Monthly Archives: January 2009


This entry is mandatory. A separate quiz grade will be given for every student’s entry.

  • “A” = a truly unique story/description that shows a sophisticated use of the words and the willingness to develop the idea(s); it’s clear that the story works even without the vocab words being the focus.
  • “B” = a creative idea with potential (if more time was available) with a solid use of the vocab words; perhaps a bit rushed; the vocab words seem to be the focus (with the story seeming to be ‘added on’ a bit).
  • “C” (or lower) = seems to be rushing through the assignment with minimal development/understanding.
  • “F” = no entry.
  • Note:  Mr. Long may substitute “F” with a “zero” in the grade book if the student has a pattern of not doing these vocab entries over the quarter.  If only one mandatory vocab entry is missing in the quarter, then an “F” will offer a minimal penalty grade-wise.


  • Write a brief story or description of the image.
  • Use all 10 of the following words from the January 26 list seen below.
  • Include:  definition and part of speech (as you use it) in parenthesis to receive maximum credit.

The words:

  • apprise
  • diatribe
  • distend
  • latent
  • mollify
  • placate
  • proliferation
  • rancor
  • surreptitious
  • vituperative

Remember: Include the definition and part of speech (as you use it) in parenthesis to get maximum credit

Image 1 (link:


Image 2 (link:


Image 3 (link:




We’re going to start something new this semester.

After we spend a week answering new questions/prompts, we’ll spend a week responding to what people said that previous week.

Here are the rules:

  1. Every response must start with “I’m responding to Student #37” (or whatever the student’s # is).
  2. Every response must be a minimum of 7 sentences to receive credit.
  3. To receive credit, a student can only respond once to each entry (vocab story, “Plug In” question, etc) for credit.
  4. Once a student responds to a student in an entry, the student may offer responses to additional students in that entry…but no additional credit will be offered.
  5. Like in other weeks, Mr. Long will respond to the total # of entries that a student responded to a single student.  Example:  To get credit for 5 entries (an “A”), the student would have to respond to 5 students (7+ sentences each) in 5 different entries.
  6. Responses must be respectful to be given credit.  While it is acceptable to disagree, responses must be offered in an appropriate manner with a focus on details (not emotions).

Once you are ready to start responding to entries/students from last week, simply go back to that original entry and offer your reaction with the “I am responding to student #…” statement at the top.


WARNING:  DO NOT COPY/PASTE full paragraphs (from Wikipedia and other websites).

To get credit, you MUST write the descriptions of each stage in your own writing.  Learning facts from other resources is fine, but it is not academically acceptable to simply copy/paste.  This will be considered academic dishonesty (in addition to making it impossible for Mr. Long to give you credit).

Please be careful.


Back story: We’ve done this many times over by this point, so I’ll assume you recall the spirit of this prompt without me going through all the details.  There must be 6 — fully described — stages to connect the two items.  Good luck.

Challenge: Connect in 6 stages the following:

  • “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (currently in movie theaters)
  • William Wordsworth (or any of the other “Romantic Era” poets found in your literature text).

Length: As appropriate, but it is expected that some explanation will go with each stage.


Back story: In a poem as long and constantly evolving/changing as Wordsworth’s piece (“Tintern Abbey”, for short) that we’ve been reading, there are countless lines/phrases that seem to have a life of their own, that almost seem as if they could be a title for a new poem or story.

This is similar to when we listen to a song and find a lyric that seems to speak to something far deeper in our lives.  We write it down so that it never is forgotten.  It becomes an anthem for our lives — a shortcut expression that says how we’re feeling and how we see the world around us.


  • Find one line from this poem that grabs your attention for any reason whatsoever (and not even because of what Wordsworth is trying to say in his own poem).  Ideally the line/phrase has the potential to inspire a piece of writing, be the title of a poem/story, or just be a life anthem/quote for you personally.
  • React to the line in one of two ways:  1) Explain why it has such an impact on you or 2) write a short paragraph/poem that is inspired by (or uses) the line/phrase.

Length: 7+ sentences/lines


Back story: Every student will be writing a 4-stanza poem in the style of William Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey:  On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour.  July 13, 1798”.  The heart and soul of his poem speaks to the “sublime” and “blessed mood, / In which the burden of the mystery” of nature continues to impact him many years later (in spite of the way he may feel “‘mid the din / Of towns and cities” at times).

Challenge: Your poem — like Wordsworth’s – will focus on a single moment you spent time alone in some form of ‘nature’ at least 2 years ago.

  • Describe a natural setting that you visited years ago that continues to inspire you and may even be a place you occasionally still daydream about returning to, especially during the stressful times of your life.
  • Focus on visually striking descriptions. Really try to ‘paint’ a picture in the minds of your readers.
  • Don’t worry as much about ‘why’ you were there.  Instead, focus on the way the natural setting affected you and your senses.

Length: 7+ sentences.



  • You must fully complete this for a separate ‘quiz’ grade.
  • In order to get credit for any other blog entries this week, you must do this entry as well (which you will also get credit for as one of your entries).

Back story: All of you have met with Mrs. Piland about the “ACT Discover” website  program that will assist you in researching a wide variety of information about potential careers that you may consider in your future.

Challenge: Using the “ACT Discover” program (on a school computer or at home), answer all 9 of the following questions.   Remember that you’ll need your UserID and password when you go to the ACT website.

  1. Work tasks
  2. Salary and outlook
  3. Training
  4. Desirable personal qualities for someone in the field
  5. Likes & dislikes
  6. Majors related to the field
  7. What classes will you take if you major in this area
  8. Mention one college or university that has this related major
  9. What did you like best about this career?

Length: Appropriate for each of the 9 questions.

One Last Thing: Also, remember to take the Values, Interest and Abilities inventories at some point.  See if suggested areas relate to the career you are researching.


Back story: All of you are being challenged to memorize — and perfectly reproduce — the poem, “Ozymandias”, by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Challenge: Because everyone has a slightly different style of memorization, I’m curious:

  • what tricks you’re using to pull off this challenge
  • what part(s) of the poem is/are the most difficult for you to memorize– and why?

Length: 5+ sentences