Wednesday, May 31, 2017

mla style sample

Request granted.  Check out the sample HERE.  Please comment with any questions.

may 31

You know who you are.

You know what to do.

After today's presentations we'll talk a little about MLA style.

The paper is due on Friday.

That's 48 hours.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

may 30

By now you know I won't be there today.  I just called into class and Ms. Anderson told me someone is already presenting.

Nice work: this is now officially a self-sustained learning community.  I am proud to be part of it.

Please take notes and curate the moment on your blogs.

And please turn in your journals.  I have a lot of reading to do this week.  If you completed a notebook already and you have it at home, please bring it with you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

may 25

Today's the day.  But... the day for what?  Explain your answer.


Choose your own topic.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy:

may 25


You find a scorpion in your shoe.  The hard way.  Describe the moment in vivid detail.


Choose your own topic.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

masterpiece academy day 5

Thanks to Marino for his presentation about the science and passion behind high performance.  I got such a kick out of thinking about soccer so hard that I said the same exact thing about practice and basketball that I did yesterday.  Here is Marino's presentation, and-- bonus!-- my favorite rant about basketball practice.

In case you're dreaming of getting better at your own life, check out this presentation from Luis:
[update: Huh. The next generation of Prezi seems to have hiccups with its embed code. To see more than the square below please click HERE.]

Alexis taught us about the American school system.  This was a powerful moment.  We learned that:

  • We spend $153,000 per student.
  • Teachers don't have adequate training and they don't get to know their students.
  • The schools prepare students for prison.
  • Since we spend a lot of money on our students, we're ranked highly by the OECD, but we don't show positive results for students. 
  • Asian cou
  • We always hear about Finland because their students work on hands-on projects and they perform much better on exams and in life.  They don't hate learning.
  • American parents also need to be more involved.  This is difficult because so many of our parents work hard and they're tired at the end of the day.  (Only five students out of 30+ raised their hands when Alexis asked how many people talk about school every day with their parents).
  • 80% of American high school students aren't ready for life after graduation.
Jeez. We can do better.

masterpiece academy day 4

may 24

"Good luck."  What a bunch of crap.  We know better.  Since the 1600s we've had sayings like, "The harder I work, the better luck I have" and "Chance favors the prepared mind."  So why do so many of us ignore the obvious and just hope for the best without taking the right-minded action that will more likely create the results we desire?  Why leave your fate to... well, fate?  What can you do today to improve your luck?

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy: Jordan, Luis & Alexis

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

may 23

Write a short story that includes the following ingredients: an alligator, a cafeteria worker, a magic lamp, and an allusion.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy: Cesar & Eldrin

Monday, May 22, 2017

may 22

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "I Don't Like Mondays" by The Boomtown Rats]

Please reflect on the Masterpiece Academy presentations you've seen so far.  What have you learned?


Why do you like/hate Mondays?

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy Day 4: Lesley & Adriana

Friday, May 19, 2017

may 19

Choose your own.  Or write about how it is that a 52 year-old successful rock star can be so (?) that he takes his own life.

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy Day 3 (Liliy & Rosie)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

may 18

Since you didn't get to choose your own journal topic yesterday...

Choose your own journal topic.

1. Journal
2. MGOM -- if you haven't yet presented, work to make it the best ever; if you have already presented, help a friend who hasn't, and/or go through the course blog to find information for your paper (you can also take the time to look into MLA Style).  Whatever you do, blog about it.

masterpiece academy day 2

Ale shared her inspiration for the "perfect match" topic-- she hated the show Are You The One?
  • "When you think of the show, the contestants are just playing a game and hooking up with people they don't even care about and obviously aren't even good fits for each other."
  • The idea of birthmarks
  • Celebrity examples of failed marriages
[At this point the crowd got involved.  The class did their own relationship research online and came back together after six minutes to share questions and ideas.  If you found something interesting, or you heard something interesting today that wasn't captured here, please comment to this post.  Mahalo.]

am lit masterpiece academy links

Here...because they're awesome:

Click on the links below to see what happened in American Literature Masterpiece Academy Day 1:

Period 3
Period 4
Period 5
Period 6

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

may 17

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Hotel California" by The Eagles; "California Dreaming" by The Mamas and The Papas; "California Love" by 2Pac]

Why do you think California is so legendary for so many people around the world?

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy Day 2

[Ale Part II]

may 16

Today the thinking is all about your thinking.  What are you thinking about?  Why are you thinking about it?  How is your thinking influenced by your feelings and your memories, your fears and hopes and expectations and rumblings in your tummy?  What can you do in this very moment to change your thinking in ways you think will help you think better?  Will this improve your life?  Ya think? ;)

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy Day 1: Ale & [?]
3. Notes/ MGOM

Monday, May 15, 2017

masterpiece academy lineup

Below is the first draft schedule (with presenters' time estimates are in parentheses/ example 5/15).  If you haven't yet requested a date, please do so by Monday May 15).  I look forward to taking your micro-courses!

May 15

Dr. Preston (10)

May 16
Ale (10)

May 17

May 19
Liliy (10)
Rosie (10)

May 22
Lesley (20)

Adriana (10)

May 23
Cesar (10)
Eldrin (10)

May 24
Jordan (10)
Luis (10)
Alexis (10)
Marino (10)

May 25
Gabriel (10)
Abigail (10)
Jacquie (10)
Leydi (10)

May 30
Daniel (10)
Angie (9)
Samary (9)
Monse (10)

May 31
Kissel (10)
Linda (10)
Kayleen (10)
Cerenity (10)

June 1 
Clemente (10)
Jackie R. (10)
Melina (10)
Fatima (10)

June 2
Pedro (12)
Brigett (10)
Angel (10)
Paloma (10)

may 15

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "When You Wish Upon A Star" by Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards)]

Wave your mental magic wand and imagine the next three weeks as valuable, unforgettable learning.  What do you expect from the Masterpiece Academy and how can you contribute to making it the experience you envision?

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy: logistics and (maybe?) a kick-off presentation on this short day

Applied Self-determination Theory, as expressed through your masterpiece work and/or literary exploration.

masterpiece academy final question

When the last presentation has been given, this is the question I will ask you to write on for your final reflection.  Please start a post or notes that will help you remember what's important.

For the next few weeks the Masterpiece Academy will be your showcase.  As you reflect on this experience, and your overall experience in this course throughout the year, please address the following questions in a traditional MLA-style essay.  Then post about it to your blog in any medium (music, pictures, video, animation, [?]) that brings your thesis to life.  (You may embed the original paper if you can't think of a better way to communicate.)

Please Note: Everything on the traditional paper assignment counts.  Please proofread and/or ask a friend or relative to help with organization, flow, and mechanics (capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar, MLA style, e.g.)

Masterpiece Academy Question

Montaigne ended his essay "Of The Education of Children" this way:

To return to my subject, there is nothing like alluring the appetite and affections; otherwise you make nothing but so many asses laden with books; by dint of the lash, you give them their pocketful of learning to keep; whereas, to do well you should not only lodge it with them, but make them espouse it. (1580)

The word espouse originally meant "to marry" and took on connotations like "embrace," "love," and "advocate."  Have you espoused learning?  Explain your growth in this course via a narrative that portrays you as the dynamic protagonist in your own Bildungsroman.  Please include the following elements.

ELEMENT 1: You have been treated as colleagues and you have been given a great deal of choice in this course; this represents a high level of trust.  Did you and the others deserve it?  Earn it?  Honor it? 

ELEMENT 2: Fiction has been called "the lie that tells the truth."  Which works, authors, or characters did you read this year that rang true enough to make you feel like they described parts of you and/or your journey? (Please mention at least three.  It makes them sad when we forget them.)

ELEMENT 3: Have you re/connected with a passion that drives you?  If so, how will you continue your learning?  If not, how will you proceed?

ELEMENT 4: [Something about literature or this course that made you laugh out loud.]

ELEMENT 5: [A unifying theme that runs through a minimum of five (5) presentations; a quality of the content, or the speakers, or their communication techniques that strikes you as something important that we have in common.]  Please illustrate/support your point with specific examples from the presentations.

ELEMENT 6: Evaluate whether you completed the hero's journey.  Are you a hero?  To what extent did you respond to the call of adventure?  Did you find a mentor, conquer a challenge, and return enlightened?

ELEMENT 7: For old time's sake, sneak in a literary technique.  Don't make a big deal out of it.  I'll know it's there.

because sometimes technology

I just caught a glitch in the schedule platform I used on Friday, and realized that today's schedule-- the first day of the Masterpiece Academy-- didn't make it online.  So, on one hand, the people I selected as our first faculty members don't know who they are.  On the other hand, everyone is supposed to be ready today, and you've all had ample notice (we've only been talking about your Big Questions since last August).  So: when class begins today I will take volunteers. Looking forward!

Friday, May 12, 2017

may 12

I'm off campus today, so: 1. Write about whatever is on your mind and remember to leave your journal; and 2. Use the time to gather/organize your information, develop your presentation, bounce ideas off your colleagues (not literally, Cayla :) and get ready to kick off our Masterpiece Academy on Monday. I will post our tentative schedule and our expectations / tools for evaluation later today. Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

may 11

(Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life! :)

In school we say, "Do your own thinking/use your own words/don't look at your neighbor's paper."  At work we say, "Be a team player/share your thinking/anything you say or type on company hardware belongs to the company."  When are our thoughts private and when aren't they?


Choose your own topic.

1. Journal
2. Welcome to the Masterpiece Academy

stanford study hack

(Want to go from a B to an A?  Yes, you do.)

In breaking news, a Stanford postgrad has "discovered" what we've known about learning for a long, long time... here's THE LINK so you can read about it and take someone else's word beside mine. :)

perfect attendance this morning

By now you should be writing your essays-- I hope it's going well!

may 10

I don't think I've ever posted this for a class, but:

I don't want to see you in class today.

Good luck to everyone on the AP exam!

Looking forward to hearing all about it.  Feel free to comment here, email, or stop by.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

literary techniques from this morning

Ethos pathos logos
Logical Fallacies
Figurative Language

may 9

Invent a magic spell.  Explain what it does, why you wrote it, and how it makes the world a better place. 


Choose your own topic.

1. Journal
2. AP exam last gasp
3. Life beyond tomorrow

Monday, May 8, 2017

may 8

You're in the thick of it!  How does it feel to weather the exam storm?  How did you do on last week's AP exams and the SAT this weekend?  What can you learn from the experiences to apply tomorrow and Wednesday? 

1. Journal/debrief
2. Light AP exam practice/debrief
3. Preview of coming attractions & schedule

Friday, May 5, 2017

jostens scam

Read the full story HERE

may 5

(Treat this like a practice AP exam prompt).

Author Guillermo Gutierrez has written that, "In America Cinco de Mayo is nothing more than a cynical excuse for gringos to buy and sell alcohol, wear sombreros, and exercise their First Amendment right to act like idiots in public."

Agree or disagree with this statement using what you have learned from traditional and online media, as well as personal experience.

1. Journal
2. AP & masterpiece prep, tailored for the proud/few

Thursday, May 4, 2017

give markstone a hand

Hey everyone, SMHS tech guru Mr. Markstone has asked for our help.  Please go to THIS LINK and take the brief survey.  Mahalo.

may 4

Imagine the moment you get your score on the AP exam.  What is it?  Why?  Describe and explain in detail.  (Hint: this is where you set an intention that becomes a goal.)


Choose your own topic.

1. Journal
2. AP exam prep

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

new pages (above)

For easy reference, I've created pages (above) on tone words and logical fallacies (which we first studied in September).  Please review the pages and bring your questions to class tomorrow.  Mahalo.

tone words

As we've discussed all year, TONE is the manner in which an author expresses his or her attitude toward the subject, the characters, and/or the audience.

Tone is identified by adjectives, and the possibilities are nearly endless.  Often a single adjective will not be enough, and tone may change or shift from chapter to chapter or stanza to stanza or even line to line.  Tone is the result of allusion, diction, figurative language, imagery, irony, motif, symbol, syntax, and style. 

Very young children can sense a speaker’s attitude in tone.  But understanding tone in prose and poetry is an entirely different matter.  The reader does not have voice inflection to carry meaning.  Thus, a student’s appreciation (knowledge) of word choice, details, imagery, and language all contribute to the understanding of tone.   To misinterpret tone is to misinterpret meaning.

Atmosphere:  the feeling experience BY THE READER OR AUDIENCE.

Tone:              the attitude OF THE AUTHOR toward the subject matter of the work.

Mood:  defined by some critics as synonymous with “atmosphere,” by others as synonymous with
                        “tone”…as a general term, it can be applied to either.
                                                -from the Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms


ap exam practice

Many of you have already found excellent resources -- here is another to get you started:

may 3

Sometimes I miss all the graffiti and designs from my old classroom.  One of my favorite quotes on the wall was from author Kurt Vonnegut (who we'd be reading if we had more time).  It said:

True terror is waking up one morning to discover your high school class is running the country.

In the not-to-distant future, you and your colleagues will take on increasing responsibility in your lives, your communities, your professions, and your country.  What makes you feel ready for this?  What more will you need to learn or prepare?


Choose your own topic.

1. Journal
2. MGOM (you may not yet be running the country, but you are starting to run this course)
3. Individual conferences

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

ap practicum/ boot camp

Please come to 645 at lunch any day this week if you want additional practice on the AP English Language & Composition timed writings or multiple choice. 

ignite talks

Stephania: What trips up high school students?  Why do high school students procrastinate on things they get to do, and focus on what they have to do?  I plan to talk to a high school counselor to see what they think

Daniel: What would the world be like if there was no school?  I read a few articles to learn whether society would be better off, and I discovered that it would affect younger people more.

Kayleen: Why does school focus on teaching us unnecessary things we won't use in the future?  Why don't we learn how to start a business or file our taxes?  I need to do more research?

Liliy: Is death like a domino effect?  Do loved ones die faster after they lose people they care about? In researching this I learned that people really don't like talking about death.  I'm going to ask more people who have had experience with this in their families.

Abigail: When is it too late to change your career or pursue your dream?  I found information about people who discovered their motivation later in life.  I made a connection in this class with Fahrenheit 451.  I feel like this question may be too easy so I may make a change.

Fatima: What happens after death?  I read articles and discovered that most perspectives are based in religion and not science.  This connected in my mind with Emerson.

Gabriel: How can I improve my memory skills for music, language, and everything else in life?  Get sleep, hydrate, and eat well-- and I learned about pneumonics.  I connected this with the characters who memorized the books in Fahrenheit 451.  I plan to do more research.

Cerenity: My big question is based on a quote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."  I connected this with Emerson, who taught us to be unafraid of being and expressing themselves.

Samary: What does it mean to be perfect in life?  This is tricky because nothing is perfect.  Except that I am religious, so I consider God to be perfect.  I want to learn more about people's insecurities with regard to perfection.

Marino: Why do so many people give up on high school and push things aside, then complain that they don't have the grades to get into college.  This is connected to Emerson's ideas that people make their own decisions.

Cayla: What is creativity?  How should we as a society define it?  I talked to people and watched YouTube videos, and so far my research suggests that creativity is a matter of opinion.  I remember learning about remixes in class and this changed my idea of creativity-- I need to rethink my question and redefine creativity.

Lesley: What does it mean to make music?  What is music?  In this class we defined it as literature, and maybe it's something more than what you hear on the radio every day.  I have the beginning of a general answer, I need to do more research so that I can think about how to present it.  Taking something as broad as music

Adriana: Why does everyone hate Mondays?  Over break I asked people and did research, and it seems like Monday is the first day of the work week, but we also have some power to reframe how we understand it.  Even Montag in Fahrenheit 451 came up with a more positive ways to look at crappy situations.

Clemente: Are people evil or does society make them evil?  I observed people and it seems like those with more negative experiences develop more negative views.  Their upbringing matters.  The news and media matter.

Paloma: Why do we trust and take risks for people when we know the outcome may not be so great?  Why do we give them second chances?  My initial research suggests that everyone is unique and makes different mistakes.  Some people deserve more chances.  The connection to this course for me was Emerson.

Peter: What impact does music have on society?  I read online essays from students and I studied this in my Spanish literature class.  A connection with this course is "A Modest Proposal"-- it grabbed people's attention.

Angel: What am I going to do after high school?  Over break I looked at colleges that would accept my grades, and the only thing is Hancock.  I am searching

Angela: How can I balance my ideal life with my real life priorities like school and family?  I asked my sister who is a counselor, and I learned that sometimes thing go wrong, like when I got sick over break.  I need to prioritize my health. I connected this with "On Self-Reliance."  Next I will research he

Monse: What goes on in the mind of a murderer or a psychopath? So far I've learned that there is a part of the brain that prevents learning from our mistakes, and a warrior gene that makes men more aggressive.  That made me think of Tom from The Great Gatsby.

Melina: Why do people dream and forget their dreams so easily?  I learned the average person has 4-6 dreams

Jacquie P: How will new technologies and inventions continue to change our culture?  I researched and learned that technology doesn't just change the way we think but actually changes the structure of our brains.  The connection with this course IS this course.

Jackie R: What is worse, failing or never attempting in the first place?  I began by defining failure and contrasting this with not trying.  Failure can be a great teacher.  In Fahrenheit 451 Montag failed and became better for it.

Kissel: How much control do we really have over ourselves? I am still looking for a connection with the course

Eldrin: I want to know more about the Big Bang, what happened before it, and what caused it.  My initial research shows that we know very little.  Some might ask what the point is, but learning more about how the universe started might help us understand where it is headed.

Luis: My topic is lucid dreaming and I tried it over break. The connection here is with the journals and free association.

Jordan: How can we the next generation carry on this society if we don't prepare?  Over break I watched the news and asked people my age what they think about what's going on.  A connection I made was to the eyes in The Great Gatsby.  Next I plan to talk with adults and ask why they think we can

Linda: How does music connect to the mind?  I started with psychology and looking into attention.

Alexis: Why hasn't school adapted its way of teaching?  Over break I learned that other countries don't do this and they are more successful.  I connect this with how Dr. Preston teaches this class.

Jesse: Why are there words such as race and racism?  Over break I researched racism, and I learned that this concept has been responsible for death and destruction.  I connected this with the character Tom in The Great Gatsby and I hope to learn more about how we can move past racism.

Brigett: How do people know they will be successful in life?  I compared a sponsored athlete with an amateur.  I see a connection with Fahrenheit 451 in the way Montag found his own tribe/community.  I plan to do more research using the Pyramid of Success.

Leydi: What are strategies to find the best thrift store deals?  One strategy I learned was to follow people's blog, and the obvious connection to this course is how we all express ourselves on our blogs.

may 2

1. Ignite Talks
2. Journal

JOURNAL: (at end of period)
What did you learn today?  Describe at least three observations about speakers' topics, processes, or styles.  Include at least one example of ethos, pathos, and logos.

Monday, May 1, 2017

URGENT: please come to room 645 at lunch to pick up ap exam reg cards

I just learned that there are AP pre-registration cards in my mailbox. I will go get them at break and they will be available in the room today at lunch.  Please stop by and get yours-- this is especially important if you are taking an exam tomorrow.  Mahalo.

this just in: facebook stalking insecure kids

Facebook is using covert surveillance methods to target high school-age kids who are "insecure, stressed out, overwhelmed" etc.  Full story HERE.