“To be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to
make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle any human being
can fight, and never stop fighting." -e.e. cummings
*Now describe yourself as you think others see you. Choose at least three
people or groups of people to comment on.
*How do the descriptions compare? Why?
*Write about the hardest battle that you’ve ever had to fight.
“If you don’t get everything you want, think of all the things you don’t get that you
don’t want.” -Oscar Wilde
*What is Oscar Wilde’s message to us about life? Explain in your own words.
*Develop a list of 5 things you want and 5 things you don’t want.
*Which list was more difficult to make? Why do you think so?
“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood
form on your forehead.” -Gene Fowler
*What is Gene Fowler’s point about writing?
*What is writing like for you? What kinds of writing do you enjoy? What types of
writing do you dislike? Explain.
*Write a letter to yourself – at least one full page. This letter will be mailed to you
one year from today. It will not be read by anyone except you. Address a
HCRHS envelope to yourself, seal it, and hand in.
“Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance
to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.” -G. Flaubert
*In your own words, interpret G. Flaubert’s message. (Yes, you can!)
*When words fail us, what other ways can we try to express ourselves?
*What advantages can these ways have over language? Disadvantages?
“I am bigger than anything that can happen to me. All these things, sorrow,
misfortune, and suffering are outside my door. I am in the house and I have the
key.” -C.F. Lummins
*Explain what you think C.F. Lummins means by this statement. What do the
“house” and “key” symbolize?
*Draw your “house” and label/draw the “things” that may be knocking at your
door. Explain each.
*Label/Draw the “things” that are always in your house. Explain each fully.
“Change is one form of hope; to change is to believe in tomorrow.”
*Do you welcome change or do you try to avoid it? Why?
*Explain your feelings using at least two life examples.
*What helps you adjust to change? Explain.
“To some people, a tree is something so incredibly beautiful that it brings tears to
the eyes. To others, it is just a green thing that stands in the way.”
*Explain William Blake’s statement and react to it. Expand your explanation
beyond the trees. What point is he trying to make about people/life?
*HANDOUT: Read this passage and discuss (in writing) whether it supports or
opposes William Blake’s observation.
*Using the following list of items, write “vision statements” (how you see it) for
each. Explain each “vision” in a sentence or two.
I see _____________ as …
3. cigarette smoke
“I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.” -William Blake,
“A Poison Tree”
*What happened to the speaker’s wrath when he admitted it to his friend?
*How did he act differently with his enemy? Why might he have done this?
*What kinds of situations provoke anger in you? Tell about a few.
*How do you generally handle your anger? Explain.
*Read “A Poison Tree” by William Blake. Write an analysis of its meaning.
Tracy, This is Allen.” -“Allen Greshner” by Mel Glenn
*Read poem aloud. Discuss.
*How does Allen feel when he begins the conversation?
*How does he feel when he hangs up the phone?
*Describe Allen, based on the poem. What kind of person do you think he is?
How can you tell?
*What does this poem say about taking risks?
*List 3 risks you take/have taken.
No, I don’t, don’t choke, be cool, sound mature,
Black hole in the universe, nothing ever goes right
For me, alone, relieved,
“Good night.” -“Allen Greshner” by Mel Glenn
*Choose a risk you have taken and develop a poem that imitates Mel Glenn’s
style. (NOTE: The “conversation” line may be an action.)
“At this point, I've got the confidence to know that I'll get through anything in my
life given I have the motivation to do it, ... If it's an act of survival, we've all got a
reason to keep living. It may not be pretty, but surviving is grit and determination
in its highest form. I learned that I've got the capacity to do a hell of a lot more
than I thought I could if I have the proper motivation.”
*Read Ralston’s quote. Do you agree or disagree with Ralston’s statement that
one has the “capacity to do a hell of a lot more” with “the proper motivation”?
Have you ever been in a situation where you have done more than you ever
thought you could?
*Read the article about Ralston from Carnegie Mellon magazine. Then, in writing
discuss how Ralston’s quote applies to his situation. What did you learn about
his personality? What lesson can we learn from his experience?
“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.”
“Good fences make good neighbors.” -Robert Frost
*What do you think the quotes mean (literally and figuratively)?
*List 3 different types of fences. What is the purpose of each fence?
*Write about two experiences when you trusted someone and shouldn’t have.
*Listen to “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost.
*Write two questions that you have about the poem.
*After reading the article, “Do good fences make good neighbors?,” what are
your thoughts? Do they? Why/why not?
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference.” -Robert Frost,
“The Road Not Taken”
*Provide the literal interpretation of the poem. What action is being described?
*What is the choice of a road a symbol for?
*Write about a choice you’ve either made or will make that you know (or strongly
believe) will make a difference in your life.
A. What is the choice?
B. How did/will you make it?
C. What were/will the effects of the decision (be)?
*POEM: “A Lover Not Taken”
“Perfect” – written and performed by Alanis Morisette
*HANDOUT: Lyrics. Listen to the song and read along.
*What is the parental message being sent to the child?
*Select 3-4 interesting lyrical lines. Write the lines and react in writing.
*What emotion(s) does this song evoke in you? Why?
*Paint a picture (in words) of the “perfect” child your parents would like to have.
*Is this description possible for you to achieve? Explain.
“Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home
is, wings to fly away and exercise what’s been taught them.” - Jonas Salk
*Do you agree? Explain.
*What are some qualities of a “good parent”? Write about at least 5 of them.
Explain why you feel each quality is important.
*What effect will the presence of each of these parental qualities have on a
“We know that death is the mother of beauty…” -Robert B. Parker
*Read the full excerpt by Robert B. Parker below.
*Bold and then list the unfamiliar terms. Define each using Dictionary.com.
*What season is being referred to in the quote above?
Explain your reasoning.
*How could death be the “mother of beauty”? Explain.
*Relate the four seasons to stages in a person’s life. Explain each fully.
"Summer in New England is earned. We accomplish it through proud
endurance. And we accept it as proper wage for the winter we have once again
outlasted. Fish are jumping, quail whistle about us, school is out. And while
living may not in fact, be easy, the cinch of limitation is loosened. We know it
will tighten in a while. We know, perhaps better than others, the implacable
alternations of life - in the effulgence of July, we do not forget January. This is
the moral condition of New England. The alternate contraction and relaxation
of our spiritual frame has made us sinewy (and stiff, perhaps). We are grateful.
We do not long for endless summer. We know that death is the mother of
beauty, and we know that only those who have stood beside the frozen water
and shivered in the wind can take full measure of sunlight and locust hum and
fish moving in the deep eddied pools beneath the falls."
-Robert B. Parker
“The measure of a person’s real character is what he would do if he knew he
would never be found out.” -T.J. Macauley
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – M.L.King, Jr.
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character,
give him power.” -Abraham Lincoln
*All three quotes discuss how a person’s character might be measured. Explain
*Do you agree or disagree with each of these quotes? Explain your opinions by
providing examples/situations that either prove or disprove the ideas.
"It is important that people know what you stand for. It’s equally important that
people know what you won't stand for." –Mary Waldrop
*List three things you "stand for" and three things you "won't stand for". (Try not
to flip-flop your lists!) Explain your reasons for each.
*Handout: sample dilemma.
*Create a dilemma (a hypothetical situation that requires a choice between
options that are or seem equally unfavorable) where something you stand for is
being put to the test. Be prepared to share this dilemma with the class.
1) Describe the hypothetical situation, clearly establishing the
conflict in decision making.
2) Outline the possible alternatives to this dilemma.
3) Describe how you would handle the situation. Why?
“In my family, there was never any difference between the women and the men.
My mother said if you can make a dress from a pattern you can make a house.”
-Jane Watson Hopping
*Label two lists: ”Act like a man!” and ”Be ladylike!” List five stereotypical
characteristics for each gender.
*In your family, are there differences in tasks performed by men and women?
Explain. Why do you think these differences exist/don’t exist?
“He ain’t heavy…he’s my brother.” -Spenser,
Early Autumn, p. 94
*HANDOUT: Lyrics. Listen and read along. Discuss.
*What is the meaning of these words as they apply to Spenser and Paul’s
*Discuss (in writing) the extent that someone should go to help someone in
A. What would the relationship have to be?
B. What would be the extent of the “carrying”? Is there a limit?
*Tell about a time when you were “carried” or you “carried” another. Provide
details to make the story come to life.
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings.
Look on my works ye mighty, and despair!” -Percy Bysshe Shelley,
Early Autumn, p. 106-107
*HANDOUT: Read the poem aloud.
*Draw the image presented by this poem.
*Discuss. Establish a theme. What is the author’s message/point about life?
*Do you think it is important to read and learn about the past? Why/why not?
*What might this have to do with Paul? Explain.
* “Peanuts” cartoon
“Can a stranger from one generation say much that is helpful to members of
another generation standing on a different doorstep in time? Just as a life is a
particular life, so a generation lives in its own unique time.” –Bill Moyers
*(As you prepare to graduate from high school,) what kinds of advice would you
want (or have you received) from someone who graduated 30 years earlier?
*Which things have changed the most between your generation and your
parents’ generation? Explain.
*Are some things nearly timeless (remain the same from generation to
*Read Newsweek article, “Voices of a Generation”. In writing, let us hear your
“voice.” Comment in writing on an aspect/concern of your generation.
*Baz Luhrman’s CD. Choose one bit of advice you like. Write it and explain why
you think it’s important to consider.
“If it be now, ‘tis not to come,
if it be not to come, it will be now,
if it be not now, yet it will come,
the readiness is all.” -Hamlet,
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
(Early Autumn, Ch. 26, p. 176-177)
*Interpret Hamlet’s quote.
*Why does Spenser quote Hamlet?
*What stages of life must we be ready for? Explain, discussing at least two
stages. Why must we be ready and how do we prepare?
*Write about a happening that you were either ready or not ready for.
A. If you were ready, how did you prepare?
B. If you were not ready, why?
“I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honor more.” -Richard Lovelace,
“Going to the Wars”
(Early Autumn, Ch. 30, p. 205)
*Define “honor.” Please, select the definition most appropriate to the context.
*Explain how these lines relate to the situation that arose with Harry Cotton.
*HANDOUT: Read “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars.” Discuss its meaning in
*Write about a situation relating to honor, whether it was an honor to do
something, the honoring of another or a promise, or even protecting another’s
“No man is an island, entire of itself;”
*HANDOUT: “No Man is an Island” by John Donne
*Read the passage aloud.
*What points do you think Donne is trying to make?
*Relate this poem to Early Autumn, your life, and society. Explain each.
“Cloudy Days in Tomorrowland” Newsweek, Jan. 27, 1997 issue
*HANDOUT: Read all the false predictions. (Suggestion: Read the author of
the quote first, then the actual quote.)
*Choose one of the predictions you find interesting. Write the prediction and its
author in entirety. Why do you think this person made such a prediction?
*Write a letter (at least two paragraphs) to its author indicating what really
happened in the future. How did his or her prediction prove to be a “wrong call”?
What is life like now in regard to that aspect of life?
*Make a prediction of your own regarding an aspect of society that you feel will
be beneficial to the future of our society. Explain your prediction fully, including
the basis for your prediction and its benefit to society as a whole.
“If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention.” -Anonymous
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the
world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Meade
*How do these two quotes relate to one another? Do you agree with them? Why
or why not?
*Read letters to the editor. List the issues that were addressed in these letters.
For each try to establish the writer’s position on the issue and their motivation for
*Make a list of at least 5 things in school or society (legal rights, social pressures,
etc.) that you feel are unfair or unjust. Explain the reason you’ve listed each
*What are some changes you would make if you could? What are some ways
you could go about this? What is stopping you now?
“The Unknown Citizen” by W.H. Auden
*Read the poem aloud.**
*Why did W.H. Auden select the title that he did? Think of two reasons why it is
an appropriate title for the poem.
*The narrator asks the questions, “Was he free? Was he happy?” and concludes
that the “question is absurd.” How would you answer those questions with
regard to this citizen? Explain your reasoning. Why do you think Auden posed
*The unknown citizen is referred to as JS/07 M 378. In what ways are we
numbered? How many numbers do you have? List as many as you can.
*Write about a time that you were treated as a number rather than as an
individual. What effect did/does this have?
**Eugenist – a specialist in the science of improving the physical and mental qualities of
human beings, through control of the factors influencing heredity.
“The chief lesson of the Depression should never be forgotten. Even our
liberty-loving American people will sacrifice their freedom and their democratic
principles if their security and their very lives are threatened by another
breakdown of our free enterprise system. We can no more afford another
general depression than we can afford another total war, if democracy is to
survive.” -Agnes D. Meyer (1887-1970), U.S. journalist
*Do you agree that people “will sacrifice their freedom and their democratic
principles” for security? Please explain fully.
*What do you feel the three most important values are for a society? Explain
each value’s importance.
*HANDOUT: What has this society given up? What have they gained? Was the
sacrifice worth it?
*Would you want to live in this society? Why or why not?
TO BE USED WITH THE MOVIE: GATTACA
“Consider God’s handiwork: who can straighten what He hath made crooked?”
“I not only think we will tamper with Mother Nature, I think Mother wants us to.”
*Interpret each quote. Then, react to each author’s message.
*Make a list of ways man attempts to “tamper with Mother Nature.”
*Do you feel there should be a limit to the amount of interference from man?
“I take it that the good of mankind means the attainment, by every man,
of all the happiness which he can enjoy without diminishing the happiness
of his fellow men.” - Thomas Henry Huxley
“The unexamined life is not worth living for man.” - Socrates
*Interpret each quote.
*Which quote do you most agree with? Explain.
*What do you believe are the keys to a life “lived to the fullest”? List the
three most important elements and explain each of your choices.
*After reading “Jack or Jill?” list 5 main points of the article. The author concludes, “It
is not a world most of us would want to live in.” Would you? Explain. What do you
see as advantages/disadvantages of this type of society?
“Approximately 7 million American children live in a home with an
alcoholic parent.” -Statistic reported by The American Academy
of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
*React to this information. What do you think about this statistic? What
questions do you have now related to this information (at least two)?
*List and then write about at least 4 effects this living situation might have on a
child. Explain each fully.
*HANDOUT: Read the short article. Were there items mentioned that you
did/didn’t think about? In writing, compare and contrast your list with the one
“To receive a present handsomely, and in the right spirit, even when you have
none to give in return, is to give one in return.” -Leigh Hunt
*Interpret the quote’s meaning.
*Comment on/React to either of the incidents involving gifts that Ellen gave or
received in the reading last night (pages 27-28 or 32).
*Write about an incident involving a gift. Maybe you remember someone being
especially glad to receive a present, or maybe you’ve received a present you
were especially happy about. It may even be a gift that disappointed you in
some way. Write about the gift, people involved, under what circumstances the
gift was given, and how it was received.
“The Bustle in the House” by Emily Dickinson
*HANDOUT: What is the situation that the poem depicts?
*What words might be substituted for “heart” and “love”?
*What ideas about death are suggested in the last two lines?
“from IN MEMORIAM” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
*HANDOUT: What is the situation that the poem depicts?
*Underline all the words that denote sadness or negativity. Write them.
*What view of life and death is reflected in the last stanza?
*Read the OBASAN passage below. Draw the image that is reflected in this
passage. Select one line from the passage and discuss it in writing.
PASSAGE from OBASAN by Joy Kogawa
Megumi Naomi Nakane is a schoolteacher whose uncle has just died and who is
thinking about her loss, as well as the loss of her mother when she was young.
“What stillness in this predawn hour. The air is cold. In all our life of
preparation we are unprepared for this new hour filled with emptiness. How thick
the darkness behind which hides the animal cry. I know what is there, hidden
from my stare. Grief’s weeping. Deeper emptiness.
Grief wails like a scarecrow in the wild night, beckoning the wind to clothe
his gaunt shell. With his outstretched arms he is gathering eyes for his disguise.
I had not known that Grief had such gentle eyes – reflecting my uncle’s eyes, my
mother’s eyes, all the familiar eyes of Love that are not his and that he dons as a
mask and a mockery.
This body of grief is not fit for human habitation. Let there be flesh. The
song of mourning is not a lifelong song” (295).
“Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts.”
*Interpret the meaning of this quote.
*Read The Lamp editorial, “What Have We Become?”
- In writing, react to this challenge.
- Could HCRHS students and staff meet this challenge? Explain.
- Could you? Why/why not? Explain fully.
*Write about an experience, happy or unhappy, in which words made a deep
impression on you or someone you know. These words may be advice,
reminders, words that have encouraged you or words that have hurt you,
arguments, apologies, or words spoken that you regret or simply remember. Use
details to bring the situation to life.
*Read the assigned section of the article, “Right Words, Right Time”. Write about
how words affected each of these well-known people. What words were
spoken (Use quote(s) as support)? Why? By whom? What impact did they
*Look back in Ch. 10-11, Ellen Foster, and select two quotes spoken to Ellen by
mama’s mama that you feel made a deep impression on her. Write the quoted
excerpts and discuss (in writing) how these words do and/or will affect Ellen.
“All of life is a coming home.” -Robin Williams,
in character as Patch Adams
*Read the excerpt below. What is meant by “All of life is a coming home”?
*Where is “home” for you now? Describe it. Who is there?
*Where do you think your “home” will be someday? Describe it.
*How might this quote relate to Ellen Foster? Explain fully.
“All of life is a coming home. For salesmen, for secretaries, coal miners,
beekeepers, sword swallowers – all of us. All the restless hearts of the
world, all trying to find a way home. It’s hard to describe what I felt like
then. Picture yourself walking for days in a driving snow. You don’t even
know you’re walking in circles. The heaviness of your legs and the drifts.
Your shouts disappearing into the wind. How small you can feel, and how
far away home can be.”
“Home – the dictionary defines it as both a place of origin and a goal or
destination. And the storm – the storm was all in my mind. Or as the poet
Dante put it – ‘In the middle of the journey of my life, I found myself in a
dark wood, for I had lost the right path.’ Eventually I would find the right
path but in the most unlikely place.”
-Robin Williams as Patch Adams
“Praise: something a person tells you about yourself that you suspected all
“I have always said that if I were a rich man, I would employ a professional
praiser.” -S.O. Stilwell
*How do you react to praise?
*What’s the best praise you’ve ever received? (Maybe it wasn’t words.)
*What’s the best praise you’ve ever given?
“There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.”
“There Was A Child Went Forth” by Walt Whitman
*HANDOUT. Read the entire poem.
*What is Walt Whitman’s message to us?
*What are some specific influences being described here? What is it that the
author tells you the child sees? How do you think these will affect the child?
*Write about two early childhood influences of your own. Who/what
were they and what impact did they have on you? How do you think you have
been affected by this setting, person, experience, etc.?
*Tell about a favorite childhood memory or a memory that you are certain will “go
forth every day” with you.
sow – an adult female swine (pig)
mire – wet, spongy earth
esculent - edible
gainsay’d – denied, contradicted or opposed
facades – the front of a building; the face of a building
wharves – docks; structure built at an angle from the shore to allow ships
to receive and discharge cargo and passengers
aureola – a radiant light; radiance
schooner – sailing vessel
strata – layer of atmosphere
“Even if someone doesn’t treat you with the respect you deserve, you can give
them the respect they don’t.” -Sharon Martin
*What is your reaction to the message of this quote?
*Tell about an instance where respect became an issue, whether it was an
example of a mutual respect that was built or an instance illustrating disrespect.
Why did it happen? What were the consequences? What did you learn from the
*Describe three things you could do to be a more respectful person. How would
that affect your relationships with others? How does it benefit you to be a
“And as I grow older
And there’s so much that I do not know
I’m drawn to those who are bolder
And go where no one dare to go.” -Jeffrey Gaines,
“Hero In Me”
*HANDOUT: Lyrics. Listen and read along.
*Work with a partner: #1 - Visually represent ( draw) the person as he/she is
described in the chorus (as the hero in his
dreams – “I”).
#2 - Visually represent (draw) each person as they’re
described in the rest of the song (“he/she/they”).
*Interpret the meaning of this song. What is the writer’s point about life?
*Develop own chorus filling in the blanks (on the lyric sheet). Do not share your
ideas. These will be read aloud to see if we can guess who the writer is.
“Without memory, there is no healing.”
“Without forgiveness, there is no future.”
-Archbishop Desmond Tutu
*Explain each quote.
*Choose one of these quotes and apply it to your own life in the form of an
*HANDOUT. Read the excerpt describing Archbishop Desmond Tutu. How do
these quotes apply to his situation in South Africa. React (in writing) to the
*Apartheid – a policy of racial segregation once practiced in South Africa
*Amnesty – a general pardon granted by a government, especially for
“Babies of all nations are alike until adults teach them.” – Mauree Applegate
*Do you agree? Why/why not?
*Develop 3 lists: 1) List some important things your parents taught you.
2) List some things your parents taught you that you now
question or reject.
3) List some important things you will teach your children
*Comment on the similarities/differences between lists. Why do they exist?
“Humor is falling down the stairs if you do it while telling someone else not to.”
*Do you agree? Explain.
*Provide 3 more examples of humor (Classroom appropriate, please).
Start each example with “Humor is…”
*Tell about a situation where finding the humor in a situation made it bearable or
where humor came at an inappropriate time.
*One study showed that “by the time a child reaches kindergarten, he/she
laughs about 300 times a day. In contrast, the typical adult laughs seventeen
times a day.” Why do you think such a large disparity exists?
“Advice is like snow, the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon and deeper it
sinks into the mind.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
*Explain this quote.
*Are you willing to take advice or do you seem to learn everything by your own
*What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
*Write about a time that your advice was either accepted or rejected by
someone. What was the result? How did you feel?
*What advice would you give to the main character in the novel you are now
“When I am an old woman I shall…” – “Warning” by Jenny Joseph
*HANDOUT: Read “Hey, Doc, I Still Have A Lot of Living to Do”.
*List 3 experiences that Sylvia had and 3 that she’d still like to have.
*HANDOUT: Read “Warning” by Jenny Joseph.
*List 8 appropriate actions or behaviors that you can’t or won’t do now because
of your age.
*List 3 responsibilities you currently have.
*Write your own version of the poem. Choose 5 actions/behaviors you listed and
elaborate on them – “When I am an old woman/man I shall…”
“One of the most important things we can give someone is mental elbow room –
the mental room for the other person to be his or her unique self, without
constant judgment from us.” – C.S.M.
*Do you ever feel like you are being judged? By whom? Explain. If not, explain.
*Why do people judge others? Is it necessary? Explain.
*VIDEO CLIP: 20/20 Jessica Parks story. Write a reaction to this clip.
*HANDOUT: Read “It’s OK to Be Different.” Write a reaction to this article.
“O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris
From off the battlements of yonder tower,” -Juliet’s lines,
Romeo and Juliet,
Act 4, Scene 1
*What action does Juliet hate?
*What alternative does she suggest?
*Make a list of 5 “things” you hate to do.
*HANDOUT: Full passage of Juliet’s lines. Read and discuss.
*Choose one of the items listed as something you hate to do. Write it.
*Then, make a list of 10 outrageously exaggerated, appropriate alternatives.
*Fit into Shakespearean format.
“shapeshifter poems” by Lucille Clifton
*HANDOUT. Read the poem aloud.
*What do you think the “shapeshifter” is? Write a one-paragraph
summary/interpretation of the poem, using specifics from
the poem as support. (It may help to interpret the poem stanza by stanza.)
*Fold a blank sheet of paper in fourths. Develop a visual representation of each
“In the eyes of its mother every beetle is a gazelle.” -Moroccan proverb
*Explain this proverb in your own words.
*Do you agree? Why/why not?
*Develop an American proverb that establishes the same meaning.
“In the eyes of its mother, every ___________________ is a ______________.”
“Service* is the rent each of us pays for living—the very purpose of life and not
something you do in your spare time or after you have reached your personal
goals.” -M.W. Edelman
*NOTE: Service means volunteering, helping without pay.
*Do you agree with this sentiment? Explain.
*If you are already serving your school, church, or community, explain what you
do and why you do it.
*If you’re not involved yet, what types of service do you think you could do?
What would your ideal service job be? Describe it in detail.
"Hero worship is greatest when there
is least regard for human freedom."
*What is your interpretation of this quote?
*Do you agree or disagree? Why? Provide an example to illustrate your
*Read "Heroes" by E. Albert Guest. *Define unfamiliar terms – censure,
undaunted, laurel, toilers.
*List all the traits and actions of a hero described by E. Albert Guest.
“Speaking: The Hero” – Felix Pollak
*What qualities or events usually make a person a war hero?
*Read this poem a few times.
*Who is “I”? Who are “They”?
*What do you think Felix Pollak is saying about heroism? Cite
specific lines to support your point.
*Using the enlarged print copy of the poem, cut out all the “I” lines
and glue them in order to make one poem. Then, take all the “They”
lines and create a second poem. You should be left with only the
title (“Speaking: The Hero”) and one “My” line. You decide which
poem they fit with and glue them accordingly.
*Read each newly created poem. How do these contrasting poems
(statements) reveal the different values of “I” and “They” and “My”?
“Baba O’Riley” – “Teenage Wasteland”
By Pete Townshend, The Who
*Listen and read along to “Baba O’Riley”.
*Define “wasteland”. Copy both definitions.
*What do you think the expression “teenage wasteland” is referring to?
*Select 2 – 3 lines to support your interpretation. Explain.
*What misunderstanding occurs with regard to the song title in the Ann Tyler
*Why do you think Ann Tyler used this as the title to her short story?
“Giving yourself your word ought to be no less sacred than giving your word to
others.” -Andre Gide
*In the spirit of New Years 2006, reveal at least one thing you’re giving your word
to do (a.k.a. – New Year’s resolution).
*Discuss your history in carrying through with resolutions for the new year. Are
they difficult or easy for you to accomplish? Explain.
*Do you agree with Andre Gide? Why/why not? Provide an example to support
“That government is best which governs least.”
- Henry David Thoreau
*What does this quote mean?
*Do you agree or disagree with this quote. Explain your answer.
* How does this quote relate to Into the Wild?
“That’s power right there, if we know how to pool it.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
*Read the article, “That’s Power, Right There.”
*What is Dr. King suggesting people do instead of being violent?
*Do you think his advice is still relevant today?
What groups that share interests are you a part of?
*What issues do you think teens as a group should stand united on?
*Complete the “Say It Loud, Say It Proud” worksheet.
“Honesty is the best policy in international relations, interpersonal relations, labor,
business, education, family and crime control because truth is the only thing that
works and the only foundation on which lasting relations can build.”
*Do you agree? Is the truth as important as Ramsey Clark says it is? Why/why
*Are you always honest? Explain.
*When is it “okay” to lie? When is it not okay? Provide examples to support your
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always
do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
*Who in your life helps you believe in yourself? Write abouit this person and how
he or she affects you. Or maybe you are the hero to someone younger. Explain
the ways in which you encourage him or her.
“To have one’s individuality completely ignored is like being pushed quite out of
life. Like being blown out as one blows out a light.” -Evelyn Scott
*Has anyone ever caused you to feel as if you weren’t even there, as if your
needs or wishes or plans didn’t even exist?
*How can each of us make sure that we don’t treat another person like this?
“The high school student is nagged until he declares what he wants to do when
he grows up. The teenager who knows that much about himself (or herself) is
one in a thousand. The rest pretend they know; and from that moment are
channeled toward a life which they may not discover to be the wong one until
they are middle-aged.” - Mark VanDoren
*What do you want to be when you grow up?
*Do you know any people (middle-aged) who have changed occupations/careers
through the years?
“I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might
have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone
recognized wiser than oneself.” – Marlene Dietrich
You have read and responded to many quotations during this semester. Look
back in this section of your binder or simply scroll through the Quote Collection
and select your favorite quote. It may be the quote you found most interesting,
inspiring, or the one you felt most comfortable responding to.
Copy and paste the quote and name its author. Tell why it is your favorite
one, what meaning you derive from it, and how it relates to your life.
“Games provide rules and create an artificial reassuring order. If nobody can
quite figure out how to do it in real life, everyone knows how to do it in games.”
*What is it?
*Explain the meaning of this quote.
*Name a game you either enjoyed or still enjoy playing.
a) How did you learn the rules?
b) Why is/was it fun to play?
*How might a person view life as “one big game?” Do you? Explain.
“Patience is the art of doing something in the meantime.” -Anonymous
“Patience is out of place in the quicksand.” -D.D. Runes
*How do we know if a situation calls for patience or action? Explain fully.
*Describe an incident from your life that involved patience.
a) Where were you? Who else was there?
b) Why did you have to be patient?
c) How did you handle it?
d) What did you do “in the meantime”?
“A wrongdoer is often a person who has left something undone, not always that
he has done something.” -Marcus Aurelius
*Explain this quote in your own words.
*Provide an example of the wrong done by someone who neglected or chose not
to do something.
*Can “not doing” be as harmful as “doing”? How? Why?
*HANDOUT: Read the Kitty Genovese story. What are your thoughts after
reading her story?
“I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.” -William Ernest Henley
*HANDOUT (poem and biography): “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.
*Explain how this poem may be interpreted as an anthem (a hymn of praise or
loyalty) for Chris McCandless (Into the Wild) and/or Richard Pine (“Survivor
Type”). Refer to specific words/phrases from the poem in your answer.
*Name a song, film, poem, quote/expression, or novel, which you feel in
some way represents yourself or your generation. Explain.
“I’ve never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is
only a temporary situation.” -Mike Todd
*Explain this quote. Expand your understanding to the author’s message about
*Think of circumstances in your life that can be viewed in two ways. Write about
3 or 4 of them using the quote above as a model.
“I’ve never been __________, only _____________.”
*Video clip. Listen and take notes. Comment in writing on at least one point
made by Neale Donald Walsch.
“Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.” - Spanish proverb
*Explain the proverb in your own words.
*Do you have any “cobwebs” or “cables” in your closet? Explain and describe.
*List as many habits as you can. Which do you feel are the most difficult to
*Choose a proverb. Copy the proverb and its cultural origin. Interpret the
meaning of the proverb. Develop an open-ended question related to it to present
to the class or apply it to a real-life event in the form of an example.
“Every sort of mastery is an increase of one’s freedom.” -H. F. Amiel
“Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you will always find someone else
to do it for you.” -Mark Twain
*Explain each quote.
*What kinds of mastery could increase one’s freedom? Write about a few. How?
*How might Twain’s advice be sound counsel (good advice)? Provide an
*Which quote is most in keeping with your personality? Explain.
“ ‘There’ is no better than ‘here’. When your ‘there’ has become a ‘here’, you will
obtain another ‘there’ that will again look better than your ‘here’. “
“Rules for Being Human”
*Explain this quote in your own words.
*Provide a couple examples that would illustrate this quote.
*HANDOUT: Ann Landers’ article.
*After reading “Rules for Being Human”, choose one of the rules to comment on
in writing. It may be the one that you can apply to your life or one you strongly
disagree with. Write the quote and tell why you chose it. Establish some kind of
personal connection in your writing.
“Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.”
(Early Autumn, Ch. 27, p. 182)
*HANDOUT: “Sonnet: 73”
*Circle all end punctuation (periods).
*Underline the last word in each line.
*Label the rhyme scheme. (abab)
*Understanding that this is a metaphor about a stage in a person’s life:
With your group members, analyze the metaphor being used in your set of
A. Draw a picture of what is being described.
B. What stage of life might this represent? Explain, using text as support.
C. Who is “thou” in the poem? Explain.
“When you grow up you realize that there isn’t really any Santa but the monsters
are still around. If only they were big and hairy; now they’re just dark and
amorphous, and they’re no longer afraid of the light. Sometimes they’re the guy
who climbs in the window and takes your television. And sometimes they’re the
guy who walks out the front door with your heart in his hand and never comes
back. And sometimes they’re the job or the bank or the wife or the boss or just
that sort of dark heavy feeling that sits between your shoulder blades like a
backpack. There are always terrible things waiting to grab you by the ankle, to
pull you under, to get you with their long, horrible arms. And you lie in bed and
look at the shadows on the ceiling and feel, under the covers, just for a moment,
like you’re safe. One more day alive.”
*What message is Anna Quindlen presenting to the reader?
*React to the quote. What do you think about it? Do you
*Write about a couple childhood fears and how you dealt with them.
How did others (parents, older siblings, etc.) react to your fears?
*What fears (worries, concerns) do you have now? How do you deal
with them? Do you share your fears with others? Why/why not?
*Do you agree with Spenser’s comments to Paul about fear? (bottom of p. 81.
& top of p. 165) Explain.