Archive for the ‘English 12 AP’ Category


Commissar Nikolai Yezhov with Stalin

George Orwell’s 1984 is, I would claim, THE seminal work of dystopia.   Ever hear of the phrase “big brother”?  How about unperson, thoughtcrime, or doublethink?  –All from 1984.  You know how we can’t do anything these days without someone recording it, putting it on social media, etc.?  You know all that data mining Wikileaks exposed #PatriotAct?  Orwell called it.  Ever hear of a government falsifying reports and sugarcoating history?  “Who controls the present controls the past; who controls the past controls the future” (Orwell, 1984)



Hey, where’d he go? #unperson

Or how about the fact that nations are always at war and always talking about another war, meanwhile corporations get rich off those wars and the masses become xenophobic towards those peoples?  Orwell called that too.   What if we speak out?  Exiled.  Brainwashed.  Vaporized.  #Stalin

Beyond all the political commentary, however, there’s a great story in it too — love, sex, friendship, betrayal — truly one of the best books ever written.

Click through the break for handouts, notes, and more . . .


Here’s the Power Point I shared in class: Syntax Terminology 2018

And here are some warm ups we’ll be working on: convoluted sentences,   Types of Sentences review,  Rhetorical Device Review Warm up

You can also view the terms by clicking below:


all the worlds a stageThe advent of feminism and psychoanalytic criticism in the 20th century has forever influenced the way we look at Hamlet; therefore, we’ll be looking at the women of Hamlet through these lenses and discussing the retroactive interpretation many directors have placed on the play as a result.


Hit more to see the handout and some of the videos.


insantiyAs we begin reading Hamlet, I thought I’d highlight just a few of the numerous resources on the play:

Chop Bard is an entertaining podcast (well, at least to lit nerds like me) that you can listen to online or download in itunes.    If you’re looking online, scroll down to Hamlet, which begins with episode 21.

Another great audio source is  Librivox has hundreds of open source titles available as audiobooks for free.  The readings are by volunteers, so some are better than others.  The three versions of Hamlet they offer aren’t the greatest recordings I’ve found on Librivox (Elizabeth Klett’s Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Turn of the Screw are fantastic), but they might be helpful.

Click through the page break for more:


sample-screenplay-pagePart of your Hamlet project will require writing a script for your video (written portion due October fourth).  So how do you do that?

Probably the easiest thing to do is to use a screenplay template in your word processing program or Google Doc to help with formatting.

Additionally, scriptologist has a great overview of how to format a screenplay.

Writers Store has a great annotated visual you can use to see how it all plays out.  And both BBC and have nice instructional examples.  More on how to format a script after the page break:


rhyme timeHaving trouble figuring out the meter and sound stuff we’ve been doing in class?

1. Don’t worry, you won’t have to perform scansion on a test or quiz.  I just want you to have some experience with it and see just how much great poets put into their work — how  everything in a great work contributes to meaning.

2. There’s a pretty helpful survey of meter, rhythm, and prosody in the introduction to chapter 12 of Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense (the blue and red textbook we’ve been using in class) and I found a nifty outline of said intro here.

Aaaaaand, if you want to “go hard on that tetrameter” like M.C. Lars, the sound notes from class are chillin’ back here.: sound devices 2017

Thanks to Carl Runyon of Owensboro Community College, notes from Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense can be found after the break . . .

SnapeCollege Admissions Essay: One of the first things we’re doing is writing college admissions essays and resumes.  Here’s a great (and short) article on admissions essays: writing the essay sound advice from an expert.  Or you can read it here.  Bring prompts to class to work on.  (If you aren’t applying to a college that requires an entrance essay, use the 2017 common app).  A polished draft of one of your entrance essays is due on September 18.

Why?  You might ask . . . in many cases it won’t make or break your admission chances, but the entrance essay is an opportunity to introduce yourself, in your voice, and bring out things that don’t normally appear on an application or resume (so don’t just repeat your resume).  Here’s a good article SHOWING what the admissions essay can do:


“Hidden Gold in College Applications.”

Resume (also due September 18): As far as resumes, there’s a wealth of information out there — search for it!  Resumes have changed a lot since your parents or I learned how to do them, namely by becoming more dynamic, so I encourage you to do some research on your own beyond what we tell you.  Look at examples and use templates to format your resume properly and attractively.