Wednesday, November 25, 2009


As you work through the implications article, you may wish to discuss and compare notes with your fine colleagues. To that end, I put the article up on the AP Text annotation site for you to work on.  Please make use of it. I put up a contextual comment at the end (nothing new -- we talked about it in class) to help you orient yourself.

Remember, you won't see everything.  You don't have to.  Pick a line of reasoning and work on that for your paper.  Focus. Eat turkey. Eat pumpkin pie. Eat more pumpkin pie. Watch some football. Enjoy your weekend. Work some on this. Have some leftover pumpkin pie. With whipped cream.  Lots of whipped cream.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reflecting on the Destiny of Humankind

Decide which of the three texts has the most effective argument. Why is it more effective than the others? Please explain.

Then, read the Pico Iyer article on implications. That's all you have to do with it. Read it. Well, make an attempt to understand it, I suppose. ;) We'll discuss it on Monday.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tri-Text Discussion

[caption id="attachment_871" align="alignright" width="212" caption="A maid and her wight..."]maid and wight[/caption]

Good work today on some difficult texts. Tomorrow we'll pull the whole thing together in an evaluative discussion of the three texts together.

A special thanks to Jesse who filmed during 2nd period. We figured out what went wrong with the microphone so that shouldn't be a problem tomorrow.

Let's move the vocab test to Monday so we can finish our discussion. Spreading it over 2 days is enough; I don't want it to span the weekend as well.

No homework tonight, though check back tomorrow for some homework to tide you over for the weekend. Don't worry, it is not at all onerous.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Academic Competition: King of the Mountain

[caption id="attachment_860" align="alignright" width="189" caption="There be can only one!"]Highlander[/caption]

Tonight read Best in Class by Margaret Talbot on page 113 in TLC  or at the AP Text site. Make at least one new comment on the AP text site and one substantive comment responding to someone else.

For your planning pleasure, tomorrow night you will elucidate your position on this issue and choose one of the following options (or create your own) and justify that position. In other words, clearly lay out your position on the issue of academic recognition and competition and provide support for that position in a clear, reasoned argument. Convince us you're right!

Option 1: How we do things here at Fife. Top 10. Top 10 give speeches to the faculty and the faculty votes on the top 2. Renaissance recognizes two levels of performance as well as a semester to semester improvement.

Option 2: Traditional. Valedictorian gives a speech. Salutatorian may also speak. there can only be one valedictorian. Usually recognize a top 10%.

Option 3: Modified traditional. Multiple valedictorians (ie no tiebreakers if there are say five 4.0 students). Either all valedictorians speak or they compete before a faculty and/or student panel.

Option 4: Latin honors. Cum Laude (with honor); Magna Cum Laude (with great honor); Summa Cum Laude (with highest honor). At my alma mater, these awards were reserved for minimum GPAs of 3.70, 3.80, and 3.90 respectively, though I've seen Cum Laude designations as low as 3.25 or even 3.0 at some Southern universities (Alabama State, University of North Carolina,  Kentucky State, and Vanderbilt).

Option 5: Some wise option of your own creation/choosing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Food Drive

lafoodbanksplendorSecond period, don't forget about the food drive! There are a lot of hungry people this year. I know times are tough for many of us, but let's do what we can. Not for a competition, but because it is good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Education the Ralph Waldo Emerson way

emerson12_crNow that you've read Emerson's On Education on page 102 of The Language of Composition (TLC), and now that we have a bit of an idea as to what he is on about, it's time for some analysis of how he does what he does. To that end, thoughtfully respond on your blog to questions 2-3, 5-6, 8, 10, and 12 on pages 108-109.

And as you do this and your other homework, remember that
"Not less delightful is the mutual pleasure of teaching and learning the secret of algebra, or of chemistry, or of good reading and good recitation of poetry or of prose, or of chosen facts in history or in biography." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take delightful pleasure in this learning activity up through Wednesday evening (due Thursday November 12).

Of interest...transcendentalism. If that article proves too heady for you, Wikipedia's is okay.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A little bird told me about your homework tonight

bird toldOn page 100 in the Language of Composition (the white book), do Rhetoric and Style questions 1, 3, 5-8. Post them on the blog, but come ready to discuss them in class (that may means you may want a paper copy).[1. In the future, I think I need to crack down on cell phones in class. Calculators fall under that umbrella too--you know who you are...]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Graff the Prose article

[caption id="attachment_830" align="alignright" width="300" caption="So cruel it is outside and can see the trees..."]caged bird 2[/caption]

Take the article  I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read by Francine Prose and summarize and then respond to her position by using the Graff template in Class Info & Docs.

DO NOT print this out and attempt to fill in the blanks on that page. Doing so will produce inferior thinking as it was not designed to accommodate complex thoughts in such a small space.

Instead, type this out on the blog with your thoughts positioned in the paragraph where the blanks appear in the template. This template has proven useful to me and many others to drill down in comprehension and then in the thinking required for a nuanced response. We'll read a few of these in class tomorrow to help fuel our discussion.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trouble with

[caption id="attachment_824" align="alignright" width="300" caption="One of the more ridiculous scenes from the original Star Trek."]tribble3[/caption]

Helen found a helpful site on transition words organized by function.  It is linked to the left as "Transitions."