Friday, December 12, 2008

Semester Reflection

What changes have you seen this semester in regards to your education? What role did technology play in that change? What role did the constructivist philosophy play in that change? (constructivist-students becoming producers of information, students in charge of their own learning. What suggestions for improvement do you have for me next year? What are some of the things you would suggest I do again?

Make sure to include specific examples and expand on each other's ideas. Your feedback- honest and reflective- is important!

Semester Reflection

What changes have you seen this semester in regards to your education? What role did technology play in that change? What role did the constructivist philosophy play in that change? (constructivist-students becoming producers of information, students in charge of their own learning. What suggestions for improvement do you have for me next year? What are some of the things you would suggest I do again?

Make sure to include specific examples and expand on each other's ideas. Your feedback- honest and reflective- is important!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Questions from Mr. Ruggles

1. I (Mr. Ruggles) have never lived in Colorado. What is your favorite thing about Colorado?
2. What do you like about English Literature?
3. How do you learn best? In what concrete, specific ways?
4. What sorts of activities in the classroom have been really meaningful to you?
5. What sorts of activities outside of the classroom have been really meaningful to you?
6. What are you passionate about?
7. What sorts of things will you be participating in or doing second semester (Either inside or outside of AHS)?
8. Next semester we will be looking at The Picture of Dorian Gray. What do you know about this book?
9. What is your favorite thing about the people of England or the country of England?
10. What is one thing I (Mr. Ruggles) should know about this class?
11. If you were teaching the class, what is one thing you would change?
12. What is one thing you want to accomplish on the first day of class second semester?
13. What are you really motivated by (besides your parent/guardian and receiving good grades)?
14. What is one thing you want to know about me (Mr. Ruggles)?
15. Finally, what one character in a movie or a book are you most like at this point in your life? Why?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blog Question, Act 5

Was Hamlet really a hero? His madness throughout the play seemed more like a scapegoat from action instead of ways to defeat Claudius.

Finally the last week of classes!

Down to the last three classes of English Lit in 2008. Almost there seniors! (The last case of the Mondays of 2008)

We had a fish bowl today and it is over act 5.

Mrs. Smith wanted this to be the best fish bowl ever since there were some wonderful guest watching us very educated young adults discuss and argue in an appropriate manner. (Although it will be hard to top act 3 discussers)

- The fishbowl started with reviewing themes and ideas that have been occurring in the play and it showed that selfishness, death, and the foil between Hamlet and Gertrude.
- A question that came up was why does Shakespeare wait till the very end for all the action and all the deaths.
- One main arguments and discussion that went on was if Hamlet knew about the poison and if Gertrude knew about the poison.
- Did Hamlet really love Ophelia?
- For the entire outer circle ideas and discussions look at the fishbowl blog.


Make sure that you post your blog that will be posted from the presenters. Also keep working on your papers and get them in ASAP! They are due Friday the 12th but Mrs. Smith would love them to be in before that so she can get them graded.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008

Thesis statements were returned, and we started Act 5.

On Wednesday, we will finish Hamlet. Friday, we will hopefully see all 3 endings. We will have class time to work on the paper.

Next week, we will have a fishbowl on Monday. Wednesday, we will devote to the paper and final preparation. Friday, the paper is due and we will have a semester reflection.

Lauren is disappointed that next semester's guest teacher isn't hot.

By next Friday, we should have ideas about what we want to do next semester to prepare for college.

Fishbowl IV- Response Question

Do you think Hamlet will finally be successful in killing his uncle after his promise to only think bloody thoughts from now on?

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008

Hey everyone! It’s almost Thanksgiving!
Beginning of class
  • Smith lectured to us about staying focused
  • Remember Smith has a visitor coming for our next fishbowl on Monday December, 1st… Make her look good!
Hamlet Fishbowl Act. 4
  • What was the tipping point of Ophelia’s madness? What event or action was the thing that finally sent her over the edge?
  • How did Ophelia drown? If she were being watched wouldn’t she have been safe?
  • What good is there in revenge? Does it, or has it brought about any peace in anyone so far in the story?
  • Is it Claudius’ idea or Laertes’ idea to kill Hamlet in the fencing match? Why?
  • Why are the first four scenes so short and to the point in act four, where as scene five is longer than all of them combined?
  • Why does Ophelia choose to portray her madness in song? Is this symbolic in anyway? If so how?
Lauren writes like a boy! Watch out!!
Homework: Start to write paper over the brake

Hamlet Act 4 Fishbowl

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hamlet thesis statement

Here is the place to post your Hamlet thesis statements. Remember to follow the appropriate structure for a thesis, including title, author and point you are going to prove. Also, try to make your thesis something arguable and provable.

Hamlet Act 3- Response quesiton

A reoccurring theme in Shakespeare’s plays in death. For instance, in this play death seems to be the only way to completely get rid of a person’s problems. What do you think Shakespeare is trying to say about society?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

11/10/08--Happy Veterans' Week!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Today in class we read Act III.
  • We discovered that Hamlet's mouse trap worked!
  • We also now know that Claudius is just as confused as Hamlet (he cannot repent for what he has done, nor can he give away what he has gained...but he is a religious man, so why did he murder?).
  • Hamlet kills Polonius and he must leave and go to England. (Now there are 3 dead fathers...)
  • Nothing is due on Wednesday, however, start thinking about your thesis statements which are due next week (Friday)
  • If you have a conference with Smith, do not miss it!
  • Remember, PLC (and food!) on Wednesday!

Fun Fact of the Day:
The only dog to appear in a play by William Shakespeare is Crab who is owned by Launce in 'The Two Gentlemen Of Verona'...Maybe Hamlet would be happier if he had a dog...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 7, 2008

*We started off the day with a partner quiz over act 2.
*Our last comparative paper was returned-if you have questions or still arnt doing well on these, go in for help!
*For the rest of the period we read act 3.

-It was interesting to see how in this act, the story takes a dramatic turn.
-I think most of us are still asking ourselves: what is Hamlet going to do? He seems very conflicted, and almost bipolar.

Continue thinking about your paper, and if you have a conference this week, make sure you dont miss it!

I apologize to my classmates that this blog wasn't posted sooner...our good friend Irene was absent on friday, and so I did it instead.

***Joke for the day: What did the boy say to the two headed monster?
answer: Hello, Hello

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hamlet Act 2 Questions

Within the play Hamlet, Shakespeare displays corruption and selfishness. Does this portray Shakespeare’s views on society?

Forbidden love looks like a motif in Shakespeare’s plays, can we expect this one to play out the same way as Romeo and Juliet?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5 2008

It's Doughnut Day! Woo!

We had the Act 2 Fishbowl today, here's an overview of it:

Whether or not Hamlet is simply mad or just acting like he is or a mix of the two.
Claudius' reaction to the recreation of the murder reenactment. What Hamlet would do if Claudius admitted to murder or if he didn't.
Corruption in the play. There is no honesty in the play. One lie leads to another, relating back to the overgrown garden analogy.
Predicting if Hamlet will take religion into perspective or ignore it and have it be his downfall. Special mention to the quote "The story of a man who could not make up his mind."
Fortinbras and his place in the play. Why there is more sympathy for Hamlet's vengence than Fortinbras.
How Hamlet's family and friends would react if they knew Hamlet commited murder.
Selfishness in the play. Everyone has motives to benefit themselves.
Hamlet's morals and how the murder is the only thing left in his life that he can control.

Homework for tonight:
Answer the Act 2 blog question, don't forget about your conference about your paper, read Act 3 and we have a quiz on Act 2 on Friday!

Fun fact:
Pable Picasso's full name was "Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruiz y Picasso."

Monday, November 3, 2008

November 3 2008

Happy Monday!!!! It is time for fall!!!!!

-Mrs. Smith let us know that we need to be more efficient with our time when we have subs and not waste time in class with quizzes.
-We learned how to re-route our laptops to the projector (function key and function 8) after plugging in lap top

HW: conference about paper topics, paper on ghost scenes Wednesday, finish reading act 2 if needed, moving act 2 fishbowl to Wednesday and blog question will be due on Friday

-Mrs. Smith also shares with us that she understands about situations and about respect. So plan ahead!!

In class- We watched the last ghost scene( Mel Gibson) and began to read act 2

Hamlet Act 2 Fishbowl

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Hey Everyone! Hope everyone had a great day!

Today in class we had a sub...hopefully Smith will be back next week. The first thing we did in class was the quiz over Act I of Hamlet. If you missed it be sure to study, it's a tough one! We wrapped up class by watching Franco Zeffirelli's, Laurence Olivier's and Kenneth Branagh's versions of Act I Scene V, when Hamlet meets his father's ghost. We don' t have any homework, have an amazing weekend! Everyone have a great night and be safe!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Debrief on First Fishbowl

Take a few minutes to think about the fishbowl from Act 1 of Hamlet. What are some of the things that went well? What are some things that were more challenging? What suggestions do you have for improvement? What should we continue to do for the next fishbowl on Act 2 on Monday? Please be thoughtful in your responses.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hamlet-Scene 1

At the beginning of the Olivier version, they said "Hamlet: the story of the man who couldn't make up his mind..."
So far, which issues is he conflicted with? What can you predict in Hamlet's future?

The Wondrous world of Goldfish and Phishbowls!!!

Happy Hump Day!

Today we talked all about hamlet, goldfish, and Act One. Make sure you check out the sweet comments made about Hamlet on the Live Blogging if you missed class today.

Some notes from the Phish bowl:

Importance of Christianity
Foreshadowing of the betrayal of Claudis
What does the reference of Julius Caesar have to do with Hamlet? Does it parallel to Hamlet?
This is foreshadowing the fall of Hamlet's kingdom.
True Debates about what the ghost's purpose is? Is it really the king back from purgatory? Or perhaps it is a devil in disguise?!
Hamlet is not thinking clearly how will this affect his actions in the future?
Discussion about Hamlet... Is it more wrong to kill himself or another?
What would Hamlet choose?
Role of selfishness in the play.
What is the importance of the Ghost is he real?
Twist is religion the thing that Shakespeare is putting importance in or is it more important to Shakespeare that the aspect of revenge is the biggest fact?
Religious beliefs smith comment:
How did the church feel about ghosts?
They were from hell
Is Hamlet having problems believing in the ghost?
Crossroads for Hamlet trying to find the truth in the complex system....
Hamlet's mind is clouded by his emotions
Shakespeare presents the moral dilemma...
Shall hamlet go against his religion and avenge his father so he can pass on? OR should he refuse this to save his mother from the grief and to follow his religion.

Homework: Make sure
you respond to the blog prompt from the presenter on the phishbowl of act one!-
Presenters don't have to respond. Think about a paper topic for your paper and
make sure its a good one!!!

:D Have a good one!!!!
Kim C.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hamlet and Halloween

Homework and things to keep in mind:

- Fish bowl on act 1 Wdnesday

-Quiz on act 1 Wednesday

-Paper assignment due friday

-Read act 2 for Friday

Be prepaired!

What went on in class today?

Basicly we just read act one of Hamlet today, it was acted out splendidly by our fellow class mates. If you havent read this yet, hop to it, we're moving on to act 2.

Oh, and Halloween is this Friday!

Hamlet Act 1 Fishbowl

Friday, October 24, 2008

October 24, 2008

-Recieved our papers and tests back

-Finishing opening scence comparison
-Comparison reaction paper with visual

Read act 1-1.3

Comparison paper reaction, study!
Also think of paper topics

Jam of the day...
Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf

-Have a sweet weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008

Ms. Smith handed out Hamlet books and we are reading/discussing friday!

-Oreos and milk today!!! YUMMM

-The second half of class we started watching Hamlet

-We watched the oldest first and working our way to the most recent

-Make sure you are signed up and know your fishbowl dates!!!

Chihuahuas, when placed under extreme stress, have been known to eat their young.

Jam of the day:
Chasing Pavements by Adele

October 20, 2008

October 20, 2008

(Personally I thought it was hard because I didn’t know any names) HINT HINT

-Hamlet book needed by Wednesday!
-If you don’t want to purchase one Ms. Smith will have some. Purchasing one however is highly recommended!

-Overall it was a pretty sweet day.

The first known beverage coaster was discovered in the ruins of Pompeii!

My favorite song at the moment:
-22’s or Better by Young Jeezy

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 15th

Happy short PSAT Wednesday!

Emma got in trouble....again.

HW:Beowulf test on Monday

Type and print a conference letter
one for Smith, one to give to your parents, drop it in drop box titled your name
  • reflection, purpose
  • assess your learning so far
  • where do you want to be at the end of the semester?
  • how are you going to get there?
  • how can Smith help you achieve this?

Make sure you sing up for Hamlet fishbowls

Happy long weekend!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10th

I'm extremely sorry this is so late!

Marie Paul visits!

1. Turned in Scholarship project
2. Synthesis essay on Monday, save in class folder
(Anglo- Saxon back round, Beowulf the story (w/out author), The movie directed by Robert Zemechus

3. Finish watching movie
o Beowulf returns to Herot
o Unferth returns with the golden dragon horn
o The slave, Cane, found it on the moors
o Queen talks to Beowulf’s mistress
o Flaming cross
o Unferth says dragon
o Beowulf’s son. Agreement broken now that the horn has been returned
o The sins of the fathers
o Beowulf apologizes for giving in to temptation
o Wiglaf doesn’t accept Beo giving having faults, loyalty
o Beowulf confronts Grendel’s mom
o Beo chases an extremely angry dragon heading for hEROT
o Rides dragon for a while
o He realizes the gem, soft spot, Welthow, horn
o Rides again, engages in deep sea diving with the dragon
o Welthow saves mistress
o Beowulf hits a raw nerve, kills dragon in the most epic battle
o B Cuts off own arm to kill heart
o B loses knife, rips out heart with bare hand
o Wiglaf saves queen
o Water cleanses, washes away his son (dragon)
o Keep epic tale, Beowulf dies, too late for lies
o Hero’s funeral
o Wiglaf is king, finds horn, G’s mom takes Beowulf down

4. Started synthesis
(Example: religion, women, epic hero and how it compares/contrasts between Anglo-Saxon Culture, Beowulf story, and Beowulf movie
Include 2 outside sources
How is the movie different from epic hero qualifications?
Definition, Anglo- SSaxons, Beowulf story and movie
How does B be epic hero

· Kills G and mom, fulfills royalty ideal, tale told, nobility, brave, loyal, just
· In movie? More tragic hero rather than epic hero (flaw=gave into temptation, greed, pride (Oedipus)
· Anglo- loyalty, Wiglaf is loyal
· Movie- sins of the fathers, would Wigalf give in, queen “love” loyalty, Wiglaf refuses to believe B’s weakness
· Unferth- as: converts from Nors Gods to God Christianity (religion) co Beo: unferth’s challenge questioning epic hero, movie: changes opinion, comes around (full circle, Hrunting= Unferth’s sword)
· Women? AS: important, having kids, still unequal Beo: Welthow? wise queen, Movie: Women defeats Beowulf (man) No procreating, Welthow can't have kids

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fantastic Friday 10-3-08

EWL Week 7: Friday
Homework: scribe, begin creating connections between cultural background and Beowulf.
Scholarships due next Friday!!

Next Week: Monday and Wednesday watch movie in class

In Class Today: Read Beowulf 14-17
Answer the ten questions at the end of the story.
Be awesome campers and we won’t get homework over the big long break!
Volleyball game at 5:30 at Cherokee Trail/ Football game at 7:00 at LPS

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mrs. Smith is gone....

...a very sad day indeed.
Wow, it's October now!
And we got donuts today. with SPRINKLES! : )

We also had a sub today--no Mrs. Smith. : (

We took a quiz on Beowulf, Cantos 1-11.
Then we read Cantos 12-13 which was a snap.
For those who were absent, our homework is to read Gardner's Grendel on page 36, but we had time to read it in class.
Also, remember your writing conferences from those in class essays!

Oh, and a note for Habitat for Humanity: if you eat at California Pizza Kitchen tonight 20% goes to Habitat---So go eat some pizza!!!

Happy Donut fun-filled Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wacky Tacky Wednesday

We got donuts today!! YUM!

The last Oedipus group performed their play and we connected the modern version the actual play.

We watched Mad TV’s “Can I have your number?”

We got with partners and took the Beowolf Quiz.

Super Hero Day tomorrow!
Happy Homecoming Week!!!!!!
Wacky Tacky Wednesday

We got donuts today!!!! YUM

The last Oedipus group performed their play and we analyized it and connected the modern version to the real play.

We watched Mad TV’s “Can I have your number?”

We got with partners and took the Beowolf Quiz.

Super Hero Day tomorrow!!!
Happy Homecoming Week!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Homecoming Monday!

Notes from reading (p. 2-19, 47):
  • We have gained democracy and personal rights/freedoms through the Anglo-Saxon ideals
  • People who have invaded/settled the island of Great Britain.
    • Iberians (ancient)
    • Celts
      • The first settlers of Great Britain
      • Among them were a group called Brythons (and from this we get "Britain")
      • Animism--everything has a spirit
      • Priests (Druids)--the link between people and the spirits
      • Women are powerful (Hoorah!)
      • Celtic stories are very different from the later Anglo-Saxon tales
    • Romans
      • Conquered Britain under Claudius
      • Built roads and a great defensive road 73 miles long
      • IN A.D. 409 they evacuated their troops from Britain leaving roads, walls, villas, and great public baths, but no central government.
      • Introduced Christianity
    • Angles and Saxon
      • From Germany and Denmark
      • English language became dominant (from this we get Engla land, or "England")
      • England did not gain any more political unification. The country was divided into several principalities with their own "kings".
      • Unified under the Christian church
      • King Alfred of Wessex (Alfred the Great) brought many of these changes to England
      • Women had rights--they weren't "property" to their husbands. Christianity allowed for many opportunities as well (becoming powerful abbesses).
      • Life was dominated by the need to protect the clan and home against enemies. Loyalty was essential!
      • Creating poetry was as important as fighting, hunting, farming, or loving. Bards (storytellers) sang of gods and heroes.
      • Christian Monasteries were strongholds of the religion. They also preserved literature (ex. Beowulf)
      • Religion much in common with Norse/Scandinavian mythology. Despite the growth of Christianity, Anglo-Saxon religion remained strong.
        • Odin was the most important (god of death, poetry, and magic)
        • Thor--god of thunder and lightning (we get the swastika from his symbol)
    • Vikings
    • Normans
  • Invasions/settling helped this area to become diverse in ideas and culture
  • This story is to England what Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are to ancient Greece

People, Monsters, and Places:
  • Beowulf-a Geat, son of Edgetho and nephew of Higlac, king of the Geats. Higlac is both Beowulf's feudal lord and his uncle.
  • Brecca-chief of the Brondings, a tribe, and Beowulf's friend.
  • Grendel-a man eating monster who lives at the bottom of a foul mere, or a mountain lake. His name might mean "storm" or "to bellow".
  • Herot-golden guest-hall built by King Hrothgar.
  • Hrothgar-king of the Danes, built the Herot.
  • Unferth-one of Hrothgar's courtiers, reputed to be a skilled warrior. His sword, called Hrunting, is used by Beowulf in a later battle.
  • Welthow-Hrothgar's wife, queen of the Danes.
  • Wiglaf-a Geat warrior. He is the only one to help Beowulf in his final battle against a dragon.

  • Take notes (if you didn't finish in class)
  • Make sure you come in for your essay conference! (On an off hour Ms. Smith has! Not your off hour! Per Ms. Smith)
  • Anna and Shelli are bringing donuts on Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wouldn't you know it... IT'S PLAY DAY!!!

Project 1:
This project was done very well, poor 'Kankles'... nobody wants him... This group combined humor and talent to create a very well rounded performance. These kids did a great job telling the story of how much emotion was added into the exchange of poor Kankles, and the unfortunate 'loose morals' of his mother. The scene was good, and so was the acting. Heff, a buff doctor, a nun, and a queen with loose morals, all combined together in New York to create a definitely well done performance.

Project 2:
These girls did a great job of how Oedipus came to Thebes for the second time. He really wanted to go to college in Las Vegas, and after getting a bad fortune cookie, he decided that was the place for him. Again humor riddled this play, incorporating talent and trickery. Oedipus the technology-wise riddle solver was able to find his way to eventually marrying Jocasta. Though the acting was good, the lack of blood in the death scenes were fairly disappointing.

Project 3:
My group (Anna, Lauren L, Sara, Katie M, and myself Shelli) did a modern-day boxing scene of the fight between Oedipus and Tiresias. We used humor and slight risque comments to create humor and stupidity into the rediculous fight between the two... gangsta's. Anger from the crowd, referee, and of course O-deezy and T-bone worked well together to create an emotional,

Project 4:It was the MAury show for the big reveal into Oedipus' birth. There was audience participation in the show and that made it all the more enjoyable.

Project 5:
The boys (Will, Drew, Eric B, Eric L, and Taylor) revealed the secret of Oedipus' real origin. Though it wasn't performed live, this project was very funny. Jerry Springer, as always was very theraputic, and perfect performance. Special guests appeared as well, creating a surprising aroma and an eventual victory. The gory detail made it really feel like I was on Jerry Springer! Well done boys!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Day of Work

The day was pretty simple if you happened to miss it. Ms. Smith first collected our college essays. We talked about how to grade our in class essays that we wrote on Friday. Everyone needs to go in and talk to Ms. Smith about your esssay and what you can improve on and your grade on the paper. She is unavailable this week but will begin making times for us to come in next week. After that we just worked on our Oedipus projects that are due Wednesday whether some of the members in your group are present or not it will be due.

Friday, September 12, 2008

We started out the day by turning in our 5 comments on the google groups essays.

The day was spent doing an in class writing essay: "writa a focused essay that synthesizes multiple sources (video, text, personal example, song, etc...)on one of the following topics:
-Role of fate v. freewill
-Oedipus fails to see truth
-O scapegoat of gods

HW: College essay due monday
-Google groups essay and comments
-Modernize Oedipus scene due Wed. (be prepared to work on this on Monday)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Scribe Post for September 10, 2008

Big news of the day:

Donuts and Smith got an A in her class.


In class essay on Friday! Writing an essay comparing Oedipus and your Life. Choose one of three topics on Friday. Think of connections between you and Oedipus for homework.

Due next Wednesday: Group project, modernizing a scene from Oedipus. Modern context that is creative and captivating. Make it fun! You can video tape it before hand or you can perform it live. Please do not read off of notecards. You need one central prop, have an introduction so you can introduce the idea. Everyone has to have a part. You must turn in a “playfolio” have to explain how you chose your scene, let her know wardrobe, make it pretty, all group members’ names and their parts. This is worth 150 points, about the same as an in-class test. This is VERY IMPORTANT!

Go to google docs. 5 Comments due Friday

Final copy of your college essay due Monday

On Friday Ms. Lewallen is going to come in and talk to us about scholarships. For teacher recommendation letters fill out personality profile if you haven’t already.

Goal for today: Find group, pick scene, eat donuts

Monday, September 8, 2008

September 8, 2008 monday!

In class:

Smith is stressed (starbucks cards are recommended)
We went over how to comment on Google Docs.

We continued reading Oedipus, started on page 48 and read through to the end (page 83).
  • Believe in Messenger=put gods first, believe in Oedipus=man first
  • Oedipus doesn't believe in prophesies, gods etc. and therefore is digging himself a bigger hole.
  • pg 57, Jocasta begins to realize that Oedipus is her son and tries to persuade/hint to him to forget the conversation. When he doesn't, she exits becasuse she doesn't want to be embarrassed, tries to save him from the truth, etc.
  • Shepherd is reluctant to give information and tries, like everybody else, to distance himself from the fate surrounding Oedipus.


1. Is your paper on Google Docs??
2. Sign up for a conference during this week.

3. Make 5 comments on someone else's essay, make sure they are in a different class. On Word, copy your comments and make sure you say what paper you commented on to turn in on Wednesday. Make sure your comments are good!!
4. Final essay due Friday Sept. 15

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday September 5th,2008

In class:

·         We went over how to post our essays on Google groups

·         We went around the room and edited/commented on our classmates essays

Fun Fact: An average 3rd to 4th grader learns around 27 new words a day!

Word of the day

Cantankerous: disagreeable to deal with; contentious; peevish: a cantankerous, argumentative man.


·        Final essay due Monday September  15th

·        Make corrections to essay

·        Take essay and post on Google groups  (directions below)


Click on Google groups link on Mrs. Smith’s web page, sign in name and password is the same as on blogger, use your given smith# as nickname, click on DIRECTIONS link, and follow directions to upload your essay to Google groups(make sure your name in NOWHERE on your paper),  page name should also be your nickname.

Taylor’s nickname is Smith 11.

Mackenzie’s nickname is Smith 14

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September 3, 2008

Conference with Mrs. Smith on final essay choice by next Friday: sign up in her planner
Workshop essay on Friday, essay must be on your usb or email it to yourself
Smith’s off hours: 1st everyday, 4th everyday, before and after school.

In Class:
We read Oedipus. Here is what we talked about:
1.With Oedipus accusing Tiresias of lying, the citizens are faced with an interesting argument: Who is more powerful, Kings or Gods?
-they put Oedipus before the gos because he saved them once before, why wouldn’t he be able to do it again? It loosely follows the saying “Innocent until proven guilty”.
2.Underlyng messags in Greek society:
-pride blinds you
-see the bigger picture,look beyond what you can physically see
-hero realizes that Gods help us

HW: Assign google groups- college essay posted by Monday 15th on Google Groups

Friday, August 29, 2008

Scribe Post for August 29, 2008

Today in class we:
  • got back our 2nd college essay and the idea sheet we turned in
  • turned in our 3rd and final college essay
  • got to act out Oedipus. It featured: Casey Holmes as Oedipus, Eric Boten as the priest, lauren leonard as Creon, Kim Christiansen as the chorus, Irene Lahana as the Chorus Leader, and Shelli Marr as Teiresias.
Today was treated as a college course. We just kept going unless someone had a question

  • Plays from this period had minimal sets and characters. Everything had significance
  • Many motifs, themes, and tragic hero qualities
  • Set was simple and boring
  • King was above the priests or above worshipping. Kings above worshipping, kings above gods, sophocles did this on purpose
  • Plague in Thebes, 2nd plague. First from sphinx and citizens believe Oedipus will save them again. Thebes not a good place to live.
  • They talk so much because they are introducing the plot and have to explain everything to the audience.
  • Oedipus is full of himself. It's all about "I". ALso digs himself into a hole. Basically says, " If I would've been there I would've solved this problem but I wasn't so I will now"
  • Dramatic Irony- He fights for Lauis as if he was his own father. Feels he has a connection with Lauis with children from the same line...awkward
  • Oedipus has asked to see Teiresias twice but he refuses because he is a blind proohet and knows what Oedipus has done.
  • Tragic Hero Characteristics- comes from wealth, has pride and arrogance (will be his downfall). He is so committed to cause he is setting himself up for failure.
  • Oedipus intimidates Teiresias
  • Dramatic form of writing

sign up for college essay conference
Read Oedipus through Pg 35. FInd 3 examples of dramatic irony, 3 adjectives with examples to describe Oedipus' character.

Something to Ponder:
Oedipus has 4 children with his mother. What does that make them? His siblings, his children, or his half-borthers and sisters and children?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Donut Day!!

Donuts and orange juice!!! Thanks Eric!! Taylor had a golf tournament so thanks to him in spirit!

“Incest, it’s a game the whole family can play!!”

Notes From Last Class Project
Oedipus Rex:
· Written by Sophocles
· 2nd written but 1st in series
· Focuses on Troy and Thebes
· Epic Cycle 4 lost epics about Thebes’ misfortunes
· Sophocles’ treats the Oedipus myth with much narrower forcus
· Setting
o Takes place in thebes
o Mostly set in the royal palace (one setting for whole play)
· Oedipus sends Creaon to Oracle of Delphi
· Laius is murdered and Oedipus is driven to find the murderer
· Tiresias blames Oedipus, who is killed his father and married his mother, and so he found out about his real parentage.
· Jocosta- mother and wife- hangs herself in embarrasment, and Oepipus
· Oedipus gouges out his eyes. L
· Themes
o Fate- we determine our fate by past actions/decisions
o Divine Law- Importance of prophesies, “self-fufilling”
o Self discovery/Oirgin
o Sight/ Blindness
o Destiny vs. Free Will
· The prohecy was much more complicated than the whole story, and the prophecy eventually came true
· Oedipus solved the Sphinxes’ riddle, so as a reward he was crowned king and given his mother (the queen) after he killed his father.


Cornith Thebes
Polybus – Merope Laius – Jacosta (- Oedipus)
Oedipus Lauis and Oedipus meet Oedipus (Jacosta’s bro Creon)
Oedipus kills his father
Solves the sphinx’s riddle
Another plague comes so he sends Creon to talk to the Oracle of Delphi, and he told Creon, who told Oedipus that all they needed to do was to find who murdered Laius. They find out it was Oedipus and everything explodes.

“Donut it UP!!!”

We passed out Oedipus Rex books.

· Read Oedipus (first 15 pages)
o Find three examples of dramatic irony
§ What does the audience know that the characters don’t?
· Write next college essay
o Who am I??
o Avoid any clichés

Monday, August 25, 2008

August 25, 2008 Scribe!!!!

Late Start WED

HW :
*Class expectation sheets by wed
*College Essay: How have you been impacted by your parents/others? Typed, double spaced, size 12 font, 1 ½ pages long

Today in class:

*We presented our Oedipus presentation

*Greek Theatre
o The stage was amphitheater design. To help amplify the actor’s voice
o All actors were males, they even played female roles
o Masks were big and had bright colors so audience could see also amplified voices
o Comedies
o Tragedies/Dramas
o Greek song and dance
o We learned a Greek dance!!!!!

o Definition: The imitating of an action that has serious implications, is complete, and possesses magnitude; by mans of language which has been made sensuously attractive, with parts; enacted by the persons themselves and not presented through narrative; though a course of pity and fear completing the purification of tragic acts which have those emotional characteristics.
o Downfall of a noble hero.
o Any even t with a sad and unfortunate outcome.
o Examples of Tragedy: Titanic, Hamlet, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, The Movie Crash, 9/11

*Greek Tragedy
o A story with a sadder or more unfortunate outcome.
o Main character is usually some sort of hero.
o Created to honor Dionysus, goats were sacrificed to Dionysus.
o Performed in late march and early April
o It was the form or three play writes
o 3 unities: Time, Place, Action
o Characteristics of a tragic hero: Position, Tragic Flaw, Reversal, Recognition

*Tragic Hero
o Usually a hero with a flaw or a bad trait that brings them down later in the story
o Someone they love gets in the way of there battle or journey and that brings them down too.
o Examples: Oedipus Rex, Batman, Spiderman, Hercules, Firefighters, Soldiers, etc.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Aug 22

Mrs. Smith is a competitive runner.
Drew hates the feeling of cardboard.
Sara is afraid of fish.
Molly is related to Joan of Arc
Kaitlan has had 3 concussions
Patrick is afraid of heights
Kim is crazy
Adrian is a vegetarian
Jessie is bilingual and a dual citizen (South Korea). His dad was in the army and hooked up with his mom in South Korea. Also, his dad is going back to Iraq in two weeks. Jessie goes back to South Korea about every 2 years and has been to 6 different schools in about 6 years. A very interesting guy
Lauren doesn’t like cotton balls
Eric is terrified by snakes
Taylor (Girl)plans on being a shark biologist when she grows up
Kendra is terrified of the dark
Molly is deathly afraid of fish eggs, but doesn’t mind fish
Sarah E has been a dancer for 12 years
Taylor (Boy) plays a lot of golf and today is his birthday
Casey has a batman lego collection and today is his birthday as well
Irene is a youth director for the American cancer society
Eric hates the word swell
Mackenzie hates the sound of brushing her teeth
Lauren is voting for McCain and her dog bit her this summer
Rick is a catch and release fly fisherman
Anna is undefeated at disney scene it
Katie has an ancestor that tried to kill the pope
Haley can’t sign her last name in cursive
Shelli is 50% Swedish
Katie hates the sound of people blowing their nose

Apparently the best thing ever in writing is so maybe check that out sometime.

When getting teacher recommendations: Thank the teacher (hand written notes, gift certificates)
Give the teacher plenty of time
Don’t use two teachers from the same subject.

We chose groups and each group was assigned a category on Oedipus’ background.

HW: Scribe, Oedipus material, parent email

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Scribe Post for August 20, 2008

Welcome to English Lit!
Today we met Ms. Smith, she's pretty awesome. We went over the seating chart and also signed up for scribe dates. Scribing is when one person takes notes on what we went over during the day and posts them on the class blog for the people who were absent.
Ideas/Suggestions for the Scribe Post:
  • Post:
    • any homework
    • any notes during the day
    • Main Points of any discussion
    • In class work
    • upcoming test dates
    • any changes (Put in Bold writing)
    • Information for tests
    • upcoming important dates
    • who is the next scribe
  • It should be posted by 9pm that night
  • You can include something fun (ex. jokes, games, videos, pictures, etc.). Be appropriate
We also signed up for...DONUT DAYS! Every Wednesday of the semester someone is signed up to bring donuts or another treat to class because we do have english during 4th hour and the treats will make everyone happier. She handed out 3 college essay papers for us to read and that will help us with our homework. Ms. Smith told us what to expect for the semester. We will be reading Oedipus first. This is one of Ms. Smith's favorite books but it annoys her how stupid Oedipus is. If you would like to buy your own copy of the book please have it by Friday. Next will be Beowulf. If we're lucky or bribe her we may be able to watch the movie. After that The Canterbury Tales. Both Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales are in the big class book so she suggests that we just copy the pages so we don't have to lug a huge book around. Last we are reading Hamlet which is Ms. Smith's favorite to teach. Yes, we get to watch movies. Our final is Inquiry based, meaning that we will be working on a main question all semester. The question is, "What is a Hero?" To end the first class we all got assigned to our laptops and set up blogger accounts and were given a chance to start on our blog responses.

  • For Friday: Go to Ms. Smith's webpage and print out Class Expectations. Get it signed and bring it back. Have your parents e-mail Ms. Smith ( and also e-mail her from your account. If you don't already have a Blogger account please set one up ( For a display name please use First name, Last initial then graduation date. Have your school supplies. This is a laptop class so you can get a mouse and USB drive if you want. Blog response to "This is NOT education as usual". Write your College Essay. It can't be longer that one and a half pages, size 12 font, double-spaced, with your name and title at the top. This College essay is about a crossroads in your life. To clarify, a time in your life where you ever had a really hard decision that you had to make. Read your college essay handouts and find one idea that you read that stuck out to you and type it on a piece of paper. Make it big enough to read but also make it pretty.
Now a picture of the conquering hero of the Olympics:
Look at those abs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This is NOT Education as Usual

Guess what? You are seniors! Because you are so learned in your ways and I can't teach you anything you don't already know ( I am being facetious- look up this word if you don't know what it means), I want you to think about what you want your last year of high school to look like. THINK BIG!

What do you hope to get out of this class?
What do you want to learn?
What do grades mean to you?How do you learn best?
What activities have you previously done in other classes that have been meaningful or interesting to you?