Friday, January 30, 2009

What are the greatest wrongs?

In your opinion, what are the greatest wrongs that people can commit? Murder? Betrayal? Theft? Cheating? Other ideas? If punishments could be made to fit crimes, what would be the appropriate punishment for each of these wrongdoings? Discuss your thoughts with a comment to this post.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Super Cereal Wednesday

For the first time in our class history someone brought in cereal which was a great way to start the day.

Ms. Smith is finally back but the class has now been turned over to Mr. Ruggles

We looked at videos and pictures of Hell and the afterlife.
We watched scenes from the movie Devil’s Advocate.
We listened to songs about the afterlife and the link to the songs is on the class website and the lyrics are with those songs.
Make sure to look at the pictures as well. They are also on the webpage.

The three questions we needed to ask ourselves during the movie, music and pictures and answer after were:
- What does this example say about the afterlife?
- How does this portrayal relate to your view of the afterlife?
- How does this portrayal connect to other examples of the afterlife?

HOMEWOK: SUMMARY RESPONSE PAPER DUE FRIDAY ON YOUR WIKI! There is a rubric for the summary response on the webpage. Complete Interviews if needed. Keep working on your past reflection for our speeches. Listen to ACDC’s High Way to Hell and Hells Bells. Lyrics are under the webpage. As well as look at the last 5 pictures with the same three pictures. Find a copy of Dorian Grey. Three things we learned from the background aout Dante.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Monday

Ruggles began class today by asking who went to the dance... and then told a story about a boat that was used to break up people who were grinding at his dances. Just a story.

We then talked about our blogs (many people faced technical difficulties so if you haven't gotten it done try your best to do so by tomorrow, Tuesday 27).
We were supposed to do this Friday, but were a little off.
We watched a video called Legend.

Scene Two
  • What does Hell look like?
  • Hell was dark and damp with a firey glow all around
  • Mist constantly lapped at their feet
  • They were surrounded by deep caverns of rock
  • Empty, slimy

What do you notice about the first scene?

  • The first scene shows no ones face for quite some time
  • Their voices are synthesized making them seem darker and more mysterious
  • Firey mist swirls around their feet

What are the differences between this and your previous perceptions of Hell?

  • This hell was much more empty than I suspected
  • The language was rhyming and somewhat poetic
  • There were no screams heard from the background, which I expected there to be
  • Hell, though dark and hot, also seemed dark, slimy, and wet, which contradicts itself

What about the role of the fallen angel?

  • The fallen angel was seen as the most evil, black-hearted spirit in the realm of Hell and was never seen, besides his clawed, slimy hands
Scene Fourteen

Watch for the portrayal of Satan

  • Red skin
  • Giant horns - black
  • Fangs
  • Long ears
  • Sunken in eyes
  • Cast in shadows
  • Kind, loving, compassionate (to the woman)
  • Quick temper
  • Can shoot fire from his hands

What is the difference here?

  • It is much more evil looking
  • Dead bodies line the floor, satan’s whole body is shown
  • Real flames cover the scene

Notice interesting interactions with the woman-
Why is this significant?

  • He is quiet an calm and reserved, trying to swoon her and trick her into sitting on a chair of deceit
  • He is loving and kind up until the woman defies him, and his temper quickly spikes, nearly uncontrollably, raging with fury

Relationship changes throughout the scene? Why? How?

  • Satan is kind and sweet in the beginning, trying to entice the woman into staying with him
  • Tries to trick her into sitting into a chair of trickery
  • She ends up tricking Satan

Pay attention to Satan’s last words. What makes them unique?

  • “Father, forgive me”
  • “What is the light without dark?”
  • “What are you without me?”
  • We need him to exist so that we can understand an appreciate good with the contrast of his evil
  • Can heaven exist without a hell? I don't know...
  • “I am a part of you all”
  • We all have a little evil in us
  • “You can never defeat me”
  • “We are brothers, eternal”
  • Reference to Cain and Able
We will get to the songs and pictures later on! :)

  • Career project interviews and Summary/Response Paper (Jan 30)
  • Begin work on Pausch Lecture part 1 (Feb 13)
  • Teacher appointment
  • Purchase a copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wild (If you want :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Friday!

We had another amazing day with Mr. Ruggles. We have an assembly today for the winter sports and to watch the teachers get their groove on we are all very disappointed we will not be able to see Ms. Smith shake her groove thang.
We started off with finishing our last presentations of our religions and their afterlife beliefs.
Rick and Tom did Shintuism-
· Their beliefs are very closely related to Buddhism
· Your spirit will be connected to the shrine that you put your name on.
· The children that die before putting their names on the shrine are thought to be diseases and plagues in life.
Katie, Steven and Jordan did Judaism-
· Little to say what happens after death
· Much more actions then beliefs
· Resurrection of the dead.
· Believes in both heaven and hell.
· Three groups on judgment day
· Righteous people- go to heaven
· Wicked people- go to hell
· Those in between- Hell initially then go to heaven
Sarah, Katie and Kaytie did Native American
· Hopi tribe- all life preparing for afterlife
o Three duties- Tawa Sun and spirit- Masauwu- Spirit of the dead- Spider Grandmother-leads them in the afterlife
o Death ceremony takes place in an underground room called the kiva.
o 4 worlds- each world gets destroyed when people become disobedient
· Inuit tribe- All things have a spirit that must be respected
o No worship of gods, just fear of everything
· Arapahoe tribe-
o 4 stages –
o Childhood-youth-adulthood-old age
o Belief in re-incarnation
Pat, Will and Jake did Islam-
· Similar to Christianity- however they do not like it
· Day of judgment- Allah chooses heaven or hell for each person.
· Call the heaven the Garden-lay peaceful in their graves
· Hell called Sunnah- suffer in their raves
After the presentations we reflected on what we learned about the religions and connectiong from religion to religion.

Homework: Afterlife Reflection Blog, Work on the first part of the lecture for the past, make interviews(you need ATLEAST 2), and make teacher appointment. Work on career Project due next Friday

Afterlife Reflection

How does what you learned about others’ interpretation of the afterlife, connect with your previous understanding as well as what we have watched, seen and read?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Donut... Popcorn Fun Filled Wednesday!

Smithers is gone today... so technically this might be more helpful for her than for the rest of us! :)

We began class by finishing up our work on our presentations, and then we presented them.

Adrienne and Lauren B
There are no accidents according to Voodoo society
Death is a part of life, not necessarily a punishment
The soul lingers near the body 7 day s after someone has died
Ti Bon Ange: the soul
Vulnerable and can be captured, made into a “zombie spirit” by a sorcerer
Soul is raised by relatives if it escapes the capture of the sorcerer.
After 16 rebirths the soul can reach cosmic energy, or nirvana
They had a very interesting video on you tube

Hailey, Kevin, Taylor, and Kim
The legend of the three turtles
1st turtle-no afterlife
2nd turtle- I’m going to live with God
3rd turtle- I am god! (We all are spiritual beings)
Scientology version
If you believe in scientology, then you will have a better life here and then you will have one long immortal life after you r earthly existence

Molly, Irene, and Kaitlin
Key scriptures
Kebra Nagast
Haile Selassie
Incarnation of God (Jah-hallelujia)
Don’t believe in a literal afterlife
Africa-Ethiopia, is Zion
Heaven on earth
Marcus Garvey’s “Back to Africa”
True Rastas believe they are immortal
Dreadlocks because…
Biblical command not to remove any hair
Appearance of lion
Red, Gold and Green… what do they mean??
Red-blood shed by martyrs
Gold- wealth of African Homeland
Green- vegetation of beauty of Africa

Drew and Eric
Ahura Mazda is the one uncreated creator to whom all worship
Will ultimately prevail- end of time
Life is a temporary state in which a mortal is expected to actively participate in the continuing battle between truth and falsehood
Fravashi acts as a guardian and protector
Pre-birth soul is with fravashi which sends you to a material body and is with you for 4 days post-death
Final renovation
Good will triumph over evil
Spiritual bodies live without food or water with no pain
Material body will not be able to cast a shadow
Everyone will speak the same language
Predominantly Indian

Sarah B, Lauren L, Kendra
Means “the awakened one”
Siddhartha Gautama
Based on his teachings
Four noble truths- way of suffereing
Noble Eightfold Path- way to end the suffering
Believe in reincarnation until you live a good enough life
A way to improve the way you act
You obtain nirvana when you have finally lived a good enough path

Shelli, Mackenzie, Britty, Anna
Believe in a caste system
Bramins etc
Cannot move classes, only be reborn in to one
Untouchables are doomed to live that life
Cow is sacred-temples cleaned with cow poop
Souls move through animals
Cows are the closest state to nirvana
3rd largest religion in the world
Scriptures- Sruti,k Smiriti, Vedas, Upanishads
Ethnic religion- based in India
We will finish the rest on Friday!

HW: Career project interviews (Jan 30.), begin work on Pausch lecture part 1 (Feb 13), teacher appointment.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Scribe: Day about "The Pit of Fire"

Ms. Smith is going to be gone for a week and a half :(

Make sure that if you need to reach Ms. Smith while she is away, try her skype: Anneemmasmith. Or you can email her!

Discussion about Blog post: Who goes to hell? Who decides? And WHY?

Moral choices deciding fate? no hell?

Using Idea of Conservation of Matter: cannot be created or destroyed, maybe reincarnation, or "floating around in nothingness" Believe in your own way

Punishment of Hell... why would it exist if God or god exists then wouldn't he want to see his children suffering.

Not enough proof of God or god to exist.

Reincarnation is a cool idea, heaven or hell is a way of making themselves accepting of death.

Purgatory, 5 people before heaven. "there shouldn't be a hell" Earn way to heaven.

Contradiction of self, decision of own fate leading to heaven (peaceful)

God or god doesn't send people to Hell, but you have to accept Jesus into your life to be saved.

When people reject God or god they get to be away from him they go to hell.

Christianity-- free will if you choose to turn on back on God or god he turns his back on you.

Why do we have this concept of hell being so dark and fiery and horrible?

Historically: keep order by telling the people that if they do not devote themselves to God or god.

Interpretation of the bible, how do we decide what is literal vs metaphorical?

Catholicism: uses fear to keep people in the church

Evil does not exist, humans trying to define what is bad.

God or god always gives the opportunity to see him, personal commitment. He gives a choice.

Being afraid of God or god, terrified of death.

God or god has a plan. I'll accept whatever he decides.

Acceptance of what happens happens.

Diversity, however universal human tendencies. Societal views are not important when it comes to death everyone dies.

Moral compass: God or god will decide.

Literal composition of self continues on forever.

Scared, what is going to happen after death? Not enough proof for an decision. Faith in life, but fear for faith beyond life because we can't comprehend what will happen.

Religions are guidelines for how to live.

Spirit never fades. People still exist after death even if only in the hearts that knew them.

Believe in all religions, wherever you think you will go that is where you will go.

Questioning everything? Past lives. What if we did things in past lives. Idea of Nirvana

Don't want to think that there is a hell because of the loved ones that could be condemned there.

The good in all people, how can anyone no matter how misled be set to this pain you would be given.

Projection over time of scary movies, from the beginning when it seemed innocent to the realistic torture and pain seen in movies today.

The relationship with God or god is what is important, it's not important to pushing this religion on others but for the non-believers to see how happy they are with their lives, and to decide for themselves.

Reincarnation learning all these lessons by different lives.

Fiery hell God or god gives us the choice.

and most importantly WHAT IS THE POINT?!?!?!?!

Work on interviews
teacher appointment
cultural interpretation of after life (due Wed.)
Begin working on Paush's lecture part 1 (Feb 13)
Read the Background of Daunte

As always have a happy friday!!

Awesome discussion.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy PLC/Doughnut Wednesday!

So, I hate to start this blog post off on a sad note, but Smith will be gone next Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and the following Monday! So hurry up and set up a time with her to talk about your project, lecture, etc.

Today we started our discussion on the eternal tan place (for any of you who have had Hamp's class) aka Hell.
See the blog post below this for further information. :)
When posting on the blog, please be mature and civil...this is a discussion on beliefs, respect everyone's! The due date for this project is: Wednesday, January 21st.

Here are some ideas for projects:
Native American
Jehovah's Witness
New Age
Christian Reform

Work on Afterlife Project, make contacts for your career interview project, set up interviews/do interviews, make an appointment with Smith, begin working on part one for your lecture.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

H-E- Double Hockey Sticks

This first unit in our English class is going to get very personal very fast. I need you all the be open-minded, concientious in your replies and carry on an adult conversation. I am trusting that you can all do this and all participate so that we all learn and grow from this experience. We don't want anyone to walk away from this hurt or angry.

The question is...

Who goes to Hell? Who decides? Why do people go to Hell?

Think. Defend. Challenge. Expand.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Jan. 12, 2009

Dates for career project:
Contact the people you are interviewing by 1/19
Finish Interviews by 1/25
Response due 1/30

Finish and post outline and any other information on your wiki.
Make a teacher appointment to go over the career project.
Work on your Last Lecture.
In Class:
We turned in our Pausch reflection.
Mrs. Smith went over the rules and guidelines for our WikiSpaces.
· Go to
· If you haven’t already create an account
o First name, first initial, or something so smith can identify you
· Create a new page with a name you can remember and smith can identify
· Next Create 4 links(type link and then click to add hyperlink and press ok to create new page)
o Outline-Insert the outline we created for today
o Contact
o Interview
o Summary/ Response Paper
· Save what you have
· In order to format:
o Go to manage wiki (top left)
§ Click on invite people
§ Invite
o Look and feel link:
§ Can be used for themes and colors on your wiki
· Go back to you home page and click on the discussion tab
o Here you can post and answer questions for your viewers
· Go to your interview page
o We posted any interview questions we had during class
· Next go to
o Click on join this wiki
o Once accepted paste your wiki’s URL next to your name

Friday, January 9, 2009


Last day of the first week back!! Whoo!

In class:
-Due dates were given for the semester's projects.
Jan 30: Career Interview Project Due
Feb 13: 1st part of lecture due. Reflection on the past
April 3rd: 2nd section of lecture. Lasting legacy to AHS.
End of semester: 3rd part of lecture, hope for the future.
May 4th semester project DUE
-We finished watching the Pausch video

Homework Due Monday: Reflection/Connection on Paucsh Video, and an outline of the semester project.

Random fact: The word "nerd" was first coined by Dr. Seuss in "If I Ran the Zoo."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jan. 7, 2008

In class:
· We turned in our signed class expectations.
· Next we read over our class goals which can be found on the class blog.
· Everyone who didn’t get a chance to present their goals on Monday finished today
· We watched Pausch’s Last Lecture for the remainder of class (the link for the video is on this week’s class PowerPoint or you can just YouTube it)

Homework: For Monday; type a maximum 2 page reflection over Pausch last lecture.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Semester Goals to Avoid Senioritis

Yesterday in class, I asked the students our big semester question of "What's the point?" They reflected on this in class in my hope to keep the class focused especially during the final semester of their senior year. I wanted the class to understand that this class is different and that we do things differently. It is up to them to lead the class, focus the discussion, and complete the work. They need to create the point that will drive this semester and make them successful learners in life, not just in this one class.

Additionally, I asked them to create some goals for themselves, for their teachers as well as for the class in order to keep us focused on the point of this class. Here are their goals (individually, teacher, and class):

--To do the necessary behavior to earn the A: complete work on time, understand and be active in books read and papers written, become a more professional writer
--To find the point of our own lives by looking for the importance in miniscule things
--To have a professional attitude towards school and work
--To understand the message in the text instead of simply comprehending the plot
--Keep the work as the primary goal instead of life’s distractions
--To gain more knowledge than simply comprehending
--To become a more clear and concise writer
--To truly participate and be active during class
--To reach a different level by doing more than the average English class
--To increase work ethic
--To prepare for college writing by working hard now
--To work to the true highest potential
--To not only understand the text, but to develop a deeper interest
--To read in depth in order to write in depth
--To enjoy the class!
--To incorporate stronger vocabulary into writing and everyday usage
--To challenge myself to improve public speaking skills
--To permanently rid my writing of personal words
--To truly find myself in writing
--To live everyday to the fullest and think of others before myself
--To remember to bring donuts on my assigned days. This builds responsibility
--To live up to expectations
--To find a way to relive stress
--To not allow distractions of personal life to affect school work
--To become a more diversified writer by improving my ability to synthesize essays, analyze literature, and provide solid examples to back up opinion
--To look ahead and work for success in the future
--To work on organization of my thoughts

--To be available and supporting when asked for help
--To challenge the students to not settle for passing by asking for their best and giving them responsibility
--To make the transition between teachers smooth and by helping the students adjust
--To facilitate minds for discussion and to push the students to discover new ideas in literature
--To set HIGH standards
--To give us enough space to learn for ourselves and explore beyond the basic education provided
--To take an active interest in the students, their struggles, and their desires to improve
--To be open to branching out from the curriculum
--To provide an experience where the students leave with a personal connection to the text by fostering a closer individual reading between each person and the text
--To really connect with the students
--To check in during reading to confirm understanding of concepts
--To provide productive conference with feedback, guidance, and motivation
--To teach us to think in new ways
--To help us discover the underlying meaning of the text
--To provide a relaxed, yet productive, work environment
--To challenge us in ways that will not benefit the grade, but have long term lasting benefits
--To encouragingly point out our mistakes
--Give homework that is not only fun, but challenging
--For even weight on assignments so that one assignment won’t entirely affect the overall grade
--To stay balanced between being laid back and pushing the class to strive for our best
--To focus and eliminate busy work

--To stay engaged throughout the entirety of the semester and not succumb to Senioritis
--More group projects and deeper discussions
--To DESTROY our last fishbowl and top last semester’s fishbowls with a higher brilliance this semester
--Donuts EVERY Wednesday…let’s be responsible and not forget!
--For everyone to learn and grow together by establishing trust, respect, and courage to be ourselves
--For everyone to contribute insightful opinions in an engaging experience
--To be focused but still have fun when the time is appropriate
--For everyone to be prepared and not hinder others by their lack of preparation
--To challenge each other
--To provide variety and successful fun
--To be considerate and go with the flow
--To have a family atmosphere
--To give quality input on each others’ writing/blogging
--To know everyone’s names!
--To make our final projects AWESOME
--To come together by making everyone feel comfortable with giving their own ideas without being judged
--To live up to our expectation of having the best fishbowls in the history of fishbowls
--To have the ethic of a college class
--To know and care about each other
--To learn from each other
--To provide and environment where all of us continue to love coming to class
--To have fun and not judge each other
--To become more efficient at working together

My hope is that throughout the semester we will keep holding each other accountable to these goals, that they provide a nice structure and sounding board for where they want to go, and that most of all, that these goals point them in the right direction for the years to come.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Today Ms. Smith started out by telling a fabulous story of her dream she had about the class. Everybody in the class kept asking “Where’s Drew Babb” but would never look for him. Eric Law kept staring at the computer cart thinking Drew would pop out of there. Obviously Drew is the favorite student this year and quite possibly her favorite ever of all time. We were introduced to Mr. Ruggles and his favorite animal currently is an otter. The big question for the semester is “What’s the point?” so be thinking about that as the semester goes on. Our final at the end of the year is going to be a lecture you present to the class and will be viewed by everybody in the entire world. “It is a chance to change the world”-Anne Smith. We wrote for ten minutes about what the point is in your life right now. After writing we took time to set 3 types of goals (or expectations): -Goals for yourself, -Goals for Ms. Smith and Mr. Ruggles, -Goals for the class. After everybody made their goals we went around and shared one of the three goals with the class. And Lauren was accepted into the coast guard so congrats for that Lauren!!!!!! HW: -Print out class expectations and get it signed by parents –If Ms. Smith doesn’t have your e-mail and parents e-mail then make sure she gets that