Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Bluest Eye

Posted: October 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

The introductory PowerPoint based on Morrison’s afterward can be found here: The Bluest Eye

Remember, you will need to annotate this one for a grade.  Keep your eyes open for patterns and motifs such as those outlined in the PowerPoint.

The story originated from an experience in which a little girl Morrison knew wanted blue eyes and Morrison found herself hating the girl, not the society that convinced her of this narrow conception of beauty.  This book is a way of exploring where these concepts of beauty and ugly come from and the racial contempt encapsulated in such an anecdote as this.   Use this information to help guide you in your annotations as you decode the text.  Morrison uses a lot of the structuralist stuff we talked about from How to Read Literature Like a Professor, so be on the lookout for those patterns, too.

This is also a very emotive text.  Another GREAT annotation idea is to jot down the emotion you are feeling at each anecdote or episode — do you pity and sympathize with the character?  Are you angry at them?  Or are you content, happy, jocular . . . Then try to figure out HOW Morrison evokes those emotions in the reader and WHY you think she does this?  How does it help her purpose or theme?

There’s an audiobook of Morrison herself reading The Bluest Eye on youtube which you might find a helpful tool too.  Stay tuned for more. . .


In class we’ve been talking about sound devices 2017 that you need to apply on the assignment Song annotation and translating early modern English which needs to be done in your notebook by 9/20.  There will be a sound device quiz that day, too.  On Friday, September 15th we’ll annotate Hamlet’s first soliloquy in class AP English 12 Hamlet Act I Soliloquy Assignment  which should also be kept in your notebook.  (Check yourself: Act I Soliloquy scansion for correct scansion).

The source play for Hamlet was originally a revenge tragedy in which the son (Hamlet, Jr.) had to avenge his murdered father, but the challenge in getting to the king was this big ol’ bodyguard.  Shakespeare replaced the character of the bodyguard with a much more effective form of a bodyguard: conscience  — “thus conscience does make cowards of us all” (III.i.91).  So why is this important?  It establishes the play as one focused more on contemplating human psychology than one focused on plot and action.  In fact, it’s often seen as a play of inaction.  Knowing this should help us identify some of the subjects and motifs of the play, such as:

  • The relationship between thought and action
    • Appearance vs. reality — spying and deception
    • Mirrors / glass / reflection
    • Madness (true or feigned)
    • Duty: personal vs. moral vs. national . . . and, of course, the ethics of revenge

Secondly, if you think about the historical context of the play, there’s some really interesting stuff going on.  We (well, we the audience, so England) have a female monarch, we just finished bloody conflicts over Catholicism vs.  Protestantism (Thanks a lot Henry VIII! :)) and sticking with Catholic iconography and practice at the time the play was performed could have dire consequences.

Click through for more motifs and background . . .  (more…)

Summer Reading Essay

Posted: August 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

The-Art-of-Writing-An-English-Essay-CoverThe prompt for the summer reading essay that is due on September 11 can be found here: summer-reading-prompt2017

And the full text of How to Read Literature Like a Professor is over here: How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Basically, choose three chapters from How to Read Lit. and apply them to your summer reading novel.  Don’t forget to integrate cited quotes!  (See Essay Writing Overview 2017.)


Students will also need to sign up for this course on the first week of school.  Here’s the enrollment information you’ll need:

1st Period:  Class ID: 16016274    Enrollment Password: Albert

2nd Period: Class ID: 16016284    Enrollment Password: Albert

3rd Period: Class ID: 16016300    Enrollment Password: Albert

4th Period: Class ID: 16016311     Enrollment Password: Albert

6th Period: Class ID: 16016318     Enrollment Password: Albert


The syllabus can be found here:ap-12-syllabus-2017



how to read lit like a professor

AP English 12 Summer Reading Assignment 2017

Summer Reading Assignment:

  1. Read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, OR The Road by Cormac McCarthy with a critical eye, annotate, and create an Major Works Data Sheet.
  2. Expect to write an essay during the first two weeks of school.
  3. Suggested: Read How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster.  There are also some very helpful outlines of the book you might consult.    The patterns he outlines in the book will help you analyze your summer reading and the various texts we’ll read throughout the year AND help you assert the significance of your quotes on the MWDS.
  4. Suggested: Annotate your summer reading novel. We’ll be doing this sort of close reading throughout the year and starting with the summer reading is a great way to develop the skill of critical reading.

Click below for some tips on annotating