Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Autumn of the Multitaskers

Take a look at the multitasking article tonight and identify the overall claim/assertion (the glossary of The Language of Composition has a good definition if you need one). Then, identify the claim/assertion in each section of the article (sections are indicated by a drop cap). Blog your results.

Oh, and check the calendar...

Side note: Here is a really graphic blog on texting while driving that I found while looking for a picture of someone running off a road in Wyoming. ONLY for those with strong stomaches. It is the result of an accident. Seriously only for those with strong stomaches.

Oh, and I thought all of these cartoons were funny and I couldn't decide which one to use.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Evidence for Arguments

Last week we lost some days to ask questions and get answers to our lovely, but also annoying snow. Therefore we are changing up the schedule a bit this week.

Tomorrow in class, we will read and discuss The Autumn of the Multitaskers,which will necessitate moving our graded timed write back a day or so. :( We'll look at this essay in terms of how it uses claims, how it's organized, and what counts as evidence.

Oh, and check out the calendar.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Writing Helps...digestion

School is closed tomorrow too, in case you haven't heard!

So, you may need help with your papers. On this blog, look over to your left (and likely down a bit) for a group of links entitled "Writing". Look especially at the IU Writing Pamphlets, the UNC Writing Pages, the Dartmouth on Writing Papers, and the Writing Introductions and Conclusions pages.

This is all solid, collegiate-level writing help. It is focused on the type of writing AP is preparing you for, so it is worth looking at (the Dartmouth writing tutorial is particularly strong). The student truly serious about improving their writing would read this tutorial. Be forewarned that it is extensive. The tutorial on writing a thesis sentence is 3,600 words alone. This tutorial is well worth your time, though.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Whoo hoo!!!!!! We get to work on our papers at home on laptops around the fire with hot cocoa and warm blankets!!! Sooooo much nicer than writing in the computer lab here at school. :)

Hope you all got home safely. Remember to slay the procrastination monster and get those rough drafts done before Thanksgiving. We're having our rough draft day int he lab on Monday so have your essays on Google Docs for that day.

Enjoy the snow!!!!

Addendum: After a respite of depressingly little snow and bare, wet roads, big, fluffy flakes are falling hard and fast in the fair land of University Place. If school is canceled, we'll move our graded timed write from tomorrow to next Tuesday. If we're on late arrival schedule, we have 38 minute classes, which should be fine for the timed write (yes, I'll allow people to start before the bell, so you may want to show up early).

Addendum #2: Your prayers have been answered!! School is closed tomorrow, Tuesday the 23rd! Enjoy your day off and please, as one master recovering procrastinator to my many young padawan soon-to-be-recovering procrastinators, do yourselves a favor and work on your papers some tomorrow. You won't be alone...I'll be grading JFK papers tomorrow.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Arguing with Elephants

For Monday, come prepared to write. We are in the lab just outside our classroom. Hopefully the activity on Friday helped jump start your essay and you are able to get some good work done over the weekend.
My hope for you is that you won't have to be working on a rough draft over Thanksgiving Break. In order for you to do that, you'll need to eschew procrastination and power through. Happy writing!

Update: Is any of this snow sticking in Milton or Fife?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


If you'd like notes for the Toulmin argument we discussed today, go to Class Info and Resources. Click on Rhetorical Analysis Tools. You'll find several helpful tools if you haven't explored them already. On that list is the Toulmin model. Check out Jolliffe's Rhetorical Framework too. You may find it helpful.

For tomorrow, please bring your TLC books and the Elephant assignment sheet. Choose which question you want to write on.

Don't forget to study your vocabulary.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Never argue with an elephant

Elephant:1; tour bus: 0
unless you have to write this paper:

Looking for some homework? Bummed that we didn't finish talking about Orwell today? Well, I've got just the cure! Check out this essay assignment! We'll talk about it later this week, but I thought some of you might want to start thinking about this now.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A good idea?

Read In Defense of Incandescence  and blog a summary of his argument. Then identify three rhetorical techniques he uses to get that argument across and then explain how those techniques help him make his argument.

We'll talk about elephants on Monday -- I put that off because we had so many people gone for swimming and other activities.

For the opposing argument, read this guy.

3rd period, check your fifeschools email!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shooting Elephants and Colonial Ambivalence

Orwell and his colleagues in Burma
Finish reading Shooting an Elephant on page 979 of the TLC book. Before Friday, blog the questions at the end on page 985.
Tomorrow we have a graded analysis timed write. On Wednesday, we'll go over the timed writes. Thursday don't come to school. On Friday, we'll go over these questions and, as last year called it, play a cloze "game" with the text.
This will be a weird week with Veteran's day taking a day out of the middle instead of the beginning or end of a week, but we'll make it work.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Everything's an Argument

Read the packet you received in class today over the weekend. We'll discuss it on Monday. Those who were gone, I don't have this in electronic format yet, so you'll have to pick it up on Monday.

Ever feel a bit overwhelmed by the AP rubric? Read Carline's helpful thoughts on subject.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Academic Competition: King of the Mountain

There can only be one!
If you were not in class today, tonight read Best in Class by Margaret Talbot on page 113 in TLC or at the link above.

For your planning pleasure, tomorrow you will elucidate your position on this issue in small groups 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. We'll present those positions to the class.

We'll go over these positions in class, but I put them up here for your prior perusal.

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 (i.e. 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.

Monday, November 1, 2010

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 4).

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