Vocabulary Midterm and My America

All Classes--Your vocabulary test covering all the words and Latin roots from the whole trimester is Monday. Check on Sunday for some hints; I haven't finished writing the test yet, so I will wait until it's done before posting some study hints. The My America essay, final draft, is due on Wednesday, Feb. 4.
01/31 at 04:20 PM
American Studies Assignments

For Friday 1/30

All Classes--The vocabulary midterm, covering all the words and Latin roots we have studied this trimester, will be Monday. Start reviewing your old lists tonight. The My America essay is due on Wednesday, Feb. 4. Work on revising your essay. 2nd/3rd period--Read the background information about A Raisin in the Sun that you received today in class. Write down 3 suffixes and 5 prefixes that you remember and know from the first trimester's vocabulary. Create 4 neologisms and write them on the note cards you received today in class, with a translation on the back. We will use your cards in class tomorrow to review for Monday's vocabulary test. NO MORE THAN 4 ROOTS/PREFIXES/SUFFIXES IN EACH NEOLOGISM YOU INVENT, AND EACH SHOULD CONTAIN AT LEAST ONE OF THE PREFIXES OR SUFFIXES FROM YOUR LIST OF LAST TRIMESTER'S PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES.
01/29 at 01:26 PM
American Studies Assignments

Due Wed. 1/28

1st period--Read and take notes on "The Decision To Drop the Bomb", using the sub-headings as guidelines--at least one sentence for the main idea in each section of the reading. A few of you turned in your notes in class today, but most need to complete the reading and the notes tonight. 2nd/3rd--Tomorrow is our BEAT COFFEE HOUSE. Bring a snack to share, at least one of your poems to read, and a supportive hipster attitude. Check out the home page for further info. Review your vocabulary; the comprehensive midterm covering all the Latin roots (about 70) and words (30 or so of them) we have had this trimester will be on Friday. There are 10 poems listed on the previous 2 postings (below this one) that you will need to turn in for credit. Add these 2 to the list as well. 11) Choose one of the following to write-- "The Afterlife" using the excerpt from Burroughs' The Place of Dead Roads as a model; OR "Chronology of a Relationship" taking inspiration from di Prima's Chronology; OR "My Two Selves" with Levertov's In Mind as a springboard 12) Write a poem or short prose piece about "The Commons" or wherever you eat lunch (or any other meal), based on Bukowski's small cafe You will turn in these 12 poems tomorrow (or Thursday without penalty), one typed for publication in a class anthology of BEAT writings. There is also a Moodle assignment that you must complete by class time on Monday. It's not available for you to see yet, but I will get it posted before the end of the evening. The vocabulary midterm, covering all 75 roots and 40+ words we have had this trimester, will be on Friday. Work on revising your My America essay over the coming week. The final draft is due on Feb. 4 (which is next Wednesday).
01/27 at 06:08 PM
American Studies Assignments

For Tuesday

1st period--Study for your vocabulary quiz. Tomorrow's quiz will cover only this week's roots, but on Friday you will have a midterm vocabulary test that includes all the roots and words from the entire trimester so far. Record notes about the identification items (hibakusha, Lucky Dragon #5, Enola Gay, Hiroshima Maidens, keloid tunors, Bikini atoll, Hiroshima Memorial Peace Center, General Douglas MacArthur, and nuclear proliferation) you worked on in class today. Many of you finished them during class, but if you did not, you need to complete them tonight. 2nd/3rd--We added 2 poems to what we have written over the past week (see the previous post for the list of 1-8). 9) A poem, inspired by Ferlinghetti, either "A Childhood Memory" or "In the Park" 10) A poem about an article of clothing that takes Ferlinghetti's Underwear as its jumping off point
01/26 at 01:29 PM
American Studies Assignments

The Inauguration Poem

Each time I read this, I like it more--the simplicity of the language, the rich texture of images, the collection of common actions and characters, the echoes of Whitman. So here it is, along with this link to an interview with the poet on The Colbert Report. Warning--Stephen Colbert uses crude language and sexual innuendo while discussing the poem with Ms. Alexander, and the show's usual political bias is evident, but it's really a great conversation with the poet about the context of what she wrote. And it's surprisingly entertaining. They even manage to talk about Mad Max while discussing the poem. Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander Each day we go about our business, 
walking past each other, catching each other's
 eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is
 noise and bramble, thorn and din, each 
one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
 a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
 repairing the things in need of repair. Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
 with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum, 
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice. A woman and her son wait for the bus.
 A farmer considers the changing sky. 
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin. We encounter each other in words, words 
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
 words to consider, reconsider. We cross dirt roads and highways that mark 
the will of some one and then others, who said 
I need to see what's on the other side. I know there's something better down the road.
 We need to find a place where we are safe.
 We walk into that which we cannot yet see. Say it plain: that many have died for this day. 
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
 who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built 
brick by brick the glittering edifices
 they would then keep clean and work inside of. Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day. 
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign, 
 the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables. Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
 others by first do no harm or take no more 
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love? Love beyond marital, filial, national,
 love that casts a widening pool of light, 
love with no need to pre-empt grievance. In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air,
 any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
 On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp, praise song for walking forward in that light.
01/25 at 10:26 AM

Due Monday 1/26

1st period--Read the section of the last chapter that you were assigned in class--each segment focuses on one character only. (If you don't remember which on you were supposed to read, just pick a character) You will work together in small groups on notes for the class about your section on Monday. Your propaganda poster and paper explaining it are due on Monday. If you're taking a free late on the Prelim. work for My America, it's due Monday. Remember, this is not the final project--Use your handout to make sure what you are submitting is correct. I will try to get the information posted today, but so far have not found the original document. 2nd/3rd--Your My America Prelim work is due on Monday at the beginning of second period. Fill in 3 derivatives for this week's list of Latin roots. I will be updating the vocabulary lists posted on the Docs page today, but I don't have access to all of them right now, so it will be late in the afternoon before that is complete. Read the poetry by Ferlinghetti, and be prepared to write a lot on Monday. Here is the list of poems we have either written in class or as homework. These are the ones--plus what we will write on Monday and Tuesday--that you will turn in on Wednesday, when we have our coffee house. 1) A found poem, "What Is Beat?" 2) A short prose piece or poem with the first line taken from Kerouac’s Belief and Technique for Modern Prose 3) Road Trip (using On the Road as your inspiration) 4) Poem using the phrases--I demand, I advise, I will, I am--based on Jack Kerouac’s pragmatically titled “Poem”. 5) "A ______________ in ____________" using Ginsberg’s A Supermarket in California as your springboard. 6) An America poem (this one of 20 lines or more) 7) Either a "Song" or a "Howl"--emulating the tone and basic themes Ginsberg's poems by those names 8) An animal poem--your goal is to emulate Ferlinghetti's Dog by using the animal as a central, extended metaphor
01/25 at 09:50 AM
American Studies Assignments

Due Friday 1/23

1st period--Tomorrow you will turn in your My America Prelim. work--10 quotes, 5 songs, sketches of your money designs, or a storyboard for your film, along with a few sentences of commentary on each that explains its connection to your essay. Read chapter 4 of Hiroshima. No vocabulary quiz tomorrow. 2nd/3rd--Record 3 derivatives for each Latin root on this week's vocabulary list. Write a poem about "America" (at least 20 lines) that takes Ginsberg's America as a model. Your goal is not to imitate Ginsberg's style, mimic his tone, or copy his ideas and imagery, but to use your own poetic voice to articulate your feelings and ideas about America. One way you might approach this poem is to use one or more of the main ideas for your essay as major themes.
01/22 at 07:40 PM
American Studies Assignments

Due Thursday 1/22

1st period--Read chapter 3 in Hiroshima. Start gathering your quotes, choosing songs or film clips, and sketching the symbols for your money designs. The prelim work for My America is due on Friday. 2nd/3rd--Read the poetry by Allen Ginsberg. Look for common themes in these poems (review the last paragraph of the biographical introduction). Why might the poem, Howl, have been the target of censors? What did they object to? If you're interested in reading the poem (or hearing Ginsberg read it aloud), it is available at www.poets.org. Write a poem using Ginsberg's A Supermarket in California as your inspiration; the title of your poem will be the mad-lib, "A ___________ in ____________ ." Here's a running list of the pieces we have written so far. You will turn all of these in next week. 1) A short prose piece or poem with the first line taken from Kerouac's Belief and Technique for Modern Prose 2) Road Trip (using On the Road as your inspiration) 3) Poem using the phrases--I demand, I advise, I will, I am--based on Jack Kerouac's pragmatically titled "Poem". 4) Tonight's assignment using Ginsberg's A Supermarket in California as your springboard.
01/21 at 07:31 PM
American Studies Assignments

Homework for Wed. 1/21

1st period--Read chapter 2 of Hiroshima, through page 41. Be prepared for a quiz that covers the first 2 chapters in detail. Tonight you need to make sure you know who each character is--their names, what they do, which doctor is which, etc. Also, make sure you finish the vocabulary for this week--3 derivatives for each Latin root on the list. 2nd-3rd--Be sure that you read the packet if you have not done so already. Also, you have 2 pieces to write. (1) ROAD TRIP--using the chapter from Kerouac's On the Road as your inspiration. Your goal as a writer is to provide at least one significant detail about each character who is on the journey with you. As noted in class today, the more successful pieces by past students have been about actual road trips that you have taken, either with family or friends. (2) Write a found poem--14 lines long (a sonnet) using phrases, images, sentences from the introductory packet--that answers the question, "WHAT IS BEAT?" That's the title, the words are already there in the packet; all you have to do is choose the ones that you want to include and arrange them in a way that makes sense.
01/20 at 01:36 PM
American Studies Assignments

Due Teusday

1st period--Read chapter 1, through page 18, of Hiroshima. 2nd/3rd--Your propaganda poster and explanation is due at the beginning of class. Read the introductory packet about the Beat Generation writers, as well as the poems, short story, and chapter from On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
01/19 at 07:27 PM
American Studies Assignments
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