's alterations to the overall assignment:
  1. You do not have to dramatize a scene from the novel.
  2. Instead of this, you have to present three of your quotes with a non-textual representation. Use the magic of technology. You have to be able to explain the connection of the NTR to the quote and the connection from the quote to the thesis.
  3. I want you to include a thesis for your quotes. Some overall idea to bring everything together. You can then use this as an anchor for your discussion of the quotes as a group. Anchors are always a good idea.
We'll talk about formatting the assignment in the group page on Wednesday in the computer lab.

Make sure that you keep up with the reading. You need to be done with book two by Friday. I will be setting you a reading goal really soon - be sure that you can reach it.

Finally, your papers are fully due on Friday. I have talked to a few people about the assignment, and I saw one or two drafts. Remember that if you want to go over a draft with me, you need to be willing to sit down and conference about it. Sometimes things are easier to understand face to face as opposed to my scribbles on a paper. I've got A-lunch, after, and before school for meeting space.

Whew...that was a long post. Any questions?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weekend Work - 9/10


All classes have a lot to work on over the weekend.

Freshmen: You should be working on the rough draft of your reminiscence assignment. Remember to use the assignment sheet to give you guidelines. I want to be sure that you're focusing on one specific event, using sensory details to show me the event, and fill your piece with imagery and details that reveal your tone. Also, we have a test coming up next week! You should take the weekend to begin studying.

Seniors: I think that today's class discussion on 2.3 went really well. I hope that as you're reading you're slowing down to examine some of the deeper elements within the text. Be sure that this weekend you spend some time working on your utopia papers, working on your group assignment, and reading book two. Next week we're going to spend some time every class working on the group assignment as well as continuing to study in depth certain sections of book two the way that we did today. Presentations of the group assignments will most likely begin at the end of next week.

All students: Don't forget that I'm always available after school and during lunch for extra help. You've all got papers coming due soon, I'd like to see you to work through any issues that you're having in working on these assignments. Remember, ask for help early to keep little problems from turning into big ones.

Have a good weekend! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gut Yontiff!


Tomorrow (9/9) you will receive your first paper assignment. Your due dates will be given to you tomorrow. Use your brainstorming as a start to begin your memoir. Continue the process. I will be available for assistance in getting started on Friday and Monday afternoons. You can always bring me a draft for me to look at as well.


I hope that you enjoy watching the film that I've selected for you tomorrow. I think that it's a really enjoyable movie and a good rendition of a great book. Remember that you need to be ready to discuss anything from 2.1 to 2.3 in class on Friday. In addition we are going to have a draft workshop on Friday. Come prepared with something to share. Finally, continue working with your groups - I've set up every motif's page in the google group - you can start actually working on your final project there whenever you'd like. I may even drop in online to give some of my own comments.

For those of you who are a bit lost with annotations, I'm making myself available Friday, Monday, and Thursday afternoons of next week for some help sessions. Come and read with me for a bit to get some of the nuts and bolts to annotating successfully.

If you've got questions about anything, feel free to ask! See you on Friday in 5771!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homework - 9/7


Tonight your homework is to brainstorm three important events in your life. With each event, list as many details as you can remember, down to the smallest possible detail if you can! Also, with each event think about what you learned from this event. What is the message that you came away with?


I went ahead and set up your group pages in the google group for your book two project. You can begin using those to collect data and collaborate. Tomorrow you have an exam on Book One of 1984. Remember the activity that we did today in class - important/unimportant. I'm going to be asking you about big ideas. Study, know your information, and be ready to explain your ideas.

Also, today I gave you a paper assignment. Your draft workshop will be on Friday. Papers will be accepted from 9/13 to 9/17. Please let me know if you need any help with anything.

Friday, September 3, 2010

9/3 - English IV Homework


This weekend I'd like for you to spend some time and reflect on what we've gone over so far in 1984. Please respond to one of the following prompts either in the google group discussion board or on paper. Make sure that you have responded before class on Tuesday! I will collect any paper responses then. The prompts are given for you below:

1. In "Welcome to North Korea" it is possible to see many connections between the society and culture in 1984 and that of North Korea. What do you think is the most interesting similarity? Why is this similarity important? What does reading a text like 1984 do to help readers understand life in a totalitarian society?

2. Throughout book one of 1984 the reader is introduced to the world of Winston through a distinct third person narrator. There are several areas in the text where the narrator presents seemingly shocking events as if they were completely normal. However, there are also several places where the narrator presents very everyday scenes in a way that makes the event seem abnormal. Find an example of this in the text and comment not only on the scene presented, but also the way that Orwell uses tone and diction to send a subtle message to the reader about the world presented in 1984.

3. Many readers argue that Orwell's use of irony is one of the most important elements of this text, that without the irony in this story, the novel would not function. Find a scene or moment in the text that is particularly ironic and comment on the importance not only of the scene but also on the importance of irony in this scene. What effect does Orwell's use of irony have on this text as a whole up to this point?

Finally - you will have a quiz/test on Book One on WEDNESDAY! Use the opportunity over the weekend to collect any questions that you may have so that you can get some clarification on Tuesday in class. If you have any problems completing the homework assignment, let me know as soon as possible so that we can try to work that out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Homework - 9/2

English I:

This weekend you will be reading excerpts from David Sedaris. He's a pretty humorous author, and I think that you're really going to enjoy these pieces. Be sure that you read "Go Carolina" thoroughly and then complete the worksheet. Make sure that the worksheet gets in to the box before 7:30 on the day it's due.

Also, Honors students need to read the additional piece "Me Talk Pretty One Day." Those of you learning a new language will really associate with this piece.

English IV:

Tonight I would like for you to finish book one. Make sure that you are keeping up with your annotations. After you've finished reading, you may find it helpful to go through the first book of 1984 and notice the things that you noticed your first time through. Try to figure out some of the deeper messages and movements in this text.