Dystopian, Heroism Essay

Junior English

August 19th, 2015

Themes: ,

Sorry I missed a post yesterday! We spent the day writing over the three short stories we’ve read so far. Today, we discussed my feedback on your rough drafts/outlines and continued working on the drafts.

The goal is to find commonalities (you can simply compare your annotations for a starting point here), then place those within the paragraph section of your outline. Once you’ve done that, take a step back and ask, “What do we learn from this? What is the message?” That’ll be your thesis. Note how each paragraph in your outline contributes to your answer, and those will be your topic sentences. From there it is simply a matter of turning the outline into an essay.

As always:

Dystopia, Rebellion

Junior English

August 17th, 2015

Themes: ,

We wrapped up the third in our initial series of depressing short stories: Ursula K. LeGuin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.”

After discussion about the nature of the hero, the desire for happiness, and the relationship between rebellion and oppression, I asked you to begin laying out a plan for a paper. Here’s the prompt:

Write an essay in which you explain what a reader should learn from these three stories. Do they all say the same thing? Do some disagree? How are they relevant?

Wrap up your annotations tonight and we’ll begin writing in class tomorrow.


Junior English

August 25th, 2013

Themes: , ,

Earlier this week you voted to write over the three short stories we’ve read so far1. You’ve been working alternately solo and in groups to understand what these authors are arguing about rebellion.

As we’ve moved through this writing process I’ve asked you to keep a few things in mind. As you write your rough drafts this weekend, please make sure these haven’t disappeared from your writing:

Email or post a comment with questions. They are due at the beginning of class on Monday.

  1. “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” and “The Greatest Man in the World” []

Life’s Milestones and Reading Quizzes

British Literature

August 24th, 2009

Themes: , ,

So, I went and did it. I wrote a reading quiz and made you take it. While no one asked why you had to (and you promised you would), the reasoning I gave in class was this:

  1. Some of you are motivated by grades, points, etc. While I do my best to dissuade you from this, hoping that you’ll instead enjoy the book, many of you remain steadfast. That’s cool; we have quizzes.
  2. It gets us all thinking about the same scenes from the novel while maintaining our own opinions of them. In years past, I would open with “So what happened?” and someone would give a synopsis. This worked fairly well, but colored everyone’s interpretation. I want to know how each of you read it, not come to a consensus.
  3. Some of you are smarter on paper, or unwilling to speak up in class. I’ve always been in the former group, so I feel your pain. Writing out your thoughts gives you a chance to organize them. For the quiet ones, you get your opinions to me, though the rest of the class misses out. I may read some of your responses in class. If you are worried about this, just let me know.

Bookmark the previous post (the reading schedule) so you don’t have to go searching every night. Some students copy it into their reading journals or on a bookmark so they always have it. Do whatever you feel is best.

“How I Came to Be a Teacher”

Fifth hour (and anyone in third hour who is interested): I’m really excited that you decided to write your own story similar to mine. It will be due Friday in lieu of an essay over the book. Remember that it does not have to be about you as a student. Here are some ideas:

The only parameters are that it should be about something you have achieved, or something you are doing/living now. While “How I decided to become a _____ when I grow up” would be an interesting story, focus on something that has changed in your recent past.


As always, email me with questions.

There and Back Again

Notes from Stallings, Uncategorized

June 24th, 2009

Themes: , , , ,

How’s summer going? I had planned on updating throughout, but things have been busy. If any of you are still checking, drop me a comment below. Might give me motivation to share the coolness I come across.
So, I’ve been working on the syllabus for the Great Stories class I’ll be teaching in the fall, and thought I’d ask for your input. What stories from religious texts, fairy tales, myths, fables, and such should we read? What were the stories you loved as a child, or only recently discovered? Basically, what stories should every person know?
This will be a chance for us to increase our cultural capital, and better understand Western life.
My list: