Thursday, June 5, 2014


Marisol Duarte                                                                                              Duarte 1

Dr. Preston 

AP English Literature and Composition

1 June 2014

As I entered a classroom with graffiti on one wall and CD cases on another, I had no idea what to expect. “What is Open Source Learning?” was the question that ran through my mind repeatedly. “We would have the freedom to do what?” We get to decide what we want to learn?"

With the freedom of deciding what we wanted to learn, trust played a major role in the concept of Open Source Learning. At the very beginning of the course, Dr. Preston immediately trusted every student. Although I feel like trust isn't meant to be given out freely, his ability to trust only illustrated how passionate he truly is about learning.

Like the characters in Brave New World, Hamlet,and The Poisonwood Bible, I had to ultimately put myself in an atmosphere in which I did not feel comfortable in; in a classroom where I was not accustomed to the style of learning. At the beginning of the course, I was not comfortable with the concept of Open Source Learning. The idea of posting my work on the Internet, which would later serve as resources for future students was incredibly difficult to wrap my head around. I've never been the type of individual to share my thoughts or ideas with others, and the thought of everyone being able to view my work frightened me. However, through the course of the year, I learned how to open up to others. I learned to work outside of my comfort zone not only through collaboration, but through working on the internet, which was something I've never done before. I learned about myself and what I'm truly capable of accomplishing, but most importantly I learned about the importance of collaboration. With all that I was taught through the course of the year, I can truly say that the course has opened my eyes and has changed me for the better.

This course helped me discover what it meant to learn independently as well as what my classmates were passionate about. During the masterpiece presentations, the themes of finding yourself and living life to the fullest seemed to come up quite a bit. Lesther demonstrated that acts of compassion can lead to discovering oneself. Miranda created a video of life experiences and illustrated the importance of discovering one's meaning in life. Taylor, Bailey, and Meghan displayed how important it is to enjoy life through documenting their last months of high school. While Breanna, Eli, and Whitney illustrated the significance of enjoying life and living everyday as if it were the last.

I believe that successfully completing this course as well as reaching the end of my senior year of high school are considered a hero's journey. Although I do not personally consider myself a hero, I feel like the course, Open Source Learning, my peers, and Dr. Preston were all my heroes. As a student enrolled in the course, I was given the opportunity to work freely and discover myself along the way. With the help of the course as well as my peers, I came to realize the importance of Open Source Learning. The way I see it, Open Source Learning saved me; it helped me discover myself as well as helped me develop collaboration skills along the way. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Alone by Edgar Allan Poe

TPCASTT: Poem Analysis 
Method: title, paraphrase, connotation, diction, attitude, tone, shift(s), title revisited and theme
of poem means
- How Edgar Allan Poe felt (or still feels).
- A description of his life.
parts of the Poem
- Edgar Allan Poe was describing his childhood. 
- He wrote about how different he was compared to others.
- No matter how hard he tired to be content with himself/life, he wasn't. 
- He could not escape from his sorrows.
- Although his life was "stormy," Poe was surrounded by beauty that he was unable to see because sorrow blocked his view.
- Edgar Allan Poe lived a lonely life because of his differences.
of some of the words – changing literal meaning to implied or associated values
- "stormy life" meaning difficult/dark childhood.
- "from the sun that round me rolled" meaning the brightness/good things in life that surrounded him.
- "demon in my view" meaning all the darkness that kept him from being content with his life as a child.The "demon" may be him. 
What is the attitude of the author, characters or yourself?
- sincere
- lyrical
- reflective
- gloomy
At first we think or feel one way – then there is a shift:  identify the shifts and explain them
From "My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone." to
"Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:"
- Talks about his sorrow (feel sympathetic) then shifts to how mysterious something in his life was.
From "From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold, 
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by," to
"From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view."
- Shifts from the things that he was surrounded by in life to darkness.

Title revisited 
Any new insights on meaning or significance of title?
- Describes Poe's life.
- Edgar Allan Poe grew up alone (he lost his parents as a child).
- He was alone because he didn't have the same mind set as everyone else.
- Loneliness
- Isolation


 Edgar Allan Poe

 From childhood's hour I have not been
 As others were; I have not seen
 As others saw; I could not bring
 My passions from a common spring.
 From the same source I have not taken
 My sorrow; I could not awaken
 My heart to joy at the same tone;
 And all I loved, I loved alone.
 Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
 Of a most stormy life- was drawn
 From every depth of good and ill
 The mystery which binds me still:
 From the torrent, or the fountain,
 From the red cliff of the mountain,
 From the sun that round me rolled
 In its autumn tint of gold,
 From the lightning in the sky
 As it passed me flying by,
 From the thunder and the storm,
 And the cloud that took the form
 (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
 Of a demon in my view. 

My interpretation after reading the poem seven times... 
- Edgar Allan Poe was describing his childhood. 
- He wrote about how different he was compared to others.
- No matter how hard he tired to be content with himself/life, he wasn't. 
- He could not escape from his sorrows.
- Although his life was "stormy," Poe was surrounded by beauty that he was unable to see because sorrow blocked his view.
- Edgar Allan Poe lived a lonely life because of his differences.

Monday, April 28, 2014


1. Take a deep breath. I've been extremely stressed out lately, and I need to pull myself together before continuing with my masterpiece.
2. Figure out whether I want to continue with my original plan for my masterpiece or whether I want to take a different route. Do I want to work with younger children or work with teenagers?
3. Do some research and find safe hiking locations in the area.
4. Collaborate with/find peers and individuals in my community who are willing to participate in my masterpiece.
5. PLAN. I need to test out some of the hiking trails before choosing my location as well as figure out an appropriate time and date. I also have to contact my expert.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


- The three witches
- Duncan
- Malcom
- Donalbain 
- Lennox
- Ross
- Banquo
- Macbeth
- Angus
- Lady Macbeth
- Macduff

- Play opens up with the three witches talking about meeting up with Macbeth.
- "Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air." (the three witches)
- King Duncan wants the Thane of Cawdor killed because he was a traitor (joined the enemy army).
- King Duncan wants Macbeth to be the next Thane of Cawdor because of his bravery.
- Macbeth and Banquo meet the three witches.
- The witches propose a prophecy:
1. Macbeth will be the Thane of Glamis (He already is).
2. Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor.
3. Macbeth will be King.
4. Banquo will have children in the throne.
- Ross and Angus tell Macbeth that he is the new Thane of Cawdor.
- Duncan announces that Malcom (his son) will be the Prince of Cumberland (Macbeth realizes that Malcom will be in the way of his crown).
- Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth about the prophecy.
- Lady Macbeth wants to kill King Duncan (she doesn't think Macbeth will do it).
- Lady Macbeth plans the King's assassination and she talks Macbeth down.
- Macbeth agrees to follow through with her plan.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read according to the elements of plot you've learned in past courses (exposition, inciting incident, etc.).  Explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).
- Of Mice and Men begins with George and Lennie heading to seek labor on a ranch. Lennie is the leader who isn't very understanding, yet is very protective of Lennie, while Lennie is a childlike, sensitive man, who suffers from a mental disability. Throughout the novella, George and Lennie speak of owning acres and tending rabbits on their land. When George and Lennie begin laboring at the Ranch, Lennie gets into deep trouble when he kills a puppy and Curly's wife. After realizing what he did was wrong, Lennie goes to hide in the bush where George told him to go if he ever got into any trouble. When George goes to meet Lennie at the hiding spot, George tells Lennie about their land, chickens, rabbits, and vegetable garden one last time before he shoots and kills Lennie.
2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.

- The theme is hope. Throughout the entire novella, Lennie wants nothing more than to live on a farm with George and tend his rabbits. George also hopes to become successful and get acres of land where he dreams of having a farm with Lennie. Another theme is the desire to be accepted. Throughout the book, Lennie does everything in his power to behave and fit in with others because he fears that George will not accept him nor allow him to tend the rabbits when they get their farm.
3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).

- John Steinbeck's tone is sympathetic and hopeful. Throughout the book, Steinbeck demonstrates sympathy for this characters as they hope to find work and accomplish their goal of having a farm.
"Well we'll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we'll just say the hell with goin' to work, and build up a fire in the stoves and set around it an' listen to the rain comin' down on the roof- Nuts!" (page 16)
"But you ain't gonna get in trouble, because if you do, I won't let you tend the rabbits." (page 17)
" Sure, all kin's a vegetables in the garden, and if we want a little whisky we can sell a few eggs or something, or some milk. We'd jus' live there. We'd belong there. There wouldn't be no more runnin' round the country and getting fed up by a Jap cook. No, sir, we'd have our own place where we belonged and not slept in no bunk house." (page 63)
4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.) 
Rhetorical Question: "What you want of a dead mouse, anyways?" (page 6) "What we gonna do now, George? What we gonna do now?" (page 103)

Colloquialism: "I....ain't gonna say nothin'. Jus' gonna stan' there." (page 7) "It wasn't no good to pet." (page 11)
Setting: "A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green." (page 1) "The bunk house was a long, rectangular building. Inside, the walls were whitewashed and the floor unpainted. In three walls there were small, square windows, and in the fourth, a solid door with with a wooden latch. Against the walls were eight bunks..." (page 19) (Description of the ranch bunk house where George and Lennie hope to get a job.)
Symbolism: "Let's have different color rabbits, George." "Red and blue and green rabbits, Lennie. Millions of 'em." (page 17) The rabbits symbolize hope and success.
Imagery: "On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs along them." (page 1) 
Flashback: "I don't know where there is no other mouse. I remember a lady used to give 'em to me- ever' one she got. But that lady ain't here." (page 10) Lennie remembers when his Aunt Clara would give him mice.
Irony: "Blubberin' like a  baby! Jesus Christ! A big guy like you." (page 10) "His name's Lennie Smalls." (page 24) Lennie's name and appearance are ironic because he is a very large guy with the last name of smalls. Also, he is a big guy who is very sensitive, kind, and emotional.
Point of View: The novella is told in third person omniscient. "I done a bad thing. I done another bad thing." "I done a real bad thing, I shouldn't of did that. George'll be mad." (page 100)
Vernacular: "Hi Slim." "Bye, boys." (page 35) 
Restatement: "He ain't very small. Ain't small at all." (page 39) 

1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?

- The author uses both direct and indirect characterization in order for readers to learn about the characters based on their appearances, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.
Direct Characterization
"The first man was small and quick, dark of the face, with restless ears and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small, strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose.Behind him walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung loosely." (page 2)
- This paragraph describes both Gorge and Lennie's appearances.
"A girl was standing there looking in. She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules. Her voice had a nasal, brittle quality." (page 34)
- Description of Curly's wife.
Indirect Characterization
"Whatever we ain't got, that's what you want. God a'mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an' work, an' no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want." (page 11-12)
- Through this quote, we learn that George is bad-tempered and not very understanding of Lennie. We also learn that Lennie is just an obstacle that is keeping George from reaching success. 
"Well, I could. I could go off in the hills there. Some place I'd find a cave." "I'd find things, George. I don't need no nice food with ketchup. I'd lay out in the sun and nobody'd hurt me. An' if I foun' a mouse, I could keep it. Nobody'd take it away from me." (page 13)
- Through these quotes, we learn that Lennie is willing to stay behind and let George find success on his own. We also learn that company is the only thing that Lennie wants and he doesn't care who nor what his company may be.
2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?

- Since the entire novella is based on mainly dialogue, I believe that the author's diction and syntax changes when he focuses on certain characters. When Lennie is speaking, the dialogue is very improper and a lot of slang words are used. When George speaks, the dialogue includes slang words, but they aren't very similar to Lennie's word choice.
"Jus' tell Lennie what to do an' he'll do it if it don't take no figuring. He can't think of nothing to do himself, but he sure can take orders." - George (page 43)
"George gonna come back, maybe George come back already. Maybe I better go see." - Lennie (page 80)
3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

- Lennie Smalls, the protagonist, is a static and flat character because he undergoes no major change nor grows as a character in the novella. Lennie begins as a kind, sensitive, and dependent character and ends the book as the same character. Throughout the book, Lennie tries to behave himself, not get into trouble nor cause any harm, but he fails to do so.
4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character?  Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction. 

-  After reading the book, I felt as if I had met both Lennie and George. Although both characters were very different from one another, I found both of them easy to relate to which helped me feel like I had gotten to know them. Lennie was such a sensitive and hopeful individual who meant no harm and George was impatient and protective. Though I found both of their characteristics relate-able, I felt like I had actually cared for Lennie as if he were a real human being.
"Le's do it now. Le's get that place now." (page 117) 
- This quote helped me relate to Lennie. Although things didn't turn out as planned he still remained a very hopeful individual. This quote helped me realize that even when things don't go as planned, you should never give up on your dreams.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014