english10

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Homework, weeks of June 4 through August 24

Homework:

1) read all texts in Brit Lit book that we didn't read--poems, stories, plays, essays.
2) as you read, generate vocab lists and make flash cards for the vocab.
3) read your summer reading books.
4) write one letter per week to a friend, teacher, or author.
5) keep a journal and write reviews in it of good food you eat, good movies you see, good trips you take, etc.
6) find what you like to read and read as much of it as you can.
7) use the good vocabulary you've studied in conversation.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Library Visit, 5/16

Word up.

Consider this:

Have you written an introduction, a paragraph about "ordinary" definitions of your word, a paragraph about the OED's unique definitions of it, a paragraph about how people use your word in speech, a paragraph about how famous writers have used your word in their poems/stories/novels/plays/songs?

You should have written all these by now.

So, for your last few paragraphs write about how foreign language speakers learned and use the word (versus natives), how new writers since 2001 have used the word, and how your word--and English--will continue to be a dominant language in the world and why (that's your conclusion.

For paragraph seven or so:
Find three articles written since 2001 in EBSCO or Infotrac or JStor that use your word in a way that's different than the several ways the OED defines it. For example, if your word is "Brown" and some Sports Illustrated writer used it to mean "did poorly on the playing field" as in "Peyton Manning really browned things up--" then you would have a new use of "brown" because the 2001 OED does not define "brown" as "do poorly." Also try the Boston Globe archives and the New York Times archives.

By the way, a tip for paragraph five, if you're having trouble finding famous writers who've used your word in interesting ways: try a Bartleby search or a poetry search here.

"What do I do when I'm done?" Peruse some essay-the-fourths from last year or read some essay-the-fourths from the pro, William Safire (or here). Or look for proofreading errors in your teacher's writing--here and here and here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Library Visit, May 8

Jobs to do today in the library:

1) Go to dictionary.com and look up your word. Note the sources it gives you--you need three reputable print dictionaries. (Random House, Websters, and American Heritage)

2) FOR TOMORROW: List your OED definitions on one side of a looseleaf page and three famous authors' uses of your word on the backside. Note the dates.

3) Find three articles written since 2001 in EBSCO or Infotrac or JStor that use your word in a way that's different than the several ways the OED defines it. For example, if your word is "Brown" and some Sports Illustrated writer used it to mean "did poorly on the playing field" as in "Peyton Manning really browned things up--" then you would have a new use of "brown" because the 2001 OED does not define "brown" as "do poorly."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Library Day, 3/23

Looking for more articles on your crime? Try a google news search here.


Looking for a poem, story, or novel to quote in your essay?

Look for articles on an EBSCO search that refer to novels, poems, or short stories about crimes like yours. Add "poem" or "novel" to your search terms here. (username: cathmem, password: password)

Try a plagiarist.com search of poems.

Looking for a short story connected to your crime? Check the University of Pennsylvania's Sherlock Holmes' books. Click on each title, then "search on this page" for your search terms.

Search Bartleby's verse quotations.

Check this private database of public domain texts. (Beware: some are American.) Click on each title, then "search on this page" for your search terms.

Check here or here or here or here for more stories or novels (Beware of Americans).

Check a bookstore--enter "poem" or "novel" or "story" with your search terms. Look for "excerpts" or "look inside this book" once you find something good.

Look at ELibrary (sorry, I don't know the username/password).

"What do you do when you're done?"
Write a virtual magnetic poem.

Proofread your teacher's latest writing. Look for errors.

Look for anagrams of your own name or your friends' names.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Who's got rhythm?

A few weeks back, we all tried our hand at epigrams. While we weren't all Pope or Milton, some of us have got some serious rhythm pulsing through our veins.

After narrowing down three finalists in each class, we voted on a class winner. Now five class winners are pitted against each other in my second-annual "Epigram Death Match." Voting begins online today.

Vote for the best epigram here.

Voting will be tabulated at the point at which I get my act together enough to write another blog entry. Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Alas, Alfred.

It seems that around midterms every year, one poet gets lost in the wash. This year, it was Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Don't discount this great poet in your studies. He was so torn up about a friend's death, he wrote one of poetry's greatest works of mourning, called In Memoriam. You probably already know the great line from it:

"’T is better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
"

But here's a few of my other Tennyson favorites:

~Ulysses. This is one catchy tune:
                                Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

~The Lady of Shalott. If a woman leaves her work in the home, what happens to her? Or is there a different message in this poem?

~Crossing the Bar. Tennyson requested that this poem be the last in every published collection of his works. You can probably figure out why by reading it.

Poets like Auden, who wrote that great poem "Funeral Blues" which we read in December, must have been inspired by Tennyson's idea of immortalizing a deceased friend into poetry (and Tennyson got the idea from Milton's poem "Lycidas," and Milton got it from the Greeks, and so forth).
If you dig this stuff, we'll return to it when we get to our King Arthur unit. Tennyson began the revival of Arthur's legend in the 1800s that continues today.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Gentlemen, start yout bluebooks.

Remember these cardinal rules when writing essays in bluebooks:

1) Indent your paragraphs. My, this makes reading essays easier.

2) "When you get to the top of the mountain, keep climbing" (Buddhist proverb) If you finish writing your essays on the midterm but you still know stuff, maybe the test was poorly designed. Write a good essay question for the stuff you still know, and answer it with that stuff.

3) Although the pace of others' handwriting next to you seems frenzied and sloppy, yours need not be. You've budgeted your time and are cruising, with nice handwriting, to a timely finish. (Aren't you?)

4) Answer the question! Very important. I can't stress this one enough. Don't ramble about for five or so paragraphs with your hot shot quotes and your topic sentences without giving me an answer. Reread the question when you're halfway through your essay and when you're finished with it, too.


5) Just because they're bluebooks, doesn't mean you have to throw them away when you get them back. Save all your writing for your children and children's children; they'll need something to put under glass in exhibition when they build your presidential library a hundred years from now.

Good luck!