Rules are what makes art beautiful.

“There’s a tendency to think that art is finally the place where there are no rules, where you have complete freedom. I’m going to sit down at the keyboard and it’s just going to flow out of me onto the paper and it’s going to be pure art.–No! What you are describing is finger painting. Rules are what makes art beautiful.”

-Aaron Sorkin

Fall Musicals 2016-17 [Bonus]

Some of the high schools in this area put on some very impressive productions, providing great opportunities for students to see great musicals acted out by their cohorts at what is usually a fraction of the price. High School students in English 1, English 2, English 3, and High School Reading can attend any of the following performances for bonus points. More

Classroom Library [Bonus]

img_20160925_134726267I added over fifty books to the classroom library this summer; now it’s your turn! Students in English I, English II, English III, and High School Reading can turn in books from the independent reading list for bonus points. Each book is worth five bonus points and students can turn in up to two books per quarter.

Keep in mind that the point is to donate books that either (1) you already own or (2) you find really cheap somewhere. I do not recommend that you go out and buy a new copy of the book simply to donate as that might be quite expensive. Instead, keep your eyes open for cheap copies or if there is a book you really want to read, buy it, then donate it when you are through.

I almost always find a handful of books from the list when I visit any thrift store. When I visit the Goodwill in Ozark, I sometimes buy books for the library myself, but if I bought them all, I would spend hundreds of dollars of my own money. So often I move them to the top shelf all the way to the left to make them easier for my students to find. I put half a dozen books from the list there yesterday, for instance.

The point of this bonus is two-fold: (1) it helps familiarize students with titles and authors on the list and (2) it helps build up our classroom library, which makes it easier for all students to find books on the list.

If you have questions, let me know.

What I Said When They Came for The Handmaid’s Tale

“I had the chance, once, to put my money where my mouth was. It was an experience not unlike being woken in the middle of the night by a foreign noise in your home and having only seconds to decide whether you will grab the baseball bat from the corner and walk toward the sound or hide in the closet instead….”

Read the full article by Josh Cornman here.

Why Talk to Anybody at All?


This quote from Martha Speaks struck me as having profound implications outside the dog world for some reason: “If you can’t trust what a dog tells you about dogs, why talk to a dog at all?” I mean, why talk to anyone at all when you put it that way, right? When we think about this in terms of writing, it puts forth interesting questions about trust, credibility, honesty, and the value of essays and literature.