I'm so excited for the 2011/2012 school year.  This will be a year of many achievements and surprises for you!  This AP course centers in the art of composition, and you will be doing plenty of writing over the school year to help maximize your learning.  To get started, please take some time this summer to pay attention to how authors craft their pieces of writing.  Consider the author's intended messageWho is the speaker?  Who is the audience?  And finally, consider what it is that made that particular piece of writing effective to you.  These are the questions and considerations with which you will approach every reading selection assigned during this course.   Over the next two months, please select 1 writing sample that you have connected with for some reason.  This may be an essay, newspaper article, editorial, poem, or even a novel.  In written form (blog post is fine), answer the questions I posed above and be prepared on the first day of class to discuss the strategies that you have identified that make your selected written piece effective to you.   You may post your reflection on this blog so that others (including myself) can share in your reflection and thinking.   Please remember to mention the piece of written text to which you are responding--include the title of the piece and the author's name.  You may include a link to the written text if it is available online. 


 


Comments

Falon Stilwell
06/05/2011 11:35

Basically we have to answer the questions:
Who is the speaker? Who is the audience? And consider what it is that made that particular piece of writing effective to you?
Also,we will be required to bring in our assignment the first day of class or can we post our final assignment on the blog?

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Mrs. Welding
06/05/2011 20:37

Hi Falcon,

Yes, basically I am asking you to read this summer keeping in mind the author's craft. On the first day of class I would like you to be prepared to discuss what it is that makes a piece of writing effective to you.

I would like you to be able to specifically identify what it is that the author did that moved you either in a positive or a negative way.

If you do post your response to this blog, it would be nice to be able to identify the reading selection that you are analyzing. As far as bringing the assignment to class, I am most interested in your ability to articulate your response to your reading selection. Enjoy your summer! Mrs. W

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Sarah Anderson
06/05/2011 20:57

Would song lyrics count for this assignment?

And are these the only questions we will be receiving or will more be added throughout the summer?

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Mrs. Welding
06/05/2011 22:49

Hi Sarah,

You may use song lyrics if you'd like.

Yes, these are the only questions I will have for you this summer. These questions will be the beginning point for understanding the five canons of rhetoric--invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.

I will be adding resources to the website over the summer but do not plan to add anything additional to this assignment. You can, of course, reflect on these questions and considerations for any and all texts that you read over the coming months.

And not to worry--we will pick up the pace when the new school year begins!

Have a great summer! Mrs. W

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Birdie
06/10/2011 11:04

Hey Mrs. Welding, im doing my assignment on Eminems Not Afraid song is that ok? I think it gives a really important message to people who want second chances. And I listen to it because it sends me the message that no matter what happend in the past you can change in the future.

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Mrs. Welding
06/10/2011 22:56

Hi Birdie,

The song that you have chosen is fine. I like that you have made a connection with the text that you have selected. I see that you have narrowed your focus on the author's intended message--also, think about who Eminem's intended audience is--does he have an agenda? Do you think he cares more about his music or more about selling his music? Why? And finally, what is it that Eminem does that grabs the listener and compels him or her to listen and interpret the message he employs. What is it about his songs (Grammy nominated!) that are so effective? Enjoy the summer! :) Mrs. W

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Mrs. Welding
06/10/2011 23:00

Hi Falon,

I see that I have misspelled your name in my reply above. So sorry! I'd like to blame it on spell check, but it is more likely due to reading without my glasses. Again, I am sorry and will not make that mistake again. Best! Mrs. W

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Falon Stilwell
06/15/2011 08:18

It is okay everyone either pronounces my name wrong or spells it wrong.

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Sarah Anderson
06/23/2011 15:08

I would like to do my assignment on A Day To Remember's song 'All I Want'. It gives out the message that you should never give up, even if no one else has faith in you. The song says, "Keep your hopes up high and your head down low"; I think this means to stick to what you believe, don't cause any trouble and you can have all that you want.

The speaker is a man who had been having people reject his dreams for years and telling him it would never work, but he never gave in and he achieved all he wanted and more.

He is speaking to anyone that has ever been told they can't do or be something. He is telling them his story and giving advice on how to make their own story heard.

This song was effective to me because it gave me hope and the courage and confidence to be me and to fight for what I want, even though others tell me it can't happen.

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Mrs. Welding
06/28/2011 15:30

Thank you for your post! I am interested in the text you have selected. Since you have chosen a song, there are additional considerations that you may need to reflect upon to complete your interpretation and analyze the song on a deeper level.

For example, let's consider the lyrics that you have quoted. Though I am not familiar with this song, the lyrics that you cited help to exemplify the message you suggested through a high/low contrast. Are there any other contrasting messages or images within the song lyrics--or is this line singularly meant to exemplify the overall theme? For example, is this line repeated through the song?

Are there any other lyrics that you can use to support your impression of the author's message?

You may want to consider the tone of the song as well. Is it upbeat, melancholic, angry? Does the tone support the intended message? How? What is the genre of this song? Does this particular genre lend itself well to the intended audience? Why?

You have a great start, and I can see that you chose a text that really spoke to you! If you want to take your analysis a little deeper, consider my questions... Specifically, can you identify what it is that the author of the text did to make it a memorable piece for you?

Thank you, and enjoy your summer! Looking forward to having you in class this year! :) Mrs. W

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Sarah Anderson
06/29/2011 17:16

I think that line is meant to exemplify the theme because it is repeated several times throughout the song. There is another line "All I ever wanted was a place to call my own, to mend the hearts of everyone who feels alone"; this line is repeated several times throughout the song as well. I think that the meaning behind this lyric is the singer saying that he wants to be the one that instills hope in others and be the one that encourages the discouraged.

I think the tone of the song is a bit rebellious but it seems to have some anger in it as well. The singer says, "Will you even look back when you think of me"; when I hear this I think that he is speaking to all the people that told him he wouldn't make it and that he is saying it with an in-your-face attitude. (I'm sorry, I couldn't think of another way to say that.)
I think the tone does support the intended message because sometimes to achieve what you want you have to be a little defiant and rebellious.

The genre of the song is rock. I'm not really sure if it would have made a difference if the song had been done in a different genre.

This was a memorable piece because it actually meant something and I could find myself relating to the words spoken in the song. The singer sang with a passion that made me feel the same way and caused me to understand the song a little more.

I hope I answered these correctly.. I hope you have a good summer as well! :)

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Sabrina Lopez
06/30/2011 10:29

Dear Mrs. Welding,
My reading for this is my all time favorite Freak The Might. My question is do answer my questions on here or can i hand write it?

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Sabrina Lopez
06/30/2011 10:31

I meant Freak The Mighty

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Mrs. Welding
07/02/2011 20:20

Hi Sabrina,

You may post your comments here or complete your response in writing and bring it to class. I'm glad that you will be considering Rodman Philbrick's writing--he is one of my favorite young adult authors. Have you read "Last Book in the Universe"? If you haven't, it is a quick read--you might enjoy it, as well.

Freak the Mighty is an interesting choice. When considering the message or theme of this piece of literature, think about the ways that Philbrick was able to stir such strong emotions in the reader--what is it about his writing that hooks in the reader so easily? Because the speaker and the audience are fairly simple to identify for this piece, spend more time looking at his writing and the different strategies that he uses to convey the message. How does Philbrick create tone? How would you describe his writing style? And if you have a chance to read another piece by Philbrick, consider whether he uses the same strategies with equal success. Have a great summer, Sabrina! Looking forward to having you in class. :) Mrs. W

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Mrs. Welding
07/02/2011 20:34

Hi Sarah,

I enjoyed reading your second response--it gave me a clearer picture of the text. You did a very nice job in answering my questions--often, believe it or not, I'm not looking for a "correct" answer, rather I want you to support what it is that you have identified--and I think that you have done this well!

You commented that you are not sure if it would make a difference if the song was recorded in a different genre --interesting! You also mentioned the rebellious tone--and I would like to suggest that this might correspond to the rock genre (maybe?).

What if this song was rerecorded in the country genre? Opera genre? It might employ the same message, but would the delivery have to change to create this same message? Why? The difference would be considered the author's style--we will be talking a lot about style this next year--I'm looking forward to your impressions! Thank you again for your effort here--we will be discussing responses during the first few days of class. Best! Mrs. W

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Nicole Szczebak
07/03/2011 14:39

My responce is based on a poem by Dr.Seuss
How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?

I think the speaker is anyone who is so caught up in their everyday life that they don't really realise whats going on around them.

The audience for this poem is anyone who feels this way. Anyone who feelis like the days go by too fast, they seem to get blured together and form 1 never ending day.

What Inspired me about this text is that it really explains how I feel sometimes. I get so caught up in my school work, sports, my friends and technology that I lose track of whats going on around me. Sometimes I get the chance to stop and really look at the world only to see that it's changed dramatickly since the last time I looked.
Also this poem represents teenage life and how we don't have much time to stop and smell the roses anymore. We are always so busy with things that we deem so important to us. Only to realise later on in life that they really wernt so important, but instead just wasted time that shoud have been spent on something else.

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Manuel Gaytan
07/05/2011 17:06

my response will be based upon a song from the flo bots titled "white flag warriors".
I would like to know if there are any hidden deeper questions you are expecting since this is an anti-war song. Suggestions much obliged

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Mrs. Welding
07/07/2011 21:37

Hi Nicole,

I like the short poem that you have selected. (It is a good reminder for me to slow down and take time for my family!) I think that you have done an accurate job identifying audience, speaker, and message. I like that you could easily relate the poem to your own life and to your peers--an insightful response. To take your analysis one step further, think about how Dr. Seuss was able to create such a poignant message with such a short poem. What devices or strategies did he use to make the poem particularly interesting? Nice work Nicole--I'm looking forward to having you in class next year! :) Mrs. W

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Mrs. Welding
07/07/2011 21:50

Hi Manuel,

I am not familiar with the song that you have selected, and I don't have any hidden questions necessarily that I expect from you. I am just getting to know you a little bit, and I want to know how you attack a text when you analyze it. What I would like you to do is exactly what I asked above--consider the speaker, audience, and message along with strategies that the author used to create your response to the text.

Because you are selecting a song, you may want to pay attention to rhetorical and/or literary devices like repetition, allusion, rhyme, metaphors and similes--often with songs there will be layers of meaning employed.

Take some time to consider the tone and its influence on the song's theme as well. This will be a good place to start. We will be discussing your analysis during the first few days of school. Enjoy the rest of the summer--I am looking forward to your response! :) Mrs. Welding

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Elizabeth Ceballos
07/08/2011 17:25


Forest Born (novel)—Shannon Hale

Okay… well, first of all, this story is about a girl that lives in the Forest with her large family, and she has a connection with the trees around her and a talent with people. She leaves the Forest with her brother after feeling restless and that she doesn’t belong in the Forest, but after a journey and some life changing events, she returns home.

I think the author’s message was about finding your place in the world and the people you belong with, but only after you find the courage to look, and accept who you are.

The story is told from the first person point of view of a sixteen year old girl named Rinna, who has become alienated
from her home. So… Rin is the speaker.

The author’s intended audience appears to be young adults/teenagers, as the story’s focus is basically a teenage girl experiencing the universal phase of growing up and finding a place in the world.

I think that what made this story stand out to me were the descriptions of Rinna’s experiences, like doubt, regret, and happiness. The way they were described made me sympathize personally with her. When I read this book, I knew exactly what the character’s emotions felt like in reality and I was able to directly identify with her.

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Mrs. Welding
07/08/2011 18:09

Hi Elizabeth,

A very nice response! One of my favorite authors is Ray Bradbury--he is also very good with imagery/description, so I can really relate to what you say here about connecting with the emotions of the characters through the choices that the author makes.

Rinna's experiences that you list--like regret and happiness seem to contrast each other. This juxtaposition often exemplifies the theme, which you seem to understand.

To take your analysis one step further, you could identify specific passages that demonstrate the author's descriptive writing--and then within that text, identify the literary devices that were used to effectively create imagery: metaphor, simile, personification, allusion, etc.

Nice work! I look forward to having you in my class next year! :) Mrs. W

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Maribel
07/09/2011 13:53

The one piece of writing can be any type of lyrics, right? it does not have to be a novel that we've read before right? Is there anything in general that you prefer that we look in?

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Mrs. Welding
07/09/2011 16:48

Hi Maribel,

The piece of text you choose to analyze can be any text that you feel compelled to discuss--I have no preference. It may be lyrics or a novel--my only suggestion is that you choose something that you connect with for some reason.

Student responses will be an avenue for our class to begin conversations about writing. Your response, specifically, will give me an idea about how you see text and your strengths in analysis.

This assignment is not meant to be difficult, rather it is a task that should get you thinking about author's craft.

Looking forward to your response! :) Mrs. W

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Thelma Manuel
07/11/2011 13:30

I'd like to do my assignment on a song called Save Him by Justin Nozuka. Honestly this is not the genre of music that I normally listen to, but after not being able to think of something that really spoke to me, I happened to hear this song and the lyrics struck a chord. The song is a story about an abusive relationship, and though I’ve never gone through it or witnessed it, I know how painful and damaging it can be. It is something that I am strongly against. The song itself is slow paced and acoustic, which makes the message of the song that much stronger.
The lyrics speak about a woman who is physically abused by her husband, yet gives the outside world a false image that her life is pleasant. She was also abused as a child. She does not leave her husband, but she pleads that what is happening to her will not happen to her son as she prays “save him from the hand that he beats me on.” This shows how
The speaker of the lyrics is a person who is looking in on the abuse from the outside, as presented in the line that says “Deep at night, I'm awakened from my dreams. Next door, yelling, cries, mercy.” He can hear the woman’s cries as she being hurt. He can see all these things going on, but he can’t do anything to help her. Throughout the song the speaker talks of the happy beginning and ends at the tragic end of the story.
The audience of this song is anybody who feels strongly about the issue of abuse. The lyrics leave a strong impression on people who have gone through or witnessed abuse, and those who are against it.
This writing was effective for me because of the story that was told throughout the song, and it really formed in my mind. The beginning of the song tells of how happy they are at first, “Laughing and kissing, it’s a match made in heaven.” But as the chorus and the rest of the song play, you can see the relationship turn violent, “Dark clouds cover her paradise, she covers her eyes and hides behind enemy lines.” This line also shows how she shows an image of being okay to the outside world. Things come to a fatal end in the line “He brings out a gun and says to her ‘stop crying and bring me my son…two shots to her chest and a blow to his own head.” The end of the story is “And baby cries, he cries his eyes out.” This line shows how there was more than one victim and that the damaging effects of the abuse will continue on in the son’s life.

I hope I answered these question well.

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Mrs. Welding
07/12/2011 07:38

Hi Thelma,

I really enjoyed reading your post--you've done a nice job taking apart the text. The song is a very powerful acknowledgement of what happens in an abusive relationship, and you've provided an insightful analysis of the lyrics. You mention that the song is slow paced and that this contributes to the intended message. This is a great example of how an author can develop the tone of the writing to strengthen the theme.

You have also discussed the contrast that is used within the song--also a strategy an author uses to better exemplify the theme/message. In effective writing and speaking, you will see contrast from light to dark, high to low, etc. This rhetorical strategy will be discussed frequently in class this next year.

And lastly, you've honed in on another strategy that can be very persuasive when used by an author: by using a little story or anecdote, the author can move the audience at an emotional level--or what we call pathos.

I am impressed with your discussion and am excited to have you in class this year! Thank you for your perceptive response! Enjoy the remainder of the summer... :) Mrs. W

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07/12/2011 15:15

I have always thought of this lyrics called Concrete Angel by:Martina McBride, The moment I heard the song I was astonished by what the little girl goes through all her life. This song really speaks for those innocent ones that can not speak up for them self, for they are fragile and small compare to what is going on around them. Thousands of children in the United States are at home and abuse in many ways,in this case the child's mother is a drug addict. Not only is she being abused at home, she is neglected by others that can see what is going on and no one helps. Neglect-ion is one the million reasons why children go in to foster care. Some children are saved, and removed from their homes and put into foster homes for their own safety but, all they see is that they are put in a strangers home unaware of what maybe assumed. Those who know what happen, an example, a neighbor aware of the situation of an abused child do not report, not wanting to get in a situation with other people problems but, towards the end if no one acts, then it can be too late for an innocent small person just like the little girl in the song. This song reminds me of a friend that I had when I was about 7 or 8 years old between 1st and 2nd grade. She was one of my bestest friend I had back in elementary school, she was sweet and very caring to many of us even those who were not her friends, a few times she came to school with scratches and bruises, she always said her brothers did that. Soon we were off to winter break, when we got back from winter break, it was about a week after I realized she did not come back, that same week our teacher at the time told us she passed away, little after I found out she went through child abuse at home.I never thought that, that would be the last day I would have seen her. When child abuse is happening around us, we should act quick it and report it, because before we know it it could be to late.

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Mrs. Welding
07/12/2011 17:18

Hi Maribel,

I see that you have chosen a very moving text to discuss. You have a start here, but you need to dig into the song lyrics to complete the task. I now know why you chose this song, but I haven't learned anything about the text specifically. Who is the audience of this piece? How do you know? Who is speaking--the child, the mother, a bystander? Why? Would the text have been more effective or less effective if the speaker changed? What is the point or message of the lyrics? What is it that McBride wants her audience to learn about child abuse?

You have done a great job explaining why you connected with the piece--now take the next step and look closely at the lyrics. How did McBride manipulate the words, tone, images when writing the song? Does her delivery of the song support the message--the country genre? And which strategies did the author of the song use to create such a powerful theme? Thanks! Mrs. W

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Maribel
07/14/2011 15:07

Okay, I did not get as far as I thought, but the audience would be us in general. The people (basically people who care for children) those who protect children such as social workers that are involved with foster children. Who is speaking:By the way the lyrics is formed, it seems that it is a bystander who trying to aware us people that situations like child abuse can happen around them and they are not aware. "The teacher wonders but she doesn't ask" this is a small part of the lyrics from the song, it shows that those who see something is wrong, do not seem to speak up for those in need, such as the child being hurt. The tone and the images that McBride used was small children endanger to those around them, showing how the little girl suffers throughout her moments of childhood. Through the song the message that is shown is that small children who have abusive parents or relative, want and need help to get away, and to no longer suffer.
~ Hope this is better~ :)

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Manuel Gaytan
07/15/2011 12:13

The response I have chosen is based upon the song "White Flag Warrior" by the Flobots ft. Tim McIralth. Just from the title it struck me to be an all around anti-war song but it ended up being much more.

The speaker in this song is an anti-war activist/insurgent and they are in all seriousness stating subliminally that war is not the answer and that he would rather give his life as a martyr than kill through war.

The audience intended would be those who agree with my previous statement or those that would choose to fight the war with words and prayers rather than weaponry and countless lives.

Throughout the song they make references and make them clear enough to get their point across with a sense of flow through the song. An example would be the chorus when they say "We'd rather make our children Martyrs than warrior, We'd rather make our children White Flag Warriors." The term White Flag warrior is very powerful while being contradictory at the same time. I say this because we all know the white flag as a symbol of surrender in war but when paired with the word warrior I believe it changes the whole meaning to being someone who fights through a pacifist approach killing mentally with words and propaganda as opposed to violence and deaths.

An anonymous quote i found is in association with the true meaning of this song "a man who kills for the sake of killing is more a coward than a man who dies for the sake of ending the mindless slaughter."
The message in my words would have to be that war isn't necessary it is more of a burden than a way of justice.It causes mindless deaths and suffering but we always jump to war whether it be an instinct or a force of habit words will always prove to be the better way but our society as a whole is very animalistic and once blood is shed everyone wants to see retaliation of the same sort. All that proves is that we haven't really evolved from our predecessors we just focused ourselves to something else but war always ignites the short fuse in our "American Way of life" By this I mean our guise as being the global superpower and how we think we can watch over other countries like we're their parents or something.

please if I am missing anything please tell me and I will insert it as quickly as possible, thankyou

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Mrs. Welding
07/16/2011 10:43

Hi Maribel,

Thank you for the addition to your original response--you have more accurately addressed my questions! See you in a few weeks :) Mrs. W

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Mrs. Welding
07/16/2011 11:01

Hi Manuel,

What an interesting text selection! Though I haven't heard this song, I am intrigued. You have done a nice job reflecting on the speaker, audience, and message--and you have begun to analyze the strategies the author uses to exemplify his message.

The song's title, "White Flag Warriors," is an interesting part of the text for you to highlight! Indeed it is an oxymoron--the contradiction highlights the paradox of fighting for peace... Why did the author choose to use it? He could have chosen a title like "White Flag Activists" or "White Flag Advocates." When you notice diction such as this in a text, speculate on how this intended strategy affects the audience and then extend your analysis. Certainly, in this case, the oxymoron is used to illustrate the author's theme. I'm glad that you pointed it out.

We will be analyzing author's choices all year, and I have a feeling you will be very good at it! :) Enjoy the remainder of your summer--see you in a few weeks... :) Mrs. W

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Stephanie Rojas
07/18/2011 15:15

The book i choose for this assignment is The Pledge by Chandra Sparks Taylor.

The story is about a young girl name Courtland Murphy.She a very much a normal girl, co-captian for her school cheerleader team, goes to church every Sunday,has a crush on the cutest boy at school name Allen Benson. Her life is perfect but one thing is missing being able to date boys. but that is all going to change because when she thing she turn 17 she will be able to date guys. Next she known she was going out with her dream guy Allen. later thought out her relationship with her dream boyfriend, Courtland starts to realize her relationship isn't really as she thought she it would be. Allen is physically and mentally abusing her. in the end she was able to get out of that horrible relationship and press charges on Allen.

The speaker in the novel is the main character, Courtland. she tells her story about her relationship with her boyfriend. She talk about how thing don't always seen as it appear to be.has to learn a lesson the hard way.

the audience in the story would be young girls who are barely starting to date. To show them not everything is so perfect like in movies.not just the horrible things happen to horrible people, they can also happen to anyone.

How this novel effect me in a way? it help me open my eyes more. To never keep my guard down. If something bad ever happens to me to tell a adult that i trust right away, because if i held in that secret it will only cause more damage to myself.

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Mrs. Welding
07/19/2011 08:41

Hi Stephanie,

You have accurately identified the speaker, audience, and message of the story you have selected. Please take a look back at the text that you selected to see if you can identify how it was that the author was able to effectively convey the message. Did she use description or dialogue particularly well? Did she use contrasting tone to highlight the theme? Is there anything in particular you notice about the author's style that made you want to keep reading?

And finally, I'd like to thank you for posting your response on this blog--it allows for others to get a feel for the assignment and what I expect. I think it takes more courage to post a response here than to bring it in to class--so kudos! With that, however, comes my expectation that when you write you pay attention to your conventions--for every writing assignment that you publish you should be paying close attention to this, for it gives your reader a clue about who you are. I certainly do not expect perfect conventions from anyone on a blog--we all make errors when we type in this format. What I do expect is that you proof your work for capitalization of the first letter of your sentences, and that you capitalize "i" when you use it in a sentence. This should be a minimum requirement for all formal texts that you create for me--your audience. You can check these easily by writing your response first in a Word document that highlights your errors and then cutting and pasting it into the blog post.

Again, I am delighted to see that you have chosen a book for this assignment, and I appreciate your response on this blog--next time, please pay closer attention to your conventions, too.

Enjoy the remainder of the summer! Look forward to having you in class! Mrs. Welding

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Maria Valenzuela
07/19/2011 18:46

HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS
By: Emily Dickinson
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

This is the writing piece I have chosen. The speaker is 1st person, is anyone who is going through life with problems and without problems but they will always have hope.

The audience is anyone who always have hope in any hard situation no matter what other people might think of them they will still have hope.

This writing was effective for me because it teaches me that hope is what makes us want to continue with our objectives and never give up. That hope is just there waiting for us to make our objectives come true.

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Mrs. Welding
07/19/2011 19:17

Hi Maria,

You have selected a wonderful Dickinson poem to analyze. You have identified the audience, speaker, and message. I see that the theme is what you connected with. Now, I'd like you to take a few minutes and look at the strategies that Dickinson used to create such a powerful and memorable poem. How does her use of rhyme and rhythm impact the poem? Are there particular words that carry a connotation that supports the theme of this poem? What is the effect of using an extended metaphor?

We will be spending a lot of time next year analyzing authors' style. Dickinson had a very unique style--think about how would you describe it? Have you read any other poems of hers that you could compare this one to?

Enjoy the rest of your summer! See you in a few weeks... :) Mrs. W

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Birdie
07/23/2011 14:13

Hey Mrs.Welding, i had choosen Eminems song Not Afraid, to do my assignment on. You had asked me to answer a couple questions:
I think Eminem cares more about his music then selling it because he puts alot of fimself into the songs. He puts his soul into his lyrics and raps to tell people they arent alone. Anyone can just rap, but Eminem raps with a purpose, to tell people he's been in the same boat.
Eminem grabs his listeners with his deep beats, meaningful lyrics and soulful messages. He relates to his fans and i think thats how he has so many listeners. He relates to fans and is realistic about life.
His songs are so effective in people's lives because when life is hard, he gives them hope and brings them up. He lets them know that they aret in this alone and that they shouldnt give up. Second chances some for everyone and in this song, Eminem tells them to grab the second chance and try to right the wrongs.

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Elizabeth Stolmeier
07/23/2011 16:41

From what I can gather from your blog post, you want us to answer the following questions.
Q. What did you read?
A. The Hot Zone, a novel about the dangers of filovirus outbreaks.
Q. Who is the speaker?
A. Richard Preston is the author of the novel but he uses a character that is interviewing a specialist. By doing this he establishes the feel of authenticity. There is need to do this because the reader, though being assured on the cover that it is indeed a true ‘story’, could easily slip into the habit of disbelief.
Q. Who is the audience?
A. General public that is not informed about the possible destruction of the human race from deadly viruses.
Q. What is the author’s agenda?
A. I believe that there are numerous ways to interpret Mr. Preston’s novel. Here are three potential intended messages.
1) To simply inform the public of a threat to humanity in a way that will be accepted better than a scietific essay.
2) To point out that the human race is not nearly as indestructible as we tend to think we are. In other words, to knock down our arrogance as the dominant race on Earth.
3) Mr. Preston could also have wanted to highlight the inevitable power struggle between the military and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in the event of a major outbreak.
Q. How did your reading impact you?
A. This novel has elevated my awareness of the effects of the potential for violent outbreaks of vicious, scary viruses and their hunger for dominance over humanity.
Did I cover everything you were hoping for?
Respectfully,
Elizabeth Stolmeier

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Mrs. Welding
07/23/2011 20:23

Hi Birdie!

You've done a nice job with my questions--good discussion! (Please watch punctuation of i/I. It is one of my pet peeves.) We will discuss responses the first few days of class.

Enjoy the rest of your summer! See you in a few short weeks. Mrs. W

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Mrs. Welding
07/23/2011 20:28

Hi Elizabeth,

What an fascinating topic for a novel--I'm interested :) Though it does seem rather scary to think about...

You've done a good job covering the questions that I have asked you to consider. It would be a great start for a deeper analysis into the novel. I am curious about the author's style--particularly since he uses a persona to tell this "true" story. If you think of it and don't mind, could you bring in your copy of the novel so that I can take a peak! Thank you--and enjoy the few weeks you have left before school starts again! :) Mrs. W

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Mrs. Welding
07/23/2011 20:30

Ehem... I mean "peek."

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Megan
07/23/2011 21:54

Hi,

I am wondering if I can do a poem I wrote, it's not really something I want to put up here or share with the class, but I can interpret what it means? I might be able to muster up some confidence and share it, but I don't know. If I can't use it that's okay.

Thanks

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Mrs. Welding
07/23/2011 23:18

Hi Megan,

Thank you for your question. This assignment is really about me getting to know you. With that said, it is also a window into your strengths and weaknesses with regard to text analysis. I believe that the type of analysis that I will be asking you to do in my class requires you to make a leap in judgment based on what you can glean from the text. Thus, I don't think analysis of your own writing really fits this particular assignment. Having said that, I look forward to reading your poetry and other writing, and I am glad that you are willing to be reflective about your work. Please hang on to the poem that you have written--I'm sure that there will be a time that you will be able to use/share it in class.

Consider using poem written by poet that has inspired your own work.

Thank you! Look forward to having you in class--Mrs. W

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07/25/2011 12:05

Kris Allen's: "Live Like We're Dying"

A) I believe the author (Kris Allen) is trying to impose his feeling into the lyrics of the song. But at the same time, he got famous from being part of American Idol. In consideration, his talent and vocals allowed him to be a famous singer, and singers at most play for money, or enjoyment, or even both. So researching Kris Allen's life is important to suggest his reasons of becoming a singer and writing this song.

B) The speaker himself (Kris Allen) cancelled being in The Tonight Show before July 14, 2009. Previously before that date Kris's grandmother died. Connecting these facts together, with the song being written beyond July 25, 2009. We can see that his grandma's death possibly gave him inspiration towards using the pen to write "Live Like we're dying." To send a message to others that death can end joy, but before that happens you can do so much with the friends and family you love.

C) The audience can range between everyone, from the young to the senior citizens. Obviously the message is given straight out from the title. There are some stanzas out of the poem that release empathy, striking the barrier around my soul.

D)This significant piece of art, when mixed with sounds of melody, touches up the song even more. All of the figurative language that has been attached onto this song, like " Our hearts are hungry for a food that won't come." After it says, " And after we can make a feast from these crumbs." I'm positive, that the purpose of these sentences are that Food is the expression of happiness and joyfulness. Something that doesn't come quite often with problems and family situations, as everyone lives in an imaginary realm of a third world country. After a friend or foe dies, we try to spread the love that sticked onto the dead, with others that will give there whole lives possessions for it.

Thank you for your time.
Can you share your opinions and critisms of my work. Or add suggestions that can spice this up a bit.

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Mrs. Welding
07/25/2011 14:17

Hi Fabian,

I think that you have done a great job responding to my questions, and I enjoyed reading your post. I see that you have really thought about the song--why it might have been written and who Kris Allen is speaking to. I have heard this song before, but I wasn't aware that it was Kris Allen's song... :)

The purpose of this assignment is not for me to critique your work; rather, I would like to get a feel for where you are at with analysis. I see that you are thoughtful and intuitive in responding to this text--I like that you point out Kris Allen as an empathetic writer and then connect this to the tone of empathy that resonates through his music. One suggestion I might make is to narrow your description of audience. Though everyone might like this song (that probably isn't the case), could you be more specific in identifying who Allen might have been talking to in his head when he wrote this particular song? There is always a relationship being fostered between the writer and the listener. It becomes a successful relationship when the text effectively reaches the intended listener/reader and affects him.

You have begun to dig into the text a bit with regard to the author's diction. This is the direction that we will be headed in class. Once you determine who it is that the author is speaking to (I like that you have identified Allen's possible motive here), you can look deeper into the syntax and diction that the author uses to move his intended audience toward his message.

A great start! Thank you for your post--enjoy the remainder of your summer... :) Mrs. W

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Noah Ward
07/25/2011 15:26

Here is my response about the three questions. I chose "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.

1.I believe the speaker in “The Road Not Taken” is Robert Frost. He mentions the word “I” many times making it seem as if he is the one speaking directly to the audience.

2.In my opinion, the audience consists of teenagers. In the teen years, people really start thinking about which path to take. Some decide to take their own individual path, while others follow the pack. This poem speaks to teenagers because before someone turns twenty, that person’s personality is usually finished developing. Therefore, he/she knows which path to take by their personality.

3. The poem affects me because I used to be shy and quiet with not a very strong personality. Now, different people have affected my life to where I know who I am as an individual. I’m not sure what I want to do with my life, but I know that I want to take the road less traveled.

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Mrs. Welding
07/26/2011 00:22

Hi Noah,

You have selected one of Frost's most well-known poems! :) There is much to analyze with this particular text...

You suggest that it is Frost who is speaking--could be, but many poets adopt a persona to present their message--be careful with the assumption that first person point of view means that the speaker is the author.

I find it interesting that the audience you have selected is teenagers. I agree that many teenagers read the message just as you have--though, as an adult, I see the message of the poem a little differently... Interesting! This would be a great poem to discuss in class. Remind me so we can do that.

Read the poem again beginning by paying particular attention to the title. Why do you think Frost titles the poem as "The Road Not Taken" instead of the "Road Less Traveled"? Next, consider how he describes the two roads in the first couple of stanzas--how does he then describe the path years later? Why does he sigh when he reflects about his decision? I love the ambiguities in this poem--and it leaves us with an opportunity for a discussion about the strategies that Frost uses.

Thank you for your post--I look forward to having you in class. :) Mrs. W

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J.R.
07/27/2011 14:48

Hi Mrs. Welding

The Song Im On One by Dj Khaled , Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil wayne, has enspired me on a whole different level then any other song I have heard in Months.

The speakers are refering to themselves, they mention that there , " On One ", a saying that has been in are millennium for some years. They are untouchable, they are on a whole different level then the ones below them.

Then it ties into who they are speaking too. They Are basicly saying, get on board, or be left behind, you may not be apart, but you'll damnn sure be a witness. In this day of age, sucess is everything, if your not sucessful, your nothing.

This individual peice has inspired me, through life, and Football, a huge part of my life. Eveytime I hear this song I get the Chills, I Know it seems weird but it inspires me to go that exrta inch, where in life that inch means everything .

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Mrs. Welding
07/27/2011 21:37

Hi J.R.

I had to take a look at the lyrics after reading your entry :) They certainly aren't for the faint of heart... I think that you are accurate in your assessment of the speakers and their audience--and your interpretation of the message, well, I see that the song has really moved you. My question is why... If you have time, really take a deep look at the text from the perspective of the authors' craft.

When I read the lyrics, they do not speak to me. I am obviously not the intended audience here, but why are you? What is it in the tone of the song that attracts you to it? I didn't listen to the song, but I can imagine that the tone and tempo add to the intended message. The diction that is being used is particular to this genre--what is the appeal? Can you articulate why it is effective? Are there strategies that these authors employ to attract their audience to their music?

And I am interested in the literary devices used, particularly the allusions used in the last stanza. Though it is doubtful that we would analyze this type of text in my class, nonetheless, I think it is relevant. The amount of money that these artists generate alone makes this text relevant. They are cashing in--how? Is it a formula, or is it a state of being.

I don't expect you to post more here before school starts, but I do hope that you consider the additional questions that I have posed. It is often easier to analyze the texts that we can relate to or are moved by...

Thanks for your response--I look forward to having you in class this year. :) Mrs. W

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Sonam Dhanota
07/28/2011 04:31

Hi Mrs Welding i was wondering if i answered the question correctlty ?

Katy Perry-Firework

The overall message of this song is to embrace yourself for who you are and showing it to everyone whether they appreciate it or not. This song shows us that no matter how you are, you’re special and everyone should see that as well as yourself.

The singer’s message in this song, Katy Perry, was to tell people of ANY age to embrace yourself for who you are. So the audience can be anyone that is in a dilemma or is afraid to express themselves. For example when she says “cause baby you’re a firework, come on show em what you’re worth” she is trying to get the message across that get out of your shell and show people who you are and what you’re really worth. Many people are afraid to show who they are due to fear, being shy, or whatever the reason may be, but this song is to encourage people to face their fears and let loose. Another thing is that in the song she says “If you only knew what the future holds, After a hurricane comes a rainbow”, that part of the song is very motivational because its pursuing that after everyone problem things get better, so don’t hold back. “Even brighter than the moon (x3), its always been inside of you (x3), and now its time to let it through”. That part of the song gives us courage to break out of our shells. Also that it doesn’t matter what people think, just be proud of yourself and embrace it. In the video of this song there are many conflicts that are showed such as a boy and a girl whose parents will not stop fighting, another is an obese girl resisting to go swimming due to humiliation, and there is also a homosexual man in a club wanting to meet with another man, and last but not least, a patient with cancer who awaits to see the fireworks. This proves that the song is reflected towards anyone, any situation.

When I heard this song on the radio I really liked it. The thing that attracted me to it was the message that Katy Perry was trying to get across. When I see people who are afraid to express themselves and are humiliated it gets to me. I wish I could help them see what they are worth, and when I heard this song it just enlightened me. Finally I had heard a song that will encourage people to break loose and be themselves no matter what anyone has to say.

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Charlie D.
07/28/2011 17:37

Hello Mrs. Welding,

For this assignment I chose the poem "Memories Last a Lifetime" by Megan Holley. Since the poem is short I'll paste it here:

"Memories are nothing but a doorway to the past
All connected to make the good times last
A reminder of what we did in the years
And showing us our future crystal clear
A trophy to show what we've overcome
A lesson for things that can't be undone
You may be walking on broken glass
Or caressing your body with springtime grass
But together we'll walk all the miles
The paths necessary for the smiles"

1. The speaker in this piece is the author herself, Megan Holley.

2. This piece is directed towards everyone, or anyone who has had the chance to go through and experience life.

3. This poem was effective to me because I share her opinion. Memories are there to remind us of the great, fun, and enjoyable experiences. Yet also the not so pleasant experiences. Memories are also our participation with trial, error, and success. Which leads the path to one's future. The poem also caused me to recollect some awesome experiences in my past, giving me a smug and happy feeling.

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Mrs. Welding
07/29/2011 07:16

Hi Sonam,

You have done a very nice job explaining the song--I've heard it several times as it is one of my daughter's favorite songs as well!

I like that you used the text to support your analysis--this will be very important in my class.

You've identified the theme--and although I think most people could benefit from this message, I would like you to consider the idea that the audience is more limited. For example, my mother, bless her heart, would not listen to a Katy Perry song or watch a Katy Perry video. I would like to suggest that Katy Perry and the producers of this song/album have a specific target market. That they know what they are doing to sell records.

I see that you are intuitive and thoughtful in your response--I look forward to having you in class! Enjoy the last few days of summer... :) Mrs. W

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Mrs. Welding
07/29/2011 07:34

Hi Charlie,

I have not heard of this poet before--how did you find this poem? It is a delightfully simple poem with a sweet message about memories. I like that you selected a poem that triggered some emotion in you.

This poem is somewhat transparent, and though it makes sense to identify the author of the poem as the speaker, poets often use a persona when they write. I also think that whenever you identify an audience as "everyone," you need to take a second look. Though the message is surely a universal one, not everyone will be interested to read this poem. Often authors are motivated from something going on internally--and then speak from that place, but her audience is likely more specific. Who was the author thinking of, talking to when she wrote this poem. We will of course never know that unless we could speak with her directly, but when you analyze a text, I would like you to speculate and then use the text to back up your choice.

Could you speculate on a potential audience that is narrower than everyone? One clue might be that she begins using 'we' and 'our' then she moves to 'you' and 'together.' Could her audience be a more personal one?

Just a few questions to consider. We will be discussing responses during the first few days of class. Thank you for posting, and enjoy the last days of summer! :) Mrs. W

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Benji Arballo
07/29/2011 10:15

Hi Mrs. Welding,

I chose a poem by Edgar Allen Poe called Alone. If you haven't heard of it already, here is the link to an audio version of the poem.

http://youtu.be/0hKO59euehw

1.) I believe that the intended message is subtle because it seems to be about Poe's childhood traumas. The message could be that since he suffered so much as a child, it is hard for him to be like other people around him because everything around him he sees differently than other people.

2.) The speaker is Edgar Allen Poe, it is written in frst person. But for the most important part, the speaker is somene who has coped with the death of a mother and the abandonment of a father at a young age.

3.) The audience can be a whole spectrum of people or different types of people, however I believe that it touches more people that have an inherently bad or sad past.

4.)The poem is affective to me because it makes so much sense. I believe that childhood really forms a person and everyone is affected in their own way. Poe just knows how to express it poetically, it's great.

If I need to fix it up a little bit, let me know. Thank you.

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Mrs. Welding
07/29/2011 12:15

Hi Benji,

Poe is one of my favorites to read and analyze.

The majority of the time, one cannot make the assumption that the speaker of a poem is the poet himself. I think in this case, however, by knowing the history of the poet, one can make that assumption. So, I agree that the speaker is likely Poe--but who is he speaking to? Could he be talking to himself--in a cathartic kind of way? Was he trying to expose the “demon” that he introduces at the end of the poem? This poem was not published during his lifetime--had he intended to publish this particular poem?

You have begun to discuss the message of the poem. I think you could go deeper in your analysis if you were to use the text to support and make your case--but I agree that the message has to do with his youth and his reaction to the life he was given...

Your reaction is much like mine when I read Poe--this is great! I think that for many it is the tone he creates that really packs the punch...

Good work--see you in class very soon! :) Mrs. W

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07/29/2011 12:55

This novel has always stuck with me and I would highly recommend anyone to read it. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, by Marya Hornbacher is the book I will be analyzing. This book is about a woman who, from a very young age, struggles with her body image. At age nine she begins to forcefully vomit her food, and from then on, she continues to plunge deep into these two dangerous disorders. The book is very griping yet disturbing, sort of like staring at car crash and not being able to look away. In the end, she nearly dies, weighing in at about 52 pounds. But she abruptly gets better, and is now, thankfully alive and one of my favorite authors.

The story is all told from a first person point of view, the text palpably being a memoir, recalling memories from the age of four to mid twenties.

The author’s audience I think is anyone who’s ever thought about a diet, who has ever been bulimic or anorectic, who’s ever been depressed, on the verge of suicide, or has struggled with their weight.

In the end, I think the author’s message was to persuade others to not give in to the scary addiction of starvation. And also, for those who are not anorectic or bulimic, to really know what it's like to think like one, not just assume that every anorectic is the same due to false stereotypes. This book is a work of inspiration, sort of like a get well letter.

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Mrs. Welding
07/29/2011 19:18

Hi Carmen,

You've nicely summarized the memoir you've selected. Given that it is a memoir, the speaker is easily identified. I think you've also accurately discussed the intended audience and the message of the text. I'm interested in your description of the memoir as gripping and disturbing--if you were to dig deeper into analysis, this is where you would begin.

You might consider analysis of diction and tone. It would be interesting to know if she chose to write her memoir chronologically or with a different structure. I would be interested to learn about how she uses anecdotes, and whether she sensationalizes her experiences or uses metaphoric language to help the reader see and feel her struggle. A fascinating choice!

Thank you for your post--I look forward to meeting you very soon! :) Mrs. W

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Sonam Dhanota
07/31/2011 01:19

Reply
Sonam Dhanota
07/31/2011 01:21

Sorry about the other post.

But thank you for your response.
and yes i understand that Katy Perry and the producers to have an intended audience. i'll think about that some more though :)

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Mrs. Welding
07/31/2011 13:31

Hi Sonam,

I appreciate your dialogue here--it is nice to have students in class that are reflective about their work. One more week left! :) Mrs. W

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Logan Wilkins
07/31/2011 15:39

George R.R. Martin-A Song of Ice and Fire series

*Who is the speaker? Narrator- George R.R. Martin
*Who is the audience? Readers with an interest in fantasy. Mature audience
*consider what it is that made that particular piece of writing effective to you. Words help create a captivating world.

Reply
Mrs. Welding
07/31/2011 21:28

Hi Logan,

Thank you for your post. I am interested in your response. I have not read this series, however, I thought that the series was written in the third-person with several characters' cameo chapters. This could broaden your discussion of speaker as the series unfolds through several viewpoints.

Rarely in a fictional piece is the speaker the author. The author may create a persona from which the story is being told, but in the case of this particular series, I think there is more to unveil.

You've identified the logical audience.

You said that Martin's words that create a captivating world is what made this particular piece of text effective to you. If you were to deepen your analysis, I would expect that you would elaborate this. What do you mean by 'words'? Does the author use a particular vernacular? Is his diction imagery-heavy? How is the story series structured? Or is it that his medieval influence effectively relates to the imaginary world that he creates? Your response is vague.

And lastly, as I understand it, 'A Dance with Dragons' was recently released--have you read it?

Enjoy the last few days of summer! :) Mrs. W

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Jessyca Navar
07/31/2011 21:40

Hi Mrs. Welding,

I decided to choose the song Where is the Love? By the Black Eyed Peas.

The overall message of this song is to inform everybody of the hatred and wrong-doings going around in the world. They are not singing about this problem to make you feel guilty or put you down. They want you to open your eyes and truly see what the world has come to. The song is calling out all the wrongful acts taking place in everyday life like murder, robbery, child abuse or any other form of abuse.

When this song came out many people thought that it was about the war in Iraq. Yes this is true, but that is only a small fraction of the true meaning of the song. The song also refers to our country’s hard struggle against racism as it implies in this lyric “But if you only have love for your own race Then you only leave space to discriminate And to discriminate only generates hate And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah.” "Wrong information always shown by the media Negative images is the main criteria Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema” in this verse It talks about children getting caught up in gangs, drugs and much more harmful things due to the media. “People killing people dying Children hurtin’ an’ ya hear them crying Can you practice what you preach? And would you turn the other cheek?” in the chorus they are talking about how corrupt our whole world is with murders, robberies and abuse.

When I first heard this song what caught my attention was the message the Black Eyed Peas were trying to get across. It really opened my eyes to the problems that this world really has. It hurts me too see all the pain people are going through, but when a handful out of trillions of people is trying to help society it makes little progress. Hopefully with this song it will make people more aware of the problems and try to make a great deal of progress instead of just a little.

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Mrs. Welding
07/31/2011 23:25

Hi Jessyca,

Thank you for your post. This happens to be one of my favorite songs with which to teach the rhetorical situation--speaker, audience, message/purpose. You have done a nice job summarizing the text and the message. In class we will take a closer look at this song.

I try to have students really think about the intended audience. Although at first it may seem that the audience is "everyone," the audience is likely more narrow. For example, my mother-in-law would not be interested to hear this song, nor would she watch the music video (as we will be doing in class).

If you were to articulate specifically who The Black Eyed Peas were speaking to as they wrote this song, you would be getting closer. You cite a specific part of the text that focuses on a very specific audience. And although it is nice to think that everyone could benefit from their message, I'd be more apt to believe that their intentions were more directed.

I see that you connected with the theme of the song. In class we will be talking about some of the visual rhetoric used in the music video to support their theme... Between now and then, be thinking about how the lyrics were written to move the audience. What is the tone of this text? What are some of the strategies employed that make this song so powerful?

Enjoy the last few days of summer break--I look forward to seeing you in class very soon... :) Mrs. W

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Raven Garcia
08/01/2011 20:21

Mrs. Welding,

I decided to chose and write about the novel At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks.

This novel was told from a first persons point of view about a man who falls in love and faces a tragedy. The intended message was that tragedies may occur but can lead to an unexpected happy ending.

The audience is for anyone who has gone through losing a wife or a loved one, or whoever has had to raise a child on their own.

This book had a big effect on me because it brings hope to people who have lost a spouse and had to raise a child on their own. It also inspires me to think that with any kind of tragedy there indeed is a way to get through it. When someone is in their lowest point in life they can always find everlasting love in family and friends. That love can truly exist in any way shape or form.

I understand this is a rough, little essay and if you would like me to fix up or write more I would be happy to.

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Mrs. Welding
08/02/2011 13:18

Hi Raven,

No, you do not need to fix up your post. My intent is to get an idea of your ability to look critically at a text--I can see that you are a thoughtful reader.

This sounds like an interesting text--I'm curious as to whether it is fiction or nonfiction...

You have a great start--if you were to take this analysis deeper, you would consider the strategies that the author uses to bring you to the understanding that you outlined in your last paragraph--the theme! For a deeper analysis, I would be interested to know more about the author's diction and tone.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer--the first day of class is right around the corner! :) Mrs. W

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Rebecca Porter
08/02/2011 13:50

Hi Mrs. Welding,

I decided to choose the poem Storm Fear by Robert Frost.

The poem is basically about how fear can come whenever, and when it does, we need to find the strength to get through it.

I believe that the speaker of this poem is someone trying to motivate others to not be afraid. The speaker is trying to connect with the audience by using “I” and “us”. The speaker has obviously felt fear, but knows that with strength and courage you can get through anything.

The audience of this poem is everyone. Everyone has been afraid and felt lost in fear.

I have been afraid by many things and situations, some small and some great. When I read the line “And my heart owns a doubt” is when I really felt connected. When I get scared, I tend to have doubt in my heart and feel like I won’t be able to get through it, or that no one will be able to comfort me. I always feel alone when I’m scared, but reading this poem shows me that others know how I feel and that I having to be afraid of.

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Ivan Morales
08/02/2011 15:48

The song “In The Shadows” by The Rasmus is the writing sample that I have chosen for my responce. It seems to be about a young woman trapped inside herself and wants to get out.

The speaker in this song is an obedient maid that cannot take being ordered around and would like to be understand by others who feel the same way she does.

The audience is young adults who think that they are nobodies and are not as confident with themselves as the popular people.

I think that the author’s intended message is that everyone deserves to be accepted for the way they are. For example, “Won’t stop before I find a cure for this cancer,” in this quote the word “cancer” is used as a metaphor for something that hurts a person and he/she cannot tolerate it much, like shyness. Therefore, if the speaker overcomes this obstacle she can live happy and popular. I believe that the speaker knows that she has the courage to shine but needs a little support from her audience, for instance, “Feel me, touch me, heal me, come take me higher.” Never in the song did it say that the speaker wanted to be like the popular people but instead wished only to be accepted, for example, “They say that I must learn to kill before I can feel safe, But I, I rather kill myself then turn into their slave.” The last line stresses how the speaker will do something about his situation but under his own terms.

This is one of my favorite songs because it has a positive message. Back when I first heard this song I was thinking of myself being the singer since this song’s message agreed with me. I felt the same exact way. I guess this song change my life.

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Jazmin Lombera
08/03/2011 18:49

Book: Burned by Ellen Hopkins

The book is told in first person pov. The narrator is a young girl, age 17, named Pattyn Von Stratten.

The audience is any young adult who feels any pressure to live up to certain expectations.

I believe that this book and the author's writing method is brilliant. She writes scattered around the page sometimes, but when you pay close attention there is a small poem. Reading this book I can capture the emotions the characters portray and the passion the author put into her writing. Ellen Hopkins captures tainted youth and creates a 400 page poem that will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love. I've read this book more than any other book because anyone can easily relate.

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Amairany Avila
08/04/2011 19:24

Song: Perfect by Hedley

I think the intended message wasn’t necessarily about a breakup. I think it had a meaning behind the lyrics. The message is don’t give up on anything you believe in. If you believe it will work out then it will be worth all the trouble. A dream is never a bad idea of you believe it will work out.

The speaker is someone who has been let down by someone they believed it. Specifically a breakup. He is someone who doesn’t give up easily and keeps to his word for example “I’m not perfect but I keep trying ‘cause that’s what I said I would do from the start”.

I think the audience is the one person that let him down or an ex girlfriend. The lyrics show that the speaker intended for them to realize that they will not give up on them, even though they already have.

This writing piece was effective for me in a positive way because it gives out a good and useful message. A lot of people give up easily of just one person gives up on them. I think they should keep trying regardless of what other people think because in the end its going to affect you , not the people who gave up on you.

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Carina Vasquez
08/06/2011 11:13

Song: Tidal wave by Owl City

I believe the message behind this song is life doesn't always come easy. Life does not always go in the path people would expect it to go to. There are times where we struggle and times we have success. I found that this song is a great example of not only going through struggles but also finding happiness and positive thoughts.

The speaker of this particular song is someone who did not have the best life at first. In the song it writes, "Cause all I see is a shattered conscience staring right back at me," by these lyrics it shares the struggle that this person might of had. In another part of the song the lyrics read, "All my life I wish I broke mirrors instead of promises," from these lyrics I came to the conclusion that this person was not faithful to his word. He wants listeners to recognize that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes.

The audience of this song could range anywhere from teenagers to adults and possibly older adults. It is a good song filled with meaning and emotion. Anyone that has gone through struggles and found their way out or anyone who likes the artist "Owl City" would certainly like this song.

When I first heard this song I liked the rhythm and the beat but, I never actually paid attention to the lyrics that were being sung. Then once I started to listen to the lyrics I understood what he was trying to get across to listeners. I could relate to this song from struggling with relationships, past mistakes, being insecure, and at one point just being afraid. However, like he did in the song I too found Christ. By going to God and putting my faith in him I could not ask for anything more than what he has done for me. My favorite part of this song would be, " Then I was given grace and love I was blind but now I can see 'cause I found and new hope from above and courage swept over me." This song has effected me in a good way in which even for my age I could understand and relate to.

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Sawyer Lung
08/07/2011 10:55

Hello Mrs. Welding I'm Sawyer and I'm going to blog about a song called "Boys of Fall" by Kenny Chesney.

Three seconds left, no time outs, and were down by 5. Its the last game of my highschool football career, the last time ill ever play with my team that has grown into a family over the years. Flashes of playing at the little feild by Ronalds house every Wednesday go through my head as the ball is snapped. The crowd is silenced by the focus i have on the game. As i drop back i realize this will be my last play ever, i get the feeling in my stomach that i usually get before games and i want to hurl. But then everything opens up and Kyle is wide open down the middle of the feild for the touchdown. The overwhelming feeling is amazing, the crowd rushes on the feild and i celebrate with my team. as we hit the locker room i hide my tears, not wanted my family to see me cry. Then as everyone clears out of the locker room i stay behind and burst into tears. It was my last game the moment i had been looking forward to but also dreading for my entire life.

This song has a meaning behind it that nobody can explain. Every time i listen to it it gives me the chills, it helps me realize how important sports are in my life. Everyone will eventually move on past highschool and hopefully be sucessful. But i know i will never forget highschool football and playing with my friends.

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Danielle Bundy
08/07/2011 16:36

Song: Memories Pt. II by Big Sean Ft. John Legend
The song Memories pt. II is about all the struggles we have to face and how you can choose to get back up and try again. He says “reflect on everything we missed, because you know we’ll never get it back” meaning we cannot change the past, but we can look back and reminisce. He is saying that it is hard to move on sometimes, but that is how we grow and learn. Memories can be good or bad, but the fact of the matter is they are still present in our minds. It is not easy to just forget the past and let go. Sometimes in order to move forward we must look back. I think that is the message he is trying to get across, that life goes on and reminiscing is fine as long as you don’t try and live in the past. He speaks on his struggles personally, which lets people know that it is possible. It is possible to be successful and make your dreams come true no matter where you came from and where you are now. The audience intended for this particular song is everyone, but mainly those who are struggling now. Everyone can relate, but I think it has more of an affect on people that feel as though they have no one right now. This is a song for people who have just fallen and are struggling to get back up. It speaks to me on so many different levels, because I know that no matter what I am going through someone else is either going through the same thing or something worse. It means you may fall and stumble trying to get where you want to go, but as long as you continue to try, you will make it. Sometimes your memories are the only thing that keeps you going. Most people do wish they could go back in time and relive those moments, but reality is they cannot. The memories are all you have left in the end.

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Vincent Moon
08/07/2011 20:38

This summer I learned a lot about philosophy and how it works. I read The Republic by Plato (a well-known Greek philosopher). This book deals with various thought-provoking questions of life such as what are the advantages of age and experience, what is the true nature of justice, is it easier to be happy if you are just then if you are unjust, what are the characteristics of the perfect soldier, who should rule and who should follow, etc.. This book taught me much but more importantly got me thinking about such questions and then formulating my own opinions.
I had heard of this book before and knew it was a popular classic. For some reason I thought that meant it would be very difficult to read and understand. Once I started reading it proved to be pretty smooth and enjoyable though. I believe that Plato achieved this smoothness through his use of dialog and argument which is basically from what the entire book was made. For example, when in The Republic, Glaucon argues adamantly with Socrates that unjust people are more happy then just people because they can pursue their desires fully, while just people can't because they allow themselves to be chained down by laws and standards. When reading this book you listen to one persons argument and almost as soon as you're convinced a second person will come in and go completely against it, which made it interesting enough to keep me reading to find out who would win.
Plato is a world renowned writer and philosopher whose writing will probably stick around until the end of time. It is certain that he found a creative way to express his own opinions and ideas not though direct speaking but through the interesting conversations and arguments of people in his stories. His audience is anyone who has any interest whatsoever in philosophy which is by definition the love and pursuit of knowledge or truth.

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Austin Zeitfuss
08/07/2011 22:51


I chose the song Clouds, by Dumbfoundead and Jay Park.
1. The artists (Dumbfoundead and Jay Park) use this song to talk about struggles and challenges that almost everyone must face. Things like bills, hunger, and a lot of other problems. However, they say that we all got to keep work and stop complaining about what we are going through and focus on making the future a better place, “So don't you give me that boo hoo hoo s**t We're moving on to that new new new s**t ”.
2. The audience that the song was written for was people who have or are going through hard times. So they can identify with the song and either say I did work through and I’m proud, or it tells them to stop wallowing and work to fix the problem and make life better.
3. What drew me to this song, was the overall message of the song, which is that if you work hard you can get on top of your troubles you can worry less and enjoy life. “Roll, roll back the clouds Let the sun shine through”

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Glenn Lematta
08/08/2011 12:27

The writing sample I chose was the short horror story Psychosis by Matt Dymerski. The story can be found here http://www.creepypasta.com/psychosis/#more-486
The speaker in the story is John, the main character. Throughout the story he battles his fears and intense paranoia. The story is written from the perspective of his journal as he becomes more and more insane.
The story is directed towards an audience that has experienced unexplainable, irrational paranoia whilst going about their lives.
This piece was effective to me because the story so perfectly captures the feeling that I had as a child that 'something' was there at night trying to get me. It seems obvious throughout the story that John's paranoia is an insanity, and yet it is not. His scenario is a strange coincidence that, while you know isn't truly real, seems possible, if not probable.

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Attalia Gooden
08/08/2011 13:08

I chose the book 'The Giver' (by Lois Lowry)

The speaker in the story is a kid named Jonas who speaks about his utopian world through his eyes. They live in communties that are absolutely 'perfect' where no one suffers from starvation, unemployment, divorces, conflict, injustice and inequality. The commmunities are peaceful where rebellion is unheard of, but 'unity' and 'oneness' is. When Jonas is given the job of 'Receiver of Memory' he realises his world isn't as perfect as he thought. Through the memories he receives from the previous 'Receiver' he learns to see color, history of war and pain unimaginable. He realises that all the communities have that 'sameness' about them. There's no love, anger, hate, or happiness. But he also learns the true meaning of being 'Released'.

The audiece is to all people to explain, that even their world seems wonderful, our differces as people is what make our world unique. The people in Jonas' world forgot all the pain that makes us stronger and better people. What we vaulue today they know nothing of at all. They really know nothing of true emotions just a shadow of what it once was.

The story was effective to me because it made realise that even though their world may look nice, peaceful, or perfect, it truly could be horrible and hiding dark secrets. It would be horrible to not know the emotions that I know now. To never understand the companionment of animals? To not have any of our treasured holidays? To have everything in your life picked for you? Never falling in love with anyone? I treasure my world more.

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Ryan Shchwarz
08/08/2011 13:52

Over the summer I started to read the book “Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin. Initially I became interested after watching the HBO TV show of the same name.

This book has multiple speakers, in the sense that narrative is told from the perspective of eight different people. The people in the story are caught up in a massive grab for power, in the form of the throne of the world they live in. Many of their lives are in engulfed and destroyed over the course of the first book. As the story progresses many twists and turns are presented as characters fight for their lives.

The audience for this book would be anyone who is interested in a story about political backstabbing, murder, love, adventure, mystery, and magic.

The story was effective to me because the narrative was presented in a way that was very realistic. Typically when reading a story of this genre, many clichés overdone plot devices are rampant. Game of Thrones is a gritty tale where the good guys don’t always come on top and I really identified with the realism that was injected into the plot.

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Marcel Trout
08/08/2011 17:01

Someone like you - Sarah Dessen

Intended message: I think that the author intended to show how strong a friendship truly is, even through all its struggles. How in high school when a teenager starts to break away from her family, her friends are the ones they turn to. Their friends become their new family in a way.

Who is the speaker? The speaker of this book is Halley, a high school student and the main character. Shes meant to show how teenagers think and what they go through on a daily basis.

Who is the audience? The book is mostly geared towards young adults, more specifically those in high school.

What it is that made that particular piece of writing effective to you: I think this specific book stood out to me because I can relate with Halley so much. A lot of the things she went through and thought about were things that I have seen or felt myself. For example, her mom used to be her best friend but she finds herself pulling away from her family, or how her and her best friend interact with each other is similar to me and my best friend interact. I guess it's just easy for me to relate to and reminds me how lucky I really am to have the friends and family that I do.

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Charles Beck
08/08/2011 21:10

Mrs. Welding

The song I chose to use is
Don't stop believing by journy.

I feel as if this song was written to who ever is feeling down and is thought to inspire one to push trough and finish what ever their tasks may be. A moment in my life that I can recall to where this song has helped me, was when one of my close family members passed and my feelings where down and i could not get any of my school work done. Yet on the radio this particular song came on and it put me in a much much better mood. From then on I kept returning back to that moment and it eventually helped me successfully finish all of my work.

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Cody Kurko
08/09/2011 23:12

Mrs. Welding

The song I chose is
Party rock.

I feel very comfortable when this song plays. My friend's and I listen to it every now and then, so it's 'our' song. When I hear it, I think of them. I think song's are made for memorable situations and memorable times.

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Raven Garcia
09/26/2011 19:21

Mrs. Welding I didn't understand the assignment about logical fallacies.

What I did was find an example faulty analogy and stacked evidence and than explain it.

I'm a bit confused on exactly what you were asking us to do.

email me back asap please.

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Richard Whitehead
11/15/2011 23:03

i cant find your email so im going to post my essay on here...


A tale as old as time, Altruism vs. Individualism, a battle not only fought within the societies of today, but a battle fought within the minds of every human being. On a grand scale altruism is the pathway that leads to the survival of modern society, but civilization must first embrace individualism in their everyday lives and reject altruism on a smaller scale, in order for it to succeed on much grander scale.
Altruism will always be the successful pathway for any group, civilization, or society; simply due to the fact that a "society" does consist of multiples upon multiples of individuals. Now it would only be right that in this society, and within this community built solely on the notion to represent the majority, that the majority be rightfully represented by always putting the betterment of the group over any preferences of a smaller fraction of the group’s members. Now is it wrong to sacrifice someone else’s needs and wants? Quite possibly yes in some cases. But it is wrong in every case to put the wants in needs of one individual over the needs of multiple individuals. For In the end, the problems of one man will never measure up in importance when compared to the problems of many. Altruism is not the prefect mind set, it does not lead to utopia, but does lead to satisfaction of the majority, and in any situation involving a group that does not unanimously agree, satisfaction of the majority is the closest to complete satisfaction our grasp can ever reach. But an altruistic society can only be as strong as the individuals that make it up allow it to be. Making individualism just as, if not more important than altruism itself.
Individualism is the back bone to any society. For any group as a whole is only as strong as their weakest link, therefore making individualism a deciding factor in the height in which altruism will succeed. If each member of a civilization were to take responsibility for their own lives, their own actions, and were able transform the common felt emotions of greed and insecurity into dedication and self awareness, it would lessen the need for altruism in the world. And if the current drastic need for altruism is lessened, it not only makes an altruistic society easier to reach, it also makes it an easier concept for each individual to conceive, accept, and weave into the pattern that is their everyday lifestyle. If the idea were to be put into a concrete situation you could imagine something like this; if you were fundraising for the “charity” that is altruism, you would find a million people willing to give you one dollar, long before you would find one man willing to give you a million. Heightening individualism is the key component to the future, happiness, and altruism.
In the end, individualism must take its place and spread its roots in order for a foundation for altruism to be laid. The term should not be "Altruism vs. Individualism" but "Altruism WITH Individualism." Even though altruism leads to a productive society, individualism leads to a productive altruistic mindset. Only the balances of these two opposites make true societal success; for even though birds were blessed with the ability of flight, they understand the must still walk to survive.

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08/30/2012 01:40

I just stumbled across your blog and I love it.

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