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Please view the prezi on Modernism and take good notes. You are responsible for learning and remembering this information. Also, you should praise me for making such a beautiful prezi.

Modernism Prezi

You're working your way through NaPoWriMo, and soon you'll be thinking about your portfolio project so there are lots of things up in the air. I am aware of this, but you will still have some homeworky things to do from time to time. Your pastiche poem (you got the handout today in class) is due Thursday, and as we begin reading The Waste Land, you'll have some things to do in preparation for class and as extensions of our conversations. But it is amazing so get over it.



Hey poets,

First of all, your poems today were awesome! I know we still have to hear the others--we'll do that on Monday. Next week we're going to take a stroll through literary romanticism. To prepare for it, please click through this prezi and take notes on the content using the sheet I gave you in class. Expect this content to show up on a quiz, so pay attention to it!

Romanticism Prezi

Remember, the other part is to bring in a contemporary example of one of the ideas of romanticism. This example could be a song, a poem, a work of art, a film, an object--whatever, you decide.

Also, go to the poetry slam on Saturday. It will be rad.

Happy weekend.



So, school has been cancelled tomorrow because it's going to be colder than the 9th circle of hell. (Quick: somebody explain that allusion!) Which means you can sleep in and relax, but it also means a sort of weird, anti-climactic closing to our semester. Update: See you Monday. Treat the following as your final weekend blog post. Newer update: See you Tuesday because Monday is no-school-due-to-polar-vortex-day #4. A couple of you have your index poems up--yay!

What we were going to do in class was compose index poems that function as entertaining summaries of the course experience. Here's a tiny sample of how an index poem might look. This is an excerpt from an index poem written by a poet/acquaintance/colleague of mine named Amorak Huey.

Airbrush tattoos 135
Anna 121, 124, 139, 140-157, 160
       College boyfriend of 122
.........Conversation on the drive down about 120-124
.........Dumping-boyfriend rumors 125
.........Eric and 158-160
.........Optimism and 126-157
Arcade 129
Arrogance 122, 125, 146
.........Making fun of everyone who is not we 122, 129, 133, 141
.........Nicknames, occasionally cruel 123, 139
.........Visibility of, in hindsight 159
Autonomous self, the 120, 140, 145
.........Unrealized expectations for 159
Bartles & James 124, 126-132
.........purchase of (see also Keith from first period; see also fake ID) 124
.........taste of (see also Kool-Aid) 129
Beach 121, 133, 144, 147
Best week ever, anticipation of 120, 122

Notice a couple things about the set-up: alphabetical A-Z (again, I just gave you a snippet), imaginary page numbers are included, the (see also) element to indicate other cross-references, and the blend of obvious and literal with quirky, inside-jokes and humor and the word or phrase building into a line or full sentence by indentation of the following line. It's a lot of fun to write these, actually. Think about all of your silly inside jokes about Bitzer and Orwell and how crazy your teacher is and have some fun with it. I challenge you to write one as your final blog send-off.

Stay warm!


Your Assignment: BLA

For this weekend's blog post, please offer a brief analysis and response to the argument your BLA selection presented. I would encourage you to find additional information/sources/perspectives on the topic discussed by your author(s) simply because it would be an interesting way to inform your response. There is no requirement to do so, I just think it would be good mental exercise.

At this point, you are pros when it comes to identifying and analyzing argument (right?) and you've pretty much always been pros at responding to stuff -- you know, what do you think about x, y, z? stuff.  So this task should be straightforward for you.

A word about grades and the end of term cookiness of it all: As your grades are presently, they do not include: a) the most substantial piece of writing you've done this semester, b) the most substantial project you've done this semester, and c) a final exam that will be similar in substance and grade-impact potential as the term 1 final was. This means you can and should expect that your grade will most likely change. And if/when it does, and you think ugh, my grade went down-ah, that's so unfair-ah, you must simply re-evaluate your logic: Your grade did not go down. Rather, your grade was incomplete before the input of this data. Now, it reflects your performance on these culminating, summative assessments.

I heart you all, and I'm pulling for you, but I simply will not tolerate whiny, last-minute grade-grubbing. I've been upfront with you about my expectations all semester. This is where that counts. If you are dissatisfied with your work on something, I sympathize. These things happen. We learn from it and we carry on. You are allowed to have a moment of tantrum, just please keep it to a minimum.

She's mostly just sad about her haircut. I know, honey, I know.



I am always surprised by how quickly the days escape us. It seems like just yesterday I was introducing you to Friday Freewrites and now you are about to graduate from the land of AP Lang. Crazy. 

In these final eight days, you will be presenting your author study work, wrapping up your term BLA, nervously awaiting your essay grade, nervously wondering what kinds of mischief the final exam will entail, and all kinds of other mentally-taxing, and emotionally-draining experiences. And then it will be over and you will move on to other, less important classes. 

Today, we looked at these four prompts at the end of class. I asked you to jot down a few ideas about how you might respond to one of them and now, I'm asking to to go a little further. For your blog post this weekend, please respond to one of the prompts from class however you'd like to. If you want to use this as an opportunity to construct a solid exam-worthy response, go for it, but if you'd like to be a bit more casual or creative or interpretive in your response, that's a-ok, too. 

The prompts:

1. Read and think carefully about the following quotation from Voltaire: “It is dangerous to be right in matters about which the established authorities are wrong.” Then write an essay in which you refute, support, or qualify Voltaire’s claim. Make sure to use appropriate evidence from literary, historical, or personal sources to develop your argument.
2. From talk radio to television shows, from popular magazines to Web blogs, ordinary citizens, political figures, and entertainers express their opinions on a wide range of topics. Are these opinions worthwhile? Does the expression of such opinions foster democratic values? Then write an essay in which you take a position on the value of such public statements of opinion, supporting your view with appropriate evidence.

3. Socrates is known to have said first said what is know known as the philosopher’s credo: “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Is he right? Use appropriate evidence from literature, history, or your own personal experience to support your claim.

4. In "The Singer Solution to World Poverty," an article that appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics, calls attention to the urgent need for food and medicine in many parts of the world. Singer argues that prosperous people should donate to overseas aid organizations such as UNICEF or Oxfam America all money not needed for the basic requirements of life. "The formula is simple: whatever money you're spending on luxuries, not necessities, should be given away." Write an essay in which you evaluate the pros and cons of Singer's argument. Use appropriate evidence as you examine each side, and indicate which position you find more persuasive.

Happy Blogging.