Monday, December 8, 2008
A lot has happened in room 26 in the last three weeks (MC). We read further into The Grapes of Wrath and further discussed some reoccurring themes. We completed our character response drafts and we will analyze and create a response to one character from the story. We composed "found poems" using the theme and text. We shared them with the class. Later, we went over some old Woody Guthrie folk songs about the dust bowl. We took a look at Steinbeck's views on migrant workers and took our own stances (PC). We talked about the Joad family's experience on the hooper farm, their travels to a Hooverville, and the conditions for workers in the early 1900s. Money, gas, and food were necessities for everyone and the more work you did the more you got (FT). While reading the book, we also watched the movie. It was obvious to tell that they weren't the same (Anon).
Brian: never had seen someone selling themselves for work (MM).
John: they all want to go to California because they have the dream (MM).
Anthony: His found poem did not tell a story (TT).
Kevin: He's trying to give people inspiration to get through hard times (ME).
Pat: grandpa's death was less grim in the movie (DP).
Michael: the fields could bear food but they're not able to be worked (DP).
Andrew: work well and time will pass by (KW).
Martin: the pictures show us the base of human suffering (MM).
Julio: I wonder what it's like out there--[found poem line] (MM).
Words to live by:
"All that lives is holy." ~W. Blake
"I think, therefore I am." ~Descartes
"The sweet smell is a great sorrow on the land." ~Steinbeck
"He was alive and that's what matters." ~Jim
"But it can't kill me Lord, and it can't kill me." ~W. Guthrie
"They's a lot of things against the law that we can't he'p doin'." ~Pa
Monday, November 17, 2008
These past two weeks we focused on the book The Grapes of Wrath and its themes (CS). We went through the book and tried to match up good quotes with the characters (KW). We were given an assignment in which we will choose a character and write an analysis of that character (ME). We have also been analyzing the book. For example, we learned about Steinbeck's way of "panning" the scenes of the odd-numbered chapters through chapter 13 (MC). We have written a paragraph that tries to match up with the turtle paragraph in the novel which is as descriptive (MM). We've also looked at the important symbols such as reproduction, death, the past, nature, and "a man" (MM).
Reading on the T is fun.
John: "The turtle was just trying to survive, not interfere." (DP
Michael: "You feel for the oathead because you want it to succeed." (EO)
Kevin: "man cares/helps for nature." (MM)
Conor: "If they try to kill him he will kill three of them" (MM).
Frank: "The first paragraph [of chapter three] is one sentence long" (MM).
Michael: "Granpa is so good at reproducing" (TT).
Pat: "[the title comes from] Battle Hymn of the Republic." (TT)
Andrew pointed out that no characters die in the scene. (PC)
Nicholson said it represents how man is both good and bad. (PC)
Martin: "it may be trying to plant itself..." (ME)
Words to live by:
"You're bound to get idears if you go thinking about stuff." ~Tom
"There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue." ~Jim
"Maybe the Holy Spirit is the love between men and women..." ~Jim
"That's what makes it ours--being born on it!...ain't no piece of paper gonna move me!" ~Muley
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
During the final weeks of the first quarter we continued reading Henry IV (JG). We have been touching upon fatherhood and relationships in the book (BG). Henry IV is a scandalous play thus it is only seniors who read it! (unsigned). We had a nice little break in the middle and saw a documentary on Shakespeare's childhood (MM). Once we were done reading, we had to choose a character, choose a term, and write a paper on the character (EO). We learned a lot about how Shakespeare makes his audiences laugh with superiority, incongruity, and even verbal humor. This gave us the opportunity to act out scenes with our classmates, and try to give creatively crude comedic performances (MC). We also began to go over John Steinbeck and his novels such as Travels with Charley and The Grapes of Wrath (ME). The class went over a little of Steinbeck's background to become familiar with him (AJ).
"He was pleased with death" (DP).
Todd pointed out that in the beginning of the play the Earl of Douglas was real and ordinary. (FT)
In the beginning the Earl of Douglass was real and ordinary--Todd. (AD)
Incongruity humor is where the humor does not relate to itself--Anthony (TT).
Julio chose to write about Prince Henry as a farcical character--Manny and Andrew both gave him good examples of topic sentences (MC).
Falstaff is both a knight showing chivalry and a drunk--Nicholson (MM).
Steinbeck died from a heart problem--Pat (AJ).
Shakespeare wasn't a peasant, he was in the middle class--Kevin (MM).
He can summon anyone, but they won't necessarily come--Anthony (unsigned).
Andrew pointed out Steinbeck's references to death (PC).
Words to live by:
"I'll be a madcap once in my day." ~Prince Hal
"You can never go home again." ~Thomas Wolfe
"Literature is as old as speech." ~Steinbeck
"In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God." ~John 1:1
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The past two weeks we started off revising our college essays. We looked at a few chosen examples of good body paragraphs and opening lines from fellow students’ essays (ME). We have been discussing Shakespeare’s life, terms, and his play Henry IV (BG). We got farther into Henry IV, we saw the story change as the rebellion against Henry begins to take swing (PC). We have been given a couple reading comprehension quizzes and a bunch of new vocabulary words having to do with drama (MM). Throughout the course of the two weeks many scenes from the play were acted out in class, making the lines more understandable (AJ).
Anthony: “Who knew a smile could cause so much sadness?” (JB)
Todd: “If a word did not fit then Shakespeare would make up his own words.” (MM)
Connor: “The sun and son revolve.” (MM)
Patrick: “Falstaff provides comedy throughout the play.” (AJ)
Manny: “…so much to keep the reader going.” (AD)
Kevin: “His birthdate is unknown, the only record is his baptism.”
David: “…release the prisoner.”
Nicholson: “…they will go against the king.”
Words to live by:
-Never use a long word where a short word will do. ~George Orwell
-My reformation, glitt’ring over my fault, shall show more goodly and attract more eyes. ~Prince Hal
-If manhood be not forgot upon the face of the earth, than am I a shotten herring. ~Falstaff
-They come like sacrifices in their trim. ~Hotspur
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The past couple weeks, we have been working on our college application essays. This is obviously extremely important for the future of all members of English 12 Honors. We have been reading, writing, and revising essays (TT). The class has received handouts of numerous essays and we were asked to read them to find the good and the bad (AJ). We were given the top ten tips for writing a college essay so there would be less error in our own. Baez faced off against the class in a vocabulary battle using words from Colby Kennedy's essay (FT). We read non-CM and CM students' essays for college and that gave us a feel for how our essay had to be written for college (EO). The class favorite for essays written by previous Knights was Steve Walsh '08's, who wrote about Mr. Buckley (BG). We wrote solid first drafts to set a frame up for our essays (PC). We went up to the library to look up quotes (KW).
"The mirrors show symbolism in Emilia C's essay." ~Manny M. (AJ)
"First impressions, stereotypes, relationships built." ~Francis T. (MG)
"He has taught me to never give up until the job is done." ~Kevin W. (CS)
"...dividing it up so it is not boring." ~Anthony J. (KW)
"Mom, can I borrow twenty bucks?" ~Anthony J. (KW)
Matin pointed out to the class the importance of a thematic structure through the paragraph setup. (PC)
"Everything was good about her essay until she started listing her own accomplishments and bragging about herself." ~Kevin W. (ME)
Andrew talked about his two older brothers and how he wanted to be like them [as a kid]. (BG)
"It was just a big joke, but very unique." ~Brian G. (AD)
Words to live by:
"I do not promise you ease. I do not promise you comfrot. But I do promise you these hardships: weariness and suffering. And with them, I promise you victory." ~Giuseppi Garibaldi
"Inaction is acceptance; always question." ~Austin Stewart
"There is a way through pain. And that way is through each other." ~Tony Dungy
"The moment of change is the only poem." ~Adrienne Rich
"But I have not yet gone to college." ~Hugh Gallagher
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Get a good quote for your essay. Visit Bartlett's Quotations and the Columbia Book or Oxford Quotations. If you're writing, for example, about the day you learned to tie your shoe, you might search for quotations with these terms: shoes, success, trying, childhood, failure, learning, education, school, innocence, breakthrough, discovery. If you're writing about everything your sister has taught you, try these terms: sister, siblings, sisterhood, family, lessons, rivalry, education, childhood, adolescence, growth, maturity, etc.
Find some data for your essay. Writing about the Home Run Derby? Find out record holders and dates of the first one. Writing about Iraq? Get the current death toll. Writing about frialators? Find out how hot they get in Celsius. Writing about Franklin Park Golf Course? Find out the age of the golf course and yardage for the hardest hole there. Search the New York Times and the Internet Public Library. Try EBSCO and JStor and InfoTrac. (The librarian has the passwords.) Don't forget to interview primary sources and quote them. Also consider making a phone call.
Today you might also type your college application essay. Go to Gmail and get an account if you don't have one yet. Email it to yourself at home if you want to work on revising it there.
Final drafts due: Monday. Weight: test grade.
[Note on your second drafts: you have a "promise of a grade" on it. e.g. -->a. This arrow w/a grade indicates that if you do nothing to this draft by Monday, the grade will remain an A. If you want an A+, you need to do some of the above things or whatever else I recommended on your second draft.]
Monday, September 22, 2008
Through the first few weeks at the start of our senior year we have begun to read fictional short stories (EO). There were a variety of short stories ranging from safaris in Africa to the story of the Lottery where stoning someone to death every year's a tradition (JG). We have read about literary and commercial stories, round and flat characters, and symbolism (MM). We learned that Hemingway said the way to write a short story is to use an "iceberg" format--which is to show simply the tip of the iceberg (MG). We have elaborated (on) the parts of a story by detailing the exposition to the resolution and the processes in between (CS). We related Edgar Allen Poe's methods of singleness of effect and unity of action with each story (FT). The theme of many stories that we've read is marriage (NN). We discussed story terms like climax, "in medias res," and exposition in the stories to which they apply (MM).
Manny: "the child is greedy and is only riding because of the vision of money." (MM)
Todd: "The turning point of 'How I Met My Husband' was when Edie realized the letter will never come." (AJ)
Michael: A white elephant is something no one wants to talk about. (KW)
Anthony: Old Man Warner feels that it has to be done for tradition. (KW)
Connor: "In 'Macomber' both tangible and intangible things die--such as his marriage, himself, and the lion." (FT)
Andrew: "Macomber is a coward because he ran away from the problem." (MG)
Martin: In Macomber, there are many conflicts--Francis v self, Francis v lion, Francis v. Wilson. (MM)
Kevin: "Summers' attitude is encouraging." (EO)
Words to live by:
"But a wind sweeping in from nowhere blows his white words back and back into the past." ~Murakami (as observed by CS)
"If you would pray, Jesus would help you." ~O'Connor (as observed by FT)
"It's not fair." ~Jackson (as observed by KW)
"Luck is what causes you to have money." ~Lawrence (as observed by AJ)