Sunday, December 9, 2012

Monday, Dec. 10

Attention ALL students!

My primary email is and not .com, as told to you since the beginning of the year. If you have emailed me at the .com email address, you have not received an email reply.

This may be a good time to review my email policy.

1. It's better to ask your questions in class, if you can. Sometimes I get emailed several questions in a row as if emailing can be used like chatting. This is not professional behavior. Please resist writing emails that ask one question only to be spurred by more. We would both be better served to have the conversation in person. Moreover, you might have the same questions other students have. You would do everyone a favor by being vocal and seeking clarification so your peers can benefit from your inquiry.

2. If you have a question, will be absent, or are frustrated with something, you SHOULD email me. It might be just to ask for a date and time I'm available to meet (as some conversations should be done in person), or to inform me of your absence, but just not getting your questions addressed, not showing up, or burning with frustration about something is NOT behavior conducive to a healthy learning environment. Consider it your obligation to make yourself comfortable and accommodated. Remember that I did not become a teacher for the pay or prestige. I became a teacher because I am passionate about my subject area and I'm passionate about being there for students like yourself. You wear your thoughts on your faces. Please let me help you in any way I can. That starts with communication on your part.

3. Your emergency is not my emergency. I state this mostly to deter those that send communication with the expectation that my email is a medium for me to be at a student's beckoned call, which of course is not the case. That means that you should email me with the expectation that emailing you is a courtesy not required of me, but is something I extend to you because your learning is important but still should not be abused. Thus, email only with it in mind that NO ONE is required to reply within 24-48 hours, excluding the weekend entirely. If you are entirely unsure, ask THREE BEFORE ME. What that means is, ask your peers and if at least three other students do not know, then please email for clarification.

**there seems to be a rumor spreading that I do not check emails over the weekend. This is not true. To further desist more rumors from spreading, I will now require that I be added to your class facebook pages. To whomever is the admin on the page, please do so ASAP.


1. Please leave a 50 word comment below indicating that you have read and understood the above.
2. Complete 1000 words of your SSA analysis for Wednesday for peer-editing.
3. Bring back your copy of the Gryphon and Gryphon worksheet.
4. Class FB page admins, send me the link to your page so that I may be added.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thursday, Dec. 6th


1. Students used the first 15 minutes of class completing the last of their quiz.

2. Students read and annotated Gryphon together as a class.


1. Finish annotating the short story, Gryphon.

2. Complete outline based on proposal. (Edline -> Contents -> Writing Help -> Outline Extended) Check Powerschool for additional comments. (Section 4).

3. Complete 1/5 of Gryphon worksheet based on the letter assigned in class (a, b, c, d, or e). This worksheet can be found on Edline ((Edline -> Contents -> Short Story -> Gryphon Worksheet).

4. See Previous Post for SSA deadlines coming up.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tuesday, Dec. 4th


Today students took a comprehensive quiz covering the Introduction and Body Paragraphs of an analytical essay and the short story, Interpreter of Maladies. Students will be given an extra 15 minutes of the next class to complete the assignment. Additionally, only the notes that were handed in with the quiz today are available for use during the second round with the assignment.

Proposals were also handed in for the SSA. I read them over and returned them to you with a written response. If you have questions regarding my suggestions, please make an appointment to see me.


1. Bring back your annotations for Chapter 5 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor. I will check them next class and we will discuss your annotations for both 1, 2 and 5 altogether. We will also start reading Gryphon, by Charles Baxter for a last and final --- of our short story unit.

2. Prepare an outline for your analytical essay by reprinting the worksheet found on Edline (Edline -> Contents -> Short Story Unit -> Outline Extended). Complete the outline for class on Monday, Dec. 9.

3. Include the following due dates for your SSA:
          a. Peer-Edit Rough Draft due Wednesday, Dec. 11
          b. Self-Edit Rough Draft due Friday, Dec. 13
          c. Final Draft due Thursday, January 10.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Writing Contest Opportunity

Students from SFS have won up to $1,000 USD!

Writing Categories

• Font: 12 pt. Times New Roman or Arial
• Titles: Titles at the top of the first page only. Do not use a separate title page. Poems should be titled individually.
• Do Not Use Real Names: Real names should not be used. Winning work is displayed publicly and the identities of real people must be protected.
• No Name: The student’s name should NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript.
• No Images: No illustrations, photographs or graphics.
• Sources: Sources must be cited. Footnotes/works cited are not considered part of the word count.
• Collaboration: Collaborative works are not allowed in any writing categories

Short Story
Category Description
A fictional narrative written in prose.
Special Instructions
1,300–3,000 words.
Please note word length limits for Flash Fiction compared to Short Story.
Short Stories in which humor or science fiction/fantasy are key elements should be submitted in those respective categories.

Personal Essay / Memoir

Category Description
A self-revelatory work dealing with individual experience.
Special Instructions
Grades 7–8: 500–3,000 words.
Grades 9–12: 750–3,000 words.
This category includes nonfiction work only. Fictional essays should be submitted in the Short Story or Flash Fiction categories.


Category Description
Writing that uses satire, parody or humorous anecdote.
600 – 3,000 words.
Work in any genre in which humor is the key element should be submitted in this category.

Details on how to submit can be found here.  If you are interested in submitting work, please see Mrs. Lee to continue the editing process. You must be entered by January (exact date TBA). 

Also, DEC. 5 is the last day to submit work to Magpie, the school's literary magazine. If you wish to submit your memoir, please email Mrs. Lee at an electronic copy of your work. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Friday, Nov. 30th


1. Interpreter 2 worksheets were checked for completion.

2. Section 4 finished their discussion on Interpreter Worksheet 1.

3. Both sections worked on developing a supportive paragraph for a sample thesis:

In the shorts story, Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri unveils a sympathetic aspect to an otherwise fallible character.

If you'd like a fresh copy of the outline, it can be found in the Short Story Unit on the Edline page. It is titled, Outline Extended. 


1. Prepare for the quiz by reviewing your answers for Interpreter Worksheet 2 and practicing writing in the outline format that was given to you today.

2. Write a proposal of 150 words or more about a topic of interest for your Short Story Analysis regarding any of the three stories we have already read. Refer to the assignment sheet found on Edline in the Contents section within the Short Stories Unit folder.

3. Read and annotate the chapter from How to Read entitled 'Now Where Have I Seen Her Before'.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wednesday, Nov. 28th


1. Today we took a quiz pertaining to the reading assigned from the book "How to Read Literature Like a Professor".

2. We then worked on writing for an essay topic going over the outline format and attempting to gather evidence and work out what is important to include in a paragraph.


Prepare for the quiz by completing and perhaps conferencing with your peers regarding the second worksheet on Interpreter of Maladies. Then be sure to answer a few samples answers regarding what you might be guess as short answer questions on the quiz regarding how the author uses repetition, characterization, diction to develop a perspective on a concept unique to what is popular belief.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday, Nov. 26th


1. Interpreter of Maladies Discussion (section 3 finished, section 4 will complete next class)

2. Short Story Analysis Introduced (section 3 only)


1. Download and complete Interpreter 2 worksheet by Friday for Quiz.

2. Read chapters 1 and 2 out of the book How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster.

Both documents can be found on Edline in the Contents section of the Short Story Unit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday, Nov. 20th


Homework was checked for annotations on the short story, Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri. Additionally, students were to complete one subsection of each section of the Interpreter worksheet in order to participate in today's discussion.

Only 1a - 1c/d was completed during class. There is much to unpack in the story and we will do so in stages.


Prepare for the next class by commenting below on the following. Feel free to comment by extending the conversation first posed by another classmate by replying to their post:

Identify the cancer in the Das family dynamic? What aspect of their relationship collectively contributes to their lack of health?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wednesday, Nov. 14th

Today we finished our discussion of Tim O'Brien's Things They Carried. Possible topics for the Short Story Analysis paper we will be writing were pointed out in class.

Discussion notes looked like the following for each class:
section 3, part 1
section 3, part 2

Section 4, part 2
Section 4, part 1

 Secondly, we read aloud 0.5 pages to 1 pages of your finished memoirs to the class. We also answered the following questions on the back of our final-final copy:

1. Describe the writing process this time. What did you do differently? How much time did you allocate to this? What were some aspects of your writing you focussed on?

2. Is your piece in a publishable state? If so, why? If not, why not?

3. If you had to write another memoir, what would you do differently?

1. Read Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies. You can find the PDF in the Contents section of our Edline page.

2. Complete the worksheet titled Interpreter Worksheet for the same letter you were assigned previously.

3. Many were assigned the task of redoing their In-Class discussion notes for Things They Carried. To find a sample of notes done well, see Irissa Kim or Sarah Kim from section 3.

4. IRB2 weblog. Take a picture of your book and post it on your weblog (not mine). Describe one character in a short story and describe the way the author develops the character. 300 words minimum.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Monday, Nov. 12

Welcome back from your DWs. 

I'm excited to get right back into the swing of things with you all. Remember to make your health a priority, since the season change or the stress of starting a new sports season or the traveling you may have just returned from can have an effect on your immunity. Get lots of rest and drink lots of fluids--at least that's what I'm trying to do at this juncture.

In reflection of my DW, I wanted to share a thought. After seeing the plight and poverty of the Philippines and feeling dwarfed next to enormous task it would be to see a nation's devastation end, I wondered what good a toy or one more meal or a week of my time would do in the larger scheme of things. By the time I was done brooding over the futility of my charity, I recognized the flaw in my thinking. I was undermining the power of love and time, minimizing what I was giving. I may never know the impact of one afternoon with a child or the latent effects in the life of a villager that now has water and sewage system--but that doesn't matter. Instead, what I decided to believe instead was there was a greater power at hand than mine that extended beyond what I could give and in that design, I was I was empowered to be a part of it. Although I know I can't cure all the ailments of the Philippines, I can trust that what I did matters because by being a part of a greater plan, I am more capable than I had initially believed.

The same goes for everyone. So if you feel discouraged, say to yourself the following, trading out the "you are" and "you" for "I am" and "I":

1. Finish Circle Discussion on Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.

1. Comment below answering either 3d or 3e, depending on what you were re-assigned in class.

2. After reading the comments of your peers, complete the worksheet to turn in on Wednesday, Nov. 14th. If you are in section 4, we will finish 3a, 3b, and 3c next class.

3. Final-Final draft of memoir is due. Include the original draft with you

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

Today we read the story, The Tell-tale Heart, by Edgar Allen Poe. We had a discussion about how the author was able to develop mood through diction.


1. (Section 4 only) Since I did not check your annotations, bring them to next class.

2. Write a paragraph response to how the Edgar Allen Poe was able to create a tone. Use this Tone Vocabulary worksheet to help you. Remember the algorithm formerly shown you in the diction ppt in a previous class. Post your response below on my blog.

3. Write your IRB2 on the IRB google doc. The link for the google doc can be found in the contents section of your edline page or click your section: section 3 or section 4

4. According to the letter you were assigned, (a - e), complete the Things They Carried worksheet for each section. So, if you were assigned a, then you would answer 1a, 2a, and 3a alone. This is your ticket in order to participate in the discussion that will take place in the our next class.

5. Make an appointment before Monday, Nov. 12 for your second appointment. Your Final Memoir Draft, stapled to your previous drafts, any additional drafts and the rubric with your previous evaluation are due Wednesday, Nov. 14th. No late work accepted. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, October 29


Today we finished the third installment of the story, "Where are you going, where have you been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. Students were to listen for diction that either suggested a tone for a character or created a mood for the audience and then write a sentence that elaborated on the intention of the word choice by the author. Student work was evaluated and posted on whiteboard as either "Got it!" if the students sentence successfully examined word choice, "Needs clarification" if the language of the sentence did not point directly to word choice, and "Do over" if the sentence intended to probe the diction did not do so whatsoever. So far, our board looks like so:

If you were able to turn in a post-it you corrected during class and it made it to the "Got it!" category, congrats. You have one less assignment tonight. If not, please correct the sentence paying special attention to our discussion about diction, including your notes taken during an in class Powerpoint Presentation.

An example of a stellar sentence about how diction can convey mood/tone is the following:

Arnold Friend takes on a menacing tone when he says to Connie, "This place you are now--inside your daddy's house--is nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down anytime."  Arnold Friend's aim is to intimidate Connie and he does so by likening her house, the one barrier that stands between her and her antagonist, to the collapsible nature of "a cardboard box". The claim that he can "knock [it] down anytime"thereby eradicates any sense of safety she may have had within the house.

1. Edit the post-it you took home (if you did) and correct it to include both x and the subset of x.

2. Unfortunately, blogger will not let us post pictures in comments. Despite my best efforts to change the html codes, I was unsuccessful. So, instead of posting your picture on my blog, comment below on my blog with the link to your blog where you've posted your picture and also included a 100-150 explanation of what your items may or may not say about you.

Here's an example of mine:

Evident by the things I carry, someone might make the assumption that I am a teacher since I carry my name badge, a stapler and multi-color pens. Additionally, one might assume that I am vigilent of time since I have a watch. They may also note that I am tech-savy as I carry around my laptop charger. They might think that I am interested in food, since my have a stamp coupon from my favorite burger place, Burger B's in HongDae. Someone also might infer that I am married and since I have keys to a house and a wedding band. They might also inquire about my health as I carry bandaids, cough medicine, have recently been prescribed antibioitics and have chapstick. One might also wonder if I put must investment in my appearance since I carry lipstick. An inference might also be made based on what is absent here, such as pictures of family or children or the absence of large quantities of cash or my phone (although in this case I had to use the phone to take the picture).

 Include a description of both what the items themselves may "say" about you as well what the absences of certain items that might also be common among a student your age.

3. Read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien with a pen in hand! An electronic copy can be found on Edline in the Short Story Unit folder of the contents box. While reading, look for repetition, those "stop and think" moments, interesting diction choices made by the author.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 24


A PPT presentation was shown reviewing diction. Students were given examples on how to use diction to root out mood or tone. Students were to practice their absolute to identify tone/mood while Mrs. Lee read aloud a short story by Joyce Carol Oates. A third and final installment will be read on on Monday, Oct. 29.


1. Read your IRB2 and post the title and author on the google doc on your edline page.

2. Post a picture of the cover if your IRB1 and IRB2 on YOUR weblog.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday, Oct. 18th

After reflecting on your notes on Diction, give evidence from the story The Bass, the River and Sheila Mant by W.D. Wetherall that argues against the following statement:

It is evident that W.D. Wetherall intended to depict a boy with deviant intentions and thoughts via the word choices that are used throughout the short story.

Your answers should be 150 words or more. Attempt the use of phrasing such as suggests, infers, implies, connotes and describe the specific type of diction (concrete, connotation, denotation, jargon, colloquialism and so on).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tuesday, October 16th


We watched a short clip of an interview that aired on PBS in 2010 with Alice Walker, novelist, poet and essayist who is best famous by her novel turned movie, The Color Purple. This clip can be viewed here.

We then discussed and took notes on the following:
1. How does Alice Walker describes the value of conversation?
2. In light of topics that may be described as sensational or depressing or hard to read about at night, how does Alice Walker describe the way a written text serves as more feasible means of initiating conversation?
3. Alice Walker describes with vivid imagery the danger of not being heard. What is wrong with  subjects that highlight hardship not being "heard"?

In section 3 class, a discussion about the function of capitalism was initiated. Before addressing the question in the comments below, re-watch the video being careful not to put words in Alice Walker's mouth or oversimplify the argument. (She starts her overview with the problem with capitalism in minute 12:23. Re-CONSULT THE VIDEO BEFORE RESPONDING! She also goes onto say the chief downfall of human kind is greed, stated separately from capitalism.)


1. Address the following question in the comments below. If someone has made a comment that reiterates your sentiment, post your comment as a response to their comment thereby creating a conversation string.

How is Alice Walker's take on the importance of writing different or (exclusive or) same to that of Tobias Wolff's take on it? (150 words)

2. Bring the actual copy of your short story collection (IRB2) with you next class.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday, October 8th


1. Weblog 3: After recording 300 words of your favorite excerpts from your IRB1, describe a major topic that the author asks the reader to consider in a new slant of light and describe how the author accomplishes the incorporation this topic.

For example, if you were reading the Kite Runner you might consider the topic of stealing. The protagonists desires to have a relationship with his father, who describes the worst act a man can perform as stealing. Although initially the protagonists considers the act as one of a physical nature, the protagonists finds himself performing a series of ill-devised gestures toward a servant boy. The author provokes the reader to reconsider the act of stealing to be one of an intangible nature and thereby reconstitutes a different perspective on what it means to steal. The author suggests ownership of friendship, loyalty, kinship, innocence are stolen away simply out of the act of choosing self-preservation over personal satisfaction over the right of another to the same.

When writing your own response to your book, include the following:

1. Topic Sentence: A sentence that answers the prompt and includes author, genre and title.
2. Contextualization: give context for the audience. That mean including a very brief overview of the major tenants of the narrative. You should also give context for the quote before you introduce it which may include indicating where in the plot arc the quote occurs with special attention to the major action just before the quote or giving a conceptual context or describing what the author was aiming to do just before the quote you are about to introduce.
3. Evidence: This should be a short string of words that substantiates your claim. Here you are showing the reader that your claim is valid because it is strongly inferred or directly stated in the text.
4. Syntax/Semantic-specific comment: What word or word order or literary technique is used in the quote stated that helped you to infer your reasoning for your claim in the topic sentence. You may have also chosen to summarize or restate the quote in your own words.
5. Comment: In summary, address the question but this time with the entirety of your argument as your arsenal. Remind the reader of your original claim but perhaps point toward the irony or the reason why your claim impenetrable.

2. Complete the reading started in class, the Introduction to a short story anthology by Tobias Wolff. Answer the questions marked out for you in class but also be sure to annotate for the following:
         1. Interesting quotes
         2. short stories mentioned that you'd like to read
         3. information given pertaining to short story progression as a genre
         4. comments about the power and purpose of the short story

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday, September 25th


Writing. Writing. Writing.

Today we worked on writing!!!


Review your notes in reflection of our class discussions about the memoir reading selection as well as be able to explain the function of a memoir and it's major features and aims.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Friday, September 21


Class was first spent taking notes on terms such as Point of View, characterization, Language ...and so forth. Students were then asked to break up into groups of three after numbering off to discuss Malcolm X's use the terms in his memoir, Hair. I came around and checked your annotations for the pre-reading process and read over your annotations. I also asked questions regarding your group's discussion as far as understanding how Malcolm X used POV, characterization, language, etc. I also asked about how and why mood was overturned in the memoir, the function of the list in the beginning of the memoir, and the reason the realization at the end was delivered at the peak moment in which Malcolm Little is looking at himself in the mirror "grinning and sweating." Next a class discussion was persued to seek an answer to whether students thought Malcolm X's anger was justified.

Students were told that the class ongoings of the day as a whole were a big hint as to what would make up the quiz. Tuesday would also serve as a quiz prep day and the quiz itself would be administered on Thursday before Chuseok.

Super Sophomores right before they beat the Juniors in Tug of War!

1. Work to complete reading your IRB, which should be completed no later than September 28th.

2. Collect your memoir study materials and review: memoir power point notes, article on How to Read a Memoir, and your annotated collection of memoirs and notes (Fish Cheeks, By Any Other Name, and Hair).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wednesday, September 19th

Section 4 hard at work.

The first of hour was spent writing a reflection about the process they took to create their final draft modeled after the questions written on the board. This exercise is help students be better evaluators of their work and to associate excellence with a habit of excellence through out their process as well as point out the direct effect of their process on the quality of their end product.

Students were also asked to identify a paragraph to half page of their best work to read out loud to the class as a celebration of the writing process and affirm that their work does have an audience. The All Mighty Clap was introduce as well.


1. Finish reading and annotating Hair by Malcolm X. Be sure to include your pre-reading notes to get full credit and put your name on the documents as well.

2. Continue reading your IRB1. Your IRB1 should be completely read by September 28th. Note the writing style of the author and after choosing a topic, be able to talk about how the author has developed the topic to point towards a certain perspective of it.

3. Upload your memoir ecopy to using the class ID and password posted in a previous post specific to your class section no later than 11:59 p.m.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Monday, September 17

In Class Work Day

Students may work on any of the following:
1. Memoir
2. Writing prompt from last class
3. IRB1 Reading

Read the blog from last Thursday for clarification. You may also use the time to conference with me about your memoir, if you have questions.

Side note: A wall in HS 015 has been designated the No Name Wall of Shame. If you have handed in work that does not have a name on it, it has been hung there.

Protocol to get your work back in the books?

1. Make an appointment during an Extra Help session from 3-4:00 on Thursdays.

2. Make an appointment during a different time we are both available. DO NOT STAND ME UP. This is a privilege given to students who have already once come to an Extra Help session because you have demonstrated already that you can keep appointments.

**getting your book "reconciled" is YOUR responsibility. Not mine. Additionally, if you stand me up three times or more, you have revoked your right to seek extra help for the quarter and a letter will go home to your parents notifying them.

Also, consider it your responsibility to have your laptops charged OR to have a laptop charger with you. Laptop charger stations are located in the HS lobby if ever you'd like to charge your laptop unattended in a locked environment while away at lunch or various classes. Please use this new feature at the HS to your advantage.

Homework for Wednesday, September 19: (copied from last post)

1. Turn in the Memoir Final draft in MLA format along with the Rubric (will be provided for you), self-edited copy, peer-edited copy, and proposal. You may include any additional drafts you may have been working on. The drafts serve you as a record of the amount of effort you put forth in this writing process.

2. Answer the following prompt and post it on your weblog (300 word minimum):
Santha Rau reflects at the end of the her memoir, "But I put it all happily away because it happened to a girl named Cynthia and I was never really particularly interested in her." Are you convinced of this statement?

3. Continue reading your IRB1. The book should be finished by the end of this month. Specifically, your book should be entirely read by September 28, which is coming up quickly. While reading, think about what aspect of the author's writing style you like the best (the way the author slows down the story to capture the nonverbal communication going on in the room in addition to what is actually said, the way the author uses simple colloquial language to describe yet doesn't lack in depth because the reader gets the impression there is a thoughtful process behind the words, the author's use of incoroportatin the flashback to create a history of the characters to help the reader better understand the significance of the ongoing as well as the past, ...and so on). Be able to identify a passage to a page that exemplifies the qualities you enjoyed.

Thursday, September 13


Today's lesson a few announcements were made:
1. Turn it in dot com will be used when turning in memoirs on Wednesday, September 19th.
2. Extra Help Appointments to reconcile your grade book, talk about the progress of any of your papers, turn in work late or without your name from the No Name Wall of Shame will have to first happen during an Extra Help appointed time. After you've demonstrated that you can come to an appointment and NOT stand me up, you will have the privilege of making appointments outside of that block. Although you are not punished for doing work late, please know that turning in late assignments is still an unfavorable situation to be in so do not get in the habit of doing so.

A discussion that was started last class, delving into the implications of Rau inserting in her memoir the imagery of her father sitting on a horse with a procession of 5 servants behind him as well as discussed possibly what the implication may have been to allude to Romeo and Juliet with the title. The students also listed character traits they assigned Cynthia before the climax of the story and the character traits she was assigned after and how this illustrated the transformation we look for in stories. Rau's character, Cynthia, was transformed although not the radical physical sense of the word, but rather in the metaphysical. She adopted a new understanding although young and shed a kind of naivete after indirectly experiencing discrimination for the first time. Lastly, we discussed what I referred to as the 'stop and think' moments of the text, as shown below. Section 4 students were asked to find such moments and put them in their own words. Students were selected to write their interpretations on the board, as shown in the figure.

Homework for Wednesday, September 19: 
1. Turn in the Memoir Final draft in MLA format along with the Rubric (will be provided for you), self-edited copy, peer-edited copy, and proposal. You may include any additional drafts you may have been working on. The drafts serve you as a record of the amount of effort you put forth in this writing process.

2. Answer the following prompt and post it on your weblog (300 word minimum):
Santha Rau reflects at the end of the her memoir, "But I put it all happily away because it happened to a girl named Cynthia and I was never really particularly interested in her." Are you convinced of this statement?

3. Continue reading your IRB1. The book should be finished by the end of this month. Specifically, your book should be entirely read by September 28, which is coming up quickly. While reading, think about what aspect of the author's writing style you like the best (the way the author slows down the story to capture the nonverbal communication going on in the room in addition to what is actually said, the way the author uses simple colloquial language to describe yet doesn't lack in depth because the reader gets the impression there is a thoughtful process behind the words, the author's use of incoroportatin the flashback to create a history of the characters to help the reader better understand the significance of the ongoing as well as the past, ...and so on). Be able to identify a passage to a page that exemplifies the qualities you enjoyed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday, September 11


Homework and quiz 1 on Annotations was handed back while students filled out a profile sheet. If students did not have the pertinent information, they are able to bring the information back at a later date and add it to Mrs. Lee's file.

The annotations of "By Any Other Name" by Santha Rau were checked along with a hard copy heavily edited by the writer. Meanwhile students worked on characterizing Santha Rau's "character" in her memoir.

The class was then engaged in a discussion about Imagery, the significance of the title, characterization and what I like to call the "Stop and Think Moments" in text. This discussion was initiated and will be extended to the next class.


1. Write a weblog of at least 300 words discussing the quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet,

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose 
By any other name would smell as sweet;  48
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, 
Retain that dear perfection which he owes 
Without that title. (II.ii.47-51)

Would you say that you agree with Shakespeare? Is a name ineffectual in that the thing does not change? Or perhaps you'd say that you disagree? Can the quality of something change if it is given a new name?

2. Your final drafts for your Memoir is Wednesday, September 19th. Turn in a hard copy including all components listed on the Memoir Assignment page located in the Contents section of the Edline Page in the folder marked 'Memoir Unit'. Also turn in an ecopy of your paper to

If you are in section 3, use the following class ID and enrollment password. You will have to create your own sign/password. 

 If you are in section 4, use the following class ID and enrollment password. You will have to create your own sign/password. 




Thursday, September 6, 2012

Friday, September 7th

What a fun class today!

Watching some of my students sit and contemplatively stare off with a pen in hand was a satisfying sight. The process of writing takes so much careful consideration to create not only what is familiar but also have a personal take on it and I think after reading some of your work out loud, we were successful. Yes, we were able to use the class to write and joke about some cliches or familiar idioms we know. But what is more, we were also able to take a few run-of-the-mill sentence and create depth, a third-dimension if you will.

It was my goal that after taking a class period to develop three sentences, that it would alert you of the time consuming, yet satisfying task it is to create in the form of the written word. Take heed of this lesson and allow yourselves much time to go back and daze off again while writing like you did today, trying to remember what you were smelling, what it looked like up close, where you had seen something similar before and how it ties to your "realization".

I'm really looking forward to reading your memoirs already. Next class we will be talking about characterization, another element that must be considered in your memoir writing process.

After turning in REDO's that were assigned for the 'How to Write a Memoir' article by William Zinsser, we concentrated the hour on developing our writing skill.

We first took a literal sentence (e.g. I ran to the store) and added the following:
+ Detail
+ Interesting word choice

We then also considered including Figurative Language:
+ Metaphors
+ Similes
+ Personification
+ 5 senses (hearing, touch, smell, sight, taste)

Finally, we considered the inclusion of:
+ Onomatopoeia
+ Symbolism
+ Allusion

An example of this transformation included going from

'I ran to the store' to

'My legs pumped and thudded like the pistons of an engine as I dashed to the corner of the corner mart with the red and white awning. The hot pebbles ricocheted off my calves and the smell of warm spring, like the Spring that tempted Persephone, floated in the air."

The important thing to note here is no action or event has taken place.  Remember, we didn't add more story but rather developed a world around the action and humanized our character. Also, students should beware of dropping in name brands or pop culture items to avoid the task of a personalized description. Also be wary of adjective and adverb over usage.

We did more work like the above and students shared their work with other sentences they transformed, such as "I ate a sandwich" and "I fell in love. / I love her."

Homework for Tuesday: 
1.  Read and annotate "By Any Other Name" by Santha Rau. You will find a PDF file on the Contents section of our Edline page.

2. Come to class on Tuesday with a hard copy of your memoir after having thoroughly edited your work after the last in-class peer edit. That means work should be in MLA format (consult the Purdue MLA website if you are unsure of the format here), be edited for content, have both a plot arc AND a realization, as well as sentences that have been given the same consideration sentences were given in class today. No more I + verb sentences that report the actions of story, please.Your self-edited copy should be a clean copy of edits you made on the computer and then be overtaken by your own pencil-markings.

3. Comment below with the sentence(s) you wrote. Include your name and section (either 3 or 4). Also include the original sentence and then final edit like the example below. This is also due Tuesday.

Joe Student
Grade 10 L&L -3

Literal Sentence: I ate a sandwich.

Edit 1: I inhaled the turkey, bacon sandwich on bread speckled with grain my mom made for me.

Edit 2: The cold cut gave in to the grinder-like rotation of my teeth and the bacon unearthed its flavor. The bread was speckled with grain and I looked up at her just in time so my forehead met the weight of her hand.

Edit 3: The bread speckled with grain jacketed the cold cuts and bacon that gave in to the grinder-like rotation of my teeth. The suction and slapping of eating filled my head so much so that I failed to hear my mother's beckoning to take a bite of her apple. I looked up at her just in time so my forehead met the weight of her hand.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Annotations for the article "How to Write a Memoir" were collected. For students who did not summarize the major ideas in the article and the tenants of writing a memoir were not touched upon, they were asked to redo the assignment paying special attention to using the margins to address it directly.

Students wrote a rough draft of their memoir and brought a hard copy with a word count of 400 or more words. Students were to bring a hi-lighter set with 5 or more colors. Students color marked their work to look for interesting word choice, the realization, 5 senses, and so on. Students then engaged each other in conversation about what they noticed about their own writing. Students wrote a paragraph regarding what they felt they learned about the needs of their paper at this stage of their writing process.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Using annotations made on the "Miss Brill" passage by Katherine Mansfield, students were given an open note quiz. This was corrected in class and then handed in. Afterward, students were broken into groups to discuss different topics in the text (family, relationships, food, culture, and Fishcheeks). A class discussion began and will continue next class.

Homework/Final Remarks:

1. For students who have yet to see me about their proposals, appointments should have been made to see me during a study hall or after school. These appointments must be kept. Already, I have been stood up by two students. Three strikes and you have been revoked the right to ask me for an appointment for the rest of the quarter. Additionally a letter to your parents will be sent so they are also aware why you are no longer able to receive extra help for the rest of the quarter.

2. Read the article on our Edline page entitled, How to Write a Memoir by Howard Zinsser in the American Scholar. Annotate. Bring a hard copy to class on Wednesday.

3. Complete a minimum of 400 words of your essay and bring a hard copy in for peer editing. Be sure to bring also a 5-color highlighter set or colored pencils. Your rough draft must meet the minimum word count of 400 but students will not be penalized for writing over 500 words.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thurday, August 30, 2012

Today we started with a homework check. Students were asked to get out their laptops and watch a video on youtube that described how to annotate text. Students were to annotate along with the speaker. Simultaneously, students were  called up one by one to check that they had brought a hard copy of their Independent Reading Book which had to be a memoir, and secondly, the proposal of 150 words or more outlining both a plot line and a realization. During the one to one meetings, students were given notes by me regarding what they should keep in mind while writing their memoir, such as not to over simplify the argument by having villains turn into heroes, or including heroic protagonist at the beginning and  and ending thereby missing the element of transformation by the protagonist.


1. In the memoir unit in the Contents section of your edline page, print out a copy of "Fish Cheeks" by Amy Tan and annotate it using the suggestions made by the presenter on youtube, including the pre-reading process and in-progress reading.

2. Bring a copy of your annotated version of "Miss Brill". Annotations should be of the same "girth" as the PDF copy posted on Edline for your reference (not your copying pleasure, not that you would). =)

3a. Become of member of this website by clicking the blue button at the top right hand of this blog post.

3b. ALSO, make your blog public or at least visible to members of the class. We will get to the point where we are commenting on each other's posts. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 28, 2012

Grey thin shadows stretch.
languid poses carried by a current, hurried
but not jostled.
Urged to urgency,
         a quicker step, eyes that must
         Turn and Look
But no fear. Not just
yet. just know-
of what is to come.

As I'm sure you already know, Typhoon Bolaven has given us the day off. However, that means that we have lost a class period, since we will start with a D day on Wednesday (if/when we return to school depending on the severity of the aftermath). Your proposals will be due on Thursday in addition to your IRB titles. In addition to adding your blog URL and IRB title and author to the google document, please bring in the actual book with you to class. Also, to set precedence in emergency situations in particular respect to online assignments, if school is cancelled due to whether complications, online uploads are due the same time they would have been due had class gone on. The only situation in which an online assignment would be given an extension due to school closings would take place if Seoul had a blackout.

Email if you have any questions. Otherwise, enjoy the rest of your day off!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 22, 2012


In class today we finished our discussion of the plot arc and the universally applicable realization. The following board shot demonstrates what was shared. 

A powerpoint on the memoir was also presented outlining the major features of the genre. These notes will come in handy for a summative quiz on the memoir genre and reading selection.


 Gr. 10 L&L - 3

 Gr. 10 L&L - 4 
Pic. 1


 Pic. 2

Homework was explained and assigned. See below for due dates.

Due August 28, 2012: 

1. Create a blog and send me the link due August 28th. Be sure your posts are either public or you've given me rights to view it. I will make random checks to see that your posts have been updated, thorough, and thoughtful and give you credit accordingly. Use this page to be creative and say the things that perhaps time in class did not allow in addition to your Independent Reading Log Updates and various prompts given in class. These will eventually be read by your classmates so feel free to expand upon ideas shared by others in class such as "I agree with Sharon in class today when she said ..." to help build your thoughts. There's more creative license with these weblogs and less emphasis on fine-tuning and mechanics. Looking forward to seeing your work! 

2. Write your proposal for the ME (memoir essay). The assignment sheet has been included in the folder labeled Memoir Unit on the Edline page, accessible here

-Mrs. Lee 
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