Sunday, December 28, 2014

GPA Calculator

Our Tech Department doesn't have the Skyward GPA calculator incorporated yet. I know many of you need to see that. I ran across this GPA Calculator on Google Sheets. To use it, 
  1. Click the link below. 
  2. Off the File menu, choose "Make a copy..." and it will create a copy you can edit. 
  3. Input your classes and grades.
Voila! Your GPA!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Eating Poetry

Eating Poetry

by Mark Strand
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry. 
The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress. 
The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up. 
Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep. 
She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams. 
I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

Why are we talking about eating poetry? Well, I have found that one of the best ways to sink into words is to make them yours. To ingest them. To memorize them.

Remember how we ended first semester last year with presentations? Well this year is going to be no different in that respect, except that you don't have to write anything. You will be memorizing at least 50 lines of poetry (no children's poetry -- something from our book or approved by yours truly) and reciting it in front of the class during finals week. 

I let you know now because this can take time as those of you who have been in theater well know. It's not much, though. Miss Scrooge is going to kill this. So will you. Start thinking. I know there's a lot to eat over Christmas Winter Break, but save some room for eating poetry.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Next book

The next book we'll be reading is Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? We should be able to fit in in before the end of the semester. We have some copies in the library, but if you want to buy your own we're using ISBN # 0-451-15871-7.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Their Eyes Were Watching God

You will shortly should already be writing a literary analysis on Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. The paper will be 650-750 words in length, in MLA format. Pick one of the following questions to begin your analysis. Whichever prompting question you choose to drive the topic of your analysis essay, you must first identify the what & why behind it. What devices does Hurston use within the topic of the question? WHY? What theme and/meaning is behind her choice of device?
  • What is the meaning of the title Their Eyes Were Watching God? Why did Hurston choose this title? Analyze the recurring theme of God in the novel. 
  • The pear trees, bees, and (especially) the horizon occur in several instances throughout Their Eyes Were Watching God. In Hurston’s autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, she describes the horizon as the place “where the heroine contemplates, explores and achieves the horizon.” Discuss the significance of these symbols in the novel. 
  • Throughout Janie's life, she searches for true, unconditional love. In her search, she experiences different kinds of love. Describe the types of love she experiences. Which type of love has the most impact on her life? In the end, has Janie experienced true love, and, if so, has it changed her? 
  • In her marriage to Jody, Janie is dominated by his power. At several points, however, it is obvious that he feels threatened by her. Why does Jody need to be in control of everyone around him? How does Janie threaten Jody and his sense of control? 
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God is concerned with issues of speech and how speech is both a mechanism of control and a vehicle for freedom. Yet Janie remains silent during key moments in her life. Discuss the theme of silence in the book and how that theme changes throughout the novel. 
  • In 1937, Richard Wright reviewed Their Eyes Were Watching God and objected to the novel’s discussion of race and use of black dialect. Why might Wright have objected to Their Eyes Were Watching God? Do you agree or disagree with Wright’s interpretation of the novel? 
  • Discuss the role of community in Their Eyes Were Watching God. What purpose does the community, namely the porchsitters, serve throughout the novel? 
  • The opening of the novel tells about men’s and women’s motivations, actions, and dreams. Write an essay commenting on the significance of the first two paragraphs as they relate to the rest of the novel.
Due January 4th by 11:59 PM on Turnitin. Upload both in Google Classroom and in Turnitin. We can use Turnitin for formal peer reviews, and for both you and I to check papers for plagiarism and grammar. Based on my experience with the JFK papers and the feedback from AP 11, it's better to grade the actual papers on Google Docs as the feedback is so much easier to read and process (it's oddly kind of messy in Turnitin).