Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Casey: Leader of the Mob?

Assignment:  Write a paragraph proving a theme supported by Gary Soto's poem "Oranges."

FIRST, analyze a paragraph written by Mrs. Gillmore proving one theme in Ernest Lawrence Thayer's poem "Casey at the Bat."


  • Develop a thematic topic sentence.
  • Provide three chunks to support the thesis.
    • Introduce evidence with signal phrases and support with commentary.
  • Conclude with a concluding sentence.

"Casey at the Bat" is a poem that demonstrates that the mob mentality lies within us all.  

Poet Ernest Lawrence Thayer initiates the mob in stanza nine as "from the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar."  The noise, the "muffled roar" symbolizes the increased emotions of the crowd, who is pictured as "black," a color often associated with negative connotations.  These people are no longer moms, dads, aunts, uncles, friends.  United, they begin the move to resistance.

The mob's emotions then intensifies as Thayer writes, "Kill him! Kill the umpire!".../And it's likely they'd akilled him had not Casey raised his hand."  First, one has to note that Casey has been promoted to dictator status, with all his power residing in that one hand gesture, that simple raise of the hand.  Oh, the power he has.  Growing in intensity, this crowd is no longer muffled as the words "kill" are clearly heard by all, illustrating the growing twisted thoughts of the crowd who are now angry at the umpire, the umpire who simply does his job.

Illustrating the completeness of the mob's mental status, poet Thayer assists this as the reader hears, "Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands" as Casey "pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate."  The crowd has gone completely mad, having lost their ability to reason, having lost their humanity, becoming a pack of animals ready to follow the alpha dog to "violence."

Thus, this poem takes the reader from a crowd of fans to a pack of animals, truly supporting the theme that within us all lie that mob mentality.



Quarter 4: CC#2 - 72,000 Ladybugs Released



Fox New's reporter Marc Lallanilla in his article entitled "72,000 Ladybugs Released in Mall of America" shares the rationale for such a decision.

Inside this seven-Yankee-Stadium-sized mall, aphids "thrive," eating on the "30,000 live plants, including about 400 trees."  With all the natural beauty comes other creatures, not so lovely, threatening the natural setting the mall directors have created at this nationally known mall.  Thus, unseen by the many shoppers, is the enemy, as it advances, launching its own attack.

Ladybugs to the rescue!  According to Lallanilla,  "ladybugs...are valued by gardeners for their habit of eating pests like aphids...sort of a biological defense system."  Utilizing ladybugs results in not having to use pesticides, which could also result in negative side effects on the mall visitors, as they purchase snacks and meals during their shopping excursions.  These cute little friends feed on pests, resulting in a win-win situation:  no more aphids and a spot...or two...of color here and there.

Reporter Lallanilla further notes, "Though some shoppers have complained that the ladybugs might fly onto food, a mall spokesperson noted that the insects tend to spend their lives on plants, not human food."      The added benefits of a cleaner atmosphere, due to the many plants and trees, do far outweigh the minor insignificance of a few flying ladybugs. Right?

Ladybugs are just cute, often the theme of birthday parties and little girls' bedrooms.  Many of us recall cute songs such as this one.  But 72,000 of them?  While this seems like such a astronomical figure, we must remember the size of this mall...seven Yankee Stadiums!

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, here's to saving our earth...well, okay...here's to saving the plants and trees in Mall of America.  Carry on, dear Ladies!





Monday, March 11, 2013

BR2: Escape from Furnace


Assignment:  Complete the two parts below.  These two parts take the place of writing a book review on your self-selected novel.
_________________________________________________
Title:  Escape from Furnace

  • Place an image of your novel on the post and link the image to the site from which you obtained the photo.


Author:  Alexander Gordan Smith

  • Link through your author's name to his/her web page (if one is available).



Conversation with a Character

  • Choose a point of view from which to write.
    • 1st Person = "I"
    • 3rd Person = "He" - "She" - "They"
  • Must include dialogue.
    • Reminder:  indent each time the speaker changes.
    • Click here to preview an example.


A Different Ending

  • Choose a point of view from which to write.
    • 1st Person = "I"
    • 3rd Person = "He" - "She" - "They"
  • Create a new final conflict and a resolution to that conflict.
    • Should include multiple paragraphs.
    • May include dialogue.  See above.


Monday, February 11, 2013

CC: Tommy Cotton and the American Dream



Assignment:  Read and write about a current event.  Include a connection to our thematic topic the American Dream.
________________________________________________


In a two-part story entitled "Growing up Cotton, from Yell County to Capitol Hill" on Arkansas' Representative Tommy Cotton, reporter Liz Massey introduces her audience to this versatile leader who is living his American Dream. (Part two interview located here.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

CC#1: Fiscal Cliff Results in + and -

In an article entitled "Who Won, Who Lost from the 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal?", Bankrate argues that this decision will affect personal finances over the next several years in significant ways. (As in, my paycheck that I received today is dollars less than last month's check was.)

Evidence/Commentary

Evidence/Commentary

Evidence/Commentary

Connection

Conclusion


Use phrases...participials and appositives!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review 1: Divergent


Divergent (Book 1)
Below is my first book review for the third quarter.  Please read and grade, using the book review rubric.

_____________________________
Imagine deciding your future at the age of sixteen. This is expected of Beatrice and her brother and all other sixteen-year-olds.  With Divergent, author Veronica Roth creates another almost-believable dystopic world, one that is set, this time, in Chicago.

According to the author, the setting chose her.  As she pondered on her setting, she realize it was her own setting of Chicago because of the trains that all run above ground in this city.  This setting dramatically impacts the actions performed by the characters, as this dystopic world affects the culture that each faction lives within.  For example, Abnegation, a selfless people, seek to make others happy, giving up seats on a bus, as Beatrice's brother Caleb does. The setting most affects the Dauntless, who love an adrenaline rush.  Imagine a zipline from a one hundred story building.  Imagine jumping from a moving train.  Fighting to stay alive.  Enduring extreme pain to win.

As you read be prepared for Roth's warning, yes, a theme, one of the lessons that she wants her readers to consider is imperfections always lie within what seemingly appears perfect.  Beatrice's world is divided into five factions that each depict a particular virtue.  So what could be better than being allowed to choose among several of these virtues? This Beatrice must do, realizing only later that this also makes her different:  a Divergent.  This begins her battle towards self-realization and and learning that some do not want her to be different; some have no appreciation for Divergents.

Even more so than Beatrice, my favorite character is Four, a leader in the Dauntless faction.  Maybe it is because he is the strong, silent type?  Maybe because he helps those help themselves?  Because he helps those when they can no longer help themselves? Because of these characteristics, Four appears older than his eighteen years, having learned much in this not-so-perfect world.  According to him, "selflessness and bravery aren't that different."  He lives both of this words, rarely putting himself before others (he could have been the main leader) and pushing himself and others, including Beatrice, to be more than they were so that they may enduring the Initiation phase.

Enjoy a book with one adventure after another?  Then, yes, Divergent is for you.  Hurry!  Book two Insurgent is already out, with book three's release planned for sometime this fall.

Additional Note:  I took the Faction Quiz at the end of the novel.  I tied for Abnegation and Dauntless.  Hummm...I suppose that means I am a selfless brave person.  Really?!  Give me minute to imagine that!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Theme: The Crucible, Act 2

Assignment:  To write an analytical paragraph that provides evidence (see picture at right of the evidence I gathered as I read Act 2) and commentary on  a selected theme.

Teacher Topic:  The Crucible, Act 2
John Proctor = Our inability to see our own faults.

Theme/Topic Sentence:  Lack of self-awareness leads to others being hurt.

Chunk 1:  Evidence/Commentary
In act two of The Crucible, John Proctor exhibits this characteristic during his discussion with his wife Elizabeth when he notes on page 51 that he "will not have your suspicions anymore."  Please hit the pause button.  Who cheated on whom here?  Now, granted he does avow that he has been faithful "these last seven months" and seems to consider his penance paid in full.  As a woman myself, who is attempting to place myself in Elizabeth's shoes, I just want to hear him say, "I am sorry.  I was wrong. Please, on bended knee, please forgive me. Please!" Of course, the societal expectations of 1692 might not allow for such submissive behavior from males, but, in this scene, the reader is compelled to almost blame Elizabeth because of Arthur Miller's excellent use of metaphors in this scene:  "It's winter in here" and "Your justice would freeze beer."

Chunk 2 Evidence/Commentary
Another example of Proctor's lack self-awareness occurs later on page 61 when, after being challenged by Reverend Hale, he states, "I never knew I must account to that man for I come to church or stay at home."



Concluding Sentence




Complete Paragraph
 Lack of self-awareness leads to others being hurt.  In act two of The Crucible, John Proctor exhibits this characteristic during his discussion with his wife Elizabeth when he notes on page 51 that he "will not have your suspicions anymore."  Please hit the pause button.  Who cheated on whom here?  Now, granted he does avow that he has been faithful "these last seven months" and seems to consider his penance paid in full.  As a woman myself, who is attempting to place myself in Elizabeth's shoes, I just want to hear him say, "I am sorry.  I was wrong. Please, on bended knee, please forgive me. Please!" Of course, the societal expectations of 1692 might not allow for such submissive behavior from males, but, in this scene, the reader is compelled to almost blame Elizabeth because of Arthur Miller's excellent use of metaphors in this scene:  "It's winter in here" and "Your justice would freeze beer." Another example of Proctor's lack self-awareness occurs later on page 61 when, after being challenged by Reverend Hale, he states, "I never knew I must account to that man for I come to church or stay at home."