Monthly Archives: April 2014

After school AP Study Sessions

Wed-Fri 4/30-5/2. Rm 219
3-4ish pm
All AP Lang students welcome, regardless of teacher.
If no one shows or lets me know they’re coming by 3:15pm, I will head out.


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AP Lang Study Group

AP’s are next week. Feeling the pressure? Need to do some cramming?

Anderson and Klein are offering some last minute prep. Please share this information with your friends.

per 6 Tuesday 4/29- Friday 5/2

Anderson- rm 135- Multiple Choice help

Klein- rm 219- Essays (post your requests to look at specific questions on the AP Lang Study Group Page. If there are no specific requests, we will cover Rhetorical Analysis on Tues, Argument on Wed. and Synthesis on Thurs. Free choice on Fri)

I will also offer some after school sessions, but I don’t know yet if my team has been eliminated from the playoffs, so look for another posting.

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What is it like to be a bat?

Here’s an interesting article relevant to our discussion about Twain’s limitations in presenting Jim as a realistic character (though it is not clear that this is his intention). The implications of this argument actually do some serious Twain saving.

What is it like to be a bat?

While most of this article just requires intellectual focus, there is some jargon. So, you may find this website useful to fill in a few of the gaps.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy



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Is irony ruining our culture? Or is it TV? Or rhetorical questions?

Expanding our conversations of potential limits for satire…

Here’s the light version from (for those of you in a hurry):

David Foster Wallace was right: Irony is ruining our culture

Here’s the heavy version from A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again:

E unibus pluram: television and U.S. fiction by David Foster Wallace

And for those who want more DFW:

Here’s a bunch of DFW essays that Harper’s has made available in memorium. Scroll down to the January 1996 “Shipping Out” link for his famous cruise ship essay…but really, you can’t go wrong with any of them.




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Day of Silence

Positivity and support. No one should have to feel alienated.

Be an ally today 4.11.14 and every day.

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Folger Shakespeare Fellows

Posting an email I received about a cool opportunity available for students:



Dear Teachers in our DC Metropolitan area:


We have just posted information about our 2014 High School Fellows Program . I am sending this note off to you quickly because I hope that some of your students will apply. If this program is new to you, read on . . . and hop on the web and read further. If the program is familiar to you, know that there are some changes in the program this year: kind of a theme in Folger Education these days, no? We think that the changes will give students a stronger course, the opportunity to focus a bit more on scholarship in addition to performance, and a chance to actually work with materials in the Folger collection. We also hope that reducing the number of classes to one per week will enable more students to apply and participate.




A quick nuts-and-bolts review: · We are looking for applications from rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in high schools across the DC metropolitan area. · Fellows will meet once per week—every Monday from 3:45-5:15 from Monday, September 8th through Monday, December 8th. · Fellows will also attend two Saturday performances and meet with the actors afterwards: Julius Caesar (performed by the Folger Theatre company) and King Lear (performed by Shakespeare’s Globe, London). · Fellows will be required to read three plays and assorted criticism as assigned, and to write a solid paper. · Many local high schools choose to award credit for this course. · All Fellows are awarded full scholarships. In addition, special funds are available for students who would have to give up an after-school job in order to accept a Fellowship, and/or for students who have significant transportation challenges.


In short, participating as a High School Fellow at the Folger offers students a college-level course with (a) lectures, discussions, and workshops with leaders in their fields, (b) a chance to work in a rare book library, and (c) a special window into two compelling theatre performances. Overall, a pretty singular experience. Most Fellows since the first class (1981) have felt that it was a significant and powerful experience. Please pass this information on to any of your students who would be interested candidates. We’d love them to apply. Applications can be downloaded at . Please email with any questions: Thanks and cheers, PO’B

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Does satire have limits?

Continuing and problematizing the conversation on humor and satire, any sober analysis of this situation binds one, at some points to consider the medium(s) and endgame.

We will discuss this issue in class using a different article, but here’s the New Yorker article referenced in the Gupta piece.

The Campaign to “Cancel” Colbert by Jay Caspian Kang

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