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Journal Writing for a Grade


									                            Journal Writing for a Grade
  “If you write a hundred short stories and they‟re all bad, that doesn‟t mean you have
                failed. You fail only if you stop writing.” Ray Bradbury

People are increasingly interested in recording their thoughts and feelings. It is estimated
that there are 12 million journals and diaries sold a year that reflects this writing trend.
Journals have played an important role in our understanding of history. From cave
dwellers‟ scratchings in stone to the invention of parchment paper to the beginnings of
formal education, the instinct to write, to document, to tell has been strong.

England‟s Samuel Peyps kept his diary in code in the 16th century to ensure secrecy,
which it did for more than 150 years after his death. Leonardo da Vinci wrote upside-
down and backward, and had to look at his journal entries in a mirror to read them.

Journals kept by members of the Lewis and Clark expedition have been an important
source of information on their discoveries. Women’s Diaries of the Western Journey by
Lillian Schlissel reveals the unique experiences of women on the American frontier. A
journal or diary can be a factual record or a free-flowing exploration of thoughts,
feelings, ideas and reactions – or a combination of both. For May Sarton, who published
several of her private journals, the journal became a habit, a way of restoring “a sense of
meaning and continuity” to her life.

Dr. R. Chris Martin, psychologist and professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas
City, MO, suggests keeping journals for different facets of life – school, job, emotional,
relationship, family, Valentine‟s Day, Christmas, etc. That way, it‟s easy to see change
and growth in specific parts of your life.

“Journals – especially these specific journals – capture moments in time and include
memories not even a camera can capture,” says Sara Engber, a product manager at
Hallmark. “We know that people treasure these journals and consider them important
keepsakes that are read and passed on along with photo albums and baby books.”

Good writing skills are essential for effective communication. Learning to write well
takes time and practice. For more information on basic writing skills go to: or

In the very interesting book The Einstein Factor, Win Wenger and Richard Poe relate
some of the advantages of writing on improvement of intelligence and thinking skills:
        One sign of genius, Cox noted, was a penchant for eloquently recording thoughts
        and feelings in diaries, poems, and letters to friends and family, starting from an
        early age. Cox observed this tendency not only in budding writers, but in
        generals, statesmen, and scientists.
        A casual trip to the library will Cox‟s findings. It has been established that fewer
        than 1% of the population habitually engages in writing out their thoughts,
       experiences, and perceptions, whether in journals, diaries, letters, or books. But,
       with startling consistency, the world‟s top achievers seem to fall in that critical
       At the library, you will notice the vastly disproportionate amount of
       autobiographical material written and published by history‟s most gifted men and
       women down through the centuries, among them Benjamin Franklin‟s famous
       Autobiography, Einstein‟s Autobiographical Notes, and Leonardo da Vinci‟s
       voluminous Notebooks, filled with sketches, diagrams, and cryptic writing.
       Thomas Edison produced some 3 million pages of notes and letters before he died
       in 1931. The question is, does genius lead to scribbling, or does scribbling lead to
       Why did these gifted men and women start keeping diaries in the first place? Was
       it because they knew in advance that they would someday be famous and wanted
       to leave behind a record for future historians? Was their writing simply an
       irrelevant by-product of a highly expressive mind – or a highly inflated ego? Or –
       and this is the point I will argue here – was the scribbling, in and of itself, a
       mechanism by which people who were not born geniuses unconsciously nurtured
       and activated a superior intellect?

A review of The Einstein Factor can be found at:

Students who wish to take this class and earn 1/2 credit (.5) can do so only with
the recommendation of their teacher; as it was developed for students looking for
an academic challenge.

      Students who wish to earn an A must write/comment in 40 of the 75 quotes listed
      Students who wish to earn a B must write/comment on 30 of the 75 quotes listed

In writing/commenting about the quotes you choose, you must write between 50 – 100
words. Write/comment on the quote as it relates to you, your family, community, or
friends. Written comments must be done using Microsoft Word and be in 12 font New
Times Roman or Ariel Black. When finished a parent must review and sign your
work. Place your completed papers into a 3 ring binder, make a copy for your records,
and send the original to:
                        Monroe Virtual Middle School
                       801 32nd Ave
                       Monroe, WI 53566
                                Approved Quotes

   A farmer went to the nest of his goose to see whether she had laid an egg. To his
    surprise he found, instead of an ordinary egg, an egg of solid gold. Seizing the
    golden egg, he rushed to the house in great excitement to show it to his wife.
    Every day thereafter the goose laid an egg of pure gold. But as the farmer grew
    rich he grew greedy. And thinking that if he killed the goose he could have all her
    treasure at once, he cut her open only to find – nothing at all. -Aesop‟s Fables

   “Constant effort and frequent mistakes are the stepping stones of genius.”
    -Elbert Hubbard

   “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
    -Thomas Edison

   “What you can do, or dream you can begin it; Boldness has genius, power and
    magic in it.” -Goethe

   “Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.”
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

   “Everyone is a genius at least once a year; a real genius has his original ideas
    closer together.” -G.C. Lichtenberg

   “Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.” -Dr. E. Land, Inventor of
    Polaroid Camera

   “It isn‟t that they can‟t see the solution. It is that they can‟t see the problem.”
    -G.K. Chesterton

   “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
    - Franklin D. Roosevelt

   “Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five. The reason is
    that very few people do anything creative before the age of thirty-five”
    - Joel Hildebrand

   “Don‟t mess with me, Rivers. I have an IQ of 160. –Reggie Jackson
    “Jackson you can‟t even spell IQ.” -Mickey Rivers

   “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” -Mark Twain

   “A man without imagination is like a bird without wings.: -William Raabe
   “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows
    up.” –Pablo Picasso

   “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” -Dolly Parton

   “If people know what they had to do to be successful, most people couldn‟t.”
    -Lord Thomson of Fleet

   “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn‟t seem so
    wonderful at all.” -Michelangelo

   “In the Republic of Mediocrity, genius is dangerous.” -Robert Ingersoll

   “When I sit down at my writing desk, time seems to vanish. I think it‟s a
    wonderful way to spend ones life.” -Erica Joxey

   “Failure is just another way to learn how to do something right.”
    -Marian Wright Edelman

   “All the fun is in how you say a thing.” -Robert Frost

    “A man would do well to carry a pencil in his pocket, and write down the
    thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most
    valuable, and should be secured, because they seldom return.” -Francis Bacon

   “When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign; that
    the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” -Jonathan Swift

   “What luck for rulers that men do not think.” -Adolf Hitler

   “A man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.” -Mark Twain

   “I don‟t want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth, even
    if it costs them their jobs.” -Samuel Goldwyn

   “An expert is a man who has stopped thinking. Why should he think? He is an
    expert.” -Frank Lloyd Wright

    “Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I will give you a man who will make
    history. Give me a man without a goal, and I will give you a stock clerk.” -J.C.

   “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” -Henry David Thoreau
   “The world is full of willing people. Some willing to work, the rest willing to let
    them.” -Robert Frost

   “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” -John Wooden

   “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” -Paul Valery

   Common sense is not very common. –Latin Proverb

   “The realization that there are other points of view is the beginning of wisdom.”
    -Charles Campbell

   “The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the
    other three, he was a genius.” -Sid Caesar

   “It‟s them who take advantage that get the advantage in this world.”
    -George Eliot

   If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take
    an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart.

   “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because
    then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.
    –Dr. David M. Burns

   “Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.”
    -David McCullough

   “Nothing changes your opinion of a friend so surely as success – yours or his.”
    -Franklin P. Jones

   “I don‟t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please
    everybody.” -Bill Cosby

   “You see things as they are and ask why? But I dream things that never were and
    ask why not?” -George Bernard Shaw

   “Blow, blow thou winter wind. Thou art not so unkind, as man‟s ingratitude.”
    -William Shakespeare

   „My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that
    „achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done
    the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that‟s nice, too, but
    not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about
    success.‟” -Helen Hayes
   “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
    -Sir Winston Churchill

   “To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.”
    -Bertrand Russell

   “Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.” -H.L. Menchen

   “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.” -Spinoza

   “Those are my principles, and if you don‟t like them… well, I have others.”
    -Groucho Marx

   “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” William Shakespeare

   “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
    -Sir Winston Churchill

   “In peace there‟s nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility.”
    -William Shakespeare

   “At 20 years old age the will reigns, at 30 the wit, at 40 the judgment.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

   “He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.” -Benjamin Franklin

   “Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.”
    -George Bernard Shaw

   “You‟re alive. Do something. The directive in life, the moral imperative was so
    uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It
    sounded like this: Look. Listen. Choose. Act.” -Barbara Hall

   “Life is what happens to you while you‟re busy making other plans.”
    -John Lennon

   “Life is something that everyone should try at least once.” -Henry J. Tillman

   “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than
    any one thing.” -Abraham Lincoln

   “A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”
    -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
   “If winning isn‟t everything why do they keep score?” -Vince Lombardi

   You can be happy if you know this secret: Some things are within your power to
    control and some things are not. –Epicetus

   “If you are bored with life, if you don‟t get up in the morning with a burning
    desire to do things – you don‟t have enough goals.” -Lou Holtz

   “Every negative event contains within it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

   “I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what
    can‟t be done.” -Henry Ford

   “Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.” -Richard Bach

   “Create your future from your future not your past.” -Werner Erhard

   “Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making
    excuses.” -George Washington Carver

   “It‟s time to start living the life you‟ve imagined.” -Henry James

   “If a man for whatever reason has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he
    has no right to keep it to himself.” -Jacques-Yves Cousteau

   “It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try
    to help another without helping himself.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

   “Never promise more than you can perform.” -Publilius Syrus

   “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller

   “If I am through learning, I am through.” -John Wooden

   “Doing more of what doesn‟t work won‟t make it work any better.”
    -Charles Givens

   “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” -Aldous Huxley

   “None of us can change our yesterdays, but all of us can change our tomorrows.”
    -Colin Powell

   “You are the same today as you‟ll be in five years except for two things, the
    books you read and the people you meet.” -Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

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