Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I am currently in the book club that Rachel and Kira started. The novel we have selected to read it Crime and Punishment. We have a Meemli session online wher we decided that we were going to read the first ten chapters of the novel by the end of the week. There are thirty-six chapters in total, so we need to read quickly! Not everyone has read up to the same point so once everyone is caught up, we will start to discuss and analyze the themes/literary devices/etc. Then it will start to be a official book club! This hopefully will benefit the people that are in the club for future study sessions where they have to work in groups. Not only are we learning skills to pick out literary devices, but we're collaborating with one another. Can't wait till we are done reading!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Watchmen Passage Analysis

The theme of the text provided from Watchmen I feel was what you stop prepare may seem silly at the moment, but when it comes to the real challenge in the end, it all makes sense. You'll feel stupid and what you are doing to prepare may make no sense, you'll be glad that you made those provisions. In a way I can see how this theme would relate to our class, what with us always nagging and sighing about how what we do in this class doesn't make sense. When we were memorizing the Hamlet soliloquy, I kept asking myself "when am I ever going to have to say this ever again?" but when I look at past AP essay prompts, I see that knowing a text word for word would aid me in giving examples. Any AP student can write well, but knowing quotes from famous works would definitely set you aside from a 3 paper to a 4/5 paper.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Suitable Essay Prompts for Macbeth

   1.      Open Essay Prompt (1988):
Choose a distinguished novel or play in which some of the most significant events are mental or psychological; for example, awakenings. discoveries, changes in consciousness.  In a well-organized essay, describe how the author manages to give these internal events the sense of excitement, suspense and climax usually associated with external action.  Do not merely summarize the plot.
   2.      Open Essay Prompt (1982):
In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake.  Choose a work of literary merit that confronts the reader or audience with a scene(s) of violence.  In a well-organized essay, explain how the scene or scenes contribute to the meaning of the complete work.  Avoid plot summary.
   3.      Open Essay Prompt (1980):
A recurring theme in literature is the classic war between passion and responsibility.  Choose a literary work in which a character confronts the demands of a private passion that conflicts with his or her responsibilities.  In a well-written essay, show clearly the nature of conflict, its effects upon the character, and its significance to the work.  Avoid plot summary.

Monday, April 23, 2012

AP Study Plan

Now I have good reason not to be taking the AP exam.  I called up my guidance counselor and she explained to me why it would be a waste of money and time to take the AP exam.  Due to my passing of the AP exam last year, I already don't have to take the English course down in Irvine.  Also, because I passed with a four, I also elective credits as well (which would be the reason for taking it this year, but it isn't necessary).  So you see, taking it would be money down the drain.  I understand that this is what the class is preparing you for, but I didn't want to be around students who didn't care and try.  My plan is study for the practice AP multiple choice and the essay that you plan on giving to the students who aren't taking it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In Class Lecture Notes: Macbeth

Day I

Simple play
-no big themes
-very straightforward plot
     -Acts I-III all chronicle Macbeth's rise to glory & IV, V follow his fall
     -character driven play; less psychology & intricate relationships
          -Macbeth doesn't confide in the audience (like Hamlet) he doesn't show any sign of humor or              
           humanity, just painstaking character development

Macbeth as a tragic hero
-Beginning of play: indirect characterization telling us he is well thought of, noble, honorable, etc.
-end of the play: stands alone to be killed by an entire army
-Every thing that happens in the play is the function of Macbeth's own decisions
     -not influenced or compelled by any outside force

Murder of Duncan
     -Act I, scene vii, lines 25-28…glimpse of an idea but too early to take for truth
     -Macbeth seems to be in the grips of something bigger
          -his first reaction to the witches was weariness; it seemed unjust to him at first
          -tension between immorality (consequences?!) & his ambition to be/stay king
               -he knows that he will have to violate his morals…he knows the consequences…he doesn't 
                convo (Hamlet)
          -he struggles with knowing that to act on his desires will lead to his own destruction (he then 
           decides not to kill the king(
                -swayed, however, by his imagination of the prospects

Macbeth & Lady Macbeth
-She is the agent of evil in the beginning
     -tells him to man up and keep the prospect of being king alive
-total animus (masculine personality) influence
     -lacks regard for emotions, scruples, values, nurturing, etc.
     -urges him to be more manly when he comes to her with things
-Both characters experience a surreal feeling
     -Macbeth is fearful & horrified, but he hallucinates and it's as if he is compelled to or drawn to do it
     -Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking
-With help of Lady Macbeth allowed evil to infiltrate his imagination.  He knows what's going on.

Courage & Fear
-Courage is abundant when it comes to outward enemies but can't handle the inner fears.  Becomes fearful as soon as he kills the king
     -deals with it by continued killing to allow himself to plow through and come to a solution
-Lady Macbeth can't handle the inner strains….Macbeth goes off without her.
     -guilt for lack of inner will destroy her
          -feels like Duncan looks liker her father
          -she decays into craziness (for lack of a better word) until she commits suicide

Day 2

Lady Macbeth
-A representation of pure force
-After the banquet, Macbeth & Lady Macbeth's relationship becomes strained
     -They used to have a healthy relationship/marriage but now they have their own plans

-Macbeth's throne is safe, no one suspects him, but he has a guilty conscience
-Act III, Scene iii shows Macbeth still knows the difference between right and wrong
-Now he's murdering his way to peace of mind
     -is becoming less & less human
-Loss of physical relationships --> loss of feeling
     -Makes Macbeth care less & less for what life has to offer
-Act V, scene iii explains why Macbeth accepts the news of his wife's death with a horrifying calm
     -exemplifies the empty mockery his world has become

The 3 Witches
-Macbeth's driving force
-Plant the ideas in Macbeth's mind
     -he is then unable to control himself
-a symbol of fate
     -It inevitably would have happened
-Exist to tempt & torment people
-After becoming thane of Cawdor, Macbeth believes the witches prophesy to be ture
-The 3 Witches seem to be the heroes of the entire piece

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Active Reading Notes: Macbeth

·         Macbeth and Banquo are generals of Scottish King Duncan’s army and they have just defeated two separate invading armies
o   One led by the Irish rebel leader, Macdonwald and the other from Norway
·         Three witches come together and prophesize that Macbeth will come to be made thane of Cawdor and then eventually king of Scotland; also state that Banquo’s son will come to be the heirs of the throne next
o   Seem to say this in a foreboding way, as if his rise to power will ultimately be his downfall
·         The two seem skeptical, but soon Macbeth is named Thane of Cawdor
·         Macbeth of unsure of whether or not he wants this rise to power à writes home to his wife
o   She has no qualms about climbing the social ladder and tells him to murder Duncan for the crown
o   She persuades him to kill Duncan that very night the two are to dine together
·         Macbeth seems to know right from wrong, but still chooses to do the wrong course of action à has no reason to justify his means either
·         Plan to blame Duncan’s death on his chamberlains à get them drunk and they will be defenseless
o   Macbeth murders Duncan when he is sleeping; he is full of self doubt and ignores the vision he had that involved a bloody dagger floating in front of him
o   Macbeth is shaken terribly à forgets to leave the daggers with the chamberlains to frame them à Macbeth won’t go back into the room though
o   Lady Macbeth shames him saying he is a coward; goes to put the daggers there herself
·         Macbeth hears knocking on three separate occasions, is frightened
o   “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood, Clean from my hand?”
o   “A little water clears us of this deed, How easy it is then!” 
·         The discovery of Duncan’s body has Macbeth all wound up and jumpy
o   Macbeth kills the chamberlains too out of rage
o    Malcolm flees to England and Donalbain flees to Ireland (because they are seen as suspects since they are both in line for the crown)
o   Macbeth takes to the kings position immediately
·         Ominous happenings right after Duncan’s death and right before Macbeth coronation:
o   It is daytime, but dark outside
o   Last Tuesday, an owl killed a falcon
o   Duncan’s beautiful, well-trained horses behaved wildly and ate one another
·         Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth start to hallucinate about their kill
·         Macbeth, paranoid and confused, plans to hire a group of murders to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, in order to null the witches prophecy about them taking his throne next
o   Ambush them right before the dinner, manages to kill Banquo but Fleance escapes à Macbeth is worried and mad
o   As long as Fleance lives, the prophecy that he will come to seize the throne will be a possibility
·         Macbeth tells his wife that his mind is full of scorpions à guilt
·         At the feast, Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost; starts to freak out which startles his guest
o   They think that he is losing it and the nobles start to lose their faith in his skills to rules
o   His subjects are also worried about Macbeth, lose faith as well
·         Scared and worried about his position, he goes to the witches for help à they then introduce him to demon and spirits who also prophesize Macbeth’s future
o   They tell him:
§   Floating head à To beware of the noblemen Macduff (didn’t want Macbeth in the throne in the first place)
§  Bloodied child à It’s impossible that he will be harmed by any man born of woman
§  Crowned child holding a tree àHe will be safe until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Castle
o   Feels secure à all men are born of women, forest can’t move
o   We know from the previous scene before though that it’s just a false sense of security that Hecate and witches are enacting
§  Why are they meddling?
o   Orders that Macduff’s castle be seize and to kill his wife and children (Macduff has escaped to England to join with Malcolm’s forces)
o   We see that Macbeth is becoming more and more cruel and paranoid when he is told more prophecies
·         Macduff learns of his family’s murders and vows revenge
·         Malcolm has managed to put together and army in England; Macduff joins him à ride to England to try and take out Macbeth
·         The Scottish nobles support Malcolm; they are scared of Macbeth’s crazed and murderous ways
·         Lady Macbeth is not coping with the guilt of all the deaths at her and her husband’s hands
o   Wakes from a dream believing there is blood all over her hand; also sleepwalks all the time
o   Macbeth receives notices that she committed suicide right before battle à he goes into shock and despair
·         He is depressed and confused but still waits for Malcolm’s army who have withdrawn to Dunsinane  à reinforces his idea that he is invincible
o   Learns that Malcolm’s army is coming with boughs made from Birnam Wood (witches prophecy) à fearful that his demise is coming
·         Malcolm’s forces eventually overtake Macbeth’s
o   On the battlefield, Macbeth comes in contact with Macduff à still wants him very much dead
o   Macduff tells him he was not born from a women, but was “untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb (C section)
·         All the prophecies have come true and Macbeth knows that he is doomed now à still fights on until Macduff kills and beheads him
·         Malcolm comes to take the throne à promises to treat his people with grace and kindness; invites everyone to his coronation at Scone
·         Macbeth is a power -hunger  tyrant, yet we don’t condemn him à was a good man that did the wrong things?   Or was he just a bad person to begin with?
o   He isn’t the “villain” of the story à he did commit multiple atrocities, but the reader somehow (or at least I did) try to make up and excuse as to why he did such crime
o   Thoughts à “he only did it because he was peer pressured by his wife”, etc.
o   He doesn’t take pleasure in his horrid actions, actually feels remorseful about it which is why the reader wants to forgive him

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Top 3 Picks

1.       Chelsey Soriano (
Her usage of music in the background helped support the text and kept me entertained the entire time.  Everything fit well together and flowed with one another.
2.       Arianna Farmer (
I liked all the points and examples that she brought up about the book.  I have also read the novel and she picked up on things that I didn’t even think about!  Also the music reminded me of my grandma’s house…kidding.
3.       Cayla Salazar (
The video she chose only helped further support her analysis of Animal Farm.  I too have this novel as my LA, so it was nice to get another perspective.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Literature Analysis: Animal Farm

1.       The novel focuses around farm animals who have been given a human voice to express their perspective on life on the farm.  All the animals are clearly unhappy under the control of the farm’s current owner, Mr. Jones.  Old Major, a commanding boar in the barn, gives a charismatic, inspiration speech that encouraged all the animals to rebel against Mr. Jones so they could take control of the barn and run it the way they want to.  The animals manage to complete such task and soon Old Major is seen as a hero that saved them.  All this power and appreciation soon goes to Old Major’s head and he becomes more and more like a dictator every day.  Old Major passes his ideals of how the barn should run to his little minions: Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer.  They then turn to the rest of the animals and teach them Old Major’s philosophy.  Once Old Major dies, the barn is left in the hands of the three pigs.  It’s obvious that either Snowball or Napoleon will lead the barn and while Snowball is charming and just, Napoleon uses underhand tactics to run him off the barn.  Napoleon soon becomes a tyrant, killing anybody that doesn’t believe in his leadership.  All the animals believe he is doing this for the good of the farm, or that’s what Napoleon keeps saying.  The barn life for the animals keeps decreasing as they are put to work and are fed little.  Napoleon takes control of every aspect of the animals lives, become more “human” with every passing day.  The end of the book shows the misery of the animals while the “pigs” are dining with their human neighbors, and the animals can no longer tell the difference between the two.
2.       The theme of the novel is that power can corrupt if not given to the right person.  While power can lead to success and wealth, it can also tear away any humanity one might have had.  It was represented by the pigs that had good intentions, but once they had the taste of power, and what they could do with it, it soon poisoned their good will.
3.       The tone of the book is somber and oppressive.  Every day the lives of the farm animals get worse and worse due to the ideals of Old Major.  The novel demonstrates the evil that comes about from power. 
4.       Symbolism – The entire novel is a symbol for the bloody Russian Revolution.  The pigs represent the USSR, Napoleon being Stalin and Snowball representing Lenin.  Everything that occurred in the novel, pretty much happened in Russia.  Propaganda was used by Squealer whenever he tried to justify Napoleon evil doings.  Much like Stalin and his propaganda, his people believed every word he said.  To us, it’s common sense that you wouldn’t believe a word they said, but they didn’t know any better.
Personification – All the animals in the novel could speak to one another and to human being.  Even though they didn’t want to be like the cruel humans they were given a voice to express their emotions.  The pigs eventually “turn into” humans through the eyes of the animals.
Diction – He used strong words for the pigs so that they seemed powerful, while he choice simple, almost foolish vocabulary for the animals that followed the pigs.  This just goes to show the relationship that the pigs and other animals had with one another.
Anaphora – Boxer always used the phrase “Napoleon is always right” to show the reader the brainwashing that the pigs had done to the animals.  It also represented the control Napoleon had over the animals even though he treated them cruelly.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In Class Socratic Seminar

-          Children need to make mistakes when they are young or else they won’t develop a sense of independence and will be reliant on others for everything that they do with their lives.
-          Ex:  parents should let their child pour orange juice even though they know he/she will spill it.  The child needs to learn how to do things on his/her own and learn from their mistakes.
-          Instead of being instructed, we should learn through experience.  What good is it for someone to tell me something when I can try it myself?
-          If kids are constantly being told what to do and have their choice made for them, they suffer on a emotional, physical and social level.
-          I remix school notes in my life by making connections with them to my life.  The other day we were talking about a problem in statistics that had to deal with blood types; the other week I organized a blood drive so that had personal attachment to it.
-          Is the test we taking in class really going to help is in real life?  Should we be taught how to socialize and thrive in the real world that isn’t just 2+2=4?
-          Then again, would we be motivated enough to keep that kind of learn style up?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Serious Need to Play & Video: Table of Free Voices

The Serious Need for Play
-          Too many rules and a restricting lifestyle at a young age can damage their future by causing them to be sheltered and reliant on others for help all the time.
-          Making mistakes is an essential part of growing up as a child.  When we make mistakes we learn from them and develop a better sense.
-          Free play is also a vital part of a childhood.  It allows them to come up with their own ideas and they become a more inventive, innovative individual.
 Table for Free Voices
-          They more choices we have leads to more happiness.  If we want a brighter tomorrow, we have to start choosing the right questions to answer for the world.  We not only have to take in our opinions, but also our counterparts that live across the world; how will something we do here affect them over there and vice versa.
-          There was a convention held in Berlin were representatives from countries around the world came to answer one hundred question, to which they all responded with a different perspective.
-          Topic ranged from: reinventing economics, understanding power, global frontier, perceiving eye, conscious recognition, politics of violence, the human footprint, innovation acceleration, celebrating diversity…etc.
-          These views were from people who are not normally heard
-          The internet should be used to learn about other societies, religions and beliefs.  Almost everything can be found on the internet, so why not use it to our advantage?  We should start to introduce students to the technological world that we live in.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Remix the Textbook

Sonnet 28

Francesco Petrarch

Anonymous Translator

1.      Dramatic Situation: It is through a female perspective of how to deal with the loss of a lover; first person.  She wants to shut herself from the rest of the world and hide away with her woes for the rest of her life.
2.      Structure:  Sonnet; ABBA rhyming scheme; broken up with commas and semi-colons.
3.      Theme:  The effects of losing a loved one.  She is so depressed she cannot not go on with life; with the end of her love’s life, her life ended as well.
4.      Grammar:  Uses correct grammar, punctuation such as commas and semi-colon to separate the end of a sentence or end of a paragraph.
5.      Imagery:  There us a lot of usage of metaphors, similes and symbolism.  She describes losing her love as “alone, and lost in thought, the desert glade…”
6.      Diction:  She uses depressing and sorrowful words such as lingering, shun, anxious, dreary.  They are powerful words that make the reader feel empathy for the woman in the poem.
7.      Tone: Sad and depressing; she has just lost the love of her life and so she expresses such loss through a disheartening tone.
8.      Rhetorical Devices: Pathos and ethos is something that the reader will feel when reading the woman’s loss.
9.      Procidy: All the words flow with one another, and there is a complete start and finish to the poem’s story.

Sonnet 18

Francesco Petrarch

Translated by Noti

1.      The dramatic situation is that the speaker cannot convey how beautiful a woman is and how much she means to him through ryhme.  Her beauty cannot be conveyed through mere words.
2.      Structure in the poem includes quatrains, and couplets.  There is alos many commas and semi-colons, which is when one thought switches to the next.
3.      The theme is beauty.  He is so enthralled in her beauty that he believes it is indescribable. "But no fit polish can my verse attain."
4.      Grammar is long, lenghty thoughts. They all are connected to eachother, however.
5.      There is much imagery in the poem.  He uses good action verbs which help readers visualize the situation.
6.      The diction is romantic, formal language.  There are no colloquilisms.
7.      The tone is admiring. He is constantly complimenting the woman.
8.      There is a rhetorical question in the poem. "But say what muse can dare so bold a flight?"
9.      The procity is a well flowing poem.  The commas and semi- colons help emphasize at the right times.

Sonnet 69

Pablo Neruda

Translated by Stephan Tapscott

1.      The speaker is a young male, speaking about a young female.  The poem takes place in olden times.  The speaker is confessing his undying love, stating that he is nothing without her.
2.      The sonnet is written in two complete sentences.  It is a romantic sonnet about love, so all of the pieces flow together quite nicely.
3.      The theme is undoubtedly love.  The speaker notes at the end, "and through love I will be, you will be, we'll be."  It is about two people that cannot live without the presence of the other.
4.      The meaning behind the grammar of the sonnet is meant to invoke feelings of romanticism.  There is a part that reads, "…without the light you carry in your hand, golden, which maybe others will not see."  The meaning behind these two lines is to show that they are soul-mates for one another.
5.      The sonnet begins with the line, "maybe nothingness is to be without your presence."  This figure of speech likens how the speaker would feel without the presence of his love.
6.      The diction is related to words associated with love.  For example, when I think of a red rose (as talked about in the second stanza), I automatically associate that item with love.
7.      The tone verges on desperation.  The speaker continually mentions that he has to have this person in his life, stating that he would be nothing without her.
8.      Imagery and similes are the two literary devices predominantly used.  The second half of the first stanza reads, "like a blue flower, without you walking later through the fog and the cobbles.
9.      Although the structure fits together nicely, the prosidy is rushed, making me think that this sonnet was written as an apology.  I think that the speaker is worried that he will not be able to get his love back, and so is pleading for her forgiveness by quickly stating how much she truly means to him.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Remix of Poetry Notes

1.       Drinking (Dramatic Situation)
2.       Sour (Structure)
3.       Things (Theme)
4.       Got (Grammar/Punctuation)
5.       Ilene (Imagery/Figurative Language)
6.       Drunk (Diction)
7.       Then (Tone)
8.       Randomly (Rhetorical Devices/Literary Terms)
9.       Peed (Prosidy)

My group and I come up with this mnemonic device to help us memorize all the elements.  Personally, when something is funny and outrageous, I tend to remember it more often.  So we tried to add some humor into it so we wouldn’t forget it.   

Thursday, March 1, 2012

As I Lay Dying

1.          The novel begins with Addie Bundren ill and expecting to die soon.  Her son Cash, who is a carpenter, prepares a coffin for her, which is ready the morning she dies.  Addie's last wish was the she be buried in the town of Jefferson.  To fulfill this wish, Anse Bundren and his five children set off with the corpse to make the journey.  The family faces many obstacles along the way.  Recent floods have washed away bridges, causing the family to river-cross over their own hand-made bridge.  While crossing the bridge, the coffin falls on Cash's leg, breaking it.  Darl attempts to make a cast for Cash's leg, but that only makes  matters worse.  Not wanting to continue on with the mission, Darl attempts to destroy his mother's coffin, but Jewel turns up to rescue the coffin from the burning barn, much to Darl's dismay.  Believing that Darl has gone crazy, they commit him to a Jackson mental institution.  While Anse goes off to buy shovels to bury his deceased wife, he meets a women whom he suddenly marries, and returns to his family to introduce them to their new mother.
2.          A major theme of this novel is the uncertainties of life.  The loss of their mother causes Addie's children to question the meaning of life and their role here on earth.  Darl is especially troubled by this loss.  Believing that because his mother no longer "is," she never existed and therefore he doesn't exist.  He is later declared insane.  Anse's new marriage so swiftly after his wife's death causes the children to question family morals and their existence even further.
3.          The novel is told through the views of fifteen different people.  The major tone felt throughout is very emotional, understandably so considering the story is about a family transporting their deceased mother to her burial place. 
"Jewel's hat droops limp about his neck, channeling water onto the soaked towsack tied about his shoulders as, ankle-deep in the running ditch, he pries with a slipping two-by-four, with a piece of rotting log for fulcrum, at the axle. Jewel, I say, she is dead, Jewel. Addie Bundred is dead."
"I strike, the stick hitting into the ground, bouncing, striking into the dust and then into the air again and the dust sucking on down the road faster than if a car was in it. And then I can cry, looking at the stick."
"In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, you are not.  And when you are filled with sleep, you never were.  I don't know what I am."
4.          Foreshadowing:  Kate Tull predicts that Anse will remarry quickly after the death of Addie, which in fact does happen.

Diction:  The author gives the characters southern accents to contribute to the meaning of the setting.
          "Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It's like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it's the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it."
Irony:  Peabody finds Addie's love for Jewel to be out of stubbornness.  This is ironic because Peabody doesn't know Addie had Jewel out of an affair.
"That's what they mean by the love that passeth understanding: that pride, that furious desire to hide that abject nakedness which we bring here with us, carry stubbornly and furiously with us into the earth again."
Metaphors:  The children make illogical connections to their mothers, showing how confused about the matters of death they are.
"Jewel's mother is a horse," Darl said. "Then mine can be a fish, can't it, Darl?" I said. "Then what is your ma, Darl?" I said. "I haven't got ere one," Darl said. "Because if I had one, it is was. And if it was, it can't be is. Can it?"
Tone:  This passage shows the emotional state the children are left in.
"Words don't ever fit even what they are trying to say at. Motherhood was invented by someone who had to have a word for it because the ones that had the children didn't care whether there was a word for it or not."