I need your feedback! What am I overlooking? Or is this just as bad as what I’m trying to leave behind like a cat with incontinence on a brand new rug in a brand new house?
Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition
Summer Reading/Writing 2009
N.B. The 2009/2010 AP English Lit Course Description published by College Board indicates that this course “engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.” Additionally, “such reading should be accompanied by thoughtful discussion and writing about those books in the company of one’s fellow students.” Therefore, I am trying something new this summer.
Because some universities ask all their students to read over the summer, and because some universities ask their writing students (including this writing student) to post blog entries affiliated with course work, and because threaded discussions are a College Board suggested discussion method, we will blog our summer reading responses this summer.
The blog enables us to discuss readings and respond to prompts with greater immediacy than waiting until August, and it enables us to actually discuss the summer reading – admittedly and ashamedly — something my classes have not always done. Some blog discussion will be arranged by the instructor, but students ought not to wait for instructor postings. The purpose is to exchange ideas and to guide each other through the literature.
Our blog is on blogger. Our blog is restricted. I need to invite you, so I need you to send me an e-mail. Once I receive your e-mail, you will receive your invitation. E-mail your e-mail addresses to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our address is: http://phsaplitsummerreading.blogspot.com.
Reading Requirements: Over the course of the summer, actively read Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, and Jean Anouilh’s Becket. The texts ought to be read in that order, and I have to be heavy handed about the order to have some sense of – well – order about this whole thing. While it’s an experiment we have to have some rules.
Writing Requirements: As indicated above, there will be some points of discussion arranged by the instructor, but I want to be tied to my computer about as much as you do. But before we get down to the task, let me remind you of two matters. 1) The ideas in blog responses are NOT to be borrowed from any outside source(s); all work is expected to be original to the writer. The beauty of the blog is that we have each other to lean on instead of SparkNotes, PinkMonkey, or what have you. 2) Composition of texts must occur in a word processing program, then you save that text to your flash drive (or other similar device), and copy/paste into blogger.
§ For Tess, you are expected to blog three times – divide the novel into thirds – making sure to respond to the end of the novel. Each blog entry should address one or more of the following notions in at least 250 words – What is Thomas Hardy’s purpose and tone? How does he create that purpose and tone? How does diction, syntax, topic, character development, use of setting, imagery, and etc. help Hardy fulfill his purpose? In other words, what is Hardy doing, and how is he doing it?
§ For Murder, you are expected to blog once, when you have finished consuming the play. Read it, mark it, digest it. In at least 250 words, respond to the play in its entirety. You are invited to consider the notions of purpose, tone and style, but more than anything I want you to respond to the play in a way that makes sense.
§ For Becket, you are expected to blog once, when you have finished consuming the play. Read it, mark it, digest it. In at least 250 words, respond to the play in its entirety. You are invited to consider the notions of purpose, tone and style, but more than anything I want you to respond to the play in a way that makes sense.
§ Then, for Murder and Becket together, you are expected to blog a response to both pieces – as they are related. In at least 250 words, respond to the plays in their entirety. You are invited to consider the notions of purpose, tone and style, but more than anything I want you to respond to the plays in a way that illuminates us and them and you.
§ Finally, comment at least once using at least 250 words on a peer’s response or a prompt from me related to Tess, and comment at least once using at least 250 words on a peer’s response to either Murder or Becket. Can you respond more than once? Absolutely.
Your responses must be thoughtful, supported by references to the text, and not mere summary.