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      I hope you and your family are all doing well.  We have now completed 10 weeks of distance learning and 11 weeks of closures and social distancing.  Whoever knew it would go on so long?  I am not a government or health official, but I believe we have done well so far: keep it up.  We seem to be winning the fight.  Please keep doing what we have been asked to do: it makes a difference.  As I have written before, we are not first responders or health care providers, but we are doing a small heroic part.  Please continue to do that.  

     We now have 8 days of classes left.  Keep at it: end well.  You have been doing good work all this time; do not let up now.  Again, I really miss seeing you and talking about everything.  I am especially sad that we are not together to talk about To Kill a Mockingbird.  Now that you have finished the book, I imagine you have so much to ask and say.  Please send me emails and come to extra help with questions.  

      I have caught up with all the Thought Responses and posted the grades.  Good work.  Now you are working on the essay.  There is a lot of material posted on Google Classroom.  There are 3 pages with the assignment and 3 Voice Memos about the end of the book, major themes, and working on the essay.  Please use all the resources I have provided.  You can send me emails with questions and drafts.  I continue to have extra help every Tuesday and Thursday 2:30 to 3:15: please join for a little bit.  It will be great to see and hear you.

      There has not been any other work this week so you can focus on your essay.  Give it time.  Think deeply; make connections.  I know you are writing the essay because I am making you.  At the same time, use the essay as an opportunity to learn something new about the novel.  As I have said in class, we write in order to clarify our thinking and ideas about something.  Do that here.  

     As you finish with the essay, we will now return to Othello.  Again, I wish we could be together to read through the play and talk about it.  Since we cannot do that, you can still get a good sense of Shakespeare's language and the play.  I posted several speeches on Google Classroom.  Start reading through them; read each several times. In the next few days, I will post Voice Memos in which I will read the speeches, comment on them, and tell the rest of the story.  If we do this well, you will be ready to read Macbeth next year.  More important, you will have a sense of Shakespeare's greatness and be open to reading and watching other plays.  It will be challenging doing it this way, but you can do it.  Enjoy it.  There will be a writing assignment next week on the passages.  Do your best.

      I am still working on the comparison-contrast essay.  Sorry about that.  Please give me time; you know I will read them all carefully and comment on them.  When you get yours back, please be sure to re-read your essay and my comments.  Read the comments at the end. Use this experience and work to become an even better thinker and writer.

      Please continue to stay on top of all your work and use all the resources provided.  Go to extra help sessions and email teachers with questions and concerns.  It is especially important that you let us know when there are health or emotional concerns at Home.  We are all here for you.  Indeed: we are all in this together.  Carry on.

    I will continue to schedule extra help sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.  Please join these: you can stay for a few minutes or as long as you want.  It is good to stay connected.  You can ask questions about To Kill a Mockingbird or just say "hey" (as Scout and Jem would say).  This social distancing experience has demonstrated keenly how humans are social beings; it will be good to talk.  I hope to see and hear you this week. 

       I continue to miss seeing you and being with you in class.  Nothing replaces our face-to-face interactions. This experience is certainly driving home that point.  Having said that, we have to make the best of the situation with which we are presented.   Let us continue to make the most of the opportunities we have -- while we eagerly anticipate better times and being together. Let us all remember this experience: I imagine you will.  When things get back to "normal," let us always be present to the moment and cherish all the gifts and beauty in our lives.       

     Take care of yourself and your family.  God bless us all.


SATURDAY, 30 MAY:  We broadcast Mass at 4:30 p.m. every Saturday.  Fr. Ralph says Mass in our Chapel.  Come to this or the services in your own parish.  I am really missing going to Communion.  Please make sure you continue to pray every day.

MONDAY, 1 JUNE: Use today to work on your essay.  Write many drafts.  You can email me questions.  Write well.  Do your best.
- Start to read the passages from Othello.  Listen to the Voice Memos.  Enjoy the story and the beauty of the language.

TUESDAY, 2 JUNE: Your essay assignment on To Kill a Mockingbird is due toady at 9:00 p.m.
- Keep working on Othello.
- I will have extra help 2:30-3:15 p.m.  Please join for a while.

WEDNESDAY, 3 JUNE:  Read and listen to the materials I post on Othello.  Start on the assignment.

THURSDAY, 4 JUNE: Your writing assignment on Othello is due today at 9:00 p.m.  
- I will have extra help 2:30-3:15 p.m.  Please join for a while.

FRIDAY, 5 JUNE: I will post some materials on The Odyssey.

MONDAY, 8 JUNE: We will do a little more work on The Odyssey.

TUESDAY, 9 JUNE:  I will post some more materials on The Odyssey.
- I will begin making my comments to conclude our class.
- I will have extra help 2:30-3:15 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, 10 JUNE: Today is the last day of classes.  I will post a concluding video.

** June 10-26 will be an enrichment period.  You and your parents will receive more information about this.  This is a chance for us to make sure you are ready to continue your education in September without missing a beat.


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