Uh . . . since it's, like, summer-n-stuff, follow the grammar rules of Kidspeak in one actually thoughtful response about The New Yorker article called "The Conscientiousness of Kidspeak." What do u think? If u remember to remind me, the class will, like, nominate someone the King or Queen of, like, Kidspeak, when we get together in September for the most witty and true-to-form response.
Check out this short three-paragraph essay from The Sun Magazine called "The Hawk" by Brian Doyle. Even though it's not long, it says a lot, I think. Read it a couple of times and then comment upon the author's style, tone, diction, organization, theme, or just your own personal reaction.
Here are a few questions that I have about this creative non-fiction piece that you could write about if you so choose:
p.s. I'm reading and enjoying all of your posts. Really! They are awesome.
p.s.s. If you somehow fell behind on these posts, don't despair. In terms of a grade, nothing is late on this assignment until the Friday of the first week of school. That being said, please don't wait until then and cram it all in. You won't learn as much. Try to get at least eight of the ten posts done by Labor Day, OK?
p.s.s. The link above is a pdf. If you can't open it, try this one.
First of all, I hope that you are well and enjoying your summer. You may have been wondering, why am I doing all of this anyway? Several of you have commented that you are finding several of the pieces long. Aren't summer and homework mutually exclusive?
Those are valid questions. First of all, I'll offer you a fairly lame answer: pretty much every high school student who is taking AP Language & Composition next fall is also doing some type of summer reading. Most of them are reading several books, so the blog is a different (and shorter) approach. But does that justify what we are doing? Not really! When I was a teenager, my mother used to ask me the rhetorical question: If everyone else is jumping off the bridge, would you do that too? (Hint: the most effective response to a rhetorical question is sarcasm.) Yes, mom, I would gladly jump off that bridge!
I'm hoping to have you accomplish several things with all of this reading and writing:
Finally, you may have been wondering, how this is being evaluated? A thoughtful response within the parameters of the assignment will be worth up to five points each. So, if you add a comprehensive comment to all of the blog posts, you'll begin the year with an "A." Think of those points as insulation from what no doubt will be the most difficult of the three trimesters. You will be able to make the leap to college-level work, but it doesn't just happen in one week or even one month. The days of just doing the assignment and getting that easy "A" are numbered, my friends.
So, Blog #6 features visual images which are also part of what we will be studying in this class. Spend five minutes studying this mosaic of images from Detroit. It's at once strangely fascinating, incomprehensible, shocking, horrific, and simply staggering in scale. What is the rhetorical effect upon you of having access to over 43,000 digital photographs of every single home in Detroit that was on the short road to foreclosure. Please read the text carefully to note that almost half have been resolved since January. Then, read this article. What do you think about all of this? How would you address this problem if you were elected mayor? To what extent, if at all, do you believe that all of us in the State of Michigan are affected by what is happening in Detroit?
You've got an incredibly significant decision to make fairly soon. How do you go about the process of selecting the best school: College visits? Academic reputation? Affordability? Friends? Siblings? Best football team? Best social scene? Distance from home? To what extent should we trust those annual college rankings?
In the essay "The Order of Things: What College Rankings Really Tell Us," Malcolm Gladwell, who was just featured on 60 Minutes on Sunday evening, critiques how US News & World Report ranks colleges. In the very last sentence of this essay, he concludes, "Who comes out on top, in any ranking system, is really about who is doing the ranking."
Write a minimum of 75 words on exactly how Gladwell tries to persuade his audience to agree with him. Don't worry at this point about all the literary terminology, but rather begin to notice what is the most compelling evidence to support his case. How does he present it? How do all the parts of the essay work together? Notice that I'm not asking you for your opinion. (That would be easy.) I'm asking you to comment upon his argument and his style. Dig into one specific example, and/or respond to what others have written to make this more of an interactive comments forum.
It seems to me that there's something entirely different about the way in which we are following the World Cup this year. I would venture to proclaim that after thirty years of tip-toeing around in the shadows of the collective consciousness of American sports, soccer has finally arrived. Is that true?
Anyway, here's an animated narrative about the culture of soccer in Brazil called "My Travels with the Curse of Maracanã." Check it out and add a pithy comment that asks a question, offers a response, or analyzes the author's style, tone, diction, structure, organization, theme, use of animation, use of music, or historical context. Hope you are able to celebrate the Fourth of July with family and friends!