Tuesday, 1.17.17
Using the Right Word, Comma, Comma Splice, Numbers, Indefinite Pronoun Reference, Adverb Form (9 errors)
4 to 8 seconds after you swallow your food is all ready in you're stomach, it purees your food quick and efficient.

Comma (Other), Punctuation (Title), Colon, Quotation Marks (8 errors)
On July 23 1995 I was watching 60 Minutes and saw a tape of Martin Luther King Jr. giving his famous speech that began with these words I have a dream.

Friday, 1.13.17
Selfie Statue in Sugar Land, TX

selfie statue.jpg

1) Why do you think this was worth making into a statue? (Consider what statues represent)
2) What does this say about our culture?

Thursday, 1.12.17

"Doc awakened very slowly and clumsily like a fat man getting out of a swimming pool. His mind broke the surface and fell back several times." -- John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

1. What is the subject of the verb broke? What does this tell you about Doc's ability to control his thinking at this point in the story?

2. To what does surface refer? Remember that good writers often strive for complexity rather than simplicity.

Friday, 1.6.17

Bad Techs of 2016 We Lost: Vine, Samsung Galaxy Note 7, VCR, Blackberry

  • Why do you think these technologies became obsolete?
  • What technologies/apps do you predict will fade out in 2017?

Thursday, 1.5.17

The seven years' difference in our ages lay between us like a chasm: I wondered if these years would ever operate between us as a bridge.
-- James Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues"

1. What function does the colon serve in this sentence?

2. How would the meaning and impact of the sentence change if the sentence read as follows:
The seven years' difference in our ages lay between us like a chasm, and I wondered if these years would ever operate between us as a bridge.

Wednesday, 1.4.17

Working with Milennials**

Identify and reflect on a minimum of 2-3 points from the video that were interesting to you.

How do you find JOY in your life? How will you work to find JOY this year?

Tuesday, 1.3.17

Pronoun Usage, Comma (Appositive), Capitalization (6 errors)

The author of the James Bond novels Ian Fleming was hisself a british secret agent during world war II.

Using the Right Word, Apostrophe, Comma (Other), Plurals (8 errors)

The fungi who caused Ben and Ralph's athletes foot lived first on Bens skin and nail's and then was spread when Ralph shared Bens towel socks or shoes.

Wednesday, 12.21.16

What else should people say more often???

Tuesday, 12.20.16

Nonstandard Language, Using the Right Word, Abbreviation, Comma, Article (8 errors)

For you're leg mussles to work as hard as you're eye mussles do you'd half to walk a average of 50 mi. each day.

Adjective Form, Nonstandard Language, Plurals, Using the Right Word, Shift in Construction ( 5 errors)

People with dark eyes are suppose to have more quicker reflex's then people with light eyes, and the same was true of animals.

Monday, 12.19.16

How present do you believe parents need to be in their teenager's life? How can a parent find a balance between the right amount of presence and still give their teenager space to figure out his/her own life?

Thursday, 12.15.16


There were some dirty plates
and a glass of milk
beside her on a small table
near the rank, disheveled bed --

Wrinkled and nearly blind
she lay and snored
rousing with anger in her tones
to cry for food.

-- William Carlos Williams, "The Last Words of my English Grandmother"


1. These stanzas contain visual, olfactory, auditory, and gustatory images. Fill in the chart below with concrete images from the poem.


2. Contrast the attitude toward the old woman in the two stanzas. How does it change? What images create this change in attitude.

Wednesday, 12. 14. 16

While watching the video, capture your thoughts in your journal. What was weird? Cool? Surprising? What would it have been like to live in the 1920s?

Tuesday, 12.13.16

Comma (Nonrestrictive Phrase or Clause), Comma (Other), Using the Right Word, Deadwood/Wordiness, Adjective Form [9 corrections]

Jupiter which lays between Mars and Saturn is the most largest planet circling our sun but because Jupiter rotates each and every 10 hours it's day is the most shortest.

Monday, 12.12.16

The death of John Glenn has brought attention back to the subjecct of space exploration. In the 1960's space exploration was monumental and astronauts were treated as heroes. As time has passed, it doesn't get nearly as much attention. How important is space exploration to us today? Should it be more of a priority?

Friday, 12.9.16
Squigly's Brain Teaser Questions

What does each say?




Thursday, 12.8.16

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow;

-- John Donne, "Death be not Proud"

1. What is the effect of opening the first sentence with the imperative mood of the verb to be?

2. In the first clause of the second sentence, the verb is understood: in the second clause of this sentence, the subject is understood. What verb is omitted? What subject is omitted? What effect does this have on the meaning of the lines?

Wednesday, 12.7.16

What's Going on in This Picture?

What is going on in this picture? • What do you see that makes you say that? • What more can you find?

external image VTS11-28-16LN-master768.jpg

Updated: Dec. 1, 2016
This week’s image comes from the Aug. 17, 2016 article “Stardom in India Has Its Price: Thousands of Gallons of Milk.” The original caption reads:
  • Fans spraying milk on a poster of the Indian film star Rajinikanth to celebrate the screening of his latest film last month in Mumbai.
Ayesha Venkataraman writes in the article:
  • In a country where movie stars are treated like gods, some actors are worshiped like deities.
  • The 65-year-old Tamil actor Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, better known as Rajinikanth, is one of India’s most celebrated and well-paid movie stars. For decades, fans have regularly bathed pictures of him in thousands of gallons of milk, a sign of devotion usually reserved for Hindu idols.
  • With every new film Rajinikanth releases, milk becomes so much in demand in some parts of the country that it is stolen from markets, resulting in shortages that potentially endanger malnourished children, officials and activists say.
  • Die-hard fans can pour about 11,000 to 16,000 gallons of milk a day over billboards and cardboard cutouts of Rajinikanth in the weeks after a new release, said S. A. Ponnusamy, president of the Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Employees Welfare Association, who opposes the practice. Mr. Ponnusamy said some fans had resorted to stealing milk before daybreak when dairy workers drop it off outside shops.
  • Last month, before the release of Rajinikanth’s latest film, “Kabali,” a box office record breaker, the milk dealers’ association asked the actor to “sternly admonish” his loyal fans for wasting milk, and it encouraged him instead to organize blood and organ donation drives outside movie theaters.
Rajanish Kakade is the photographer.

Tuesday, 12.6.16
Spelling, Subject Verb Agreement, Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement, Using the Right Word (4 errors)
  • If the human population of the earth continue to increase at their present rate, the total wait of humans will equal the wait of the world by the year 3530.

Subject-Verb Agreement, Article, Spelling, Numbers, Comma, Deadwood/Wordiness (7 errors)
  • The human population of the earth swell by a avrage of 250000 people every single day, or approximately 90,000,000 every single, solitary year.

Monday, 12.5.16
Listen to the following spoken word piece, and then consider what classrooms/schools should really look like today.

"I Just Sued the School System"

Friday, 12.2.16: early release; no warm-up today

Thursday, 12.1.16


"Everybody latched on to you during these trips, congressmen, businessmen and directors and presidents of this and that. Every hotshot in town wanted to be next to the astronaut. For the first ten or fifteen minutes it was enough for them to breathe the same air you breathed and occupy the same space as your famous body. But then they began looking at you...and waiting...Waiting for what? Well, dummy!--waiting for you to say a few words! They wanted something hot! If you were one of the seven greatest pilots and seven bravest men in America, then obviously you must be fascinating to listen to."
~Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff

1. What is Wolfe's attitude toward the astronaut? How do you know?

2. What is Wolfe's attitude toward the people who come to see the astronaut? What diction and syntax reveal this attitude?

Think about your favorite musician or movie star. Using Wolfe's paragraph as a model, write a paragraph, addressed directly to the star, about his/her relationship with the fans. Your tone should be conversational and enthusiastic.

Wednesday, 11.30.16
From the SKIMM:
Do you mind? The UK gov doesn’t. Yesterday, the gov passed a law that gives it the right to majorly snoop on its citizens. As in communications companies are now required to keep a database of every website, app, and messaging service customers use for a year. And police and intelligence officials will have access to it all. Edward Snowden — the NSA’s BFF — said this is “the most extreme surveillance” law ever. Supporters say the law will help fight terrorism. Critics say ‘ever heard of a thing called privacy?’ and that the database could be vulnerable to hacking. This also comes as companies like Apple and Twitter have been pushing back against the US gov when it comes to forking over user data. Hint: those same companies aren’t fans of this UK law. Gov’s so big because it’s full of secrets.

Where should the line be drawn? The government is worried about terrorism, and has the responsibility for protecting its citizens; however, most people feel entitled to their privacy. What's the solution? Although this is happening in the United Kingdom, do you foresee that this type of law is possible for the United States?

Tuesday, 11.29.16

Make the following corrections: Using the right word, Comma (other), Parentheses or Dashes [6]

It wood take about 200000 frowns and that's a large amount to create a permanent worry wrinkle on you're forehead.
Make the following corrections: Verb (tense); Subject-Verb Agreement; Comma (appositive) [3]

Chocolate contain phenylethylamine the same chemical the brain produces when people fell in love.

Monday, 11.28.16**

external image VTS11-21-16LN-master768.jpg
After looking closely at the image above respond to these three questions:
  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

This week’s image comes from the Oct. 28, 2016 “The Week in Pictures” slide show on the Lens blog. The original caption reads:

  • Sheep were herded by their owners through downtown Madrid on Sunday as shepherds demonstrated the need to keep ancient grazing grounds from being overtaken by urban sprawl.

You can read more about this event in this Time magazine article that begins:

  • The grass was greener on the other side for the thousands of sheep that walked through Madrid during Fiesta de la Transhumancia (Transhumance Festival), on Oct. 23, 2016.

Daniel Ochoa de Olza is the photographer.

Tuesday, 11.22.16

Considering family and friends are a given, what are you thankful for?

Monday, 11.21.16

  • Have you ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness? How did it make you feel?
  • Have you ever committed a random act of kindness for someone else? What compelled you to do it? How did it make you feel?

Friday, 11.18.16/Eye Opener/Journals collected
Thursday, 11.17.16


"And now nothing but drums, a battery of drums, the conga drums jamming out, in a descarga, the drummers lifting their heads and shaking under some kind of spell. There's rain drums, like pitter-patter pitter-patter but a hundred times faster, and then slamming-the-door drums and dropping-the-bucket drums, kicking-the-car-fender drums. Then circus drums, then coconuts-falling-out-of-the-trees-and-thumping-against-the-ground drums, then lion-skin drums, then the-whacking-of-a-hand-against-a-wall drums, the-beating-of-a-pillow drums, heavy-stones-against-a-wall drums, then the-thickest-forest-tree-trunks-pounding drums, and then the-mountain-rumble-drums, then the-little-birds-learning-to-fly drums and the-big-birds-alighting-on-a-rooftop-and-fanning-their-immense-wings drums..."
~Oscar Hijuelos, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

1. Read the passage aloud. How does Hijuelos create the auditory imagery of drumming? In other words, how do the words imitate the sounds they represent?

2. Hijuelos repeats the word then eight times in this passage. What does this repetition contribute to the auditory image of drumming?

Write a paragraph in which you capture two different sounds at a sporting event. Try to imitate the sounds themselves with your words. Focus on creating a vivid auditory image.

Wednesday, 11.16.16

Read the excerpt from Twain's novel, Huckleberry Finn, beginning on p.24 ("But by and by pap got too handy...") to p. 28 ("...but I reckon that was sort of piling it on, maybe"). Give 4 examples of Twain's use of the vernacular from the passage read. Next, specifically, what is Twain satirizing--what is his purpose for his reader--what does he want us to THINK about? Is effective? How?

Tuesday, 11.15.16

Make the following corrections: Comma (unnecessary), Using the right word, Plurals, Parallel Structure, Comma (other) [7]

People, who are left-handed, suffer more then "righties" do from migraines, allergys, dyslexia stuttering and some of these people have thyroid disorders.

Monday, 11.14.16

Recently, the season premiere of The Walking Dead sparked controversy for being perhaps exceedingly violent for regular TV. Many parent groups spoke out against the show's intense violence and now networks are contemplating a television rating stronger than TV-MA (currently the strictest TV rating).

  • Do you think that cable television shows should strive to be less violent since the most amount of people have access to/can view them? Why or why not?
  • Do you think people (especially kids and younger people) who watch violent television and movies, and who play violent video games, are more likely to commit violent actions in real life? Explain your reasoning.
  • Do you like TV shows, movies, and/or video games with violence in them? If so, which ones? If not, why?

Thursday, 11.10.16


An aged man is but a paltry thing
A tattered coat upon a stick...

--W.B. Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium"


1. What picture is created by the use of the word tattered?

2. By understanding the connotations of the word tattered, what do we understand about the persona's attitude toward an aged man?

List three adjectives that can be used to describe a pair of shoes. Each adjective should connote a different feeling about the shoes.

Wednesday, 11.9.16

  • Free write.

Tuesday, 11.8.16
Make the following corrections: Pronoun (case), using the right word, quotation marks, spelling, end punctuation

To who do Oswald and myself report when we get to school asked the girl who's cloths seemed like they came from another centery? [9]

Monday, 11.7.16

  • If you could be anywhere else this week (or at least until the election is over) where would you go? Why?

Friday, 11.4.16

Listen to this conversation from Story Corps and respond to the following:
  • Whether it be politics or any other heated topic, how do you personally navigate a conversation with someone whose opinion is the opposite of yours?
  • Do you try to avoid the topic completely or tackle it head on?
  • Have you been in a situation where your relationship with someone else was threatened because you held opposing views?
  • In a country where we are appearing to be more and more divided, how can we overcome practically demonizing people who think differently than ourselves?

Thursday, 11.3.16


He slowly ventured into the pond. The bottom was deep, soft clay, he sank in, and the water clasped dead cold round his legs.

--D. H. Lawrence, "The Horse-Dealer's Daughter"


1. What effect does sentence length have on this passage?

2. Examine the second sentence. How does the structure of the sentence reinforce the meaning?


Write a sentence in which you make an inanimate object active by using an active verb. Remember that your verb is not just an action verb (like talk or flow). The verb must make your inanimate object into an actor, a doer.

Wednesday, 11.2.2016

What daily habit would you like to introduce into your life to make it better? How would you go about making this change? Is it realistic? Do you think you can actually do it?

Tuesday, 11.1.2016
Make the following corrections: Pronoun (case), indefinite pronoun reference, quotation marks, comma

The little girl read her favorite part to Sam and I: The woodsman brought the shiny ax down hard not on the wolf's tail but on a large rock instead and it cracked into a hundred pieces! [6]

Monday, 10.31.16

Read the following two sentence horror stories, and then write your own!

  • The grinning face stared at me from the darkness beyond my bedroom window. I live on the 14th floor.
  • I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, "Daddy check for monsters under my bed." I look underneath for his amusement and see him, staring back at me quivering and whispering, "Daddy there's somebody on my bed."
  • They delivered the mannequins in bubble wrap. From the main room I begin to hear popping.
  • The longer I wore it, the more it grew on me. She had such pretty skin.
  • Carol never wore her safety goggles. Now she doesn't need to.
  • The last thing I saw was my alarm clock flashing 12:07 before she pushed her long rotting nails through my chest, her other hand muffling my screams. I sat bolt upright, relieved it was only a dream, but as I saw my alarm clock read 12:06, I heard my closet door creak open.

Friday, 10.28.16
What did you think of the play? Write a paragraph response about yesterday's experience. What did you enjoy (about the play or just the trip), and what would you change?

IF you were not on the trip, what did you do during our class period?

Wednesday, 10.26.16

Do you believe meditation is a good practice for kids to engage in at school? Do you think you would benefit from it? Do you think it could help reduce the stress many students feel? What other positive effects could it cause?

Tuesday, 10.25.16

Make the following corrections: Pronoun-Antecedent, Pronoun (Case), Quotation Marks, Capitalization, Comma (Other), Using the Right Word (11)

My Dad and me wanted to capture a baby moose and take it home said Sven but than we found out they might grow to 2000 pounds.

Monday, 10.24.16


For the first time in years, area malls will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. What are the pros and cons of this move? Do you think it's a good decision?

Friday, 10.21.16

Is protesting through social media by using hashtags effective? What movements have you seen on social media that really caught on? Did you join in? Why do people like to do this?

Thursday, 10.20.16


What a thrill -
My thumb instead of an onion.
The top quite gone
Except for a sort of a hinge

Of skin,
A flap like a hat,
dead white.
Then a red plush.

--Sylvia Plath, "Cut: For Susan O'Neill Roe"


1. What is the poet's attitude toward the cut? What words, images and details create the tone?

2. In the second stanza, Plath uses colors to intensify the tone. The flap of skin is dead white, the blood is a red plush. What attitude toward the cut and, by implication, toward life itself, does this reveal?


Write a short description of a car accident. Create a tone of complete objectivity--as if you were from another planet and had no emotional reaction to the accident. Write carefully with your diction, images, and details to create your tone.

Wednesday, 10.19.16

Write a response to the following quotation from the novel Gone Girl. In a second paragraph discuss how Transcendentalists would react to this passage. What advice would they give to someone who was feeling this way?

“For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A commercial. You know the awful singsong of blase: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality really can't anymore.

Tuesday, 10.18.16

There are 11 grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Use a different color pen to mark the corrections. After we've gone over the corrections, rewrite the entire sentence.

[Rambling Sentence, Comma (other), Capitalization, Comma (Non-Restrictive Phrase or Clause), Apostrophe]

On June 6 1642 an earthquake struck Port Royal jamaica and Port Royal was the home of many pirates and all the riches of the pirates fell into the sea along with the city so scuba divers are still looking for pirates treasure there.

Monday, 10.17.16

How important is kindness to you when dealing with others? Do you feel kids today lack empathy and kindness? If so, what is the cause of that? How do your peers show acts of kindess?

Friday, 10.14.16

Of course so called "locker room talk" is harmful to women, but how is presenting this as an acceptable way for men to talk when women aren't around harmful to men too? Do you believe it's easier for women than men to speak out against this type of talk?

Thursday, 10.13.16


The truck lurched down the goat path, over the bridge and swung south toward El Puerto. I watched carefully all that we left behind. We passed Rosie's house and at the clothesline right at the edge of the cliff there was a young girl hanging out brightly colored garments. She was soon lost in the furrow of dust the truck raised.
~Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima

1. Circle or list the words that provide specific detail and contribute to the power of the passage.

2. Contrast the third sentence with:
We passed Rosie's house and saw a girl hanging out the clothes.
Explain the difference in impact.


Rewrite the passage eliminating the specific detail. How does the

elimination of the specific detail change the meaning of the passage?

Wednesday, 10.12.16

What would you do, or where would you go to live life fully and completely? Would you be lonely? Could you do it? What modern accessory would it be hardest to live without?

Tuesday, 10.11.16

Capitalization, Sentence Fragment, Quotation Marks, Abbreviation, Comma (other), End Punctuation

There are 18 grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Use a different color pen to mark the corrections. After we've gone over the corrections, rewrite the entire sentence.

Mr smith's bonus question on our test was did president carter visit karen smith md? Before or after he toured the african american and the hispanic culture fairs.

Monday, 10.10.16 - HURRICANE DAY!

Friday, 10.7.16


It's true. If you want to buy a spring suit, the choice selection occurs in February: a bathing suit, March: back-to-school clothes, July: a fur coat, August. Did I tell you about the week I gave in to a mad-Mitty desire to buy a bathing suit in August?

The clerk, swathed in a long-sleeved woolen dress which made her look for the world like Teddy Snowcrop, was aghast. "Surely, you are putting me on," she said. "A bathing suit! In August!"

"That's right," I said firmly, "and I am not leaving this store until you show me one."

She shrugged helplessly. "But surely you are aware of the fact that we haven't had a bathing suit in stock since the first of June. Our--no offense--White Elephant sale was June third and we unload--rather, disposed of all our suits at that time."

--Erma Bombeck, At Wit's End


1. What is the attitude of the writer toward the subject matter?

2. What diction and details does Bombeck use to express this attitude? In other words, what diction and details create the tone of the passage?

Wednesday, 10.5.16

Please write on one of the following topics:
  • If you unfortunately found yourself on death row, what would your last meal consist of? Why would you choose those items?
  • You have been given $1,000,000 to donate anonymously to charity or to a stranger. How would you dispose of it and why?
  • If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one ability or quality, what would it be? Why?

Tuesday, 10.4.16 - Skip

Monday, 10.3.2016

Snap, Inc. Introduces Spectacles, Sunglasses That Record and Upload Video Memories to SnapChat

SnapChat officially changed its name to Snap, Inc. as the company restyles itself from a one-[major] hit app company into a digital lifestyle brand. To mark the occasion, Snap, Inc. introduced Spectacles, fashion and tech-forward sunglasses that record 10-second clips, which can then be uploaded to SnapChat Memories via wifi. Following the Apple playbook, Snap, Inc. also designed a fashionable case that doubles as a charger. Spectacles will be available this Fall and will cost $130.

By pressing a small button on the side of the glasses, Spectacles capture video through a 115-degree lens, which better conveys someone's natural perspective and field of vision. Those on the other side of the lens, will know they're being recorded because of a halo-like light that surrounds the lens. Unlike smartphones, which record video in a rectangular format, video via Spectacles is circular, allowing the viewer to watch the content naturally, whether in portrait or landscape mode, the way the user "saw" it. Essentially, clips offer a playback experience that simulates your natural point of view.

Do you think that "wearable technology", like Spectacles, will take off? Would you be willing to pay $130 for a pair? Do you think your friends will be interested in watching your snap videos? What is the downside to this wearable technology?

Friday, 9.30.16

Thursday, 9.29.16


Close by the fire sat an old man whose countenance was furrowed with distress.
-James Boswell, Boswell's London Journal


1. What does the word furrowed connote about the man's distress?

2. How would the impact of the sentence be changed if furrowed were changed to lined?


Write a sentence using a verb to describe a facial expression. Imply through your verb choice that the expression is intense. Use Boswell's sentence as a model.

Wednesday, 9.28.16
*(Capitalization, Comma Splice, Comma (other), Using the Right Word, spellling)

There are 8 grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Use a different color pen to mark the corrections. After we've gone over the corrections, rewrite the entire sentence.

On his deathbed, the philosopher socrates said "I am not an athenian [a resident of Athens Greece] nor a Greek but a Citizen of the World," nevertheless, Greek citizens accused him of corrupting the minds of young Athenians. [8]

Islam, a major world religion, is dominent in the middle east, it's followers are called muslims, and it's sacred book is the koran. [8]

Tuesday, 9.27.16

Crucible parallels to McCarthyism and modern day witch hunts

Monday, 9.26.16
First Lady Michelle Obama wrapped George W. Bush in an adorable hug.
First Lady Michelle Obama wrapped George W. Bush in an adorable hug.

This image of Michelle Obama hugging George W. Bush at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture was published this past Friday and people across the internet lost it (in a positive way). Why has this picture gotten so much attention? Why does it bring hope to people in our country? ELABORATE.

Monday, 9.26.16

Does your name mean much to you? Why do people take pride in their names? Is your family name important to you--why or why not? Is it important to you that your name have a good reputation? How far would you be willing to go, if the circumstances were dire, to protect your name?

Friday, 9.23.16

Many of us have our own good luck charms and rituals, but do they make a difference? Can we really make our own luck? To some, luck is not something we control - stuff just happens. However, there are some who believe a lucky streak comes down to math, science and optimism. What do you think?

Thursday, 9.22.16


Microphone feedback kept blaring out the speaker's words, but I got the outline. Withdrawal of our troops from Vietnam. Recognition of Cuba. Immediate commutation of student loans. Until all these demands were met, the speaker said he considered himself in a state of unconditional war with the United States government.

I laughed out loud.

~Tobias Wolff, "Civilian"


1. What is the attitude of the narrator toward the political speaker in this passage? How do you know?

2. How does the use of a short, direct sentence at the end of the passage (I laughed out loud) contribute to the tone?


Substitute a new sentence for I laughed out loud. Your new sentence should express support for the political speaker. Read the passage--with your new sentence--to a partner and explain how your sentence changes the tone of the passage.

Wednesday, 9.21.16

The Six Word Memoir

Memoir is French for "memory." It is a style of writing an autobiographical account of one's personal life and experiences. Your assignment is to write a six word memoir. Your memoir can be six independent words or phrases such as, "Family. Love. Action. Connecting. Giving Back." Or you can use your six words to tell a story such as Ernest Hemingway did. He supposedly wrote, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Word Choice will be very important. You can also take into consideration using alliteration, rhyme, metaphor, parallel structure, imagery, etc. You can be abstract or literal. You can go chronological, thematic, or even construct your memoir in the form of a question.

Tuesday, 9.20.16
*(Capitalization, Sentence Fragment, Comma (other), Using the Right Word, Comma (appositive), semicolon)

There are 14 grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Use a different color pen to mark the corrections. After we've gone over the corrections, rewrite the entire sentence.

I like the south better then the north, however if I had to travel east, I would go to new york city. The capitol of the united states from 1785-1790.

Monday, 9.19.2016

  • Do you think this "straddling" bus is a good idea--why or why not?
  • What other inventions-- real or imagined--do you think we're going to need to come up with to combat pollution and overcrowding issues?

Friday, 9.16.16

external image VTS09-12-16LN-tmagArticle.jpg

After looking closely at the image above respond to these three questions:
  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

What Really Happened:
A chimpanzee fled from a zoo in northern Japan and tried desperately to avoid capture by climbing an electric pole.
He didn’t stay there long.
Chacha, the male chimp, was on the loose for nearly two hours on Thursday after he disappeared from the Yagiyama Zoological Park in Sendai, the city that will be hosting finance ministers from the Group of 7 industrialized nations in May.
Television footage showed Chacha perched atop the pole, agitated and screaming at zoo workers below. Even after being shot by a sedative arrow in the back, he desperately tried to escape, dangling from a power line.
He finally fell head down into a blanket held by a dozen workers on the ground.
Zoo officials told Agence France-Presse that the animal was unhurt but recovering from sedation, news outlets reported. The zoo is investigating how he escaped.

Thursday, 9.15.16


In the midst of poverty and want, Felix carried with pleasure to his sister the first little white flower that peeped out from beneath the snowy ground. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein


1. What do you understand about Felix from the imagery of this sentence?

2. How would the effect be different if Felix carried his sister a big bouquet of spring flowers?


Write a sentence which expresses the joy of renewal through a visual image.

Wednesday, 9.14.16

Respond to the following:

What is one thing you want your teacher/s to know? Explain.

Tuesday, 9.13.16
*(comma, using the right word, comma (appositive), comma)

There are 7 grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Use a different color pen to mark the corrections. After we've gone over the corrections, rewrite the entire sentence.

Rutherford B. Hayes the nineteenth president of the United States was born in Delaware Ohio in 1822 and following a quiet dramatic election became president in March 1877 at age 54.

Monday, 9.12.16
View the video below entitled, "If Soda Commercials Were Honest"

Now for some Scary Soda Statistics (found in American studies and published in research journals):
  • Each additional sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60%.
  • Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 25%.
  • Sugary drinks are the single largest source of calories in the American diet.
  • A can of Coke has 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is 100% of the recommended daily intake (Diet Coke, and diet soda in general, is no better).

Do you drink/like soda?
Having seen these statistics and this satirical, albeit informative, video, does your outlook on soda change at all? If so, how?
In the interest of health in America, do you think more should be done to make the general public more aware of this troubling information?

Thursday, 9.8.16
An old man, Don Tomasito, the baker, played the tuba. When he blew into the huge mouthpiece, his face would turn purple and his thousand wrinkles would disappear as his skin filled out. ~Alberto Alvaro Rios, "The Iguana Killer"

1. The first sentence is a general statement. How does the second sentence enrich and intensify the first?

2. Contrast the second sentence with the following:
When he blew the tuba, his face turned purple and his cheeks puffed out.
Which sentence more effectively expresses an attitude toward Tomasito? What is that attitude and how is it communicated?

Describe someone jumping over a puddle. Your first sentence should be general, stating the action simply. Your second sentence should clarify and intensify the action through detail.

Wednesday, 9.7.16

Complete the following using complete sentences:

If and when I raise children, I'll never...

Be sure to explain why you wouldn't do the things you say you wouldn't do.

Tuesday, 9.6.16
*(comma, run-on, right word, apostrophe)

There are 4 grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Use a different color pen to mark the corrections. After we've gone over the corrections, rewrite the entire sentence.

When astronomer Galileo observed sunspots in 1610 church leaders were angry that he'd suggest the sun wasnt perfect today we no sunspots are just the sun's relatively cold areas.

Friday, 9.2.16

  • What is Kapernick protesting?
  • Do you believe this is an effective way to protest the unequal treatment of people of color in the country? Why or why not?
  • Do you believe Kaepernick and the other players who join him in this silent protest will need to do more to truly bring about change? What more could he do?

Thursday, 9.1.16
"I'm clean, Carlito, I'm not using." My voice dropped to a whisper. "I'm not using." And oh, God, I found my mind, thinking, Wonder what it would be like again? Wonder what it would be like again? Wonder what it would be like again? Wonder... --Piri Thomas, Down These Mean Streets
  • Thomas repeats the question Wonder what it would be like again? three times in the passage. What effect does this repetition have on the impact of the passage?
  • At the end of the passage, Thomas uses ellipses to indicate an omission of words required for complete syntactical construction but unnecessary for understanding. What words are missing? What impact does this omission have on the passage?
Imagine that you are very hungry and are on the way to the best restaurant in town. Describe what you feel as you anticipate a great dinner. In your description use questions and ellipses, as Thomas does.

Wednesday, 8.31.16

According to an article on the Time website, "There are few brands more global, and more American, than Coca-Cola. Its red-and-white label and glass curves are a universal symbol, an American beachhead on every inhabited inch of the Earth. Like the sugary stuff or hate it, its advertising has long been about a certain ideal–the idea that people are many and one, united by simple things like a smile, a song, and a Coke." However, when the ad above was released during the Superbowl, there was a faction in the country that had a problem with it. As the Time article states, the ad, entitled "It's Beautiful" really "brought out America the Ugly, at least on some parts of the Internet." With people tweeting comments such as, "@CocaCola has America the Beautiful being sung in different languages in a #SuperBowl commerical? We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS" it was clear to see that not everyone felt the ad was a good representation of America.
  • Why would Coca Cola choose to have the lyrics of "America the Beautiful" sung in several different languages?
  • Do you feel the ad is an accurate representation of this country? Why or why not?
  • Do you think this ad of one of America's oldest brands warranted such controversy?
  • What message did the ad share besides, "buy a coke"?

Tuesday, 8.30.16

There are 11 grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Then completely rewrite the sentence correctly, making all 11 changes.

  • Dr Mitchells hole address (street city state and ZIP) is 209 Buena Vista Avenue Northport NE 68409 but you listed the street address as 209 Buena Vista Drive