Dear ninth period seniors,

A few of you have asked me today if I am still going to post this week’s vocabulary words — the ones you have a quiz over in a few short hours. This reminds me of a conversation we had in class when I first presented the words to you last week.


I pointed out that refusing to rake notes or participate in class because you plan to “just get it online later” is not a practice I want to enable. It shows a poor work ethic and lack of respect for the teacher, but when you choose to do this you’re cheating yourself.

Simply printing out the words the day before (or of) the quiz, memorizing them quickly, and forgetting them right after the quiz is NOT learning. It may help you get a passing quiz grade, but it will not make you a more interesting, well-rounded, fluent human being. Writing the words by hand, hearing them spoken, listening to contextual and anecdotal explanations, and having the opportunity to ask questions about them are all important activities that cultivate layers of understanding in your brain. Words are tools you can use to solve a great many problems later in life. If you voluntarily neglect to stock your toolbox now, you’re going to have problems being an effective communicator in the future.

(I’ll pause for a moment to let you reflect.)






(Still thinking? Great!)



(Yes, your words ARE posted, but there’s a little more for you to read first…)




While I have your attention, I’d like to address one more thing about the proper use of content uploaded to this blog. When I post course materials specifically for you to print out at home and bring to class, I intend for you to print them AT HOME.

Why is that so important, you ask?

One of my reasons for uploading study guides and other assignments is to conserve the district’s paper and toner (read: your families’ and neighbors’ tax dollars). When you print in the LMC, Mac Lab, or elsewhere in this building, you are nullifying my efforts and frustrating a large number of people who are collectively trying to save resources. I realize that a handful of you do not have printers available at home, but it’s a SMALL handful that is grossly disproportionate to the number of students printing here on an almost daily basis. Please consider the impact of your actions and plan ahead.


Thank you for reading this far. I apologize to those of you who already embrace the lessons learned above, but I simply could not in good conscience post last week after we had that conversation and a few people still didn’t do anything during class on vocabulary day. Please remember in the future that this blog is a supplement to, not replacement for, class participation.



1.)   eddy – (n. or v.) a circular movement of water or air; to form an eddy

2.)   balk – (v.) to hesitate or be unwilling to accept an idea or undertaking

3.)   vista – (n.) (1) a pleasing view, esp. one seen through a long, narrow opening : a vista of church spires. (2) a mental view of a succession of remembered or anticipated events : vistas of freedom seemed to open ahead of him.

4.)   corrugated (adj.) – shaped into alternating ridges & grooves

5.)   sordid (adj.) – dirty or squalid (in either a physical or mental sense)

6.)   archaic (adj.) – extremely old; no longer used due to age

7.)   furtive (adj.) – purposely hidden or secretive; covert

8.)   strident (adj.) – loud, harsh

9.)   interminable (adj.) – Unable to be destroyed; permanent

10.) nebulous (adj.) – hazy, cloudy; not clearly defined

11.) adherents (n. pl.) – followers of a belief system

12.) orthodox (adj.) – strict traditional beliefs considered to be

13.) formidable (adj.) – large, considerable; inspiring respect or fear due to size, strength, or powers

14.) urbane (adj.) – suave, smooth, worldly

15.) zealota person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.

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