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Wednesday, August 24

August 24, 2016

Welcome back!

Students enrolled in workshop: please make sure you’re signed up for WordPress and bring your information on Friday!

Survey: Fiction: Today you got a little introduction to our space. We talked about printing (and are sure to again), and did a little Q&A. We went over the syllabus, which can be found here: Fiction 8.24.16 – Syllabus.

Three things for Monday, August 29:

  1. Get the permission slip attached to your syllabus signed. This needs to be signed by a parent/guardian before I can give you the textbook, which you will actually be using next week.
  2. Bring a spiral-bound notebook dedicated to this class. If you have trouble acquiring one, let me know.
  3. Complete the Opening Assessment: Fiction 8.24.16 – Opening Assessment. This is a 20-question “test.” Some of the questions are serious, others are… not. Some questions will need complete-sentence answers. This is actually quite important – this assessment is the first chance for me to get to know you and your voice, so take advantage of the opportunity to make a good/interesting/memorable impression.

If you want a copy of “Nova…”

June 10, 2016

…then just email me — — and I’ll send you an MP3.

I had a lot of fun working on that song with all of you guys and Mr. Cageao; it was a great birthday present, to go along with Miss Denny’s delicious cake and the Kendall Ree version of “Happy Birthday.”

It’s also great that the last time we were all together, we made something. I know the song is pretty lighthearted, but the serious part is that even when you’re having fun, take it seriously, and cool things can result!

Now, we just need a name for this band…


Week of June 6-10

June 8, 2016

Because it’s a fairly nontraditional week, here’s an update on what we’ve done and what remains.

Poetry Workshop: We finished with a final meeting Wednesday, workshopping our last four revisions. I sincerely appreciate the spirited discussions all semester, especially since I know poetry was the not the first calling of everyone in this workshop. Nice work.

Fiction Workshop: We are done. Final grades are in Powerschool. Let me know if there’s an issue.

Why We Think: Handed back finals (unless you’re a senior; I’ll give you yours Saturday) and briefly reviewed the Arthur Leff essay that was part of the final. Across the board, the grades were good and I hope at least some of this stuff sticks with you — thanks for a very entertaining class!

Book History: We are done. Tests were handed back on Tuesday; if you were absent Tuesday and want yours, you might want to stop in to grab it. Grades in Powerschool are final – if you see an issue, let me know.

Cultural Lit: The finals are graded and in Powerschool. (The only ones I haven’t given back are seniors’.)

If you want to retake the final, you must do it tomorrow or Friday. It’s your call. Here is the Cultural Literacy final exam review June 2016

BatCat: Will we ever be done? There is still a lot to do – I will be in on Monday and Tuesday – if anyone happens to be around and wants to come in to attempt to finish House of Memory, let me know. Otherwise, we’re simply going to have to finish these first thing in the fall. As most people want ITHOM for their staff copy, we will have to take care of this in the fall as well (sorry… seniors, I will send you a copy).

Prompt: One more bonus reading on Thursday, and that will be it.

The Siren: Got the June edition out, and lots of people commented on it — more than any past edition I can remember! Named our new editors. Tomorrow we’ll hopefully meet during Block 4 to talk about next year.

Thanks to the 2015-16 staff: the paper really took a leap forward this year, and each of you played some role in that. I am grateful to each of you.

Middle School L.A. Enrichment: We rehearsed for the showcase Tuesday, which was very successful. I am glad I got to speak to you guys today: I really do appreciate the sense of camaraderie in this group — it was wonderful having all 13 of you there last night. We try to make this a family atmosphere, and you guys certainly did your part.

Here is the reading list I mentioned: All-time reading list Literary Arts Department

Some of this stuff you guys have already read, but I challenge each of you to pick at least one book from this list, read it over the summer, and be ready to talk about it when school starts.

Survey: Combined: Portfolio reviews. Mrs. Doubtfire. Labyrinth. And who knows what for our final act…

Friday, June 3

June 3, 2016

What a weird day…

Pulp/Poetry Workshop: Postponed for senior outing.

Poetry workshop people: Because graduation rehearsal has been rescheduled for Monday Block 1, we are probably not going to be able to have our final workshop until Wednesday, June 8.

We have five poems for next week: Holley, Hall, Cianfarano, Mckinzie and Denny.

Because of the new schedule, all comments on these final five revisions are now due by 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Seniors, don’t forget, though! Even though you won’t be here for workshop, I still need your comments. (You can always turn ’em in early, of course.)


Cultural Lit: Final exam. Thank you all for a class that I would call, with no asterisks, a lot of fun.

Everyone who doesn’t hit 80 percent on the final gets one retake. However, if you’re a senior, you will have to make your own arrangements to do that next week.


Middle School Rotation: Got into families. Figured up taxes. Talked about where they go.

Survey: Combined: Began portfolio reviews. Everyone else watched Robin Williams in the “classic” Mrs. Featherbottom.

Thursday, June 2

June 3, 2016

WWTWWT: Final exam. Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful questions and input — it’s been a very enjoyable class!

Book History: 

Siren: Postponed for pulp. interviews/portfolio reviews.


Survey: CNF (Combined): Final exam.


Wednesday, June 1

June 3, 2016

Sorry for the late updates, everyone. This week kinda got away from us.

Poetry Workshop: Today we did four more revisions: Paul, Lepczyk, Thellman and Doban.

That leaves five poems for next week: Holley, Hall, Cianfarano, Mckinzie and Denny.

Because of graduation practice being moved to Monday Block 1, we are probably not going to be able to have our final workshop until Wednesday, June 8. Therefore, all comments on these final five revisions are now due by 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Seniors, don’t forget, though! Even though you won’t be here for workshop, I still need your comments. (You can always turn ’em in early, of course.)

Fiction Workshop: 

Cultural Lit: Heard our final presentations. Reviewed for Friday’s final. Here’s the review guide: Cultural Literacy final exam review June 2016

You get one retake of the final, if you do not hit 80 percent. Seniors, if you want or need it, you’ll have to arrange the retake yourself.


Middle School L.A. Enrichment: Read a play, Cindy and Julie, and tried to come up with the dramatic question (and answer). Next week: rehearsal for the showcase.

Survey: Combined — CNF: Final exam review for tomorrow. We read and analyzed Alan Olifson’s “Emasculation in a Jiffy,” and went over libel and the universal chord. Here’s the review guide: CNF overview 2016

Tuesday, May 31

May 31, 2016

WWTWWT: Today we reviewed the final two literary submissions for the final project. Then we reviewed for the final exam on Thursday.

Here is the study guide WWT2 Final Exam Review Spring 2016, which we reviewed today.

Here is the Arthur Leff essay that I asked you to read for the final: Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law You will be able to use your copy of the essay while you take the final, for reference. There will be at least a couple of questions drawn from the essay.

Here is the crude “timeline” we’ve been using all semester: WWT Timeline Spring 2016

Here is a set of flash cards I made, which cover the 14 philosophers we talked about on the back of the timeline. (You can use them to take practice tests, etc.)

What else should you know?

The exam will be much like the midterm. There will be word banks for the philosophers, and for the terms. However, it will also cover some of the same stuff that was on the midterm, so it IS comprehensive in that sense.

Book History: 

Siren: Worked on the June edition.


Survey: Screenwriting (Combined): Final exam.


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