Friday, March 31, 2006

And I quote...

I like to peruse the comments, and I found one particularly interesting...

And I quote, "I think some of the prompts are really cheesy and elementary and doesn't sound like a senior english class project."

This is by no means the first negative comment I have had. But maybe it is the last straw for me. Not that defending my intelligence or experience as a senior English teacher is necessary, but I would like to remind you that I have been doing this for a while. I appreciate your candor and would like to invite you to seek information on what you will be doing in Freshman Composition next year. I found several sites in just a few seconds to indicate, as I knew already, that this project is relevant and necessary for your growth as a writer and a person.

Excerpts from what I found...

While teaching English 114: Exposition, a freshman composition class at California Polytechnic State University, I used the following essay assignments.

Assignment one- Educational Autobiography
Ideas: Any topic related to your education or your writing is acceptable. For example, you could describe your favorite teacher, discuss your greatest academic accomplishment, tell a story about your award-winning fourth grade poem, use anecdotes to demonstrate how much you hate writing assignments, explain how you panic the night before a research paper is due, or explore your first day in college.

Assignment two- Letter of Admiration
Ideas: Any letter of love, friendship, admiration, or gratitude is acceptable. Be creative. You could write to a relative, friend, sweetheart, celebrity, or fictional character. For example, you might create an anniversary letter for your future spouse ­- dated in the year 2026, a love letter between Romeo and Juliet or Mickey and Minnie Mouse…

And on another site...

John Corbelly- Los Angeles Harbor College- Freshman Comp
Assignment one-
Write a focused personal-experience essay that looks at some habit (or obsession) that characterizes you or a friend or a member of your family; you may also show how this exhibits a behavior or value shared by many Americans (or, if you are not a native-born American, you may show how this is typical of your native country); in any case, you will need to provide ACTUAL experiences, personal (or personally-observed) examples…

So for all of you that have other complaints and thoughts about the next few weeks of your life in this class... if you don't have something constructive to say---------- don't say it on here. Complaints are valid if they are constructive and provide a possible solution.


Who Am I?

You are going to be reflecting on your life in the first chapter "Who Am I?" One thing you have to include is a poem that you wrote about you or that is a reflection of you. Post your poem here. If you are still looking for a poem, now would be a good time to find one! Have a great weekend. Remember Chapters 1 and 2 are due Monday along with the "additional elements". Don't forget!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The antihero

Lord Byron made a character type famous. This character type is the Byronic Hero. Here is a definition:

An antihero who is a romanticized but wicked character. Conventionally, the figure is a young and attractive male with a bad reputation. He defies authority and conventional morality, and becomes paradoxically ennabled by his peculiar rejection of virtue.

Name someone in life, literature, or movies who could be a Byronic hero and explain your reasons.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Romanticism- Not so lovely!

Years: 1798 – 1832


*human knowledge consists of impressions and ideas formed in the individual’s mind
* introduction of gothic elements and terror/horror stories and novels
* in nature one can find comfort and peace that the man-made urbanized towns and factory environments cannot offer


* lyrical ballads


* evil attributed to society not to human nature
* human beings are basically good
* movement of protest: a desire for personal freedom
* children seen as hapless victims of poverty and exploitation

After perusing this list of attributes related to the Romantic period in British literature, think of a song or artist today that would fit perfectly into this era. If you name a song, please put artist and a snippet (not the whole song) of the lyrics. If you name an artist, give an example of his/her work and explain why he/she fits.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Scroll Down...

Hey guys,
If you are using Internet Explorer you may want to scroll down and see the new additions to the blog. We have a statcounter, a ticker, and a slideshow. Look for new slideshow links to come with your pictures. Also, this might be a great tool for our video diary projects too! Keep up with your reading this week, and get back into the swing of school. Use this post to express your feelings about the Senior Memory Book Project and Video Diary. What do you think? Are you worried? What are your thoughts? Elliot... be nice!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Diary: You think you know, but you have no idea...

You will be creating a video diary of sorts that chronicles your life until now. This will consist of pictures from chapters of your life. If you had to pick three significant-connected to strong emotions that you remember with great detail- chapters (events) in your life, what would you choose? You don't need to describe them here. Just give the chapter a name.

Example for me from birth to 12th grade (yes, I know that was long, long ago!):

1. The fourth grade perm/Valentine's Day debaucle
2. The first date (enough said)
3. Senior Homecoming- from "they like me" to "they hate me" in 24 hours

Your events can be happy, sad, funny. They can involve just you or family and friends. These events may not be significant to others, but if they hold significance to you- that's enough.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Techie strikes again

Today you take your 9-weeks test online. Besides complaining about your score, tell me your thoughts on the process. I want real comments about the ease or difficulty of the software, features, setup, etc. Try not to complain about the questions or the score here. Reflect on the process.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lights, camera, action!

Hollywood has glamorized the image of "Frankenstein". This is why most people believe that the monster is named Frankenstein. Add some links or thoughts regarding movie versions of Frankenstein. You can also add song lyrics or artwork that relates to the Frankenstein story.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Facebook made public

Read the following regarding the arsonists accused of burning the churches.
The Crimson and White Online reported:

Cloyd's father, Michael, said in the affidavit that Russell Cloyd admitted knowing who committed the arsons and Cloyd was with the arsonists when they set the fires.

A message posted on Jan. 3 by Cloyd to Moseley on said that it was time to "reconvene the season of evil."

Near the end of the message there is a pledge that asks, among other things, "May our girlfriends be concerned about our safety, may our parents be clueless, [and] may our beers be frosty."

Students charged with conspiracy, arson in nine fires
By Marlin CaddellMetro/State Editor
March 09, 2006

Give your opinion about the Facebook entry. Do you think this implicates them in the crime? Does it show that it was premeditated? What does this say about their attitudes toward the crime?

Is it right for businesses, government, or agencies to access your otherwise private Facebook account?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Science, Ethics, and Religion... Oh My!

This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till He shaped it in His own image;
Then into it
He blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.
Amen. Amen.

"The Creation"
James Weldon Johnson

In this world of advancements in science, medicine, and technology; it is no wonder that many in our society still debate the creation theories. Much like our current scientific controversies- cloning, abortion, and contraception; the creation stirs emotions within many in religious and scientific communities. Victor Frankenstein decided to create a living being. He "played God". In the news we are daily bombarded with controversies regarding Intelligent Design, the Big Bang, Evolution, Abortion, Stem Cell Research, etc.

Everyone has an opinion. Your opinion may be based on research, science, religion, morals, or the media. Choose a current controversy (from the above list or others) and take a stance on it. Explain your reasons.

Keep in mind that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Don't attack others' views. Keep an open mind, but be firm in your own ideas and beliefs.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I'm a Survivor, I'm gonna make it...

You have done it. You have survived a time which many of you may have affectionately referred to as "Hell Week". You have turned in your term paper (or you should have), and you have finished your Shakespeare Scenes. Hallelujah!!

So reflect on this nine weeks now. We started with the Song Lyric Project, discussed through Macbeth, processed the Term Paper, and dabbled in satire and the gothic novel. Answer these questions and add your own creative commentary:
  1. What was something we did that you liked or thought was helpful?
  2. What was something we did that you disliked or wondered "Why did we do this?"
  3. On a scale of 1-5 how would you rank your group's performance?
  4. On a scale of 1-5 how would you rank your effort on the research paper process?
  5. After seeing the calendar leading to graduation, what are you dreading the most?
  6. Final thoughts for saying goodbye to 3/4 of your final year of high school....

Monday, March 06, 2006

Your favorite teacher

Ok, so you get an extension on your final draft deadline. Yes, I am your favorite teacher. I know that some of you have some major work to do on your final. Do not wait until the last minute. Deadline for 3rd, 5th, 6th- Wednesday in class- submitted online to by midnight that night.
Deadline for 1st- Friday in class- submitted online the night before.

Good luck. Email me with questions:

Friday, March 03, 2006

Isn't it Romantic...

Characteristics of the Romantic movement from Wikipedia:

  • It stressed strong emotion (which now might include trepidation, awe, and horror as aesthetic experiences)
  • It stressed the individual imagination as a critical authority (which permitted freedom within or from classical notions of form in art)
  • It stressed overturning of previous social conventions, particularly the position of the aristocracy.

What movement or time period do you think is best compared to this one? What characters in literature or movies would fit well into this period?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Acting up

Ok, time is drawing near... your Shakespeare scene performances are right around the corner.
Answer one of the following questions depending on your outlook (glass half empty or glass half full):
  1. What is the worst possible thing that could happen to your group during your performance?
  2. What do you predict will be the best part of your performance?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Introduce yourself...

Source: WordNet (r) 1.7


n 1: the first section of a communication
2: the act of beginning something new
3: formally making a person known to another or to the public
4: a basic or elementary instructional text
5: a new proposal
6: the act of putting one thing into another

An introduction in writing is a tricky thing. Just as the definition implies, it is the first impression, the new proposal, the act of putting one thing into another (your thesis into your paper's body). Your job is to make the reader desire to read the rest of the paper. Just as a personal introduction to someone gives a first impression and leads you to desire further contact with that person, the intro to your paper leads the reader to want to learn more. There are some links at the end of this post to help with the process.

Please comment on an experience with a good or a bad first impression.

Strategies for starting your intro.

Intro and conclusion info... pay special attention to the "elaboration" sentence info.

Great info. with examples