Thursday, October 12, 2017

AP Writing Prompt: Timed 40-Min Essay

MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN WRITING PROMPT                                        Date: 10/12/2017
Suggested Time – 40 Minutes (Note: if you are completing this essay outside of class, please set a timer)

Oftentimes in literature a character faces a crisis of belief, a moment in which his faith in personal of institutional values is sorely threatened.  This critical moment may result in a character’s overcoming these doubts and reaffirming beliefs, or succumbing to these qualms and abandoning them.

In a well-organized essay based on Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, illustrate how this critical moment either strengthens or dissolves the character’s faith in personal or institutional values, and show how his reaction to this crisis contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole.   

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Multiple-Choice Practice and Reflections

AP Multiple-Choice questions are tough, but you know who else is tough--you.  [cue Rocky theme music] Remember, this isn’t a one day battle, it’s a year-long fight to the finish.  Your first day in the trenches might have been a bruising one, but you know what they say?  Rome wasn’t conquered in a day! (what’s that?  … it was?  … whoops, wrong analogy … Rome wasn’t built in a day).    Right.  Ok.  [cue the Bob the Builder theme music] We’re building a … house here … a house of awesome.  And we’re just now laying the foundation.  Each question you learn how to do is like learning a new skill.  Today you learn plumbing, tomorrow roofing, and so on.  So, let’s get in there and build, build, build.  J

Peace, flowers, freedom, happiness,
Mr. G.

1.       Read p. 100-104 in Preparation for the AP English Literature & Composition Examination, by Dr. Richard Vogel.   
2.       Correct your answers. 
3.       Read all of the explanations.
4.       For each question you got wrong, write a short reflection on:
a.       the type of question, as you understand it
b.      the logic Dr. Vogel presents about how to get the answer right
c.       where you think you went wrong

d.      what strategies you might employ the next time you encounter a question like this.  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

HW: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Our next novel is an amazing, thoughtful, complex tale written by a young woman in the early part of the nineteenth century.  In reading this novel, we will also consider elements of Mary Shelley's biography and her place in literary history to help us in our quest for the MOWAAW.  We will not be creating online discussions or double-entry journals this time; however, I would very much encourage you to use the active and critical reading skills we have been practicing while you read this novel.

In the end, I would like to use this novel to work with you on a formal paper--how to question, how to go back and do the close reading necessary to gather quotes and evidence in the pursuit of a thesis, how to develop said thesis, how to organize an analytical essay, and how to calibrate your levels of specific details to the requirements of AP Lit. 

I hope that sounds like a good plan.  Ready to get this started?  Here we go ... :)

Reading Schedule:
(Note: these are assignment dates ... please be ready for classwork, discussions, and reading quizzes each day)

9/28 Letter I, II, III, IV
9/29 Ch. I-V

10/2 Ch. VI-VIII
10/3 Ch. IX-XII
10/4 Ch. XIII-XVI
10/5 Ch. XVII-XX
10/6 Ch. XXI-end

Friday, September 22, 2017

Their Eyes: Essential Literary Synopsis

Well done!  We've arrived at the ending of Their Eyes Were Watching God and have had a chance to discuss some of the elements leading us toward the MOWAAW ("meaning of [the] work as a whole").  We have traced Janie's personal journey from innocence to experience, from blossoms and springtime to chasing dreams on the horizon and--perhaps--to a character at peace with herself and love and her dream and her soul.  Quite a story!  Don't overlook Janie's ability to reflect on her life in her own words, in her own way--through her own voice.  Zora Neale Hurston is widely regarded as having established a way for this type of novel to be written.  Just as Janie does not "plead" in her courtroom scene, so Hurston does not apologize for her characters' flaws and humanity any more than she does for the culture and traditions of the world in which they live.  It is an open, honest, challenging, complex, deeply human novel.  I sincerely hope you liked this one, and that you have found it valuable to have to look closely at all of those intriguing quotes.  I am very impressed with your work so far--I hope you allow yourselves to be impressed too.  --Mr. G. :)

Friday 9/22 HW: Please complete an Essential Literary Synopsis for Their Eyes.

Monday, September 18, 2017

"What's In Your Toolbox?" Notes from Career Searching (thank you Ms. Crane!)

College is expensive.  You need to be pro-active in making sure that what you are doing makes sense.  Data suggests that KRHS 30% will transfer colleges 2-4 times, 40% will graduate (both align with national averages).  Highest success rate is UNH, followed by SNHU.  Silver or gold scholars complete college at a 99% rate. Whether you make it through or not, you will have debt that needs to be paid off.  How will you do it? Having a good plan to help you "fill your toolbox" with classes, experiences, and skills is a great start. And this begins with questions: Which are the “hot” careers?  Which are not? What am I interested in? What do I need to do in order to get there?

Some very helpful resources to get you started:
Choose from any major to gain major insights to help you find your perfect fit

Future planning by career (actuarial mathematics, anyone?)

Possible govt jobs (pensions, benefits, steady)

Salary structure, job title, search terms, whether or not this career makes sense for me

Also Linkedin, Monster, etc. can help refine what to put in your resume

Also consider researching the bios of the people in your field/department to see what they did (and what you might need to be working on!) 

Play on these sites now, not after you graduate!

Why read job descriptions and sample resumes?
  • Use the buzzwords from the job description in your resume!!
  • Use industry employment opportunities job descriptions to help plan for a future career.
  • Use job descriptions to help decide which courses would help you “fill your tool box” and add the right skills.
  • Choose the right internships and volunteer work

Why hire a newbie: you are cheaper, coachable, and have current “best practices”

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

HW 9/13: TEWWG: Double Entry/Dialectical Journal

Assignment: Create a double entry/dialectical reading response journal for each reading section in Their Eyes Were Watching God.  You may use my simple template, or create or modify one of your own.  If you prefer handwriting, that is fine too--but I do advise using a ruler to draw the vertical lines to keep things somewhat neat and tidy :)  

The quote goes on the left, and your insightful comments go on the right.  The page number goes in the middle, or if you prefer you may eliminate that column and add the page number to the quote (use parentheses).  In your quote selection, focus on what impresses or confuses you.  Use this journal as place to clarify your "What/How/SoWhat?" thinking en route to a deeper understanding of the MOWAAW.  I recommend that you try to include a mix of quotation types, including dialogue, setting, descriptive, and thematic passages.  Similarly, try to vary the types of comments and analysis you provide: connections you are making to the real world, your own life, or other texts one time, and questions or predictions the next.  Be sure to sprinkle in ample amounts of insightful analysis as well.  

9/11 Ch. 1, 2
9/13 Ch 3-5
9/14 Ch 6, 7
9/15 Ch 8-10
9/18 Ch. 11-13
9/19 Ch. 14-17
9/20 Ch. 18-20