A Missive from the Authoritative Teacher

Dear student:

Allow me to welcome you to Advanced Placement English Literature for the 2014-15 school year.

The course is rather rigorous, so I recommend that if you have any interests other than literary analysis that you get your affairs in order between now and the beginning of school.

We will analyze extraordinarily challenging texts in depth, breaking down million page novels with the kind of precision specified by Aristotle in his Poetics: that is, the the level of word->syllable->phoneme. Why did the author choose this particular word? Which syllable draws our attention, , and why do the shapes of the letters within those syllables represent the sounds we ascribe to them? If the author had written in Cyrillic, how might that meaning of the text be the complete opposite of what millennia of scholarship have dictated?

You will compose a 3-5 page, appropriately cited analysis of the course reading at least once daily. Your analyses will be written in twelve-point Times New Roman font, with 0.9 margins at top, bottom, right and left margins. It should go without saying that 1.5 line spacing is the new double-spaced, so I shan’t repeat that instruction. You will cite your references using ALAMPA/Chicago (North Side) format, which will require you to have the Linux programming skills necessary to hack into the servers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL), the only place where you can find the instructions. I will not provide under any circumstances provide for you that which you should have already learned.

It is also imperative that you follow the class dress code, regardless of what you wear for your other classes. Again, refer to the JPL for details.

Please remember that your performance in this course will decide not only your academic future, but also the academic and economic futures of your offspring and your offspring’s offspring, in addition to whether you will find a prom date and soul mate, or instead wither away in sterile dreaming (If this allusion is unfamiliar to you, you should immediately transfer – not just out of the class, but out of the school).

Please follow these instructions, as well as others I have left unwritten, to ensure that I have no animosity toward you on day one, and that you are not the student on whom I choose to vent the frustrations of my personal life.

Sincerely, Mr. Michael J. McAteer, BA, MA, MD, PhD, LlD, CIA

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