Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn of the Multitaskers

Take another look at the multitasking article 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 (handily, sections are indicated by a drop cap).  Blog your results by Wednesday.

By the way, Nate found a good NPR story on this subject. You can read it or listen to it here. Aside form looking at assertions, this topic goes well with our metacognition papers as we seek to learn how to use our brains most effectively.

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.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Writing your JFK paper

If you feel like you've been cornobbled by this JFK paper and are lost in a collieshangie with rhetorical devices, remember to step back, take a breath, and reacquaint yourself with the purpose you are dealing with in each paragraph/section. Focus on how he attempts to fulfill each purpose using rhetorical strategies. Remember that rhetorical strategies can include such things as diction & syntax, appeals (both classical and various, i.e. patriotism, pride, compassion, etc.), choice of detail, figurative language, imagery, organization, etc.

Remember the rhetorical situation: speaker, occasion, audience, purpose(s) as well.

Best of luck with this paper. Don't over-think it. Just identify a purpose and show how he tries to accomplish it in his speech.

Monday, October 24, 2011

JFK Paper

JFK Jr. salutes you
So, it's time to start the JFK paper. Your prompt is in the TLC book on page 57 at the bottom. This paper should be 900-1200 words long. You can, but do not have to, use the sample thesis.

Whatever you choose to focus on, remember to identify the purpose first and then seek to show how he uses various rhetorical strategies to accomplish that purpose.

Happy writing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Camelot: 'Tis a silly place

This weekend, do the questions in the TLC book on pages 55-56.  I'll check them off on Monday. We will be in the lab to begin our paper. The prompt is on page 57 if you want to get a jump start. Otherwise, just do the questions.
4th period, meet in the classroom; 6th period, meet in the study hall lab in the 400 building.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


You could spend a lot of time on YouTube watching these old videos. This one shows the effects of blasts on different types of houses.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Getting to Know JFK

Here is the link to JFK's inaugural address that we watched today in class. If you lost your hard copy for annotation or if you need to copy text for a dialectical journal or graphic organizer, then here it is as a pdf and Google doc.

Your homework is to annotate or create a dialectical journal or graphic organizer as demonstrated on page 40-47 of the TLC book. Please bring your books tomorrow as we will be using them again.

Read about a close call during the Cold War. Another account of the same incident.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Modest Proposal Argument

Revisit paragraph 29 on page 919 in its context (you've already thought about this in question #9). Using Questions for Rhetoric and Style on page 920-21 (maybe look at question 10 to help with this as well), write a short reflection (try to keep it between 150 and 200 words) on how Swift uses satire coupled with his true ideals, hinted at throughout the piece and especially in paragraph 29, to drive home his argument to his audience. Post this to your blog.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Homecoming weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Though a disturbing piece, A Modest Proposal is a brilliant argument — in part because it is so disturbing. Let’s take a closer look at how Jonathan Swift crafts his argument.
To that end, blog your responses to the following questions found on pages 920-921 in TLC: Questions on Rhetoric and Style #s 1-5, 7-9.

Period 4: Here's the link to that article I alluded to today that I said I'd link for you. In the Also See box, take a peek at The End of Men as well if this issue interests or concerns you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Academic Competition: Best in Class

There can only be one!
After reading Best in Class, please blog your thoughts on questions 1-2 and 4-6 on page 112 in TLC.  Also, remember we have a vocabulary quiz tomorrow.

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, October 3, 2011

Superman and Me

"I am breaking down the door."
Today in class you started discussing the metaphors used by Sherman Alexie in Superman and Me. I also asked you to consider the syntax and the rhythm of the language. My hint to you was that these two are related. Please blog your analysis of this little essay in the terms discussed above.

In addition, please blog your answers to questions 1-4;7-8 in the same blog post as your thoughts above. Another hint: questions 5 and 6 will help you answer the slightly more vague directions above.

This is a short piece. Read it again. Think both big picture and detail.