Science Fiction Students: Check out the new Nebula Awards!

This article on The Verge lists the nominees and links to many of the stories that you can read online!

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Satire Analysis Essay Self-Editing


Use the following tools to do a thorough self-edit on your Satire Rhetorical Analysis Essay before you share it with Ms.Clark (Share by 9:00am on Saturday 11/19/16)

Do CRISPing and the Checklist:

  1. CRISP Editing
  2. Self Editing Checklist

Review Intro and Body paragraph guidelines as needed (these may appear in my comments to you:

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The Big Read: A Wizard of Earthsea

Welcome back to school!

This year’s Big Read is the Science Fiction / Fantasy novel, A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. This means that, over the next few months, there will be a number of wonderful events related to the themes of this novel.

Check out the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read website for materials relating to this novel, pick up your *free* copy at the library, and visit Lewis & Clark Library’s calendar for a schedule of events. Remember that many of these events will be worth extra credit!

(SF students: I will be seeking volunteers to participate in an Earthsea panel discussion in the next few days, too!  Again, this will be worth extra credit, and it should also be really fun.)

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New Website: Shakespeare Documented

Folger Shakepseare Library has recently launched a new website on which digitizes versions of documents relating to the life of William Shakespeare can be viewed by the public. It includes not only plays and poems, but also legal documents and others which mention Shakespeare and reveal details about his life.

Check it out!

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Friday 12/18: Mythology

Hi all,

Here’s the Arthurian Scavenger Hunt!  Use the online document to access links, and write your answers on your copy.

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AdvancEd Survey

Students: Please take this survey by Friday 12/11.

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Blues Music for the Crossroads Myth

Hi Seniors,

Here are a few songs by Tommy Johnson and Robert Johnson, as well as a few notes about their lives.

Tommy Johnson (1896 – November 1, 1956) was a highly influential blues guitarist and singer who recorded for about twenty years.  “Johnson’s recordings established him as the premier Delta blues vocalist of his day, with a powerful voice that could go from a growl to a falsetto. He was also an accomplished guitarist. His style influenced later blues singers such as Robert Nighthawk and Howlin’ Wolf …as well as country singer Hank Williams. He was a talented composer, blending fragments of folk poetry and personalized lyrics into set guitar accompaniments to craft striking blues compositions….  To enhance his fame, Johnson cultivated a sinister persona. According to his brother LeDell, he claimed to have sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads in exchange for his mastery of the guitar” (“Tommy Johnson”)

Tommy Johnson youtube playlist

Tommy-Johnson pre-1923.png


Robert Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) (no relation to Tommy) was a more mysterious figure, and there is continuing debate over his identity.  According to legend, he was not a very good guitarist as a young man, but after meeting with the devil at the crossroads at midnight and selling his soul, he played better than any other blues musician. The “Crossroads Myth,” by most accounts, began with Tommy Johnson, and was only attached to Robert after his death, which was somewhat mysterious.  Perhaps it is because of the mystery of his life and death that the legend has become more famously attached to Robert than to Tommy over the years since they gained fame (with reference to “Robert Johnson” and “Crossroads”)

Robert Johnson youtube playlist

Robert Johnson.png

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If you lost your Holy Grail Extra Credit handout…

…Here’s what it said:

Wednesday, October 14th, Cinemark is showing Monty Python’s Holy Grail in a “Quote-along” format.  This film relates to Mythology, as we are already discussing epic heroes, leadership, and the ways in which a culture’s values and morals are encoded into their myths and legends; in addition, we will spend the month of January studying King Arthur.

This film takes a satirical look at myth and legend, yet, like any great satire, it contains a great deal of “truth” about the story.  It is also a great demonstration of how stories are changed, updated, and passed down from one generation to the next in a continuous game of “Telephone.”

To get extra credit for seeing this film, you must do the following:

  1. Keep your ticket stub
  2. Write a paragraph (up to 2 pages) reviewing the film. This must include a thesis statement with a rating (use any system you like—stars, points, thumbs, etc.), details from the film to support your rating, and connections to the themes of Mythology class (see above).
  3. Staple your ticket stub to your review, and turn it in to the basket no later than Friday 10/23.
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Writing in the Real World

Next week, we will begin writing the Personal Essay. This essay will be something you use to help you reach your future goals, be they college and scholarships, or trade school and work.

Regardless of where you plan to go, you will need writing to help you get there. The BBC, in characteristically timely fashion, published an article today that highlights this fact, and describes “The Biggest Writing Mistakes” graduates make when they enter the world of work, regardless of their fields.  The pitfalls described in the article are the same ones I often see in the Personal Essay, so keep them in mind as you write, and as you go out into the world!

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Open House

Hello parents and families!

Welcome to Open House.

Please feel free to check out my website: you’ll find syllabuses, class materials and supplementary information, as well as some information about me.

Here is the presentation from tonight.

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