The Five Paragraph Essay
A former student, now finishing her first year in college, sent this essay to me. It is about the "Five Pragraph Essay" and her writing professor makes all students read it.
Quick thoughts: Read it and then tell me about it.
Attached to this page is an article from Atlantic Magazine entitled, "That’s Not Funny! Today’s college students can’t seem to take a joke" by Caitlin Flanagan.
Quick thoughts: When reading and discussing Henry Reed's poems from Lessons of War, consider the role of humor in the poems. My theory of the use of humor in these poems is that it humanizes the recruit, and may be the thing he holds onto, that mocking defiance, that allows him to retain his humanity, that dirtiness that connects him to the softer animal he is in danger of being crushed under pressure from the military machine.
My thoughts about the article: I worry that when we restrict too much what people can joke about, we lose the above tool, we lose the catharsis that rude comedy allows, and we lose a chance to air some subjects that will remain taboo and never examined unless aired. (And things we think are settled become dogmas that we need to re-examine from time to time.)
Also, too tight restrictions fuel and give a rationale to people like the "frat boys" mentioned in the article, and those like Donald Trump or his supporters motivated in part to hear a politician say in the political, and consequential world, what used to be understood as obviously vulgar and allowable in humor, and sometimes in casual discourse. This is of course an oversimplification.
See what you think of the article.
Should you listen to music while studying?
Attached is one of many articles on the subject. You can search other articles online, and you can find the research and other interviews with Dr. Nick Perdham, the researcher interviewed in this article.
Quick thoughts: This is why I don't allow listening to music while reading or writing in class. But the research does recommend listening to music before studying to help you get into a good mood.
Use the button to link to the article.
Students at the end of the 2014-2015 year created these websites and documents to reflect upon their year in AP Lit and to "help" future students. Of course, I reserve the right to change, grow, get better, or even grumpier, so the Bah you get may not be the Bah these former students got. Also, the way my students remember things is not always the way I remember them, so some corrections may be in order.