Monday, November 30, 2009

should you get a degree? here is what unemployment averages say

The recent unemployment numbers were interesting, and encouraging.

Educational attainment              Sept. 2009  Oct. 2009
Less than a high school diploma         13.7%       14.7%
High school graduates, no college       10.0%      10.2%
Some college or associate degree         8.1%       8.5%
Bachelor's degree and higher                5.0%       4.6%

these figures come from the bureau of labor statistics  

what it says: if you have a bachelors degree or higher as of October, you are part of 4.6% of the population that are unemployed. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Contemporary connections to the Scarlet Letter

Somali woman stoned for adultery

A 20-year-old woman divorcee accused of committing adultery in Somalia has been stoned to death by Islamists in front of a crowd of about 200 people.
A judge working for the militant group al-Shabab said she had had an affair with an unmarried 29-year-old man.
He said she gave birth to a still-born baby and was found guilty of adultery. Her boyfriend was given 100 lashes.
It is thought to be the second time a woman has been stoned to death for adultery by al-Shabab.
The group controls large swathes of southern Somalia where they have imposed a strict interpretation of Islamic law which has been unpopular with many Somalis.
According to reports from a small village near the town of Wajid, 250 miles (400km) north-west of the capital, Mogadishu, the woman was taken to the public grounds where she was buried up to her waist.

Read more. . . . 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exam Questions for Am Lit, Nov. 30, 2009

Here are the exam questions for November 30th.

Make sure you have read the instructions and know how to answer the questions by reading the scoring rubric.

You should have already put together your answers before you come to class -- this is why you are getting them now!

We will be going to  the computer lab so that you can word process them.

Exam questions: LINK

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sonny's Blues

Everything you should know about Sonny's Blues to help  you: LINK

Complete project LINK

Over the next two weeks we will be reading Sonny's Blues

We will be creating a story board.

Here is the full text

Here are Enotes

Parts of interest for AP test:
V:  Imagery

VI:  Themes

Questions for Understanding "Sonny's Blues"

What is meant by the word "blues" in the title?  What are Sonny's blues?

What are the narrator's emotions when he reads the news about Sonny in the newspaper?  How would you describe the relationship between these two brothers?

What is the narrator's occupation?  How is his occupation significant vis-à-vis Sonny's story?

What event in the narrator's life acts as a catalyst to encourage him to contact Sonny in prison? 

Why, according to the narrator, were Sonny and his father estranged from one another? 

What does the narrator's mother believe to be his responsibility to Sonny? 

What is the significance of the scene with the street singers?

Give two different explanations for why Sonny leaves Isabel's family's home while the narrator is in the military. (One explanation would be from Isabel's/narrator's perspective, the other from Sonny's).

What might be some reasons for why the narrator buys Sonny a drink at the end of the story?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

BAV - Piano Lesson

We will finish up this play with a story board.

You can work independently or in a group to create images, quotes for the text, and explanations using literary elements to show:

  • Plot, 
  • Point of View, 
  • Voice, 
  • Character, 
  • Setting, 
  • Tone/Mood, 
  • Theme, 
  • Figurative Language, and Symbolism.
Remember, you will be expressing yourself mainly with imagery here. Use color, shade, tone, and content to tell the story. Remeber there are subtexts and symbolism. Create your pictorial language to tell the story. Each student must have their own reflection explaining each panel. There are a minimum of 8 panels, and each panel must have a summary and important quote so that we have a strong sense of the importance and feeling.

Here is the scoring rubric

Am Lit -- you spoke, I listened.

Individual Learning Plan

When you click on this link, you will have access to your own individual learning plan.

There are still minimum requirements, but you will plan and schedule your time, how you interact with the teacher, as well as products for proof of learning.

I am hoping this provides you with choice, empowerment, and agency.

You may work in groups, or individually.

You may schedule teacher-time as appointments during class.

The class may schedule lectures, examples, yoga, meditation, exam prep, and strategy sessions.

As an independent learner with an ILP, you may choose not to participate in this class-scheduled event.

You will still have a required number of texts, and a quiz for each text, and you will still have an exam each quarter.

The teacher will give you the outline for the exam, and it is still open note, web, and book --still no group test-taking though.

There will be one extra-credit project each quarter at the discretion of the teacher. These will come in the form of a project. The proposed extra credit projects are:
  1. Video game walkthrough and literary analysis
  2. Rhythm and Flow
  3. Grade the News
We will finish the Scarlet Letter this week and you will make decisions on your ILP by Friday.

The quiz for the Scarlet Letter will happen on Friday.

We will no longer be offering a mandatory reading Friday, as you can schedule this by consensus or personal planning. All reading of non-assigned books can now be done during your own time.

I hope you are exctied about this, as I am hopeful that you are ready for this kind of classroom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Enlightenment and Dark Ages

Hawthorne and the Enlightenment

Yesterday in class I spoke on the Dimmesdale as representing Religion, and Chillingsworth as representing science and the Enlightenment in Europe.

What are the characteristics of Dimmesdale, and thus Hawthorne's views on how religion was conducted?

What are the characteristics of Chillingsworth, and thus Hawthorne's views on how Science was conducted?

How does each view the other?

Read this section from pages 84 and 85:

There was a fascination for the minister in the company of the man of science, in whom he recognized an intellectual cultivation of no moderate depth or scope; together with a range and freedom of ideas, that he would have vainly looked for among the members of his own profession. In truth, he was startled, if not shocked, to find this attribute in the physician. Mr. Dimmesdale was a true priest, a true religionist, with the reverential sentiment largely developed, and an order of mind that impelled itself powerfully along the track of a creed, and wore its passage continually deeper with the lapse of time. In no state of society would he have been what is called a man of liberal views; it would always be essential to his peace to feel the pressure of a faith about him, supporting, while it confined him within its iron framework. Not the less, however, though with a tremulous enjoyment, did he feel the occasional relief of looking at the universe through the medium of another kind of intellect than those with which he habitually held converse. It was as if a window were thrown open, admitting a freer atmosphere into the close and stifled study, where his life was wasting itself away, amid lamp-light, or obstructed day-beams, and the musty fragrance, be it sensual or moral, that exhales from books. But the air was too fresh and chill to be long breathed, with comfort. So the minister, and the physician with him, withdrew again within the limits of what their church defined as orthodox.

How does the  Enlightenment eventually influence the British colonies to self-govern, separate church and state, and lead to democracy -- one man one vote?