​​Friday, May 19

Thursday, May 18
Complete writing project due!

Wednesday, May 17
Final Exam for seniors​

Tuesday, May 16

Monday, May 15
Juniors periods 3,5,6​
Last day to turn in written pages
No exceptions​! All pages returned to juniors for compilation.

Friday, May 12

Thursday, May 11
Seniors periods 1 & 2
Last day to turn in written pages
No exceptions!
​​​All pages returned to seniors for book compilations.

Wednesday, May 10
AP Lang & Comp Exam

Tuesday, May 9
Monday, May 8
CA5 Test

Friday, May 5
Thursday, May 4
Wednesday, May 3
Tuesday, May 2
Monday, May 1
Friday, April 28
Thursday, April 27
Wednesday, April 26
Tuesday, April 25

AP Practice Exam FREE LUNCH!

Monday, April 24

Friday, April 21

Thursday, April 20

Wednesday, April 19
Tuesday, April 18

Monday, April 17

Friday, April 14

Thursday, April 13

Wednesday, April 12

Tuesday, April 11​

Monday, April 10


Friday, March 31

Thursday, March 30
CA3 for AP​

Tuesday, April 3, 2017​​

​​Thursday, March 31, 2017

Wednesday, March 29
Tuesday, March 28

Monday, March 27

Friday, March 24

Thursday, March 23


Wednesday, March 22

Monday, March 20 Scroll the Bridge for Monday, March 20th insights

Chuck Berry: a legacy

Hey seniors: Have you completed the noel and aced all three opportunities to display your understanding of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time? Read it here and visit the RE-assessment Center in E167.

​​​​​Monday, March 20 continued

​​Writing Prompt # 8:

​​​And let's look forward as well: Second rule of writing: Know your audience. Who are you writing to? The suggestion is that we write to that person we wll be in three to four year. Well, who is that person. How old is your audiece? What is that person doing? Working? Going to school? A parent? What do you hope for that person and what questions might you have for this future-you-audience?

NUMBER 9!​​​​​

​​​​Suggest to the students they watch the movie, Joy. (Click here for a preview.) Very empowering for any aspiring American, particularly for women. I watched this film with my family and was very happy for my son to be learning the story behind the struggles and su​​ccesses of others. He watched it because it's a great film. 

​​​And if not that film, the another which offers us a perspective of strong women.​​

Hidden Figures

The Help​​​​

What is the only thing that will expand ten-fold by adding nothing to it?

Prompt # 10​

Your turn: What do you want to write about?
Name your theme
​Your topic
Stance,  (position) Characterization, Attitude,
Your ​tale to tell ​​​​

i.e. Write a one-page short story (fiction) base upon the above literary characteristics by first identifying each of the elements, then using these as the structure of your story​​

It's half-time. ​​

​​​Friday, March 17, 2017

So we're going to watch a documentary today, one from the list, one related thematically to the book we are reading​​, get started on on anyway, and maybe the one we watch might be the one you write your two pages on, you'll have to finish watching it later, but that's easy to do, ain't it?

Click here for easy to do​​

​It can be that simple. And the
skin colors: How many different skin colors do we have in this classroom?  Will somebody please take a close photograph of the underside of the forearm somewhere near the elbow where there is a lesser likelihood of hair​, then juxtapose the twenty-some images as an arrangement of colors?

And  if anyone would like to actually complete the 25 images project, full credit will still be given to yours, additional rewards will be distributed should more people complete the project as well.

​​​​As for the film, it might not be the one above, it could be again easy to do

Click here for again easy to do

Sticking with our theme.  Keep your eye on the theme while you journey through the film, the book, your writing.  You can catch the author's purpose if you fully acknowledge the film's intent. And feel what the filmaker, author, you are saying, feel how that intent is being impressed upon or within you, that is the tone of the piece. ​​​​​​

It's usually the ones that need it the most ​​​who show the least interest.

What are you looking at inside that phone that has such a pull on you that you appear not to have the slightest interest in your neighbors about you or the Academy Award Film playing just beyond that phone. This here, that explosion, those deaths, that's why King marched, 

What is inside that phone that ​​steals you away from the rest of us?

​So what is that which spellbounds you, hypnotizes you, drugs you. Is that phone stealing your will, destroying your curiosity for anything other that where Google or YouTube suggests? Then I don't know you.

So write down where you have been while your consciousness has been absorbed by your phone screen. What are the sights? What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What are you typing? PLease, help us out. Most of thes documentaries are generated by a lot of pain, so I too would love to find a hole to crawl into so as to not have to deal with, well, anything at all. So please tell us where you have been while the rest of us our trying to bring understanding into our lives.

​​​​Does the student in the back row suggest that the tone might be  a tad sardonic?

As for the rest of us, let's fill the page with ideas about your ideas about this unit, this book we've just begun; and tell the you you hope to be a little about yourself.  What's the good and the bad about you that you will be carrying into your future?

What are you bringing to Your Future Table?​​

So we'll read chapter two on Monday.  A lot of you have some serious work to do if....
And don't be coming to me for help. I'm retired. Now excuse me, I'd like to go on watching this here documentary.

Click here for this here documentary.​​

Thursday, March 16, 2017

So now our teacher has quit teaching. He said that from now on he is in there learning with the rest of us.
"This is great,: he told us. "I get to come in here every day and look at these faces and have discussions about something that matters.
What is racism?
"Do you know how lucky I am to have the opportunity, the luxury, to consider the matter, and have a lot of deep thinkers in the room with me learning to express themselves, their stories, maybe their secrets? There's real power in that."

So what I once paid to do--I now get paid to do: hang around a bunch of open-minded and nice people and talk about important stuff.
What does Black Lives Matter have to do with Jim Crow/ And what's that got to do with slavery? And what's all that got to do with me, especially if I ain't black?

Are we speaking of us
or them?

And when I am engaged in heartfelt conversations like the ones Blood on the Root is bringing about,
how else could I make my life any more meaningful?
And I get paid for it.
I wish you the same.​​​​​

So follow the first rule of writing: be honest about what you put down on that page; that means nothing else but putting down what pops in​​, but that you mean it, that it has more purpose than just to fill the page.  You  can edit later; you have to catch the fish before you cut it up.
And if you want to have that life you always dreamed of, pick an age--not to far from the here and now--but an age when you can imagine that dream for yourself beginning to appear. Let's write to that person. That person you hope to be.  That is your audience.

Now we have established the first two rules of writing. Be honest, which means, again, throwing down whatever ideas want their say, and knowing your audience, who now we know is the you you hope to be one day.

That is one complicated sentence. We caught the fish; go ahead and slice it up if you like, I'm moving on.

SIDENOTE: I had a student want to write the paper on a documentary not on the Academy Awards ​​​​​list, and protested when I said it must be from the list. (Let's just call it quality control.)  He wanted to write his paper on the film, Citizen Kane. He is disappointed.  I hope he scrolls through that list of Academy Award Documentaries; he will be very pleased when he views the mid-nineties. It works like that. Look around, explore. Here's the link

Academy Award Documentaries​​

​​​​​​​​​Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dear Aunt Agnes,
Is it okay or even effective for me to discipline my child with corporeal punishment such as a whipping?
​Please click here to read the attached article from the New York Times.  Use this article to guide your writing for a single page of your book. 

Click here to get more of our special paper!

​​Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I cannot teach you anything.  You have to learn it.

Back in my day, all of the information I could get while in the classroom were the books laying in proximity and what my teacher told me​. That amounted to very little information, most of which wasn't interesting.

Today, any string of words typed into the search bar will get a hundred million responses in half a second. Who's the teacher now?

So don't expect me to teach you​.

Now that we have established the first rule of writing, that of being Honest, i.e. identifying the source
(Did anyone else notice that i.e. and wonder what it meant? "I've seen i.e. before, that and e.g. what does e.g. mean? And now I have a hundred and ten million answers a couple of finger-clicks away and that's still too much trouble.")

And being Honest is acknowledging each of the many perspectives one can become aware of on any particular topic. What do I think? (subjective, i.e. opinion, which includes that upon which  I base my opinion, i.e. ethos); What do I know? (objective, i.e. fact, logos); How do I feel about this topic? (emotions, pathos).

​​What questions arise? Especially those, pay attention to your own questions.  That's your Curiosity.

Then examine first the subjective in light of the facts​; and examine feelings about the topic in light of the facts. 

You don't need to know a lot to write well, but you do have to be open and honest with all parts of yourself.

And that is why I am writing this. Personally, I have always been stuck on being unable to identify my audience. I spent hours back in the day at some bookstore ​​​​​or library looking up the names of publishing agents, looking for somebody to look at my writing and sell it to the world.

I never found my audience.

Because I was not honest.

I was lying about my ethos, and that ethos told me that my audience should be the whole world because that would make me very very happy. So when I wrote stories back then I wrote stories like I thought they wanted me to write so they would sell my stories to the whole world. 

​​So he wrote
He wrote poorly (What is the allusion here and why is it referenced?)

So why write if nobody else cares?​​

To make sense of the madness​
To find meaning I can accept
To find my way

And so I went back to that audience, my own self, and this time listened to and acknowledged each of those perspectives inside of me and I wrote them down.
I made sense of the madness
I am discovering a more meaningful life
I am still on my way

That is why you now have The Read and Write about an Academy Award Documentary and Tell Us about It Project. You don't need me to teach you.  Remember- I can give you only one answer, maybe, but that Web will spit up a hundred and ten million answers in half a second.
How do we figure out which ones to accept?​​​​​​ ​​

That is something you will have to learn.
Start by writing down what you learn, and from each of your perspectives....

SIDENOTE: For third, fifth and sixth hour.  We will ​​be having the CA2 test on Monday. We have covered three of the essays. Two more essays--with their explanations--are posted online under AP Corner/CA2.  In light of not teach/learn dynamic, we will not be covering those essays in class. It is up to you to read the essays online and learn he answers by way of their explanations. 

In class, we wlll be reading Blood at the Root. I will get us started each day with the reading, then leave time for you to continue reading silently while writing down ideas, questions, opinions, i.e.sprung from the many parts of your being.

These are the papers that will make up your book, which accounts for most of your grade. more significantly, 
What you got to say for yourself? ​

​​​​​Monday, March 13, 2017

If EVERYBODY IN CLASS sends in a proper voice recording BEFORE Spring Break, it will be PARTY-TIME! The week before break.
Third hour
Atah will do voice recordings for a David Blaine 12 dollar deck of cards
Athenas will do the Independent reading list

Fifth hour
Noelia will do the voice recordings. (through Dropbox)
Ari will do the independent reading list
Sixth hour

​​Friday, March 10, 2017

​​Yes, I suppose I do size up my audience on a regular basis, and in school we are told how to write.

Now we are being asked what do we think; what do we know; what do we feel; what have we experienced; and how do any of those relate to what have I learned?

That requirement asks me to get honest.

The first rule of writing is to get honest.

And to be honest means not to judge. To judge is to hold any of the above questions up to the light of some preconception, then a determination is to be made and now the mind is pondering a whole ‘nother notion than the original thought. What do I think, feel, know, and experience? Then, after holding the original idea up to some other notion I know you got from we don’t know where, a notion that judges and re-directs the idea, and is the real determiner of who we are because it is that judge who will plot my actions.

​​so articulate that experience as well....

Just stay honest. If ya don’t want to write this down, write down the words that express the idea that you don’t want to write this down and the reasons why. If it's cause, "This is stupid", say so and explain why it’s stupid, then come up with what you wanna write about.

​​​​IDEA for third project.
​Today you showed them how you find great movies and great documentaries, terrific lesson, now one of the projects will be this:

Go find one of the Academy Award nominated best documentary. We have been admiring the curiosity of these writers like Patrick Phillips who are so curious and so dedicated as to dig so deeply into a subject and then articulate their findings so beautifully, whether it be through book, sound or film.

These people did all the digging for us
Then came the Internet
Now, most all of the world’s greatest films are available instantaneously with a few clicks.
With subtitles
And the films are offered up like a menu on Wikipedia. Hey, maybe not deep research, Internet snobs, but it’s a great starting point, and I reason like many, I usually do not have the curiosity on any one particular topic to go much beyond Wikipedia to learn more unless there's a promise of some good pictures.

And so the assignment is to scroll through the list of Academy Award nominated documentaries and select one to watch.
Then watch the film, and while or afterwards, fill the front and back of one of the lined –papers with your response. And while doing so, identify the source of your response. Are you thinking this? Is it something you know, or is it a feeling or experience?
Identifying one of the above as your source will keep you honest in your writing.

A few hints
What’s the name of your documentary? What year was it made? Why did you select this one? What’s it about?
Then as you watch the film, pay attention to what ideas or images really capture you, like you want to tell somebody about what you are witnessing, (Sub-titles really help; I use 'em all the time). Write down what really captured your attention, (Or even a , that's interesting" or a "I didn't know that." Share those interesting ideas with your reader.

​​And if you have any preconceptions about what you are watching, write those down as well, and if you get bored, say so and tell us what’s going on, or maybe just pick out another documentary and give it another shot.

(The lined-paper on which you must hand-write these ideas is available here.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

This note is for the AP students: So study those essays with their explanations. Train your eyes to recognize what you are looking for.
Stay with the question and the explanation until you can explain how it works. CA3 test (in two weeks) will include writing. You will be writing the explanations as to why each is the correct answer because if you can do that six times on your rhetorical analysis essay, you will have written an excellent paper.
So follow the explanation all the way till it’s yours.

So yesterday it was write about what is racism and today the teacher is wondering, "Listen," he tells them, "I just finished watching Lincoln on that 123 site. I watched the whole thing with sub titles, it really makes it easier, for me anyway, to catch all of the dialogue, I also sat back satisfied that the thirteenth amendment had passed, and it piqued my curiosity.

So the teacher went on, "I am white. I look at the history of this country and all those guys are white, and for the most part my family came from where their families came from, so all those white guys from the past I can somehow relate to, I can relate to the history here.
Can you? Is this your history too? And your future, are your possibilities as numerous as people of other colors of skin? Is it a concern at all? At heart, are we prejudice free but for a few knuckleheads from time to time? ​​​
It was shortly after that that they stormed into the classroom.
All that was left were their words.
​What did they write?​​

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Remember: you are the writer. You are in control. You manipulate the readers' perspectives with your writing. So go for the full effect.
When responding to an idea, a question, respond through the various parts of yourself
What do you think of the idea and why?
What does the idea feel like to you?
What do you already know about the idea?
What else would you like to know about the idea?
What happens if the idea is real?
What are you talking about?
Dig it


​​Some of you in class today were here yesterday and turned in either no writing or only a little. So, if you would, fill the page today with the reasons why you would not write anything yesterday. I would like to understand where you are coming from.

Why this book?
Because in writing, it all depends on the structure, if you are rambling, it won’t be rambling if you lay out a structure beforehand, same words, but structured.It will help us structure our minds to better understand this very complex social construct.

And because this book will teach us how to read better. It will introduce us to beautiful writing. The storyline will take us deep into a history where right now, this being a relatively new book, only very few people in the world know about.

Look online to see how many books have been sold.
And while we are at Amazon, look at these other books they are recommending.

Ain't this amazing? The bookstore is brought to us right here in the classroom. I'll betcha just about every book that's available for sale from anywhere in the world we could get right here right now, almost instantaneously, most often for less cost than a happy meal.

​​That is as much a miracle as yesterday's our asking Google, "What is racism?" and getting a hundred and ten MILLION! answers in half a second. That is definitely faster than Jesus speed (Who's been trying to get through the Message of Peace for over two thousand years,so....)

Thing is, with those a hundred and ten million answers in a half second, I only look at the top two, so who is it feeding me this pecking order? How do I know they are legit? That answer I was looking for used to come from the guy with his picture on the back or at the top of the page if you’re reading a newspaper
And ya knew where that newspaper came from too, we even knew the guys mostly who were making all the decisions. Nowadays, it's Earl
I am symbolic, I live in the audio, (Thus URL is understood Earl) I am of the second dementia
Who is it, hon?
Some whack job who says he’s from outer space, should I let him in?
My goodness yes, come in PHP, how are you?
Fine, fine, smells nice in here, lovely home
Why thank you, what can we get you?
Some tea would be great, please, a touch of black with a lingering chamolmile
And so it is
How do you do, sir
And so we are here. Tuning Fork resonates, what a darling sensation
So get into reading the book, and responding to yourself reading.

Psst: tell em to watch movies on 123 with the subtitles, it really helps in understanding the movie. And watch Amistad, and Lincoln, these are great movies about slavery and the law.

IDEA! Make copies of the chapters for each student, what it loses in aesthetics it can gain in practicality, read with pen in hand, make it fun, circle words you like, underline phrases you like, use a highlighter,
Use it like one of those kids’ placemats in the restaurant
IDEA! Get kids placemats for the classroom
IDEA! Make kids placemats

Who wants to make a placemat design for this book? Make a word search, a jumble, crossword puzzle, jokes, whatever. Design one of these and BAM you’re done, that and your voice recording, be here every day to write, fill the page and that’s a five oh, baby.

​​Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What is racism?

Why are we reading this book?
Remember, standing on the bridge in pursuit of my dreams affords me the opportunity to look away from the bridge, into the water, where those who cannot pursue their dreams are adrift
The names in this book. Those are real people, this happened and because this guy, Patrick Phillips,
Go to the author’s website
look at that list of accomplishments.
Who are these people?
Whoever they are, I thank them. This guy went to incredible lengths to honor the lives of these otherwise forgotten people who suffered a hell
And so it is to learn about them, the backstory of racism,
And Patrick Phillips puts it all together in a beautiful manner, I look at his website and now I see why I thought the writing so beautiful. It is because he is first a poet.
And a translator?
How do people learn so much? Are they just born that way? What makes them so focused and determined?
How can I get--if not there--at least in that direction, focused, concentrated and committed.
Do I have the same opportunities as Patrick Phillips?​​

These are questions we can respond to today. Fill the front page for full credit and leave it here for a grade. Again, your writing will be the primary grade throughout our reading this book.
Show that debate scene in Lincoln

​​​Monday, March 6, 2017

​Hey, I want to show you the thought processes that are involved in really enjoying a book. We are reading this book because I read the Introduction and first chapter and knew I had my hands on a marvelous journey, adventurous, poetic, and factual. And I thought, what do I have to offer as a teacher? My love for reading. Having many times expressed my love for a certain book some time back, I now have the opportunity to experience that joy right along with my students, reading the next chapter only the night before we read it in class, the delight still fresh and questions still rising.

So this one is Our Literary Journey​​

​​​Blood at the Root by Patrick Phillips
Found it at the library
​read it together
What makes a racist? Theme based rest of the year
Show them Breitbart show them where Trump got his news

Talk about white supremacy
Read the book together,
Lead them through it
What makes a racist?
Their grade will depend on their journal, your grade will depend on how much you write each particular day.
We will read together, we will write together, we will learn together
And 4 projects are still due. The first was anything goes, this one though must have a theme addressing skin color and the joys and hurts of having a … selection?
Have fun with it. Watch this video chase/pryor word association snl from 77
​ (Chase/Pryor SNL)

Blood at the Root
Introduce it
I read about 8 pages in ten minutes.
There are 250 pages in the book.
How long will it take me to read this book?
About 300 minutes or five hours
No more like 6 weeks
Explore themes along the way
What questions arise while I read?
What connections to my life?
Read the introduction, look at the pictures, ask questions
Get curious
What happened?
What’s that got to do with me?
So we’ll keep a journal chronicling those ideas

I only write intently about something I really care about.
What questions arise in your mind? Those are the questions to care about
Respond to those questions, or others you hear about the room that resonates with you.
What does it mean to resonate?
We have a problem,
We have a limited vocabulary
That makes it more difficult to write
We need to expand our vocabularies so we can more easily and more clearly express our thoughts
We develop vocabulary by reading
So by reading I get the tools to write
And the ideas to write about
What is racism?
How do people get to be that way?

One of the projects must be this: Record yourself reading two pages from the book, and while reading or afterwards, ask two questions in response to what you are reading, just like we do in class.
Send that recording in for use in class, no mention of your name on the recording, only in the gradebook.
That is the third project.

Project One:Anything goes​​

Project Two:Two pages of voice-recording

Project 3: Two pages of hand-written response to Academy Award documentary

Project 4: Your complete book​​​

20 hand-written pages
written on our special paper
derived from the adjacent class prompts​​​​:
1. What is racism?

2. Do I feel part of the U.S.A.?Do I like reading?Response to reading the Introduction of BATR

3. Answer Aunt Agnes

4. Respond to chapter one reading from BOTR​​​

5/6. Two-page response to a documentary​​​

7. Farewell to childhood

​​8. Identifying Future-You
see Notes: Monday, March 20​

9. A woman in film 
see Notes: Monday, March 20​

10. Your tale to tell
see Notes: Monday, March 20​

11. Let's respond to a second chapter from BOTR

12. Racial-relations in the movies

13​​​​.​​​​-​​20. Stay curious​​ and let's keep  reading  

13. What is your relationship with the police?​​           

​​14. Where are you going? What do you see? Click here to find out!

15. Why am I not writing? Click here to find out why!

16.  So Whatcha readin'? Click here to see!

17. A Topic of Your Choice!​​  ​​​​
We are on our Bridge of American Dreams
First we built the bridge
Now we realize the dream​
Click on the dog to read the book