Due February 26

Read “The Star,” by Arthur C. Clarke. As you read, keep track of the narrator: what do we learn about him as a person? Who (if anyone) is he talking to? Does this change during the story? What is his purpose in sharing this information with us? Keep notes in the margins of your text.

If you want to listen to the story as you read, here are two links:

You should print out the story and write on it, so you’re prepared to participate in discussion, but you will not need to turn anything in!

That’s because you should also spend this weekend thinking about your project (due March 1).

Please 1) choose which text/prompt you are going to do your project on, 2) mark up and reflect on your text and project, and 3) based on your markup of the text, answer the prompt, in 1-3 sentences that convey your main point and sub-points. Also decide what project you will do: While I encourage you to start with the paper, you can start with something else.

 

Please email me if you have questions.

 

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Due February 23

You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to start work on your project, choosing a topic and formulating a thesis. Email me if you’d like me to review your thesis.

Read “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Print out a copy and in the margins, write your questions and observations, noticing things like imagery and characterization. Pay special attention to how the people of Omelas are described, not only their physical appearance and activity but also their character; on page 3, there will be a child described, and note too how the child is described.

Find an image that represents the difference and/or the relationship between the people of Omelas and the child. Make sure it’s an abstract image, without people in it. Print it out and bring it to class (you must have a hard copy).

If you want, you may read this essay by David Brooks on interpreting the story (we’ll cover some of the same territory in class, but you’re welcome to get a head start). This is not required, though.

Note: This story contains descriptions of (fictional) child neglect and abuse. 

 

Due February 19

9.20 section: 

Read “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/quilt/walker.html

In class, you were assigned one of three characters: Maggie, Dee, or Mama. As you read, keep track of all information about your character; consider things like

  • Your character’s appearance, including her fashion choices
  • Her education/background/work/life goals
  • How she sees the place (the farmhouse where the story is set)
  • How she interacts with other people
  • Any friends or acquaintances she chooses, etc
  • How she sees her past

On a separate sheet of paper, list at least 15-20 details that you noticed about your character. In addition to your list of details, write up a short summary (2-4ish sentences) that tell what motivates your character, and how (based on the details you found) she sees herself and her place in the world.

2.30 section: 

Read “A Wall of Fire Rising” (begins at 232 in your blue book). Identify two quotations for each character (Guy, Lily, Guy’s son, and the son of the mill owner): one that sums up the character’s dreams and aspirations, another that sums up their chief problem.

Write (or type) the quotations down on a sheet of paper and bring them to class.

Note: This  text deals with issues of possible suicide. 

Due February 16

9.20 section: Read “Real Food,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Women, figure out what foods Adichie does and does not like; note especially what descriptors characterize each type of food. What is significant about the food she does not like? About the food that she does like? Keep track of this in the margins of your text.  Then, bring in an artifact (a physical object) that represents what Adichie’s food preferences tell us about her personality and her cultural identity.

Men, figure out what foods Adichie’s family likes; note the descriptors that characterize these foods. What is significant about the foods they like? Keep track of this in the margins of your text. Then, bring in an artifact (a physical object) that represents what Adichie’s family’s food preferences tell us about their personalities and cultural identity.

2.30 section:

Read “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/quilt/walker.html

In class, you were assigned one of three characters: Maggie, Dee, or Mama. As you read, keep track of all information about your character; consider things like

  • Your character’s appearance, including her fashion choices
  • Her education/background/work/life goals
  • How she sees the place (the farmhouse where the story is set)
  • How she interacts with other people
  • Any friends or acquaintances she chooses, etc
  • How she sees her past

On a separate sheet of paper, list at least 15-20 details that you noticed about your character. In addition to your list of details, write up a short summary (2-4ish sentences) that tell what motivates your character, and how (based on the details you found) she sees herself and her place in the world.

Due February 14

9.20 section: Read “Africa” (540) in your blue books and then do this:

  • Choose two words from each stanza and meditate on those words. Why do you think Angelou chose those words in particular? What does each word imply about the subject, Africa? You should have a different answer for each word.
  • You may write or draw your answer, or choose images (full-color; say from a magazine) to represent them. Also, my offer to perform an interpretive dance for each word stands! Film yourself doing an interpretive dance and email me the file, along with a short explanation of how the dance goes along with your word choices. 🙂
  • Turn in your meditations on the words.

2.30 section: Read “Real Food” (click on the link to access the story). Print the story out and mark it up with observations and questions as we’ve practiced.

In class, you were assigned to one of two groups:

Group 1, figure out what foods Adichie does and does not like; note especially what descriptors characterize each type of food. What is significant about the food she does not like? About the food that she does like? Keep track of this in the margins of your text.  Then, bring in an artifact (a physical object) that represents what Adichie’s food preferences tell us about her personality and her cultural identity.

Group 2, figure out what foods Adichie’s family likes; note the descriptors that characterize these foods. What is significant about the foods they like? Keep track of this in the margins of your text. Then, bring in an artifact (a physical object) that represents what Adichie’s family’s food preferences tell us about their personalities and cultural identity.

 

Due February 12

9.20 section: We’re doing what we would have done Friday, if it weren’t for the snow day. Make sure you’ve read “Girl,” read up on the projects on Schoology (purple folder), bring your blue book to class.

2.30 section: We’re moving on to the next poem! Read “Africa” (540) in your blue books and then do this:

  • Choose two words from each stanza and meditate on those words. Why do you think Angelou chose those words in particular? What does each word imply about the subject, Africa? You should have a different answer for each word.
  • You may write or draw your answer, or choose images (full-color; say from a magazine) to represent them.
  • Turn in your meditations on the words.

Due February 9

CALVIN

We’ll be talking about what goes into papers and projects on literature. As we start on the next unit of our course, I want to make sure that you have a sound grasp of what is involved in the assessments.

To prepare, please read “Girl,” which begins on page 118 in your blue books. Bring the blue book to class. Also, please read the Creative Project directions and Creative Project Options posted on Schoology. (They’ll be under the purple “Projects & Tests” folder.)

 

Due February 2

You all are doing a great job discussing theme in “Harrison Bergeron”! I’m proud of your work.

A little time on Friday will likely be spent wrapping up “Harrison Bergeron.”

But most of our time will be spent prepping for your test, on February 7. We’ll review key terms, practice applying them to literary texts, and discuss the text setup. There’s no official homework, but please read “Those Winter Sundays” (491) in your blue book, and bring your blue book to class, so you’ll be prepared to in-class work.

Remember, you can still get extra credit by reading Catwings: 5 points if you read it and email me what you enjoyed/appreciated/found striking about it. It’s on my reserve shelf!

Due January 31

There is no official homework due.

However, to be prepared for class, you should 1) make sure you have a good, detailed list of key descriptors or traits of the character you were assigned in group work. What does that person do? How do we see them? What do we know about their personality? and 2) make sure you’re familiar with the details of the story, re-reading if necessary.

Remember, you have extra credit: five points (the equivalent of a regular homework assignment) for reading Catwings (on my reserve shelf) and sending me an email describing what you liked/appreciated/found interesting about it.

Link to the magical realism story (weird): http://jenerous.tumblr.com/post/21688464274/hole-in-the-wall-by-etgar-keret

 

Due January 29

Enjoy Winterfest!

Here’s what’s due when you come back:

Read “Harrison Bergeron.” On a separate sheet of paper, identify the 1) catalyst, 2) crisis, and 3) climax. Turn this in. Print out the story and mark it up; note places in the story that are interesting, and pay special attention to what we learn about the two main characters: Harrison, and Diana Moon Glampers.

Work on memorizing the bolded passage in Areopagitica. This will not be due until your test, on February 7 (the test will cover your knowledge of, and ability to use, literary terms such as imagery and symbol. We’ll do some review for it next week).

Want extra credit? There is a copy of Ursula Le Guin’s Catwings on my reserve shelf in the library. It will be there by the end of the day on January 24 and will remain there through the end of the day on February 2. Read the book, and then send me an email describing what you enjoyed or appreciated about it. You will earn 5 points for this, as much as a homework assignment.