Spring Spectator

The spring issue of The Spectator is complete. We’re trying to be “green” by not printing as many copies as usual, so you can also read it by clicking this link: Spring 2010 2. Enjoy!

Pre-AP Poetry Resources

The following sites are good sources of poems to choose from for your weekend assignment (and the portfolio project that will be due in several weeks):

Poets.org has a huge catalog of poems. You can search based on subject, poet, form, occasion, region, and many other factors. They even have a section called “Poetry Teens Like” (I suppose it’s up to you to decide if you like it; I’m not sure though if it was chosen by teens who like the poems or adults who claim to know what poems teens will like… but it’s worth a shot).

All of Shakespeare’s sonnets are listed by number/first lines on this MIT-based website.

Poetry 180 is a very cool contemporary poetry collection assembled by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins.  This link is to the list of poems, but you can also go to the main site to read about the project.

Brave New World — Study Guide

1st, 2nd, and 4th period: Here is the study guide for the first eight chapters of Brave New World: BRAVE NEW WORLD STUDYGUIDE PART ONE

… and here is the study guide for chapters 9-18: Brave New World Study Guide part two

If reading a novel on a screen doesn’t drive you nuts, you can read the text of the novel here: http://www.huxley.net/bnw/index.html

p.s. Happy 446th birthday, William Shakespeare!

Surveys for Seniors

This week all seniors will be taking a pen-and-paper IHS Senior Survey soon in their English class; the point of the survey is to collect your observations about the school climate. It’s been very helpful over the past several years to evaluate this feedback from students.

In addition, I like to conduct end-of-course surveys to determine what kind of experience my students had specifically with my class (and, as a result, what I should keep doing or need to change). This year I’m conducting the survey online. It’s only ten questions long, so it will take just a few moments of your time to complete. You can take the survey by clicking here: Click here to take survey. If you wish to wait until school ends to complete the survey, that’s fine — just be sure to get it done.

I appreciate your honesty and thoroughness! The more people who take the survey and the more feedback each offers, the more information I’ll have to work with when planning for next year.

*** SOPHOMORES, don’t worry, there will be one for you in a few weeks. I just posted the senior course survey first so I could catch them all before they go on senior project. 🙂

Fun with Puns

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Seniors — Frankenstein test

Here are some study tips for your FINAL TEST ON FRANKENSTEIN:

  • Be familiar with (and able to recognize support of) the themes we have followed throughout the novel
  • Know all characters – keep in mind that some are referred to in multiple ways – first name, last name, role, etc.


Alphonse = Victor’s father

Victor Frankenstein = Victor  = Frankenstein = the creator

Caroline Beaufort = Victor’s mother (her maiden name)

The creature = the monster = the creation

Clerval = Henry Clerval = Henry

  • Be aware of the various pieces of literature alluded to in the novel, and the significance of each one

–       Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

–       Milton’s Paradise Lost

–       Goethe’s The Sorrows of Werter

–       Volney’s Ruins of Empires

–       Plutarch’s Lives

  • Review your study guide! Many of the questions on the test are directly related to them.
  • This test will be entirely objective (multiple choice, true/false, matching, chronology, etc.)
  • A few vocabulary words may have crept onto the test…
  • Understand the narrative structure of the novel and how the various narrators effect the progression of the plot
  • Be aware of the various parallels that run throughout the novel
  • Literary terms to know: epistolary novel, frame story, gothic novel, Romanticism, allusion, suspense
  • Understand how Mary Shelley’s life experiences influenced her creation of this novel
  • Be aware of the various critical approaches to the novel — mythological, feminist, scientific, psychological, etc. (refer to articles read on Tuesday)