Week 1:2 (Aug. 20-24)


Pre-IB Inquiry Skills: SyllabusIB Calendar, CTSS Rosters, Grammar Diagnostic (class code is elbow-option), Planner Rubric

English 2 Honors: SyllabusThe Things They Carried AssignmentFour QuestionsColormarking #1“Harrison Bergeron” E-text“Harrison Bergeron” AssignmentTransitions Toolbox

Pre-IB English 2: SyllabusColormarking #1Transitions Toolbox“Harrison Bergeron” E-textVonnegut Background“Once Upon a Time” E-textGordimer Background“Once Upon a Time” AssignmentProse VocabularyComp. Book Task #1

AP Research: Syllabus, PREPs #1-3Purdue OWLAnnotated Bibliography Template, CRAAP TestTurnitin.com Registration, Protecting Human Research Participants CertificationSample Student PresentationsPresentation Rubric / Assigned Readings: What Research Is Not & What Research IsLanguageThe Human Mind / Search Databases: EBSCO HostGale DatabasesJSTORGoogle Scholar

AP Literature: SyllabusDiscussion PrepJane Eyre E-textTurnitin.com RegistrationJane Eyre Journal,  Sample JournalsFirst Quarter Poetry PacketMLA Template (for Poetry Responses), Siddhartha Open Essay Rubric

Week 1:1 (Aug. 13-17)


  • Blue letters/symbols on the indicate a handout or notes being given in class.
  • Green symbols indicate classroom activities (e.g., groupwork, lectures, lessons).
  • Red letters/symbols indicate an assignment due date or assessment.

Welcome to a new school year! I’ve posted the week’s agenda for all to see. This is a weekly occurrence, usually done on Thursday afternoon for the week which follows. Please refer to the key above to make clearest sense of the agenda. You can also click on the schedule for a larger zoom-able image of the board. Below, you’ll find downloadable versions of this week’s in-class handouts along with a few other helpful documents.

Pre-IB Inquiry Skills: Syllabus, IB Calendar, CTSS Rosters, Grammar Diagnostic (class code is elbow-option)

English 2 Honors: SyllabusSummer AssignmentFour QuestionsColormarking #1“Harrison Bergeron” E-text

Pre-IB English 2: Syllabus, Summer AssignmentColormarking #1

AP Research: Syllabus, Summer AssignmentEBSCO HostGale Databases (password is pinellas), JSTORGoogle ScholarPurdue OWLAnnotated Bibliography Template, CRAAP TestTurnitin.com RegistrationProtecting Human Research Participants CertificationCourse Credit PoliciesHigh-Scoring Student Papers: Mixed #1Qual #1Qual #2Qual #3Qual #4Qual #5Quant #1Quant #2Quant #3

AP Literature: Syllabus, Summer AssignmentDiscussion PrepJane Eyre E-textTurnitin.com RegistrationJane Eyre Journal

What’s a Bildungsroman?


The bildungsroman (bill-DUNGZ-ro-men, German for “formation novel”) is a genre of the novel which focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood.  The driving force behind the plot (and the major impact of the work) is the main character’s search for self, so change is thus extremely important.

The birth of the bildungsroman is normally dated to the publication of Goethe’s The Apprenticeship of Wilhelm Meister in 1796.  Although the bildungsroman originated in Germany, it has had extensive influence first in Europe and later throughout the world.  Thomas Carlyle translated Goethe’s novel into English, and after its publication in 1824, many British authors wrote novels inspired by it (e.g. Dickens’ Great Expectations).

A bildungsroman tells about the growing up or coming of age of a sensitive person who is looking for answers and experience.  The genre evolved from folklore tales of an idiot or youngest son going out in the world to seek his fortune.  Usually in the beginning of the story there is an emotional loss which makes the protagonist leave on his or her journey.  In a bildungsroman, the goal is maturity, and the protagonist achieves it gradually and with difficulty.  The genre often features an underlying conflict between the main character and society.  Typically, the values of society are gradually accepted by the protagonist, and he or she is ultimately accepted into society – the protagonist’s mistakes and disappointments are over.  In some works, the protagonist is able to reach out and help others after having achieved maturity.

Incoming AP Lit students, take note of how both Siddhartha and Jane Eyre, each after their own unique fashion, follow this structure.

100 Books Worth Reading

If you’re looking for a book to challenge yourself with this summer (on top of summer reading), peruse this list.  Each of these works is very meaty, deep in meaning, ambiguous enough for interpretation, yet forceful enough to have had a lasting impression on Western culture.  Some are old; some are new.  There are writers of all nationalities included here, and the books’ years of publication range from the 16th century to today.  They have nothing in common other than the fact that they’re all legit literature.  Look a few up on Wikipedia; read the first chapter/scene: get a feel for the work.  If you find one that grabs you, read it in a scholarly way.  You’ll enjoy it more anyway if you grab onto some big theme early on.  Plus, you’ll remember it all the better.  I’ve intentionally avoided listing books that are already a part of SPHS’s assigned reading, so this is a deeper cut of works.  (A note of caution to sensitive minds: Some of these stories do include some sketchy content, so read at your own peril.)

  1. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (not the sci-fi story by H. G. Wells)
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  3. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevski
  4. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. King Lear by William Shakespeare
  7. Billy Budd by Herman Melville
  8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  9. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  10. The Awakening by Kate Chopin Continue reading

Literature Improves Empathy

Have you ever felt that reading a good book makes you better able to connect with your fellow human beings? If so, the results of a new scientific study back you up, but only if your reading material is literary fiction – pulp fiction or non-fiction will not do.

Great Expectations from great literature … empathy occurs in the spaces between characters, such as Joe and Pip, pictured here in the 2012 film adaptation. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Features

Empathy occurs in the spaces between characters, such as Joe and Pip in Great Expectations, pictured here in the 2012 film adaptation. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Features

Psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, at the New School for Social Research in New York, have proved that reading literary fiction enhances the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions, a crucial skill in navigating complex social relationships.

Continue reading

14 Words You Need to Know

Below is a table containing the words that make all the difference in a competent user of English, because according to James I. Brown, Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota, in his book Programmed Vocabulary, they contain the twenty most useful prefixes and the fourteen most important roots in our language. These constituent parts make up over 14,000 words in a collegiate dictionary size or close to an estimated 100,000 words in an unabridged dictionary. In other words, you should know these words and understand why they mean what they mean since doing so will grant you a superior vocabulary.  Click it for a slightly larger view.