Wednesday, March 27, 2013

lit circles suggestions & outcomes

Here are some ideas for the lit circles:

However you structure the four functions-- lit techniques, multiple choice, prose essay, and open essay-- you should come back to school having mastered (and posted to your blog):
  • at least 20 lit techniques that you can recognize, define, and analyze intelligently to support a point;
  • at least 3 prose essay prompts
  • at least 3 open essay prompts
  • at least 50 multiple choice questions
In addition to researching AP communities and resources around the Web, you can also familiarize yourself with questions by consulting the new Exam Practice & Reference page on the course blog.

When we return from break we will "jigsaw" our work so that the people who didn't read your book can practice with guidance from the prompt/question authors.

If anyone has questions, comments, or suggestions based on what your group is doing, please comment to this post.

March 27-28


Wednesday: How do you feel about your prospects next year?  What emotions have admissions/scholarships inspired?  How are you going about making decisions regarding where to go and what to do?

Thursday: Are you prepared to use the break to your greatest advantage without either stressing yourself out or wasting the opportunity?  Describe your approach.

1. Journal
2. Lit circles work

1. Don't forget to finish lit analysis, due Friday
2. Lit circles

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

high school student sells to yahoo for $30m

Check this out.

March 26


Rank your ability/performance level on a scale of 1-10 in each of the following areas (with a brief explanation):
  • multiple choice
  • prose essay
  • open essay
  • poetry essay

1. Journal
2. Lit circles AP-style

1. Finish lit analysis
2. Lit circle work

Monday, March 25, 2013

27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived

I fully expect to hear at least some of these around campus in coming weeks.  Bonus: owls.

your phone vs. your heart

Here is an interesting perspective on how our use of technology can affect our relationships and our health. (Thanks, Dave Pell!)

study on test performance

According to this, "The belief that you have access to the answers makes it more likely you will get them right."

for those about to rock we salute you

Here is the AP exam registration list: 

Aragon, Justice

Armas, Sara

Arriaga-Gamino, Michelle

Ashlock, Cassidy

Ayala, Francisco

Ayon, Pablo

Blundell, August

Boerger, William

Bordon, E'Ana

Castillo, Rebekah

Chen, Ming

Conforti, Reed

Crawley, Rheanna

Crosby, Michelle

DeLeon, Jose

Estrada Cruz, Lizbeth

Galindo, Danielle

Garrison, Samantha

Gonzalez, Bernardo

Gonzalez, Maria

Greeley, Mackenzie

Green, Kristofer

Greenup, Kathryn

Griffith, Kelli

Gurgiolo, Kasie

Gutierres, Iliana

Gutierrez, Sarah

Halop, Jenna

Han, Ahrum

Hardisty, Megan

Hernandez, Alicia

Jones, Haleigh

Kim, Paul

Kim, RyunHee

Kim, Ubi

Knight, Travis

Kuhlman, Abigail

Lane, Alexander

Mabansag, Isiah Jonas

McNamara, Conor

Montero, Joshua

Ng, Joshua

Nguyen, Ryan

Oh, Nathaniel

Patel, Matthew

Pereyra-Rodriguez, Elizabeth

Pfeifer, Ashlie

Pineda, Eddie

Porraz, Katelyn

Prober, Troy

Ramirez, Hope

Ramirez-Gamino, Socorro

Redman, Brady

Reinwald, Jason

Reddick, Torre

Reyes, Rocio

Robel, Hayden

Rothanzl, Jessica

Ruiz, Felicitas

Sierra, Ruth

Snell, Erika

Stevens, Kayla

Thompson, Jacqueline

Thompson, Justin

Tomooka, Devon

Towne, Ryland

Trenev, Laura

Tuttle, Tanner

Vargas Sanchez, Dulce

Veroski, William

Weston, Christa

Wilburn, Ashley

Yamaguchi, Chanel

Use this list to organize study groups (if you haven't already) and reach out for blog content, resources, etc. 

If you're not taking the exam, your learning experience over the next month will include working to support those who are.

March 25


Finish the following sentence (with a reflection that lasts at least half a page and explains why): "In order to get the score I want on the AP English Literature & Composition exam, I will have to..."

1. Journal
2. Lit choices

1. Finish March lit analysis (due Friday 3/29)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

the inscrutable brilliance of anne carson

Since Josh pointed out that his blog has 100+ more posts than the course blog, here is an extra-curricular profile of a poet [?] that may inspire, deepen understanding, amuse, or remain an unopened present.  Comments/questions welcome.

KUDOS: special edition

Every single college admission and scholarship win represents a monumental success.  When I graduated high school and went through this process I remember adults telling me, "Phew!  I'm glad I went through this back when, I wouldn't want to have to apply now, it's so much more competitive these days..."  Now I know just how they felt.  The institution of higher education I know best is UCLA.  I took three degrees there, taught there for eleven years, served on Alumni scholarship committees and as president of the largest regional alumni group.  And there is no way I would want to be one of the 100,000 talented, highly motivated young people who were competing for the opportunity to become Bruins next fall.  I've been sitting on pins and needles waiting for Admission Day* (*I've actually been doing this for every admission day, whether it's Cal, Brown, San Francisco Art Institute, Princeton, Hawaii, Georgetown, the Des Moines School of Putting Really Large Things on Top of Really Small Things, or wherever else your dreams/goals are taking you.  Even USC.)

So yesterday was the moment for wanna-be Bruins.  I was sitting in my living room with Kenn Heller (UCLA's Associate Dean of Students & Assistant Director of Innovation) yesterday evening, and we were having such a good time that I'd forgotten the date.  Then, around six, he pulled out his phone and said, "Huh-- the admissions portal opened about an hour ago."

And less than an hour later I heard from Bernardo and Lizbeth that they were admitted.  I couldn't be prouder or happier for them.  Even if you've never met Bernardo, one glance at his blog will tell you how much this means to him.  Congratulations to you both, and congratulations to all the seniors whose dreams are beginning to take shape.

One more thing.  Champions don't always win.  UCLA has more sports championships than any other university, but last night they got pounded by Minnesota in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.  (Maybe Minnesota was still motivated by lost opportunity-- their phones lines went down when they were trying to hire John Wooden, so he didn't get the call, took the UCLA job, and won ten championships.)  If you haven't gotten into your first-choice school, or if next year feels more ominous than promising, keep your head up.  Character, value, and legacy aren't created by winning on a given day-- they are created by how we learn from and respond to the wins and losses of a lifetime. 

I'm honored to be a small part of your journeys and on days like this it's especially exciting.  Once again, congratulations to you all, and to Bernardo & Lizbeth: Go Bruins! 

this one's on me

I'm not sure whether everyone had their say on the choices for our next literature study, and the reason I'm not sure is because I left the papers on the front table. [sigh]  Though I'm tempted to select "Not Shakespeare" from memory, I don't want to hijack the democratic process, so: let's review the choices in class Monday, give everyone one (more) last chance to contribute, and I'll post a poll (if no one else wants to learn how to do it) Monday afternoon.

Also, good news: Our Level (Ian's and Trevor's start-up) is available next week to present.  I've invited them for Monday, and if you like what you see/hear we may be able to get them back for another 1-2 days before break so they can help you help them help you.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 22

You've been imagining your future all year.  Describe your Brave New World.

1. Journal
2. Writer's conferences
3. Projects
4. Lit decisions

1. Lit analysis
2. Research AP resources and post five to your course blog

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21


Analyze your writing process and your performance today.  How did you incorporate yesterday's writer's conference?  Did having a second shot at the same prompt help you improve?  What differences did you notice in your approach to the timed/in-class experience?  How will you use the memory of today to write more effectively tomorrow?

1. In-class essay
2. Journal (post-essay reflection in class or at home)

1. Read 120 essays-- erp, sorry, that's MY HW
2. Work on March lit analysis
3. Project schtuff

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 20

Write an AP Open Essay prompt with Brave New World in mind. It can be focused on literary criticism, a big idea, or--thanks to zero period-- pure whimsy.

1. Journal
2. Writer's conferences
3. Essay revision/project work

1. Revise essay and review/prepare for tomorrow's in-class essay

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

students skype at dml

Last week I presented Open Source Learning at the Digital Media & Learning conference in Chicago.  On Thursday I gave a talk you can see immdediately below (around the 18:00 mark, will re-embed if/when they sync the A/V).

Watch live streaming video from connectedlearningtv at

The real highlight was on Saturday when I hosted a Skype call with SMJUHSD Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction John Davis, Cal Poly SLO English instructor Melanie Senn, and-- most importantly-- students Samantha Garrison, Beka Castillo, Cameron Reese, and Matt Reynolds

Skype video (first segment)

Skype video (second segment)

Picture of the room

Happy St. Patty's Day (video)

Happy St. Patty's Day (pic)

March 19

Great to be back and catch up with everyone yesterday! If you weren't in class, the journal topic was to reflect on the previous week and analyze what's working for you and what you can improve in order to achieve your academic and project goals. Look for the DML Skype (featuring Sam and Beka) and St. Patty's Day green river video from Chicago later today.

Describe what you want and need out of today's Socratic seminar in order to succeed on tonight's Brave New World take-home essay.

1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar

1. Please comment to this post.
2. Please write an essay (with pre-write) in response to the following prompt.  You can either write on paper or post to your blog (title: BNW ESSAY DRAFT 1).  We'll conference on your drafts tomorrow in class in preparation for an in-class essay Thursday.

Prompt (1995 Open Question):

Writers often highlight the values of a culture or a society by using
characters who are alienated from that culture or society because of gender,
race, class, or creed. Choose a play or novel (BRAVE NEW WORLD)

in which such a character plays a significant role, and show how that 
character’s alienation reveals the surrounding society’s assumptions and 
moral values.

advice to teachers & younger students

Students and teachers who haven't worked Open Source Learning-style may not be aware that their work is visible to the entire community and the public. They also may not be aware that "resources" such as Spark Notes are often "full of sh*t."

What would you say to a student who is tempted to pass someone else's thinking off as her own without realizing how embarrassing it will be when everyone sees it? For freshmen and sophomores, should teachers continue to "police" students or should students be responsible for themselves & each other?

Please comment to this post with your thoughts.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

this week's unpost March 13-15

Hey, remember how we said you're in charge? Well, I'm supposed to speak in 19 minutes and I just realized that yesterday's post is still in "Draft" and I didn't post anything today.

So, consider this proof: You're in charge. For journal topics this week, please write a daily reflection on how you're learning. What's working well? What's not, and what can you do about it? Already got a nice email from Mr. Leone and I look forward to hearing/reading how this self-sustaining learning community succeeds.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

you wanna take it outside?

Period 4 rocked the "hack it" mandate and took their study outdoors.  Each comment and question added value by providing insight or provoking thoughtful alternatives.  Here's a taste:

high school students with big questions

Check this out.  Pure awesome.  How is your big question/collaborative working group/senior project going?

March 12

JOURNAL TOPIC: What are you learning this morning while we're stuck testing and you're free to move about the world's cabin?

1. Journal
2. Brave New World & projects per the understanding in our brave new world: as Howard Rheingold likes to say, "What it is is up to us."

1. [whatever you think will enhance, amplify, accelerate, and ensure your ability to achieve the goals we set out yesterday.]

Monday, March 11, 2013

how to spell "awesome" underwater

Here is the most recent writingas5pectatorsport hack.  (Thanks for posting, Josh!  Can you post what Pablo wrote?)


This just in from Mackenzie...  

If you see your name below, please see Mrs. Dolan on Monday for CSF. 

Michelle Arriaga
Ming Chen
Kaitlyn Furst
Kathryn Greenup
Esme Guerrero - Sahagun
Sarah Kallies
Paul Kim
RyunHee Kim.
Joshua Ng
Travis Knight
Ryan Nguyen
Eliza Pereyra - Rodriguez
Katelyn Porraz
Andrew Reade
Rocio Reyes
Devon Tomooka
Ryland Towne
Michelle Crosby
Danielle Galindo
Bobbie Gibson
Maria V. Gonzalez
Jenna Halop
Haleigh Jones
Carly Koertge
Joshua Montero
Matthew Patel
Eduardo Pineda
Jason Reinwald
Christa Weston

call for virtual panelists

This week I'm giving two talks at the Macarthur Foundation's Digital Media & Learning Conference in Chicago.  As a pioneering participant in Open Source Learning, your perspective will be valuable to an audience who wants to extend learning opportunities for everyone, so if you're available Saturday (March 16) 9:00-10:30 AM Pacific, please join me as a panelist on Skype or G+.  Indicate your interest in a comment to this post and I will send details.  Thanks!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

amanda palmer on the art of asking

"The perfect tools aren't going to help us if we can't face each other and give and receive fearlessly."

March 11


Describe and explain the father/son reunion in Chapter 10 of Brave New World.  

1. Journal
2. Welcome to the brave new world (note the lack of italics, capital letters, and irony)

1. [insert your own sense of what will serve your best interests here]


Nowhere in the traditional world of pen-and-paper assignments could a student portray an allegorical aesthetic like this.

Friday, March 8, 2013

kudos: march (I)

Congratulations to the following students on their college acceptances and scholarship wins!

Mackenzie Greeley (UC Irvine; CSULB; Fresno State; CSU Monterey Bay; CSU Chico; University of the Pacific with $40k Regents' Scholarship & $10K Distinct Scholarship; MVP Scholarship; Elks Scholarship; DAR Scholarship/Youth Citizen of the Year; Cal Lutheran with $20K/year [$80K total] scholarship)
Michelle Crosby (LDSBC)
Dani Galindo (San Diego State)
Michelle Arriaga (San Diego State)
Amanda Arnold (Maryland Institute College of Art; The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University with Dean's Scholarship, Merit Scholarship, & Photography Grant)
Elizabeth Hotchkiss (Central Michigan State with President's Scholarship; exchange student in Switzerland)
Kelli Griffith (UC Santa Cruz; UC Davis)
Kristina Hendrick (UNLV; signing letter of intent to swim April 17)
Kim* Hendrick (UNLV; signing letter of intent to swim April 17) [*no typo-- twins! :]
Lizbeth Estrada (UC Davis; UCSB)
Bernardo Gonzalez (UC Davis; UCSD)
Will Veroski (UC Davis; UCSD; UCSB)
Ashley Wilburn (UC Davis; San Jose State)
Valerie Gonzalez (UC Irvine; San Diego State)
Samantha Garrison (Catholic University of America)
Ming Chen (UC Irvine; San Diego State)
Felicitas Ruiz (UC Davis; UCSD)
Dulce Vargas (Fresno State with Marching Band & Flute Studio)
Travis Knight (UC Davis; UCSD)
Kelli Griffith (UCSB)
Ryan Nguyen (UCSD; UCSB)
Valerie Gonzalez (UCSB)
Erika Snell (UCSB)
Rheanna Crowley (Portland State University)
Bernardo Gonzalez (UCSB)
Joshua Ng (UCSB)
Matthew Patel (UCSD)

If I missed anyone, or if you've done something amazing since I posted this, please let me/us know in class or comment below.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

this just in

Courtesy of scholarship maven Michelle:

Remember to submit the FAFSA SAR report to the Santa Barbara Foundation by tomorrow. 

March 7


Something wicked this way comes, indeed.  Hope you know your lit terms.  Would you rather live in tornado country, where you (hope you can) count on weather reports and warning systems, or in earthquake country, where you need to be mentally prepared for the unexpected all the time?

1. Journal
2. Lit terms test

1. Take the long weekend to work on your projects, read your literature analysis books, and catch up on scholarship applications.  No new deliverables or blog posts due Monday, so this is a good time to review and post anything you're missing.
2. Read through Chapter 10 of Brave New World.  You will be asked to post active reading reading notes by close of business Monday, so if you want to get ahead post them over the weekend.

something wicked this way comes

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 6


Why couldn't Huxley just write a novel in which the future worked out great and everyone was peaceful, prosperous, and truly happy?  Why is conflict so important to dramatic structure?

1. Journal
2. Quiz: chapter 7 & Mike Wallace interview
3. Review chapter 7/lit techniques and begin chapter 8

1. Post MARCH LIT ANALYSIS to your blog.  Explain why you chose the novel you're currently reading and what you think of it so far.
2. Finish Brave New World Chapter 8 and post active reading notes to your blog.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

mike wallace interview with aldous huxley

Here is the interview with Mike Wallace (of eventual "60 Minutes" fame) and Aldous Huxley.

In an essay-let (essayito? 1-3 paragraphs) comment to this post, please cite five ideas from the talk to support your validation or refutation of the following claim:

We are living in the Brave New World.

March 5


Huxley is quoted as saying, "There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." What message(s) from Chapter 6 might help?

1. Journal
2. Chapters 4, 5 & 6
3. Continue reading

1. Select and begin a literature analysis book for March (if you haven't yet)
2. Read/post notes for BNW Chapter 7
3. Watch Huxley in his own words and respond to the questions in a comment to the post

Monday, March 4, 2013

ap boot camp monday and friday at lunch

Happy Monday!  Reminder: AP boot camp in 608 Mondays and Fridays at lunch.

March 4


[Choose Your Own.]

1. Journal
2. Lit terms quiz
3. Discuss chapters 4&5 of BNW

1. Review/reflect on lit terms in post entitled LIT TERMS APPLIED
2. Read/take notes on BNW ch.6 in post entitled BNW CH 6

Friday, March 1, 2013

reminder: AP boot camp at lunch today

Happy Friday.

what are you afraid of?

Thanks to Ricky from American Lit for submitting this video from JP Bouvet: Now check out JP in action:

bill moyers interviews isaac asimov

[UPDATE: Thanks Ubi, for the reminder re: posting questions; sorry, everyone, these were stuck in Draft. Please get to them ASAP, you will be discussing in class on Tuesday 3/7.]

1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning. 2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction? 3. How do you explain the process that leads to this?