The Week in Review: February 10-21

Update: Last weeks assignments are not due until after class on Friday.

What Kind of Boy Are You?

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“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

 

 

Class Meets:  Monday,  Wednesday, Thursday 

 

Downloads:

The Week in Review

 

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The Week in Review: 2/3-2/10

The Final Push

    Always step up into a lifeboat. You are a writer who has been hired to produce an Epic Story worth publishing--and you have been given a deadline. The boat is sinking and you will either go down with the ship, or you will step into the lifeboat and complete your work on time. But not before the ship sinks.

It's time to set realistic goals--and maybe even lower your bar--but don't settle for less than you are capable of achieving.

The due date is at the end of the first class next week. The final proofreading and editing can be finished in class on that day. You will submit your work to me as a pdf. I will review it in Notability. You are responsible for utilizing my Rules for Editing and my Top Ten Writing Errors to help with your proofreading.

I do appreciate all the work you are putting into this assignment. Be sure to continue with your metacognitions!

 

Download Design Writing: Rules for Editing

Download Design Writing: Top Ten Writing Errors

 


The Week in Review: January 27-February 2

The Week in Review

 

UPDATE: Sorry for any confusion. There is no "Plot Summary Sheet." Simply be prepared to "pitch your story" on Wednesday by giving a brief oral summary to the class of the current plot and future direction of your story--as well as current word count and chapters completed.

 

Class Meetings:  Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 

Class One: Tuesday

Due: 

  • WW Fenn Prep

Classwork: 

  • WW Fenn Presentations

Homework:

  • Get back to your story.
  • Write a metacognition.

Class Two: Wednesday

Due: 

  • Sorry for any confusion. There is no "Plot Summary Sheet." Simply be prepared to "pitch your story" by giving a brief oral summary to the class of the current plot and future direction of your story--as well as current word count and chapters completed.

Classwork: 

  • Work on Story
  • Write Metacognition

Homework:

  • Work on Story

Class Three: Thursday

Due: 

  • Metacognition 

Classwork: 

  • In-Class Story Review
  • Work on Story

Homework:

  • Use Proofreading & Editing Tips & Techniques to proofread your story.
  • In a metacognition detail your proofreading experience.

The Olde & Noble Fenn Publick Speaking Contest...

WW Fenn Publick Speaking Contest

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“There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1.The nervous and 2. Liars.” 

~Mark Twain

UPDATE: Sometimes you have to roll with the punches. In years past the ninth grade has gone last in the Public Speaking Contest, BUT this year we go first, so we need to put our stories on simmer and tends to the business at hand--getting ready to perform a cool piece of literature.

     

 The WW Fenn Publick Speaking Contest [my spelling] originally started out as a poetry recitation contest. Over the years, however, the original rules have been bent and distorted to the point where it is sometimes hard to tell that it is supposed to be a celebration of "greatness" in literature, not a mimicking of a speech seen on TV or in a movie; not a silly comic piece or sing-songing children's story, and not a shallow barrage of clever words set into a story. 

I want you to have an experience that will live on in you and for you through as many years as you walk this earth; I want you to remember your words for the power that gives those words timelessness.  I want to get back to the purity of the original source and lifeblood of the WW Fenn contest. 

I want you to choose your WW Fenn performance piece carefully and thoughtfully. We will begin the classwork memorization and performance process right away--which is a multi-step process!

Guidelines:

You may choose a poem, ballad, or a passage from a piece of classic or singularly great literature, which includes: novels, short stories, or essays; moreover, you may choose to recite a traditional myth or cultural story. Speeches that are a part of a larger piece of literature are allowed, but not speeches. If you wish, I will choose a piece for you.

The piece must be at least 90 seconds long, but not more than four minutes in length. I have included links to sources in the extended entry.

 

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Epic Story Project

 Download Freshman Epic Story Project

 

    Epic stories are about transformation.  The hero is plucked from the comforts of home and called to undertake an adventurous challenge. The hero prevails and returns home transformed. It's a pretty simple formula that has obviously stood the test of time. You will never read a story or watch a movie where the main character remains unchanged; moreover, you will never have an experience "worth remembering" where you remain unchanged. You can't enter the same river twice. You are not the same person you were before you began reading this, and you are surely not the same person you will be after reading The Odyssey  It's only a matter of the degree of transformation and how you were transformed. A good personal narrative story tells the story of the human experience, but, more importantly, it tells the story of transformation.  

The hero cycle is not a rubric created for storytellers; it is the primal urge of all people, across all cultures, to experience the transformation of the hero. It is the power of hope over despair. It gives possibilities for life. It is a recognition that without agnos (pain) there is no aristos (glory), and, in that sense, it validates even the most common and hard-bitten of lives and makes every life uncommon, unique, and worthwhile.  It is not an absurd idea to recognize the greatness in our own lives. It is not absurd to think we have an epic tale worth telling, and it is certainly not absurd to examine every experience through the lens of introspection and appreciate the implications of transformation.

The hero cycle is not a rubric created for storytellers; it is the primal urge of all people—across all cultures—to experience within their own lives the transformation of being a hero.  Every ancient culture that has had its history recorded has some epic poem or story to guide its people. The heroic cycle represents the power of hope over despair; it gives us all the chance for redemption—even in the hardest of times. It is a recognition that without agnos (pain) there is no aristos (glory), and, in that sense, it validates even the most common and hard-bitten of lives by making the lives of every man, woman and child that has ever lived uncommon, unique, and worthwhile.  

It is not an absurd idea to recognize the greatness and possibilities of our own lives. It is not absurd to think we have an epic tale worth telling, and it is certainly not absurd to examine every experience through a reflective lens and to start to appreciate the implications of transformation which heroic poetry represents.  As human beings, we are hard-wired to need this epic poetry. We can’t just read the epic as a story and move on. We have to know the story and build and incorporate the allegory into our own lives; otherwise, we will run from the battles of life; we will avoid the straits of Skylla and the lair of the Cyclops; we will shun the Gods who come disguised to us and coddle the children given to us; we won’t shed tears for common friends, and we will lock out every stranger and blame our mishaps and misdeeds on the gods.  

In short, we will not be remembered, and no songs will be sung about us. The saddest part is that you may think this is all exaggeration and hyperbole. This is not true. Our lives are full of stories that use the heroic cycle. Our imaginations are even more full. 

Your epic story should follow the steps of the hero cycle! Remember that this is a guide—not a mandate, but it is a “pattern” to help guide how you tell your story. Please adopt it to suit your story, but ignore it at your peril…

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The Week in Review: January 8-13

Finishing The Odyssey

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Read. Enjoy. Reflect...

~Fitz

Class Meetings:  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 

Downloads:

The Odyssey is a book you will re-read again in some future academic setting—and, hopefully, again and again. You will pluck some good fruit from a good orchard this time through, but you will pluck much more next time, for The Odyssey is a story that grows with you—if you continue to grow as a reader and thinker. If you do not grow as a reader and thinker, the loss is on you. You can never retrieve what is lost, but you can continually reinvent and transform the person you are—and reading good literature enriches the soil from which you grow.

You have class time and homework time to complete the work—but you must keep up with these reading reflections in a timely way—as in ON TIME!

 

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Writing your essay...

A Child’s Christmas In Wales

This story is, in essence, a story about the power and manipulation of memory. We read an adult’s recreation of childhood memories, but the cool thing is we never really know if it is the adult speaking or the child speaking--or perhaps it is simply a dream of a recreated perfectness and a desire to return to that perfectness as an adult.

The reality of the exam is for your to answer the prompt--and that might take some research. There is not way for you to be totally ready to write a true analysis after one reading without further study. So research, read again and figure out a direction to go.

Some students get stuck on the setup before the quote. The Setup for the paragraph focuses on the sentence building techniques you have already studied and should be something like this:

When Thomas describes the scene in the garden when he and Jim are “hunting cats,” he employs a variety of figurative writing techniques, including: parallel structure, similes, metaphors, muscular verbs, and images and actions to paint a scene of young boys engaged in imaginative play:

But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous,[parallel structure] our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared. [ Child’s Christmas in Wales.]

[and in your head and heart] Thomas uses parallel structure to blah blah blah...You can even throw in more phrases and sentences in your head and heart to further prove your point.

I can help you in class, but don’t wait for that time. Get started writing now.

Here is an essay written by a Fenn Student--and a good one: https://www.thefennvoice.org/nicholas2019/2018/12/a-childs-christmas-in-wales-literary-analysis.html

And another by Timmy Smith: https://www.thefennvoice.org/smith2019/2018/12/a-childs-christmas-in-wales.html

 

More Resources:

https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/childs-christmas-wales-dylan-thomas-1955

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Child%27s_Christmas_in_Wales

And another good essay!

https://thelifeofhenry.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/literary-analysis-of-the-dylan-thomas-story-a-childs-christmas-in-wales/

 

Get at it. Words will come...


Exam Prep Portfolio

Fitz Freshman English 

Mid-Year Exam Prep Portfolio

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Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail
~Ben Franklin

Your mid-year exam is composed of four parts. Share with me as Last Name Midyear. I estimate it will take six-eight hours to thoughtfully work through this prep sheet. Four to five hours will be in in class time. The rest is on your own—so “Eat your cow” lest the King will have your head.

  1. The first part is this Exam Prep Portfolio. Complete this over the course of the next week. It is meant to mimic the amount of time you should spend preparing for a major exam.

  2. The second part is to write five Exam Prep Metacognition’s. Three this week and two next week.. Be sure to put your metacognition’s in this portfolio in a timely way!

  3. During the exam period, comment thoughtfully on your classmates’ “Power of Tradition” narrative paragraphs and “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” essay. Copy and paste your comments into the attached “Commenting Sheet.” 

  4. The final task is to write a 350 word reflection/metacognition "after" finishing the exam that explores your exam experience. Post the metacognition at the top of your exam portfolio.

And then you are off until January. I do appreciate all of the hard work you have done during this first half of the year. 

 

Exam Prep Portfolio

Download Freshman Mid-Year Exam

Resources...to use as you need them


The Week in Review: 12/4-12/9

The Heroic Cycle

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Those who don't look, don't see...

~Fitz

Class Meetings:  Wednesday, Thursday & Friday

NOTE: Feel free to start studying for the exam. The Top Ten Comma Rules and Top Five Sentence Building Techniques will be a major component of the exam.

Downloads:

 

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