Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Isn't it ex-cite-ing to be almost done with your big research paper?

Yeah, a corny pun, sorry.

Here are some links to help you navigate the complexities of citing sources in your paper. Remember that it is preferable to overcite, or even cite loosely, than to create the impression that you are taking credit for someone else's idea. We're cracking down on this, don't be caught up in the dragnet.

Also, remember that for this paper, I will accept the simpler parenthetical citation format of referring to a numbered list on your works cited page.

Parenthetical Citations

Quotation Marks

General MLA Citation Guidelines

Final paper due on Thursday. Remember, NO LATE WORK ACCEPTED!! Good luck!

Friday, March 27, 2009

About Thurber

Just a preview of the stories for next week.

Click on the title link for bio.

Here's the text for Thurber's short story, "The Catbird Seat," that we mentioned in class.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reality Check

First, the good news. The ten students listed below (in alphabetical order), are the ten top ranked students (according to their average multiple choice test scores) so far this year. Congratulations!


Granted, the multiple choice is only 45% of your overall score, but it's the most objective assessment of a student's general preparedness for the exam. I believe a strong performance on the multiple choice is helpful not only in getting a better score, but in psyching you up for the three essays to follow.

Think about it: you get the MC first, if you do well, you feel good going into the essay portion and that confidence translates into a more fluid, unencumbered thought-process as you write your essays. Whereas if you bomb the MC, you freak out and are distracted during the essay portion. Don't count on essays to pull you through if you're not doing well on the MC, it's not that simple.

On the other end of the spectrum, these are the SID#s of the 21 students still enrolled in AP English whose average MC scores are at 60% and below (in numeric order). If your SID# is listed below, I hope you're scoring consistently at 7 and above on the essays. You might scrape a pass if your essays are exceptionally strong and you won't be shaken up by a difficult MC exam, but that is a long shot. You have ONE more multiple choice exam this Friday to prove that you have what it takes to pass this thing...the question is, are you going to step up or flop out?

There's still time to cram in some heavy duty test prep on your own...but not much, we're down to 43 days (not SCHOOL days, just DAYS) before the big exam. If you buckle down NOW, you might still pull it off. Get a prep book, systematically work your way through it, reviewing your weak points, drill yourself on them until you improve. You can do it if you want to...how much do you WANT to?


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Very childish, I know...

But it's SO much fun!

See how many different homocidal reactions you can trigger in the cute little penguin.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Listen to this

T.S. Eliot reads his masterpiece, The Waste Land.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Victorians aren't the only ones with dirty little secrets

Considering how intense and sometimes heated the discussion got last week, I thought some of you might be interested in these articles:

NPR on Chris Browne/Rihanna incident and teens.

More on teen domestic violence (is it still "domestic" if they don't live together?).

Story from Chicago Tribune.

My point in raising these issues--as it has been all year--is that as different as things may appear on the surface, without a deeper understanding of the social and personal forces behind "culture," nothing ever really changes.

Change, true change, requires much more than better nutrition, equal education or high tech gadgets. It requires that people see clearly the limits of their own environments, and then apply their energies to moving those limits--those heavy, immovable boundaries--for the next generation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Live theater in Fremont?

Thanks to Kathleen for the heads-up on Broadway West's production of The Importance of Being Earnest. No weekday matinee, so no field trip possible, but it runs through Spring Break, so you have plenty of time. Support the arts in Fremont!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Shakespeare's Sister

The essay, by Virginia Woolf, may be found on pages 352-359 of the AP Reader. There are other versions floating around online, as well as tons of commentary on it (there is a band by this name, as well as a Smith's song of this title). The concept really grabs the imagination, doesn't it?

Please print out your own copy and take margin notes on it by the day it is due for discussion, next WEDNESDAY 3/11/09. I am getting very fed up with the folks who do not do the readings ON TIME, it seriously undermines effective discussion, and I will be implementing enforcement techniques.

This is an eight-page essay. If you can't read all of it by next Wednesday, you're really not trying.

Monday, March 02, 2009

AP Exam Sign-up, Part 2

All right, for those of you who haven't gotten the green bulletin sheet, a quick summary:

The window for sign-ups is open NOW through March 15 (which is a Sunday, so my guess is they'll take it through Monday, the 16th.)

It costs $88, you can put down a $28 deposit or pay in full. If you do the deposit plan, the balance is due 4/8/09.

See Mrs. Jung.

Someone asked how to get the 100 points for taking the test. All you have to do is sign up and pay with Mrs. Jung. I will get the list of people who are signed up for AP English from her after 4/8 and enter it into the gradebook. Depending on when she has it ready, it may go onto 3rd or 4th quarter grades. The 3rd quarter ends on 4/9, grades due 4/28 (yes, it's an unusually large window because of Spring Break).

If you don't sign up for the AP English test, you won't get to take it because they order an exact number of tests from the College Board. Don't procrastinate, don't delay. Get it DONE.