• Updates
  • Files
  • Links
  • Forums
  • Assignments

No Office Hours this week guys.  Sorry I have to cancel.  Just a reminder there will be Google Meets on Monday and Wednesday next week.  Attendance is mandatory.  

Stay tuned.

Due by 6:00 p.m. Monday:  Poem assignment to come, 30 pts.

Your last English h.w. of the year. 




Death of a Salesman had its origins in a short story Miller wrote at the age of seventeen (approximately the age of the young Biff Loman), when he worked, briefly, for his father’s company. It told of an aging salesman who sells nothing, is abused by the buyers, and borrows his subway fare from the young narrator. In a note scrawled on the manuscript Miller records that the real salesman had thrown himself under a subway train. Years later, at the time of the play’s Broadway opening, Miller’s mother found the story abandoned in a drawer. But, as Miller has noted, Death of a Salesman also traced its roots closer to home. Willy Loman was kin to Miller’s salesman uncle, Manny Newman, a man who was ‘‘a competitor, at all times, in all things, and at every moment. My brother and I,’’ Miller explains in his autobiography, ‘‘he saw running neck and neck with his two sons in some race that never stopped in his mind.’’ The Newman household was one in which you ‘‘dared not lose hope, and I would later think of it as a perfection of America for that reason. . . . It was a house . . . trembling with resolutions and shouts of victories that had not yet taken place but surely would tomorrow.’’2 Manny’s son, Buddy, like Biff in Miller’s play, was a sports hero and, like Happy Loman, a success with the girls, but, failing to study, he never made it to college. Manny’s wife, meanwhile, ‘‘bore the cross of reality for them all,’’ supporting her husband, ‘‘keeping up her calm, enthusiastic smile lest he feel he was not being appreciated.’’ (123) It is not hard to see this woman honored in the person of Linda Loman, Willy’s loyal but sometimes bewildered wife, who is no less a victim than the husband she supports in his struggle for meaning and absolution. Though Miller spent little time with Manny, ‘‘he was so INTRODUCTION ix absurd, so completely isolated from the ordinary laws of gravity, so elaborate in his fantastic inventions . . . so lyrically in love with fame and fortune and their inevitable descent on his family, that he possessed my imagination.’’ (123) To drop by the Newman family home, Miller explains, was ‘‘to expect some kind of insinuation of my entire life’s probable failure, even before I was sixteen.’’ (124) Bernard, son of Willy’s next-door neighbor, was to find himself treated in much the same way by the Lomans. There is, however, something more than absurdity about such people as Manny, who managed to sustain their faith in the face of evidence to the contrary. Of a salesman friend of Manny, Miller writes, ‘‘Like any traveling man he had to my mind a kind of intrepid valor that withstood the inevitable putdowns, the scoreless attempts to sell. In a sense, these men lived like artists, like actors whose product is first of all themselves, forever imagining triumphs in a world that either ignores them or denies their presence altogether. But just often enough to keep the game going one of them makes it and swings to the moon on a thread of dreams unwinding out of himself.’’ (127) And, surely, Willy Loman himself is just such an actor, a vaudevillian, getting by ‘‘on a smile and a shoeshine,’’ staging his life in an attempt to understand its plot and looking for the applause and success he believes to be his due. He wants, beyond anything, to be ‘‘well liked,’’ for, without that, he fears he will be nothing at all. During the run of his first great success, All My Sons, Miller met Manny again. Rather than comment on the play, his uncle answered a question he had not been asked: ‘‘Buddy is doing very well.’’ The undeclared competition was still under way, as if time had stood still. The chance meeting made Miller long to write a play that would recreate the feeling that this encounter gave him, a play that x INTRODUCTION would ‘‘cut through time like a knife through a layer of cake or a road through a mountain revealing its geologic layers, and instead of one incident in one time-frame succeeding another, display past and present concurrently, with neither one ever coming to a stop.’’ (131) For in that one remark Manny brought together past hopes and present realities while betraying an anxiety that hinted at a countercurrent to his apparent confidence.


May 24

If a student experienced any interruptions or issues while testing, they must submit a makeup testing request at cb.org/requestmakeup by May 24, 6 p.m. ET. This appears to be a change from previous information released. Please let your students know of this, keeping in my mind that they've made it clear that running out of time would not be reason to submit a request for a make-up.

May 26

After 2 p.m. ET on May 26, AP teachers will receive an email with instructions for downloading their students' exam response files from the May 11–22 testing window. Separately, in AP Classroom, teachers will be able to access the specific exam questions their students received.

May 28

AP students who requested a makeup exam will be notified via email on May 28.

June 1-5

Make-up/Late testing window. I have attached the schedule below, for your convenience. AP students who've been scheduled for a makeup exam will automatically receive an email containing their unique makeup exam e-ticket two days prior to each of their exams. 

Exam Start Time12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)

Mon, June 1

United States Government and Politics
Physics C: Mechanics

Human Geography
Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

Calculus AB
Calculus BC

Tues, June 2

English Literature and Composition
Spanish Literature and Culture

Physics 1: Algebra-Based
European History

Physics 2: Algebra-Based

Wed, June 3

United States History
Chinese Language and Culture

Environmental Science
Computer Science A

Art History

Thurs, June 4

World History: Modern

Spanish Language and Culture
Comparative Government and Politics

French Language and Culture

Fri, June 5

English Language and Composition
German Language and Culture

Japanese Language and Culture
Italian Language and Culture

6 Basics to approaching the passage you're writing about:

  • Exigence: What has compelled this author to write and share this?
  • Audience: To whom is this author writing or speaking?
  • Purpose: What effect does the author hope to have on his audience?
  • Context: time, place, "climate"/situation?
  • Writer: Who is speaking/writing and what is his/her qualifications? expertise?
  • Message:  Theme, Claim?


By the end of the year you will be able to: 

1. analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identifying and explaining an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques

2. apply effective strategies and techniques in your own writing

3. create and sustain arguments based on readings, research, and/or personal experience

4. write for a variety of purposes

5. produce expository, analytical, and argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate evidence drawn from primary and/or secondary sources, cogent explanations, and clear transitions

6. demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in your own writing

7. move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry, drafting, revising, editing, and review

8. write thoughtfully about your own process of composition

9. revise a work to make it suitable for a variety of audiences

AP Language & Composition Exam Tasks and Content

Section 2: Free Response

  • Students write essays that respond to 3 free-response prompts from the following categories.
    • (Synthesis Essay: After reading 6 texts about a topic (that include a graph, chart, cartoon, etc.), students will compose an argument that combines and cites at least 3 of the sources to support their thesis.)
    • Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Students will read a nonfiction text and analyze how the writer’s language choices contribute to the intended meaning and purpose of the text.  THIS WILL BE THE ENTIRE 2020 AP EXAM.
    • (Argument Essay: Students will create an evidence-based argument that responds to a given topic.)
    • Section 1: Multiple Choice (NO LONGER PART OF THE 2020 AP EXAM)
    • Includes 5 reading passages and sets of multiple choice questions.
      • 23–25 Reading questions that ask students to read and analyze nonfiction texts.
      • 20–22 Writing questions, a new type of question, that ask students to “read like a writer” and consider revisions to stimulus texts.



- a bit

- a lot

- kind of, sort of

- till  (use until)

- bad, good, nice, big, get, gives, shows, stuff, things, always, very, really, too

- In conclusion


Due by 9:00 p.m. Thursday, 6/4:  Death of a Salesman Top 10 Quotes assignment  (2 pages double spaced), 50 pts.   This is a new assignment I am very excited about.  Please pick what you think is the most significant quote in every 10 pages of the play (omit the Requiem).  Your total will be 10 quotes of course. You may outline your responses like this:

P.P. 1- 10:    Character name: "Quote..."

Your response to how the quote reveals/symbolizes the character and the play as a whole (approximately 3 sentences).

P.P. 11 - 20:  Character name: "Quote..."


Hey everyone,

Hope you're doing okay.  Please pray for our country.  It needs you more than ever to stand up for love and justice, and let that caring voice be heard. Watch the news of course, but not too much.  Please.  The media wants to shock you with its unrelenting images and messages of doom to keep your eyes fixated.  Please find good balances everywhere in your life.  Make smart and compassionate choices.

 On a different note, I am halfway done grading the exams from yesterday.  FYI: I accepted 2 answers for #20 because of my typo (it was supposed to read what happens at the end of Act 1).  A cool Salesman assignment coming asap.

I am setting up Google Meets for tomorrow:

F Period 11:00

G Period 12:00

Hi everyone.

Just a reminder that your Death of a Salesman exam will begin promptly at 1:15 p.m. 

Please stay tuned for an assignment that will be due Wednesday.

Reading Exam 1:00 - 1:30 MONDAY, 6/1:  Death of a Salesman Reading Exam (multiple choice & short answer format), 100 pts.  This will be a timed test just like your last 2 AP essays. PDF below.  

Don't read the introduction because it is full of spoilers.  Feel free to read it afterwards if you like.  It is written by the world's premiere Miller scholar Christopher Bigsby, and it is brilliant.


Video message with details about Arthur Miller's life SENT.  Please take notes.

I have office hours tomorrow, Friday, 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. if you want to talk about Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller, Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself," the AP Exam, or life in general.  =)

Due by 6:00 p.m. Thursday, 5/28:  Vocab Unit 15 exercises.

Good afternoon juniors.

I hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend.  I hope you said a prayer of thanks and a prayer of praise for those who gave their lives for our country.

I'm glad I moved the reading exam to Monday so that we have some time to discuss Arthur Miller, as well as give you an overview of the play, the stage, the characters, etc.  I am setting up Google Meets for tomorrow.

F Period 11:00

G Period 12:00

Looking forward to seeing all of you!  Literally.  Please put your cameras on so I know you're there, listening, and engaged.


So proud of you guys.  I know you did your best and that's all that matters.  I hope you celebrated.  You deserve to.

Due by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, 5/26:  Whitman poem reflection, typed, 30 pts.

PART 1:   Read the opening 9 lines of his most famous work, "Song of Myself" BELOW.  For your reflection, copy and paste the lines, then write YOUR 2 sentences below each line about what each one is trying to express. Skip a line and repeat for the remaining lines.  (You are writing 18 sentences total.  You got this!)

PART 2:   THEN, read the famous stanza about him aiding a runaway slave.  BELOW.

Please discuss the significance of the 7 very personal actions Whitman takes in giving comfort/aid, but also letting him know that he is an equal and a human being!  How is each so meaningful?

ALSO:  Stay tuned for a video from me giving you details about Walt Whitman's life and poetry.  I hope you don't  mind if I send you the one I uploaded for my seniors back on April 2nd.  (Please take notes during my talk, then take a picture of it and upload with your reflection.)



I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,

Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,

I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,

Hoping to cease not till death.


The runaway slave came to my house and stopt outside,

I heard his motions crackling the twigs of the woodpile,

Through the swung half-door of the kitchen I saw him limpsy and weak,

And went where he sat on a log and led him in and assured him,

And brought water and fill’d a tub for his sweated body and bruis’d feet,

And gave him a room that enter’d from my own, and gave him some coarse clean clothes,

And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness,

And remember putting plasters on the galls of his neck and ankles;

He stayed with me a week before he was recuperated and pass’d north,

I had him sit next  to me at table, my fire-lock lean’d in the corner.

plaster: a type of bandage/dressing     galls: sores, cuts      fire-lock: rifle


Remember to sign in at 1:30 p.m.


Submitting Exam Responses

We share the deep disappointment of students who were unable to submit responses.

Beginning Monday, May 18, and continuing through the makeup window, there will be a backup email submission process for browser-based exams.

This option will only be available for students who were not able to submit in the standard process—and they must then email their responses immediately following their exam.

These students will see instructions about how to email their response on the page that says, "We Did Not Receive Your Response." The email address that appears on this page will be unique to each student.

Any student testing between May 18–22 who can't successfully upload their response through the exam platform or send it to us by email, will need to request a makeup exam.

To protect the security and validity of exams, we're unable to accept submissions from students who tested May 11–15. However, these students can feel confident that the email option will be in place for them during the makeup exams.

Email submissions will not be available for the World Language exams.

Setting Up Your Students for Success

Given the wide variety of devices, browsers, and connectivity solutions students have access to, we're unable to prevent every possible local error from occurring during the exam. In advance of the administration, we created a testing guide, Exam demo, and test day checklist to help students avoid potential issues. It's important that students review this information and know to:

Locate their e-ticket, which is emailed two days before each exam

Use a recommended browser, update it to the latest version, and disable plugins

Keep an eye on the time and begin their submission at the 5-minute mark

Wednesday, 5/13 AP EXAM UPDATE:

There were some issues affecting students using their cell phone to upload a picture of their written response. Students can avoid this by cutting and pasting from a word doc or google doc.  Since you are all typing your essays, this won't affect you.   =) 

The College Board sent us a new document that they want you to print out and have next to you on May 20th.  It is information regarding the possible need for a makeup in June.   I believe it is their way of telling you to remain calm if something goes wrong and just get back into the test and do your best to complete it. If that's not possible, you may request to take it again in June. They also suggested that students do not spend time trying to contact their teacher or the College Board (or Ms. Forte) during the exam for help. If the issue delays them too long, then just re-test next month.  Please go to the link below:


Reminder:  Students must do the AP demo (cb.org/apdemo). This will give you a practice run & confirm that the device you're using for the test works. Please keep in mind that Internet Explorer will not work.  Use Chrome, Safari, Mozilla....

You should have your AP number. Also, print out the reference sheets you will need for the exam.

The email from the College Board was sent to me and all of you at 3:40 p.m. today, Monday.  Please take a look at the information and be sure to do the Exam Day Demo on the device you will be taking the test on. 

AP Language & Composition Youtube tutorials:


AP Exam Demo--available May 4: AP students should use the clickable exam demo to practice the different ways to submit their exam responses. The demo will help students confirm that their testing device will be able to access and run the online exam. If they can’t access the demo, the final slide of the Testing Guide can help them troubleshoot. The sample content in the demo will be the same for all users and isn't a practice exam. We’ll send educators and students an email to remind them when the demo is available. Please encourage your students to take this important preparation step.


  • This guide, designed for educators to walk through with their students, provides information about:
  • The AP Exam E-Ticket
  • Five Steps to Take Before Test Day
  • Understanding the Test Day Experience
  • Exam Scores, Credit, and Placement



Students must complete this checklist for each exam they take and keep it next to them while testing.



New videos are available to give students quick, easily accessible information about their test-day experience, what they need to do to prepare, support from Higher Ed institutions, an exam walkthrough, and more.  


Review the Updates for AP Students and Schools Affected by Coronavirus website here:



AP Language & Composition Youtube tutorials:


AP Exam schedule below:



11:00 - 11:45  F PERIOD

12:00 - 12:45  G PERIOD

Due by 3:00 p.m. Monday, 5/18:  "Once More to the Lake" Rhetorical Body Paragraph, 40 pts. 1 page, typed.


You already read an excerpt from White's brilliant reflection, now read it in its entirety!  Please annotate as you go along.  You may even find yourself making new discoveries on the paragraphs you read Wednesday.  It was difficult to pick the best paragraphs for your essay response.  Some paragraphs came very close to making the cut, and I was tempted to add one or two, but then your passage would have been too long.

Please take a pic and post to gc, or highlight it and upload it.

THEN, pick a section or paragraph that wasn't part of the excerpt and write a Pt. 2 rhetorical body paragraph discussing how he expresses those themes of nostalgia, appreciation of the natural world, and feeling the bittersweet passage of time.

Friday, 5/15, 11:10 - 11:45   HAFKER OFFICE HOURS

Thursday, 5/14:  Google Meets cancelled.   Too many conflicts with APUSH review, AP Chem. Exam prep, and Physics final.  I will reschedule it for Monday morning.

Due by 12:50 p.m. Wednesday, 5/13:  AP Exam Pt. Rhetorical Essay, 100 pts.

You have to submit your essay by 12:50 p.m. 

5 pts. will be deducted for an essay submitted 12:51 - 12:55.   

10 pts. deducted for an essay submitted after that.


Make sure you let your own rhetorical brilliance come through in tomorrow's essay.  Avoid the generic essay that briefly explains what the author is doing with his/her language.  Instead, genuinely reveal how he/she makes it breathe and come to life to transform the reader forever!  Allow your unique voice to shine through each analysis.

Like last time, I would love to get a chatroom conversation going after the essay.  If you could copy and paste your favorite commentary/analysis in the chat that would be fantastic.

Hey guys.

It was bittersweet being in the building and our classroom today.  Looking forward to that day where we can be together again--maybe this summer in Central Park?  Let's hope and pray.

Just a reminder that tomorrow at 12:00 noon sharp is your last rhetorical essay before the official one next Wednesday.  Please check my SFP notes page and google classroom in the morning for suggestions, advice, and a couple sample Helen Keller essays that received high scores.  They were supposed to go out tonight, but my mom took a slight turn for the worse, and my wife and I (and Jake) spent the whole day with her and my dad.

Hey everyone,

I hope you had a nice weekend and enjoyed yesterday's sunshine.  

Just a reminder that your Lincoln essay self-check paragraphs are due today by 3:00 p.m.   

I read several already and students are making keen observations on their own.  Well done.  I hope you find this exercise helpful in preparing for this Wednesday's essay (that will count), and the BIG ONE next Wednesday, May 20th.  Your assignment today and tomorrow is prepping yourselves, okay?   I will finish grading all of the Helen Keller essays today and share comments/suggestions on google classroom and here. 

Here's a little Walt Whitman to inspire you.  You already heard this before because I have a poster of it in the front of my room.

Miss you.

This is what you shall do; 

Love the earth and sun and the animals, 

despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, 

stand up for the stupid and crazy, 

devote your income and labor to others, 

hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, 

have patience and indulgence toward the people, 

take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, 

go freely with powerful uneducated persons 

and with the young and with the mothers of families, 

read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, 

re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, 

dismiss whatever insults your own soul, 

and your very flesh shall be a great poem

Happy Friday.  Just wanted to give you some updates before we head into the weekend.

stay tuned for your Lincoln essay review assignment for Monday.  Those who came to my office hours yesterday morning (thank you!) already have an idea of what it entails.

Stay safe my dear juniors.

Due by 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, 5/6:  Pt. Rhetorical Essay, typed, 

100 pts.   

You will have to submit your essay by 12:50 p.m. 

5 pts. will be deducted for an essay submitted 12:51 - 12:55.   

10 pts. deducted for an essay submitted after that.

You are doing question #1 (based on Abraham Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address). See link below.

Read the prompt carefully, then write the best 1st draft of an essay ever!




The ceremony is on the SFP homepage and is available for viewing with your families.  I am very proud of your dedication to and genuine appreciation of the beauty and power of language.  And please know how proud I am of all my AP students who have minds, hearts, and souls that are wide open to the wonders and gifts that great literature gives.  

I know for a fact that some of you who almost made it this year, will be inducted as seniors!  Impress Ms. Prohaska and yourself with what you can do.

Thanks to Giuliana for recommending the instructional video below.  It's a teacher walking you slowly through the essay directions, the reading of the passage, the annotating and taking notes on the passage, and finally the writing of the essay step by step.  Please check google classroom this evening or in the morning for a few more tips and reminders, as well as strong Helen Keller essays as models.


Good morning, AP scholars.

I hope you were able to get out safely this weekend to enjoy the beautiful weather.  I also hope you were physical distancing.  My wife and I can't believe how some people on lines outside of stores stand just 2 or 3 feet apart and some with their masks around their necks.  At our local park yesterday there were dozens of teens hanging out without masks.  Very sad and very dangerous.

So, a few important reminders below.

No official homework, just prepping and preparing for Wednesday's big essay.  I am going to send you Helen Keller essays with high scores tomorrow for you to look at.  If you haven't looked at any of the Youtube AP tutorials, you may want to look at the first 3 (Abigail Adams letter to her son).  Let me know if they help.

No google meet today.

Also, be on the lookout for an email from the College Board regarding your AP Exam Day Demo.

Good evening everyone. 

Over the weekend, please look over the AP Language Exam info I posted yesterday morning, and jot down some notes on pertinent items. I'm not going to give you your next assignment until Monday.

BIG NEWS: Wednesday, March 6th, you will be taking the first of your timed essays at home! I will be posting the prompt 12:00 sharp, and you will have to submit your essay by 12:50 p.m. 5 pts. will be deducted for an essay submitted 12:51 - 12:55 and 10 pts. deducted for an essay submitted after that.

You probably figured out already that Monday's assignment is going to be some Pt. 2 Essay practice and review.

Enjoy the beautiful weekend. Also, if you get a chance, try to virtually attend Mass tomorrow at the Prep chapel! 4:30 p.m.

Hey Everyone. Thank you for your concern and prayers.  My mom is feeling a little better and has some of her appetite back.

Just wanted to share some very important AP updates from yesterday.  Half of your big assignment for Monday will be carefully going through all of the websites below and taking some notes.  Stay tuned for your other assignment.  It will be posted here, on google classroom, and emailed to you.  =)

Good morning!  I hope you had a good weekend.  Some important updates for you.

I know some of you wrote the rhetorical strategy body paragraph already and are itching to send it through google classroom.  You can do so now.  Remember, it has to be typed. The short story questions will actually be answered through Google Chat tomorrow.  Isn't that exciting?  I will send you more details on that later today or tomorrow morning. BTW: Our next google meet will be this Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.  

Finally, thank you for your patience--whether it's me getting back to an email or trying to keep up with all the grading.  Besides being a teacher, you know I am also a father and a husband.  

I am also taking care of my parents in Bayside.  On top of everything, I have to get The Little Portion pages/artwork ready for the printer so we can have copies by the end of May.  I have never been this busy in my life.  

God bless you for always understanding.  Love and miss you.

Due by 3:00 p.m. Monday, 4/27: "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" Rhetorical Essay Body Paragraph, 40 pts.

Read "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" THEN, write a sophisticated body paragraph on a rhetorical device(s) on a specific section or sections of your choosing.  Please choose wisely. There are many paragraphs where his writing is exquisite and you will be able to choose from diction, imagery, mood, etc.  Length should be about a page--quality over quantity.  It must be typed.

I wrote a short Hawthorne bio for you below.


Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the most important writers in American Literature.  His great-great-grandfather (John Hathorne) was one of the main judges during the Salem witch trials and sentenced innocent women to their deaths (this haunted and disgusted Hawthorne enough to add a "w" to his name to create some separation from his ancestry).  He went to Bowdoin College in Maine, and after graduating spent about 12 years in a top floor bedroom reading and writing voraciously in order to hone his craft and talent, and leaving the house only occasionally.  His most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter, an instant bestseller at the time, is considered one of the greatest novels to come out of America.  (Please consider reading it in the near future--it is brilliant!)  He was friends with many famous Americans including President Franklin Pierce and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (both of whom he went to college with), Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, AND Herman Melville who dedicated Moby Dick to him (please consider reading it in the near future--also brilliant and probably in my top 10!).  In his younger years he was considered to be a Transcendentalist, but as he grew older his views and mood became quite dark and intense, with much of his writing revealing the weaknesses and cruelties of humanity.

Due by 6:00 p.m. Friday, 4/24:  Vocab Unit 14 exercises, 20 pts.  I uploaded in Sadlier Thursday afternoon.

Please take a look at the following sample essays for some guidance/preparation for your 100 pt. Helen Keller essay:


https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-english-language-and-composition-2018-frq2-samples-2020-rubrics.pdf     Samples H & F.

 due by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, 4/21:  AP PT. 2 RHETORICAL ESSAY, 100 pts.  Handwritten or typed.  Starting now, you will write your essays for class in the format you plan on choosing for the exam on May 20th.  (Please write this in 45 minutes if you can.  Set your cell phone timer for 45 minutes and see where you are in your essay when the alarm goes off.  I want you to learn to pace yourself.  I know you can all write good essays, but we really have to practice within the time frame).

Print out the Helen Keller letter, annotate, and take a pic to put in google classroom.


Three Days to See    Helen Keller


ESSAY PROMPT:   Consider the context and occasion of this letter, both as personal correspondence and as read aloud by Twain to a specific audience.  Discuss its purpose and how the interaction among speaker, audience, and subject affects her text.  In what ways is this letter so effective and why?

(Don't forget to discuss ethos, pathos, logos.  And double check the 6 basics.)

 due by 3:00 p.m. Monday, 4/20:  Albright Speech Annotations, 20 pts.  Print out Madeleine Albright's commencement speech at Mt. Holyoke College below and underline 8 or more highlights of brilliant rhetorical  moments with annotations. Please submit through google classroom. 


Then write a sophisticated intro to an AP Pt. 2 Rhetorical Essay.  Just the intro.  Submit through google classroom.

IMPORTANT:  Each of you should have received the email update from CollegeBoard on April 3rd.  If you did not receive this email, please let me know asap.  The CollegeBoard is using the email address you used to create your CollegeBoard account and register for the exam, in order to communicate with you and to send you the link for testing. So it is critical that all of your email addresses are working properly.   

Enjoy the rest of the "break," and talk to you soon.

(If you have any questions about either assignment below, please email me at ehafker@sfponline.org)

Hello there!    

Mrs. Hafker and I already put in 7,000 steps on our walk this morning.  We never thought we would have to learn a new way to take our neighborhood walks, navigating the streets carefully and crossing to the other side when you see other walkers.  Sigh.  Remember to get enough exercise and eat healthy and hydrate.  And pray of course. I will put a link up that has wonderful reflections/prayers for you to read and ponder.  

Also, I want to inform you that we are pushing Death of a Salesman back towards the end of May.  I need you to do some essay writing next week and some reading of more non-fiction texts to get you ready for the Pt. 2 essay.  You can see the revision of the Easter break assignment below.

More big news--Mr. Mendolia will be setting up a weekly AP exam practice schedule for all departments for when we return.  For example:  Mondays will be Social Studies for APUSH, Psychology, etc.   Tuesdays will be English: AP Lang. and AP Lit.    Wednesdays will be Science: AP Chem., AP Physics, etc., and so on.  These will be the days you take a practice essay or watch one of the many helpful, in-depth Youtube videos.  This is so there's no overlap and you're not drowning.  ;)

I'll keep in touch my dear junior scholars.  Remember, make some time for Jesus tomorrow and Good Friday.  And have a blessed, and healthy, happy Easter!

Due by 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, 4/8:  Poem Reflection, typed, 40 pts.  Below are two of my favorite poems, AND they happen to be inspirational, and that's what we need now more than ever--TO BE INSPIRED (from the latin meaning "to breathe into").  May words, phrases, sentences, images, moments in the 2 poems below, breathe some hope and peace and revelation into your lungs and your being.  

1.  Read both carefully, then pick which one you connected to more at this time in your history? How?  Why?  Make references to key lines to support your response.

2.  Pick your favorite sentence (from either poem) and make it the first line(s) of a poem you write yourself!  It should be a minimum of 10 lines and 20 lines maximum.  Maybe some of them will end up in The Little Portion!  I can't wait to see what you come up with.  I can't wait for you to inspire me!

Submit through google classroom.

LET EVENING COME   by Jane Kenyon

Let the light of late afternoon

shine through chinks in the barn, moving  

up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing  

as a woman takes up her needles  

and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned  

in long grass. Let the stars appear

and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.  

Let the wind die down. Let the shed  

go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop  

in the oats, to air in the lung  

let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t  

be afraid. God does not leave us  

comfortless, so let evening come.

BLESSING THE BOATS   by Lucille Clifton

(at St. Mary's)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

Hey everyone,

I hope you got outside today.  My wife and I have been walking every day trying to reach 10,000 steps a day.  Most of the time we come close.  Sometimes we even go over!  Aw, yeah...  Make sure you're not doing too much stress eating, and make sure you're staying active. 

In the next day or two, I will be posting some very useful College Board links that will help you prepare for the AP Language exam.  I will guide you through some of them.

MOVED TO MAY:  It has come to my attention that when some of you went on amazon to order Death of a Salesman, the ETA is April 28th.  :o    Instead, please go to the pdf link below when the time comes. 


Hello dear Juniors,  

I want to share some good news with you regarding the AP webinar I just sat in on.  

So...the AP Language and Composition exam will be on-line and take place on Wednesday, May 20th, at 2:00 p.m.  Whether it is taken at home or in school, the security measures will be high.  I know we don't have to worry about that.  (It's the College Board so it could inform every college you apply to, as well as negate your SAT scores.)   

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for, and what I predicted--the entire exam will consist of just the Pt. 2 Rhetorical Essay (ex.  Frederick Douglass essay, the CELERY essay, and so many of your written reflections this year!).  You will have the option to handwrite it or type it.           If you know your handwriting needs improving, please consider typing it.  =)  As you can imagine, we will not be doing anymore reading passage/multiple choice exercises for the rest of the year.  What a nice early Easter present.

 I know you will sleep well tonight.  I am so relieved for all of you. 


Mr. Hafker

Good morning!  

I hope you had a somewhat peaceful weekend and a holy Palm Sunday.  I hope you spend a few minutes of silence and in prayer each day this Holy Week, getting centered and being aware of your beautiful soul and your God who wants you to know He is right beside you.  

Well, today would have been our field trip to the Central Park Zoo, the carousel, and the lake--sunny and 65 degrees.  Sigh.  I really mean it when I say I want us to pull this off in June or July.  God willing.  

Below are your 2 assignments for today and tomorrow.  Please make sure you get them in on time.  Points will be deducted for each day's lateness.  After 3 days it will count as a zero.  Almost all of you have been on time, or really early!  Thank you.  Finally, please order a copy of Death of a Salesman by next Tuesday, April 14th.

Monday video greeting and brief lesson on Google Classroom.


Due by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 4/7: 

1.  Short Story Reflection, 20 pts.  Print out "Cat in the Rain" by Ernest Hemingway, read, then read a second time and annotate (it's only 2 pages long).  Please write a 1 page reflection (in notebook or on loose leaf) on how Hemingway uses the setting, the dialogue, and especially the cat to show the passion-less marriage of this couple.  Any "husband/wife power plays" noticeable?  Make a reference to 2 lines of dialogue from the wife, 2 lines of dialogue from the husband, and 2 lines about the padrone to support your responses.  Any winners?


2.  Vocab Unit 13 exercises, 20 pts.

Due by 3:00 p.m. Thursday, 4/2:   YOUR Gatsby "Book Review,"  1 page minimum typed, 20 pts.

So, are you ready for your last Great Gatsby assignment?  =)  You are in charge of writing the last review of the novel ever.  You will have the final word!  Please cover the following in your positive or negative (OR BOTH) "assessment": plot, characters, setting, writing style, and anything else you want to spice it up with.  Finally, please read the 3 pages from the afterword of my edition that I attached to my google classroom page and incorporate 2 pieces of information from them in your review.


So we arrive at Gatsby's elaborate party.  We meet Owl Eyes in the library full of REAL books--"bona fide pieces of printed matter...a regular Belasco."  Just like David Belasco (the famous theater producer who was responsible for elaborate sets, effects, lighting, etc.),  Gatsby knows everything in his mansion must be authentic and real and grand for Daisy's arrival--nothing can be imitation, or fake, or cutting corners--much like his over the top love for her.  Remember how the wealthy are like the covers of the fake books or books with cut pages--appearing fancy on the outside, but nothing of substance or nothing at all on the inside. 

We witness the famous Gatsby smile for the first time on p. 48 in this vivid description that captures not just the physical, but the emotional, elements and effects of it:

He smiled understandingly—much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced—or seemed to face—the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on YOU with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey. Precisely at that point it vanished—and I was looking at an elegant young rough-neck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd. Some time before he introduced himself I’d got a strong impression that he was picking his words with care. 

Chapter 4 NOTES:

Nick writes down all of the names of the guests he meets on an LIRR timetable (another time reference).  It is a list of quantity and no quality, that seems to be an endless flow of new and old wealth from both Eggs.  Notice how many last names are names of animals, fish, etc.

Gatsby picks up Nick for a drive into Manhattan and gives him his very fictional life story (except for the war parts perhaps).  We see how organized crime has even the police commissioner in its pocket when Gatsby is almost pulled over by a motorcycle cop, but shows him his "get out of a ticket/jail" card.



F PERIOD Google Classroom  code:  mekbxg2

G PERIOD Google Classroom code:  stp6wjg 

We will wrap up The Great Gatsby next week, then switch to short stories, non-fiction passages/speeches, poetry, and of course exercises in the Barron's AP book, and the writing of Pt. 2 rhetorical analysis essays and Pt. 3 argument essays. 

Your Pt. 1 synthesis essays (on public libraries) were the strongest, and I'm not sure I will have you write another.  I'm more concerned about the other two. 

Please sign in to my google classroom.    Thank you! 

Please check here and/or google classroom for your assignments.

MR. HAFKER'S WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HOLDEN FIELD TRIP Monday, April 6th, is cancelled.  =(      When NYC gets the all clear I hope we can have an AP Language & Comp. reunion at the zoo and carousel this summer!

Good afternoon, my juniors.  Sorry you didn't have any AP work to do this morning.  I know you're very disappointed.  I hope all of you are being safe and staying healthy.  I am still getting used to using Google Classroom.  I learned the hard way that you are emailing me through GC (ehafker@stfrancisprep.org) which I usually never check, and I just saw about 100 new emails from the past couple weeks.  If anything is really important or urgent please continue to email me at:   ehafker@sfponline.org   At least until I get into the habit of daily checking my gmail.

I will send you a wrapping up Gatsby video tomorrow.  I'm sure you are looking forward to moving onto Hemingway, some poetry, and some non-fiction masterpieces. 

 Stay well and talk soon!

 Due by 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 31st:   Final pages Analysis, 1 page min. in notebook.  20 pts.  Please take a pic and send through Google Classroom. Read the final two pages of The Great Gatsby  ("Gatsby's house was still empty when I left...") and provide 5 reasons how/why the end, this "resolution," is considered to be one of the finest written in American fiction.  Be on the lookout for characterization of Nick and Jay, themes, rhetorical moments.  Take a pic of your annotations and underlining in the book, too.  Thank you!

Hey everyone.  I'm not posting a lesson/assignment again until Wednesday morning so that I can focus on grading.  I am however going to send a video lesson on The Great Gatsby. There are so many wonderful scenes I was looking forward to doing with you in class!  But now there's just time for a few in cyberspace.  ;)

Due by 3:00 p.m. Thursday, 3/26:  Vocab Unit 12 exercises on Sadlier (10 pts.). 

DUE BY MIDNIGHT, TUESDAY, 3/24:  Please do the Passage 4 reading and multiple choice questions in your Barron's AP book (pp. 238 - 241).  Then take a picture and send through Google Classroom (please include your passage 3 answers, as well).  10 pts.

Also, if the Barron's book doesn't explain an answer sufficiently for you, please tell me, and I'll try to fill in the gaps.

DUE BY MIDNIGHT, MONDAY, 3/23:  "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" Content/Comprehension/Rhetoric Worksheet, 100 pts.

Please answer the questions carefully and thoughtfully in google classroom.  Be sure to include textual references when needed.  Some answers will just require a sentence or two, some a short paragraph.  Double spaced, Typed.  2 pages.  

Please copy and paste the questions first, then respond.  Good luck!  I hope you enjoyed the story!

(Note:  If the normal plot line of a story is A...B...C...D,  this story's plot line is   B...A...C...D (in camp after the lion hunt...rewind to the actual lion hunt that morning to see the vivid details of what went down...fast forward to night time...next day's water buffalo hunt).

DUE BY 4:00 P.M. FRIDAY, 3/20:  Psychiatric Evaluation of Daisy Buchanan, 1 page typed, google classroom, 20 pts.   Please write up a mental and emotional assessment of Daisy (with specific examples from her life in the novel), then give professional advice on how she can improve her self-esteem, depression, insecurity, delusions of grandeur.  Suggest  changes in lifestyle, behavior, thinking, etc.

Read pp. 74 - 78 This is Jordan's telling of how she saw Daisy and Gatsby for the first time sitting in her white roadster, Daisy trying to see Gatsby before he left for Europe and the war, her marriage to Tom, the drunken day before the wedding, post honeymoon, etc.    Please use any Daisy scene or quote in the novel for your evaluation.

I hope you signed up for my Google Classroom and read the beautiful poem by William Stafford. If you get a chance, please print out a copy of it and put it on your fridge for you and your family.

Wednesday, 3/1:  I thought you could all use a little  break from Gatsby AND it's been way too long since we've done a poem together, so let's try this masterpiece by William Stafford below!  Please carve out a half hour of being alone and uninterrupted when you read it and reflect.

Poem reflection due by 3:00 p.m., 1 page typed, 10 pts.  

Read "You Reading This, Be Ready." How did this poem give you a genuine appreciation for the beautiful, frightening, perfect, and elusive present, and who you are right now in this moment?  Please discuss 3 favorite sentences that helped you achieve this.  Why might this be one of the most important poems you read in your 4 years at Prep?  

ALSO:  Please look up immediately after reading it and describe what you see around you in great detail and in 1 sentence.


Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life.

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

Monday, 3/16:  Please do the Passage 3 reading and multiple choice questions in your Barron's AP book (pp. 234-237). 


Tuesday, 3/10:  Please do Practice Test A Passage 2 in the Barron's book for tomorrow. Give yourself no more than 25 minutes to complete it.  (You can take your Barron's home or take a picture of the pages:  pp. 231 - 234.)  And good news!  It's a great passage and the questions aren't as hard as the last one!  I promise!

Monday, 3/9:  Vocab 11 quiz, 30 pts.

TUESDAY, 2/25:  AP Language & Composition Pt. 2 RHETORICAL Essay, on loose leaf, 2 pages, full heading, 50 pts.  Read the brilliant and powerful words of Frederick Douglass below, ponder and reflect on how his language choices contribute to his passage's intended purpose and meaning.  Remember the rhetorical pyramid!


Friday, 2/14:  Vocab 10 quiz (30 pts.) and Unit 10 exercises (10 pts.) due Friday morning  by 8:15 a.m.



See the 2019 Pt. 1 synthesis essay prompt below, as well as sample essays, and scoring and explanations to prepare for synthesis essay:

Sample Prompt & articles/graphs:


Sample essays:


Scoring (with explanations):


ALSO:  New title assignment, 20 pts., 1 page minimum, on loose leaf.  

1 short paragraph on what you think of the title--explain how the adjective great suits Jay Gatsby, and give an example from the novel to support your response.  Is it all truth, some sarcasm, some exaggeration, irony?  All of the above depending on the reader?  Finally, in a longer paragraph, and make sure you use your vivid imagination with this one--come up with a new title for the novel, and discuss why your title is so appropriate and meaningful.  (The best title will earn 3 pts. extra points on the exam.)

In your Barron's AP Language & Composition book we will carefully read and review pp. 117 - 144 to prepare for this Wednesday's in-class AP Pt. 1 Synthesis Essay.

Wednesday, 2/12 AP Language & Composition in-class Pt. 1 Synthesis Essay, 100 pts. 

Go to link below, print out prompt and articles (pp. 2 - 8), then annotate with words and phrases (no sentences allowed).  Make sure you underline important quotes, then highlight the ones you will use on your essay tomorrow.  You are allowed to write ONE SENTENCE--your thesis statement.  DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT READ SAMPLE ESSAYS, EVEN GOOD ONES--THEY WILL KEEP YOU FROM USING YOUR OWN VOICE, STYLE, ANECDOTES, DICTION, ETC.

IMPORTANT:  If you can't stay until 3:00 to finish your essay, you may come to my room at 1:05 to get a head start (my E period Poetry class).  


In your Barron's AP Language & Composition book, carefully read the following pages to prepare for this week's in-class AP Pt. 2 Analytical/Rhetorical essay:

p. 36 How Essays are Scored  (p. 37 top only)

p. 82  Handy Self-Scoring Chart

pp. 147-149  

pp. 153-154  AP Essay Writing Style

p. 160  Handy Varying Your Sentences Box

pp. 162-164  Transitions & Concluding Your Analytical Essay


Travel Dates:  June 26 - July 4, 2019

Just two spots left!  See me for more details.

 Monday, 2/10: The Great Gatsby reading exam #2, 100  pts. (on chapters 6 - 9).

Tuesday, 2/4: The Great Gatsby reading exam, chapters 1 - 5,  100 pts.  Multiple choice and literary paragraph response.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (known as F. Scott Fitzgerald) was a short story writer and novelist considered one of the pre-eminent authors in the history of American literature due almost entirely to the enormous posthumous success of his third book, The Great Gatsby. Perhaps the quintessential American novel, as well as a definitive social history of the Jazz Age, The Great Gatsby has become required reading for virtually every American high school student and has had a transportive effect on generation after generation of readers. At the age of 24, the success of his first novel, This Side of Paradise, made Fitzgerald famous. One week later, he married the woman he loved and his muse, Zelda Sayre. However by the end of the 1920s Fitzgerald descended into drinking, and Zelda had a mental breakdown. Following the unsuccessful Tender Is the Night, Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood and became a scriptwriter. He died of a heart attack in 1940, at age 44, his final novel only half completed. 

Wednesday, 2/5:  Gatsby body paragraph, 1 page on loose leaf, 10 pts.  Pick any substantial paragraph/page from chapters 3 to 5 that you think is especially lyrical and/or full of imagery and masterful diction and discuss.  Some of you will be selected to present your discovery to the class.  =)

We will continue to discuss King's letter.

Monday, 1/27:  Birmingham Jail"  annotation assignment, 10 pts. in your notebook.

Fill the handout with your marginalia.  Then, write your best intro and 1st body paragraph on one (or two or three) rhetorical strategies of your choosing.

Also:  "Letter from Birmingham Jail" worksheet in class, 10 pts.   

Tuesday, 1/28:  Vocab 9 Quiz (30 pts.) and Unit 9 exercises due (10 pts.) Monday midnight.

Thursday, 1/16:  "Letter from Birmingham Jail" quiz, 50 pts.  

Make sure you read the letter from the 8 Alabama clergymen that inspired King to write his masterful masterpiece of a response.

In your Language of Composition textbook, pp. 260 - 275.

You will write the essay in class Thursday (G period 30 minutes/F period 45) and Friday ( G period 45 minutes/F period 30).

You may take the text handout home and write as many annotations/outlining as you see fit.  

I moved the vocab quiz to Monday.

Below is an old test sample we will review.  


(See p. 10 for reading passage)


Friday, 1/10:  AP Exam Pt. 2 Rhetorical Analysis Essay due, 2 pages on loose leaf, 100 pts. You will read a short nonfiction text, and analyze how the writer’s language choices contribute to the passage's intended meaning and purpose.  Text and question to come on Wednesday.

Thursday, 1/9:  Vocab Unit 8 exercises due by midnight (10 pts.).

Monday, 1/6:  "Sleep" handout with annotations, 10 pts.  1/2 page response in notebook.  After annotating the text (I came up with 18) please write a short intro (2-3 sentences) to a rhetorical essay based on this article in your notebook.

In the WSJ article "Business Wakes Up to the Magic of Sleep," Jason Gay defends his appreciation of sleep, as well as its importance, with a light and humorous tone throughout.   His witty use of similes, hyperbole, allusions, and diction also strengthen his argument in an entertaining and memorable way.

BTW:  I still have laryngitis.  =(

Also:  Bring The Things They Carried to class every day this week.


Please go to poetryoutloud.org and pick a poem you understand, connect to, and LOVE.  Memorize it and recite it to the class on Thursday, December 18th.  Maybe you'll be the winner that goes to the Prep competition on January 8th!  See me for more details.

Wednesday, 12/18: "A Christmas Memory" quiz, 30 pts.  Please print out this masterpiece by Truman Capote.  DO NOT annotate, just get lost in my favorite short story ever.


Tuesday, 12/17:  Reminder: If you revise your Nancy Mairs's "Crippled" essay intro (on the same sheet of loose leaf) you can get full credit.  Just follow my suggestions/revisions.  

Walt Whitman reflecton, 10 pts.

Friday, 12/13: Vocab 7 Quiz (30 pts.) and Unit 7 exercises (10 pts.) due midnight Thursday.

Monday, 12/16:  Please show me your rainy river notes and response sentences, 10 pts.

Thursday In-Class:  Please read the climax of the Rainy River chapter, pp. 53 - 57, write down observations in your notebook/novel, THEN, please pick 3 of your rhetorical devices and then write 2 sentences explaining the purpose and effect of each (as you would in an AP Language essay).  I'll check your notebooks tomorrow while you're reviewing vocab.  Don't forget the emotional impact his character has upon you, the reader.

Wednesday, 12/11: Annotate p. 21  (the "Freedom Birds" paragraph).  

Early Christmas present below.  New due date!

Monday, 12/9:  The Things They Carried descriptive/personal essay, 100 PTS.  TYPED.  2 PAGES. Times New Roman, 12 pt. size, full heading.  Imagine you are going to war tomorrow and can only take 3 personal items.  Describe each item in detail, and explain the reason why you want to carry it with you.  Remember, no cell phones, ipads, or gaming systems!  Also, you can't bring an entire photo album--it won't fit in your backpack. If you pick a photo, you must describe the subjects/setting in great detail.  Note:  2 photos gluesticked together back to back can count as 1 item.  

Write in present tense--"I am leaving for war tomorrow.  I'm bringing..."  You can be home about to leave or as if you just arrived.

Remember, 3 things that are special and meaningful and will somehow keep you grounded, as well as close to your loved ones, and your true self!  Maybe one of your items or a 4th item can be a specific emotion, memory, name, etc., not necessarily an object.  Feel free to use your imagination.  Also, no military items (guns, ammo, first aid kit, and so on) needed.

5 paragraphs--each item gets a body paragraph.

Please note:  You must mention the novel and Tim O'Brien briefly in your intro, you must have a quote from the book in your conclusion that connects to your motivation of your 3 items somehow, and you must annotate your own essay after you print it out (use several rhetorical strategies like O'Brien--repetition, hyperbole, allusions, etc.).  

FRIDAY, 12/6:  Bring your AP Barron's book to class.  We will be working on 2 exercises (Diagnostic Test 1).

Wednesday, 11/27:  Vocab Unit 6 Quiz (30 pts.) and Unit 6 exercises due midnight Tuesday (10 pts.).

Monday, 11/25:  Draft reflection, in-class, 1/2 page minimum, notebook, 5 pts.  Please read the conscription handout, then answer the following question: if there were a draft tomorrow and you had to go to war, would you go?  Or would you go to Canada, or Europe, or South America, etc. to avoid it.  Why? 

Thursday, 11/21:  "My Glass Case" reflection (no pun intended) 1 page min. in notebook, 10 pts. What is the most joyous and/or loving moment of your life? Really dig deep and try to find it. Be sure to use vivid details and most of your senses in describing this moment you want to preserve forever.

Tuesday, 11/19:  The Things They Carried reading exam on the first half, 100 pts.  Multiple choice questions with a rhetorical strategy analysis of a page from the novel. Stop after the chapter "The Man I Killed." Make sure you have 10 annotations throughout.

Thursday, 11/14:  Vocab Unit 5 Quiz (30 pts.) and Unit 5 exercises due midnight Wednesday (10 pts.).

Friday, 11/15:  AP Language Exam Pt. 2 essay intro paragraph on loose leaf, 10 pts.

In the handout, Nancy Mairs, who has multiple sclerosis, calls herself a "cripple." Read the passage again carefully. Then write an essay intro in which you analyze how Mairs presents herself in this passage. In addition to discussing the significance of Mairs' choice of the word "cripple" to name herself, you should consider such rhetorical features as tone. word choice. and rhetorical structure. 

Tuesday, 11/12:  Veterans Day poem reflection, 1 page in notebook, 10 pts.  (Also, please finish the annotations handout from class.  BTW--so proud of my juniors!)

 "Facing It" Reflection.   Read the famous poem by Yusef Komunyakaa, and write a 1 page reaction to it in your notebook.  Make sure you discuss his emotions and why he's feeling them.  Make sure you discuss how he focuses/REFLECTS upon key images to get his theme of despair, loss, and regret across.  Make specific textual references to at least 4 lines to support your responses. How does the title have a double meaning?  How does he use enjambment for an "extra meaning"? Pick 2 lines where you liked his enjambment the best.  (Please go to link below before you read the poem.)


Wednesday, 11/6:  Ralph Waldo Emerson handout reflection, 1 page minimum, in notebook, 10 pts.

From the handout, pick 3 quotes you would consider making your yearbook quote.  Why and how do you connect to your 3 choices?  Also:  What quote would be Holden's favorite and why? 

Tuesday, 10/29:  Saving Holden creative essay!  2 pages typed, double space, full heading, 100 pts.  

You will learn more about voice, tone, style, point of view, setting, natural dialogue, and symbolism from this cool assignment!  

You must create a new scene with a new symbol with YOU as a new character who helps save Holden from himself--his anxiety, his grief, confusion, inability to face change and maturing.  You will write this scene in 1st person as Holden.  Make sure to use just enough godamn's, etc. to really capture his informal voice.  

Make sure you give him something, or show him something, or do something for him that is symbolic (and put this sentence in bold).  Your scene must also have imagery and meaningful dialogue and a clear setting. HAVE FUN!  

Wednesday, 10/30:  Vocab 4 Quiz (30 pts.) and Unit 4 exercises due midnight Tuesday.  

Tuesday, 10/22:  In-class AP multiple choice exercises, 10 pts.

Bring The Catcher in the Rye to class, or 5 pts. off.

Monday, 10/21:  Henry David Thoreau handout reflection, 1 page minimum, in notebook, 10 pts.  Please put a check or star next to the quotes you love, then circle your 3 favorites.  In 3 well-written paragraphs, discuss the meaning/power/purpose of each, and who the intended audience might be.  Finally, is he using a particular rhetorical strategy?  

In 1845, Thoreau received permission from Emerson to use a piece of land that Emerson owned on the shore of Walden Pond. He bought building supplies and a chicken coop (for the boards), and built himself a small house there, moving in on the Fourth of July. He had two main purposes in moving to the pond: to write his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, as a tribute to his late brother John; and to conduct an economic experiment to see if it were possible to live by working one day and devoting the other six to more Transcendental concerns, thus reversing the Yankee habit of working six days and resting one.  His nature study and the writing of Walden would develop later during his stay at the pond. He began writing Walden in 1846 as a lecture in response to the questions of townspeople who were curious about what he was doing out at the pond, but his notes soon grew into his second book.    

Thoreau stayed in the house at Walden Pond for two years, from July 1845 to September 1847.Walden condenses the experiences of those two years into one year for artistic unity. During these two years he also spent one night in jail, an incident which occurred in the summer of 1846 and which became the subject of his essay "Resistance to Civil Government" (later known as "Civil Disobedience”).  That same year he also took a trip to Maine to see and climb Mount Katahdin, a place with a much wilder nature than he could find around Concord.

Friday, 10/18:  Vocab Unit 3 quiz (30 pts.) and Unit 3 exercises due (10 pts.) midnight on Thursday.  Note:  Exercises have been sent.

Friday, 10/11:  AP Language & Composition essay due. 100 pts.   This will be an AP Exam Part 3: Argument essay.  See below for prompt.

ALSO:  The Catcher in the Rye Part 2 Exam (chapters 14-26), 100 pts.


Question 3 Suggested time—40 minutes. (This question counts for one-third of the total essay section score.) 

The term “overrated” is often used to diminish concepts, places, roles, etc. that the speaker believes do not deserve the prestige they commonly enjoy; for example, many writers have argued that success is overrated, a character in a novel by Anthony Burgess famously describes Rome as a “vastly overrated city,” and Queen Rania of Jordan herself has asserted that “being queen is overrated.” 

Select a concept, place, role, etc. to which you believe that the term “overrated” should be applied. Then, write a well-developed essay in which you explain your judgment. Use appropriate evidence from your reading, experience, or observations to support your argument. 

Wednesday, 10/2:  "Thank You, M'am" Reflection, 1 page in notebook.  Describe a time in your life where you did an incredible act of kindness for someone, or someone did something so kind for you as to change your life (or at least your day!).  10 pts.  (Make sure you write down the exigence, audience, and purpose of your piece.)

Wednesday, 9/25:  Vocab Unit 2 exercises due midnight.

ALSO:  "Mother to Son"

- Express the theme of this poem to the best of your ability. 

- Why is a staircase the perfect symbol for the poem's theme?  

- Discuss at least 4 "stair images" in the poem, and how they show specific real life challenges for the son, especially at this time in America (the 1920s).

- Why is the dialect so crucial in this poem?  

- How does this mother and son remind you of Mama and Walter in A Raisin in the Sun?  

Monday, 9/30:  Vocab Unit 2 Quiz (30 pts.).

Monday, 9/16:  IN-CLASS

Langston Hughes poetry reflection due, 10 pts.

On loose leaf--to be collected.  

Read "Lesson From English B" twice, slowly and carefully.  Your assignment is to be the Columbia University professor/instructor and give the "paper" a grade, then write a one page (minimum) response to your student Langston Hughes as to why.  You must comment on at least 3 specific lines from his poem.  Also, please make one connection to A Raisin in the Sun.

Tuesday, 9/17:  Vocab 1 Quiz (30 pts.) and Unit 1 exercises due midnight Monday.  The exercises were sent out Thursday morning.


Welcome to a challenging and rewarding, eye and mind opening literary year!  

The first week of school we will be registering for the AP Language & Composition exam and setting up your AP account.

You need to have an account with the College Board (most should already have an account).   If you do not have one, you need to create one on www.collegeboard.org over the weekend.

MySFP online Forums
This course has no MySFP Forums
MySFP online Assignments
This course has no MySFP Assignments