Category Archives: AP English – 4th hour

What Do Women Really Want?

Soooooo, you just read the prologue and the Wife of Bath’s tale.  Is she accurate in her discussion of what women really want?  What do YOU think women really want?  In fact, take this one step further?  What do MEN want?  What are the sexes really looking for in relationships?  (Length:  One fully developed, well – written, “sparkly” paragraph.  In addition, please respond to two other responses from your classmates.  🙂  Can’t wait to read these!!!  🙂


AP ENGLISH -4th hour…What is your “green light?” (Blog Assign #1)

Please read The New York Times article (dated 2008) entitled “Gatsby’s Green Light Beckons a New Set of Strivers” and “The Happiest Place on Earth” (see below.)  After you have read the articles, please first respond to the following prompt in a well-written, thoughtful, and blog-worthy (or bloggable, which is, indeed, a word) response of 150-200 words:  Then, respond to someone else’s blog response in three to four sentences.

Prompt:  What is YOUR green light?  What is YOUR “American Dream?”

(Links to two articles about money and happiness.)

The Happiest Place on Earth” – includes the “60 Minutes” video clip

“Gatsby’s Green Light Beckons a New Set of Strivers”

Point value – 25 for 150-200 word response/ 10 points for response to another’s answer


AP English – “The Drunkard”

This post is for students in Miss Watson’s AP English class, 2015. Length: approximately 125 words.

"All the World's a Stage..." (Shakespeare, As You Like It)

Choose a favorite quote from Frank O’Connor’s famous short story, “The Drunkard” and explain why it affects you as such. This quote should somehow exemplify the irony on which the story is heavily written. Be sure to elaborate and explain yourself so that others reading your response will have a strong appreciation of the use of irony in the selection. Don’t forget to establish who says the quote and provide the page number.

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AP English – Time to Interview!!


Blogging is such a powerful medium for self-expression and self-discovery: every day, I read dozens of posts that channel their authors’ personalities and voices, giving me a glimpse of each blogger’s viewpoint.

Every once in a while, though, it can be rewarding — and fun — to let someone else do the talking. And there’s something particularly exciting about being the one who asks the questions and leads the direction of the discussion.

For this week’s challenge, we invite you to conduct a Q & A with any person you know who might have something interesting to say (read: anyone). It can be a family member or a close friend, a cab driver or your favorite barista. Or it could just be the first person who agrees to answer your questions.

Speaking on record

Everyone has (at least) one good story; your goal for your interview is to find it and share it on your blog.

Note: Make sure to ask permission to share your interviewee’s answers — especially if you mention his or her name, or any other potentially identifying information.

Interviews don’t have to be formal, two-hour affairs; every time you engage in a conversation with another person you’re, in effect, interviewing them. Consequently, you can format your post in any number of ways:

  • The classic interview: offer your interviewer a set number of questions, then share their replies. (If you’re not sure what to ask, take some inspiration from the famous Proust Questionnaire.)
  • Conduct your Q & A as an informal dialogue and write it down from memory, or compose a story in which this conversation assumes a central role.
  • Omit your questions from the post entirely, presenting your readers with the uninterrupted flow of your interviewee’s words (the Humans of New York project has really perfected this form — take a look and see if you feel like giving it a try).

Don’t have anyone to interview? Think again! You could:

  • Check out other bloggers on our Community Pool and request an interview with one whose blog resonates with your interests. (Note: if you go this route, please contact the bloggers in question on their site, not on the Community Pool’s comments section. Thanks!)
  • Compose a fictional Q & A with any historical figure you wish, living or dead. Write a short story about interviewing the first alien making contact with humans. The possibilities are truly infinite.
  • Ask a complete, random stranger. You’d be surprised how far a big, friendly smile and the promise of attention might get you.

AP English – Please have your responses posted by 11:59pm on Wednesday, October 8th!  I am looking forward to your responses!!  🙂

AP English – Magic and Absurdity…

Tiny Yellow Flowers

Any time we read a book, we’re transported. A good author will develop the characters in such a way that we identify with them automatically. We see their flaws in ourselves, as well as their happiness and desires. We follow them through their lives, the climax and the denouement of the tale, wishing the best for them, or the worst, depending on the type of book we’re reading.

When it comes to absurdity or surrealism in literature, there’s something extra. It’s like when someone adds nutmeg or chicory to brewed coffee — it tastes like coffee, it’s caffeinated like coffee, and yet there’s this subtle undertone that hits us as we take each sip. As with any other book, we’re transported by the storyline and the characters, but we’re also enraptured by the possibility of magic.

I often think of Gabriel García Marquez’ scene of thousands of yellow flowers falling to the ground in Love in the Time of Cholera. As the landscape is blanketed in these small flowers, we readers can picture the real version of such petals falling and more closely imagine ourselves in his magical scene. In fact, we may come to desire such splendor in our day-to-day lives and find ourselves fantasizing about flowers, and romance, and magic.

The Challenge

For your first post, answer one of the following prompts, remembering that the concepts of a sense of magic or absurdity are the primary focus of your response.  If you choose the fictional piece, don’t feel as though you have to write a novel…even a brief episode is fine!  Length should be long enough to engage your readers fully and SHOW the magic or absurdity that you are sharing!

◾Write a fictional piece that incorporates the everyday life we’re familiar with — work, family, errands — and add a surprise twist through an imaginary character, absurd turn of events, or Sci-Fi-esque setting.
◾We all know that sometimes life itself is a bit nonsensical. Tell us a story when you were going about your own business and something completely ridiculous or inexplicable happened. What did you do, and how did you react?
◾Tap into your inner child and conjure up some of the magic you experienced in your childhood. When I was a kid, I was convinced that I could fly and wouldn’t let anyone tell me otherwise. What improbably hopeful dreams did you have?

Your AP classmates and I are looking forward to your absurd tales!!