Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The national data for AP 2009 have come in!  AP English Literature posted an overall pass rate of 58.7%...which means our pass rate of 86% totally kicked ASS!!


Monday, August 31, 2009


If WHS were Hogwarts, you would've earned an E for Exceeds Expectations.

Data breakdown:

5s=7/9% (Most of these students may have earned a 5 without the class, so I can't take too much credit for their success.)

4s=28/36% (This is the group I am most proud of, as most of these students started the year at a 3 or lower, so I know the class actually improved their scores.)

3s=32/41% (Again, really pronounced improvement in this group.)

2s=11/14% (Much smaller group than I anticipated, which I know is small comfort for the students who fall into it, but as a measure of class success, it's still good news.)

No 1s.

All told: 67 students--or 86% out of 78--passed the AP English Literature Exam in 2009. Congratulations, I am so totally, exceeding proud of all of you. Thank you for making my job worth doing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The penultimate post

I know I will post at least once more when I get your scores back in September, but if you want, you can comment on this post in July when you get your AP scores (I'm assuming at least the ones who pass will be comfortable with that, but you're all welcome to email me about it, too). I really do want to know how you did.

Final grades are posted in the door window. I'm glad to say everyone passed with a C, at green slips, yay!

All unrecovered work is sitting in a box outside my classroom door. You can pick it up at your leisure through 2pm tomorrow. After that, it goes in the recycling bin.

Some last words directed especially at my CW/AP students:


I'm sure you noticed that there were some common themes in the author presentations: suicide, mental illness, addiction, suffering.

For the ten of you, who are, presumably, most interested in pursuing a life of letters, I would like to point out that while we all suffer through life, to some degree, and this suffering may be valuable in deepening our humanity and our ability to connect with others, there is also tremendous power in just being an observer of suffering, of bearing witness to other people's pain, and perhaps alleviating it by giving them a voice. Don't feel that you have experience everything firsthand in order to write about it...just paying attention to other people, listening and remembering, can be enough.

I will see you all on Friday.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

It's K-12 week coming up.

There are TWO days next week that you CANNOT miss. Wednesday is Kindergarten can't be made up, so you must be here. Friday is the Poetry Reading that counts as your final...again, it CANNOT be made up, you MUST be in class. Spread the word.

Crap! Forgot to pass out the worksheet that's due on Monday. Please don't let me forget tomorrow. And if you're absent, make sure to get one when you get back. I'd post it, but it's not a digital file.

Finally, check THIS out! 3D visualization of people's opinions on social issues. See where you stand.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Presentations Mid-point Advice

As I'm sure you have observed, there are some clear distinctions between excellent, decent and mediocre presentations. Most notable is the tendency of some presenters to READ OFF OF THE SLIDE!!!

Don't we all hate that?

Can we try not to do that anymore?

An audience will forgive many other common foibles such as a presenter inserting too many ums in their narration, accidentally skipping ahead two slides and then doubling back, even typos peppered throughout the slides, but boring them by saying the exact words that they can read for themselves is the number one way you will lose their attention.

Don't do it.

Also, can we try to be a bit more consistent in the time notations? Sometimes the presentation skips around in time, or certain events aren't labeled with years or references to other years and it gets really confusing. Think of the basic structure of the presentation as a TIMELINE...with events in the author's life on one side, and the works the author produced on the other, and YOUR ANALYSIS of how the two sides are connected as the key narration.

Finally, make sure you really understand all the information you present so you can answer any clarifying questions. Don't quote another author's comments ABOUT your author, for example, without knowing something about that other author.

Good luck to those whose presentations are still to come...I expect to see higher caliber work after these suggestions are sent out (see, there ARE advantages to being an early presenter).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tuesday Graders

If you're DEFINITELY going to be in class on Tuesday, May 26, please let me know either via email (terihu[at] OR by leaving a comment on this post. I will select graders for Tuesday's presentations based on this list, so it's vitally important that you actually show up if you say you will. Don't be a flake!

Remember, the six presenters on Tuesday deserve your support. I am quite bummed to be missing this of all days, a few of the presentations I was really looking forward to seeing are booked for this day. Believe me, if I had control over this medical situation, I would not have booked a procedure for the 26th...this is why I'm not happy with Kaiser. At all.

Fortunately, the sub will be Mr. Ingebretson, whom you had in January, and who is sane and intelligent. I will leave him clear instructions as to what to look for in the presentations so I can base grades on more than just the slideshow.

All right, have a good LONG weekend everyone. Rest up. There may only be 17 school days left, but they are 17 tremendously fraught days.

UPDATE: These are the folks I've actually heard from, assigned to grade presentations as follows...

Graders for SAI's presentation:
Samuel Lai

Graders for MIKA's presentation
Amy Dunford

I only have five names for 3rd, so just switch Katie and Sarah as graders for each other's presentation.
Sarah Ewing

I only heard from two people in 2nd, besides the presenters, but I'm sure more people will show. You're going to have to figure it out.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Extra Credit

So...only 15 people did the extra credit? Lame.

You have until Monday. After that, I open it up to the folks who didn't get to pick a slip.