The Week in Review: April 2 - April 13

Zoom Sessions are on MyFenn

The Week in Review

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I am not a teacher, but an awakener. 
~Robert Frost


The Zoom session days are in green. You will always have a Zoom session if your class meets on Monday.

Section One:  Thursday 12:00, Friday 9:00, Monday 11:30, Tuesday 9:00, Wednesday 10:00 

Section Two:   Friday 11:30, Monday 9:00, Wednesday 11:30, Thursday 10:30, Friday 9:00


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Ten Ways to Write a Blog Post

Be interested in being interesting...

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The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.

Old Man's Advice to Youth ―Albert Einstein

    Doing something which is “different” does not come easily to most of us. The wrestling team I coach will look at me sideways if I ask them to practice cartwheels. I’ve even heard that some professional football teams bring in dance instructors to teach their behemoth linemen the art of ballet and foxtrot. My point is that practicing “any” athletic sport develops your skill in another seemingly unrelated sport. The same is true in writing. 

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How to Write a Journal Entry

Making sense of a moment

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“By seeking and blundering we learn.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

        For many of my students, even the sound of “free writing” in a journal induces a panic attack. I can hear their collective cry: “Free means anything, and any thing is the same as everything, and everything is just too hard to choose from--so just please give me something--one thing--one fun and easy writing prompt, plus a rubric and a brief word count, and, easy peezy, I’ll get it done in twenty... thirty minutes tops!”

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A Reflection on Reading & Writing

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When people see things as beautiful,

ugliness is created.

When people see things as good,

evil is created.

Being and non-being produce each other.

Difficult and easy complement each other.

Long and short define each other.

High and low oppose each other.

Fore and aft follow each other.


~Laozu, The Dao de Qing


    I went to school in China almost forty years ago. I was not a particularly good student, but I loved living in China--when China was a much more rural country than it is now. Back then there were few cars on the streets of Beijing and only one high rise building, the Beijing Hotel--almost ten stories high--where the few foreigners, business seekers and reporters in the city lived and stayed and drank and dissipated their days and nights away--or so it seemed to me.  The Chinese people, aside from the communist party elite, were poor, but incessantly gracious, and few seemed unhappy. One night while visiting a Zhang Hong Nian a poet, artist and friend of mine, I asked how, in the face of such daily hardship, the average Chinese person maintained their dignity and sense of humor.


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Our Finest Hour

Why words matter…

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But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth[e] last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."

~ Winston Churchill 

    No less than the soldiers tasked with storming the beachheads of France in World War II, we are all living through an epochal event in human history. Nothing in my sixty-two years of life comes remotely close. The pandemic is not a storm on some other shore; it is not a drought in some arid county or backwater village; it is not a political upheaval in some far-off nation—and it is not a time to put our heads in the sand and our asses to the sky. It is a challenge—a massive challenge—a challenge that is effecting and transforming the entire world, and it is upending and re- tasking the daily, normal lives of billions of people. You are, by dint of fate, simply one of the many, but no less than the trees and stars, you have a right to be here and you have an obligation for your voice to be heard and recorded in the incessant book of time.


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Life in the New Time

Sua Sponte

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 2.12.10 PMIt is in Your Hands and me, who never seems at a loss for words, is stuttering for normality in an unnatural time, but it is in and through words, graced by magnanimous and selfless actions, that we can carve new paths through uncharted woods. No lesson plan, no "Week in Review," no enlightened curriculum, and no "How-to-Video" is readily at hand. Only an indefatigable spirit, suffused with stubborn persistence, and an almost intolerable patience, will keep the axe in our hands and keep our lives flailing forward. In time, the path--our unique paths--will open before us and lead us to where we need to go.


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The Week in Review: February 24-March 1

The Week in Review

Download 8th Weekly Feb 24 - March 2

Download Design Writing: Top Ten Writing Errors

Please download the weekly assignment sheet. Save it as "Last Name Spring Assignments" and the share it with me.

There is a lot of independent work this week--and although a fairly simple week, you will need to make wise use of your time. Download the Top Ten Writing Errors and be sure to learn how to proofread more carefully.  Pay attention to due dates. If you are not able to finish an assignment on time, please contact me. All assignments must be completed "before" the first class next week. No credit for late assignments.

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The Week in Review: February 10-21


Last weeks assignment sheet  is due on Friday will count towards your spring term. If you have missing assignments, your must complete them by tomorrow--and show me the completed work.

If you finish your work early. Comment on the most recent two blog posts of your classmates--which is due on Monday.



The Power of Words

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Open your mind to redefine...


Section One:  Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday

Section Two:  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday


The Week in Review


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