College Prep English Class notes for Sept. 26, 2014

Dear Homescholars,

This week’s feed has been posted in our classroom theater and is posted on youtube:
and will take place through Google Plus. The Event Page:

The playlist for our 2014-2015 classes is here:

To learn more about the class and to get access to our online classroom, please visit:, see the links and watch the video.

The playlist of 2013-2014 classes is also on Youtube:

(Note that all videos are easily found with a search on youtube.  For access to our classroom, see
We discussed at length the debate on US surveillance with Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz and constitutional attorney and journalist Glenn Greenwald, noting the devices used, points made and language employed.

We discussed debate topics for class but did not decide on anything in particular. The debate topic: “It is appropriate to censor certain things in the media” looks like a good one. Let’s do it. Please be prepared to take both sides.

Updated Assignments

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.


Let’s prepare for a debate next week on “It is appropriate to censor certain things in the media.” Please be prepared to take both sides.

Please watch: Christopher Hitchens and George Galloway debate intervention in Iraq. A 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?

William F. BuckleyWilliam F. Buckley vs Noam Chomsky
An old debate between legendary orators. The subject matter is historical but Buckley’s language is always superb.

Please look at the
List Of Fallacious Arguments

In class we briefly examined a couple of Scholastic Writing Award winning essays, one persuasive and one a personal memoir. Please read them through looking for vocabulary, expressive devices, arc and subject matter. We will discuss them a bit more next week.

Language immersion: Some fun with animals and language:

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

Please read chapter 2 in the text if you have time.

Please be sure to write and post something this week. Consider a position paper on one of the topics in the list of suggested debate topics, a query letter, an admissions essay or perhaps the writing projects at the end of chapter 1 in the text.

Please let me know if you need more homework.

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

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

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.

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