Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 2nd Assignment: AP Lang Exam Essay Practice

Answer ONE of the following and post your response before the end of the day TODAY, May 2nd.

CHOICE ONE: (Please title the post "Crime is Pride")

In the following excerpt from Antigone, by the classical Greek playwright Sophocles, the wise Teiresias observes:
Think: all men make mistakes
But a good man yeilds when he
Knows his course is wrong,
And repairs the evil: The only
Crime is pride.

Take some time to think about the implications of the quotation. Then write a carefully reasoned essay that explores the validity of the assertion, using examples from your reading, observation, or experience to develop your position.

CHOICE TWO: (Please title the post "Wooden-headedness")

In The March of Folly, historian Barbara Tuchman writes:

Wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception, is a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists of assessing a situation in terms of preconcieved fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts.

Some people would claim that what Tuchman calls wooden-headedness plays a remarkably large role in all organizations and, indeed, in all human affairs.

Write a carefully reasoned persuasive essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies this idea about the prevalence of wooden-headedness in human actions and decisions. Use evidence from your reading and/or observation to develop your position.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mizzay's Imitation

The Graduate

(Inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye’s “The Travelling Onion”)

“We don`t need no education, we don`t need no thought control, no dark sarcasms in the classrooms.
Teacher, leave them kids alone. Hey, teacher! Leave them kids alone!”  --Roger Waters

1.      When I think of how much these graduates have endured

2.      just to enter our world today. I could (I suppose) sigh and forgive

3.      all small unflattering transgressions,

4.      tumbleweeds of student flotsam on the tabletops

5.      and on the floor and on the bookshelves (as an empty garbage can yawns nearby),

6.      the way whining resonates--

7.      excuses, complaints, non-sequitors multiplying exponentially ad nauseam in the florescent air

8.      leaving the curriculum to seep, just barely, in between the cracks,

9.      priorities revealed.


10.  Futile it would be

11.  to tell the graduates

12.  that the moments and minutes and accumulated hours of

13.  texting under the table, talking across the room, complaining about a grade

14.  will not satisfy their craving for knowledge of the Sun King (as they admire the fountains at Versailles)

15.  will not quench their thirst for a bank account’s balance (after tuition, taxes and Tahiti)

16.  will not season their father’s eulogy with just the right

17.  metaphorallusionanalogytone (How about that one, e.e.?)

18.  to capture years of love in three minutes or less.

19.  How someday, they will comment

20.  on a classroom

21.  or a teacher (her scarves, perhaps, or sarcasm)

22.  and what they learned

23.  or didn’t.

24.  Priorities reversed?

Kara Asmussen, 4/18.13

Epigraph (above line 1): An epigraph is the use of a quotation at the beginning of a work that hints at its theme. These song lyrics used here represent the students’ attitude about education: that the teachers should stop bugging them and let them do what they want. The poem that follow is a teacher’s reflection on this perspective.

(2) Hyperbole: Hyperbole is extreme exaggeration, often humorous. Once you read the whole poem you realize that when she uses the word “endured,” the speaker of the poem, a teacher, is being sarcastic--rolling her eyes at the perceived “hardships” of students. (It is, you see, the teacher who endures.)

(5, 12) Polysyndeton: Polysyndeton is the use of more conjunctions than is necessary or natural. The rhetorical effect is to make the reader/listener understand that garbage is everywhere except the garbage can. Because of the repeated conjunctions in line 5, the reader should sense “piling up” of the little bits of trash. Similarly, in line 12, the time references "moments and minutes and accumulated hours" are stretched out thanks to the extra conjuctcions. The reader is meant to feel the lugubriousness of both the garbage and the wasted time.

(7, 13) Asyndeton, the opposite in a sense of his brother "Poly," is sentence construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions. The effect of the asyndeton in this sentence will make the reader/listener hear the complaints (and later, in line 13, all the infractions) in a rapid-fire, without pause succession. It makes them physically experience the never-ending, annoying feeling that is denoted in the word “ad nauseam” (7).

(7) Archaic Diction is an old-fashioned or outdated choice of words. “Ad nauseam” is a Latin phrase that means something has continued for so long it causes nausea. This word choice supports the rhetorical effect of the sentence structure (aysyndeton, 7, see above) and is also appropriate for the poem because the speaker is a teacher who likes fun words.

(10) Inversion: inverted word order; a variation of the typical subject verb sentence structure. The use of inversion here puts emphasis on the word “futile.” The speaker knows their poem’s message will fall on deaf ears now, but as this stanza ends hopefully, maybe that will change.

(14-16) Anaphora: repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences. The three lines that begin with the phrase “will not” seek predict future events, where actual curricular knowledge, heretofore absent from the poem itself, will be useful in graduates’ life.

(17) Pacing: the movement of a literary piece from one section to another. In this line the elimination of the spaces speeds up the pacing of the line. It’s meant to be read all at once, without a breath, as one word. The effect is the message that there really is a lot to learn. [These are also terms from the writer's specific course, so there you go!] Maybe the reader looks at the word and has to think about the different terms all jammed together, making them actually think about the individual terms and their meanings. (Sneaky, huh?)

(17) Apostrophe: directly addressing an absent, imaginary, or personified abstract. e.e. cummings is the author’s favorite poet. He frequently created his own words by joining them together. (His “mudwonderful,” is particularly fitting right now!) This is also a nod and a wink to the wonderful curriculum in language arts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WEEK #7 Blog Assignment (1/23)

At least one post this week should address a researchable question from the clips we've watched from the documentary we've watched about women and the media. I've talked about this in class on Friday, 1/18 and on Tuesday, 1/23. This activity will enrich our viewing and discussion, as well as provide practice of Synthesis (a writing skill tested on the AP Lang exam). Examples of ways to formulate researchable questions:
  • A question about the data presented. You might try to find the source and explore it. What makes it credible/not credible? What questions remain? What data can you find that supports the same findings? What data can you find that contradicts these findings? What additional information can you find out about the data presented? How does this impact the conversation about women and the media?
  • A question about someone who appears in the documentary. What can you learn about them and their qualifications for speaking on this topic? What related work have they done? How does what you learn about them support or call into question thier participation in this documentary?
  • A question about or exploration of a counter-claim. Perhaps you or others you've talked to don't think women are portrayed negatively in the media, or at least not to the extent they think the film demonstrates. Write a clear counter claim and research to find evidence to support it.
Tips for writing this blog post:
  1. It's fine to state your question at the top.
  2. It's expected that you write about what you find in your own words. You might write about how you found it, what it adds to your thinking about this topic---and how/why it does so. You should also consider (and you can write about) how you know the sources you find are credible.
  3. Do NOT just post a list of links; your writing is important here also.
  4. Do NOT just repeat or summarize what is written in the sources you find and link to your post.
  5. Often times, research leads to more questions. That's a good thing. You can include these questions in the post and write about how they could further enrich your thinking about the topic.
  6. Be aware that the internet is a black hole...lots of good stuff, lots of stuff stuff, and lots of junk. You could lose HOURS if not DAYS doing "research" for this one post. But you can't (or at least SHOULDN'T)! Make an effort to stay on task and complete this (as well as the required two other posts for total of 1,200+ words) by Sunday midnight.
  7. It might be helpful to save your links, or at least make note of what you may need to come back to or want to link to later.There are several ways to do this, but---again---remember that a list of links or a list of notes is NOT a post.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hey, Don't Call Me "Spam"!

I hear that a few of you are getting messages about Spam and have been denied access to your blog. There was some vague threat about your blog being deleted in X amount of days.

I consulted Dr. Ayers, our resident expert, and he suggests just following the instructions blogger gives you. You might, for example, be asked to provide a cell number. They'll send you an access code that you can then type in when asked by blogger. I imagine this is similar to resetting a forgotten password on other online programs. You may also be asked to reset some of your settings. Just do it, and see if you can appease Blogger.

Ayers said that two of his students had this issue today, and it seemed to be easily solved by following the directions given by blogger.

So, don't panic; just do what they ask. Also...keep calm and blog on.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week #3 of Blogging starts today!

Thanks to the small (but mighty!) seating chart for 67A, our keyboards are humming in the lab today. We’ve got one lab day per week through September and October reserved in our neighborhood lab. Productive lab time includes drafting and editing blog posts or reading and commenting on other class blogs.

The Asmussen Blog Hub 2013 now has a complete list of class blogs. (See it right over here…on the right side of this blog?) The title of each blog’s most recent post will be listed below the blog name. I bet something will catch your eye! Spend some time this week reading and commenting on blogs. The comment feature can sometimes be temperamental during the school day, however. But don’t let that stop you. I know people appreciate feedback. Plus, it’s just nice to know someone out there is reading.

In closing, I would just like to mention…paragraphs. They are NOT overrated. If you haven’t been using them (gasp!!!) you can use the “Edit Post” feature and go back to revise.

Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

All Bloggers should read this...

Kate Hart is a young adult writer who also blogs. She's got an easy to read and understand guide to citing sources and some thoughts on why that's important when blogging on the post I've linked here. It's useful; trust me. The cherry on top is the sweet infographic that's Harry Potter themed. You can even see how Hart "walks the walk" by citing her content, including images.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Welcome to the Blog Hub!

This blog will serve to connect us all to each other’s AP Lang. & Comp. blogs! Be sure Ms. A. has your blog name and address. Then, watch this spot---the Blog List on the right side of the page--- for your blog to appear. You can come here to find blogs to read, and I'll try to post blogging related tips, topics and comments here as posts.

Feeling Shy?
It's fine to conceal your real name and identifying details if you want some sense of anonymity with your peers at Kennedy High School. (I’ll share this hub address with Dr. Ayers and Mrs. Frye, also.) Now might be a good time to check your blog, including any profile, about me, display name, google+, etc. information that is visible. Revise it if necessary.

Who is this for, anyway?
I'm willing to bet that you've done a lot of writing for school and felt like no on really read it. Just the teacher. Not even the teacher. In AP Lang. & Comp. we talk about the audience as a vital part of the rhetorical triangle. Obviously, to practice writing all year without an audience would be silly now, wouldn't it? Well. With the creation and implementation of the Blog Hub, you now have an audience for your writing. This also means that you are an audience for others. Please do read and use the comment feature to respond to what you read.

Add this address to your Blog List! Happy blogging and reading, y’all! J