Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Research in the lab

Hi Seniors,

NOTE: Read all of the long letter below.

I miss you! I'm so sorry I've been gone. I wouldn't miss this many days if it weren't necessary. Please do your best today and I will answer all your questions when I return.

You should have recieved your topic request from the substitute. The topic highlighted in yellow is your topic. If you have two topics highlighted in yellow, it means you can choose--I probably did this to encourage you to choose your #2 choice, however you are free to choose either. If you pink highlighting on your paper, it means you and I need to talk when I come back. Go ahead and start researching anyway. It's early enough that what you find will still be useful.

Your assignment today is to find 3-5 useful web-based sources. Look for webzines (Time and Newsweek have one), online newspapers (, news shows (CNN, The Today Show, Dateline, etc), databases with articles, images, videos, etc. Don't limit yourself to putting your topic into google. [Remember, if you want to gain some background knowledge, feel free to use Wikipedia, but remember it can't be a source. Check out the reference links at the bottom of the article.]

You may print up to five pages from MS Word. Do not print directly from the web. When you copy and paste, be sure to find your bibliographic information to copy and paste it too. Always copy the website. Save these MS Word documents to your H://, in which I hope you've created a "Senior paper" folder.

A key element to finding these sources is reading them. Make time to find them in class, and read at least one thoroughly in class. Before printing, you should be scanning for key words. Don't underestimate the use of the "ctrl F" !! Ask the person next to you if you don't know what this does. For homework, read the rest of these sources and begin highlighting key infomation. You will get credit for them when I get back.

Do not use the time to talk to your friends. We are not moving any due dates because I've been sick.

Please email me with any questions!
Get work done and be good for your substitute teacher!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tolstoy Ch 1-3 Response Questions

Chapter Two begins with an important claim: "Ivan Ilyich’s life had been most simple and commonplace-and most horrifying." Why might Tolstoy consider Ivan’s "simple and commonplace" life to be "horrifying"?

As Ivan rises in his career, he fails in his personal life. What might Tolstoy be suggesting here? Why does Ivan find so much pleasure in playing bridge?

Several times over the course of the novella, we find statements very much like this one: "So that on the whole Ivan Ilyich’s life proceeded as he felt it should-pleasantly and properly" (p. 52). One’s first, instinctive reaction to such comments might be, "Well, what’s wrong with that?" What, according to Tolstoy, is wrong with that?

What sort of person is Praskovya Fyodorovna? Why did Ivan Ilyich marry her? How would you characterize their relationship? Does his attitude toward her seem justified by her personality and behavior?

At the beginning of Chapter 3, we are told that 1880 was "the most difficult year in Ivan Ilyich’s life" (p. 53). What difficulties does he face, and what does he seek by way of a solution to them? How is the situation resolved, and what are his reactions to that resolution? What does this whole experience tell us about Ivan Ilyich’s character and his values?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leo Tolstoy

Read "What Men Live By" available online at:

Then answer the following questions, also available in our World Literature Books, page 995

  1. What is your reaction to Michael’s explanation of what men live by?
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  3. In your own words, explain what the three lessons are that Michael learns and how they are related.
  4. Besides love, what are some other virtues illustrated by the characters in the story. Support with evidence.
  5. Do you think Michael deserved to be punished by God? Why?
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  7. Taking in a stranger can be dangerous in our society today. What do you think would happen if Michael appeared in your neighborhood in need of food, clothing and shelter? Do you think it would be possible for him to learn the same lessons? (remember Tim’s grandmother and his last talk at retreat. Use his story as a comparison).