Thursday, March 21, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 22, 2013

Focus: Finding your footing in the unique worlds of Joyce and Vonnegut

1. Announcements!

2. Sharing your book club triumphs so far...

3. Enjoying book clubs: Day 2!

4. Please turn in your syllabus and scribing to Ms. Makovsky at the end of class.

1. Please e-mail/Google share a draft of your culminating essay question and booklist by Thursday of spring break.
2. Prepare for your next book club meeting after break.
3. Have a lovely, lovely spring break!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 20, 2013

Focus: Entering the unique worlds of Portrait and Slaughterhouse

1. Announcements and snack!

2. Offering ideas on developing your culminating questions and booklists (I'll share my own trials, failures, triumphs, and tricks)

3. Quickly overviewing of the rest of this week and giving back your timed writings; please bring them with you to class tomorrow

4. Enjoying Book Clubs: Day 1!

1. Bring your timed writings with you to class tomorrow.
2. Prepare for your next book club meeting this Friday.
3. Start drafting your culminating essay question and booklist.

Monday, March 18, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 18, 2013

Focus: Reacquainting yourself with the sonnet and improving your timed writing skills

1. Announcements!

2. A few helpful sonnet hints from your old friend, Foster ("If It's Square, It's a Sonnet")

The "miracle" of the sonnet:

"The miracle of the sonnet, you see, is that it is fourteen lines long and written almost always in iambic pentameter...most lines are going to have ten syllables and the others will be very close to ten." (Foster 23)

Two units of meaning:

"A sonnet, in fact, we might think of as having two units of meaning, closely related, to be sure, but with a shift of some sort taking place between them.  Those two content units correspond closely to the two parts into which the form typically breaks...most of them have two parts,one of eight lines and one of six lines...A Shakespearean sonnet, on the other hand, tends to divide up by four: the first four lines (or quatrain), the next four, a third four, and the last four, which turn out to be only two (a couplet)." (Foster 24)

Remember the sentence:

"So the first question: how many sentences?  Note that I'm not asking for lines, of which there are of course fourteen, but for sentences...Lines and stanzas are the necessities in poetry, but if the poem is any good, its basic unit of meaning is the sentence, just as in all other writing." (Foster 25-26)

3. Tuesday writing: Poetry

1. First book club meeting is tomorrow!
2. Start drafting your QUESTION AND BOOKLIST ONLY for your culminating essay; please e-mail it to me by Thursday of spring break.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 18, 2013

Focus: Refining your big question into the start of something beautiful...the culminating essay

1. Announcements!  Also, if you have not signed up for a conference, you currently have a zero in the gradebook because this assignment has been posted for a week.  Remember that you cannot receive an A in the class if you have a zero in the gradebook, but if you fix it today, I will give you a 1 out of 2 instead of a 0.

2. Finishing poetry project presentations (Jesse and Kara)

3. Perusing culminating essays to gather ideas

4. Venturing to the C-22 computer lab to begin drafting our questions

1. Unless you want a permanent zero in the gradebook and to take yourself out of contention for an A in the class, sign up for a conference.  This will be your last reminder.
2. Continue working on your formal question and book list for your culminating essay; DRAFT DUE FRIDAY VIA E-MAIL OR GOOGLE DOCS.
3. Book club reading and syllabus (first meeting is this Wednesday).
4. You will have a timed writing tomorrow; I would recommend rereading "If It's Square, It's a Sonnet" tonight in How To Read Literature Like a Professor to prepare yourself.

Friday, March 15, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 15, 2013

Focus: Enjoying new poetry via your peers' project presentations; putting the "Poe" back in "Poetry" 

1. Announcements!
Ariel and Bailey--very sorry, but can we reschedule your conferences?  An English 10 parent requested a meeting with me this Monday during 2nd hour.

2. Poetry project presentations

Kyle, Ben, Zac, and Tanner

2. Assigned book club reading, preparation, and syllabus.
3. Make sure your Big Question Blogs are up-to-date; we will be going over the culminating essay on Monday and starting to form our culminating questions.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 12, 2013

Focus: Approaching poetry with a creative yet discerning eye

1. Reminder: Please sign up for a conference (see link on "I'm holding your essays hostage" blog)

2. Poetry project presentations and feedback

3. A poetry game: "Ruin the poem"

Your overall goal: To inflict the largest damage with the smallest stroke. (The Practice of Poetry)

Diction: Ruin each of the following lines from famous poems by changing one word and one word only.  Take a stab at different parts of speech; for example, try changing a noun in the first line, a verb in the second, an adjective in the third, punctuation in the fourth, etc.  With one word, your job is to change the entire sentiment of the line (not just to make it silly).

"Whose woods these are I think I know"

"I heard a Fly Buzz--when I died--"

"The proper study of mankind is Man."

"My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun"

"Let us go then, you and I"

"so much depends / upon / a red wheel barrow"

Syntax: Ruin each line by changing the order of words and/or their punctuation only.  Try your best not add, change, or delete any words.  Again, remember that the idea is to change the meaning/sentiment of the line by altering its syntax; the line should make sense after you've changed, but it should make a different kind of sense than it originally did.

"I have eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox"

"Do not go gentle into that good night"

"I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear"

"What happens to a dream deferred?"

"i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)"

"I wandered lonely as a cloud"

1. Book club reading/preparation/syllabus.
2. Sign up for a conference.
3. If you're presenting Friday, work on your projects.

Monday, March 11, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 11, 2013

Focus: Enjoying our poetry project presentations and setting up specific book club dates

1. Announcements! Please turn in your poetry essays.

2. Poetry project presentations and feedback

3. Time to sit down with your book clubs and set up the reading and syllabus schedule; if time allows, set up book club expectations as well

Your book club dates:

Wednesday, March 20
Friday, March 22
Monday, April 1
Wednesday, April 3
Friday, April 5

HW: Continue working on your projects; start on your book club reading; sleep in and eat some pancakes.  Sign up by Friday for a conference (see link on previous blog).

Thursday, March 7, 2013


It's true, and if you want to see them alive again, you're going to have to hold a conference with me. Yes--I am FORCING YOU TO CONFERENCE WITH ME. This may be an abuse of power, but I've decided I'm okay with it.

At our one-on-one conference, we will discuss your Critical Review as well as your Big Question Blog.  You will also receive a Literary Essay grade for your Big Question Blog at the time of your conference, so make sure it is up-to-date and ready to receive the attention it desperately deserves.

You may also bring anything else you wish to discuss, such as a Tuesday writing gone awry.

Please sign up for a conference by clicking HERE.

If you have no off hours that coincide with mine, fear not; simply e-mail me with your available times, and we will work something out (even if it means sitting with me at Whole Foods).

P.S. If you're curious about your Critical Review grade and just can't wait for your conference, you may view your grade on IC.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 7, 2013

Focus: Knocking down writer's block and getting into our poetry papers and projects

1.  Announcements and signing up for project presentations!

2. Warm-up:  A few reminders

If you are doing the PAPER....

  • Please follow the paper guidelines and sample essays posted above the Google calendar.
  • Follow MLA guidelines (heading, page number and last name on every page, double spacing, in-text citations, original title, etc.).
  • Try using Writing Reviser for sentence variety and word choice.  It's still linked to our website.
  • Attach a hard copy of your poem to your paper.
  • Include a Works Cited page.

If you are doing the PROJECT...

  • Begin your presentation with a polished reading of your poem.
  • Turn in a hard copy of your poem today so that I can make copies.
  • Finish your rubric by the day of your presentation and turn it in to me at the beginning of class.
  • If your project can be shared with me via Google/e-mail/a copy of the DVD for me to keep, please do so.
  • Remember that the process of creating this project can be part of the presentation as well.
  • Make sure that part of your project is devoted to the poetic devices your poet uses to achieve a larger effect; this can be an implicit or explicit part of your presentation. 
3. Time for working on papers and projects; if you are a project person, start by creating your rubric.  See the template on the website.

1. Please turn in your paper on Monday and be prepared to present your project on your assigned date.  Remember that even if you are absent on Monday, your paper still needs to get to me on Monday in order to be considered on time.

2. Bring your book club book so that we can solidify reading assignments and expectations on Monday.

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 6, 2013

Focus: Meshing the warm world of slam poetry with cold world of multiple choice poetry

1. Announcements!

2. Your take-aways from Kyle...what is the task of a poet?

3. Taking on "The Eolian Harp" with our old strategies and one new one ... it's a toughie!  (and yes, we're going to make it a contest with rewards from the Leclaire menu just to keep it interesting)

1. Bring in any materials for your poetry project or paper (including your own laptop).  Tomorrow will be a work day.

2. Also, PROJECT PEOPLE: BRING IN A HARD COPY OF YOUR POEM TOMORROW so that I can turn it in to the copy room.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 4, 2013

Focus: Art or war?  Forming your book clubs

1. Announcements!  Please turn in your poetry project proposals.

Also, an important announcement about parent-teacher conferences and a request for your parents' e-mails

3. Quickly recapping Rivers and Tides: What is an artist?  A few ideas for your projects and papers.

4. Overviewing Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Slaughterhouse-Five, taking the time to peruse each, and starting to establish your groups

The book club basics:

  • Select your groups based on which book you actually want to read, not what your friends are doing.
  • Group size must be between 3 and 5 (no fewer than 3, no greater than 5).
  • You will meet with your group 5 or 6 times; section the reading as you see fit.
  • You must finish your book by April 8 at the latest.
  • Your group will turn in a structured syllabus for each meeting (however, remember that you can still be as creative as you please).  I will bring in examples.

1. Please fill out the Google form linked HERE.
2. Continue working on your poetry projects and papers, which are due in exactly one week.
3. Resolve your Joyce vs. Vonnegut dilemma by Wednesday.

Friday, March 1, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, March 1, 2013

Happy March, everybody!  If you have not yet taken the Beloved timed writing, please do so during class today.

Focus: What does it mean to be an artist?

1. Announcements!  Impressions of Andy Goldsworthy so far?

2. Warm-up: Recapping the poetry project and the poetry paper

3. Relaxing into the art of Andy Goldsworthy with Rivers and Tides

As you watch, consider the following question: What does it mean to be an artist?

1. Poetry project proposals due this Monday.  Poetry paper outlines are optional.

2. Work on your projects and papers...there's only a little over a week left.  Wow!  Bring your materials to class next Thursday for paper/project work time.

3. IF YOU WERE ABSENT THURSDAY OR FRIDAY, please watch Rivers and Tides on your own.  Here is a link to the free, full-length film: Rivers and Tides