This Week in Mr. McAteer’s Classes: Sept. 9-13

This seems to be the consensus on what Aristotle looked like, although you can also find images of him dressed in Renaissance clothing. Things he said thousands of years ago will guide much of the work in Mr. McAteer's class this week.

This seems to be the consensus on what Aristotle looked like, although you can also find images of him dressed in Renaissance clothing. Things he said thousands of years ago will guide much of the work in Mr. McAteer’s class this week.

For seniors, this will be the last fragmented week for a while, as we contend with schedule drops and the necessary meetings with school counselors. We’ll get down to the business of reading books in the literature classes, and embark on our grand experiment in Journalism. Here’s how things will unfold in AP, HLLC (which we’ll be calling Sophomore English after today, as HLLC is a bit too obscure these days), Journalism and Poetry this week.

AP EnglishOn the last day of the first cycle, period 1 drops and period 4 will write its manifestos. I will ask you to read Bernard Knox’s introduction to Oedipus Rex before Wednesday’s class as we move out of the My Manifesto folder and into the Tragedy folder of our google drive. After visits from school counselors about the logistics of the college application thing on Tuesday, we will begin Oedipus Rex, which we will read aloud in class over a few days while we take on Aristotle’s Poetics outside of room 211. Speaking the words of Sophocles, applying the contexts from Knox, and understanding the principles of Aristotle encompass the entirety of our work for the week.

Outside of those activities which are typical of English classes, I hope we will begin to make productive use of the digital tools that will allow each of you to observe, comment, question and respond in ways that feed your own inquiries.

Yay, books! On Monday, we will get at the big questions that distinguish the way you’ve been asked to think about literature in the past from the way you’ll look at it moving forward, and you’ll be introduced to some of the terms necessary to an intelligent discussion of Lord of the Flies. You’ll have two days to read the first chapter of LotF, during which time I hope you’ll begin to use the digital tools we discussed on Friday. Wednesday night’s reading of chapter 2 will give us a chance to wrap up a discussion of the Beginning (notice the nifty use of capitalization there), and for Friday you’ll write the first response of the first reading portfolio.

I’ll be teaching a lot about reading strategies and ways to construct your thinking this week; please understand that these critical reading/thinking lessons are the course content and not just helpful suggestions that you might use if you remember to try them.

On Monday, we will deconstruct in small groups those stories you found on Friday to identify journalistic principles you already recognize as readers. Beginning Tuesday, we will begin to explore the “packaging” process in groups working on real stories in multiple media. Some of you will begin that exploration with the technologies of the trade, while others will use the pen-and-pad approach to discover your stories. As you work, Mr. Cebulski and I will be using some class time to help you learn the nuts and bolts parts of journalism necessary to responsible and interesting reporting.

On Monday, the school counselors will take most of our class time to provide you with information necessary to the college application process, which will leave us with Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to continue our shenanigans. On Tuesday, we’ll get at some of the possibilities present in the brief readings from Borges and Tolstoy that anchor our “Challenging Assumptions about Time and Space” segment of the class, and I’ll give you a set of poems that might provide further guidance (beyond the class on Komunyakaa, and the wisdom given us by Langston Hughes and William Butler Yeats) about the way we should read poetry.

We will continue the daily poeming begun by Ryan on Friday, and I will ask you to become a bit more interactive with the class google forum. The weather will dictate what Friday’s class looks like.

And that’s pretty much it for the week, folks. Don’t forget to scribble down those schedules so your parents know where to go and when to go there for Thursday’s Open House.

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