Friday, September 28, 2012

Another example of ROAR S/Q/R notes

Junot Díaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 

Summary:
  • Oscar's sister Lola protects her little brother
  • mother Belicia is just so mean to her children and everyone around her
  • fukú, a curse,  has been placed on the family for centuries
  • Oscar is an awkward boy, whose family is from the Dominican Republic. 
  • he gained a hundred pounds, and lost his skills to get the girls. 
  • Oscar creates "new worlds" with superheroes, and his own sci-fi collection. 
  • he became isolated because while friends were off with their girlfriends he was either moping about his lack of a relationship, or reading. 
  • Oscar’s sister Lola, basically raised Oscar and their mother Belicia. 
  • Belicia was a single mother, working three different jobs at a time 
  • one afternoon her mother calls her into the bathroom and tells her that she has breast cancer. 
  • For the first time Lola is sad, and feels bad for her mother.  
  • Belicia decides to send her children to live in the DR for six months with her mother, La Inca. 
  • With La Inca the children feel truly excepted and part of a family
  
Quote: “He told them that what they were doing was wrong, that they were going to take a great love out of the world. Love was a rare thing, easily confused with a rare thing, easily confused with a million other things, and if anybody knew this to be true it was him. He told them about Ybón and the way he loved her and how much they had risked and that they’d started to dream the same dreams and say the same words. He told them that it was only because of her that he’d been able to do the thing that he had done, the thing they could no longer stop, told them if they killed him they would probably feel nothing and their children would probably feel nothing either, not until they were old and weak or about to be struck by a car and then they would sense him waiting for them on the other side and over there he wouldn’t be no fatboy or dork or kid no girl had ever loved; over there he’d be a hero, an avenger. Because anything you can dream (he put his hand up) you can be” (Diaz 322).

Reaction: This is a powerful moment for Oscar, if not the most important. These were his final words, just before he was shot to death. You would see something like this written in history books just before someone noble dies, which is actually the way Oscar wanted to be remembered. Oscar declared then in his finally moments what his life has taught him, even though it was so short and horrible. When he referred to being “able to do the thing that he had done, the thing they could no longer stop” he was talking about being strong and dreaming. He was talking about learning to love and love and love again! He was talking about looking life in the eye and not blinking. He was talking about he had learned, and that they could never ever take that way from him, even if they killed him. Oscar to me was the strongest in this moment more than any or the point in the book. In my mind I did not envision a big nerdy guy shaking with weak knees, I saw a strong man standing straight looking his murder right in the eye, with such a power and presence. Oscar did not die a weak boy, but a valiant man.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sample ROAR S/Q/R notes

Here is a strong set of S/Q/R notes from last year:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003)

Summary:  
This is a story about a coward, a coward named Amir. The Kite Runner takes place in Afghanistan around 1975, and an older narrator is looking back when he was "became a man." Amir was young and spent most of his time with his servant, Hassan, who was also his secret best friend. Hassan was considered part of the family; a son to Baba (Amir's father), and Amir finds out 20 some years later that Hassan was actually his half-brother. This later knowledge explains why Baba would always try to include Hassan into their activities and that often made Amir jealous. As a form of gaining his dad's affection, Amir triumphed in the kite running contest with help of Hassan. An important conflict happens when Assef, the bully of the block, wanted the kite and Hassan refused to give him it.

Quote: 
"'We're the same, you and I,' he was saying. 'You nursed with him, but you're my twin'" (Hosseini 107).

Reaction: 
Amir was in the hospital after almost getting killed by Assef. Amir was dreaming and Assef says those words to him. This quote almost connects to a theme in the book because it categorizes two types of evil: people who do evil things and people who witness evil things and do nothing about it. Amir was the second one, and Assef was the first. Amir makes one simple decision- to not save the life of his half-brother Hassan. Assef sneers, "You nursed with him" refers to how Amir and Hassan fed from the same mother. But they were completely different; Amir was selfish while Hassan would give his world to Amir. In his heart, Amir knows that he's just like Assef- cruel and evil.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Revising the Ender's Game essay

For Wednesday (9pm), type and upload your Ender's Game essay to turnitin.com. Make the changes we discussed today:

1) hook! don't quote from the prompt
2) thesis! pick one past event and explain two future effects
3) theme! topic + author's opinion

1/2 of the grade will be on these changes
1/2 of the grade will be for using MLA formatting

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Connecting literature to life

We looked at 5 articles that have a strong thematic connection with Ender's Game. Next week we will take these connections and develop a short paper that investigates how our world shares elements with science fiction.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Welcome to English 10!

It was great to meet all of you today, and I am excited to start a new year by looking at Ender's Game. It is a book that keeps me asking questions, and it will be up to you to help find some answers.

If you neglected your summer reading, there are only a few days to get caught up. Everyone needs to complete their Graphic Organizer for Monday when we have our writing prompt.

Start assembling your supplies:
-flash drive
-2 composition notebooks
-1 inch binder