Friday, September 30, 2011

September 30

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Ghost Radio" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra; "The Payback" by James Brown]
A close study of revenge quickly reveals two schools of thought: 1)Revenge is righteous and/or fulfilling, and 2)Revenge keeps wounds from healing and may be appealing to consider but ultimately destroys every party to it. What do you think of the value of revenge, how do you see the effects of revenge played out in the world, and what do you think Hamlet should do now that he knows Claudius poisoned his father?

1. Journal
2. Vocab test (plus questions on hosting good online conversations and Hamlet Act I)
3. Correct/discuss test

1. Review Hamlet Act I and come prepared to discuss on Monday 10/3
2. Pick a new literature analysis book from this list and begin reading

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hamlet: Act I Scene iii vids

September 29

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" by Smashing Pumpkins; "The Ghost Song" by The Doors; "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" by The Beatles/performed by Eddie Vedder]
What is it about society and relationships that leads individuals-- such as Hamlet-- to bottle up ideas that are dissonant or new? Is there a common thread between Hamlet's struggle to contain his inner thoughts/feelings and Laertes' warning to Ophelia?

1. Journal (review the text to help you write on the topic and continue reading if you finish early)
2. Return/discuss essays
3. Hamlet: completing Act I

1. Make sure you're ready for vocab test tomorrow (Friday 9/30)
2. Make sure you're ready for Act I reading questions tomorrow (feel free to ask questions/share ideas for discussion as comments to this post)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 28

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Melancholy Mood" by Horace Silver; "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" by James Brown]
Hamlet is confronted by a difficult situation; what does it suggest about society's values at the time, and why does it challenge him so deeply? How would your response-- as a reflection of both your personality and our society's values-- be similar or different?

1. Journal
2. Hamlet: Act I Scenes ii & iii (time permitting)

1. Finish reading Act I Scene iii
2. Comment to this post with: a)your translation of Hamlet's soliloquy in Act I Scene ii, and b)general comments/questions/predictions about Hamlet.

Hamlet: Act I Scene ii vids

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hamlet: Characters & Act I Scene i vids

hamlet character map

The Art of Hosting Good Conversations Online

(original online here)

The Art of Hosting Good Conversations Online

By Howard Rheingold


  • The ongoing goal is civil discourse: all kinds of people having conversations and arguments about a variety of subjects and treating each other decently.
  • Authentic conversations -- from the head, the heart, and the gut.
  • A feeling of ownership. Participants become evangelists.
  • A spirit of group creativity, experimentation, exploration, good will.
  • A shared committment to work together toward better communication, better conversations. If this is achieved, nothing else is needed.
  • A system where people figure out where the conversation is going, by themselves, and settle conflicts among themselves.
  • A place where everybody builds social capital individually by improving each other's knowledge capital collaboratively.
  • Enable people to make contact with other people.
  • Enable people to entertain themselves rather than being just the passive consumers of canned entertainment.
  • Enable people to create a gift economy for knowledge-sharing.
  • Create conditions for ongoing collaboration that return individual effort with a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Provide a way for people to get to know each other beyond their usual masks.
  • Make newcomers feel welcomed, contributors valued, recreational hasslers ignored.
  • A host is like a host at a party. You don't automatically throw a great party by hiring a room and buying some beer. Someone needs to invite an interesting mix of people, greet people at the door, make introductions, start conversations, avert fisticuffs, encourage people to let their hair down and entertain each other.
  • A host is also an authority. The host is the person who enforces whatever rules there may be, and will therefore be seen by many as a species of law enforcement officer.
  • A host is also an exemplar. Good hosts model the behavior they want others to emulate: read carefully and post entertainingly, informatively, and economically, acknowledge other people by name, assume good will, assert trust until convinced otherwise , add knowledge, offer help , be slow to anger, apologize when wrong, politely ask for clarification, exercise patience when your temper flares.
  • A host is also a cybrarian. Good hosts nurture the community memory, pointing newcomers to archives, providing links to related conversations, past and present, hunting down resources to add to the collective pool of knowledge -- and teaching others to do it. Well performed voluntary cybrarianship is contagious.
  • A host can be a character in the show, but the show is collaborative improvisation, with the audience onstage.
  • All hosts are members of a community of hosts. You can't host communities without communities of hosts.
  • Communities can't be manufactured, but you can design the conditions under which they are most likely to emerge, and encourage their growth when they do.
  • Communities don't just happen automatically when you provide communication tools: under the right conditions, online communities grow. They are gardened.
  • All online systems tend to fail to cohere without careful intervention. But the intervention has to be ground-up, not top-down.
  • All online social systems are challenged by human social foibles and technological bugs that tend to split groups apart.
  • Positive effort is required to create the conditions and garden the growth of a self-sustaining group.
  • Clear rules, sparsely enforced, with an explicit expectation that the community's own norms will emerge later, is important at first. Establish the top-down part at the beginning, then move on. Those who don't like it will leave. The rest will make up their own minds after they get to know each other and the system.
  • The kind of rules established before opening day helps determine the kind of crowd that will be found there a year later. The early crowd has a strong impact on later arrivals.
  • Making rules after launching, or changing them from the top down is a mistake.
  • Keep the rules as few as possible. Keep them simple and based on ordinary human courtesy.
  • Within months, each community will want the tools and opportunity to make their own rules. This can be facilitated by means of a process handbook for democratic decision-making, and access to people who have experienced the process themselves.
  • Only when everybody shares a clear understanding of a community's social contract can hosts model behavor according to the clearly stated social contract.
  • Eventually, natural hosts emerge in each community, and existing hosts should scout and mentor them.
  • One point of heart is worth ten points of intellect when recruiting hosts.
  • Communities can learn to create their own social contracts and choose their own forms of governance, based on widely agreed, explicitly described, simple statements of purpose and principle, but it isn't easy.
  • Remember that both civility and nastiness are contagious.
  • Patience is rule numbers one through three: Deliberately add a time delay on your emotional responses before you make any public posting or private e-mail.
  • In most cases, NOT saying anything outside the community of hosts is the best decision. The first art of the host is the knowledge of how and when not to act.
  • Bring your situation to the host community if you are angry, puzzled, or otherwise uncertain about what to do.
  • You need to be cautious about learning by trial-and-error because errors at the beginning can set long-ranging reactions in motion. Establish trust early or expect suspicion for a long time.
  • Bend over backwards to be fair and civil when challenged. You are performing the public drama of the foundation myth of the community.
  • Have fun! Signal that it's okay to experiment, okay to not take yourself and the whole enterprise too seriously.
  • Hosts represent the authority of what few rules there are. People will challenge you just because you represent authority.
  • Use Aikido: One ounce of elegance and grace is worth ten pounds of argument. You can charm or seduce discussions back on topic, and conflicts away from the brink of brawl, but you can't force them.
  • You feed the behavior of challengers when you lash out at them.
  • The way hosts respond to public conflict with citizens, especially the first such conflicts, provides the opportunity to wield the most powerful tool for modelling civil discourse. Do it right, and the community absorbs the lesson. It's also the most dangerous time, if you react angrily, unfairly, or even sarcastically, feeding a downward emotional spiral.
  • Challenges are relatively infrequent if you handle the first incoming barrages gracefully. After that, challenges will be less frequent and less important. However, the opportunity and necessity for the host to model hospitable behavior continue as the community grows.
  • Force backfires on authority online. You have to persuade and pull because pushing is an automatic loss for authority.
  • Avoid taking sides. Not all conflict is to be avoided. If a conflict is important enough to have its hooks into the attention of a large number of members of the population: use it as an occasion to remind people that civility is essential if discussions are to cohere into communities. Conflict tests the boundaries of the community.
  • In the long run, this is about democracy. Many communities of practice and interest thrive under autocratic moderation, and they are useful as informed, interactive versions of refereeed journals, but the power of increasing returns -- where the community itself directs the growth of its size and value -- can only emerge from an infectious spirit of voluntary collaboration.
  • Don't freeze a topic to make a point. Think about whether the topic belongs to more people than just you. People get really pissed if you use a host power unjustly.
  • Hosts get to know people -- from the beginning. Introduce yourself, let people get to know you. Be a good natured servant of the conversation, but you don't have to be characterless, egoless, or colorless.
  • Welcome new people, and after the first ones get to know each other, continue to encourage oldtimers to welcome newcomers. Eventually, the community takes over the public welcoming function.
  • People's first reactions are most important. Praise them by name. Be interested. Read their profiles and point them to information that you think will be personally relevant to them.
  • Names have power. Put your newcomer up on a pedestal by name, for doing something that adds to the community, and that newcomer will amplify that behavior forever after.
  • Communicate via email with both promising newcomers and troublemakers.
  • Discourage snitching. Don't stir people up in private, but always respond to email queries about social problems by encouraging people to act on their principles publicly.
  • Encourage people to talk among themselves.
  • Check your participation files and learn who your regulars are. Don't spook your lurkers, but encourage them when they come out.
  • Hosts catalyze, facilitate, nurture -- and get outta the way.
  • Let the community co-create its own dramas, shared language, founding myth. These all must precede discussion of creating a social contract -- dramas that all witness and participate in, shared language, rituals, myths, jokes, customs are how people get to know and value one another enough to want to go to the trouble of creating a social contract.
  • Be a model cybrarian. Show people how to start new topics or suggest them. Show them how to use the tools (links from posts, etc.). Be the memory of the conference -- point and link to relevant info in the past or elsewhere in the community. Encourage others to search and retrieve and link info that is valued by other members of the group -- and praise people who do so.
  • Revive old topics by adding to them from time to time.
  • Retire old and obsolete topics: put up a list of topics to retire, with a week for public pleading. If people plead, encourage them to revive. Then retire the rest. When in doubt, ask. In most circumstances, don't kill a topic if you can retire it.
  • Pose questions for the group to consider.
  • Encourage people to hide long responses or big graphics.
  • Act as fairwitness. Point people to the classics of Netiquette. Point out the pitfalls of the medium that cause people to misunderstand each other (lack of visual and aural cues).

©1998 howard rheingold, all rights reserved worldwide.

September 27

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "'Round Midnight" by Herbie Hancock; "Midnight in the City of Destruction" by Tom Morello]
What's the deal with midnight?  Why do so many stories in so many media incorporate this setting-as-allusion/character?  What does the hour signify to you? 

1. Journal
2. Progress report grades
3. Literature analysis blogs
3. Hamlet: character map, background, Act I Scene ii

1. Read "The Art of Hosting Good Conversations Online" by Howard Rheingold
2. Visit five classmates' literature analysis blogs (list here) and complete the following four tasks.
  • [1] Take notes on the essential information from the novel (on paper, due in class Wed 9/28; be sure to include the URL of the blog in addition to the title/author). 
  • [2] Post a comment on each blog that clarifies/extends the conversation in progress. 
  • [3] Explain how you used the information from the Rheingold article in writing your posts.
  • [4] Write down your observations on the blogs you visited: what makes them effective? what needs to be improved?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vocabulary: Fall List #7

bete noire

September 26

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Indecision" by Eagle Eye Cherry; "King Without a Crown" by Matisyahu]
Hamlet wrestles with difficult decisions and problems by talking them through. Based on what you've read so far, how do you think Hamlet will be influenced by such elements as his family, where he lives, emotion, and the differences between Hamlet's inner world of thoughts/feelings and the outer world that surrounds him? Feel free to apply your own experiences on these topics.

1. Journal
2. Vocabulary
3. Intro to Hamlet

1. Research Hamlet online and answer the following questions (with citations for any website you consult and/or quote) in comments to this post: 1)What is the play about? 2)Why is interpreting the play such a challenge? Why doesn't everyone agree on what it means?

Friday, September 23, 2011

September 23

JOURNAL TOPIC:Choose your own. (Dazzle me.)

1. Journal
2. Begin reading Hamlet and take notes on:
  • Analyze the conversation between soldiers/ghosts as exposition (setting, background/king, thematic issues)
  • Imagery/puns
  • Write down any questions you have & responses to text
1. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 22

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Life's Been Good" by Joe Walsh; "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole]
Sometimes we're so focused on improvement that we look at everything with a critic's eye and forget what's going right in our lives. What in your life is so consistently terrific that you can afford to forget about it and take it for granted? How can thinking about this put you in a better state of mind? Does your state of mind affect people who know you? Is there some truth to "the power of positive thinking"?

1. Journal/study & review vocab
2. Vocab quiz (surprise!)
3. Correct quiz and plan for Friday 9/23 & Monday 9/26

1. Read your partner's literature analysis blog and write a comment to their post in which you: a) Ask three questions that clarify or extend your understanding of the post; b) Make three comments that connect the literature analysis to the novel you read or something else you know
[NOTE: If your partner has not created his/her blog and posted the URL as a comment to Set Up Your Blog, it will be impossible for you do tonight's HW or receive credit. Time to harness the magical power of peer pressure...]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Literature Analysis Questions

Here is the initial set of questions for your literature analysis. We will refine this list and add to it after reading the first round of each others' analyses.

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read.
2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.
3. Describe the author's tone.  Include three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).
4. Describe five literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the theme and/or your sense of the tone.  Include three excerpts that will help your reader understand each one.

September 21

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["You Learn" by Alanis Morissette; "Short Memory" by Midnight Oil]
President Roosevelt visited Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (in his nineties) in the hospital and was surprised to discover Justice Holmes reading a book on Greek grammar. "Why are you reading Greek grammar?" the president asked. "To improve my mind," the justice replied. Many students rightly want to get out of school, but mistakenly believe that their learning ends when they drop out or graduate. What is the difference between learning and schooling, and what is the value of learning in your life? How long do you plan to keep it up?

1. Journal
2. Essay exam
3. Go to library and pick up Hamlet

1. Post answers to literature analysis questions on your blog

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 20

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes "Zigzagging Through Ghostland" by The Radiators; "Jai Ho" by AR Rahman, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah & Mahalaxmi Iyer]
Words are fickle. A word like fair, for example, can mean equitable, good (as in weather), or a get-together where people show pigs and fry Twinkies. Even seemingly straightforward phrases like "I love you" are changed by tone, volume and context. Describe a simple term or statement that could be (or was actually) misunderstood. What is your remedy-- how can you use words to make your meaning more specific?

1. Journal
2. "Settle a Bet"
3. Canterbury Tales/Prologue quiz
4. Setting up a blog

1. Study reading notes for tomorrow's Canterbury Tales essay exam

Monday, September 19, 2011

Set Up Your Blog

I've been in meetings all afternoon, but I remembered two things:
1. I mentioned this at orientation, so some of you have already done it; and
2. It's really easy to do and you are all really sharp, so...

a) Go to
b) Follow the steps
c) Title your blog "AP Lit Comp" and designate a URL that follows this format {your initials + rhsenglitcomp}, so mine would be (use your middle initial if your two initials have already been taken)

That's it for tonight.

Vocabulary: Fall List #6

mot juste

September 19

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun" by Julie Brown; "Delicious" by Jim Backus & Friend]
Texts-- in all media-- are often read differently by different readers. What is funny to one person can be offensive to another. One reader "gets the message" while another wonders, "What's the point?" How does the author of your literature analysis book use techniques such as figurative language, parody, satire, and allusion to encourage the reader to interpret the text? Is this more effective than coming right out and telling the reader everything s/he needs to know? Explain your answer.

1. Journal/check HW
2. Prepare for Tuesday's multiple choice exam and Wednesday's essay exam
3. Vocabulary

1. Create a literature analysis blog (instructions here)
2. Vocabulary
3. Study reading notes

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Eminence Front" by The Who; "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley & The Wailers]
Epic heroes have qualities that make them examples for the rest of us. How does a person acquire the courage, humility, intelligence and instinct that enables him/her to act heroically? What is it that distinguishes a hero from a wannabe who "acts as if" or tries to "fake it 'til he makes it"?

1. Journal
2. Vocab+/correct
3. Recap the week/preview coming attractions

HW: (due Monday, 9/19)
1. Read and take notes on pp. 92-115 in textbook (Chaucer/Canterbury Tales)
2. Finish reading & taking notes on first Literature Analysis book

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sample: Textbook Reading Notes

Here are the reading notes I took when I did the reading I assigned.

Some tips:
1. Note the page numbers so that you can refer to the original if you need to;
2. Use the subject headers from the text to organize your thoughts outline-style;
3. Make sure your notes help you think and find material-- this resource isn't just another "external hard drive"

reading notes sample

September 15

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "On the Road to Find Out" and "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens]
When you say something is "valuable" what exactly do you mean? Do you define value in terms of money, emotion, scarcity, what the marketplace thinks, or do you have a different standard? What is the value of your work in school? What is the value of this moment, or the thinking/writing you're doing right now?

1. Journal
2. Discuss HW/notes
3. Retake reading quiz

1. Prepare for Vocab+ quiz tomorrow
2. Read your literature analysis book (reminder: plan to finish by Monday 9/19)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back to School Student-Led Conference

Here is the process:
1. Think about these questions and your answers to them;
2. Bring an interested adult to Back to School Night;
3. Have them ask you these questions, be suitably brilliant in your replies, and demand that they take notes so that you know they're paying attention;
4. Turn in their notes to me, get your extra credit, listen to me brag about you briefly;
5. Go home and finish your homework.

Here are the questions:

student led conference script

September 14

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Are You Real" by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers]
Are you coming to Back to School Night? Looking back over your scholastic career so far, to what extent do you think parental and community involvement is important? Does it make a difference in a student's achievement? A student's life? A school's sense of community? Explain your answer.

1. Journal
2. Discuss yesterday's quiz, reading notes

1. Use what you learned in class today and take reading notes on text from end of Iliad through p.82.
2. Read your literature analysis book. Plan on finishing this first one by 9/19.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reading Quiz pp. 64-82

Here is a copy of today's quiz. Use it to ensure that you have a complete/accurate set of notes on this material. I will upload my own version of reading notes either tonight or tomorrow, and we'll review in class together.

Reading quiz pp

September 13

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Sometimes" by London; "History Lesson" by Dave Grusin]
As George Santayana and Edmund Burke (among others) have observed, those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. However, our culture focuses on the modern, the "new and improved." In this day and age, is there a point to looking backward? Why bother studying the etymology of words and the history of language? How can understanding the past help us prepare for (or even shape) the future?

1. Journal
2. Discuss HW/allusion/interpretation
3. Reading quiz on pp.64-82

1. Double-check quiz & edit notes

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" and "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" by Bob Dylan]
Yesterday was the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Why do people celebrate anniversaries? What is it about noting a date on the calendar and following an associated ritual (giving gifts, going to a house of worship, taking a day off work, shooting fireworks, eating turkey, et al) that we find so important?

1. Journal
2. Discuss homework
3. Vocabulary

1. Take another shot at #3 from the weekend's homework.
2. Read pp. 64-82 in textbook; notes due Tuesday, 9/13 (UPDATE: PLEASE BRING TEXTBOOK TO CLASS TUESDAY)

Vocabulary: Fall List #5

non sequitur
sine qua non

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Persistence of Writing

In light of yesterday's Socratic seminar, your own experience and the following article, please answer the following questions in comments to this post (if you encounter difficulty in commenting please bring a hard copy to class on Monday, 9/12). Feel free to engage each other with questions and responses; I will chime in as well.

1. What is Burkdall's thesis?
2. Given that students in our classes seem to be divided about e-readers (see comments here), why do you think the media so eagerly concludes that reading books is dead and young people all want new tech (with chips) instead of old tech (with pages)?
3. Explain the allusion to Ulysses.
4. What reasons does the article provide for the importance of reading? Do you agree? Why/why not?
5. How do you think this moment in history will be remembered? Will technological advances continue to support intellectual development, as it did with writing and the transition from scroll to codex, or is our reliance on tools encouraging us to relax our brains to the point of atrophy? Explain your answer.

[NOTE: You can read the article in its original online format--in which the footnotes are properly formatted and easier to follow-- here.]

The Persistence of Writing

© 2009 Thomas Burkdall.

EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 44, no. 3 (May/June 2009): 58–59


Thomas Burkdall ( is an Associate Professor in English Writing and the Director of the Center for Academic Excellence at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

An intellectual apocalypse may be looming: Caleb Crain informs us that the "Twilight of the Books" is upon us, whereas Steve Jobs tells us that the concept of Amazon's Kindle is "flawed at the top because people don't read anymore."1 At the Conference on College Composition and Communication in March 2009, workshops focused on how to assess multimodal assignments, rather than the traditional essay. And the Modern Language Association annual convention in December 2008 opened with a panel on multimedia. Is reading dead? Is the teaching of writing becoming a more difficult exercise because of these mounting cultural pressures against reading and writing? It appears that we might as well "stop the sea" (as Leopold Bloom muses in Ulysses) as take up arms against the onslaught of multimedia.

But instead of relying on the predictive power of the Magic 8-Ball to respond "Outlook not so good" for writing, perhaps we should choose "Ask again later" as a better response. Nancy Bunge has noted: "Students realize that if they do not grapple with difficult, abstract texts, they will miss an important dimension of human learning and thinking."2 Does this comment represent the last gasp of a moribund print culture? Is it the desperate hope of one whose livelihood may be going the way of the farrier? Nay, let me borrow from Mark Twain: the reports of the death of writing are greatly exaggerated.

Let me also be clear: I am not against teaching with multimedia, and on many occasions I require my students to create a number of such artifacts. But let us not discard print completely in favor of audio, visual, and/or audiovisual creations. As Jonathan Swift suggested centuries ago in his novel Gulliver's Travels (1726), a concrete language is not enough. At the Academy of Lagado, Gulliver observes scholars carrying bags of objects to avoid the ambiguity of words, yet for abstract thought and expression, humans need the suppleness of meaning that only words afford. And we need certain conditions to appreciate or create such subtleties. As Crain suggests, some learning requires solitary reading. He quotes Marcel Proust that to read is "to receive a communication with another way of thinking, all the while remaining alone, that is, while continuing to enjoy the intellectual power that one has in solitude and that conversation dissipates immediately."3 Writing, I would argue, further enhances learning, since written communication demands a set of conditions and intellectual skills different from those needed for speech or multimedia texts.

Even if multimedia expression will eventually dominate our intellectual discourse—as it, arguably, has now come to dominate our popular communication—the written word and its systems will continue to have an influence on us. For although writing arose millennia ago, and movable type has been around since at least the fifteenth century, and inexpensive books have been common for most of the last 150 years, we still rely on rhetorical elements that have roots in the Classical world. Even if we reduce the longevity—in something analogous to Moore's law—writing will not vanish for decades. It will have direct and ancillary benefits, albeit in a multimodal universe.

Why does reading still matter? In the twenty-first century, the contemplative and distinctly unimodal Proust has assumed a leading role in defenses of reading and in laments about its possible demise. Both Crain and Bunge cite his introduction to a 1906 translation of John Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies; they were led to it, in all likelihood, by Maryanne Wolf's Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.4 They extract pithy remarks from Proust's remembrance of books read, later published as On Reading, such as: "I believe that reading, in its original essence, . . . [is] that fertile miracle of a communication effected in solitude."5 Reading allows both contemplation and discourse, offering isolation and community. More important, reading and writing have altered us and continue so to do. Walter Ong maintains: "Without writing, the literate mind would not and could not think as it does. . . . More than any other single invention, writing has transformed human consciousness."6 Or, like Jack Goody, one may regard writing to be "a technology of the intellect."7 The human race would be in a very different state of development without the invention and techniques of the written word. And a very precise tool writing can be. Ong argues: "Written words sharpen analysis, for the individual words are called on to do more. To make yourself clear without gesture, without facial expression, without intonation, without a real hearer, you have to foresee circumspectly all possible meanings a statement may have for any possible reader in any possible situation, and you have to make your language work so as to come clear all by itself."8 Are we ready to abandon entirely this extraordinary tool that encourages such attempts at accuracy?

Certainly, reading can be the conversation across time envisioned by many, including René Descartes, John Ruskin, and Kenneth Burke, but John Sturrock, in his preface to On Reading, points out that Proust is a particular type of reader: a writer—in many ways, the type of writer we want students to become, for "reading should be an 'incitement,' a unique means of prompting the reader to, in the strongest sense of the phrase, 'think for himself.' The Proustian reader is made more, not less alert to the activity of his own mind by reading."9 Ideally, we hope students will join these conversations and engage in the critical thinking that both reading and writing nurture. Neither reading nor writing should be practiced only by the elite—with the former becoming "an increasingly arcane hobby" as some sociologists predict, according to Crain10—unless we wish to cede our responsibilities in a democratic society. Furthermore, having students write substantive prose requires them to live with the writing of others for a while (granted, often not as long as we might fervently hope). Thus, writing should continue to be taught in colleges and universities for both intellectual and political reasons.

But what if this battle is lost, and no one is asked to read and write anymore? Should we then padlock all the English departments in all the colleges and universities in all the world? Perhaps, but don't put the rhetoricians behind bars, for they have much to offer the multimodal students, since the five canons or precepts of rhetoric—invention, arrangement, style, delivery, and memory—still apply. Just as writers (and writing teachers) have adapted these principles from oral to written expression, so might we consider how they function in a multimodal world. Invention, arrangement, and style easily make the transition to multimedia. Discovering what to say, how to put the pieces together, and how to present them transfers readily to multimedia work. With delivery, the means to persuade moves from tone of voice to choosing audio or audiovisual presentation and effects. How one may best convince an audience expands dramatically as our capabilities to make audible and visible arguments are enhanced by technology. Memory, on the other hand, may no longer have the importance it once did, since extended oration more often than not necessitates a teleprompter. Certainly memory preoccupies us in terms of kilobytes on a computer disk drive. Perhaps, more significantly, memory may be regarded in terms of what it evokes. In our post-modern, mashup, remix culture, few produced texts—in any form—avoid becoming a bricolage of memories and meanings. Mikhail Bakhtin's heteroglossia, the polyphonous text, can exist on many levels in an audio essay or in a multimedia narrative. Adding a song, using a particular tone of voice, or applying a special effect may all communicate a message simultaneously.

Of course, even without resurrecting the spirits of Aristotle and Cicero, writing has a place in teaching forms of new media. Few of us can make a compelling point in an audio essay or create a voice-over for a short film without first generating a script. Having students create both written and multimedia texts allows them to contrast the effects of their words in a variety of situations. They begin to understand register, diction, and transitions in a new way when they deploy these techniques in different types of media. Multimodal expression should encourage the use of a variety of abilities.

Rather than banishing writing or lamenting the development of multimedia, as Socrates famously deplored the introduction of writing, let us teach both writing and multimedia. Each has distinct purposes and effects that students will discover as they explore their expressive and analytic potential. In her conclusion to Proust and the Squid, Wolf argues for such a "both/and" approach: "The analytical, inferential, perspective-taking, reading brain with all its capacity for human consciousness, and the nimble, multifunctional, multimodal, information-integrative capacities of a digital mind-set do not need to inhabit exclusive realms. Many of our children learn to code-switch between two or more oral languages, and we can teach them also to switch between different presentations of written language and different modes of analysis."11 Let us lead—an etymological root of educate—students to such richness of expression.

Caleb Crain, "Twilight of the Books: What Will Life Be Like If People Stop Reading?" New Yorker, December 24, 2007, ; Jobs quoted in John Markoff, "The Passion of Steve Jobs," New York Times, January 15, 2008, .
Nancy Bunge, "Assign Books, and Students Will Read," Chronicle of Higher Education, October 17, 2008, p. 24.
Crain, "Twilight of the Books."
Maryanne Wolf, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (New York: HarperCollins, 2007).
Marcel Proust, On Reading, preface and translation by John Sturrock (London: Penguin, 1994), p. 27.
Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London: Methuen, 1982), p. 78.
Jack Goody, The Power of the Written Tradition (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000), p. 133.
Ong, Orality and Literacy, p. 104.
Sturrock, preface to Proust, On Reading, p. vii.
Crain, "Twilight of the Books."
Wolf, Proust and the Squid, pp. 228–29.

September 9

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Chidori No Kyoku" by Satomi Saeki & Alcvin Takegawa Ramos]

Most of the time your attention is focused outward: on classes, sports, jobs, other people, and the 101 things you have to do in order to get through the day. For a moment, see if you can forget all that. Let your mind grow quiet. Listen to yourself breathe and consider this definition of mindfulness: "focusing one's complete attention on the present moment." Today, rather than responding to a specific topic, simply write down the information that occurs to you right now. This may include thoughts, feelings, sounds/sights, memories, even how your fingers feel on the pen or how your toes feel in your shoes. The only requirement is to record your stress level at the beginning and at the end on a scale from 1-10 (1 being least stressed, 10 being most stressed).

1. Journal/return Poisonwood Bible edits & notes
2. "Vocabulary +" quiz/correct
3. Literature analysis books

1. Begin reading literature analysis book
2. Read "The Persistence of Writing" and answer questions in comments to the blog post (due Monday, 9/12)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["My Friends Always Ask Me" by Mary Lane; "Ask Me Now" by Thelonious Monk]

Does language merely describe reality or does it create a sense of reality? Do speakers of different languages just use different words to describe the same things, or do they actually think and see the world differently because of the language they use? Explain your answer.

1. Journal/collect Poisonwood Bible edits & notes
2. Socratic Seminar: development of the English language

1. Vocabulary + quiz tomorrow (Friday, 9/9)
2. Literature analysis title/book in hand tomorrow (9/9)
3. Submit Elks Lodge scholarship app to College Office tomorrow (9/9)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 7

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes (and our first student pick!): "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. I'll throw in Stanley Jordan's version]

Those of you in the on-the-ground course have all seen the sign: "There is glory in the attempt." Describe how this idea applies in your life.

1. Journal
2. Peer editing: Poisonwood Bible essay

1. Last edit Poisonwood Bible essay
2. Read "From Scroll to Screen" (as follows) and be ready to discuss tomorrow (Thursday, 9/8) [UPDATE 9/7 11:00 AM: Please comment to this post with your views on e-readers versus books.]

The Mechanic Muse: From Scroll to Screen
Illustration by Joon Mo Kang (in original, which you can see via permalink:
Published: September 2, 2011
The New York Times

Something very important and very weird is happening to the book right now: It’s shedding its papery corpus and transmigrating into a bodiless digital form, right before our eyes. We’re witnessing the bibliographical equivalent of the rapture. If anything we may be lowballing the weirdness of it all.

The last time a change of this magnitude occurred was circa 1450, when Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type. But if you go back further there’s a more helpful precedent for what’s going on. Starting in the first century A.D., Western readers discarded the scroll in favor of the codex — the bound book as we know it today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Poisonwood Bible AP prompt

Here is the prompt that tonight's peer edit is based on:

Vocabulary: Fall List #4


September 6

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day" by Robert Johnson; "Everyday I Write the Book" by Elvis Costello; "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles]

What is the hardest part of writing? Is it facing the blank page, keeping track of your ideas while you write, editing, or having your work read/evaluated by others? Explain your answer.

1. Journal
2. Discuss AP reading list and Literature Analysis requirement
3. Essay feedback: Montaigne/Pride & Prejudice
4. Peer editing

1. Select a novel from the AP reading list and bring it to class by Friday, 9/9
2. Edit your Poisonwood Bible essay (or your partner's) and bring to class tomorrow (Wednesday, 9/7) for group peer editing
3. Vocabulary #4 definitions/sentences/study materials

Friday, September 2, 2011

Literature Analysis Reading List

Here is a list of novels and the dates of their appearances on the AP exam, courtesy of

Please keep the following in mind:
1. You may propose a title you don't see here, and unless I have a good reason to say "no" I will say "yes." Most of the time other works by the same authors will be safe bets, but please check with me to make sure;
2. Some of these selections are novellas, short stories, poems or expository pieces. You are (of course) welcome to read them, and we will be working with each form during the year, but the Literature Analysis assignment focuses exclusively on novels;
3. Please forgive the lack of properly punctuated titles. When I cut/pasted this list the italics didn't transfer and I don't have it in me to reformat each item (not that you care, but this is the sort of thing reading audiences tend to toss back in the faces of English teachers);
4. Not all novels are created equally. There is a wide variety of choices here, and some are MUCH better reads than others, so feel free to nose around and find something you like. If reading the first ten pages of a book feels like having a tooth extracted without anesthetic, drop it like it's hot and find another. Also, per #1, if you have another title in mind please let me know.

Titles from Open Response Questions*
Updated from an original list by Norma J. Wilkerson.
Works referred to on the AP Literature exams since 1971 (specific years in parentheses)
Please note that only authors were recommended in early years, not specific titles..

Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner (76, 00, 10)
Adam Bede by George Eliot (06)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (80, 82, 85, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 99, 05, 06, 07, 08,11)
The Aeneid by Virgil (06)
Agnes of God by John Pielmeier (00)
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (97, 02, 03, 08)
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (00, 04, 08)
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (00, 02, 04, 07, 08, 09, 11)
All My Sons by Arthur Miller (85, 90)
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (95, 96, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11)
America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan (95)
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser (81, 82, 95, 03)
American Pastoral by Philip Roth (09)
The American by Henry James (05, 07, 10)
Angels in America by Tony Kushner (09)
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (10)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (80, 91, 99, 03, 04, 06, 08, 09)
Another Country by James Baldwin (95, 10)
Antigone by Sophocles (79, 80, 90, 94, 99, 03, 05, 09, 11)
Anthony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare (80, 91)
Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler (94)
Armies of the Night by Norman Mailer (76)
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (78, 89, 90, 94, 01, 04, 06, 07, 09)
As You Like It by William Shakespeare (92 05, 06, 10)
Atonement by Ian McEwan (07, 11)
Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson (02, 05)
The Awakening by Kate Chopin (87, 88, 91, 92, 95, 97, 99, 02, 04, 07, 09, 11)

“The Bear” by William Faulkner (94, 06)
Beloved by Toni Morrison (90, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 10, 11)
A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul (03)
Benito Cereno by Herman Melville (89)
Billy Budd by Herman Melville (79, 81, 82, 83, 85, 99, 02, 04, 05, 07, 08)
The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter (89, 97)
Black Boy by Richard Wright (06, 08)
Bleak House by Charles Dickens (94, 00, 04, 09, 10)
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya (94, 96, 97, 99, 04, 05, 06, 08)
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (07, 11)
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (95, 08, 09)
Bone: A Novel by Fae M. Ng (03)
The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan (06, 07, 11)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (89, 05, 09, 10)
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (79)
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos (09)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevski (90, 08)

Candida by George Bernard Shaw (80)
Candide by Voltaire (80, 86, 87, 91, 95, 96, 04, 06, 10)
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (06)
The Caretaker by Harold Pinter (85)
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (82, 85, 87, 89, 94, 01, 03, 04, 05, 07, 08, 11)
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (01, 08, 11)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams (00)
Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood (94, 08, 09)
The Centaur by John Updike (81)
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (94, 96, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 06, 07, 09)
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (71, 77, 06, 07, 09, 10)
The Chosen by Chaim Potok (08)
“Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau (76)
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (06, 08)
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 05, 08, 09)
Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje (01)
Copenhagen by Michael Frayn (09)
The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett (10)
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton (85, 87, 91, 95, 96, 07, 09)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevski (76, 79, 80, 82, 88, 96, 99, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 09, 10, 11)
“The Crisis” by Thomas Paine (76)
The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (09)
The Crucible by Arthur Miller (71, 83, 86, 89, 04, 05, 09)

Daisy Miller by Henry James (97, 03)
Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel (01)
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (78, 83, 06)
“The Dead” by James Joyce (97)
The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy (86)
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (86, 88, 94, 03, 04, 05, 07)
Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty (97)
Desire under the Elms by Eugene O’Neill (81)
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler (97)
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (06)
The Diviners by Margaret Laurence (95)
Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe (79, 86, 99, 04, 11)
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (10)
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (71, 83, 87, 88, 95, 05, 09)
The Dollmaker by Harriet Arnot (91)
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (01, 04, 06, 08)
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia (03)
Dutchman by Amiri Baraka/Leroi Jones (03, 06)

East of Eden by John Steinbeck (06)
Emma by Jane Austen (96, 08)
An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen (76, 80, 87, 99, 01, 07)
Equus by Peter Shaffer (92, 99, 00, 01, 08, 09)
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (80, 85, 03, 05, 06, 07)
The Eumenides by Aeschylus (in The Orestia) (96)

The Fall by Albert Camus (81)
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (99, 04, 09)
The Father by August Strindberg (01)
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev (90)
Faust by Johann Goethe (02, 03)
The Federalist by Alexander Hamilton (76)
Fences by August Wilson (02, 03, 05, 09, 10)
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (03)
Fifth Business by Robertson Davis (00, 07)
The Fixer by Bernard Malamud (07)
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (03, 06)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (89, 00, 03, 06, 08)
A Free Life: A Novel by Ha Jin (10)

A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest Gaines (00, 11)
Germinal by Emile Zola (09)
A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee (04, 05)
Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen (00, 04)
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (71, 90, 94, 97, 99, 02, 08, 09, 10)
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (10, 11)
Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien (01, 06, 10)
The Golden Bowl by Henry James (09)
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford (00, 11)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (95, 03, 06, 09, 10)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (79, 80, 88, 89, 92, 95, 96, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 07, 08, 10)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (82, 83, 88, 91, 92, 97, 00, 02, 04, 05, 07, 10)
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin (83, 88, 90, 05, 09)
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (87, 89, 01, 04, 06, 09)

The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill (89, 0994, 97, 99, 00)
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (03, 09)
Hard Times by Charles Dickens (87, 90, 09)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (71, 76, 91, 94, 96, 99, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 06, 09, 10, 11)
The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene (71)
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (79, 92, 00, 02, 03, 05)
Henry IV, Parts I and II by William Shakespeare (80, 90, 08)
Henry V by William Shakespeare (02)
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes (08)
The Homecoming by Harold Pinter (78, 90)
Home to Harlem by Claude McKay (10)
A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipul (10)
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday (95, 06, 09)
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (04, 07, 10)
The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (89)
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (08, 10)

The Iliad by Homer (80)
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (06)
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (10)
In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien (00)
In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (05)
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (76, 77, 78, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 91, 94, 95, 96, 97, 01, 03, 04, 05, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (78, 79, 80, 88, 91, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 00, 05, 07, 08, 10)
Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee (99, 10)
J.B. by Archibald MacLeish (81, 94)
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson (00, 04)
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (97, 03)
Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding (99)
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (71, 76, 80, 85, 87, 95, 04, 09, 10)
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (82, 97, 05, 07, 09)
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (77, 78, 82, 88, 89, 90, 96, 09)

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (08)
King Lear by William Shakespeare (77, 78, 82, 88, 89, 90, 96, 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 08, 10, 11)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (07, 08, 09)

Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde (09)
A Lesson before Dying by Ernest Gaines (99, 11)
Letters from an American Farmer by de Crevecoeur (76), 11)
The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman (85, 90, 10)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (08)
Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill (90, 03, 07)
Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe (10)
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad (77, 78, 82, 86, 00, 03, 07)
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (85, 08)
The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh (89)
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (95)
“Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot (85)
Lysistrata by Aristophanes (87)

Macbeth by William Shakespeare (83, 99, 03, 05, 09)
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (80, 85, 04, 05, 06, 09, 10)
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (87, 09)
Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw (79, 96, 04, 07, 09, 11)
Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw (81)
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (03, 06)
Master Harold...and the Boys by Athol Fugard (03, 08, 09)
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (94, 99, 00, 02, 07, 10, 11)
M. Butterfly by David Henry Wang (95, 11)
Medea by Euripides (82, 92, 95, 01, 03)
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers (97, 08)
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards (09)
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (85, 91, 95, 02, 03, 11)
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (78, 89)
Middlemarch by George Eliot (95, 04, 05, 07)
Middle Passage by V. S. Naipaul (06)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (06)
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (90, 92, 04)
The Misanthrope by Moliere (08)
Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West (89)
Moby Dick by Herman Melville (76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 89, 94, 96, 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 09)
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (76, 77, 86, 87, 95, 09)
Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao (00, 03)
The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie (07)
Mother Courage and Her Children by Berthold Brecht (85, 87, 06)
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (94, 97, 04, 05, 07, 11)
Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw (87, 90, 95, 02, 09)
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (97)
Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot (76, 80, 85, 95, 07, 11)
“My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning (85)
My Ántonia by Willa Cather (03, 08, 10)
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok (03)

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (09, 10)
Native Son by Richard Wright (79, 82, 85, 87, 95, 01, 04, 09, 11)
Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee (99, 03, 05, 07, 08)
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (09, 10)
1984 by George Orwell (87, 94, 05, 09)
No Exit by John Paul Sartre (86)
No-No Boy by John Okada (95)
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevski (89)

Obasan by Joy Kogawa (94, 95, 04, 05, 06, 07, 10)
The Octopus by Frank Norris (09)
The Odyssey by Homer (86, 06, 10)
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (77, 85, 88, 00, 03, 04, 11)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (01)
Old School by Tobia Wolff (08)
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (09)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (05, 10)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (89, 04)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (01)
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (06)
The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty (94)
The Orestia by Aeschylus (90)
Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf (04)
Othello by William Shakespeare (79, 85, 88, 92, 95, 03, 04, 07, 11)
The Other by Thomas Tryon (10)
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (90)
Our Town by Thornton Wilder (86, 97, 09)
Out of Africa by Isaak Dinesen (06)

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (01)
Pamela by Samuel Richardson (86)
A Passage to India by E. M. Forster (71, 77, 78, 88, 91, 92, 07, 09)
Paradise Lost by John Milton (85, 86, 10)
Passing by Nella Larsen (11)
Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen (06)
Père Goriot by Honore de Balzac (02)
Persuasion by Jane Austen (90, 05, 07)
Phaedre by Jean Racine (92, 03)
The Piano Lesson by August Wilson (96, 99, 07, 08, 10)
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (02)
The Plague by Albert Camus (02, 09)
Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov (97)
Pocho by Jose Antonio Villarreal (02, 08)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (10, 11)
Portrait of a Lady by Henry James ( 88, 92, 96, 03, 05, 07, 11)
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (76, 77, 80, 86, 88, 96, 99, 04, 05, 08, 09, 10, 11)
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene (95)
Praisesong for the Widow by Paule Marshall (96)
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (09)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (83, 88, 92, 97, 08, 11)
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (90, 08)
Push by Sapphire (07)
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (03, 05, 08)

Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow (03, 07)
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (87, 90, 94, 96, 99, 07, 09)
The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope (81)
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (08)
Redburn by Herman Melville (87)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (00, 03, 11)
Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie (08, 09)
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (07)
Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco (09)
Richard III by William Shakespeare (79)
A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean (08)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (10)
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (10)
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (76)
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (03)
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (90, 92, 97, 08)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard (81, 94, 00, 04, 05, 06, 10, 11)

Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw (95)
The Sandbox by Edward Albee (71)
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (71, 77, 78, 83, 88, 91, 99, 02, 04, 05, 06, 11)
Sent for You Yesterday by John Edgar Wideman (03)
A Separate Peace by John Knowles (82, 07)
Set This House on Fire by William Styron (11)
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx (97)
Silas Marner by George Eliot (02)
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (87, 02, 04, 09, 10)
Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (10)
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (91, 04)
Snow by Orhan Pamuk (09)
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (00, 10)
A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller (11)
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (81, 88, 96, 00, 04, 05, 06, 07, 10)
Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence (77, 90)
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron (09)
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (77, 86, 97, 01, 07, 08)
The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence (96, 04)
The Story of Edgar sawtelle by David Wroblewski (11)
The Stranger by Albert Camus (79, 82, 86, 04)
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (91, 92, 01, 04, 07, 08, 09, 1, 110)
The Street by Ann Petry (07)
Sula by Toni Morrison (92, 97, 02, 04, 07, 08, 10)
Surfacing by Margaret Atwood (05)
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (85, 91, 95, 96, 04, 05)

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (82, 91, 04, 08)
Tarftuffe by Moliere (87)
The Tempest by William Shakespeare (71, 78, 96, 03, 05, 07, 10)
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (82, 91, 03, 06, 07)
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zorah Neale Hurston (88, 90, 91, 96, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11)
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (91, 97, 03, 09, 10, 11)
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (04, 09)
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (06)
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (11)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (08, 09, 11)
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (77, 86, 88, 08)
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (90, 00, 06, 08)
Tracks by Louise Erdrich (05)
The Trial by Franz Kafka (88, 89, 00, 11)
Trifles by Susan Glaspell (00)
Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne (86)
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (92, 94, 00, 02, 04, 08)
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (85, 94, 96, 11)
Typical American by Gish Jen (02, 03, 05)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (87, 09)
U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos (09)

The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith (06)
Victory by Joseph Conrad (83)
Volpone by Ben Jonson (83)

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (77, 85, 86, 89, 94, 01, 09)
The Warden by Anthony Trollope (96)
Washington Square by Henry James (90)
The Wasteland by T. S. Eliot (81)
Watch on the Rhine by Lillian Hellman (87)
The Way of the World by William Congreve (71)
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope (06)
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates (07)
Who Has Seen the Wind by W. O. Mitchell (11)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee (88, 94, 00, 04, 07, 11)
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (89, 92, 05, 07, 08)
The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen (78)
Winter in the Blood by James Welch (95)
Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare (82, 89, 95, 06)
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor (82, 89, 95, 09, 10)
Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston (91, 08)
The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor (09, 10)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (71,77, 78, 79, 83, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 96, 97, 99, 01, 06, 07, 08, 10)

The Zoo Story by Edward Albee (82, 01)
Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez (95)

Most Frequently Cited 1970-2011

24 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
19 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
16 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevski
16 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
15 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
15 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
15 Moby Dick by Herman Melville
14 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
13 King Lear by William Shakespeare
12 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
12 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
12 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
12 The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
11 The Awakening by Kate Chopin
11 Billy Budd by Herman Melville
11 Light in August by William Faulkner
11 Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zorah Neale Hurston
10 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
10 Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
9 Antigone by Sophocles
9 Beloved by Toni Morrison
9 The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
9 Native Son by Richard Wright
9 Othello by William Shakespeare
9 Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
9 A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
8 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
8 Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
8 Candide by Voltaire
8 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
8 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
8 The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
8 A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
8 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
7 All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
7 All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
7 The Crucible by Arthur Miller
7 Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
7 Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
7 Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
7 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
7 The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
7 Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
7 Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
7 A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
7 Sula by Toni Morrison
7 The Tempest by William Shakespeare
7 Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
6 A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
6 An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen
6 Equus by Peter Shaffer
6 Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
6 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
6 Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
6 Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw
6 Medea by Euripides
6 The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
6 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
6 Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
6 Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot
6 Obasan by Joy Kogawa
6 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
6 The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
6 The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
6 Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
6 The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
6 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
5 Bleak House by Charles Dickens
5 The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chkhov
5 Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
5 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
5 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
5 Hamlet by William Shakespeare
5 Macbeth by William Shakespeare
5 Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw
5 The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
5 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
5 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
5 Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
5 Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor

Shakespeare - All Plays Total = 74

2 Anthony and Cleopatra
4 As You Like It
5 Hamlet
3 Henry IV, Parts I and II
1 Henry V
4 Julius Caesar
14 King Lear
5 Macbeth
6 Merchant of Venice
1 A Midsummer Night's Dream
1 Much Ado About Nothing
1 Richard III
4 Romeo and Juliet
7 The Tempest
4 Twelfth Night
4 Winter's Tale

Classical Greek & Roman Literature = 29

1 The Aeneid by Virgil
9 Antigone by Sophocles
1 The Eumenides by Aeschylus
1 The Iliad by Homer
1 Lysistrata by Aristophanes
6 Medea by Euripides
3 The Odyssey by Homer
6 Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
1 The Orestia by Aeschylus


Updated 15 May 2011
*Includes both Form A and Form B
No specific works were mentioned on some of the earliest exams and others listed authors, not titles.
Specific references from 1971 have been added.

Link to RHS Career Center Website

September 2

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas" by Cubamar; "Wasted Words" by The Allman Brothers; "Black Friday" by Steely Dan)

Given what you've learned about the first heroic epic known to be composed in English, and how it reflects the culture/values of its times, nominate an epic story from our times that will be remembered as an emblem of this culture in two thousand years. Explain your choice.

1. Journal/collect resumes
2. Vocabulary + quiz
3. Discuss/correct

1. Consult blog for literature analysis reading list

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beowulf Questions

This post features the questions raised in class on September 1. Please do your best to research and answer at least five (or more, if you're one of those extra-credit hounds). Share your answers in comments to this post.

1. With older pieces of literature, is there an easier way to understand older forms of English without reading it ten times or more?
2. What do you think the theme(s) of Beowulf is/are?
3. Did anyone catch onomatopoeia(s) in Beowulf?
4. How about examples of irony?
5. What is a kenning?
6. What is the significance of God in a pagan society? How is Christianity tied into it?
7. Who is Thrith and where can we find info about this character?
8. Did Beowulf act for the benefit of the people or for his own glory?

September 1

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Twenty Questions" by The Beastie Boys; "Philosophers Stone" by Van Morrison]
Reflect for a moment on your study of Beowulf. Summarize the knowledge you have acquired, describe your thought process and experience of gathering information, and list any questions you have.

1. Journal
2. Beowulf mastery exchange: characterization, literary elements, themes
3. Post questions for homework

1. Study for vocab quiz tomorrow
2. Read "The Beginnings of English" in textbook (p.12); fair game for quiz questions
3. Research answers to the questions we raised in class & comment with answers (for extra credit)
4. Resumes due tomorrow (BTW, does anyone know how to insert accent marks in blogger? It's a little embarrassing to keep typing REH-zu-may as ree-ZOOM.)

Sample Scholarship Application

Here is an application for a local scholarship (Thank you, Elks Lodge!)-- use it to frame the objective in your resume. We'll talk more in class about searching and applying for scholarships. Remember: you can't win if you don't play! (Also remember to ignore such logic when it comes from the lottery, casinos, and others who charge up front and offer lousy odds.)

elks lodge scholarship app