Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Christmas Carol: In 3 quotes!

SEE PREVIOUS POST! Then read below:

WE WILL MEET IN THE COMPUTER LABS so you can type your essays.

In Response to FAQ about the In-Class Essay:

Can I bring my book? NO

Can I bring a printout of my quotes? YES

Can I bring an outline? YES

I want to see your prewriting work - quotes and outline/rough draft.

Can I just write my essay at home? My first response was, "NO. I want you to brainstorm and prepare, but please do write in-class." However, I have decided that you can have a rough draft in addition to quotes and outline/brainstorm.

Do my quotes have to be by Scrooge? NO. Any line or lines in the story written by Dickens.

Can I shorten my quotes using ellipsis? Yes. See below from Purdue OWL - Click here for more:

Adding or omitting words in quotations

If you add a word or words in a quotation, you should put brackets around the words to indicate that they are not part of the original text.
Jan Harold Brunvand, in an essay on urban legends, states, "some individuals [who retell urban legends] make a point of learning every rumor or tale" (78).
If you omit a word or words from a quotation, you should indicate the deleted word or words by using ellipsis marks, which are three periods ( . . . ) preceded and followed by a space. For example:
In an essay on urban legends, Jan Harold Brunvand notes that "some individuals make a point of learning every recent rumor or tale . . . and in a short time a lively exchange of details occurs" (78).
Please note that brackets are not needed around ellipses unless adding brackets would clarify your use of ellipses.

Will there be a prompt? NO. Open-ended in that you will write an essay explaining why you selected the three quotes you selected and how are they significant as well as meaningful to you.

Can I use the first person? YES. But don't over use it - I think, I feel, I believe, etc. These are wasted words in that it is your essay; thus, the reader understands this is what you think, feel, believe.

How many paragraphs? I recommend a minimum of five; write your introductory paragraph last.

Write about the quotes and how they are connected - then come to a conclusion in your final paragraph.

Go back to the beginning and briefly outline what you wrote - state what you already argued.

We love movies, especially remakes:

We love animated movies:

We love youtube, for laughs and...


But here's why I love reading A Christmas Carol... (and free ebooks):

            Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

Lines like this... there is no movie that can express this sentiment as clearly and concisely; only in the written word, in language, can the heart feel this transformation.

The central theme of laughter runs from Dickens to Kesey to us as readers Laughter serves as a reminder to not take life so seriously that we miss the good that we can do. That we can bring to the world in all of our relationships as a friend, as colleague, as a human being in society, in community, in the "good old world."

We see modern day men transform - and how others laugh at them - and the bigger man will not care "he let them, and little heeded them."

Monday, December 16, 2013

This Week - the Last Week

Rewrite's are due Friday. If you take the rewrite option - do more than just correct punctuation.

How can you make your journal better? 

Consider adding detail - paint a clearer picture.

Clarify your writing - change awkward phrases, sentences, etc. 

Elevate the diction so that it better matches your character.

So this will be a wild week...

TUESDAY: Both classes finish the story for tomorrow!

We will select key quotes with partners. 

Z BLOCK drops Wednesday; meets Thursday (no assessment - discussion); In-class Write on Friday for 35 minutes - come prepared - more details below and we will talk more tomorrow! If you prefer to take it Thursday (for reasons such as absent Friday or too many assessments on Friday - send me an email).

F BLOCK meets Wednesday - and will have an In-class Write on WEDNESDAY; We will meet Thursday for discussion (no assessment - unless you prefer to take In-class Write Thursday because you have three assessments Wednesday and/or track meet); F Block - does not meet on Friday because school ends at noon.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

HWK for FRI:

READ A Christmas Carol through page 80 (ten pages into Stave 3). 

For Monday, I am going to ask that you finish Stave 3 & 4 to page 100.

On Tuesday's Snow day, after spending the morning grading in a coffee shop, I  walked from my neighborhood in Fishtown to City Hall in Center City.
Along the way, I snapped a few pictures - this was taken on 12th St. near Spring Garden.


1. In Stave 2, Scrooge wonders, "Was it a dream or not?"(54). Does Scrooge believe it is a dream or does he believe in the supernatural (as possibility in reality?? Make an argument.

2. Who visits Scrooge in his bedroom in Stave 2? What does reclamation mean?

3. What does Scrooge say about Fezziwig's power?

4. What does ubiquitous mean? How is it used in the story?

5. Watch today's BBC Animation of Dickens' Biography again. Dickens was born in _____________(year)  and died ___________________(year). What detail about his life do find most interesting?

Westminster Abbey


Stave 2 Vocabulary

Stave 3 Vocabulary

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

HWK for Thursday:

Don't surprised if there's a daily 5 minute quiz to see who has been naught or nice...

Be sure to do the homework!

Homework for Thursday: 

1. Finish reading "Stave 1" (to page 52) in A Christmas Carol (Online text)

2. Google - Charles Dickens - What did you learn?
                Bring three interesting facts to class:
                         A. Fact about his Bio
                         B. Fact about his Times (Victorian England)
                         C. Fact about A Christmas Carol - sorry if this is a spoiler, 
                               but most of you are quite familiar with the plot already.

3. Take a few minutes.... and Study Vocabulary from Stave 1:

Try a practice test:

Also try this.... Grammar Pretest - Know thyself...
And know what you don't know (especially when it comes to grammar).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow Day! Remember to bring A Christmas Carol to class tomorrow.


I hope you had a chance to sleep in and enjoy the beautiful snow day!

I've been camped out at a coffee shop, grading your journals and tests. 

I hope to have them back ASAP! 

In the meantime, as I grade, I am noticing a number of things we need to review... See below!

Here's a couple classic comics for fun:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest meets Calvin and Hobbes!

And one from Gary Larson's Far Side:

I know it's a snow day, and a "day off" but try this Grammar Pretest - Know thyself...
And know what you don't know (especially when it comes to grammar).

A few links to visit:

The Art of Sentence Styling (PDF of the book)

Commonly confused words - as well as misspellings:

I had to Google this one...

Coarse and Course

Have to know:

Take this: On-line quiz 

Please, take this quiz - I insist!

(I am embarrassed by my score; I will tell you mine, if you take it and email me your results!)

More fun Snow Day comics from Calvin and Hobbes!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

THE Study Guide!

TEST MONDAY!  Be prepared...

(Don't pray for a snow day - it's going to rain and melt away tonight). 

Most of these quotes come from discussions in class. 

Part I. Quote ID
Part II. Passage Analysis
Part III. Short Essay 

A couple hints to think about for the Short Essay:

Did you know?

TIME magazine listed One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as on of the top 100 novels since the magazine began in 1923.

See the list

How many have you read?
How many of these books do you want to read?
What does TIME's critics say about Kesey's novel?

Did you know?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has also had its fair share of controversy:

From Wikipedia:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of America's most highly challenged and banned novels.
1974: Five residents of Strongsville, Ohio sued the local Board of Education to remove the novel from classrooms. They deemed the book "pornographic" and said that it "glorifies criminal activity, has a tendency to corrupt juveniles, and contains descriptions of beastiality, bizarre violence, and torture, dismemberment, death, and human elimination".
1975: The book was removed from public schools in Randolph, New York and Alton, Oklahoma
1977: Removed from the required reading list in Westport, Maine
1978: Banned from the St. Anthony, Idaho Freemont High School and the teacher who assigned the novel was fired
1982: Challenged at Merrimack, New Hampshire High School
1986: Challenged at Aberdeen Washington High school in Honors English classes. The local Board of Education votes to keep it for the "promotion of secular humanism".
2000: Challenged at Placentia Yorba Linda, California Unified School District. Parents say that the teachers could "choose the best books, but they keep choosing this garbage over and over again".[14][15]

Guess who is ranked 29th on this list?
"Best Banned and/or Censored Books (or Worst to Have Banned)"

Here's a cool Prezi about One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with thoughts on why it shouldn't be banned:

For the short essay, you will have to make an argument - either "for" or "against" - reading Kesey's controversial novel in freshman English at EA. 

Here's a few quotes to consider for the test... from the text (Search online):

Quote ID's (There will be 10 - know the speaker and audience):

"I had so many insults I died. I was born dead. I can’t help it. I’m tired. I’m give out trying. You got chances. I had so many insults I was born dead. You got it easy. I was born dead an’ life was hard. I’m tired. I’m tired out talking and standing up. I been dead fifty-five years." 

“She walks like beauty, in the night.”

“Oh, is that it? Is that it, huh? You gonna crucify old Seef just as if he was doing it to spite you or something?” 

“These things are Thorne Smithian daydreams!”

“Sweetheart, you still have scads of time for things like that. Your whole life is ahead of you.” 

“He knows that you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy.”

“It isn’t happening. It’s all a collaboration of Kafka and Mark Twain and Martini.”

“Listen—you don’t think any of us are being taken in by this crap, do you? It’s bad, but we know where the blame lies—we ain’t blaming you.”

“First Charles Cheswick and now William Bibbit! I hope you’re finally satisfied. Playing with human lives—gambling with human lives—as if you thought yourself to be a God!”

“Lady, I think you’re full of so much ___________. ”

"Nothing like him."

"What worries me, [...]is how your poor mother is going to take this"

"I've took their best punch."

"I haven't heard a real laugh since since I came through that door, do you know that? Man, when you lose your laugh, you lose your footing."

"Hooee those Chinese Commies could have learned a few things from you, lady."

"You're no damned rabbit!"

“EeeeaaooOOOoommm. ... Air to ground, air to ground: missile sighted; coming into my sights now."

Quote Analysis (Select 5 of 7)

“Hell’s bells, Harding!” McMurphy yells suddenly. “I don’t know what to think! What do you want out of me? A marriage counsellor? All I know is this: nobody’s very big in the first place, and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down. I know what you want me to think; you want me to feel sorry for you, to think she’s a real bitch. Well, you didn’t make her feel like any queen either. Well, screw you and ‘what do you think?’ I’ve got worries of my own without getting hooked with yours. So just quit!” He glares around the library at the other patients. “Alla you! Quit bugging me, goddammit!” 

I watch the car pull up the hill and stop down a piece from our yard, and the dust keeps coming, crashing into the rear of it and busting in every direction and finally settling on the sage and soapweed round about and making it look like chunks of red, smoking wreckage. The car sits there while the dust settles, shimmering in the sun. I know it isn’t tourists with cameras because they never drive this close to the village. If they want to buy fish they buy them back at the highway; they don’t come to the village because they probably think we still scalp people and burn them around a post. They don’t know some of our people are lawyers in Portland, probably wouldn’t believe it if I told them. In fact, one of my uncles became a real lawyer and Papa says he did it purely to prove he could, when he’d rather poke salmon in the fall than anything. Papa says if you don’t watch it people will force you one way or the other, into doing what they think you should do, or into just being mule-stubborn and doing the opposite out of spite. 

It started slow and pumped itself full, swelling the men bigger and bigger. I watched, part of them, laughing with them—and somehow not with them. I was off the boat, blown up off the water and skating the wind with those black birds, high above myself, and I could look down and see myself and the rest of the guys, see the boat rocking there in the middle of those diving birds, see McMurphy surrounded by his dozen people, and watch them, us, swinging a laughter that rang out on the water in ever-widening circles, farther and farther, until it crashed up on beaches all over the coast, on beaches all over all coasts, in wave after wave after wave. 


“No, my friend. We are lunatics from the hospital up the highway, psycho-ceramics, the cracked pots of mankind. Would you like me to decipher a Rorschach for you? No? You must burry on? Ah, he’s gone. Pity.[...] Never before did I realize that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become. Hitler an example. Fair makes the old brain reel, doesn’t it? Food for thought there.” 


“Please understand: We do not impose certain rules and restrictions on you without a great deal of thought about their therapeutic value. A good many of you are in here because you could not adjust to the rules of society in the Outside World, because you refused to face up to them, because you tried to circumvent them and avoid them. At some time—perhaps in your childhood—you may have been allowed to get away with flouting the rules of society. When you broke a rule you knew it. You wanted to be dealt with, needed it, but the punishment did not come. That foolish lenience on the part of your parents may have been the germ that grew into your present illness. I tell you this hoping you will understand that it is entirely for your own good that we enforce discipline and order.” 

        And suddenly nobody’s hooting at him any more. His arms commence to swell, and the veins
squeeze up to the surface. He clinches his eyes, and his lips draw away from his teeth. His head leans back, and tendons stand out like coiled ropes running from his heaving neck down both arms to his hands. His whole body shakes with the strain as he tries to lift something he knows he can’t lift, something everybody knows he can’t lift.
        But, for just a second, when we hear the cement grind at our feet, we think, by golly, he might do it.
        Then his breath explodes out of him, and he falls back limp against the wall. There’s blood on the levers where he tore his hands. He pants for a minute against the wall with his eyes shut. There’s no sound but his scraping breath; nobody’s saying a thing. 


There had been times when I’d wandered around in a daze for as long as two weeks after a shock treatment, living in that foggy, jumbled blur which is a whole lot like the ragged edge of sleep, that gray zone between light and dark, or between sleeping and waking or living and dying, where you know you’re not unconscious any more but don’t know yet what day it is or who you are or what’s the use of coming back at all—for two weeks. If you don’t have a reason to wake up you can loaf around in that gray zone for a long, fuzzy time, or if you want to bad enough I found you can come fighting right out of it. This time I came fighting out of it in less than a day, less time than ever. 

And here's more just for fun:

Friday, December 6, 2013

To Be Continued...STUDY GUIDE for Test Monday

Please check back here tomorrow afternoon (Saturday).
Enjoy your Friday night. See a movie. See previous posts.

For now check out these links, especially if you missed class...

1. polleverywhere.com - What is your favorite quote? Some of these may be on the test.

2. Socrative.com - Our room number is 753258. Again, some of these may be on the test.

3. What is the difference between a reference and an allusion? Harding makes a reference while McMurphy makes an allusion. How are they significant in their own way?

4. Throughout the novel, Kesey makes biblical allusions. What diction does he use?
Be sure you know examples (quotes) from the novel.


Opportunity to learn more...

A. Here's a great Quizlet list of biblical allusions - No, these will not be on the test, but how many do you know?

B. Take this quick quiz on Commonly Confused Words - it will give you the answers after you submit your answers. You should know all of these by now! And no, it's not on the test.

An experiment in F Block with Google Hangout

Unfortunately I didn't click "Start Hangout" in Z Block - not just once but twice!

So I will be shooting a Google Hangout Review session that will be more concise and more helpful.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Post to your respective blog...



If you have difficulty, please email me your journal. 

Also bring a stapled hard copy to class!

If you're missing class email/post your journal tonight! Bring a hard copy Monday. 

I will post notes and info from class Friday that will help you on the test Monday! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Finishing Cuckoo!

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

HWK for Thursday:

Start your 3-Part Journal - a 1st person narrative in a character's "voice" (of your choice).

       1. Journal entry early in the book - use a key quote
       2. Journal entry towards the end - use a key quote
       3. Journal entry alternative ending

Be creative, be true to the story, be specific - use diction that is true to your character.

Include a few Kesey-eque similes that tap into the senses of your readers.

In-Class: Computer Lab 2nd - floor full period to write...
HWK: Finish your 3-Part Journal.

Journal Due Friday - Post to edublog and submit hard copy in class:
3 pages, MLA format header, double spaced, Times New Roman font

Friday In-Class: Review for Test

Test Monday

Part I. Ten Quote Identifications: Character and audience.

Part II. Passage analysis: 5 of 7 longer quotes which you will explain the significance.

Part III. Short essay