Due April 4

Your second project is due via email at 11.59 PM. (You may turn it in sooner if you want to, of course!)

You will also practice your literature circle roles. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you come to class with your literature circle role filled out as fully as possible, so that you get all the benefit of the practice. To do this

  • Read “The Dragon,” by Ray Bradbury. Link here: http://crhszajac.weebly.com/uploads/2/5/9/1/25910764/dragon.pdf Make sure you have an accessible copy of the story (print or electronic) during class.
  • Download and/or print out the chart for your literature circle role (e.g. if you are Teacher, print out the Teacher chart).
  • Fill out the chart in detail, based on your reading of “The Dragon.”
  • Bring the chart to class, ready to discuss.

Let me know if you have questions.



Due March 28

  • In Schoology, open the orange folder that says “The Great Divorce.”
  • Read through both the document titled “Literature Circle Roles” and the document titled “TGD Schedule.” Make sure you have both documents accessible during class.


Due March 26

Read “To His Coy Mistress” (begins on page 527 in your blue book).

  • Read, aloud. This is one of those poems to enjoy the sound of the words as much as the meaning. (But here is an annotated copy, if you want a few extra hints: TO HIS COY MISTRESS-ANNOTATED)
  • Identify the speaker/audience. Use the title to help you figure this out; remember mistress simply meant beloved at this time (there is no affair).
  • Choose a passage which you think sums up the way the speaker feels towards the audience. Write 1-2 sentences describing the relationship between them.
  • Keep track of other revealing passages throughout the poem.

Remember, this is now going to count for extra credit!

Also, the prompts have been updated on Schoology to include a prompt for “The Birthmark.”

Are you interested in studying spiritual abuse and cults more? Try

  • the Heaven’s Gate podcast, which talks about the “worst case” scenario of the kind of behavior that Aylmer demonstrates. https://www.heavensgate.show/
  • The Seven Signs You’re In a Cult,” an essay from the Atlantic about a cult-like group of college & career students in the Kansas City area, which shows how easily this kind of thing can become normal.

Note: While I appreciated both the podcast and essay, they’re about cults, and the information may be disturbing or unsettling. Discretion advised. 

Due March 21

hawthorneRead Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story, “The Birthmark.” (218-231 in your blue books). As you read, keep track in your book of the passages which characterize, or help us understand, the two main people in the story: the scientist Aylmer and his wife Georgiana. Put check marks or stars or sticky notes next to those passages so you can easily find them again in class.

We’ll be talking about “The Birthmark” for two days. On one of those days, probably Wednesday, we’ll talk about the symbol in the story. To prepare for this discussion, answer these questions:

  • What do you think the symbol is? How did you decide on this as the symbol?
  • What do you think the symbol stands for? Copy a passage from the story into your homework notebook that proves or illustrates what the symbol stands for.
  • How does knowing what the symbol is change your view of Aylmer?

You’ll write about one short paragraph to answer these questions. Turn the paragraph in during class using your homework book.

Due March 19

  • Read the short story “EPICAC,” by Kurt Vonnegut. You will find the full text here: http://newmediaabington.pbworks.com/f/vonnegut_EPICAC.pdf
  • Make observations about one of the characters: EPICAC (actually a character), the narrator, or Pat. The observations are the kind you usually make, notes and word connotations and description, etc. You may write your observations on a separate sheet of paper to bring in.
  • Print the story out & bring it to class.

Due March 16

Read “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter,” by Ezra Pound. It’s on page 469 of your blue book, but you’ll also want a copy you can mark up.

Make observations/notes, and ask questions about the text, the way we practiced at the start of class. This will give you a head start on our conversation in class.


Due March 14

Read “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night,” by Dylan Thomas (available on page 636 of your blue books.)

In class, you’ve been assigned one of four kinds of men: wise men, good men, wild men, and grave men. When you read your poem, pay attention to how that type of man is described. What motivations, feelings, and actions are ascribed to them? Choose a picture that represents how your person is described. Make sure it’s a picture that represents your person on an abstract level, not a literal level (so for instance, if your stanza describes a tree or ocean, don’t come in with a picture of a tree or an ocean.) Please make sure you have a hard copy of the picture.


Due March 13

Print out and read “February 18, 1943” by Catherine Tufariello. As you read, consider what the Tufariello’s tone towards the people she describes is: what words would you use to characterize or describe it? How do you come to feel towards Hans and Sophie Scholl? Why?

Because you’re still coming back from Spring Break, there will be no official homework due. I promise, we’ll have more homework soon enough! 😉

Due February 28

Please read W.B. Yeats’s poem “The Stolen Child.” See if you can figure out who the audience and speaker are (speaker will be more challenging). Pay attention to the imagery: how do you feel about the invitation offered in the poem?

No homework is due, but make sure you have a printed copy of the poem to refer to.

Also, we’re going to spend about 20 minutes going over any last-minute questions about the paper. Keep track of any questions you have so that you can get them answered in class!


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.