Friday, September 30, 2016

9/10 English Review: Apostrophes (10/3/16)


Bell Ringer Activity:
For today's class, we are reviewing the conventions of standard written English by focusing on apostrophes.  As a proficient high school student writer, it is your responsibility to use punctuation and grammar correctly!

1) Watch Kahn Academy's video on apostrophes, here.

2) Complete practice exercises: "Apostrophes and Plurals" and "Practice Choosing between its and it's."

3) Lastly, comment on this post with a reflection.  Describe your errors and your correct responses.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

11/12 Writing Warmup: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos in the Presidential Debate (10/3/16)

Writing Warmup:
Watch the video on ethos, logos, and pathos and review these key terms.  Then, working in small groups, pick one example of ethos, logos, and pathos in Hillary Clinton's debate and Donald Trump's debate from the broadcast we watched last week.  

For example,


Clinton: "I have a plan that will create ## jobs." 
(ethos, because Clinton is telling us she has done her homework and has a plan to create jobs)

Clinton: "I have a feeling that by the end of this night, I'm going to be blamed for everything that has ever happened." 
(logos and pathos because Clinton is pointing out something that is very true: Trump repeatedly blames her for things that she has no control over.  This comment is made funny by the fact that Trump takes himself so seriously and blurts out, "Why not?!" when she made this claim.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Writing Warmup: The Hobbit (9/29/16)


Bell Ringer Activity: 
As we watch The Hobbit, "live respond" with similarities and differences between the book and the movie.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

11/12 English, Writing Warmup: "Live Tweet"—The 2016 Presidential Debate (Trump vs. Clinton)

Bell Ringer Activity:
For today, please "live tweet" last night's debate as we watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debate each other's politics.  Use the comments section below.

"Beauty and the Beast" by Jeanne-Marie LePrince De Beaumont

"Beauty and the Beast" by Jeanne-Marie LePrince De Beaumont is a similar retelling of our cultural Disney understanding of the fairytale. The story starts out saying, "once upon a time there was a very wealthy merchant who lived with his children, three boys, and three girls" (32). One of the daughters was so alluring she was known as "the beautiful child." One day, the father unexpectedly lost all his fortune. The family lived in poverty for an entire year before the father received information that a ship containing his merchandise had arrived. Before he left, his two oldest daughters begged for materialistic items while Beauty only asked for a rose. He journeyed to the port only to find out there was a lawsuit over all his merchandise. On his way home, the father got caught in a storm and noticed a light in the distance. Starving and exhausted, he followed the light and found a castle where he let himself in. After falling asleep there, he was ready to leave in the morning but noticed a rose bush and picked one for Beauty. The Beast saw this action occur and said he would only spare the father’s life if he gave up one of his daughters. When Beauty caught news, she told her father that she must go and proceeded to make her way to the castle. The Beast immediately fell in love with Beauty, but it took quite awhile until Beauty felt the same. After proposing almost every time he saw her, Beauty finally accepted and was ready to spend the rest of her life with the Beast. The moment she said yes to his proposal, celebration began and the Beast suddenly turned into a handsome young man. He explained to Beauty how an evil fairy made him stay in that form until he found a beautiful girl to marry him. The story ends with the typical, “happily ever after” and Beauty and him both then lived in perfect happiness.
The Disney portrayal of Beauty and the Beast is different from the Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont “Beauty and the Beast.” One way is that in the movie, Beauty is an only child, whereas in the book, she has five siblings. Also, in the Disney version, Beauty and her father have never been rich. However, in the book, the kids grew up with a wealthy father.Something particularly different from the books is that in the book Beauty finds he father in the woods lost and sick.In the movie the audience is given a reason why the Beast is turned in to a Beast whereas in the book the reader is never given a reason for being turned in to a Beast. Another major difference between the two is that in the book, there is no character named Gaston. Gaston is a character who is portrayed as a villain and he thinks because he is who he is that he should have Belle who is the “fairest of them all.” The only reason I can think that Gaston’s character was put in the movie was because Disney could not completely follow the story. 

Question 1: Who does Beauty go to see in hopes to save her father? 
Question 2: Why is it so important to Beauty that she goes to the Beast instead of her father? 
Question 3: What are some of the main virtues Beauty shows throughout this story and how do they differ from how children act in the world today? 

By Katrina, Jordan, Rosie, and Hannah

AP English Writing Warmup: Snow White (1937)

Bell Ringer Activity:
For today, you had to read the section on "Snow White" from our Norton Critical Editions.  Please watch the Snow White trailer (from 1937) and the opening scene to Once upon a Time and discuss how these versions of the "Snow White" story relate to readings you did for today.

Monday, September 26, 2016

11/12 English Writing Warmup: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton--Who Will Win?




Bell Ringer Activity:
How do you think Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will do in tonight's presidential election? Which one do you think will win?

Writing Warmup (9/26/16): The Apostrophe


Bell Ringer Activity:
In Friday's class, one of our students requested we review how to use a little piece of punctuation known as "the apostrophe."  Before I handout a worksheet with rules and practice exercises, please answer the question below.

Instructions: Place the apostrophe in the correct spot for each phrase.

plural (more than one teacher): all my teachers assignments

singular (only one teacher): all my teachers assignments

singular (only one horse): the horses sore legs

plural (more than one horse): the horses sore legs

"The Frog Princess" by Alexander Afanasev

Image result for the frog princess alexander afanasyev analysis

In the folktale, "The Frog Princess" by Alexander Afanasev, three princes shot arrows in various directions under the king's order. The king wishes for his sons to find a bride. That bride will be the woman who returns each arrow to their owner. The youngest prince, Prince Ivan, shot his arrow into a marsh and it was returned to him by a frog. When he saw this he exclaimed, "How will I live with a frog? After all, this is a life task, not like wading across a river or a walk across a field"(p.69). Each daughter-in-law was then issued three tests by the king, to prove that they are worthy enough for the their prince. 

The first lesson was to make the king a gift. Prince Ivan wept over the fact the frog will compete, and has no hope for her. Overnight, when Prince Ivan was asleep, the frog shed her form and transformed into a beautiful maiden. She asked for the nurses to make a lovely shirt and it was presented it to the king the next day. The two women failed because they were too lazy. The next command was for the women to bake bread. That evening, the frog turned back into her maiden form and called for the nurses to bake her some bread good enough for special occasions; therefore, impressing the king again. The last test was for all the women to dance. Prince Ivan wept once more and the frog reconciled him by assuring that she will not fail him. During the day of the ball, the two women were observing the beautiful maiden with jealousy and frustration, wondering how she is winning the competition, thus far. Knowing the women were watching, the frog princess put a bone in one sleeve and drops of her drink in the other. The other women followed her moves, just in time for the dance to begin. The frog princess danced marvelously with Prince Ivan, and magically created an enchanted forest surrounding them. When it was time for the other women to dance, the bones and their drinks flew into the crowd.  The king was displeased and ended the dance. When the prince went back to his room he found the maiden's frog skin and burned it. When the frog princess found out, she told him: "If you had waited a little, I would've been yours; now only God knows when we will be together again. Farewell! Seek me beyond the thrice ninth land, in the thrice tenth kingdom" (p.70). After she vanished for a very long time, the prince longed for his wife and travelled long ways to meet her at the tenth kingdom. Unfortunately, the princess almost married another man. Prince Ivan and Princess Elena flew a magic carpet back to Russia and lived happily ever after.

Compared to Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," "The Frog Princess" is different for numerous reasons. Belle formed a companionship with the Beast in order to save her own father's life and she became seemingly attracted to his personality, whilst Prince Ivan wept over the fact his companion was a frog and refused to believe in her completing his father's tasks. Prince Ivan then burned his maiden's low life form after the ball, wanting to keep her human form. Belle is a virtuous being, proving to us that looks do not compare to personality, and waited a very long time in order to reassure herself that the Beast is who makes her happy, which caused him to reveal his human form.

Level 1: Why was Prince Ivan upset that a frog from a marsh returned his arrow?
Level 2: How did the Princess Frog compare to the other princes' brides-to-be?
Level 3: What lesson did the Princess Frog teach Prince Ivan?

Friday, September 23, 2016

"The Pig King" by Giovanni Francesco Straparola

The Pig King by Giovanni Francesco Straparola is about a prince trapped in the skin of a pig. The story starts when three fairies cast three spells on a young lady. The third spell states that "the song whom she shall conceive shall be born in the skin of  pig...he shall be constrained to abide till he shall have three times taken a women to wife" (43).
Image result for the pig king
One difference from the story of Beauty and the Beast we're all familiar with is how this retelling follows the pig prince and unlike Beauty and the Beast, the prince must wife three women instead of proving his love like the Disney movie.

So the story progresses and the pig prince marries his first wife. The young lady, however, is greatly disturbed by the very thought of marrying the pig prince. But, the queen pleaded greatly, and convinced her with all the fortune she could gain. Nevertheless, with belief that his wife would kill him in his sleep, the pig prince "struck her with his sharp hoofs...and killed her" (44).

The pig prince married again and then for a third time; then could he shed his pigskin and reveal himself as a handsome prince. The tale ends like any other fairy tale would; with a "happily every after.

The story is very different from the original Disney retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The pig prince kills his first wife--thus acting like a beats as well as looking like one, too. Also, in the Disney version, the story focuses on Belle and the Beast's love interest but in Straparola's we follow the pig as he marries each woman to escape his pigskin prison.

Level 1, 2 & 3 Questions:

1. Why does Meldina accept the pig whereas the maiden didn't?
2. Why did the pig king have to kill his other two wives but not Meldina? And how come the others didn't see his true beauty inside like Meldina?
3. Why is it hard to see the beauty in some people but not everyone?

"The Swan Maiden" Author Unknown




Compost a blog post that 1) summarizes the story and 2) describes how it is different from our cultural, Disney understanding of the story. Then, 3) post your level 1, 2, and 3 questions for discussion.

"The Swan Maiden" is an old Swedish fairytale Where a young peasant boy who enjoys hunting stumbles upon three swans that turn into beautiful women. The peasant boy falls in love with the youngest swan maiden. When the boys mother finds out about his obsession with the maiden she tells him to simply steal her feathers the next time she takes them off. The boy does this and when the maiden notices this begs the hunter for her feathers back, The hunter refuses and takes the swan maiden home with him. Soon after this preparations were made for a wedding and the two were married. The two lived alone together happy for seven years until one night the hunter decided to talk to his wife about how and why he took her feathers, while he was telling her his story he brought out the feathers he had stolen from her. When he placed the feathers into her hands she instantly transformed back into a swan and flew out an open window, soon after the man dies of grief.


"The Swan Maiden" is a very unique story and differs from the Disney version in many ways, a few major ways are the ending, the beast, and the beauty. The ending of this story is very different from the Disney version because in the Disney version the Beast and Belle live happily together after the beast is transformed back into his human form. In "The Swan Maiden" the ending is very different because in this story the Beauty runs away from the beast as soon as she is presented with freedom, then the beast dies of grief. Another big difference is the Beast. In Disney's version the Beast is literally a massive hairy monster, but in "The Swan Maiden" th beast is only a beast in the figurative sense and is actually just a peasant boy. The final big difference is the Beauty, In the Disney version the Beauty is a french women named Belle and is just an average women. In "The Swan Maiden" the beauty is a mystical swan maiden who has the power to turn into a swan by putting on her feathers.

Level 1-3 Questions
1. What is the boys job?
2. Why is it significant that he has that job?
3. What deeper meaning could this story have in relation to the real world?

"The Frog Prince, or Iron Heinrich" by Brothers Grimm, Carolyn and Deja

In “The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich” by the Brothers Grimm, the princess loved to play with her golden ball. When it rolled down into a well she was very upset, until a frog from the well approached her and asked her what was wrong. He agreed to get the ball as long as she would repay him back. She offered him extravagant possessions like her jewels and crown, but all he wanted was to be her companion, to drink, eat, sleep and live with her. Though she agreed, she did not keep her promise and ran home. At dinner the next day, while the king and princess were eating, the frog knocked on the door. The king made her keep her promise. When the princess was heading to bed, the frog insisted that he would sleep in her bed with her, but she refused. Enraged and overwhelmed for her disgust in the frog, she picked him up and threw him against the wall. Suddenly, the frog turned into a prince. He explains to her that a wicked witch put a curse on him. In the carriage taking the two back to the prince’s kingdom is the prince’s servant Iron Heinrich was with them. The prince heard cracking sounds and thought that the carriage was falling apart, but they were just the sounds of iron hoops Heinrich had put around his heart to keep it from breaking of sorrow when his master was in the well as a frog.

There are a wide variety of differences between Brothers Grimm “The Frog King” and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. First of all, the “beast” in “The Frog King” if a frog, whereas in Beauty and the Beast he is a large, hairy creature. Secondly, Disney’s version portrays the “beauty” as a virtuous, kind woman, whereas in the other version she is a young girl who does not want to accept the frog. Lastly, in the end of “The Frog King,” the girl throws the frog against a wall, where he transforms into a human prince. In Beauty and the Beast, the girl agrees to marry him, and then he transforms into a human.








Level One, Two and Three Questions:
1) What is the princess doing?
2) Why does she not keep her promise to the frog?

3) How does the princess’ behavior relate to other children?

Creative Writing Warmup: Paradise Lost by John Milton


Bell Ringer Activity:
In yesterday's class, we started reading Paradise Lost by John Milton.  For today, I'd like you to pick a selection of lines from our readings and identify the speaker, purpose, characterization, theme, and tone.

For example, 
  • Lines 17-19: "O Spirit, that dost prefer / Before all temples the upright heart and pure, / Instruct me, for Thou know'st;"
  • Speaker: the poet/voice of Paradise Lost
  • Purpose: to ask the muse to instruct the speaker at his/her task (telling the story of Paradise Lost)
  • Characterization: the speaker seems need help or guidance because of the request; the spirit (muse) is "pure" and knowledgeable because it is able to instruct the speaker.  Also, the spirit has an "upright heart," which means that she is kind and warm.
  • Theme: guidance
  • Tone: a sense of yearning, need
Make sense?


"The Pig King," the Italian "Beauty and the Beast"

“The Pig King” by Giovanni Francesco Straparola is a strange Italian version of the Beauty and the Beast we all know, showing us that beauty is more than skin-deep. This story starts off with a queen who had gone out into her garden and had fallen asleep. While the queen slept, three fairies came by and cursed her and her unborn child; the first being that no man could harm her, and that her son would be the most beautiful man in all the world. The second being that no one can offend her, and that her sun will have every virtue imaginable. The final curse however, took a turn for the worst, proclaiming that her son would be born in the skin of a pig, and would act as a pig until he has had three wives. The woman soon gave birth to her son, and just as the fairies said, he was born as a pig. Time went on, and the pig prince grew up and asked his mother for a wife. Wanting to grant her son’s request, she went to a poor woman who had three daughters and asked her for her eldest daughter. The pig wed her, but soon killed his wife after learning she plotted to kill him. Again he asked for a wife, and again the queen went the poor woman and get her second oldest daughter. But yet again, he had killed her. The queen went to ask the woman for her third and youngest daughter, Meldina. Meldina accepted and married the pig. A couple days later, the pig shared a secret with his new and loving wife. It turned out that the pig skin was merely a disguise, for underneath was a very handsome prince. The minute she could, she burned the pig skin, and they lived together happily ever after.


This story varies greatly from our American understanding of the Disney Beauty and the Beast. First of all, the ‘Beast’ of this story is not the large and scary yet soft-hearted mish-mash of a Beast we all know from the Disney movie. This ‘Beast’ in this story is strictly is just a pig, who, other than having virtues, is much more brutal. The pig, instead of trying to court his first two wives, kills them in cold blood within the first day of their marriage. Also, the causes of the two princes beastliness are very different from each other. In the Disney telling, the prince is turned into a beast for not legging an enchantress disguised as an old hag stay in his castle. The Pig King’s prince is turned into a beast even before birth because of three spiteful fairies. The Pig King also has three girls instead of just the one that is present in the Disney movie. Finally the ‘transformations’ back into a prince are also extremely different. The Disney version has the prince turn back after Belle admits her love for him. In The Pig King, the pig prince merely sheds his pig skin - which he can always put back on - to reveal the beautiful prince underneath.

Lv. 1 Why does Meldina accept the Pig?

Lv. 2 How come the sisters don’t recognize the Pig’s feelings?


Lv. 3 Does everyone see the beauty inside everyone?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"The Pig King" by Giovanni Francesco Straparola


1) summarizes the story and 2) describes how it is different from our cultural, Disney understanding of the story.  Then, 3) post your Level 1, 2, and 3 questions for discussion.

“The Pig King” by Giovanni Francesco Straparola is a twisted fairy tale, revealing the life of a prince, hidden by the skin of a pig The story starts with three fairies, casting spells on a young lady. One wished that her future groom “shall be born in the skin of a pig, with a pig’s ways and manners,” and stay in this form until he has taken three women to wife (43). The pig wants to seek a wife, and to make her son joyful, the queen asks one of three daughters to not think of the pig, but think of the fortune they could receive. The first one agrees, but once meeting the pig, had the intensions of killing him in his sleep. As a form of defense, the pig murders his wife first. The same act happened with the second daughter as well. Once the third daughter came around, she did not mind the pigs manners because she was genuinely kind and had a love for all. The prince was able to shed his skin in front of her, revealing his true identity. The maiden told his parents, who reacted to the situation by tearing the skin to shreds. This story ends as a regular fairytale would, with the couple living happily ever after. 

This story is majorly different from the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. “The Pig King” does indeed have the aspect of looking past a personal image and looking deeper on the inside, however, this is not the moral of this particular story. This story starts like Sleeping Beauty would, with three fairies casting spells on a child. Then, the story switches gears when the pig and his family come into play. In the readers opinion, “The Pig King” does not have a significant story line, due to the pig receiving everything he wants by threatening and giving commands. Unlike the beast in Beauty and the Beast, the pig commits murder, and is forced to act like a pig. The beast, however, just looks like a beast, but is able to have the same mentality as he did before in human form. 

Level One, Two, and Three questions: 
1. Why does the pig feel the need to kill his former two brides? 
2. Why could the prince tell his third bride about the skin, but not his parents? 
3. What is the moral of this story and how would one be able to reflect on the character's actions? 

AP English Writing Warmup: "The Juggler" Thesis Competition


Group 1 winners in "The Juggler" Gallery Walk.  
Group 2 winners in "The Juggler" Gallery Walk. 
Bell Ringer Activity:
In yesterday's class, we did a "gallery walk" of thesis statements for "The Juggler" Question 1 essay (2016 AP English Literature exam).  While there was much debate about how the speaker felt about his/her subject, we decided that these two vivid arguments were the best of the bunch.

For today, please select one thesis statement and argue why it is the best one for the Question 1 prompt (you may wish to consider your primary focus and your secondary focus).  To help you answer, I have included the Question 1 prompt below.

2016 Question 1 Prompt, "The Juggler" by Richard Wilbur (original here):

"Read carefully the following poem by Richard Wilbur, first published in 1949.  Then, write an essay in which you analyze how the speaker describes the juggler and what that description reveals about the speaker.  You may wish to consider poetic elements such as imagery, figurative language, and tone."


Group 1:

"In Richard Wilbur's poem 'The Juggler,' the speaker describes the juggler as a crowd-pleasing act, expressing his amazement and excitement towards the show."


Group 2: 

"The speaker describes the juggler as a positive force of change; this reveals that the speaker has a negative outlook on life until seeing the positive change the juggler demonstrates."

[ And, because I couldn't help myself...here is a picture of a juggler. ]




11/12 Writing Warmup: Political Cartoons & Rhetoric


Bell Ringer Activity:
1) What is the ethos, logos, and pathos in this image?
2) Who is the audience?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

9/10 English Writing Warmup: Citation Sandwiches



Bell Ringer Activity:
In yesterday's class, we discussed the standards we have been working on for Quarter 1:

RL 1: "I can use evidence to support my ideas."

RL 2: "I can identify and analyze the theme of a work."

SL 5: "I can create original digital media (audio, visual) presentations to showcase and enhance my ideas."

For today's bell ringer activity, demonstrate your proficiency for RL 1, "I can use evidence to support my ideas," by 

1) describing the bread, meat, bread, and condiments of a sandwich, and
2) building a "citation sandwich" on a quote from your current reading materials.  For help with in-text citations, turn to pages 54-56 of the Eighth Edition of The MLA Handbook.

AP English Writing Warmup: How Do You Like to Receive Feedback? (9/21/16)

Bell Ringer Activity:
For today's class, I'd like you to think about the way you like to receive feedback on your writing.  Please describe how you like to receive feedback in the comments box below.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Summer Reading Analysis
Over the summer of 2016, each person in high school had to chose a book to read, and keep a log of the time, date, and other notes. The book I chose was Darwin Portrait of a Genius, by Paul Johnson. This book talks much about Darwin’s personal life, writing career, major accomplishments and work with all life forms. Charles Darwin came from an entire line of wealthy English geniuses who were incredibly successful in everything they did. While reading, I found many connections to my own life, but what stood out to me the most was how similar we both were raised. We both spent lots of time as children outside, studying the local flora and fauna as well as collecting different objects, such as shells, coins, and minerals. Also, Darwin was “passionately fond of shooting” just like myself. We both became very good at shooting at a young age and absolutely love to hunt. Overall the book was a phenomenal read and I would recommend it to anyone. 






Summer Reading Review: The Third Twin by CJ Omolou

For my summer reading assignment I chose to read The Third Twin by CJ Omololu. This book sparked my interest as soon as I picked up the book and read the back cover. The book's mysterious eerie tone and ominous voice really caught my attention, as I absolutely love these types of books. The book's exact location isn't mentioned throughout the story but I believe that the setting is in California as the family lives a wealthy life, lots of beaches are mentioned and the father is almost always traveling throughout the story. Meaning that, the main characters, Ava and Alexa, known throughout the story as "Lexi," live with the housekeeper, Cecilia. Even though Cecilia is just the housekeeper the twins think of her more as a mother since they were abandoned by their own mother at a very young age.

 The unsettling part of this story is the fact that the twins at a very young age made up a third sister, Alicia. According to the back of the book, “When they were little, Lexi and her identical twin, Ava made up a third sister, Alicia. If something broke? Alicia did it. Cookies got eaten? Alicia’s guilty. Alicia was always to blame for everything.”

However, now they are all grown up and beginning their last and final, senior year, Alicia is still around. Alicia was the twin's excuse to go out with guys who they would never go out with as their real selves, or if they wanted to do something deranged they would follow through the situation as Alicia. The girl who doesn't exist, or so they say. There were only a couple rules when it came down to being Alicia. According to Omolou,"Always wear the diamond pendant; never sleep with any of the guys; and after five dates, they're history, no matter how hot they are" (1). The twins keep these rules throughout the entire book. Until they start to realize that something crazy is going on and either someone is messing around with them or the twins have a lot more issues than just trust when it comes down to the end. 

his story relates to my life very little. While thinking of how this relates to my life a couple different points comes to mind, one being, how different my sister, Hope and I are, as are Ava and Alexa. Ava seems to be the one that wants to go out and have fun, more like me while Lexi comes off as the more studious and homebody like my sister. 

Although Ava and Alexa are the same exact age, Hope and I are exactly five years apart, me being the older one. Ava throughout this story is more of an outgoing person, she likes to have fun and make memorable experiences, meaning she could careless if she crosses the line as she's basically on her own with only the guide lines that Cecilia sets for her. Lexi, has her standards set on getting into Stanford College, as her dad went there and hopes Lexi to follow through with that. Another way this book relates to my life is the fact that the two sisters blame Alicia for their mistakes, as Hope and I are usually the ones to blame each other if something goes wrong. Not so much anymore as we're older, more mature, and have learned how to own up to our own mistakes. I can't say I would know what it's like to have a twin, but having a little sibling would be close enough to that situation. 

AP English Writing Warmup: "Marriage to a Beast" (9/20/16)



Bell Ringer Activity:
For today, you read to page 73 in our Norton Critical Editions of The Classic Fairy Tales (edited by Maria Tatar).  In Maria Tatar's introduction to "Beauty and the Beast," she describes the role fairy tales played in providing a "socially acceptable channel for providing therapeutic advice, comfort, and consolation" to young women who might have been facing marriage "to a beast" (27).

Pick one of the stories from pages 32-74 and describe a) the beauty and b) the beast.  Identify the beauty's virtues (moral standards) and the beast's deformities (malformations).

Monday, September 19, 2016

11/12 Writing Warmup: Swagger Wagon (9/19/16)


Bell Ringer Activity:
Watch the video, "Swagger Wagon, Toyota," and answer the following questions.

1) Who is/are the credible speaker(s) in the "Swagger, Wagon" video? What makes them credible or gives them authority?
2) What is the logic, or logos, of the "Swagger Wagon" video?
3) What is the emotional appeal, pathos, of the "Swagger Wagon" video?

9/10 Writing Warmup: What Is the Meaning of "Dr.?"





Bell Ringer Activity:
In Friday's class (and much of last week), some of our new students wanted to know why my name starts with the acronym, "Dr." instead of "Ms." or "Mrs." I told them about my background and how I spent a long time working on a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English.  It's one of the most important things I've ever done, and I want all young people to know that education doesn't have to end with a four year degree!

To explain this concept, I call this my "German Shepherd Analogy." For today, follow along with the PowerPoint Presentation on German Shepherds. Then, answer the question below.

1) What idea does the "German Shepherd Analogy" explain and prove?
2) Look up a PhD in a field you're interested in studying--math, science, boat building (engineering), English, history, etc.  Post a link to that program

Friday, September 16, 2016

11/12 English Writing Warmup: John Oliver on Donald Trump (9/16/16)

Bell Ringer Activity:
Watch the video on Donald Trump from John Oliver's show Last Week Tonight. Then, answer the question below.

1) Choose one example in which Donald Trump said something, then said he never said it.  What is the difference between what Donald Trump originally said and what he later said?

9/10 Writing Warmup: John Oliver on Transgender Rights



Bell Ringer Activity:
Our social studies teacher, Mr. Young, introduced me to an impressive video by John Oliver on transgender rights.  Watch the video, then respond to the question below.

1) According to Oliver, what are the "rights" of transgender citizens?

Summer Reading Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Over the summer I read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This was a vary good book about a journey for Thorin to take back the Lonely Mountains.

Which is about a hobbit named bilbo baggins. He lives in a hobbit hole in shire town. He enjoys being at his home and not really going anywhere. Gandalf The Grey shows up to his hobbit hole and later on joined by a bunch of dwarves who later on take him on a journey to take back the Lonely Mountain. They ask Bilbo to go because they need a thief to steal the Arkenstone. Along the way they run into a lot of dangerous situations one of them being the Trolls, Orcs and Bilbo coming across a ring. Bilbo finds out the the ring wields a lot of power. After a long journey when they finally get to the mountain they have to go up against a dragon Smaug. Thorin is to become the new king after taking back The Lonely Mountains that his father once ruled. Bilbo is able to get inside using the ring  and after a encounter with Smaug he is able to get the Arkenstone. Meanwhile Thorin turns very greedy because of all the gold.After a fight with the town they got help with to kill Smaug, They get the Lonely Mountains back in Thorins control and Bilbo goes back to the Shire and he still has the Ring with continues of to the next book The Lord Of The Rings.



Gandalf says, "But share and share alike!You may find you have more needs than you except" (273). The quote is saying that that you may have more needs than you expect I can't really make it more simple than that. I think that when there going on there journey is how I can relate to it in my personal life cause me and some of my friends go do cool things like going cool places around the island.

Summer Reading Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Over the summer I read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This was a vary good book about a journey for Thorin to take back the Lonely Mountains.

Which is about a hobbit named bilbo baggins. He lives in a hobbit hole in shire town. He enjoys being at his home and not really going anywhere. Gandalf The Grey shows up to his hobbit hole and later on joined by a bunch of dwarves who later on take him on a journey to take back the Lonely Mountain. They ask Bilbo to go because they need a thief to steal the Arkenstone. Along the way they run into a lot of dangerous situations one of them being the Trolls, Orcs and Bilbo coming across a ring. Bilbo finds out the the ring wields a lot of power. After a long journey when they finally get to the mountain they have to go up against a dragon Smaug. Thorin is to become the new king after taking back The Lonely Mountains that his father once ruled. Bilbo is able to get inside using the ring  and after a encounter with Smaug he is able to get the Arkenstone. Meanwhile Thorin turns very greedy because of all the gold.After a fight with the town they got help with to kill Smaug, They get the Lonely Mountains back in Thorins control and Bilbo goes back to the Shire and he still has the Ring with continues of to the next book The Lord Of The Rings.



Gandalf says, "But share and share alike!You may find you have more needs than you except" (273). The quote is saying that that you may have more needs than you expect I can't really make it more simple than that. I think that when there going on there journey is how I can relate to it in my personal life cause me and some of my friends go do cool things like going cool places around the island.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


The book I read was Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The first part of the book was the regular Alice in Wonderland, in the second part it was Alice Through the Looking Glass. In the first part of the book, Alice discovered a secret drink that she drank and it made her very tall. She ate something after and it made her very short. A while after that she met a caterpillar. He was kind of rude to her and didn't seem to be pleased she was there. Shortly after she left the caterpillar she came across a tea party. They all talk about a song and ask Alice if she remembers it. Theres lots of characters, but some of the main ones are Alice, the Hatter, and the King. Alice is a very polite girl and is curious about everything. The Hatter is a man that is very smart and always wears a hat. The king is very mean and likes to fight, he isn't a good guy. 



In the second part of the book, Alice met a kitten. A short while later she saw a very scary creature. Alice walked into a garden and met many other people on her journey. She saw plenty of animals too, like deer and a walrus. Alice was having fun but she was also upset. "Only it is so very lonely here! Alice said in a melancholy voice; and, at the thought of her loneliness, two large tears came rolling down her cheeks" (166) The quote is trying to say that where Alice is right now is very lonely because she is living in the woods and don't have very many real people friends. She wants to be around more people. This relates to my personal life because on Vinalhaven there isn't a lot of people to hang out and I get lonely sometimes too.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Summer Reading Review: Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley



Over the summer I read Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley. Overall it was a great book that wasn't overly long to read and not a difficult book to read.
At the start of the book John Bradley's son goes from Rye, New York to Iwo Jima a small Japanese island where one of the biggest battles of World War 2 (WW2) happened. His father was one of the "flag raisers" on the island where one of the most famous pictures of all time was taken. When the U.S. solders first stepped onto the beach it was all calm and everything was going good, until the Japanese started firing from caves in the side of the mountain, foxholes and bunkers all camouflaged in with the ground. The U.S. troops had to sprint to get beside the foxhole throw in a grandae and then shoot into the foxhole with their weapons. They climbed to the top of the mountain and raised the first flag and after that the Japanese tried to pin down U.S. solders on top of the mountain. After that a U.S. general went ashore and told the solders to take down the flag so the captain told his men to put up a different flag and take down and keep the orinagal flag. Within 2 weeks of the flag being raised 3 of the 6 men had died. The other three Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes and John Bradley was sent home to raise money for war efforts. Their First stop at home was at a yankees game where it was a very surreal crowd. The next day they meet the president Harry Truman. Mr. Truman told the men to make tons of money and a few of the stops along the way. When they arrived in NYC there was a monster crowd waiting there for them. Rene was speaking on that night and Ira didn't like what he was saying so after they were done speaking Ira got into a confrontation with Rene over it. When John meet Hanks mother he didn't have the heart to tell her that her son wasn't in the picture but instead it was Harlon Block in the picture. When Ira meet Mikes mother he broke down and balled and told her that her son was the best marine that landed on that island. Rene meet Franks mother and didn't have much to say without breaking down. After they raised the flag a few Japanese soldiers tried to ambush them but it didn't work. they changed out the flags so that the higher ranks didn't get the flag because the captain of the platoon believe it belonged to that platoon. "The secretary reached the beach just after the flag went up, and the mood among high command turned jubilant. Forrestal was so taken with the fervor of the moment that he decided that he wanted the Suribachi flag as a souvenir(page 108)". While they were on the tour Ira started drinking really badly. When they went to Soldier Field they made a model for them to climb up and post a flag on and Ira didn't want to so he left. John found him outside a bar with a chair in an altercation with a chair and the police. They went back to the stadium and raised the flag but as they climbed up to the top they all had flash backs of the other flaggers that couldn't make it to where they were. Mike died from a friendly airstrike, Harlon and Frank both got shot from enemy machine guns. Iggy one of the other men in the platoon got brutally murdered by the Japanese. Ira gets shipped back to the war and before he told them that he couldn't handle being called a hero everywhere he went cause he didn't think he was. Rene got married shortly after that and asked John to be his best man. While in the war John was trying to save a coreman and took shrapnel in the legs and back. After returning to home after both the tour and war John asked his wife to marry him. Ira just tried to move on back to a Native Americans life but couldn't because people recognized who he was somehow or another. Rene tried to take up job offers that he received on tour but  no-one "remembered" them. Instead he took a job as a janitor that he worked until he passed away. One day after Ira got out of jail he waled 1,300 miles from Arizona to Texas to a small farm that Harlon Blocks father owned and told him the truth. When Hank's parents got the news they were divested at the truth. When they built the stature in Arlington, Virginia they didn't even invite Hank's parents to the opening of it. Ira died of exposure one day working on the farm, but there was never an autopsy done. One day John went and told Iggy's mother how her son died but no-one believes what was said on that day was the truth. As John Bradley lied on his death bed in 1994 he told his son of how after they raised the fag on Iwo Jima they went down to the beach and went swimming like a bunch of kids.

Summer Reading: The Lobster Gangs of Maine by James M. Acheson


The book I read this summer was The Lobster Gangs of Maine by James M. Acheson. In this book the author describes the process and unique ways commercial lobster fishing is done in Maine. He explains how every fisherman no matter the location, age, or boat size hauls in some different way but all share the same goal of making a profit in their work. Acheson shows how different regions and zones throughout Maine were viewed as “gangs” and how in their specific regions and communities there were smaller gangs that would almost control that part of the water, being difficult for some fisherman to get along with others and be able to fish freely, Acheson says on page 74 of the book “An unpopular person, a young fisherman, or a newcomer encounters trouble more quickly.” He also explains how this was not all bad, how the gangs were often just close families looking out for each other and fishing with one another in small towns. This book is a great description on how fishing is done in Maine.

This book connects with my life in a lot of different ways. Living in Maine and lobster fishing as my summer job, I know what it is like to be in a small community that has a base in commercial fishing. In some ways fishing on Vinalhaven is done differently than other places in Maine, but just like anywhere else everyone here is just trying to make out the best they can with what is given to them. Fishing now really has its ups and downs, in just a matter of a few weeks the price may drop, a bait shortage could arise or your boat could break down, and just like that in the middle of prime fishing time you’re missing a lot of money. Luckily for fisherman, there is plenty of lobster to go around and it is a thriving part of the fishing industry. 

Summer Reading: Drugs as Weapons Against us by John Potash

Drugs as Weapons Against Us by John L. Potash 
Over the summer I read about how the government gave drugs to many famous people to publicize them, and the answers to some conspiracy theories. Along with the history of drugs including the opium wars and drugs used in WW2 for prisoners.

This book is really interesting to me because it gives evidence and explains what the government has been trying to cover up. All of the faces you see on the cover were victims of being dosed and somewhat brainwashed with mainly lsd and other drugs. The CIA and other organizations had control over lots of the drug trafficking, operation MK-ultra was simply to get these leftist leaders and popular musicians dosed with lsd making them unaware of the advantage taken of them. There are some great bits of information on these people and how they were killed. These people did not kill themselves or overdose on there own choices, for instance Jimi Hendrix's manager was ex British intelligence Mi6 and admitted the murder of Jimi. There is strong evidence for all these men that they were murdered so that they would not spill information to the public. The coincidence of a handful of these musicians dying within the same year or two shows that they probably started to figure out what was really going on, so the best way to stop them from telling anyone was to kill them. 

Relating the book to where I live is a bit weird because no one is being tricked into taking acid and what not. Most places there is a drug problem, out here on Vinalhaven mainly people have addiction to pills. Heroin is also becoming a problem out here more people have been bringing it over.

11/12 English Writing Warmup: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos in Donald Trump's "Best Speech of the 2016 Campaign" (9/15/16)



Bell Ringer Activity:
In yesterday's class, we spent a lot of time discussing three classical appeals of rhetorical writing and speaking: ethos (an appeal to credibility/authority), logos (an appeal to logic/reasoning), and pathos (an appeal to the emotions).

Using Donald Trump's "Best Speech of the 2016 Campaign," list one example of

1) ethos,
2) logos, and
3) pathos.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

AP English Writing Warmup: Little Red Riding Hood (11/15/16)

Bell Ringer Activity:
Watch the video for the song, "Little Red Riding Hood," and describe how the lyrics compare with a story of your choice from the readings for today.

11/12 English: Writing Warmup (9/14/16)


Bell Ringer Activity:
Watch the video, "Pathos, Logos, and Ethos in Advertising" and answer the following questions.

1) In the first video for "Pathos" (an emotional appeal), what is the emotion you're expected to feel?

2) In the second video for "Logos" (a logical appeal), what is the logic behind the video with the salmon and bear?

3) In the third video for "Ethos" (an ethical appeal to credibility/authority), why/how are the three hosts considered credible?

Cujo by Stephen King

This summer I read Stephen King's novel Cujo. This is a story about a family St. Bernard is bitten by a rapid bat, and while he is slowly driven mad by rabies, he murders members of his family and citizens. The perspective is from the conscience of Cujo, the real Cujo, as he attempts to stop himself from harming the ones he loves. Though I can't relate to the serial murder part, Cujo's battle with his demons could be a simile for bipolar disorder, from which I've witnessed close family members suffer from. The cycle of ups and downs reminds me of Cujo, and how he phases in and out of his sickness. Cujo was a lovable, friendly, jovial dog, but the bite (diagnosis) drove him mad and turned him on his loved ones, just like the people suffering from bipolar unintentionally hurt the ones they love. My uncle was sent to a hospital after having a psychotic breakdown and accidentally hurting himself. I know he feels the same way as Cujo did in the story. Though King wasn't directly referencing this disorder, the details of Cujo psychologically are very similar. 
We're All Mad...Everywhere.


Well if Alice can chase a Rabbit down an unfamiliar hole in the ground then I can chase the unfamiliar road, theoretically speaking.  Alice and I both share a couple similar traits: 1. We both walk into anything that doesn't make sense just to try to make sense of it.  And 2. We both get emotional when the thing we are trying to make sense of doesn't make sense.  Notice how I used the word sense a lot.  Well what Alice is constantly trying to make sense of everything that happens to her such as falling furniture, unusual shrinking and growing, and mad people.  There was a time when Alice was talking to The Duchess who was an awfully rude woman in her eyes.  This rude woman threw her child at Alice and after her observing it for a second she thought, "...it was a queer-shaped little creature" (51).  Alice must have had confusion for the child began to turn into an animal! She thought, "There could be no doubt that it had a very  turn-up nose, mush more like a snout than a real nose; also its eyes were getting extremely small for a baby" (51). Alice had been very confused by this and tried to make sense of it but instead she tossed the now pig for she no longer had to take care of it. 
Now my confusion does not relate to a pig or falling objects but instead to where I will be going in life.  Like Alice I run into odd obstacles daily like most humans do such as people and growing older.  I try to make sense out of why people get upset at me or in general or why we have to wait to but a certain number or years to do something or why things change in front of me.  These things may never make sense and some may make sense with time.  But for many of us including Alice, life is basically trying to make sense of things. 

9/10 English: Writing Warmup: Theme, Theme, Theme


Bell Ringer Activity:
Yesterday, we watched D4Darius's video on theme (here). For today's bell ringer, re-watch D4Darius's video and answer the following questions on theme.

1) Describe the theme you have identified for your summer reading.
2) Give one example of this theme (with a page # and/or quote!).

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

AP English: Scoring Derek Walcott's "XIV" Student Essays


Bell Ringer Activity:
For today's class, you read three AP English essays on Derek Walcott's poem, "XIV," from the 2015 student essay pool.  I told you Tuesday that "one was a high example, one was a low example, and one was a medium example."

In the comments section below, tell us what score you gave each essay and why.  Since our class time is limited, you don't need to describe everything about the essay, just the big things you think the student did right using the scoring rubric I gave you yesterday.

[ Note: I have posted a picture of a constellation above to illustrate the big message I want you to learn about the College Board's policy for scoring AP essays: as a writer, you will be rewarded for what you do right on a whole, not every little thing you did wrong. ]


Creative Writing: Persephone and Demeter (9/14/16)



Bell Ringer Questions:
1) In this artist's rendering of the Persephone and Demeter myth, what do you think is happening?
2) Does it tell part of the story you read on pages 14-20 for today? If so, which parts?
3) What symbols or visual cues seem important in this rendering?


For the second half of today's class, we will be taking a bit of a departure...


For today's discussion of Greek mythology--specifically, the Demeter and Persephone myth--I'd like to watch a very...unique...YouTube version of the classic myth.  In this 7-minute video, The Myth of Demeter and Persephone, some high school age kids tell Persephone's story in an amateur production they made for English class! This version of the myth is both accurate and highly over-acted.

Enjoy?!

Summer Reading Review:Lord Of The Flies by William Golding

I read Lord Of The Flies by William Golding.  The book is about these kids from Britain who crash landed in plane onto an island, and they have to survive the best they can until someone can save them.  Along the way they go through vigorous tasks like deciding who's in charge and who does what.  In the very beginning they find a conch shell that they use to gather all the kids and get there attention.  The person who holds the conch has all the power so they fought over that.  The kids as the book goes on start to get a little out there.  They get into small groups and even try to kill the other kids.  At the very end they were hunting each other and set the island on fire but luckily a passing military ship saw the fire and rescues the kids form the island.  How ever non of the kids were the same because of what they had to go through.

I've always compared this book to my life in the way that these kids landed on a random island in the middle of now where and had to get used to everything and learn the island.  When all the kids meet each other it was like when I first came to the school and met everyone.  One real challenge the kids faced through out the whole book is working together.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Andrew
American Sniper
Chris Kyle


           American sniper is an autobiography written by U.S Navy S.E.A.L,  Chris Kyle. This book starts off by introducing Chris and his family and what it was like for him and his brother growing up in Texas. Chris writes about himself always being very protective of others and having strong beliefs for justice. As a kid and all through high school Chris always wanted to be a cowboy but soon found interest in fighting for his country. Chris Became part of S.E.A.L team 3 in 1999. Chris explains how challenging it is to achieve this great goal and how perseverant you need to be to accomplish it. Throughout the beginning of the book he tells about all the training he went through and all the bumps in the road that he stumbled upon. After training, Chris became a phenomenal soldier while fighting in Iraq, so good that the enemy posted a bounty on his head. By the time Chris left the service in 2009 after 10 years, he had racked up the most kills by a sniper in the whole world at 160 confirmed kills. After retiring Chris suffered from PTSD. Chris always liked to spend time with disabled veterans and people with PTSD. On February 2, 2013, Chris and his friend, Chad Littlefield were helping a man that had PTSD so they took him to a shooting range but the man, Eddie Ray Routh, shot and killed the two friends leaving Chris's wife Taya and their two kids all alone. I really enjoyed reading this book and learned a lot about the pressure soldiers are put under. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Humor, action and sadness all in one book.