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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Knowing where the "perfect wave" will be

Learning about Surf Forecasting in a quick slideshow. Sound fun? If Interested go to
(I know it has my brothers name I just borrowed his account because I don't have one. Sheesh.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

In Class Essay 4 Question 3

Of all the ways an author can illustrate their meanings within in their work, one of the more subtle is the use of minor characters, which often time serve as a foil to the writer's main character or theme. One excellent example of this can be found within one of this world's most famous works of literature, Victor Hugo's Les Misreables . As the story follows the struggle of the main character Jean Valjean and his attempts to live a better life  Hugo illuminates this struggle with the use of a minor character Javert. Hugo use Javert as a foil to Jean Valjean to illuminate his theme of the ability to become a better person.

Javert's character serves to show Hugo's meaning of his work as a whole. Javert relentlessly pursues Jean Valjean for a crime that Jean Valjean committed so many years ago. Despite all of Jean Valjeans attempts and successes at leading a better life and becoming a better person, Javert remains determined to see him punished. This trait of Javert's strongly empowers Hugo's message to his reader. Javert believes that Jean Valjean cannot change and will always be a criminal. This contrasts directly with Jean Valjean's attempt, and eventually success at being a good person. Javert use as a foil character illuminates Hugo's message of self-redemption and betterment to his readers.

In Class Essay 3

In Ann Petry's novel The Street, Perty establishes a hostile relationship between Lutie Johnson and her urban setting very quickly. Anyone can relate to the feeling one can get when it feels as if everything, even the buildings are against you. So is the situation for Lutie, and Petry cleverly establishes this with the use of literary devices to establish her meaning. With the use of personification, selection of detail, and figurative language to establish the hostile relationship between Lutie and her urban environment.

  • Personification- the wind is described to have fingers, which chill Lutie's neck and make her feel naked and unprotected.
  • Figurative Language- A descriptive explanation of the dismal urban setting helps establish how cold it is.
  • Selection of detail  details such as the unappealing rusting sign with old paint make Lutie feel as if the urban city is a bad place to be.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In class essay 2

Of all the complex human emotions that we must deal with, desire can certainty be one of the most powerful and motivating. Yet, as Sir Phillip Sydney detailed in his excellent poem "Thou Blind Man's Mark," desire does not always motivate to positive gain or for good reason. In a poem that uses poetic devices such as parallelism, tone, and diction, Sydney elaborately portrays his attitude that chasing desire is a "Blind Man's Mark," or a fools errand.

Sydney's critical tone filled with his feeling of animosity strongly show his attitude toward desire. Syndey writes with a tone that clearly shows his strong dislike of desire. He is angrily pointing out all the wrongs that come from the emotion. "Thou blind man's mark, thou fool's self chosen snare" and "Band of all evils, cradle of causelesscare" both elaborate how he is devaluing desire, and doing so with passion. The the angry and critical tone Sydney uses shows his idea that chasing desire is pointless.

Utilizing a diction of words hinting at wastefulness, Sydney highlights his attitude towards desire. Syndey finds  chasing desires pointless, a waste of time that traps people oblivious to its dangers. Words such as "fool's self chosen snare" and "worthless ware" fill Sydney's diction to implement his meaning to a fuller extent. The diction Sydney uses elaborate on his attitude toward desire even further.

Several times Sydney uses similar sentence structure to demonstrate to his reader his attitude on desire. In the lines "In vain thou hast my ruin sought, In vain though madest me to vain things aspire, In vain thou kindlest all thy smoky fire," there is an obvious similar sentence structure to each line. This parallelism details Sydney's own struggles with desire. How it failed to ruin him by making him desire worthless things that only create "smoky fires," which is a euphemism for something with a bad result. Using parallelism, Sydney highlights his attitude of the worthlessness of desire.

Sir Phillip Sydney strongly feels that the pursuit of desires is a waste of ones time and will only lead to false rewards. He emphasizes this ideal in his poem "Thou Blind Man's Mark," clearly displaying his dislike for desire. In order to show his attitude toward the fruitless emotion, Sydney utilizes poetic devices such as parallelism, tone, and diction.

Monday, April 29, 2013

In class essay

Pauline Hopkins quote about the effects of surroundings on one's character could not be any more true. The setting of one's life almost entirely influences that same persons direction in life. It is for that reason that all authors carefully consider the setting in which they write their novels in because they know of its importance to their characters. One example of an important surrounding affecting the characters is in John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath. The novel follows the strife's of the Joad family. Steinbeck chose rural Oklahoma in the 1930's as his seeting for this novel to present adversity to the Joads in two forms. The Joads geographical and cultural surroundings present them with the conflict in the novel.

The Joads geographical surroundings create the first cause of conflict in the novel, serving as its inciting incident. The Joads are a long time farming family, but are forced to abandon this way of life. The land they lived off has dried up and is nothing but dust, Known as the Great Dust Bowl to historians. Unable to live of the land anymore, this forces the Joads to leave their home in search of a better future and is the first in their long list of struggles. Steinbeck use the setting of the Great Dust Bowl in Oklahoma to create conflict for the main characters , but it also helps him show some of the struggles people fought against during the depression. The Joads geographical surroundings serve the dual purpose of creating conflict for the character and illuminating Steinbeck's message.

The Joads faced many difficulties due to their cultural surroundings as well. During the 1930's, finding a job and a way to earn money was extremely hard. The Joads had to fight alongside other desperate people just to survive, and during the time, the culture wasn't to help other, but help yourself. The Joads also had to deal with the animosity people held for people from Oklahoma that had come to take their jobs during that time, creating yet another cultural challenge for them. The setting Steinbeck chose for his novel accomplish, just as before, two things. The cultural surroundings the Joads live in create conflict as well as demonstrate Steinbeck's message.

They are many ways an author can affect and challenge their characters life or traits. One of the more prominet ways is the characters surroundings. The setting they chose is always a key role in the story. A perfect example of this is Steinbeck's choice of Oklahoma during the 1930's for his novel The Grapes of Wrath. The geographical and cultural surroundings he place the Joads in serve their dual propose brilliantly. Not only do they create conflict in the story, but they also highlight many of the challenges common people faced during this hard time.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Poetry Essay Prompt 2

1997 Poem: “The Death of a Toad” (Richard Wilbur)
Prompt: Read the following poem carefully. Then write a well-organized essay in which you explain how formal elements such as structure, syntax, diction, and imagery reveal the speaker’s response to the death of a toad.

             THE DEATH OF A TOAD

       A toad the power mower caught,
Chewed and clipped of a leg, with a hobbling hop has got
   To the garden verge, and sanctuaried him
   Under the cineraria leaves, in the shade
      Of the ashen and heartshaped leaves, in a dim,
          Low, and a final glade.

       The rare original heartsbleed goes,
Spends in the earthen hide, in the folds and wizenings, flows
    In the gutters of the banked and staring eyes. He lies
    As still as if he would return to stone,
        And soundlessly attending, dies
           Toward some deep monotone,

       Toward misted and ebullient seas
And cooling shores, toward lost Amphibia^Rs emperies.
    Day dwindles, drowning and at length is gone
    In the wide and antique eyes, which still appear
        To watch, across the castrate lawn,
            The haggard daylight steer.

I believe an intro paragraph along with shorts bits of how the thesis is supported in the body are enough practice for me to know what I would do with this prompt on an AP essay test.

Everyday, thousands of living things life come to an end, and many of them are so insignificant to us that we would never notice them without some sort of glorification of their passing. Such is the reaction of Richard Wilbur to such events, and this is clearly seen in his poem "The Death of a Toad." In his almost satirical elegy of the lost toad, Wilbur use elements such as syntax, diction and tone to elaborate this response to his readers.

  • Wilbur has a formal syntax, which seems to honor the toads passing, making it seem more important to the reader, showing how he views it as well.
  • A diction of sentient and mournful words with a beautiful  connotation such as "rare original heartbleed" and "some deep monotone" make the reader feel even more sympathetic for the Toads death, show Wilbur's reaction again.
  • Lastly, an admiral, mourning tone the Wilbur displays the toad as very important, and as all the above, highlights his response to the death of the toad.


Prompt: The following two poems are about Helen of Troy. Renowned in the ancient world for her beauty, Helen was the wife of Menelaus, a Greek King. She was carried off to Troy by the Trojan prince Paris, and her abduction was the immediate cause of the Trojan War. Read the two poems carefully. Considering such elements as speaker, diction, imagery, form, and tone, write a well-organized essay in which you contrast the speakers’ views of Helen.

I believe an intro paragraph along with shorts bits of how the thesis is supported in the body are enough practice for me to know what I would do with this prompt on an AP essay test.

When the poems of H.D. and Edgar Allan Poe regarding Helen are put side by side, it is plain to see they have differing views of Helen's story. Yet what is more intriguing is how these two authors establish their views in their use of literary elements  Ironically enough, the contrasting views they share are counterbalanced by the fact they both use similar techniques to display them. Both authors have strong use of diction and tone to present their separate ideals. While the diction and tone do differ, their techniques are the same nonetheless. Both authors use diction and tone to establish their different views, Poe the admirer, and H.D. the critic.

  • Poe uses a tone of admiration of Helen's beauty, constantly complimenting it, showing his view of admiration of Helen.
  • H.D.'s tone is more diminishing, as if Helen has done great wrong, showing his critical view of Helen.
  • Poe use a diction strong with appraisal words, such as "Beauty" and "Thy classic face" highlighting his stance on Helen.
  • H.D.'s is strong words against Helen. "All Greece hates" and "All Greece reviles"

Friday, April 26, 2013


In the short time we had our group discussed "As I walked out one evening" by WH Auden. Our group was working on filling out the grid together. One of the tougher sections was to find the shift. We learned how to look for it in this poem which will help us look for it in all poems, such as key words or a change in tone or the pattern. Analyzing this shift in this poem by finding the importance of time helped us understand this.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


"Life" by Charlotte Bronte

Vague, makes wonder what Bronte's opinion on life will be
"Life's sunny hours flit by, Gratefully, cheerily, Enjoy them as they fly !" Enjoy life, for it is short.
"Sometimes there are clouds of gloom, But these are transient all; If the shower will make the roses bloom, O why lament its fall ?" There will  be bad, but it will pass, and from it good things will come. 
"Clouds of Gloom" periods of sad times.
 "calls our Best away " our best being our happy lives
"Yet hope again elastic springs, Unconquered, though she fell" Elastic springs showing how hope will always bounce back after being beat down
Bronte is emphasizing the positives of life, and overlooking all the negatives.
After Bronte talks about how great life can be, but then it shifts to when life gets ended and things become gloomy, taking a drastic turn.
Title revisited:
Bronte writes this poem telling us to value our lives, and above all, enjoy it. Life is a great thing and don't let dark clouds ruin if for you. And when it comes time for your life to end, do not fret because life will continue on positively in some way.


"Hope" by Emily Dickinson

The title of this poem could serve as the possible theme of the whole work
"Hope is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul, And sings the tune--without the words" These lines are clearly comparing hope with the qualities of a bird.

"And sore must be the storm,That could abash the little bird, That kept so many warm." Hear it seems Dickinson is criticizing anyone who could try and squash any amount of hope.

"And sore must be the storm" Here sore seems to mean more evil or bad.
"That kept so many warm" Keeping someone warm means positive or hopeful.
"It asked a crumb of me" It being the hope as a bird, where a crumb being close to nothing that hope required in return.
Dickinsons' attitude is that she seems to value hope very highly, all of its characteristics and the feelings it brings.
There is a slight shift in from describing hope to how it can exist ins some of the chillest lands or strangest seas.
Title revisited:
Hope is what she is describing, not the theme.
Hope, like a bird, is something so gentle and kind that can lift even the heaviest of souls and so be cherished and left to do its good biding.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Macbeth Micro AP Exam

The main thing that grabbed my attention from today's test was the pace that I must be prepared to think at. I felt fairly confident on all the questions and the essay prompt  but I forgot how important time management is on the AP exam. Some of the questions I may have been able to get with some extra minutes of thinking, but those are minutes I can not spare. I need to continue working with the multiple choice section and work on still answering them correctly but faster.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Brave New World 7

At the savage reservations we see that there is still a society that lives in the ways of the old that are considered immoral and dangerous in the current society. Odd to think that that savage society has a lot of similarities to ours today. We would be savages in Huxley's novel, for the things the savages do really apall the more civilized people. We also learn that the woman the director thought had perished in the reservation was alive and had been trapped in the horrible savage world having to live without the soma and comforts of normal society. And even worse she became viviparous and gave birth to the directors son. This will definitely lead to future complications in the novel.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


We get to see more of how people spend their free time Leinna with her activities with Henry and Bernard with his bizarre exspirience of the orgy porgy. What a strange way to find release for the feelings science can not keep down. Another example of how this society is obsessed with sex. It also shows how Bernard is different from others in how he doesn't enjoy it. This is also show with his interactions that show individualism with his interactions with Leinna and how he is proud of the directors threat to send him to Iceland. The directors story also shows how sometimes even the best of the society can't always keep down their feelings that are undesired by the community. Lastly, Bernard and Leinna reach the savage reservation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Brave New World 2 and 3

This book continues to confuse and interest me at the same time, giving me a feeling of being lost but with enough understanding to want to continue to read and learn more. The one thing that I have picked up from my reading is how many if our current ideas thoughts and values are rejected as useless or stupid or wasteful in this new society where everything is based of consumption and prosperity. Having a biological mother is seen as dangerous causing too much emotion. Having only one lovers or intimate partner is also considered bad like something horribly illegal. The examples of these foreign ideas to someone of today's time are consist throughout these two chapters. Huxley also writes during chapter three with many spaces jumping from conversation to different conversation all over the place. I couldn't understand why but it made for interesting reading

Monday, February 25, 2013


Reading this first part and chapter of Brave New World I am strangely confused and hooked at the same time. Reading the process of this some sort of mechanical human breeding that seeks to  make as many twins, or exact copy humans as possible and how they do it automatically triggers many questions. How can they do this , I can't understand these words used to describe it, and why would would they want to do it to name a few. I may not have any idea to the answers or whats going on, but I do want to read more.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

First Quarter Review

A) I have made some good progress during this first quarter of the second semester in this class, and I believe my performance has been good, but can still be improved. This is because I am doing good with the more raw and straightforward assignments in the class, such as lit terms and literary analysis. On the other hand though I lack on things like the Senior project and the big question.
B) Some of my goals include maintaining good grades for college acceptance, preparing myself for the AP test to help myself when registering for classes next year, and receive as many scholarships as possible to help pay my way to college.
C) I feel the class could use a little structure at times, especially when it comes to material we will be tested on.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lit Terms 109-133

2. Rising Action: plot build up, caused by conflict and complications, advancement toward climax.

3. Romanticism: movement in western culture begining in the eighteenth and pearking in the nineteenth century as a revolt against Classicism; imagination was valued over reason and fact.

              Example: Jane Austen's Persuasion;Mansfield Park
                                Emily Bronte's Wuthering Height

4. Satire: ridicules or condemns the weakness and wrong doings of indivduals, groups, institutions, or humanity in general.

  Example: "The city stopped washing its buses because they kept getting dirty again."
   "We should hire illegal immigrants as teachers because that way we can pay them less."

5. Scansion: the analysis of verse in terms of meter.

6. Setting: the time and place in whcih events ina short story, novel, play, or narrative poem occur. 

     Example: A Tale Of  Two Cities-London and Paris 1775-1790
                                      background French Revolution

7. Simile: a figure of speech comparing two essentially unlike things through the use of a specific word of comparison.

Example: "My stomach is growling like a bear."
         "You are as sweet as chocolate."

8. Soliloquy: an extended speech, usually in a drama, delivered by a character alone on stage.

                Example: "To be or not to be"--Hamlet; Shakespeare
                  "O conspiracy,
                  Sham' st thou to show thy dan'rous brow by night,
                  When evils are most free? O, then by day
                  Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
                  To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy;
                  Hide it in smiles and affability:
                  For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
                  Not Erebus itself were dim enough
                  To hide thee from prevention."

9. Spiritual: a folk song, usually on a religious theme.

10. Speaker: a narrator, the one speaking.

                  Example: narrator

11. Stereotype: cliché; a simplified, standardized conception with a special meaning and appeal for members of a group; a formula story.

          Example: "All teenagers are rebels."
                                  "All children don't enjoy healthy food."
                                    " Women take forever to do anything."

12. Stream of Consciousness: the style of writing that attempts to imitate the natural flow of a character's thoughts, feelings, reflections, memories, and mental images, as the character experiences them.

 Example: "Such fools we all are, she thought, crossing Victoria Street. For Heaven only knows why one loves it so, how one sees it so, making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh; but the veriest frumps, the most dejected of miseries sitting on doorsteps (drink their downfall) do the same; can't be dealt with, she felt positive, by Acts of Parliament for that very reason: they love life. In people's eyes, in the swing, tramp, trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment of June."
-Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
13. Structure: the planned framework of a literary selection; its apparent organization.

14. Style: the manner of putting thoughts into words; a characteristic way of writing or speaking.

      Example: Jane Austen--romantic; gothic; heroic
               F.Scott Fitzgerald--imaginary sentences; american dream

15. Subordination: the couching of less important ideas in less important structures of language.

Example: "Even though the broccoli was covered in cheddar cheese, Emily refused to eat it." (subordinate clause+main clause)
            "Unless Kate finished her calculus hw, she will have to suffer during class tomorrow."
16. Surrealism: a style in literature and painting that stresses the subconscious or the nonrational aspects of man's existence characterized by the juxtaposition of the bizarre and the banal.
         Example: Salvador Dali--The Persistence of Memory

17. Suspension of Disbelief: suspend not believing in order to enjoy it.

            Example: Spider Man; Super Man

18. Symbol: something which stands for something else; yet has a meaning of its own.

               Example: Flag is the symbol of the country.
            Red-bloody; The Red Badge Of Courage-the tranformation(fail to success) of Henry Fleming and honor.
19. Synesthesia: the use of one sense to convey the experience of another sense.

             Example: "I see the sound of the car."
                       "I catch the sound of rain."

20. Synecdoche: another form of name changing, in which a part stands for the whole.

                 Example: Wheels-Car

21. Syntax: the arrangement and grammatical relations of words in a sentence. 

22. Theme: main idea of the story; its message(s).

23. Thesis: a proposition for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or disaproved: the main idea.

24. Tone: the devices used to create the mood and atmosphere of a literary work; the author's perceived point of view.

Example: "Goddamn money. It always ends up making you blue as hell."
"Caltholics are always trying to find out if you're Catholic."--Catcher in the Rye:Bitter; Sacrastic; Tough

25. Tongue in Cheek: a type of humor in which the speaker feigns seriousness; a.k.a. "dry" or "dead pan"     

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lit Terms 83-108

  • Omniscient Point of View:  knowing all things, usually the third person.

  • Onomatopoeia: use of a word whose sound in some degree imitates or suggests its meaning. 
  • Oxymoron: a figure of speech in which two contradicting words or phrases are combined to produce a rhetorical effect by means of a concise paradox.

  • Pacing:  rate of movement; tempo.

  • Parable:  a story designed to convey some religious principle, moral lesson, or general truth.

  • Paradox:  a statement apparently self-contradictory or absurd but really containing a possible truth; an opinion contrary to generally accepted ideas.

  • Parallelism: the principle in sentence structure that states elements of equal function should have equal form.

  • Parody:  an imitation of mimicking of a composition or of the style of a well-known artist.

  • Pathos:  the ability in literature to call forth feelings of pity, compassion, and/or sadness.

  • Pedantry: a display of learning for its own sake.

  • Personification: a figure of speech attributing human qualities to inanimate objects or abstract ideas.

  • Plot: a plan or scheme to accomplish a purpose.

  • Poignant:  eliciting sorrow or sentiment.

  • Point of View: the attitude unifying any oral or written argumentation; in description, the physical point from which the observer views what he is describing.

  • Postmodernism: literature characterized by experimentation, irony, nontraditional forms, multiple meanings, playfulness and a blurred boundary between real and imaginary.

  • Prose:  the ordinary form of spoken and written language; language that does not have a regular rhyme pattern.

  • Protagonist: the central character in a work of fiction; opposes antagonist.

  • Pun:  play on words; the humorous use of a word emphasizing different meanings or applications.

  • Purpose: the intended result wished by an author.

  • Realism:  writing about the ordinary aspects of life in a straightfoward manner to reflect life as it actually is.

  • Refrain:  a phrase or verse recurring at intervals in a poem or song; chorus.

  • Requiem:  any chant, dirge, hymn, or musical service for the dead.

  • Resolution: point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out; denouement.

  • Restatement: idea repeated for emphasis.

  • Rhetoric: use of language, both written and verbal in order to persuade.

  • Rhetorical Question: question suggesting its own answer or not requiring an answer; used in argument or persuasion.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lit Terms 57-80

Genre: a category or class of artistic endeavor having a particular form, technique, or content.


Gothic Tale: a style in literature characterized by gloomy settings, violent or grotesque action, and a mood of decay, degeneration, and decadence.


Hyperbole: an exaggerated statement often used as a figure of speech or to prove a point.


Imagery: figures of speech or vivid description, conveying images through any of the senses.


Implication: a meaning or understanding that is to be arrive at by the reader but that is not fully and explicitly stated by the author.
Incongruity: the deliberate joining of opposites or of elements that are not appropriate to each other.


Inference: a judgement or conclusion based on evidence presented; the forming of an opinion which possesses some degree of probability according to facts already available.


Irony: a contrast or incongruity between what is said and what is meant, or what is expected to happen and what actually happens, or what is thought to be happening and what is actually happening.


Interior Monologue: a form of writing which represents the inner thoughts of a character; the recording of the internal, emotional experience(s) of an individual; generally the reader is given the impression of overhearing the interior monologue.


Inversion: words out of order for emphasis.

Juxtaposition: the intentional placement of a word, phrase, sentences of paragraph to contrast with another nearby.


Lyric: a poem having musical form and quality; a short outburst of the author’s
innermost thoughts and feelings.


Magic(al) Realism:  a genre developed in Latin America which juxtaposes the everyday  with the marvelous or magical.


Metaphor(extended, controlling, and mixed): an analogy that compare two different  things imaginatively. Extended: a metaphor that is extended or developed as far as the writer wants to take it. Controlling: a metaphor that runs throughout the piece of work. Mixed: a metaphor that ineffectively blends two or more analogies.


Metonymy:  literally “name changing” a device of figurative language in which the
 name of an attribute or associated thing is substituted for the usual name of a thing.


Mode of Discourse:  argument (persuasion), narration, description, and exposition.


Modernism:  literary movement characterized by stylistic experimentation, rejection of tradition, interest in symbolism and psychology


Monologue:  an extended speech by a character in a play, short story, novel, or narrative poem.


 Mood:  the predominating atmosphere evoked by a literary piece.

Motif:  a recurring feature (name, image, or phrase) in a piece of literature.


 Myth:  a story, often about immortals, and sometimes connected with religious rituals, that attempts to give meaning to the mysteries of the world.


Narrative:  a story or description of events.


Narrator:  one who narrates, or tells, a story.


Naturalism: extreme form of realism.


 Novelette/Novella: short story; short prose narrative, often satirical.


Omniscient Point of View:  knowing all things, usually the third person.


Onomatopoeia: use of a word whose sound in some degree imitates or suggests its meaning.


Oxymoron: a figure of speech in which two contradicting words or phrases are combined to produce a rhetorical effect by means of a concise paradox.