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Altadena Poetry Review

Altadena Poetry Newsletter April 24, 2015
Poetry Event Calendar


Please join our Altadena Poetry Discussion Group on Facebook

This Facebook Group is simply for sharing Altadena Poetry related material that does not belong in the Event Calendar (is not an announcement of an event with date, time and place).

Postings may include poems and commentary, suggestions of events to determine interest and demand or anything else of general interest to the Altadena poetry community. This is a closed group. Simply go to the Altadena Poetry Discussion Facebook page and request membership.



This Saturday is Altadena’s biggest poetry day of the year: formerly Poetry & Cookies, now
The Altadena Poetry Review

http://www.altadenalibrary.org/sites/altadenalibrary.org/files/styles/scale_and_crop_680x300/public/images/featured/Slider_Poetry%20%26%20Cookies%202015.jpg?itok=SiOjqT9VSaturday, April 25th, 2 to 4 pm
Publication reading for the Altadena
Poetry Review hosted by Thelma T. Reyna at the Altadena Senior Center

See Full press release

This will also be the debut reading of our new ALTADENA POETRY REVIEW: ANTHOLOGY 2015, which will be available for purchase at a discounted price. Anyone buying 3 or more copies of the book will receive the special event price of $10/book. Otherwise, we’ll offer the book for $12, an event special.
Best of all, a number of our published poets will have their other books and materials on display as well, and we can purchase their items as our support for one another.
Thelma ReynaPLEASE BRING YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, COLLEAGUES WITH YOU! The more, the merrier! It’s still free to the public. We’d love to meet you and meet your guests, too. And thanks for posting this on your social media sites, in emails, etc. WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORTIVENESS OF POETRY.


Here are some highlights of this new anthology:
–It is about 180 pages long, the longest anthology we’ve had thus far.
–The physical format of the book, as the attached images show, has been changed to what is called a “perfect bound trade book.”
–The book is now listed and displayed on www.amazon.com , so it is now available worldwide, a first for our local anthology.
–The book includes a blurb, or testimonial, from the U.S. Inaugural Poet (the fifth in our nation’s history), Richard Blanco. Part of the blurb is on the front cover and the longer version is on an inside page of the book. This is the first time that we’ve had a world-famous poet write a blurb for us.
–The 60 published poets represent the largest group of published poets we’ve had in the Poetry & Cookies program, and the most multiculturally diverse group of writers as well, truly representative of the richly-woven cultural tapestry that is Altadena and our surrounding area.
The cover price of this thought-provoking book is $14.95 + tax (for a total of $16.33). However, you, as our core group of Altadena/Pasadena/LA area poets, former Poetry & Cookies contributors, and supporters, CAN PRE-ORDER AS MANY COPIES AS YOU WISH FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY AT THE DISCOUNTED PRICE OF ONLY $10 each, INCLUDING TAX. Please reply to this email with your order and mail a check payable as follows, to this address:

Golden Foothills Press
1443 E. Washington Blvd., #232
Pasadena, CA 91104
YOUR WINDOW OF PRE-ORDERING RUNS FROM TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY, APRIL 18. The special price will jump to $12 until the public reading event the following week. After the event, the book will only be available at the cover price.

Thank you very much for your supportiveness! We truly value your commitment to our community’s fostering of poetry throughout the years and look forward to more years of showcasing the talents of our neighbors, colleagues, and friends. Best wishes to each of you!
Sincerely,
Thelma T. Reyna
Editor


Sun, April 26, 4:30 pm
Poetry Feature with Los Angeles Poet Society/Jessica Wilson Cardenas and Bolton Hall reading series
McGroarty Arts Center, 7570 McGroarty Terrace, Tujunga, CA



Sunday April 26 4:30 pm
Westside Women Writers (Millicent Borges Accardi, Georgia Jones-Davis, Lois P. Jones, Susan Rogers, Maja Trochimczyk, Sonya Sabanac, Madeleine Butcher)

Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Ave., Tujunga, CA 91042. Poets are welcome to sign-up for the open reading upon arrival. A $3.00 donation is appreciated! http://www.villagepoets.blogspot.com


May 4, 6-7pm 5:30
POETS & ALLIES FOR RESISTANCE!! A Monthly Poetry Event Focusing on Social Justice Issues

Bring 1-2 poems about Social Justice or come to listen!
Information about upcoming protests and actions will be available

The Sidewalk Cafe
2057 N Los Robles (at Woodbury)
Altadena, Ca 91001

(Regular event: the 1st Monday of each month)

More info:
Khadija Anderson 206-551-2567


SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2015, 4:30-6:30 P.M.
The Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga are delighted to announce that Brenda Petrakos and Marlene Hitt will be the featured poets at their upcoming Monthly Reading Series, Sunday, May 24, 2015, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Ave., Tujunga, CA 91042. Poets are welcome to sign-up for the open reading upon arrival. Light refreshments will be served – a $3.00 donation is appreciated! Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga: http://www.villagepoets.blogspot.com
.



Los Angeles Poet Society Calendar
http://poeticfool.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/lapshandfeather.jpg




Poetrix Calendar
Poetix Poetry calendar for Southern California
Please send your listings to calendar@poetix.net prior to the 15th of the preceding month. We will do our best to post on time if you get them to us on time.


Quill and Parchment
Quill & Parchment is on the lookout for new writers with not only a story, but with the voice to articulate that story. We are currently seeking submissions of poetry, as well as shorter fiction and non-fiction. We regret that due to space limitations, not all submissions can be published. We may save some pieces for publication at a later time.
All submissions should be cut and pasted into the body of the email and sent to:
alittlehawk@aol.com



Saturday Afternoon Poetry
Meets EVERY Saturday in the backroom of the Santa Catalina Branch of the Pasadena Public Library on 999 E. Washington Blvd. between 3pm and 5pm unless otherwise indicated.

Schedule:

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY POETRY FESTIVAL EVENTS

Saturday, April 25th, 2 to 4 pm – Publication reading for the Altadena
Poetry Review hosted by Thelma T. Reyna at the Altadena Senior Center

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, May 2nd, 3 to 5 pm – Deep Poetry Critique Workshop

Saturday, May 9th, 3 to 5 pm – Featured: ED ROSENTHAL, MAJA TROCHIMCZYK &
LUIS VILLALOBOS + Open Reading

Saturday, May 16th, 3 to 5 pm – Emerging Urban Poets Writing Workshop

Saturday, May 23rd, 3 to 5 pm – Deep Poetry Critique Workshop

Saturday, May 30th, 3 to 5 pm – Featured: Poets published in SGVPQ 66 (Email
up to three poems of any length to kingfisher1031@charter.net by May 16th)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, June 6th, 3 to 5 pm – Emerging Urban Poets Writing Workshop

Saturday, June 13th, 3 to 5 pm – Deep Poetry Critique Workshop

Saturday, June 20th, 3 to 5 pm – Featured: TBA, TBA, & TBA + Open Reading

Saturday, June 27th, 3 to 5 pm – Emerging Urban Poets Writing Workshop

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, July 4th – NO MEETING

Saturday, July 11th, 3 to 5 pm – Deep Poetry Critique Workshop

Saturday, July 18th, 3 to 5 pm – Featured: TBA, TBA, & TBA + Open Reading

Saturday, July 25th, 3 to 5 pm – Emerging Urban Poets Writing Workshop

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, August 1st, 3 to 5 pm – Deep Poetry Critique Workshop

Saturday, August 8th, 3 to 5 pm – Featured: TBA, TBA, & TBA + Open Reading

Saturday, August 15th, 3 to 5 pm – Emerging Urban Poets Writing Workshop

Saturday, August 22nd, 3 to 5 pm – Deep Poetry Critique Workshop

Saturday, August 29th, 3 to 5 pm – Featured: Poets published in SGVPQ 67
(Email up to three poems of any length to kingfisher1031@charter.net by August 15th)

All events FREE, as always


Southern California Haiku Study Group
(SoCalHaiku yahoo groups) Meeting reminder:

Pacific Asia MuseumWHEN? EVERY 3rd SATURDAY OF THE MONTH: April, May, June and on in 2015
WHERE? FREE ACCESS to Pacific Asia Museum, 46 North Los Robles, Pasadena, CA 91101, 626) 449-2742

WHEN? 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Free parking lot on the N side of the museum. Check into the office on the N side of the museum to sign in for the haiku group and then go outside to the courtyard and then up the stairs on the left or N.


Village Poets of TujungaIn 2015, Village Poets of Tujunga will meet at the Bolton Hall Museum at 4:30 pm on the following dates:

  • April 26 – Westside Women Writers (Millicent Borges Accardi, Georgia Jones-Davis, Lois P. Jones, Susan Rogers, Maja Trochimczyk, Sonya Sabanac, Madeleine Butcher)
  • May 24 – Deborah Paradez (University of Texas, Austin)
  • June 28 – Sharon Alexander (Palm Springs)
  • July 26 – Thelma T. Reyna, current Poet Laureate of Altadena, CA
  • August 23 (4th of 5 Sundays) – TBA
  • September 27
  • October 25
  • November 22 (4th of 5 Sundays)
  • December – None

Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042. The readings include a featured poet (25 min. for one poet or 20 min. each for two poets) and an open mike; refreshments are served and donations collected for the cost of the venue, one of the earliest historical landmarks in the City of Los Angeles.Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Ave., Tujunga, CA 91042. Poets are welcome to sign-up for the open reading upon arrival. Light refreshments will be served, a $3.00 donation is appreciated. Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga: http://www.villagepoets.blogspot.com.



Lattes and Literature

MarcielleMarcielle Presents
with host, Marcielle Brandler interviewing guest comedienne, Grace Fraga Tuesdays 1:30 am & 1:30 pm
The Arroyo Channel live stream

For info or to be a sponsor or a guest, call
818 388-3409 marcielle@verizon.net

Visit Pasadena Community Network, Pasadena, CA. at

http://www.pasadenamedia.tv/

On their Arroyo Channel


Newsletter submissions:

  • Please send calendar submissions including date, time and short description to poetry@abacus-es.com
  • Please post non-calendar-related matter of general interest to the Altadena poetry community to the Altadena Poetry Group on Facebook where it will be available to any who are interested.
  • Please submit material for newsletter inclusion at least two days before the issue date.
  • Please submit material as plaintext in the body of the email (no attachments please).
  • When PDFs or other files are necessary, please simply provide a link to where the file resides on the net and the link will be posted.
  • Please limit content to a short paragraph. If more space is necessary, please provide a link to the full text.
  • Please always provide links to further information about the event and the venue and please include the date and time, street address, phone number and email if appropriate.

Comments off

College Prep English Class Agenda, October 16, 2014

Dear Homescholars,

This week’s class feed October 16, 2014:
Link to class event on Google Plus
https://plus.google.com/events/cg05ksltvfhtuuaob338hccl9sc

It has also been posted in our classroom theater.

The playlist for our 2014-2015 classes is here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLExCxI6q5_Xnpxfr0yI8ATzOnU6SmkO2x

To learn more about the class, please visit: http://abacus-es.com/eie/advancedwriting.html, see the links and watch the video.

The playlist of 2013-2014 classes is also on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLExCxI6q5_XmwbFdBDNpSar91svWKDe9Y


Agenda

Debate

Left over from last week:
“Student use of TV/media/games should be rationed to encourage serious study.” Let’s do it. We will all try to take both sides.



Discussion of Assignments

Essay Writing

Let’s discuss any essays, narratives, screeds or diatribes posted.


Recitation

Everyone will be prepared to recite — original work, some reading assignment material, a Shakespeare scene. The suggestion was made to try listening to Jonathan Miller (below) first and then practicing the recitation.


Jonathan MillerLanguage immersion
Let’s discuss: Born Talking by Jonathan Miller. This four part series is an ongoing assignments on the neurology of speech.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3372937D4DE2E849






Shakespeare

Everyone will have seen/read Romeo and Juliet, at least one version.

Let’s continue with identifying quotes.

2013 ROMEO-JULIETQuotes to identify in Romeo and Juliet. Who said each, to whom and under what circumstances?

Let’s review the quotes we discussed:

  • “Some consequence yet hanging in the stars.”
  • “I am fortune’s fool.”
  • “I defy you stars.”
  • “O what more favor can I do to thee than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain to sunder his that was thine enemy.” Forgive me cousin.
  • Death’s pale flag is not advanced there.
  • Blistered be thy tongue.
  • 100 words of that tongue’s utterance.
  • And yet I wish but for the thing I have.
  • She hath forsworn to love and in that vow, do I live dead that live to tell it now.
  • Love moderately. Long love does so.
  • Like fire and powder which when they kiss, consume.
  • Not so deep as a well nor so wide as a church door but ’tis enough. ‘Twill serve.
  • Mercutio’s soul is but a little way above our heads. Either thou, or I, or both shall go with him.
  • ‘Tis the nightingale and not the lark that pierces the fearful hollow of thine ear.
  • The more I give to thee, the more I have for both are infinite.
  • There art thou happy.
  • Run through the ear with a love song.
  • This distilling liquor drink thou of.
  • You ratcatcher!
  • Here in my house do him disparagement.
  • I am for you boy.
  • Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.
  • Not having that, which having, makes them short.
  • ‘Tis twenty years till then.
  • All are punished!
  • Oh that I were a glove upon that hand.
  • A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
  • The blind bow-boy’s butt shaft.
  • Trespass sweetly urged.
  • vile submission.
  • Oh happy dagger!
  • Too flattering sweet to be substantial.
  • Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
  • Too early seen unknown, and known too late.
  • Thou speak’st of nothing.
  • A mutiny among my guests.
  • A brace of kinsmen.
  • Never was a story of more woe.
  • It is an honor that I dream not of.
  • Prince of cats.
  • My ghostly father.
  • You are a princox.
  • A challenge.
  • The forefinger of an alderman.
  • Take back the villain that late thou gavest me.

Let’s continue with the rest:

  • Misadventured piteous overthrows.
  • Drawn, and talk of peace?
  • Another out to have.
  • Nor any other part belonging to a man.
  • There rust and let me die.
  • Come madam, let’s away.
  • Much upon those years that thou art yet a maid.
  • Swallowed all my hopes but she.
  • He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
  • Scorn at our solemnity.
  • Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
  • Verona brags of him.
  • What say you to my suit?
  • They stumble who run fast.
  • And for that name that is no part of thee, take all myself.
  • I have forgot that name and that name’s woe.
  • I remember well where I should be.
  • Churl! Drunk all and left no kindly drop to help me after.
  • for stony limits cannot hold love out.



Scenes done last week

I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night’s revels; and expire the term
Of a despised life, clos’d in my breast,
By some vile forfeit of untimely death:
But He that hath the steerage of my course
Direct my sail!—On, lusty gentlemen!

Benvolio.
Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?

Romeo.
She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;
For beauty, starv’d with her severity,
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise; wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair:
She hath forsworn to love; and in that vow
Do I live dead that live to tell it now.

Benvolio.
Be rul’d by me, forget to think of her.

Romeo.
O, teach me how I should forget to think.

Benvolio.
By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows
As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.

Juliet.
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo.
[Aside.] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

Juliet.
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;—
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title:—Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

Romeo.
I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

Juliet.
What man art thou that, thus bescreen’d in night,
So stumblest on my counsel?

Romeo.
By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am:
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
Because it is an enemy to thee.
Had I it written, I would tear the word.

Juliet.
My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of that tongue’s utterance, yet I know the sound;
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?

And yet I wish but for the thing I have;
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

But come, young waverer, come go with me,
In one respect I’ll thy assistant be;
For this alliance may so happy prove,
To turn your households’ rancour to pure love.

Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead! stabbed with a white wench’s black eye; shot through the ear with a love song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy’s butt-shaft: and is he a man to encounter Tybalt?

Friar.
These violent delights have violent ends,
And in their triumph die; like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume: the sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness,
And in the taste confounds the appetite:
Therefore love moderately: long love doth so;

Tybalt.
Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford
No better term than this,—Thou art a villain.

Romeo.
Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting. Villain am I none;
Therefore farewell; I see thou know’st me not.

Tybalt.
Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries
That thou hast done me; therefore turn and draw.

Romeo.
I do protest I never injur’d thee;
But love thee better than thou canst devise
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love:
And so good Capulet,—which name I tender
As dearly as mine own,—be satisfied.

Mercutio.
O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!
Alla stoccata carries it away. [Draws.]
Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?

Mercutio.
I am hurt;—
A plague o’ both your houses!—I am sped.—
Is he gone, and hath nothing?

Benvolio.
What, art thou hurt?

Mercutio.
Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, ’tis enough.—
Where is my page?—go, villain, fetch a surgeon.

[Exit Page.]

Romeo.
Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.

Mercutio. No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but ’tis enough, ’twill serve: ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I am peppered, I warrant, for this world.—A plague o’ both your houses!—Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of arithmetic!—Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm.

Romeo.
I thought all for the best.


Romeo.
This day’s black fate on more days doth depend;
This but begins the woe others must end.

Benvolio.
Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

Romeo.
Alive in triumph! and Mercutio slain!
Away to heaven respective lenity,
And fire-ey’d fury be my conduct now!—

[Re-enter Tybalt.]

Now, Tybalt, take the ‘villain’ back again
That late thou gavest me; for Mercutio’s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company.
Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.

Romeo.
O, I am fortune’s fool!

I will be deaf to pleading and excuses;
Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses,
Therefore use none: let Romeo hence in haste,
Else, when he is found, that hour is his last.

What storm is this that blows so contrary?
Is Romeo slaughter’d, and is Tybalt dead?
My dear-lov’d cousin, and my dearer lord?—
Then, dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom!
For who is living, if those two are gone?

Nurse.
Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished;
Romeo that kill’d him, he is banished.

Juliet.
O God!—did Romeo’s hand shed Tybalt’s blood?

Nurse.
It did, it did; alas the day, it did!

Nurse.
There’s no trust,
No faith, no honesty in men; all perjur’d,
All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.—
Ah, where’s my man? Give me some aqua vitae.—
These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old.
Shame come to Romeo!

Juliet.
Blister’d be thy tongue
For such a wish! he was not born to shame:
Upon his brow shame is asham’d to sit;

Romeo.
As if that name,
Shot from the deadly level of a gun,
Did murder her; as that name’s cursed hand
Murder’d her kinsman.—O, tell me, friar, tell me,
In what vile part of this anatomy
Doth my name lodge? tell me, that I may sack
The hateful mansion.

[Drawing his sword.]

Scenes left to do this week

Friar.
Hold thy desperate hand:
Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art;
Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast;
Unseemly woman in a seeming man!
Or ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!
Thou hast amaz’d me: by my holy order,
I thought thy disposition better temper’d.
Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself?
And slay thy lady, too, that lives in thee,
By doing damned hate upon thyself?
Why rail’st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?
Since birth and heaven and earth, all three do meet
In thee at once; which thou at once wouldst lose.
Fie, fie, thou sham’st thy shape, thy love, thy wit;
Which, like a usurer, abound’st in all,
And usest none in that true use indeed
Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit:
Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
Digressing from the valour of a man;
Thy dear love sworn, but hollow perjury,
Killing that love which thou hast vow’d to cherish;
Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
Mis-shapen in the conduct of them both,
Like powder in a skilless soldier’s flask,
Is set a-fire by thine own ignorance,
And thou dismember’d with thine own defence.
What, rouse thee, man! thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
There art thou happy: Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slewest Tybalt; there art thou happy too:
The law, that threaten’d death, becomes thy friend,
And turns it to exile; there art thou happy:
A pack of blessings lights upon thy back;

Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed,
Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her:
But, look, thou stay not till the watch be set,
For then thou canst not pass to Mantua;
Where thou shalt live till we can find a time
To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends,
Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back
With twenty hundred thousand times more joy
Than thou went’st forth in lamentation.—
Go before, nurse: commend me to thy lady;
And bid her hasten all the house to bed,
Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto.
Romeo is coming.

Nurse.
O Lord, I could have stay’d here all the night
To hear good counsel: O, what learning is!—
My lord, I’ll tell my lady you will come.

Romeo.
Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide.

Juliet.
Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc’d the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

Romeo.
It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

Juliet.
O God! I have an ill-divining soul!
Methinks I see thee, now thou art below,
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb:
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look’st pale.

Romeo.
And trust me, love, in my eye so do you:
Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu!

Lady Capulet.
Ay, sir; but she will none, she gives you thanks.
I would the fool were married to her grave!

Juliet.
Good father, I beseech you on my knees,
Hear me with patience but to speak a word.

Capulet.
Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what,—get thee to church o’ Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face:
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me;

Juliet.
Tell me not, friar, that thou hear’st of this,
Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it:
If, in thy wisdom, thou canst give no help,
Do thou but call my resolution wise,
And with this knife I’ll help it presently.
God join’d my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands;
And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo’s seal’d,
Shall be the label to another deed,
Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
Turn to another, this shall slay them both:
Therefore, out of thy long-experienc’d time,
Give me some present counsel; or, behold,
‘Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife
Shall play the empire; arbitrating that
Which the commission of thy years and art
Could to no issue of true honour bring.
Be not so long to speak; I long to die,
If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.

Friar.
Hold, daughter. I do spy a kind of hope,
Which craves as desperate an execution
As that is desperate which we would prevent.
If, rather than to marry County Paris
Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself,
Then is it likely thou wilt undertake
A thing like death to chide away this shame,
That cop’st with death himself to scape from it;
And, if thou dar’st, I’ll give thee remedy.

Juliet.
O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,
From off the battlements of yonder tower;
Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk
Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears;
Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house,
O’er-cover’d quite with dead men’s rattling bones,
With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls;
Or bid me go into a new-made grave,
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud;
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble;
And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstain’d wife to my sweet love.

Friar.
Hold, then; go home, be merry, give consent
To marry Paris: Wednesday is to-morrow;
To-morrow night look that thou lie alone,
Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber:
Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
And this distilled liquor drink thou off:
When, presently, through all thy veins shall run
A cold and drowsy humour; for no pulse
Shall keep his native progress, but surcease:
No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest;

In the mean time, against thou shalt awake,
Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift;
And hither shall he come: and he and I
Will watch thy waking, and that very night
Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.
And this shall free thee from this present shame,
If no inconstant toy nor womanish fear
Abate thy valour in the acting it.
Juliet.
Give me, give me! O, tell not me of fear!

My dismal scene I needs must act alone.—
Come, vial.—
What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married, then, to-morrow morning?—
No, No!—this shall forbid it:—lie thou there.—

[Laying down her dagger.]

Capulet.
Ha! let me see her:—out alas! she’s cold;
Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff;
Life and these lips have long been separated:
Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
Accursed time! unfortunate old man!

Nurse.
O lamentable day!

Lady Capulet.
O woful time!

Capulet.
Death, that hath ta’en her hence to make me wail,
Ties up my tongue and will not let me speak.

[Enter Balthasar.]

News from Verona!—How now, Balthasar?
Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?
How doth my lady? Is my father well?
How fares my Juliet? that I ask again;
For nothing can be ill if she be well.

Balthasar.
Then she is well, and nothing can be ill:
Her body sleeps in Capel’s monument,
And her immortal part with angels lives.
I saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault,
And presently took post to tell it you:
O, pardon me for bringing these ill news,
Since you did leave it for my office, sir.

Romeo.
Is it even so? then I defy you, stars!—
Thou know’st my lodging: get me ink and paper,
And hire post-horses. I will hence to-night.

Balthasar.
I do beseech you, sir, have patience:
Your looks are pale and wild, and do import
Some misadventure.

Romeo.
Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,
Gorg’d with the dearest morsel of the earth,
Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,

[Breaking open the door of the monument.]

And, in despite, I’ll cram thee with more food!

Paris.
This is that banish’d haughty Montague
That murder’d my love’s cousin,—with which grief,
It is supposed, the fair creature died,—
And here is come to do some villanous shame
To the dead bodies: I will apprehend him.—

[Advances.]

Stop thy unhallow’d toil, vile Montague!
Can vengeance be pursu’d further than death?
Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee;
Obey, and go with me; for thou must die.

Romeo.
I must indeed; and therefore came I hither.—
Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man;
Fly hence and leave me:—think upon these gone;
Let them affright thee.—I beseech thee, youth,
Put not another sin upon my head
By urging me to fury: O, be gone!

Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:
Thou art not conquer’d; beauty’s ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death’s pale flag is not advanced there.—
Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?
O, what more favour can I do to thee
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
To sunder his that was thine enemy?
Forgive me, cousin!

Here’s to my love! [Drinks.]—O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick.—Thus with a kiss I die.

Juliet.
O comfortable friar! where is my lord?—
I do remember well where I should be,
And there I am:—where is my Romeo?

[Noise within.]

Friar.
I hear some noise.—Lady, come from that nest
Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep:
A greater power than we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents:—come, come away!

What’s here? a cup, clos’d in my true love’s hand?
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end:—
O churl! drink all, and left no friendly drop
To help me after?—I will kiss thy lips;
Haply some poison yet doth hang on them,
To make me die with a restorative.

[Kisses him.]

Thy lips are warm!

1 Watch. [Within.] Lead, boy:—which way?

Juliet.
Yea, noise?—Then I’ll be brief.—O happy dagger!

[Snatching Romeo’s dagger.]

This is thy sheath [stabs herself]; there rest, and let me die.


Where be these enemies?—Capulet,—Montague,—
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!
And I, for winking at your discords too,
Have lost a brace of kinsmen:—all are punish’d.

Capulet.
O brother Montague, give me thy hand:
This is my daughter’s jointure, for no more
Can I demand.

Montague.
But I can give thee more:
For I will raise her statue in pure gold;
That while Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set
As that of true and faithful Juliet.

Capulet.
As rich shall Romeo’s by his lady’s lie;
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!

Prince.
A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun for sorrow will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished;
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.


Lower Priority Assignments
Terry Eagleton on the war on terror. Eagleton is one of the great speakers.


Older Assignments
Please do any as yet incomplete



What is Correct English?

What does it mean to speak and write correctly? What standard, what set of rules, whose example should the student aspire to? There actually exists an irrefutable answer to these questions.

Very simply, correct language usage is that which conveys to the intended audience the message and the impression the writer or speaker would like to give. Really this is the only measure that counts. Let’s call it the Reader Rule. To the extent that the reader receives the intended message and impression, the language is the correct choice. It then only remains to determine what that language is, given a specific body of readers.

If the readers or listeners are college professors or academic colleagues, the appropriate written language is probably a fairly formal variety of Standard English (SE), depending of course on the relationships involved. In other environments – the construction site, jazz studio, football pitch, gridiron, rodeo circuit, oil rig, prison, in various corners of the military – the language treated here might be largely inappropriate and ill suited to acceptance and camaraderie. The languages that would be fitting in these environments, while beyond the scope of this book, can certainly be researched, scrutinized and emulated using the methods here presented – to the extent that they are accessible in some recorded form on the Net.

In the academic or literary worlds and in most realms of business, one would rarely ever be censured for not breaking a grammar rule, for not misusing a word according to its dictionary definition or for not failing to tie the parts of a sentence together properly. On the other hand, committing such errors may well be a cause of embarrassment and opprobrium. In most cases, well-crafted academic language differs very little from one English speaking country to another and when it does, the minor spelling and stylistic variations would only very rarely impede complete comprehension. It is for those who would communicate and interact comfortably in these realms that this book was written.


Reading
Please read: Article: Writers Should Not Fear Jargon by Trevor Quirk. Quirk wields words beautifully. In this piece he treats the importance of using appropriate vocabulary. If you are interested, go on to read his thoughtful and somewhat deprecatory but intensely eloquent review of Waking Up by Sam Harris.


Language immersion
Douglas AdamsPlease watch this short talk by Douglas Adams on his experience as a writer. Shall we look further at his works?

Ken RobinsonPlease watch this short talk by Ken Robinson on education. Does it inspire you to write an essay?




Yet Older Assignments
(please do these if you haven’t already)

MacBeth. Ian McKellen and Judy Dench

A MacBeth page has been created with two excellent video versions including one starring Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judy Dench. Please watch.

Please watch the heated and rebarbative debate with lots of ad hominem deprecation. Note the striking difference between the language of the two debaters. Which would you prefer to emulate? Christopher Hitchens and George Galloway debate intervention in Iraq.

William F. BuckleyPlease watch this old debate beween legendary orators: William F. Buckley vs Noam Chomsky

Here is a fairly comprehensive List Of Fallacious Arguments
for reference.

Language immersion: Some fun with animals and language:

The Zoo in Winter. Please watch this wonderful piece by Jonathan Miller for its eloquence. How far does your spoken language need to go to mimic his?

2015 Scholastic Writing Awards
This is a contest to which we may want to submit papers.



The query letter
EIE is starting up a new blog that may need contributions from students. Let’s be very proper and submit query letters.

  • The lead, which is designed to catch the editor’s attention. It might be a startling statistic, a time peg, or an anecdote. Your lead should interest the editor enough to continue reading your query.
  • The why-write-it section. This paragraph (or two, if you have a particularly detailed query) fleshes out the idea, demonstrating why the readers of the magazine will be interested in the topic.
  • The nuts-and-bolts paragraph. Here you give the details of the story itself. What types of sources will you contact? How long will the story be? Will it have sidebars, and if so, how many? What section of the magazine will the story fit in? What’s the working title?
  • The I’m-so-great paragraph, or ISG. Here you highlight your relevant qualifications, including your writing experience and background with the subject matter. This is the paragraph in which you showcase your unique qualifications and convince the editor to give you the assignment.

Please watch the debate on US surveillance with Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz and constitutional attorney and journalist Glenn Greenwald. Enjoy watching this epic eloquence battle between eristic giants.

A classroom page for examples of successful essays contains a couple of examples from the essay book, Essays That Worked edited by Boykin Curry, ISBN: 0449905179. We did read parts; please read them more thoroughly and prepare to speculate upon the characteristics that make them successful.

Please consider Shakespeare plays for watching, dramatic readings and discussion. Suggestions: Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, MacBeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet. Please refer to Masefield’s Guide to the Shakespeare Plays for a quick overview. We decided to do MacBeth, possibly followed by Romeo and Juliet

Be familiar with the list of suggested debate topics

Please read the first chapter in our textbook: SAT ACT TOEFL College Prep English Practice, available at the EIE bookstore and Amazon.com.

Please watch this High School Debate Contest, the City Club of Cleveland’s High School Debate Championship. Debate is on whether the US should support and comply with the International Criminal Court.
This is a very fine debate with positions well presented and justified. The commentary is also very useful, particularly for it’s explanation of the judges’ evaluation of the contestants.

Please watch the Oxford Union whistleblower debate.



Our online classroom contains a vast trove of English language resources ranging from full text books and audiobooks to films, plays, software and all of the assignments and activities generated in previous years. Please feel free to explore and suggest any specific items for inclusion in our high priority assignments.


Please post questions, suggestions and discussion

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The Chaos by G. Nolst Trenité

The following verse, entitled “The Chaos” (by G. Nolst Trenité), is a compendium of all that is peculiar about English orthography. English is an immensely eclectic tongue, a fact that is responsible both for its vast expressive resources as well as utterly inscrutable spelling and pronunciation.

The challenge is to read the following poem using correct pronunciation, or (far harder) to take it down from dictation, spelled correctly. Give it a try.

Read by K. Titchenell for the College Prep English class. Note: there is one known mistake in the following.  Can you find more?

Audio file:
The Chaos

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,

I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.

Tear in eye your hair you’ll tear,
So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer,

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!

Just compare heart, beard and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,

Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written).

Made has not the sound of bade,
Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,

But be careful how you speak,
Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via,
Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir,

Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,

Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles.
Exiles, similes, reviles.

Wholly, holly, signal, signing.
Thames, examining, combining

Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war, and far.

From “desire”: desirable–admirable from “admire.”
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier.

Chatham, brougham, renown, but known.
Knowledge, done, but gone and tone,

One, anemone. Balmoral.
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel,

Gertrude, German, wind, and mind.
Scene, Melpomene, mankind,

Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, reading, heathen, heather.

This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.

Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet;

Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which does not even rime with “sparky.”

Viscous, Viscount, load, and broad.
Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation’s O.K.,
When you say correctly: croquet.

Rounded, wounded, grieve, and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive, and live,

Liberty, library, heave, and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven,

We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover,

Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police, and lice.

Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label,

Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal.

Suit, suite, ruin, circuit, conduit,
Rime with “shirk it” and “beyond it.”

But it is not hard to tell,
Why it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall.

Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,

Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, and chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,

Ivy, privy, famous, clamour
And enamour rime with hammer.

Pussy, hussy, and possess,
Desert, but dessert, address.

Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants.
Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants.

River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.

Stranger does not rime with anger.
Neither does devour with clangour.

Soul, but foul and gaunt but aunt.
Font, front, won’t, want, grand, and grant.

Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger.
And then: singer, ginger, linger,

Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age.

Query does not rime with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.

Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth;
Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath.

Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual.

Seat, sweat; chaste, caste.; Leigh, eight, height;
Put, nut; granite, and unite.

Reefer does not rime with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, Senate, but sedate.

Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific,

Tour, but our and succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria,

Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion.

Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay.

Say aver, but ever, fever.
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.

Never guess–it is not safe:
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralph.

Heron, granary, canary,
Crevice and device, and eyrie,

Face but preface, but efface,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust, and scour, but scourging,

Ear but earn, and wear and bear
Do not rime with here, but ere.

Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,

Monkey, donkey, clerk, and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation–think of psyche–!
Is a paling, stout and spikey,

Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing “groats” and saying “grits”?

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel,
Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale,

Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict, and indict!

Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?

Finally: which rimes with “enough”
Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough?

Hiccough has the sound of “cup.”
My advice is–give it up!

Note: The Chaos is written in British English and in a few cases the British pronunciation and spelling may be confusing. Here are some specific examples:

Word Pronunciation
bade bad
gaol jail
Reading redding
Pall Mall pell mell
Ralph rafe
lieutenants leftenants

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kt Class March 17, 2011

Dear Scholars,

We worked on and performed several skits in class on Thursday. Please continue to write. If someone else would like to post notes, the recording of the class is available here: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/496435-advanced-writing-and-college-prep-english-march-17-2011

I have not had time to do thorough notes for the Thursday class as I have been working on a new chapter for the next edition of our college prep textbook.
The vocabulary story does not have a glossary yet and the playsheet does not have an answer key, but I’m sure you can figure those out. Please let me know if I have made any major errors.

Be sure to get your copy of the class literary journal from the EIE store.

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kt Advanced Writing Class agenda March 17, 2011. Our literary journal, skits revisited, cheese

Dear Scholars,

Screen sharing didn’t work last week. We’ll make sure to fix that. Last week’s feed and recording is here: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/491022-advanced-writing-and-college-prep-english-march-10-2011

Class feed this week will he here: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/496435-advanced-writing-and-college-prep-english-march-17-2011

Copies of our Advanced Writing Class Literary Journal for fall will be available at EIE this week thanks to Adrian’s excellent production work. You should all have copies for your academic portfolios. We will discuss this issue and our next issue. Much credit goes to Angela, Adrian and all of you for your excellent work on our first issue. Unfortunately, not everyone had pieces in this issue due to its theme and to space considerations. We will try to make sure that everyone is represented in the next one. It may be possible to have it printed by and available on Amazon.com.

Last week, after a brief discussion of part time jobs, the topic presented by Breana, the subject of skits arose and the suggestion was made that we do the cheese shop sketch and write further skits.

Angela has written a very nice skit on the composition of the Gettysburg Address. A perfect example, and a place to start.

Cheese shop
I’m sure you’ve all looked the skits posted in the Skit Section of our classroom. Our Cheese Shop classroom page has now been expanded to include a full script of the sketch together with an account of how it was inspired and a table of all cheeses mentioned. Please everyone watch The Cheese Shop. We will do one or more readthroughs of this sketch. It’s actually trickier than one might think, but very worthwhile.

A Scriptwriting forum has been created in the classroom. Please post ideas and scripts.

Reading and listening resources from last week.

If you have time, please give these a try.

Bertrand Russell on the Atomic Bomb. 1945
This is quite short but brilliantly insightful.

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
This is a quite long and difficult but very significant work.

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Advanced Writing Class notes March 9, 2011. Persuasive essays, our literary journal, skits revisited

Dear Scholars,

This week Breana presented the debate topic: Is it a good idea for high-school students to have part time jobs? We discussed it briefly, but then the topic changed. We can pursue this topic more later.
Writing class journal
Adrian brought in a sample of the historical fiction issue of the Advanced Writing Class Literary journal. He has done a superb job handling the layout, duplication and binding. Much credit goes to Angela, Adrian and all of you for your excellent work on our first issue. Unfortunately, not everyone had pieces in this issue due to its theme and to space considerations. We will try to make sure that everyone is represented in the next one. There will be a limited number of copies available at the EIE bookstore next Thursday. You should all have copies for your academic portfolios.
Cheese shop
McKenna joined our class for the first time and made some excellent suggestions including a request that we act out the Cheese Shop skit — and, after some discussion of the subject, we decided to revisit the topic of skit writing. Please look at the skits posted in the Skit Section of our classroom. Our Cheese Shop classroom page has now been expanded to include a full script of the sketch together with an account of how it was inspired and a table of all cheeses mentioned. Please everyone watch The Cheese Shop.

A Scriptwriting forum has been created in the classroom. Please post ideas. This could be a lot of fun.

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Advanced Writing Class agenda: The part-time job debate

Dear Scholars,

Last week’s recording (http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/486036-advanced-writing-and-college-prep-english-march-3-2011) had screen sharing problems but the audio seemed to work.

This week’s class feed and recording will be here: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/491022-advanced-writing-and-college-prep-english-march-10-2011

We are continuing with the subject of persuasive essays and debates. These have been very lively and informative. Breana has submitted this week’s topic: The advisability of high-school students holding down part-time jobs. Please come with ideas.

There have been some very good vocabulary postings. Make sure to read them and learn the words. Would a quiz help?

Projects to cover:
Sam’s The Outlaws of Sherwood
Dorothy’s persuasive essay on texting
Amanda’s persuasive essay on television and health
Dorothy’s essay on vitamins and dancers
Sam’s vocabulary
Amanda’s vocabulary
Marc’s historical fiction

Note: there have been no postings of lectures and debates lately. There have been some good lectures presented by Fry, and Hitchens was interviewed on 60 minutes recently, but some content makes these inappropriate for our purposes in class. You may look them up on your own if you like. I have found very little new material from the other great speakers, Berlinski, Eagleton, Miller, Fisk etc. Please contribute to classroom resources by posting articles and lectures if you find good material.

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Collaborative Learning

Fry speaks on learning outside the classroom with fellow students in a collaborative homeschooling (or dormschooling) environment and with enthusiasm for the learning process.

Watch the entire lecture:

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Writing class supplemental

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Advanced Writing and College Prep English Class, fall 2010

Our Advanced Writing and College Prep English Class meets in Monrovia, CA and online and is intended to provide college bound homeschoolers with language preparation on a level rarely approached in public school. Consistent with homeschooling principles, our purpose is to achieve educational goals without rendering the subject matter distasteful. This is not always possible, but we do our best.

Grading is based upon the completion of “acceptable projects” which may take many forms including short stories, verse, dialog, reports, correspondence and many others.

It is our intent to make the class lecture visible to remote students in realtime. This technology is still a bit tenuous and unpredictable but does work well when properly functional.

Required equipment for the class:

  1. Access to an Internet-connected computer with a web browser, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and a good word processor (browser, Acrobat Reader, and word processor are all free for the download. See our recommended software page).

  2. An English Dictionary and Thesaurus.

  3. A willingness to consider difficult and unfamiliar material as more a challenge than an obstacle.

For this class we make a few basic assumptions:

  • It’s never wrong to use language well.

  • If you can write well, it’s always easy to “write down” to your readers if necessary.

  • It is an insult and a disservice to your readers to assume them always to be either uneducated in English, illiterate, or demented.

Course philosophy:

The ubiquitous admonition to “write for your audience” has often been construed to mean “dumb your writing down to a level at which it can’t possibly confuse, mislead, challenge, or inspire anyone.” The first book I wrote, a computer textbook, had had its language so thoroughly eviscerated by the editors of Dryden Press that the final product little resembled the original work. The fact that a college text must ineluctably be written as though intended for an audience of seven-year-olds, is demeaning both to author and reader, and it reflects a growing tendency, at least within the US, to abandon, suppress, and prevent the perpetuation of much that is great about the English language itself – nonetheless, such are the guidelines most publishers follow. It is therefore not in the least surprising that many ostensibly “educated” individuals rarely encounter, and scarcely ever use, more than the most basic rudiments of the English language. This is not to say that skill in sophisticated verbal expression is not needed for college nor for the SAT, TOEFL, and AP college preparatory exams, only that, in an environment of simplistic and popularized usage, such skill is hard to acquire and one must make an effort to find and study it.

In this class we will be exploring erudition as well as form, style, vocabulary, syntax and semantics. Have a dictionary handy.

Learning writing online in a supportive, collegial environment.

English writing classes, traditional and online

Writing can be an utterly jubilant activity, but a significant level of creative ecstasy is rarely encountered by highschool-aged students and is very nearly impossible to achieve in the traditional school environment.

Experience in most high school classrooms (using the mass-production educational model and presided over by often well-meaning but uninspired pedants) so often prompts one to conclude that essay writing is always something decidedly distasteful. The essay, however, can be an eye-opening opportunity for endless creativity and variation, whose flexibility and expressive potential is limited only by the writer’s ability to weave cogent content into a dazzling fabric of felicitous diction — well, perhaps it needn’t always go that far, but the point stands: essay writing is what one makes of it and the more one does, the better one gets and the easier and more enjoyable it becomes. This is the philosophy that our Writing classes espouse and implement.

A different approach to the acquisition of writing skill

It is very hard to generate enthusiasm for writing when one’s labor results only in an ephemeral entity whose sole purpose for existence is to be the subject of a cursory critical evaluation and a single mark in a grade book. Essay writing is often much more exciting and interesting when one is writing for an audience and not just for a teacher who will glance over the paper quickly, make a few red marks, and return it. Unfortunately, few alternatives to uninspired and anemic instructional mediocrity exist, though alternatives are emerging, one example being this class, in which everyone has the opportunity to write for an audience — for the class as a whole, the teacher, and ultimately, after some honing and revision, for a larger audience of fellow students and parents, for the public in web and print media, and for inclusion in individual student portfolios.

The value of an online writing class

A class grade in an accredited highschool is certainly of some value, but it becomes somewhat feeble when placed next to a portfolio of published works whose message and mastery are directly evident to the observer. Such a tangible record of student achievement is far more compelling than a simple letter on a piece of paper reflecting a perfunctory perusal and a possibly skewed evaluation by an only marginally interested and probably harried and preoccupied instructor.

An evolved didactic process

For nearly ten years, our College Preparatory English class has been held largely online, with all handouts and assignment submission taking place in an online classroom, but with a weekly traditional classroom meeting in which corrected papers, grammar, writing style, and spoken language are analyzed and discussed. Now with full online application sharing, together with full audio and video, online students may participate equally with classroom students.

Would I want to take, or have my children take, an online writing class?

Many traditional and online grammar and writing resources are at best uninspired and at worst, misleading and error ridden (See SAT grammar errors found on educational websites). We feel that polished formal standard English should dominate in the classroom, in both written and spoken examples, for emulation is one of the most powerful pedagogical devices and it is a crime to use it to propagate errors and misusages. At the same time, there is no reason for grammar and writing study to be dry and boring (see our writing skills playsheets for a taste of the classroom teaching style.) Parents are always welcome in class, space permitting. The one-room schoolhouse paradigm is used with students of multiple ages and abilities working and studying together.

  • Correct and sophisticated language study
  • Writing for personal enjoyment
  • Writing with a purpose and for an audience



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Hearing and Speaking Well are Key to Writing Well. Lecture resources

Resources for taking advantage of a child’s auditory learning ability

The questions are:

  1. What language are children hearing?
  2. What language do we want them to be learning?
  3. How do we present useful auditory learning matter?

Though children learn easily through hearing and thereby quickly gain a visceral feel for the flow and meanders of well crafted prose — if that is what they encounter — they just as easily pick up whatever auditory flotsam and detritus our popular culture throws their way. This is inevitable, but we just have to make sure that they have heard some worthwhile things as well.

Starting with our Children’s Book Page, we have been trying to collect those works which will best serve children during those childhood years of peak language acquisition and acquaint them with good vocabulary and language usage — language which, when assimilated, will benefit them in school, college, and throughout their lives. This has been expanded to include audio works for very young children, and for highly accomplished English speakers seeking to expand their abilities. This page has been specifically created for you and links to all of these. While there is no guarantee that lectures, even those from ivy league universities, will demonstrate perfect or inspired language, there are indeed a number of scholars whose unscripted speech is invariably flawless, beautiful and sublimely conceived, and which could go into print anywhere without any editing at all. I have found a fairly good collection of this online and am adding more all the time.

Spoken English Examples: Lectures
Chosen from many sources specifically for their use of language. Many university professors do not express themselves well and often commit common grammar and stylistic errors in their unscripted speech. Some speakers, however, do produce superbly crafted prose which no editor could improve upon. We have attempted to find these.
Spoken English Examples: Audio Books
This is material which has gone through an editorial process which has, in theory, eliminated any grammatical and stylistic errors. There remains, however, a wide array of styles from the superb to the barely literate. We have made an effort to find those examples which demonstrate the use of English as an art form, recordings which, if listened to repeatedly, cannot fail to improve the listener’s understanding and appreciation of well-crafted English.
Spoken English Examples: Children’s Audio Books
This is the audio counterpart to our Children’s Book page, which strives to provide access to children’s literature which demonstrates the best possible use of English expression.

Online writing course

Free University Resources

English Literacy
A discussion of literacy issues for the homeschooler
What is Correct English?
The big question — with answers.
Dangers of Online English
Why online English study is fraught with pitfalls.
Formal Written English
A good article on the universality of generic English
Use of “Like” has Illustrious Precedent
How Oxford scholars and valley girls suffer from the same like “verbal tic” as it were.
What is Standard Edited Written English
Grammar points tested for on the SAT
Examples of “SAT errors” found in educational websites that teach English or writing skills.

Examples of “SAT errors” in the speech of educated Americans: My younger daughter took a college astronomy class. Together with the text there is a DVD which included short presentations by many eminent astronomers. Interestingly, SAT errors are committed frequently by the American astronomers, far more than by the Belgian, German or British scientists. In this country there seems to be little effort given to polishing one’s informal spoken language. This shows so clearly even in the speech of the highly educated, and is certainly reflected in the words of the young.

For example: The redundancy, sometimes called the pleonasm.

“…[we are] producing an ever increasingly more sophisticated model of the universe.”

These are acceptable:

An ever increasingly sophisticated model

An ever more sophisticated model

“How much more repetitively superfluously tautologically redundant can we make it?” “An ever, further, extensively, increasingly, more sophisticated model”

Or mismatched parallelism (in this case gerund/infinitive mismatch) such as:

“…[they were] less interested in answering the scientific questions than to support the emperor’s power.”

This problem can be best demonstrated by expanding the parallel constructs out:

They were interested in answering the scientific questions.

They were interested to support the emperor’s power.

Or a statement that simply does not say what the speaker means: “… This stellar body emits two streams of energy on either side.” Of course, what is meant is: “… This stellar body emits two streams of energy, one on either side.” This demonstrates another critical aspect of good language. Well crafted language means what it is supposed to mean. Sloppy language is at best imprecise and frequently thoroughly misleading. [“X times more than” tangent.]

These are all classic SAT errors of the sort that are addressed on almost every SAT exam. The mangling of language is even more common of course in spoken lectures in secondary school classrooms, but this kind of error is very rarely heard in the speech of Foreign academics and virtually never in the language of British scholars.

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Favorite arias

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Homeschooling Classes in English, German, Music in Monrovia and online

Informal, collegial workshops in English, German and music for homeschoolers (College Preparatory English, German conversation,  and Keyboard Music Theory) are being taught by homeschooling parent (and college professor) K. Titchenell to mixed age students (See Advantages of the one-room schoolhouse approach to teaching).

Classes are open enrollment and meet on Wednesday mornings at the EIE Homeschooling Center (2640 S. Myrtle Ave. Monrovia, CA 91016 626 821-0025), but the English class also takes place all week in a virtual classroom, with some students working entirely online (See Online Writing Class).  Classes qualify for funding under Sky Mountain Charter School and are reasonably priced (with accommodation available when needed. See pages above for pricing.)

There is no charge to observe.  Contact the teacher (eieclass(at)abacus-es.com)

) to audit or to participate in the online classroom.

Homeschooling in Action
(the Keyboard Music Theory class )

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