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
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