Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A.P. Lit Nerds: March 18, 2014

Focus: How can we translate our prose discussion skills into timed writing skills?

1. Warming up: Celebrating James!

From Mrs. Little: James is very conscientious. I notice that he is current with his work and listens attentively (at least that is my impression) in class. He has provided my 5th hour class with insights into the differences 
in Eastern and Western cultures with regard to understanding self, traditions for marriage, and importance of family honor. He also is quiet, but will participate in a meaningful way when asked.

From Mr. Loptien: I think it is so great that James does so well with his handicap of not using glasses to see the front board. Walking up to get close every three minutes is a much more effective way to function. Wear out those shoes James!

From James' dad: As James' dad, I am really proud of his accomplishment and his willing to learn new things, especially in literature.  He has known and learned more than I learned in all my college years.

From James' mom: James is an adventurous soul with big dreams! He is caring,loving,bold and passionate in all of his adventures.

From Mr. Kuhlmann: Meet James--a pleasant young man, optimistic, brilliant beyond measure, and dapper dresser. But be careful; it's all a deceptive facade. James runs has a knack of running with the wrong crowd. In ninth grade, he had, in his words,  "assembled a crew to run the streets." When pressed about what streets his eyes narrowed, he glanced from side-to-side to make sure no narc was eavesdropping, and said, "cul-de-sacs, mostly."

Now, four years later, James is still assembling his crew, spitting rhymes, and planning to take-over the world. This is a quick excerpt from a letter I wrote warning institutions interested in having him join their crews:

"I have never taught a more genuinely humorous, kind, thoughtful, and self-possessed student who maturely and deliberately calculates risks and seeks out diversity--of cultures, of language, of aesthetics, of literature, of social cliques, etc. In the assignments we have written in class and the conversations I have had with him outside of academia, I have witnessed James thrive on the freedom and happiness he derives from his explorations of difference."

And I mean it. Last spring, when I asked James what he wants to do after college, he smiled and said with utter sincerity, "I want to find happiness in the form of friendship and help others do the same." Isn't this amazing? I've never lost a student so completely to literature and an optimistic practice of rhetoric. I've also never lost a student to the pages of Brave New World like I have James (I prefer to think that he was interested in more than just what happens behind the bushes during centrifugal bumble-puppy). 

James's crew is growing and so is his danger, though his rapping skills remain quite reprehensible. James is armed with deep academic passions, unabashed risk-taking, and everything he's learned from "the streets" to catalyze and make shine everyone and everything he encounters. (Mic drop)

2. Composing a Tuesday writing with a prose prompt

3. Picking up a new poetry packet on your way out.

1. Assigned book club reading for Wednesday.

2. Poetry response for the Monday after spring break (or the Friday before spring break if you'd like not to worry about it over spring break).

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