Friday, May 16, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Ending: May 16, 2014

Focus: How does it all end?

1. Celebrating Mackenzie!

From Mrs. Durow: Your subject is perfect...soulful. And I would add graceful and thoughtful. 

From Mr. Meyer: Another child of a high school friend.  I've enjoyed watching you pursue your goals in such a mature manner, quietly setting your own standards regardless of the chaos that might exist around you.  

PS...Thanks again for sharing your Dad with our class.

From Mrs. Ferrill: Mackenzie does indeed possess a poetic soul and serene demeanor.  But beneath her sophisticated exterior is a woman of fire and razor-sharp wit.  Last year in AP Lang she impressed me with her insights and work ethic.  This year in my Shakespeare class she has become a Siren, writing witty scripts for creative interpretations of plays, and transforming a dull classroom into a land of enchantment.  She has indeed found her "Muse of Fire" and is headed toward a bright future!

From Natalie: Mackenzie is one of the sweetest people I've ever known. She is exceptionally kind and wise and she always cares about how those around her are doing. She has a lovely laugh. We have a great time together (especially in Brads' classes!) Two of my favorite memories...

In econ, during a Socratic seminar (more like a lecture) on taxes and social security, Mackenzie started a game of hangman with me on a scrap of paper. Mr. Meyer, in the middle of his lecture, came over and asked "Who's winning?" Mackenzie and I were embarrassed but she calmly told him that I was. Meyer said, "Who started it?" Again, very calmly, Mackenzie said "I did." He accepted that it was happening and continued with his lecture, and Mackenzie and I continued with our game. I think I won with the word Shakespeare. 

In her Henry IV Part One essay, she said that Henry was the Prince of Whales!

Mackenzie has been such a wonderful friend to me and I am grateful. I love her.

From her mom: This is Mackenzie at 3 years old.  We surprised her with this playhouse on her third birthday and the very first thing she asked was can I move a TV and a bed in there?  She truly thought she was going to live in her new house!  The funny thing was even though Mackenzie and her sister stopped playing in the playhouse many years ago, we kept it in the back yard until last year when we gave it to our neighbor’s kids.  To no surprise they loved the house too, not sure if they have moved a bed or a TV in there, but you never know!

Also from her mom: Could I add to Mackenzie's statement, of why I think she rocks?  Things I admire about  Mackenzie...she is very funny and does great impressions!  She has a very kind and thoughtful heart.   Her smile can light up the room, hopefully it not her bedroom because she's kinda messy!  She is wise beyond her years and she amazes us every day with the things she does and we are extremely, extremely proud of her!

From her culminating essay: ...I am still healing.  Slowly my wounds are closing as I begin to forgive. One day I will hear a siren and not break conversation or hear a book drop in the hallway and not start trembling and one day I will see someone running and not search for an exit and that will be the day that I know I have healed.  I will have forgiven all my demons and made peace inside my own soul and I will be reborn.  To forgive is to survive.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A.P. Outdoors: May 15, 2014

Focus: Who's Good at Badminton? 

1. Celebrating Natalie!

From Mrs. Lovitt: I love Natalie's strong love of family.  She even lets me get away with calling her Nicole some days.

From Mrs. Crosby: Natalie is a dedicated and extremely thorough learner who always contributes insightful comments.

From Mr. Meyer: I wish Natalie's the best in pursuing her life goal of providing Nathan McKinnon an option to his bachelorhood.  Her baking skills, which match her intellect, will help him to deal with those tough losses.

From Mrs. Crookham: Natalie worked so hard in Trig/Pre-Calc.  She is such a gifted math student, but stresses about everything.  She and Holly Schaefer would be the last two to leave class every day.  I often wondered if they just wanted to stay for another math class!  Natalie had one of the highest averages ever in Trig.

From Mrs. Ferrill: Natalie and I are soul sisters when it comes to 19th Century English novels!  What a joy to teach Natalie Pride and Prejudice, and what fun we've had gossiping about Jane EyreWuthering Heights, and Rebecca.  Natalie is destined to marry a Byronic hero and name her firstborn son Darcy, Rochester, Heathcliff, or Max.  Oh, and Natalie, don't forget your summer reading list:  Frenchman's CreekThe Thorn Birds, and Tara Road!

From Mackenzie: I've known Natalie since sophomore year and she's become one of my most favorite humans! Over the last two years I have learned what a truly remarkable person she is. I am constantly impressed with her and her ability to make me laugh! I'll never forget our adventures and all of the economic classes we spent playing tic-tac-toe and talking Wuthering Heights and poetry! I shall miss you next year, my friend! Love you!

From Mrs. Cladny: She walks in beauty...

     Lord, Oh Lord will I miss the most passionate, intelligent, inquisitive, and enthusiastic student of literature that I have ever had the pleasure to teach.  Natalie's beauty and radiance are unique and unquestionably, divine.

The smiles that win, the tints that glow...

From Natalie's mom: 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A.P. Kindergarten: May 14, 2014

Focus: How do we get back into our kindergarten minds?

1. Celebrating Nick!

From Mrs. Levi: I didn't meet Nick until his senior year, and I think he is one of the most impressive students I have worked with.  Nick has a great sense of humor, and he brings intellectual depth to any class or conversation.  For his final project in my class, Nick took a very complicated topic (various sects in Shintoism) and explained it to the class perfectly.  He did it with clarity and conciseness--better than any student has before!  This is just one example of why Nick will be successful and why he is such an all-star!

From Mr. Smith: I can say without hesitation that Nick Sabo has the best nerdy-math-and-science sense of humor that I have ever encountered.  Ever.  No question.

From Mrs. Cornils: Here is my bit for Nick. I had him in class for Honors US History and Sociology. Plus, we've had many a chat over the years. He should get the meaning of each line in historical context, personality/group theories, pop culture, and as a future Rice Owl. Sabo the Great, a Renaissance man in the making, is one of the best! (Please don't judge my lack of literary talent as you two possess- I tried within a 30 minutes. :)) Stacey

Past, present, and future owl

Tucked in trees deeply rooted

Logical perfection gazes expressively

Caged not by intuition or convention of path

Protective of his parliament - proud and strong

Extraordinary senses see vision in darkness

Preying only on the confines of ignorance

My young wizard
From Paul: I would be rather lost without you. When I first knew you in middle school, I really didn't like you. You were awkward and strange and really didn't fit in. But I guess as time went on, I realized that we were basically the same...Once we graduate, we only have a few months to say goodbye, so I'm starting early. I'll miss you my friend. I don’t think words can express how much I really will miss you. You go and kick some Texas butt next year!

From Mrs. FerrillNick loves playing the fool, but believe me, he's nobody's fool!  A voracious reader, an eloquent writer, and a brilliant philosopher, Nick was our star performer in AP Lang last year.  He can "out-Herod Herod," craft a "method to his madness," and mesmerize his audience with "flashing eyes and floating [red] hair!"  So "weave a circle round him thrice/ And close your eyes with holy dread/ For he on honey-dew hath fed,/ And drunk the milk of Paradise." So, "Beware! Beware," Melibee!  A new guy's in town and his name is Sabo!                                                      
P. S.  Can you identify all of the literary allusions, Nick?

From his mom:  This is Nick eating his favorite food in his one-year-old world, "don dons."  As Nick grew up to be six or seven, he found that his red hair and polite charm won him many fans in bakeries and doughnut shops in his home town of Irvine, CA. So much so, in fact, that the clerks in several of those establishments would not allow Nick to pay for any pastries that he attempted to purchase. One time one of the employees of Star Donuts ran outside the shop to stop us and give Nick a frosted and sprinkled confection.  He was also admired at French's bakery where he scored many a gourmet cupcake from the high school girls. He got to the point where he would ask me to go in  without him in buy his treat, because he felt "kinda  guilty."

Nick was also quite a theologian in his elementary school days. In second grade, he nearly got in a fist fight in because his classmate claimed that his (Henry's) mother "knew everything." Nick informed Henry that "omniscience" was only possible for God and the fireworks started from there. Luckily I was nearby to stop bloodshed. I later told his second grade teacher, Mrs. Yates, that I was the only mother of a seven-year-old in the world who already knew that his mother knew nothing :). 

Along similar lines, in third or fourth grade, Nick informed me that the Golden Rule was "counterintuitive." Sigh.

2. Reverting back to our childhood selves with kindergarten crafts and games!

Before I let you go on Friday, please turn in/take care of the following:
1. Your letter to next year's AP Lit students (they will read these the day before the exam).
2. All of your school books.
3. Your legacy in a Word Document.
4. Your evaluation, which you can access by clicking HERE

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

AP Lit IS the New Youtube Sensation: May 13, 2014

Focus: Seriously, how talented are we?

1. Celebrating Whitney!

From Mrs. Lhotta: Whitney was always smiling and enthusiastic about math. She made the class fun!!

From Mrs. Bradley: Whitney is a stud athlete with a kind heart. I loved having her in class!

From Mrs. Bretz: The thing I focus on with Whitney (not funny) is her drive.  Whitney knew she was struggling in her math class but would not give up.  She kept coming in on off hours, after school, etc., to get the help and was determined to get the grade up from where it was.  Not only did she accomplish that but she also scored high on our final exam and reached a success in the class that she did not know she was capable of.  Kudos to Whitney Krantz for sticking it out, persevering, and learning.  Thanks for all your efforts, Whitney.

From Mrs. Moritz: What an amazing young woman. I want my daughter, Mackenzie, to be just like her.

From Mr. Meyer: I was so glad to help Whitney better understand her Mom.  All of my high school stories allowed her to uncover that hidden history from Heritage '85. Being the 3rd Krantz to walk these halls, standards had been set high for her. I loved watching her set her own standards ... always doing so with a smile!

From Mr. Hampshire: What a fantastic young lady!!! Whitney is a great example of how one should balance and juggle a very full and busy life. Though she was often gone because of her volleyball commitments, she always took care of her work; with a smile!!!

From Mr. Corson: Whitney is a joy to have in class.  She was alive and excited...energetic and active and very reactive against any poke I might throw her way about Lehigh.  It was so much fun. 

In class we learned how Operant Conditioning was kind of like life in that you need to try something to get feedback.  Without the nerve to attempt something, you will never know if you really like something.  Whitney epitomized the art of really "going for" something.  She will go out into this world and try her hand at anything and everything, and in doing so she will discover much.

From Mrs. Syers: I had the pleasure of working with Whitney for all four years of her high school volleyball career.  She came in a gangly, boy-crazy, silly freshman (one of only four players I EVER put on varsity as a freshman) and became one of the most all around, dominant players to ever play for Arapahoe.  She is one of only three players in our school's history to be recognized with All-State Honors.  We will see her picture up in the trophy hallway very soon.  I am so proud of Whitney and all that she has worked to achieve.  Whitney is fun, still silly, and still boy crazy (ask her about her timed mile during tryouts!)  And when you combine that zest for life with her competitive drive and talent, you've got one amazing volleyball player and individual.

From Mr. Kuhlmann: My fellow travelers,

Whitney is one of the most kind, the most enthusiastic, and the most genuinely coachable student I have had the pleasure of teaching. She works hard, laughs hard & it's freakin' contagious. 

Whitney, as I write this for you nearly a week away from your high school graduation, I want you to know that I'm proud of you for following your passions and continuing to live the questions whose answers still elude you. Let us know what you find as you leave these halls and continue on your quest. Huzzah! 

From her mom and dad: This is one of my favorite memories of Whitney! She is about 2 in this photo and she was and is such a joy to be around! She loved polar bears at this age! Her older brother, Jake, coined her "Whitter Plum" as a baby, and she has been just that to us ever since! Now she is our 6 foot tall, amazing young woman! But she will always be Whitter Plum to us!

2. Lip syncing, Part 2 and enjoying your favorite youtube videos

Before I let you go on Friday, please turn in/take care of the following:
1. Your letter to next year's AP Lit students (they will read these the day before the exam).
2. All of your school books.
3. Your legacy in a Word Document.
4. Your evaluation, which you can access by clicking HERE

Monday, May 12, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Singing, Kind of: May 12, 2014

Focus: How amazing are we at lip syncing?

1. Warming up by celebrating Madison:

From Mrs. Smith: Madison- one thing she reminds me of, whether she knows this or not, is how strong young women can be; they just need to recognize it in themselves.  I know I see it shining through in Madison.  She is an example of perseverance, determination, and hard work all while maintaining a radiant smile.

From Mr. Morahan: Madison was a quiet young lady in class, but was probably one of the more thoughtful students I have had. I remember her being caring in class- and not just with her classmates, but caring for the people of the world in which we were studying; people she had never met, living lives we struggle to imagine, let alone empathize with. 

From Mr. Corson: Madison is a dedicated soul.  She always wants to get everything right. What she doesn't realize is that she has gotten it right even before she begins. I know that names and dates aren't the most important part of history, It is more about learning about what shapes people and cultures and the basis of that is caring about those people enough to hear their story. And that is what Madison does every day.  She cares about those around her.

From her mom and dad: One of the things I love about Madison is her incredible tenacity and determination. Once she sets her mind to something she will put in whatever work and effort it takes to accomplish her goal.  On the fun side,  I love the way Madison laughs.  When she is happy and she laughs, she laughs from her eyes to deep in her soul.

2. Engaging in a lip syncing battle

Before I let you go on Friday, please turn in/take care of the following:
1. Your letter to next year's AP Lit students (they will read these the day before the exam).
2. All of your school books.
3. Your legacy in a Word Document.
4. Your evaluation, which you can access by clicking HERE

Friday, May 9, 2014

We're Done with the Test and Loving It: May 9, 2014

Focus: What do we do now?

1. Warming up with a very important reminder

2.  Celebrating Janie!

From Mr. Corson: When I think of Jane I think of a big smile.  When she comes into class I see her with lots of things on her mind, but always a smile on her face.

From Mrs. Crookham: Janie is a very conscientious student always giving her best effort. :)

From Mrs. Ferrill: Janie was full of surprises in AP Language.  She was usually very quiet, but when given the opportunity to perform, she could be a real HAM!

From Mr. Krause: Janie was a star in Spelling/Vocab. Moreover, she continually made cross country fun with her goofiness and sense of humor.

From Mrs. Bradley: Oh Janie,  Janie makes me laugh everyday. I have enjoyed running miles and miles with her and having her in class. 

From Mrs. Smith: Ahhh, Janie!  I have never quite experienced the sheer determination and work ethic I witnessed in Janie during her freshman year. Such perseverance after what she saw as set-backs in her writing. Instead, I saw her as a relentless learner bent on success.  

From her mom: Always Janie has been fun-loving, playful and an adventurous spirit.  When we are with her we know we will be smiling, laughing and listening to her talk!  :)

3. Celebrating Paul!

From Mr. Wallace: I had Paul last year in AP bio.  One of the first conversations we had outside of class was his "opening a can of worms" about my teaching style.  Needless to say, by the next year, I was writing a letter of recommendation for him.

From Mrs. Lee: One of the most challenging things to be as a high school student is original, and one of my favorite qualities about Paul is his unabashed confidence in who he is & his willingness to assert his ideas.  He is creative and unique. He's also very helpful & giving of his time.

From Mrs. Ferrill: Paul Grewe is my Hero!  Last year, when I passed out while working at my desk in C10, Paul, who was working on his laptop in the back of the room, jumped into action.  He called all of the right phone numbers, ran next door to ask Mrs. Moritz for help, and tried to comfort me despite my sorry condition (I had thrown up Grace Marlowe's chocolate cake with red icing and looked like I was covered in blood!).  He kept saying, "Dear Mrs. Ferrill, you'll be okay...I'll help teach 3rd period!"  And later that day he called me at home to make sure I was okay. My hero...  Beowulf, move over!

From Mrs. Levi: Paul is probably one of the most fearless and confident students I know.  In the classroom, Paul speaks his mind and can articulate his opinions exceptionally well.  I was also impressed by Paul's use of these traits when he student assisted in our office as a junior.  Whenever the telephone rang, Paul, as fearless as ever, would answer, "Social Studies office, student assistant speaking," and proceed to handle the incoming call, whether it was the front office, a parent, etc.  No other student assistant (past or present) has been up for the challenge of answering "The Phone."  Go Paul!

From Mrs. Cornils: Oh, Paul. Where do I begin? With confidence and creative flair, Paul is always his own person. I appreciate his extroversion and intellectualism. He is a divergent thinker who is contemplative but with a light-hearted spin. When student assisting for me, a classic Paul line, "Nothing says I'm going to college than stacking books for an OCD teacher. And Mrs. Cornils, I meanOCD in the best of ways."

From his dad: What is usually the best is last and that can be the description for Mr. Paul Grewe. He was cute playing his new saxophone in the 6th grade with Mr. Richard Talley while describing a hexagon...tooting one tune and singing it too while describing the sides of it for the assignment in one of his classes.

From Nick:  I think Paul's a person. In eighth grade, I shared the popular opinion of thinking he's one of the most annoying people I'd ever met. He thought I was one of the weirdest people he'd ever met. We still think this of each other, but now we're bros. One of the best I could ask for. 

3. Chatting about how it went :)

4. Developing a fun plan for next week

Before I let you go on Friday, please turn in/take care of the following:
1. Your letter to next year's AP Lit students (they will read these the day before the exam).
2. All of your school books.
3. Your legacy in a Word Document.
4. Your evaluation, which you can access by clicking HERE

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A.P. Lit Was Born Ready: May 7, 2014

Focus: Why were you born ready for the AP Lit Exam?

1. Warming up by celebrating Anna!

From Mrs. Lovitt: There isn't a day that Anna doesn't come in to AP Spanish with a huge smile and a positive attitude.  She's cared for many of her friends this year.

From Mrs. Marron: I really miss having Anna in class - not only is she an excellent student, she has such a sweet heart. I hope that she loves dance in college, and remember - it's all about mechanics!

From Mrs. Cornils: Anna is a true sweetheart and is always thinking of others. Her smile brightens the room. One day we were talking about birth order and her brothers, and she confidently said,"Well he may be the brainiac of the family, but I have the most balance!" This is quite accurate on her part: a graceful, bright, kind-spirited individual she is.

From Mrs. Moritz: Anna is the most compassionate young woman I have ever met. She cares about everyone she meets and goes above and beyond the norm to make others happy. What an amazing girl. :)

From Mrs. Smith: I will never forget Anna and her buddies dressing up in Dancing with the Stars gowns to perform a scene from Romeo and Juliet. With grace and class, Anna approaches each aspect of her life dancing her way to success.

From Mrs. FerrillAnna is indeed a bright star with a big heart.  I had three Annas in my Period 1 AP Lang class last year, and I learned Anna White's name first (my students know I have a learning disability with names--just ask Paul Grewe--aka Drew) because she loved to engage in class discussion, volunteer to read aloud, and participate in all creative activities!  Oh the places she'll go and the fun she'll have!

From Mrs. Levi: Anna is always beaming, and her smile is one of my favorite things about her.  Even when I see Anna rushing to class in the hall, she always has a huge smile on her face and is genuinely happy to see her friends and acquaintances.  Behind that smile, Anna is diligent, hardworking, and never gives up on something she's set her mind to.

From her mom: Anna has always been our bundle of energy! She is fearless and uninhibited in everything she does. She lives life to the fullest and wants to share it with everyone around her. Our lives will be VERY boring and quiet when she goes to college next year. We will miss her very much!

2. Enjoying some bedtime stories and remembering why you love to read

3. Offering you some interesting statistics:

  • This year in A.P. Lit you have typed at least 100 pages of literary analysis.
  • This year in A.P. Lit you have read, on average, about 2,866 pages of prose (you have also read at least 120 poems).
  • You have been reading and speaking English for at least 16 years.
  • But never mind all that...YOU WERE BORN READY FOR THE AP LIT EXAM!

4. Taking time to work through your bedside stacks

Finish up your bedside stacks, get a good night's sleep, and get to Ames by 7:30!  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Reviewing: May 6, 2014

Focus: What can we still prepare for (in terms of the AP Lit exam)?

Celebrating Kai-Bin!

From Mrs. Levi: When I had Kai in class as a junior, she always brought a great sense of humor to the group.  There was never a dull moment in class, and you could always count on Kai to add her trademark wittiness to whatever was going on.  This year, whenever I see her in the hall, Kai continues to bring a smile to my face with her wit and good-nature!

From Mrs. Comp: I have learned that Kai likes turnin' it down for what and wearin' sharkies.  Whatever she may be up to, she is real, she is a kick butt soccer player, a smart mind, and I revere her tremendously.  

From Mr. Bast: If we win the league in soccer, we let the girls dress up the day after and so this past Wednesday we celebrated our league championship.  Kai was dressed in her one piece shark jammies with the requisite shark booties.  A coach from another school who was playing in our jv tournament, seeing everyone dressed as if it were Halloween asked Kai what day is it and she ​quickly responded, "It's Wednesday, Shark Day....we dress up every Wednesday for Shark Day."  He just smiled and moved on.
Another one that I am not sure would be as good, is when we played Mullen, Kai went to go get a ball for our thrown in and the Mullen player, rather unsportingly kicked the ball farther away even though it was already out of bounds.  Kai just looked up at her and said, "Jesus would not approve."

From her mom and dad: She can make us mad or even make us cry sometimes but she give us a lot of laughter, joy and love.....we are very blessed. 

1. Warming up with a few quizlet games to help you solidify your AP Lit vocabulary

Click HERE to play with literary terms that frequently show up on the test

Create a Quizlet account (or sign in if you already have one) and enter all the tone words from your packet that you don't know.  Feel free to work with a partner or two; you can divide and conquer since Quizlet allows you to share flashcards.  Then play and have fun!  The website is, and many prefer to have it as app on their phones.

If you'd like a challenge (and you're a fan of crosswords), click HERE.

2. Preparing for the essay questions by clicking HERE.

Group 1: Poetry essays (Question 1)
Group 2: Prose essays (Question 2)
Group 3: Open question (Question 3)
Group 4: The Big Picture (Look at all three questions for any given year)

3. Reminding you of a few important items...

Work on your beside stack (and perhaps your vocabulary, if you struggled at all today).

Monday, May 5, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Reviewing: May 5, 2014

Focus: How can sharpen our prose multiple choice skills?

1. Warming up: Testing out the first inch of three passages

2. Practicing like you're gonna play: Trying out three prose passages on your own

3. Discussing the questions that are throwing you off

Continue reviewing your bedside stack and looking over your previous timed writings.

Friday, May 2, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Turning in Their Essays: May 2, 2014

Focus: What can we learn about ourselves from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

1. Warming up with a little celebration of your culminating essays!

And another celebration: Katie!

From Ms. Crosby: Katie is a wonderfully exuberant learner who actively participates every day, and truly contributes to other students' understanding.

From Mrs. Bradley: Katie is smart, kind and fun. I have enjoyed having her in class.

From Mr. Corson: When I think of Katie, I think of food.  That's really not too usual because I'm a guy and I think about food quite a lot anyway, but it is especially connected to Katie because she would bring in food all the time for our class.  In International Relations, she decided to choose a country that we were learning about, look up recipes, and make and bring in food for all of us to share.  It was great!

When I think of Katie, I also thing about her special ability to get along with everyone.  She doesn't just care about the students from her immediate circle of friends, but she can also bring in others.  This is a rare gift in a high school student, but Katie possesses the empathy and the personality to be able to pull this off.

From Mr. Hampshire: Wow, were could I possibly begin!!!! Katie-girl is one of the most genuine students I have taught in my 22 years. Katie is so positive; I absolutely adore her smile. Katie took my Honors Western Civilizations course knowing it would be a challenge for her. She worked so hard, stayed so positive; never complaining (so unlike an Honors student:) ). There is a natural calming and sincere aura about Katie. 
I will truly miss her. Her smile always made me feel like all was good in the world.
Thank you Katie-girl.

From Mr. Kuhlmann: Katie! (I feel I need to use exclamation points to match your enthusiasm).
Katie! You are so bright, inquisitive, & an intelligent "gem." I'm truly grateful that you've been in my classes and in the hallways to help me laugh through some stressful moments. Your enthusiasm for learning is obvious and I truly admire the way that you live the questions that you seek answers from--that' so admirable! 
As you prepare for the AP Lit. exam with Mrs. Leclaire, don't forget to continue to love literature and to dig deeply within the text, as you do within your self. I have utter confidence in you--you've got good writerly instincts, so write & read for yourself and have fun! You always do! Boy, this exclamation point thing is contagious!

From her parents: Katie is a bright light to our family and to the world. Wherever she goes, the party follows. Her beaming smile and warm laughter melts our hearts. Her nickname as a child was Pooky Poo and as she grew older it changed to Happy Kate! The words laughter and Katie are synonymous.

2. Sharing ideas about Stoppard's usage of the boat and the stage

3. Finishing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

4. Discussing Stoppard's play in small groups, using past A.P. prompts as a guide

The test is in less than a week.  The part of the test that you can really prepare for at this point is Question 3, so work hard on your bedside stacks.  Repetition is key. Repetition is key.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Happy It's May: May 1, 2014

Focus: How are we all like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

1. Warming up by celebrating Evan!

From Mrs. Marron: I have really enjoyed having Evan in class - his quiet leadership in small groups has been such a joy, and I know others will benefit from his presence. I'm crossing my fingers that physics is in his future!

From Mrs. Leyden: I feel like it is out of Evan's comfort zone to be taking scuba class. I admire how he is always in the water and works to accomplish every skill. I admire his courage. I hope he knows this. 

From Mr. Siekmeier: Evan is a competitive dancer!  --Not what you would guess from his quiet nature in the classroom.  Evan was in my class as a sophomore and I recommended him for AP.  He was a stalwart student, despite making the skip.  Evan made an independent study of An American Childhood by Annie Dillard, wherin he wrote a superlative response paper to this work, something I found insightful, even having taught the book numerous times. His personal discipline was evident in his careful attention to all dimensions of assignments.  The class atmosphere was also benefitted by Evan’s wry humor and positive demeanor...Evan is a gem.  In all my years of teaching, I’ve rarely encountered an individual who has such an impressive record of involvement and accomplishment combined with authentic character. 

From Evan's Blog: "I Think This Play Has Affected My Ability to Write"

From Evan's mom: As you can see, at the age of four, Evan was practicing poses for his senior picture! This is also the age he started taking piano lessons, which led to his undeniable love of music.  Whether he is playing a musical instrument, Irish dancing to music, or just listening to music on his iPod, Evan doesn't miss a beat!

2. Offering you a few quick culminating essay reminders

Staple your question/booklist to the front of your essay.
Include an MLA heading.
Include a header (Your last name   Page #) in the upper right corner of each page.
Cite each quotation properly.
Attach a properly formatted Works Cited page that includes all works referenced in your essay.

3. Acting out the rest? of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and picking out important passages

No homework.  Just kidding--culminating essays are due tomorrow, of course.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Uncertain? April 30, 2014

PLC: Shortened Class Today

Focus: How does R&G's waiting different from V&E's waiting?

Please turn in your Bedside Stack forms if you have not yet done so.

1. Celebrating Kendall!

From Ms. McGeorge: Hi. I love having Kendall in AP Biology. She always works extremely hard and is always smiley. When I found out that a member our girls lacrosse team was going to my college (Kenyon College), Kendall dragged her friend down to meet me so we could have "Kenyon" time. That was an extremely nice thing for her to do!

From Mrs. Bradley: Kendall is kind and works hard in class. 

From Mrs. Comp: Kendall is all heart--with a quiet humility she is a person of character, goodness and she has only scratched the surface of what she can and will achieve-how lucky people are for her!  

From Mr. Siekmeier: Kendall seems to fly under the radar, but she's got great perception.  She really knows what's going on, always a steady presence in a classroom who does consistently good work.

From Mrs. Smith: Kendall is one of those students who becomes part of a teacher's life, changing it for the better. She entered as part of my school family, but her family became my family taking care of us in some really challenging times. She always shows me to appreciate life with a smile, kindness, and gratitude.  Oh, how I will miss that girl.

From her family: First and foremost, Kendall is confident and balanced in her perspective about life and her future. She is not afraid to blaze her own trail rather than following others. She is a kind and loyal girl who truly values those that are close to her. She is highly competitive and willing to put in hard work to accomplish her goals. Most importantly, she is a tremendous blessing to our family!! We love her dearly and will miss her love andcontagious laughter in our home next year!!
Sweet Pea, we love you to the moon and back!!
Dad, Mom, Riley and Scott

2. Warming up: Reading the dialogue between Guildenstern and the Player on pages 66-67

  • What connections do you see between this conversation and the conversations in Godot?
  • How do the ideas in this dialogue differ from those in Godot?
  • How are we all like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

3. Viewing the rest of Act II in R&G Are Dead

Culminating essay due this Friday.
Start working on your bedside stack (follow the directions on the handout).

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Offstage: April 29, 2014

Focus: What does it mean to be offstage?

1. Warming up: Close reading a passage from yesterday

PLAYER: We keep to our usual stuff, more or less, only inside out.  We do on stage the things that are supposed to happen off.  Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit being an entrance somewhere else.  (28)

  • In your lives, how would you define living "offstage" to living "onstage"?  In other words, when are you are offstage, and when are you onstage? For example, is your school life offstage or onstage, and why? Is there such a thing as "offstage"?
  • What is the player revealing about his acting troop's intentions?  Why is there integrity in this?
  • What does he mean when he says that every exit is entrance somewhere else?
  • How is this an example of metafiction?  In other words, how is this a comment on what this play is about?

2. Enjoying Act II of R & G, the film version (start at 29ish minutes)

3. Wrapping up with your four focus questions

Culminating essay due this Friday.

Submit your Bedside Stack request by tomorrow.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A.P. Absurdism: April 28, 2014

Focus: How does Stoppard appropriate Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

1. Warming up with the bedside stack

2. Looking back over what we read and Friday and brainstorming responses to the following questions in your composition notebook:
  • Why do you think Stoppard selected these two characters for his play?
  • How does he re-create them? In other words, though they are "dreadfully uniform" in Hamlet, they start to take on distinct personalities in Stoppard's play. How are they each characterized?
  • What elements of the Theatre of the Absurd have you noticed so far?
3. Acting out the rest of Act 1 in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Start working on your bedside stack (it goes hand in hand with the culminating essay).

Culminating essay due this Friday, kids.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Flipping a Coin: April 25, 2014

Focus: Who are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and why are they interesting to Tom Stoppard?

Celebrating Kate!

From Mrs. Lee: Kate has a permanent grin and its genuine.  I enjoy her positive attitude and kindness.

From Mr. Escue: I always thought Kate to be the quiet type of student, then I watched her work in her group this semester and she was bringing great humor and energy to the group. She has been wonderful in class this semester.

From Mrs. Crosby: Kate is one of the most consistently dedicated students I've taught in years, and her continual willingness to express insightful comments and ask deep questions is impressive.

From Mrs. Ferrill: Kate Englert was another exceptional student in my AP Lang class last year, and she also scored a "5" on AP test.  However, I'll never forget her demonstration of how to BAAA like a lamb.  Kate was part of a group assigned to perform a choral reading of William Blake's "The Lamb," and as Kate crawled into the room, she began bleating like a lamb--and she sounded like a real woolly creature!  We could not stop laughing.  Ask her for a demonstration!

On a more serious note, Kate wrote a poignant and eloquent narrative for The Muse called, "Two Days After" about the events of 12-13.  It made me cry, and I hope you have a chance to read it too.

From her mom and dad: Kate is an amazing young woman.  She has an incredibly positive attitude toward life and believes that positive thoughts and beliefs can change an outcome of a certain event for the better.  Her great compassion displays itself in her love and concern for her friends and acquaintances.  For a friend in distress, Kate will drop everything to be at that friend’s side, to offer love and support.  She has a great spiritual perspective on life and believes that too much time and energy are wasted on trivial and material matters.  We admire her and love her so much!

1. Warming up with the flip of a coin

a. Take a coin and flip it in the air 20 times. Record how many times it comes up heads, and how many times it comes up tails. Interpret/explain the results.

b. Now, imagine that you take a quarter (a normal quarter) and flip it in the air twenty times. If it were to come up heads each time, would you be surprised? Why or why not? In your opinion, is the world generally an orderly or a disorderly place?

c. How would Samuel Beckett explain the imaginary phenomenon above?

2. Speeding up: Here's what you need to know about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet...
  • In Hamlet, they are minor characters and spend the vast majority of the play offstage.
  • They're supposed to be Hamlet's friends, but they're really being used to spy on him.
  • Near the end of the play, they ride on a boat from Denmark to England with Hamlet; they have sealed orders from King Claudius to the King of England, requesting that the King of England kill Hamlet.
  • Hamlet, however, changes the note so that the orders are to kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, which the King of England carries out when they arrive in England.
  • The action in the two bullet points above all takes place offstage and is merely reported by Fortinbras at the end of the play.

3. Acting out the beginning of Act One
As we read, keep a log in your composition book of this play's use of extended metaphors:
  • Where do you see elements of Absurdism?
  • Which objects seem to serve as metaphors? What larger ideas do they stand for and how?
  • What connections to Waiting for Godot are you noticing?
4. Wrapping up: Find one brief passage from our reading today, copy it into your composition notebook, and perform a close reading on it. Feel free to include questions as well.

1. Please complete your Bedside Stack request form by Monday.
2. Culminating essay is due in exactly one week.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Echoing...echoing....echoing: April 24, 2014

Focus: What can a poetic echo reveal?

Help yourself to some definitions for R & G words!

1. Warming up with a little Greek mythology: The Myth of Echo (read from Book III of Ovid's Metamorphoses)

2. Discussing "An Echo Sonnet: To an Empty Page" as a class

3. Exploring the rubric and a few sample essays

4. Peer editing your timed writings

Culminating essay (please check out my feedback on your outlines if you have not yet done so).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A.P. Lit Is 23 Minutes Long Today: April 23, 2014

Focus: What do we need to know about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

1. Warming up: Celebrating the life and times of Mara!

From Mr. Siekmeier: Mara was in Contemporary Lit. last semester.  Her work on our study of An American Childhood was so comprehensive and well done that I have kept it as an exemplar for future students and as an example of how insightful some students can be.

From Mrs. Cladny: I remember Mara as the beautiful, quiet, sweet, gracious, intelligent young lady in the back row.

From Mrs. Ferrill: What I remember most about Mara in my AP Lang class last year is that she epitomizes the saying, "Still waters run deep."  She was very quiet during class discussions, but when she put her ideas down on paper, she was amazingly eloquent and insightful. She had something to say, and obviously College Board evaluators agreed with me as she scored a "5" on her AP Lang test!

From Mr. Escue: Mara always conducts herself in such a dignified and graceful manner. She has been a great young lady to have in class this year.

From her twin sister: I can always count on Mara to go on an adventure with me, whether it's exploring a hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the side of the road or hiking a beautiful mountain trail. Mara is a great person to have by my side through our many journeys!

From her mom: As a child, Mara liked to be hugged.  She now snuggles with the warmth of words -- in books and poems and songs -- where she finds comfort, inspiration, and peace. 

2. Watching two Rosencrantz and Guildenstern scenes in Hamlet
Act 2, scene 2 (58:10)
Act 3, scene 2 (2:00:30)

3. Cooling down: What do we know about these two characters, and why might Tom Stoppard have chosen them for his play?

Just that little culminating big deal.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Writing: April 22, 2014

Focus: How can we improve our poetry timed writings?

1. Warming up with your final jeopardy question...

2. Returning your prose timed writings and setting goals

Also, thanks for this:

3. Writing about a poem that you might actually like: Tuesday writing

4. Wrapping up

Continue working on your culminating essay; final drafts are due Friday, May 2nd (which is less than two weeks away).

Remember to attend your conference if you signed up for one.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A.P. Lit's Not Ditching: April 21, 2014

Focus: What do we remember from AP Literature and English classes of years past?

1. Creating the world's toughest trivia questions

  • Wuthering Heights
  • Henry IV
  • Invisible Man
  • Beloved
  • Novels and plays of years past, such as The Great Gatsby, Hamlet, Fahrenheit 451, etc...
  • Prose terms
  • Poetry terms

2. Battling each other, A.P. style: BOARD WARS...YEAH!!!

3. Wrapping up: What would you like to practice in your final three weeks of A.P. Lit?

Continue working on your culminating essay and show up for your conference if you signed up for one.

If you have your copy of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, start bringing it to class this Wednesday.