English III/AP: American Literature
2017-2018 (10th & 11th graders)

For Monday, 3/19/18 (7:30 PM SKYPE):

Read: Roman Fever, by Edith Wharton (Perrine);
The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber, by Ernest Hemingway (Perrine);
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, by Ernest Hemingway (Handout)

DUE: D3 of Cather/Steinbeck/Fitzgerald essay to me

EDIT 8 X d.1 short application essays -- turn in D2 as you get them done

Xiu Mei >>> Maddy >>> Paige: Finish your part of the class piece and send it to the next classmate to add her section on -- all sections should be put together as one piece, edited (make any changes you feel that the piece needs as it comes to you).


by Tess Billmire

Two black chairs with wheels lie across from one another in my family's office. It's really my office, since I reside there for thirteen hours a day. Piles of empty food packages mixed with important assignments lie on my green desk full of doodles. I'm mindlessly watching Minecraft videos while in deep thought about how I want to do nothing. My brain wanders into a dream-like reality; I know it's not real, but it's almost alive. I dream about having a time-controlling watch to transport me earlier in the week so I would've actually finished my chemistry homework. I see myself zipping backwards at the speed of light to my bed seven days ago: a much better, simpler time.

*                     *                     *

Time is of the essence, yet the world only heads towards the future. In every moment lies the yearning sensation of anticipation for next step in life. Even simple movie trailers are shown on TV months before their release to excite interest in the future. In high school, it's all about college and how childhood wonders are coming to a close. Being surrounded by imminent occurrences, I find it difficult, almost impossible, to focus on the present. As a high schooler, I'm naturally pessimistic. I yearn to soar towards the past to be young and free again.

As a kid with OCD, I'm obsessed with time. However, my compulsion to know when the bell is going to ring is just the same as that of everyone else. High schoolers are simply eager to reach the end of the day as soon as possible. While days in class crawl slowly by, every school year concludes like a flash of lighting: time flies terrifyingly towards an unknown future. I look towards the past to protect myself from harsh realities. I want to enter a time machine and head towards my three-year-old self.

As a small child with parental guidance, I could play with toys all day and be free. My imagination was encouraged with friendly nods from adults who would try not to crush my soul. Judgement and advice from my mother were saved for another day. Too young to be a prisoner of the world, I was unaware of harsh realities, responsibilities, and criticism. If I were three again, worrisome thoughts of homework and grades would be absent from my brain. My parents would set up play dates for me, so a lack of friends would not plague my adolescent mind. Being three was a utopia, with two noble servants at my side and the world in the palm of my hand.

This constant dream of having a time machine replays in my mind every day. As a fifteen-year-old sophomore locked into reality, I have no way to escape. For anyone who has passed the age of thirteen, not focusing on the tragic reality set in front of her makes her seem ignorant.

*                     *                     *

Looking at an edited essay, I internally cringe at my efforts or lack thereof. I quickly flip through the comments and then stuff it into a blue folder for later. The internal gears in my brain begin turning to start mentally fixing my mistakes, but I stop those from getting too far. Overwhelmed with stress and disappointment, I feel angry that my hard labor of typing on a laptop wasn't enough. I'll admit I don't always put my heart and soul into every word I manually type, but it's still discouraging. The reality is I need to learn and fix the endless grammar mistakes and nonsensical sentences. Yet, especially with essays, while I occasionally think about them, I never take action. Sometimes that's how the world works. Without an immediate feeling of satisfaction and progression, life seems meaningless. Maybe this is why it's so hard to move forward.

Society morphs the world into a non-childish zone. However, as miserable as the present sometimes seems, rays of sunshine always break through. Constantly, I look back on the previous week and think about how easy it was. I've always had a difficult time appreciating the present rather than the past, but recently it's dawned on me that I can be forever young in the present. In the future I can look back and remember the glory days. My perception of time changes my current reality into a magical funland.

This past year I've branched out, away from my comfort zone. I've put in an excruciating amount of effort to repair my broken social life. After three friend breakups, I've finally learned that I'm trying too hard. I'm so absorbed into my academic life that I associate effort with success. This mindset makes me seem even more awkward and desperate, which scares others away. I'm beginning to grow socially from my embarrassing mistakes. However, I'd rather keep the growth and burn the memories. The lingering pain from these experiences is sometimes too hard to bear.

My memories shut out the wretched, embarrassing moments in my life, leaving only the beautiful. We glorify our past; perhaps that's why our minds are stuck in repetitive gears. Current murky waters block visualization of a realistic future, and entrap their victims in a vortex of pessimism. However, once past each terrible situation, the full scope of what happened becomes clear. I will look back fondly on these high school years, daydreaming about my friends and toilet-papering popular kids' houses during Homecoming. I don't need a time machine to relive the parts of life that I remember the most. Age is just a number. My own memories will keep me limitless, and forever young.

To see all vocabulary for the year, go to: American Literature VOCABULARY. Play to study on Quizlet >>>


Participation = 30%
(purely subjective, based on my perceptions of your initiative, interest, self-motivation, & tenacity)

Assignments (two parts of grade)

1st Semester EFFORT = 20%;
2nd Semester EFFORT = 10%;

Vocab/Multiple Choice tests = 15%

AP Portfolio essay grades = 15%

Exams = 10%

An explanation of the assignment grades at right. The grade you see is an average of the CONTENT grades you have received over an average of the EFFORT grades you have received. During the first semester, the effort grade will be weighted more; during the Spring semester, I will look at the content average as the more significant part of your grade.

pieces written by English III students this year
pieces written by English III students in 2014-2015
pieces written by English III students in 2010-2011
pieces written by English III students in 2007-2008
pieces written by English III students in 2005-2006
pieces written by English III students in 2003-2004
pieces written by English III students in 2001-2002

During your MDHS reading class this year, choose some books from the 9th-10th Grade Reading List.

Click on the icon at right to access Editors' Links and directions for email editing: Editors' Links

Check all papers for THESE SKILLS before turning them in to me. ALSO:


3rd Quarter Unfinished pieces

Xiu Mei:
                Assignments: 96% [E] / 92% [C]
                timed essays = 82%
                Multiple Choice/vocab = 70%
                Exam = 81%

Philosophical essay
College Packet: Junior Autobiography
Class Article: HS Late Start?
Steinbeck/Cather/Fitzgerald essay
8 short application essays
1-2 long application essays

                Assignments: 98% [E] / 92% [C]
                timed essays = 79%
                Multiple Choice/vocab = 61%

Class Article: HS Late Start?
Steinbeck/Cather/Fitzgerald essay
8 short application essays
1-2 long application essays

                Assignments: 93% [E] / 90% [C]
                timed essays = 78%
                Multiple Choice/vocab = 62%
                Exam = 89%

Philosophical essay
Poe/Bernard 1000-word essay, with endnotes and bibliography
College Packet: Junior Autobiography
Class Article: HS Late Start?
Steinbeck/Cather/Fitzgerald essay
8 short application essays
1-2 long application essays

                Assignments: 97% [E] / 92% [C]
                timed essays = 78%
                Multiple Choice/vocab = 54%
                Exam = 91%

Philosophical essay
Class Article: HS Late Start?
Steinbeck/Cather/Fitzgerald essay
8 short application essays
1-2 long application essays

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