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English Class Presentation Order

Hey Gang,

Here’s the presentation order for all three of my classes.





Seminar Details and Order of Presentation

Hey Gang,

Starting today you will have 2 to 3 classes to prepare for your novel presentation. Computers will be made available to you during the period. I will also be here for any help/feedback you need.

Today I talked with you guys about the specifics of the presentation and made sure you know where to focus the bulk of your time. After that I took volunteers for anyone who wants to present early (i.e. NEXT THURSDAY)

Look below for the presentation details:

The Seminar

Once you’ve read your book and considered your generation, you’ll be ready for the seminar presentation. In the approximately 10 minutes you need to deliver the following three things:

  1. Basic information about your novel – characters, a sense of the plot, writing style, quality, information about the author – so your audience has context for your greater argument. This should be the easiest part of your presentation. This should also be the shortest part of your presentation. A couple of minutes should be plenty. (2 to 3 min)
  2. An explanation of what you believe is a defining characteristic of your generation. Make sure you explain your reasoning, not simply make a statement and assume the class will accept it as fact. If you’re presentation is built around the idea that connective technology has made people more empathetic or that your generation has abandoned religion, you need explain why. This will be more difficult as it requires some abstract thought. (2 to 3 min)PLEASE NOTE, POINTS 1 and 2 do not have to be in this order. Pick what works best.


  3. An exploration of how your novel succeeds or fails to examine the above mentioned characteristics of your generation. Just like your essays, assignments and everything else I’ve given you this year, the thing I value most is SPECIFIC EXAMPLES from the text the supports your idea. Vagaries tell me nothing.  This is the most difficult part of your presentation and will take up the bulk of your time. (5 min)

I do not want to this to simply be a talking head presentation. I want you to use some kind of added media component. What you do is up to you. I think the fewer restrictions, the better. You might consider:

  • Video Clips
  • Music
  • Power Point or Prezi
  • A Handout
  • Some form of live performance
  • Anything else you can think of

While your choice of media may vary, the means of evaluation stay the same: Does it heighten/strengthen audience understanding? Just remember that in any kind a presentation, media enhancements are there to help others, not you. That’s my way of reminding you not to create a bunch of slides just so you can read off them or use video clips to kill time. Media is there to clarity. It reinforces your ideas. It does not replace them. 

Seminar Specifics:

  • Length: Approximately 10 minutes
  • Media: Use media in a fun/creative way to engage your audience.
  • Evaluation: You will be evaluated on the clarity and logic of your information, the practiced nature of your presentation and the natural integration of media.
  • Presentations Start: May 15th / 16th

Exam Sources

Hey Jerks,

I took some time in today’s class to talk about exam review.

1, We did a little review exercise to see if your brains could stretch back as far as the start of the year.

2. We went over a list of the major works we’ve studies this year. 

Here are the sources for you exams:

Major Works (Your exam should include AT LEAST one of these..I’d recommend two)

  • The Drawer Boy
  • Hamlet
  • Heart of Darkness

Other Sources


  • The Hollow Men


  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Go Carolina


  • This is Water


  • A Modest Proposal


  • Apocalypse Now
  • Death and the Maiden


You will be writing an essay that compares multiple sources. Here are two restrictions you must work under:

  1. You must use at least one of the major texts
  2. You cannot use more than one of the films

3. We talked about how to study for an English exam

At the end of the day, there’s not a whole lot I can do to help you study for an English exam. If you remember the texts and the fundamentals of analysis, you should be fine. The hardest part of an English Exam is developing at thesis under pressure and finding adequate examples. The best way to prep for that is to do the following:

Look for texts with similar themes and motifs

The texts I selected for you this year were not assembled at random (well…not entirely, anyway). I chose them because they all contained overlapping themes, characters, ideas and stories. A good way to review is to group stories in different ways and consider similarities in advance.

Examples: Sanity/Insanity

  • Hamlet and Ophelia
  • Paulina
  • Dr. Miranda
  • Kurtz
  • The Hollow Men
  • Drug induced madness in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

*and these are only characters who are mad in the literal sense

Example: Truth/Lies

  • Morgan’s lies to Angus
  • Hamlet’s false face and Polonius’ manipulation
  • Everyone’s lies in Death and the Maiden
  • How we lie to ourselves in This is Water
  • Hypocrisy with Apocalypse Now 

Example: Power/Powerlessness

  • Miles vs. Morgan for control of Angus
  • David Sedaris vs. his therapist in Go Carolina
  • Struggle for control in Death and the Maiden
  • Kurtz control of the natives in Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness

What about…

….action vs. inaction

…justice vs. revenge


…nature of evil

If you keep these in your mind,  you should have not trouble being ready when the time comes.




Where we is…

Hey Gang,

Just a quick reminder of where we are at this point.


In a few weeks (just after the long weekend) we will begin your summative presentations. I have read the proposals and talked to everyone who I think needed to expand/evolve their idea. At this point, you simply need to be reading and preparing. The assignment sheet should give you a  pretty clear guideline on what you need to say but I’ll steal a few minutes at the start of the first work period (May 15/16) to make sure you don’t miss anything.

In case you are missing the summative, here it is again:

Gr. 12 Summative 2018

Course Work

This week we’re watching the film Death and the Maiden. It’s a film adaptation of the award winning play by South American playwright Ariel Dorfman.

Please note there will be NO MANDATORY work to come from this source but I’m including it for 2 reasons:

  1. You can write about it on the final exam
  2. I will offer a bonus assignment about it for those who would like to push up their grade.

Some people may have missed one of the classes in which I showed the film. If so, I found a free copy online. It’s not the most legal type version so watch at your own risk.  You can also borrow my copy but I find more and more computers don’t have CD drives anymore.

Death and The Maiden bonus assignment

So some of you may want to give your grades and extra push. For those people I offer this BONUS ASSIGNMENT.

I am going to have you use a critical lens to explore the play. Go back over the critical lenses I provided you in the last assignment (Racial, Feminist, Marxist and so on). Chose a lens and write a critical reaction to the play. Follow the questions provided in the handout as a guideline.

Length: 500 words minimum

Format: Typed

Style: Essay style, 3rd person tone. Unlike an essay,  you do not need a preamble or central thesis. Simple explore any and every observation you can draw from that lens.  


Death and The Maiden Introduction

Hey Punks,

So I decided that to put a button on the end of the year, we’d take a look at Ariel Dorfman’s DEATH AND THE MAIDEN. It’s a powerful play from the Chilean playwright that echoes a lot of the (admittedly gloomy) themes we’ve covered this term.

The power of this and many of Dorfman’s other works it that he presents challenging moral/ethical quandaries for the audience. He’s not interested in easy answer, clearly delineated heroes and villains. He wants the audience to feel ill at ease, never quite certain where their loyalties should lie and what a character should do next.

In that spirit, I present the following 3 hypothetical questions for you. Obviously, they will most probably fall out of the realm of your personal experience (I sure hope they do) but not for the character’s he presents:

  1. Imagine your closest friend in the world. You got that person in your head. Now imagine the tell you that they have killed somebody. They have a plan to dispose of the body but they need your help. They cannot provide you with any information about who it is or why they did it, but insist it was justified. Do you help them? Does you answer change if there is a 100% guaranteed you will never get caught.
  2. You are on trial for a crime you did not commit. Your lawyer tells you that you’ll most likely be convicted and face 20 years in prison but if you admit guilt, the will reduce your sentence. Do you do it if they reduce it by 5 year? 10 years? 15 years? Does you answer change if the crime which you have been convicted of changes (murder? theft? abuse?)
  3. The Trolley Problem

Image result for the trolley problem


Heart of Darkness

Hey Gang,

I know it’s been a while since I’ve update this thread. Sorry, I’ve been busy doing…teacher stuff.


Anyway, over the last few classes we’ve been learning about Heart of Darkness including its history, what it teaches about Modernism and its use of archetypes, most notably ‘The Shadow’.  If you missed any of the classes or simply want a refresher on these areas, you can look at the slideshow here:

Let me know if this works. I simply tried to include it as a PowerPoint but WordPress would not have it.


At this point just about everyone has chosen a book. Since the group presentation you’ll be starting today will be presented on the 19th/20th, I’ve decided to move back the proposal sheet due date to the following class, April 23/24.  That gives you an extra weekend to get it done. It’s only 300 words so it should not take very long. Finally, a reminder that if it’s in Comic Sans, I will crumble it up into a ball and kick it into the sun.


Questions for Next Class

Hey Gang,

Last period was a super depressing lesson on Colonialism and the African ivory trade. At then end of the period, I asked you to consider the following 3 questions for next class. You don’t need to write them down but be ready to answer any of these are the start of the period if I ask ’em to you:

  1. How difficult was this text to read on a scale of 1 (super easy) to 10 (impossible) and why?


  1. How would you define Conrad’s writing style? What do you think of this style? *Please note, I want you own opinion, not the internet’s. If you comment on his impressionistic modernist prose, I’ll know you looked it up.


  1. Was this a story worth telling and could it have been told better? Explain.