Wednesday, September 30, 2009

English IV blog assignment (One Day)

Follow this link to this week's blog assignment, due BEFORE day 1 of the upcoming week.

Monday, September 21, 2009

AP--Paper on additional short story

In addition to the short essay on the story you have been assigned, your final assignment for our study of short fiction is to research and write a paper on a story you choose based on your own interest. Listed below are the requirements and guidelines for this assignment:

• Your story must have been published for the first time in the last 5 years, that is 2005 to the present.

• Your story must have actually been “published”; no self-published internet pieces by amateur writers, please.

• Since I am asking you to research the author and write an analysis of the story, I strongly suggest that you read several stories,  minimum three, from a variety of sources, then choose the one you enjoyed the most. As you read new stories, I encourage you to post short responses to them as part of your weekly blogs commenting on our assigned short stories.

• Published short stories are not as abundant as they were 50 or 75 years ago. Nevertheless, you may find excellent material in a variety of places: New Yorker magazine publishes short stories regularly, and Mr.Thommen has set over 100 issues out in the reference section of the library. Also, Mr. Thommen has begun a subscription to a periodical called One Story, each issue of which contains, you guessed it, a single short story. The Best American Short Stories series publishes a new edition every year (guest editor for the 2007 edition was Stephen King), and I have ordered copies of the two most recent collections. Finally, literary journals in libraries often contain new stories, and both single-author and anthology collections of stories may be found in bookstores as well. For example, Jhumpa Lahiri, author of The Namesake on my summer reading list, has a new story collection called Unaccustomed Earth.

• The written portion of the assignment is a paper of approximately 5 pages (1500 words) in which you cover three key points: your reasons for choosing the story, some biographical background on the writer, and an analysis of the story using the methods and vocabulary we have discussed and practiced in class.

• Drafts of your papers are due in class Thursday October 16. Final papers are due, both hard copy and, on Friday, October 17.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

English IV--September 11-October 2

Week 3: September 8-11
Friday, September 11— Read A Doll’s House, Act I, pp. 140-165; introduce Spiderman blog assignment

Week 4: September 14-18
Day 1—Spiderman blogs due
Day 2—A Doll’s House, Act II, pp. 165-184
Day 3—A Doll’s House, Act III, pp. 184-202
Friday, September 18—Vocabulary quiz, lessons 3-4; bring hard copy of spiderman blog to class for peer edit workshop

Week 5: September 21-25
Day 1—Revised Spiderman blogs due as hard copy and to
Day 2—“The Heavenly Christmas Tree,” pp. 121-125
Day 3—“How Much Land Does a Man Need,” pp. 126 – 138
Friday, September 25—Begin reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; start Wednesday night, average, 20 pages per night Thursday night and all weekend, finish reading by Monday night September 28

Week 6: September 28-October 2
Day 1—Continue reading One Day
Day 2—Finish reading One Day, possible quiz
Day 3—Continue discussion of One Day
Friday, October 3—One Day blogs due; vocab quiz lessons 5-6

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spiderman blog

Reread Jim Hall's Spiderman poem "Maybe dats your pwoblem too." Think about how the metaphor of a "fwame-wesistant" suit might apply to people other than Spiderman. Perhaps the suit represents, for example, a part of our life we cannot escape, some aspect of our identity difficult or seemingly impossible to shed, even if we would like to do so, to be able, as Hall says Spiderman wishes to do, to become "someone different, something new."

Consider the following questions:
How might this metaphor apply to all of us?
Can you apply the metaphor to yourself? Are there parts of your "suit" you would like to burn?
Which pieces of our identity are most difficult to rid ourselves of ("fwame wesistant")?
Are there times when people would most like to "buin der suits"? Why? What can lead to such a desire?
If you could reinvent yourself, what would you do to make your "heart beat at a diffwent wate"? What prevents you?

You needn't try to answer all these questions. Do some brainstorming and choose your strongest ideas to develop into a personal piece of some 500 words. And since it is a personal piece written for a public audience (your classmates and me) choose how much personal information you wish to include.

You may, if you wish, consult the poet James Hall's blog and read what he says about his poem. Be aware, however, that Hall says a poet should never be the final authority on what a poem can mean to a reader.

Finally, here is a link to the poem itself.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blog starters for Antigone

Follow this link to some ideas that occurred to me as possible topics for your Antigone blog. To be written any time between now and next Tuesday September 8. Also, look at section III of the course syllabus for other suggestions of blog starters that may be used with any literary work. Suggested length: 400 to 500 words.

See you Tuesday.