Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What keeps you reading?

As we are considering how to create an essay (whether research based or personal), I want you to tell me what keeps you interested when you are reading something.

When you are reading (for some of you that is ... if you are reading), what is it that makes you finish the article, book, or website? What strategies does that particular author use that draws you in and keeps you there? Give an example of a work or an author that kept you interested.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Citation Help



Hey, I figured out that many of you do not know my school email. It is caldwb@mtnbrook.k12.al.us

Email... hmmmm, let's go with that. Do you think you communicate with people more frequently through email or through phone? Do you have a preference? Why?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Stop, collaborate and listen...

Send me an email that includes your full name in the subject line. In the text of it, paste your email address. This will allow me to paste it into my wikispace invitation line.

The BrookSpace for Senior English (our wikispace) will be an opportunity for you to get bonus points on your research paper.

Da Rules:
  1. Once you are invited, you become an editor. Be responsible. This is a public place and an opporunity to share your resources. Do not put any links that could get our space noticed for the wrong reasons.
  2. Link or share resources in either the resources or the tools page.
  3. You can get 10 bonus points on your term paper for contributing at least three resources to the page. If you put anything on the page that might cause controversy, you will not only lose a letter grade on your paper, but you will also be considered in violation of the acceptable use policy. Don't jeopardize your exemption or graduation for a joke.
  4. Enjoy using this cutting-edge networking tool.
Comment on whether you think that a collaborative list of links, tools, and resources is worth the effort. If you get a chance to use the tool, post comments here regarding your thoughts.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tricks of the Trade

As we begin research papers, there are a few sites that I think would be helpful as you research and write. Click on the following links to learn more. The only comments needed in response to this post include your experiences if you have ever used these or any additional links you think would be helpful. *** Hint: The "wiki" site is going to be very useful in the future.

1) Yahoo Briefcase: This is online storage for files. This is helpful if you save a file at school and you want access at home. Create an account here and store docs and pics.
2) del.icio.us: This is a bookmark/favorites keeper. Import your bookmarks from your home computer to this site. Have access to them (and other people's bookmarks as well) from anywhere.
3) Wikispace: You will receive an invitation to become a member and editor of this site. It will be a place to add sites and ideas for research papers.
4) Google Scholar: Here is what Google says about this specific search engine-
"Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations."

Happy Researching!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Guilt... it eats us up

Lady Macbeth started the play as a mean manipulator with the strength of a man. She ended the play with an insane sleepwalk that eventually led to her taking her own life. Guilt is the disease that she could not shake.

Have you or anyone you know ever been so wrought with guilt about something that you (or the person) had to confess? Have you ever felt so guilty that it led to moments of misery or to other bad things happening? Okay, if you don't want to do any true confessions, do you know any literature or movies where a character experiences this emotion to its fullest?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow...

Macbeth says that life is a brief candle, walking shadow, poor player, and a tale told by and idiot. He is explaining the brevity and insignificance of life using these metaphors. Create a metaphor for life. Please be creative; Forrest Gump sort of has a patent on his phrase. (Yes, I know that one is a simile... I will take those too!)

Monday, January 23, 2006

If Macbeth had a Live Journal...

Imagine Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in 2006. Considering that Macbeth has the sense of false security that he cannot be defeated or killed, what do you think he might have as a post on his Live Journal or Blog? What about Lady Macbeth? What would she say on her Facebook? Choose one of these characters. Be creative and somewhat accurate regarding the information you know about them thus far. If you want to make up a bonus five points (for those that missed some last week), this is the opporunity.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

With great freedom comes great responsibility

As a teacher, I should know this. As a student at MBHS with a free period, you should know this too. We are going to explore this concept in regards to your future in this high-tech world in which we live.
1. Do you IM?
2. Do you text message?
3. Do you have a facebook/livejournal/myspace/blog/etc.?

More to come on this topic!

Look here for the law regarding internet responsibility and rights:

Friday, January 20, 2006

True colors...

Normally I would not post twice in a day, but after 5th period.... I thought it might be a post-worthy moment. For those of you that know the story, let's just say I ran the gamut of emotions in the span of about 5 minutes. Sorry to 5th period. You had to see my "angry face". Hopefully it won't surface again. For those of you that have no clue, be glad. The moral of the story is that technology can backfire if you are not careful and guarded when it comes to your login name/password info. Unfortunately, several people visited our blog in that time. So, I apologize for those of you who saw the mishap. I am still plotting what torture is appropriate for the culprit.

Have a great weekend. Monday I promise to wax on about Macbeth Act III for a long, long, long time.

"Come monday, it’ll be all right
Come monday, I’ll be holdin’ you tight
I spent four lonely days in a brown l. a. haze
And I just want you back by my side."

- Jimmy Buffet, "Come Monday"

The votes are in...

Ok, so you all seem to be ok with this blogging concept. I am adding a new twist. Because it is too hard for me to shuffle through two weeks worth of blog comments, the new rule is post twice a week. They will be checked every Friday. Remember, they only count if they appear on two seperate calendar days.

The weekend subject (which may never see the light of day for those of you who only post for points) is this:

Ambition--- has it ever gotten the best of you? In sports, competition, grades, class officer, work- has the need to be better than someone else made you do or say something you may (or may not) have felt a little bad about later?

Yes, the names can be changed to protect the guilty---- I mean, innocent.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Omens... I did a bad, bad thing.

Shakespeare tends to explore using the supernatural and the concept of fate particularly in his tragedies. Some of the ominous events in Macbeth include the owl killing the falcon, the horses eating one another, the earthquake, etc. Do you believe that there are signs and omens that foreshadow events? Have you seen any in life, history, or examples in movies or literature that you can discuss?

"Baby did a bad bad thing, baby did a bad bad thing.
Baby did a bad bad thing, feel like crying, feel like crying."
- Chris Issac "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing"

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Blood (gross)

Ok, as we start talking more and more about death and blood in Macbeth, I have to get some feedback. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth dwell on the blood (literal and symbolic) of Duncan. Blood has a certain connotation depending on the situation. Answer these somewhat weird inquiries:
  • What are your feelings about blood? Are you freaked out by it, not bothered, or does it depend on the situation? Just call it morbid curiosity.
  • Can you share a situation where someone else's blood was involved-- hospital, accident, animal, etc???

My answers:

  1. I used to freak out- I was a daycare worker. Four-year old kid nosebleed, I had to call for back up! When my dad was in the hospital for a long stay, blood became no big deal as I watched it go through machines for dialysis.
  2. At age two, my son stuck his finger in a rotating fan. I was the calm one and my husband freaked. Needless to say my son's finger nail fell off later, and he has a scar. I never let the hubby forget he was the "drama queen" on that one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A woman scorned...

Do you know any femme fatales or manipulators from movies or literature? Name her and explain what makes her better or worse than Shakespeare's villainous Lady Macbeth.

My choice... Delilah from the Bible. She is the ultimate manipulator!

Monday, January 16, 2006

One more note on research paper

I have been observing the commentary regarding research papers. Here are my responses:
1) The topic must be literary as mandated by the school district. Because we teach a survey of British Literature at the 12th grade level, it has to be a British lit topic.
2) The organization of the paper has to be gradable. I promise to come up with a method that will help those who like and those who hate "notecards". The electronic notecard process will help and is much easier than traditional note taking.
3) Fortunately for you, I will be very open to your own process as long as you can fit it into my ability to grade all papers on the same deadlines. I will reveal the details at the end of this week.

See you all tomorrow.

Friday, January 13, 2006

On the road again...

I am headed to a debate tourney in T-town. I hope all of you have a great long weekend. Remember to have your project on Tuesday. Today you got your scene assignments. I hope you are not disappointed. Don't be intimidated. I am sure you are going to be great. Post comments here regarding your thoughts on your scene assignments. Elliot... be nice.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Levels of Cool

In case any of you were unclear on this point... there are several levels of cool. Unfortunately, I am not really at the top of any of the upper levels. As a matter of fact, I have been a nerd all my life (nazi is a new title, though). So please understand your approval or lack of will not deter me in my efforts. I am excited about the coming weeks and forcing some of you out of your comfort zone. Shakespeare... Acting... Writing... Researching...Analyzing Literature... What could be cooler!

Song Lyric Project

Yes, I gave an extension on the song lyric project. It is now due Tuesday. In honor of that, post a copy of one of your favorite lyrics from a song (complete with song name and artist, please). Keep in mind that songs with objectional content are not really good candidates for this one.

"Where'd all the good people go?I've been changin channels I dont see them on the tv shows Whered all the good people go We got heaps and heaps of what we sow."
- Jack Johnson- "Good People"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The WORLD wide web

I think it is great that all of you are using the blog so much. A couple of reminders: 1) If you address me in a comment, my respectful form of address is Mrs. Caldwell or Mrs. C. Let's keep that in mind if you want your comments posted. 2) Remember, your comments all are taken into consideration. Be sure you mean what you say. 3) This is a public place. Your comments are here for the world to view. Be sure you represent my class and yourself in a mature manner.

All that said, I will further explain the acting scenes. You will be assigned a role and a scene group. We will spend entire class periods 2 or 3 days a week to prepare your scenes (150 points: 100 indiv. / 50 group) . You will work on memorization, stage combat, acting, etc. My goal is for you to "experience" Shakespeare's work which was meant to be acted, not read. I take into consideration that many of you have anxiety about acting, and I want to make you comfortable... but I don't want the person with a smaller role to sit around and play while the others with more lines work all period. I will be monitoring these rehearsal days. Between those days will be research paper mini lessons, library days, and writing days. You will have memorization and blocking (movement in scenes) deadlines as well as research paper (300 points) deadlines during those weeks. Overall, we will finish Macbeth in a week and a half. After that, we will jump into research paper/acting days. That pretty much sums up the next month (and 450 points) of your life.

So for those who check the blog... you got a heads up on what's coming around the bend. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I feel that the best way to experience Shakespeare is not only to read and analyze the text but also to memorize and act the scenes. Each of you will be assigned an acting group. Based some on your surveys and some on your "performance" in class, you will be cast in a role in one of several scenes from various Shakespeare comedies and tragedies. Some of you will have large parts with lots of memorization while others will have small roles. What would be your suggestion for a fair evaluation of that scene? Considering that the group may need costume/prop help, should the people with smaller roles have other responsibilities? (introduction, written reflection, directing???) Let me know what you think. Scenes will be assigned on Friday.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Knowing that you have to have a literary topic for your research paper, do you have any thoughts about the subject matter? I am still working on a list of topic options and would love your input.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Interesting feedback

I appreciate the honesty of the feedback so far. I hope that posting will not be a burden as some of you suspect. Because many of you will be on the computer for research paper or other classes, I hope that this will just be a short pit stop during the time you would normally spend in front of the computer.

New topic: Research Papers....

You have to do one, so don't even entertain the idea of not doing one. The question is, what is the worst part of the research paper process? I don't want teacher's names; I want specific parts of the paper or assignments within the process that you dread.

Research Paper info will be revealed later this week!

Friday, January 06, 2006

True Love

In the movie Shakespeare In Love, Queen Elizabeth poses the question, "Can a play show the very truth and nature of love?" What do you think? Have you ever seen a movie or play that shaped your opinion about what love should be? There is a saying that "Art imitates life." Do you agree or think that the opposite is true, "Life imitates art"?

Thursday, January 05, 2006


We are starting Shakespeare's Tragedy of Macbeth on Monday. What has been your experience with studying Shakespeare? Have you liked it? Hated it? Slept through it? Acted it? Include all of the plays you can remember studying or seeing in movie form.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Welcome to the new 10 Spot!

This is your new form of journaling. No more 10 spot notebook. What do you think? Do you like it? Is this something that will be easier to keep up with? What are your thoughts?