Thursday, November 26, 2009

AP--end-of-semester schedule

Week of November 30
Day 1--Read WFB, part 4, to p. 119; begin student-led discussions; blog 1 contfor WFB due if not written last week.
Days 2 through 4--Finish reading WFB; continue student-led discussions. No quiz.

Week of December 7
Day 1--Blog #2 due for WFB. Topic: Make a meaningful connection between WFB and Conrad's HOD. Before writing your blog, read "Three Ways of Going Wrong" by Douglas Kerr on JStor, (Modern Language Review, vol. 95, #1, http://www. esp. pp. 21-27. Length: 400-500 words.
Day 2--Finish discussion of WFB. Both sections meet both Monday and Tuesday.
Wednesday, December 9--Reading Day. No classes meet.
Friday, December 11--Office Hours. I will be available to answer questions from 11:00 AM (following the math exam) to 12:30 PM. Please bring a specific question you would like answered.

Week of December 14
Semester Exam Monday December 14, 9 AM, Hormel Arts Center. Format: AP-style multiple choice questions (one-third), essay analyzing prose passage (one-third), essay on WFB/HOD (one-third).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

English IV-final paper

For your last essay of the semester, identify an important area of human life, human nature, or human values and write a paper of five to seven pages (1600-2000 words) discussing the theme you have identified. In your discussion, refer generously to three works we have studied. Choose one work from each of the following groups. Your third work may be chosen from either group.

Group A—Antigone; Things Fall Apart; A Doll's House; One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; Much Ado About Nothing; The Post Office

Group B—“War,” “Torn Lace,” “The Heavenly Christmas Tree,” “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” “Sunrise on the Veld,” “Good Climate, Friendly Inhabitants,” a Garcia Marquez story, “Forty-Five a Month,” “Interpreter of Maladies”.

Your papers are due Monday, December 14 by 11 AM, hard copy with turnitin receipt number (turnitin title: 2009-Final Paper). Papers are to be turned in at the Upper School office. They will be collected as soon as my exam is over at 11 AM; papers arriving after that time will be marked late and penalized accordingly. Use MLA parenthetical style for textual references with list of Works Cited.


Week of November 30:

Day 1: Finish Much Ado about Nothing discussion, including examples of findings of search teams

Day 2—Much Ado About Nothing Quest

Day 3—Preliminary thesis and list of texts for final paper due, in writing, with a short note on each explaining why it was chosen—10 points

Day 4—Outlines brought to class for discussion and approval—10 points

Week of December 7
Monday, December 7—Three pages of draft due in class for editing—10 points

Tuesday, December 8—Five-page drafts brought to class for editing—20 points

Week of December 14

Monday, December 14—11 AM—papers due, both hard copy and, 1600-2000 words—150 points

(N.B.-point values may be adjusted slightly, as this assignment is weighted as 25% of the semester total by Upper School policy.)

Sample Questions (develop your own variations):

What does it take to be a successful human being in the world? Is “success” a matter of getting what one wants, of attaining a desired result—love, money, power, freedom, social status—or is it a question of character, of developing within the self those qualities most essential to a complete human being: virtue, wisdom, compassion, spiritual enlightenment, moral insight, ethical depth, duty, honor?

Can social institutions, cultural traditions, or rituals help develop successful people, or does the literature portray these customs more as impediments to growth?

What is a “complete” human being? What components are most important in defining what a human being “should” be?

Under what conditions do the characters’ worlds become traps, bringing out the worst in people, debasing their lives and stripping their existence of meaning or purpose? What happens to the hearts and souls of those who live in such worlds?

Professor Robert George of Princeton says, “the conquest of the self is part of what it means to lead a successful life.” Which characters have inner demons or parts of themselves they must conquer? How successful are they?

William Faulkner said that literature is composed of “old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed—love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.” Which of Faulkner’s truths find most powerful expression in the literature we have read this semester.

Dr. Carl Hammerschlag, a psychiatrist, writes, “Mental health . . . can be described as having your head, mouth, and heart in a straight alignment. Mental health happens when what you believe in your heart is the same as what you say with your mouth. You are mentally healthy when what you feel is something you also believe. . . .You have to keep in balance if you want to stay healthy.” In these terms, which characters are healthiest? Which are not? How do they achieve balance? What are the costs of not finding it?

Many works we have read center on characters who, because of their personalities, beliefs, or personal circumstances, find themselves in conflict with their society. Choose three important characters from different works and discuss the ways in which they are out of synch with the world around them. For each character you discuss, say whether the conflict primarily reveals a flaw in the character or in the society’s assumptions and moral values.

You may of course find other similarities around which to build your papers. An ethical issue, a question of human relationships, a political question, the idea of conscience, the issue of identity—any of these or a wide array of potential topics lie at your disposal. But choose wisely. You want a topic that lends itself to the three works you will discuss, and it must be not too broad an issue to develop specifically in the assigned length. For example, the question “What is human nature,” while intriguing, is too general to be useful here. Pick something narrower and try to go deeper in your discussion.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

AP assignments November 09

Week of November 2

Days 1, 2, and 3--Finish discussion of The Sound and the Fury; continue second round of mini-blogs

Thurs/Fri--multiple-choice quiz #4, questions 39-53.

Day 4--(Friday November 6) Style analysis exercise for Heart of Darkness--read the opening paragraphs of the story, especially paragraphs # 2, 3, 4, & 6, more than once, and make notes in the margin. Consider diction, syntax, tone, organization, & tension, and the introduction of the character Marlow.

Monday, November 9--in-class essay on The Sound and the Fury; also, read part 1 of Heart of Darkness, pp. 3-31.

Week of November 9

1. Heart of Darkness: read part I for Day 1, part II for day 3 (pp. 31-54), part 3 for Friday, November 13 (pp. 54-77). Continue annotating the text, noting significant passages, key images, new vocabulary, and examples of Conrad's stylistic devices. Cite specific passages in mini-blogs.
2. Vocab quiz, lessons 11 & 12

Week of November 16

1. No class day 1, Monday, November 16.
2. Begin reading Waiting for the Barbarians: read parts I & II (to p. 55) for Day 4
3. Blog: Read your assigned section of background and criticism; summarize its most important ideas on your blog in a series of bullet points; due before class day 2 (T/W), to be presented in brief oral summaries.
4. Cumulative Vocabulary Review Quiz, lessons 1-12 Friday, November 20. Begin presenting mini-blogs on Waiting for the Barbarians day 4.

Week of November 23

1. Waiting for the Barbarians: Read part III (to p. 74) for Monday.
2. Both sections meet both Monday and Tuesday, no school Wed-Fri (Thanksgiving holiday)
3. No vocab quiz
4. Blog: due day 1 describing initial responses to characters, style, and content of WFB (approx. 300-400 words)

Essay assignment: Things Fall Apart

Topic choices for a three- or four-page paper on Things Fall Apart (approx. 1000-1200 words)

Topic choice and thesis due in class Friday 11/6
Draft due in class Monday or Tuesday (day 1) depending on section, 11/9 or 11/10.
Paper due in class and on by class time day 2 (Tuesday or Wednesday 11/10 or 11/11).

Other assignments:
Day 3--Read "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings," p. 577 in anthology
Day 4--Read "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World," (handout); vocab quiz, lessons 11 & 12.
Monday, November 16/Tuesday 17th--begin reading Much Ado About Nothing, Act I
Friday, November 20--Cumulative Vocabulary Review Quiz, lessons 1 through 12. (Rescheduled)

Choose one of the following topics to develop into an essay based on your understanding of the novel Things Fall Apart. In your essay, refer to specific passages and examples from the novel to support your ideas. This is an interpretive essay based on your reading of the novel; no outside sources should be used.

•Is Okonkwo a tragic figure? Review what you know from our study of Greek tragedy and assess to what extent those ideas apply to Things Fall Apart in general and Okonkwo in particular.

•How does Achebe’s narrator both endorse and critique the values and practices of Ibo culture? Why does he present some elements of the culture as problematic or flawed and others as sources of strength for the Ibo people?

•How does Okonkwo determine right from wrong? Choose three examples of decisions Okonkwo makes and examine what belief systems, values, laws or traditions he uses to choose a course of action. Evaluate the wisdom or effectiveness of these decisions.

•What kind of leader is Okonkwo? Choose three strong actions which demonstrate his leadership. Identify the values, beliefs, and/or traditions on which he bases each action and evaluate its effectiveness.

•Of his daughter Ezinma, Okonkwo thinks, “She should have been a boy” (p. 64). Why is it necessary to the story that Okonkwo’s favored child be a girl?