Saturday, February 9, 2013


Haven't completed a Feat of Wisdom yet?  Here is another opportunity for glory, lulz, and learning-- and you don't have to be enrolled in the course to play.

You're walking through [ ], thinking about [ ], and/or talking about [ ] when you hear the magic words:

"5PH1NX says write."

You've been chosen to complete a mission that you can post to your blog and/or elsewhere on the Internet.   If you're enrolled in the course this is the equivalent of an essay (and if you're not enrolled in the course, it's the equivalent of awesome.)  Critiques will help you improve.  Kudos will provide the psychic currency that trips the "Success/Eureka/I win!" neurotransmitter.  Everyone wins.

Here's how it works.

You'll need:
  • a friend or two to help you find/accost/video your writer;
  • a piece of paper (or two) and a pen to present to your writer;
  • an AP prompt (you can pick anything from the poetry, prose or open prompt lists, or invent something in the same spirit);
  • ten minutes to watch your writer read the prompt, do some sort of pre-write, and write the first 3 paragraphs (minimum);
  • flexibility, in case your writer decides to hack the experience and make you wait while s/he writes the whole essay (40 minutes maximum);
  • this link to the Monty Python novel-writing competition audio track (also embedded below);
  • to post the video of your writer, coupled with the Monty Python soundtrack (this is why you were asked to figure out how to pair a video file with an audio file a few weeks ago-- if you need help, find a member blog whose author knows what she's doing and make a new friend).
  • to post the document the writer created, along with a preliminary group analysis of how it meets the requirements of the AP grading rubric.
  • 5 comments (minimum) with constructive feedback.
  • to post a comment here with a link to the entry on your blog (which should be titled, WRITINGAS5PECTATORSPORT)
  • A social media strategy for getting the most viewers (if you're into that sort of thing--and you will be, because eventually your network will help determine your final standing in the course)
In addition to posting the video-with-soundtrack, there will be a YouTube channel to feature all of these in one place. 

Have fun, and consider the method to the madness.  A quiet testing room and a blank page in May won't be nearly as intimidating to the wo/man who can explicate a semi-random literary topic, on demand, in front of gawking strangers, right now.

That's why you must complete a minimum of three.  (Q: What if no one picks me?  A: Think outreach, think community, think about how no one likes being picked last-- and if good old-fashioned kindness and common sense don't work, trade favors like politicians.)

As we move on we may establish:
1. A rating system.  The best work should get the most credit from the network and be most visible as models. 
2. A network that includes other AP learning communities.  Everyone is welcome to play, and everyone is coming to this exam through different experiences, texts, teachers, backgrounds, etc.  More people => more information => a better-informed network => higher success rate for everyone on the AP exam.  Seeing an essay from a different class/school/city/state/country and asking the author, "Why did you write it like that?" may be more valuable than any lecture.
3. Challenges/add-ons.  What if the person you target has written more essays than you have?  Should they be able to turn the tables and make you write? [UPDATE 2/10 6:30 AM PST: New Rule: If you are stopped and told to write, you may compare how many times you've written with the person who is making the demand.  If you've done this more than s/he has, you may turn the tables and force him/her to write instead.]



  1. Here is the video of Ashlie being essay bombed.

    Here is the 4th period essay bomb.