Monthly Archives: February 2014

An opportunity to publish an editorial in Silver Chips

This from the sponsor, Mr. Stelzner:

“Hello Dept-

Silver Chips communicated in the ombudsman piece this cycle that we will be providing 2 tickets to a Fillmore Show and publication to any Blair student who gets selected for this cycle’s Personal Column.  Students will need to submit their columns by next wed.

This piece of writing can really be about whatever they want.  We want to use this space in the paper to hear from our entire population, not just those kids who work for chips.  If we do get enough support it will be something that we continue in the future- hopefully alleviating some of the concerns that Pam raised yesterday that the entire Blair population is not represented in our paper.

I am asking that you encourage your students to participate in this opportunity…

Please let me know if you have any questions



email him if you have questions:


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What is truth?

“Truth is a mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, anthropomorphisms, in short a sum of human relations which have been subjected to poetic and rhetorical intensification, translation and decoration […]; truths are illusions of which we have forgotten that they are illusions, metaphors which have become worn by frequent use and have lost all sensuous vigour […]. Yet we still do not know where the drive to truth comes from, for so far we have only heard about the obligation to be truthful which society imposes in order to exist.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room

and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope

and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

-Billy Collins

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thoughts lead to thoughts…

Dover Beach
The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
-Matthew Arnold

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Modernism and Postmodernism

“We do not fear being called meticulous, inclining as we do to the view that only the exhaustive can be truly interesting.” ―Thomas Mann

Modernism Fiction Reader

Modernism Non-Fiction Reader

“‘I read,’ I say. ‘I study and read.’ I bet I’ve read everything you read. Don’t think I haven’t. I consume libraries. I wear out spines and ROM-drives. I do things like get in a taxi and say, ‘The library, and step on it.’ My instincts concerning syntax and mechanics are better than your own, I can tell, with all due respect. But it transcends the mechanics. I’m not a machine. I feel and believe. I have opinions. Some of them are interesting. I could, if you’d let me, talk and talk.'” -David Foster Wallace

Postmodernism Reader

-Please note: This is NOT required reading. This is some supplemental reading that I’ve compiled as a time saver for those of you who are looking for a better handle on modernism and postmodernism.  Unfortunately, these movements are so vast and discursive that the documents linked above do not even compose a basic primer. 


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a small poem for you all today…

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

-Wallace Stevens

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AP Lang Snow Assignment

Please make your way to the course specific page for your assignment.  Before you lapse into the howling fantods, check it out.  It’s not too bad.  Interrogate the text and you’ll be fine.

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