Daily Breakdown – Semester 2

June 18th, 2018

We go to the library after the inquiry project and go over an E exam so you know your way around when you do the real provincial next week.

Hand in your paper provincial from last week for a completion mark.

June 13th, 2018

I’m going to divide the class into two parts, since this class has different learning strategies.

Today is fully a provincial prep day. You can either:

  1. Go to the library – I will have OK’d it with the librarian, so that you can work at your own pace and finish the provincial by yourself. I will then give you the answer keys for the multiple choice questions. Your writing can be peer edited. If you need, I can look over the quality of the writing on Friday and see if you’re on the right track.
  2. Stay in the class. We will go over the questions in detail and come up with a good outline together. We will analyze the stories together. Then you have a timed writing for each of the questions. If you have any queries, then you can ask right away. I will also give those that remain strategies for completing the test quickly.

The reason I’m doing this is so each and every learner can be accommodated with the test in their own way. The test is a completion mark. You did it? 100%. you didn’t? 0%.

We will do the same thing next week.

Everyone has to be in attendance for the inquiry projects.

June 11th, 2018

Two parts:

Inquiry with Kevin / Robin / Jack on language.

1st part of 9 part provincial review from Monday to next Thursday.

June 7th, 2018

For half the class, I am hoping that we can finish a final creative assignment that we can share. Friday will be all for the final touches you will bring to the short story.

Here is a poem I’d like for you to create into a narrative:

Counting The Stars At Night

Up where the seasons pass,
the sky is filled with autumn.
In this untroubled quietude
I could almost count these autumn-couched stars.But why I cannot now enumerate
those one or two stars in my breast
is because the dawn is breaking soon,
and I have tomorrow night in store,
and because my youth is not yet done.Memory for one star,
love for another star,
sorrow for another star,
longing for another star,
poetry for another star,
and oh! mother for another star.Mother! I try to call each star by some such evocative word, names of school children with whom I shared desks, names of alien girls like Pai, Kyunh, Ok, names of maidens who have already become mothers, names of neighbors who lived in poverty, names of birds and beasts like pigeon, puppy, rabbit, donkey, deer,and names of poets like Francis, Jammes and Reiner Maria Rilke.They are as far away
and intangible as the stars.Mother!
You too are in the distant land of the Manchus.Because I have a secret yearning,
seated on this star-showered bank,
I have written my name thereon
and covered it with earth.
In truth, it is because the insects chirp
all night to grieve over my bashful name.

But spring shall come to my stars after winter’s delay,
greening the turf over the graves,
so this bank that buries my name
shall proudly wear the grass again.


Make sure to share your narrative with others in order to clarify your ideas.

After this, you have until Monday to get everything done. Our first inquiry will be from Robin, Jack and Kevin about language.

June 5th, 2018

Today is another work day in order to get things done. I will be at the front of class helping out individuals with their assignments. Please use this time wisely. Tomorrow at the end of class, everything except the actual short story is due.

Thursday is a good day because of us revisiting some creative prompts in order for you to get into full swing with the short story. Half of the time and all Friday will be yours to finish the story in it’s entirety.

June 4th, 2018

Today you will receive your final short story. Here they are – I changed a couple of them because of some disagreeable parts.

Raymond Carver: Cathedral


Roald Dahl: The Umbrella Man (1st in collection of 5)


Murakami: Town of Cats

Town of Cats-1litlml

Your Reflections should all be finished (1-4) by Wednesday of this week.

Your short story – shadowed from your author – is due on:

Monday, the 11th of June

There are no late acceptances, as I am staggering this date with the other classes in order to keep my own sanity. If you turn it in late, I will only skim the story, reluctantly, and have animosity while I am skimming. You don’t want that.

Also, both inquiry and Provincial Boot Camp start on Monday the 11th of June!

The inquiry list: Inquiry list 12s-v7shld

June 1st, 2018

Today, we will be doing two things:

  1. Finish your third reflection by Monday.
  2. Go through a short story unit.

The first 30 minutes are dedicated to your own time in getting stuff done, including finishing the third story, conferencing with me, and getting extraneous reflections in order.

May 31st, 2018

Not all reflections were done. I’m still missing quite a few. Today is the third story. Please don’t leave everything to the last minute. I don’t want to grade a bunch at the same time.

You can also start on your own short stories. Tomorrow, we’ll have a brainstorming workshop.

Murakami: Yesterday


Carver:  Muscles, Bicycles & Cigarettes


Dahl: (PDF Pg. 138-159) Mr. Botibol


May 30th, 2018

Today, since it is a shortened day of sorts, I will be giving you time to finish the second reflection. I will put all of the stories online so that you have a good resource. Also I have the rubric for the short story that I will hand out today.

Please have both reflections finished by today. There will be no trips to the library as the work can be done in class.

May 24th, 2018

Good job Thomas and Devon. I am very impressed with your spoken word!

Here is exactly how the next 2 weeks are to be shaped:

Short Story Shadow Unit-1efha2v

We start our short story unit today. Your author will be randomly assigned to you. All three are my favorites.

May 22nd, 2018

Your grades for the narratives will be online by Friday.

Today we are going to the computer lab and I’ll be giving you a random narrative prompt. You have the option to look at the one you’ve done already and change it to fit the prompt or to come up with another idea. I’ll come round and tell you the prompt after you’ve sat down and gotten the computer on.

Tomorrow, you’ll have three authors to choose from to emulate their style for your creative piece. These groups will be random, but the three authors I have chosen are:

Raymond Carver

Haruki Murakami

Roald Dahl

The final marks for these authors will be in a 2 part series:

1 paragraph informal journal responses x 4 – independent and discussion based.

1 creative short story that copies the chosen author’s style.

This unit is independent except for every other day when you share your journal responses with others who are reading your story. It should be over in 2 weeks, then that should bring us to the provincial boot-camp.

May 15th, 2018

Thank you for being good for Mr. Amelich today – your task is as follows:
Complete everything you need for the in class write tomorrow. You will be able to complete everything today, but tomorrow, you cannot bring anything to the computer lab. All you need is the prompt you’re writing about. You will have 65 minutes to finish the narrative.
Thursday, we will be using these same narratives (names removed) to do a review on how many people can be on the level for the provincial.
Next week, we will use our new found narrative skills to work on our short story unit.
Here are the links to the packages I have given out to you.
List for Worst to best papers-2bisdgo
Email me if you have questions.

May 8th, 2018

Wisdom: Jeevan, Thrasher, Aly

Death: Shiloh, Lingya, Tian

Language: Kevin, Robin, Jack

Authority: Austin, Jahan, Jason

Innocence: Scarlett, Stephanie

Virtue: Kristina, Diane

Love: Devon, Kelvin, Gracie

Fate: Ashley, AJ, Tyler

Happiness: Lily, Thomas


May 7th, 2018

Our final inquiry discussion is next Monday. Here is the rubric for the final that should be going all through the month of June.

Final Inquiry Project V1-1atfjxe

I’ll have sign up sheets for when you’d like to present. Today, try and find groups and I’ll go over the particulars. This is a very open based project so I am willing to compromise with whatever themes you’d like to explore.

For the rest of the time, I would like for you to have a rough draft of your spoken word finished by the end of this class. I’ll be checking you off so that by Wednesday, we can have the projects go without a hitch and choose the best of class for the wild card next Thursday.

May 2nd, 2018

Today we start our spoken word poetry workshop. Next Wednesday, we will have presentations. Along with Ms. Thomasen’s fantastic collection, I came across this one. So today is about videos, talking of these videos, and coming up with interesting concepts you can explore. I’ll have the handouts, but there’s no online copies.

Let’s have a good unit.

Slam Poetry

May 1st, 2018

*This is not because I was convinced by Jake Hinder.

I want to finish our inquiry on Equality. It’s too important that we leave such a good work left unresolved. I will start with Harrison Bergeron and we will go from there.

Below is the ‘perfect government’ you came up with yesterday:

A Perfect Government-1ugxa5x

Tomorrow, we will be starting (and quickly finishing by next Wednesday) the spoken word unit. Then We will be ready for my personalized short story unit that focuses on a review of synthesis papers / creative writing.

No spelling this week.

April 30th, 2018

IMPORTANT: Your synthesis is due today at 310PM. I’m leaving at 315PM.

Anything late will receive -1 point per day. No excuses at all.

Equality Poem

You declare you see me dimly
through a glass which will not shine,
though I stand before you boldly,
trim in rank and marking time.
You do own to hear me faintly
as a whisper out of range,
while my drums beat out the message
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

You announce my ways are wanton,
that I fly from man to man,
but if I’m just a shadow to you,
could you ever understand ?

We have lived a painful history,
we know the shameful past,
but I keep on marching forward,
and you keep on coming last.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

Take the blinders from your vision,
take the padding from your ears,
and confess you’ve heard me crying,
and admit you’ve seen my tears.

Hear the tempo so compelling,
hear the blood throb in my veins.
Yes, my drums are beating nightly,
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

-Maya Angelou

Please define Equality.

Write down what five things that you want out of a government.

Write down what five things you don’t want out of a government.

I will collect all of your ideas and as a class, we will come up with a government that is perfect. Is everyone happy?

Read this story by Vonnegut: Harrison Bergeron.


Equality is what we strive for, especially in such divided times. We have touched upon this theme a few times throughout the semester. Think about political-correctness, class systems, poverty, and the all mighty power; the power to control and the power to corrupt.

Even though Orwell’s 1984 is a fine example of equality (or the lack of equality), I have a few more pieces to show you.

This is the actual transcript from a re -enactment of Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment. There are also two movies and a novel that I will note here:

Narration Stanford-w80z6o

Das Experiment (2001, Germany)

The Experiment (2013? USA)

The Lucifer Effect – Philip Zimbardo

Also with this theme, I have an important piece, also by Orwell called Animal Farm. There are strong parallels to the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s rule. Not only did I find a copy of the allegory itself, but I found a good website on the parallels. Check them both out.



These are the questions – a more generalized approach:

  1. What is equality in your own words? Can your definition of equality be achieved in this sociopolitical environment of today? (Didn’t think so, but why?)
  2. What famous works / movies / TV programs can you think of that deal with the theme of equality or a lack of equality?
  3. If people can be influenced by their environment (provincial prompt), then how can people be so blind as to follow bad leaders? Do we really know what good leadership is? Do we even need leaders?
    1. The following is a great thesis by a gentleman named A. John Simmons (University of Virginia) on the philosophy of anarchism. It’s a fascinating look at a world without leaders that won’t go to ‘hell in a hand-basket’ as it were.

April 23rd, 2018

Still working on those in class reflections. Wednesday is my own deadline to hand them back.

Movie day! I will hand out a T chart so that you can see some differences between V for Vendetta and 1984.

Here is the provincial style prompt for you:

How is the society in V for Vendetta compare and contrast to the society of 1984?

Sound familiar? For those of you that were here on Friday, you will be well prepared for this synthesis. Those of you that weren’t , I have a handout that I need to give you.

April 18th, 2018

In class final reflection today. We will meet in the class and then go to the computer lab.

April 17th, 2018

Today will be your last day with the book in class. This is also the last day to hand in extraneous assignments if you have to.

I have finished all of the report cards, updated the grades and am ready to go. After this class ends, I will send them out and that will be that.

Tomorrow is the final reflection which will be a major letter grade. Remember to find a question, commit to it and then execute! I am looking forward to these reflections as they show the culmination of the book. I will be using the exact same rubric. You have had two chances to get this thing right, so I expect a lot.

April 16th, 2018

No spelling this week. I’m in the midst of getting things done for your report cards. I will hand out the current grades and what we can do to get things done. Wednesday is the cut off for report cards in the first term.

The majority of the time today will be dedicated to finishing 1984. If you are behind on assignments, I suggest that you use this time for that as well.

Our in class writing for the final reflection has been moved to Wednesday because of the grades that need to be updated. This final reflection will be on the second term grade book, along with the final paper and synthesis practice.

Once grades are in, I will feel a lot better in getting back to the swing of things. Get ready for spoken word after 1984.

April 13th, 2018

I have a wonderful juxtaposition of 2 poems by William Blake that encapsulate a fine line between innocence and experience (and, aptly, his poetry titles were named the same thing).

“The Lamb”
from Songs of InnocenceLittle Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice:
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made theeLittle Lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
 “The Tyger”
from Songs of ExperienceTyger Tyger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes!
On what wings dare he aspire!
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger, Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

The provincial prompt we will be connecting innocence to is as follows:

Our journey into the future begins in the past.

There are two things to consider when thinking about innocence. Does innocence really exist in weathered adults? Can innocence be kept whole throughout a person’s life?

  1. What, in your definition, is innocence and how is it related to your own life experiences?
  2. Why are ‘coming of age’ stories so popular? Can you think of any that you have connected to? (Think movies, TV shows, short stories, novels, plays, etc.)
  3. How can our journeys into the future begin in the past? Can this be connected to innocence as a whole?

April 12th, 2018

Good job with the in class write yesterday. The in class writes are good practice for that provincial looming ahead. I think that with your quick thinking, you can really get through this grade 12 program.

So I give you both today and Monday to work on part three of 1984. Tomorrow will be our inquiry discussion on innocence. I will have a little something like always for you to do while this is going on. Bring something that reflects your own definition / symbol of innocence.

Get this book finished!

April 9th, 2018

There is a continuation of part 2 in 1984 today. Keep those journal questions in mind. You can spread out as you have been doing and read quietly. We will be doing our reflection for part 2 on Wednesday of this week in class.

Then before book 3 (Which should be finished by the following Monday) we will be doing a workshop on synthesis essays for the provincial (Thursday). Your final 1984 paper is going to have the same structure as this format.

Friday, we will have another inquiry presentation.

Next Tuesday, we will have our final in class reflection.

Next Wednesday, we start V for Vendetta.

I will remind you of all these things as the time gets nearer. Basically your main job now is FINISH THAT BOOK! I’ll guide you through the rest.

April 6th, 2018

Arete (Virtue)

This class will be a little different. We are ‘stepping up our game’ if you will. Now that you know more about the style of the class, the teacher, and the units, I want to propose a challenge that is directly related to the government exam.

The government exam includes umbrella theme statements every year. These statements are tied to all three of the pieces that are included. (The poetry, the prose and the non-fiction essay.)

The final part of the exam is the narrative non fiction writing piece. This piece is what the majority of students struggle with – so I will be dedicating more time to it in class while getting you into the frame of mind that is needed for first year humanities college courses.

So – the theme this week will be directly connected to an actual provincial theme. It is your job in writing to connect the two, no matter how unrelated they might seem at first. Critical and quick thinking are tools that are very overlooked with narratives.

Virtue is:  Wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, temperance, justice, & transcendence

Here are three questions to consider:

  1. What is your own view of virtue in modern society? Think about virtue that is a part of socioeconomic and cultural norms (or abnormalities) of today. Also think about current events that contain virtue or vice.
  2. How can virtue be applied to your own life? Would you consider yourself to be virtuous? Be honest with this question.
  3. The important things in life endure over time. How can this be applied to virtue?

April 5th, 2018

Today is a continuation of yesterday’s class. Keep up the good work with reading. I hope that you can be by chapter 5 by the end of the class today.

Please ask me any questions you have. The questions posted on yesterday’s blog are also helpful as guidelines or guideposts for your comprehension and the questions you should be asking yourselves.

Enjoy the day. If you’re missing any work, I suggest that you hand it in soon. Report cards will be written by the end of next week.

April 4th, 2018

Today we begin 1984 Part 2. Here are the discussion questions for all 10 chapters. You have the next two and a half days to get this done.

1984 PART II Discussion Questions-197pi3d

REMEMBER: You don’t have to finish these questions. They are a guide to your own independent reading and your second reflection (Which we will complete in class next Tuesday).

On Wednesday we will have another critical analysis of Orwell’s work and by next Wednesday, the book will be finished and we will watch the movie V for Vendetta – ready for the final synthesis essay work.

I also found a graphic novel that brings into focus a real version of the 1984. It is called Pyongyang – the capital of North Korea. Fascinating. It’s completely optional, but brings forward many ideas we’ve already explored.

I’ll have a cleaner link to it later, but here’s an online resource:


April 3rd, 2018

Spelling words handout first.

I would like to change the game a little bit today (Welcome beck, by the way) and I’d like for us to look to this fantastic criticism on 1984.

1984: Enigmas of power by Irving Howe

I could only find a hard copy of this piece, and scoured the internet with no luck. It is longer, but very accessible, as Howe’s language is quite commonplace.

It is in six sections – I would like for each of you to read silently a section I randomly give you.

Then fill out the answers to this sheet as we will be going over the questions on the board. If need be, then we can spend a couple of days on this:

Critical Response Howe Questions-1s4eql8

This week we will be starting book 2. I will hand back your book one reflections at the end of class today. Your grades are in the computer already.

Book 2 journal questions will be up tomorrow.

March 13th, 2018

Yesterday was a heavy day about a heavy subject.

Today is a catch up day for reading chapter six and seven for 1984. Spread out. If you need to go to another part of the school, please tell me so that I can check on you periodically.

Come to me at any time if you need some help. Really explore the ideas. Wednesday / Thursday, we will explore some of your journal entries. I’ll give you a lecture on some of the big ideas. Open up – really get into it. The more you put into the discussions with both me and each other, the more you can really own this book.

March 12th, 2018

This is going to be a very full class that is split into three sections. I hope that we can get it all completed.

  1. Spelling
  2. Inquiry discussion
  3. Read chapter six in 1984 and answer the questions. (Don’t worry too much as tomorrow will be all about individual work.)

This inquiry discussion is on death. Firstly, let us look at this beautiful poem by Percy Shelly:

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
I will explain it a little bit, but how does it connect to the theme of death? Of timelessness?
Here is a PDF of one of the coolest books about the afterlife.
I will give you each one story to read (with a partner) and you can explain what it means – and if you agree or not with it. Of course these are fictional stories written as meditations, yet their creativity is unparalleled.
think about these three questions:
1. Death and life are each a part of us, like yin and yang. We have to accept this reality. How do we accept that everything we have / know / love will be gone someday? Personally it can be crippling to think of such issues.
2. This question is optional and should be handled carefully. What symbols or images can you connect to death and the afterlife?
3. Also a careful question that we should all listen and respond to with respect: How can religion answer some questions about the ‘great beyond’?

March 8th, 2018

Spelling test today. The rest of the time is yours to finish your journals and read this book.

So here are some dates to remember. We talked about this yesterday-

Today: Read to Book 1 / chapter five

Monday: Read chapter 6 / spelling

Tuesday: Read Chapter 7 / paraphrasing mini lesson

Wednesday: Finish book 1 (Chapter 8)

Thursday: Reflection paper workshop – Documentary / contextual analysis on 1984 Book 1.

Friday – Reflection workshop and hand in of reflection #1.


March 7th, 2018

Now you can take 1984 wherever you go!

The EPUB file:

1984 – Orwell_ George-28kqzb0

The PDF file:


Thank you for doing the survey yesterday. I completely forgot that we had visitors.

Luckily, yesterday was just a reading block, so we will continue that both today and tomorrow. I have some notes I hastily gave you yesterday – these notes are meant to help you through some of the harder ideas of Book 1. I completed them this past semester. Here’s a link:

1984 Model Notes-1tae0st

Next week, we will be talking about synthesis essays and how you can apply the structure to your final synthesis paper at the end of this unit.

Here’s a guide for your first of three reflections:

Reflection workshop (You will do three as a culmination of each book and an organization of your notes.)

Must of you have some really good ideas that we have talked about together. It is time to finish the reflection. Here’s a FAQ:

  1. The piece should be 150-200 words. (One paragraph)
  2. The piece should be in the following:
    1. Summary (2-3 sentences with restatement of question)
    2. analysis (7-9 sentences with personal connection)
    3. Prediction for what’s to come next (2-3 sentences)


March 6th, 2018

This will be a ‘treasure hunt’ of sorts. You have the whole block to really explore the book, today. In that time, I would like your opinions on these topics I posted last week. Since this is a journal entry, I would like for you to write down your responses.

If you can read through chapter three today, that would be optimal.

Here are the prompts:

  • Winston’s family history
  • Winston’s shadowy memories of the past – including when the war first started
  • The party denial of the change in the official enemy. Eurasia vs. Eastasia
  • Party slogan: Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
  • Doublespeak (and double think)
  • No way of knowing how long the party has been in control because they control history.
  • Falsifying history for one’s own benefit.

If we have time, we can talk about it at the end of class.

March 5th, 2018

Here’s a short piece by one of my favorite authors in the world. We’ll read it together:

Haruki Murakami-108dsyb

Get ready to answer these questions in your small groups. I will come around.

  • What is your definition of love? Are there different kinds of love like there are different kinds of needs?
  • What are some famous works of art (music, painting, stories, etc.) regarding love? HINT: there are many.
  • Is romantic love a form of madness? Is the love of God the purest form of love there is?
  1. A particular beautiful body.  This is the starting point, when love, which by definition is a desire for something we don’t have, is first aroused by the sight of individual beauty.
  2. All beautiful bodies.  According to standard Platonic doctrine, all beautiful bodies share something in common, something the lover eventually comes to recognize. When he does recognize this, he moves beyond a passion for any particular body.
  3. Beautiful souls.  Next, the lover comes to realize that spiritual and moral beauty matters much more than physical beauty.  So he will now yearn for the sort of interaction with noble characters that will help him become a better person.
  4. Beautiful laws and institutions. These are created by good people (beautiful souls) and are the conditions which foster moral beauty.
  5. The beauty of knowledge.  The lover turns his attention to all kinds of knowledge, but particularly, in the end to philosophical understanding.  (Although the reason for this turn isn’t stated, it is presumably because philosophical wisdom is what underpins good laws and institutions.)
  6. Beauty itself–that is, the Form of the Beautiful.  This is described as “an everlasting loveliness which neither comes nor goes, which neither flowers nor fades.” It is the very essence of beauty, “subsisting of itself and by itself in an eternal oneness.”  And every particular beautiful thing is beautiful because of its connection to this Form.   The lover who has ascended the ladder apprehends the Form of Beauty in a kind of vision or revelation, not through words or in the way that other sorts of more ordinary knowledge are known.

This is my personal favorite Plato piece on love: (It is 50 pages- only the strong will survive this dialogue, I caution you.)


March 2nd, 2018

Journal Entry #2: What is thought-crime to you? To Winston? How can someone be guilty of this?

“At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.”

― Ayn Rand, Anthem

Today we have two things I’d like to accomplish (that I wanted to do  yesterday).

Things to consider:

  1. Winston’s family history
  2. Winston’s shadowy memories of the past – including when the war first started
  3. The party denial of the change in the official enemy. Eurasia vs. Eastasia
  4. Party slogan: Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
  5. Doublespeak (and double think)
  6. No way of knowing how long the party has been in control because they control history.
  7. Falsifying history for one’s own benefit – example: They claim to have invented aeroplanes.

February 28th, 2018

Info Collection Here

“If we must withhold all ribbing in the name of protecting everyone’s feelings, then we truly are a toothless society. We will reach what I call “the lowest common denominator of butthurt.”

― George Takei, Oh Myyy! (There Goes the Internet): Life, the Internet and Everything

We will read and analyze chapter one of book one as the schedule on your syllabus and talk about possible themes that are emerging. Don’t worry about synthesis essay structure yet, as I will be going very in depth with that after we finish our spoken word unit. Let’s have a great day.

  1. What do we learn about the character Winston?
  2. Describe the society Winston lives in.
  3. Who are the thought police and what is their role in society?
  4. What is your response to Winston’s first diary entry?
  5. Describe the reactions of the people at Winston’s workplace during the 2 minutes hate. What is the focus of Winston’s own hatred?

February 27th, 2018

Please take this following quote in an intellectual way! Oscar Wilde was a very playful individual.

“My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals.”

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray


Listen to this.  I’ll lecture for a little while. Remember this question?

What is a dystopia and how is learning about them such a relevant part of our culture today? What are examples of dystopias?

Look at this 1984 pre-reading-209dqa9

Let’s also look at the syllabus:

1984 Syllabus B-2hiq5ic

Tomorrow we’ll start the novel. NOW – There aren’t enough books in the office, so I have a PDF file. Also it’s on sale now at Indigo. There are many options for reading this book. Let’s get everything sorted out today.

February 26th, 2018 – A Day of Q&A

“I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamour; it’s based on femininity.”

-Marilyn Monroe

  1.   What is the difference between being beautiful and being sexy?
  2.   Is there a different version of beauty for different cultures?      How about in a globalized first world society?
  3. What is your definition of beauty?

We will go over the vocabulary for the week and then we’ll jump into the inquiry discussion for the day.

Here’s the topic: WISDOM

Some questions to consider:

  1. What does wisdom mean to you? How is it similar to smartness? Different?
  2. Can wisdom really reflect a person’s character in this instant gratification style society?
  3. Who is a hero to you? What have they taught you?

I have a handout of a poem I’d like you to connect to the theme of wisdom. It’s a beautiful poem – one of my favorites.

Always keep this in mind: What physical symbol can you connect to wisdom?

Tomorrow – get ready for a little pre-reading on 1984. Also a little homework for you: Answer this question for tomorrow.

What is a dystopia and how is learning about them such a relevant part of our culture today? What are examples of dystopias?

February 20th, 2018

“Most everything you know about me is nothing more than memories. The light of the morning decomposes everything.”

-HM, A Wild Sheep Chase

Today you will be peer reviewers. I will look at your 10 sentence paragraphs and will know that (most of) you have a general idea of what to look for in a 4-5 paper, you can confidently assess others.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Get into groups of three to five
  2. Sort through the papers in the package. Each is labeled with an alphabetical letter (A,B,C,D,E etc.)
  3. Look at the rubric we’ve gone over together in class.
  4. Assign each of these papers a grade, but you have to be ready to tell me why you gave the ‘students’ the grade you did.
  5. We will look over the grades as a class then make our own rubric based on your evidence.

Get ready for tomorrow, as you will be answering the same question in an ‘in class write’. (This is to solidify your knowledge in a literary paragraph. It is a minor letter grade. The major letter grade assignment will also be from a random provincial.)

A Rubric will be finalized tomorrow with your help.

February 16th, 2018

Vocabulary test on Lesson 2.

Peer review day and if there’s time, a discussion on some of the better papers – We can also make a rubric together on what makes a ‘good’ literary paragraph.

Monday will be an inquiry discussion on language.

Tuesday will be another peer review on actual literary paragraphs.

Wednesday will be a class provincial review for literary paragraphs.

Thursday will be an in class write in the computer lab. (Our rubric will be finished by this time.) Don’t miss this day!!

February 15th, 2018

Let’s review those theme statements that you came up with yesterday.

Now you have the rest of the class to write your paper which will be peer edited on Friday. Keep in mind everything I lectured about regarding theme statements. We will also review what a 10 sentence ‘literary paragraph’ is all about – and how easy it is if you follow the structure.

Don’t finish today? Do it tonight and bring it in to tomorrow’s class. IMPORTANT: Don’t come empty handed on Friday as our whole class depends upon your own individual work.

February 14th, 2018

Handout on theme statements. Read individually, but then have a 2 sentence takeaway we will write down as a collective on the board together.

Theme statement check (Handout)

Write your own theme statement from “Manamana” keeping in mind this question:

The identical puppets are interrupted by the shaggy headed puppet. What effect does the reaction of the twins have on the shaggy headed puppet?

The writer of “Manamana” develops a theme through this short skit. Look over the facial expressions and the body gestures of the twins, and consider the effects they have on the shaggy-headed puppet. Or, consider the reverse situation. What might a theme of this skit be? (Come up with a few. You will be writing a rough draft tomorrow that will be peer edited on Friday.)

February 13th, 2018

Today we will meet in the computer lab for writing out the final paper for your lenses assignment. This is a good time to check with me to see if you’re going in the right direction. Also I will hand out the spelling words for the week as well.

Hope you had a good weekend!

February 6th, 2018

“Dreams are shores where the ocean of spirit meets the land of matter. Dreams are beaches where the yet-to-be, the once-were, the will-never-be may walk a while with the still-are.”

-David Mitchell, Number9Dream

Today, We’ll begin our movie and lens view. Yesterday’s IDENTITY discussion was too heavily reliant on my guidance. I hope that through this semester, I will talk less and you will all talk more. Next Friday will be our second discussion.

Here is the lens printout: Introduction to Literary Theory Grid-xz7gl6

So we begin. On Thursday, I hope that we can finish our lenses unit with the final in class write on the movie. I will help you, of course.

February 5th, 2018

“Some said my life was a lie, but I always knew it to be the truth; for like the truth, it was rarely pure and never simple.”

-Oscar Wilde

First order of business: We will go over the words for the week. These words might be a little bit odd, but I’m sure there is at least one you have heard of before. All of these are from a book, so there are no online copies. Please keep them safe.

2. Now it is time for our discussion on identity.

Here are the three questions you can discuss with your group of 3-4:

Let’s come up with a collective definition on what identity is. Now answer these three questions:

  1. How is identity (as a lens) shown in literature?
  2. How does your own definition of identity link to what you brought to class?
  3. What can you bring to the table about personal identity?

Let’s get the best ideas out here on the board. I have created a word document for this class that I will post closer to the inquiry projects near the end of the semester.

February 2nd, 2018

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain… You won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.”

-HM, Kafka on the Shore

Today will be a more challenging day, as everything you’ve learned so far will come down to an oral formulaic storytelling fashion.

You will share your story book with some other person / people. Tell them the plot of the story and a possible lens in which they can appreciate the story’s depth. Use language that is familiar to you from the last few days.

  1. This story is primarily concerning——————–
  2. The lens that fits this story is ————— because of the following examples: ————-, ——————, ——————.
  3. Do you (the listener) have any other lens in which this story can be appreciated? ———————————————

We will share as a class once you have familiarized yourself with the text you’ve brought in.

January 31st, 2018 / February 1st, 2018

Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?

-Haruki Murakami, The Wind Up Bird Chronicle

Lenses in fairy tales

List of Fairy Tales-1b0nkt5

Bring in fairy tale – talk about that (Cinderella, Snow White, lady and the tramp, etc.)

January 30th, 2018

I understand now that boundaries between noise and sound are conventions waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention if only one can first conceive of doing so.

-David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Welcome to class. The first unit will be the same as the 11’s.

Here is the syllabus and classroom expectations:

2017 Grade 12 syllabus-19hkkhb

Here are some forms I would like for you to fill out. The link is as follows:

Click HERE

Now listen  to me talk about our first unit:


Now, things might get a little strange right away, but I’d like for you to take notes on this video to reflect on the content. I’ll hand out paper.

a. Structuralism: the significance of the changing balance between text and image and its relationship to an interpretation of the story as a fantasy – a figment of Max’s imagination, oppositions.
b. Feminism: the role of the mother (and the absence of the father), the balance of power between mother and son, the role Max adopts with the ‘wild things’, the representation of the ‘wild things’ as gendered or genderless.
c. Postcolonial: the role Max adopts with the ‘wild things’, his colonising – and subsequent desertion – of the creatures, the behaviour of the ‘wild things’, the colour symbolism of Max’s clothing.
d. Psychoanalytic: what the ‘wild things’ might represent, Max’s relationship with his mother, the absence of the father, dream/reality distinctions, sublimation of desires into fantasy.

Go home and bring back a fairy tale. This is needed for tomorrow.

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