Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Final Comment

It’s been an emotional time for me, a time of reflection and loss. My final working day I participated in a meeting for the last time and then spent the afternoon removing and recycling 20 years of accumulated paper. That was simultaneously cathartic and sad. Some of my finds amused me: one, a memo from our former director, was a type written memo from the days before computers were commonplace. It was fun to read for a bit but I willingly passed it along to a colleague who I knew would appreciate it.

Mostly, the paper headed straight into the recycle bin, except for the blank-on-one-side sheets that could be used in the lab as scrap paper. My final acts were to strip my name off my storage area and filing cabinet and watch as my colleagues claimed the newly available spaces! My father left his career behind when he retired and counsels me to start anew in my own retirement. It sounds like the right way to go, but I’m not ready yet to completely forget a 30-year career in adult education.

A lot happened in my final weeks: a lovely potluck in my speaking and listening class; an honourary luncheon attended by 35 (or more!) students, my appearance at a graduation ceremony. Speaking to the graduates, I had the chance to say goodbye formally and that gave my retirement a feeling of finality that is both a bit scary and just right somehow.

Giving out marks and having a one on one with my English 12 students was a highlight. Your thoughtful words (and gifts—so many and so wonderful) made me feel happy and satisfied that my work was done. You would move on in your lives and might remember something you’d done in my classroom with the same fondness as I. What more can I ask?

I know it’s not much and it’s been a long time coming but I have to say to anyone who is reading this here: Thank you for all you did for me (you know, all that homework and hard questions and talking and so on!) and showing that, as people, we could learn more together than we could alone.

I’m thinking of continuing to write in retirement at my personal blog, currently called “The Educated Web,” a leftover from my days as webmaster for the PALC. What would I write about? Why, what it is like to start a new life as a retiree of course!

—417 words

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Saying "Farewell" at the Blog (Extra Credit of 5%; Optional Assignment)

Say goodbye in any way that feels right to you. Write no more than 200 words. Use one or more paragraphs as you wish. Poems are fine, also!

 Remember that these will be the last words published at the blog, which will remain online as a tribute to the hard work of many students past and present at the Pearson ALC. Please finish your work no later than Monday, June 13 if you wish me to include it in your final mark. I will add your score out of 5 to my spreadsheet result. You can expect my final comment there as well before June 17.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Writing a List Poem based on "A Note"

Beginning with "Life is the only way," write your own list poem using "A Note" as a model. Your poem must use the same (with minor variations) number of words and structure as Szymborska's. Use what you learned this week to compose a stronger poem.
Try to find a rhythm to the words you choose (note the number of syllables as well as the number of words). Be careful to punctuate exactly the same way and be aware of how the poet has used punctuation to divide and compare ideas. Post a copy of your poem to the blog before coming to Wednesday's class.
Be prepared to do a recital of your poem (please practice ahead of time!) and speak for one to two minutes on the process you followed and any difficulties you experienced.  Marks will be assigned as follows: quality of poem—50%; recital—25%; remarks on process—25%. Marks will be entered as a Unit Test, so do your best!

NOTE: Check your formatting carefully after copy and pasting your poem. You'll need to add spacing. Try to have your poem look exactly the same as the original handout if you can!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Choosing a Favourite Poem

To help you find a poem, here are three online sources of quality poetry. You must find a poem from one of these three sources. Remember that we will work with the poem in group work that day, so be sure to choose well and remember your classmates as an audience. Remember to print a copy to bring to class that day.

Poems at (each poem is read by the poet; a good way to decide if you like the way it sounds)

Canadian Poetry Online (from the University of Toronto library; a list of poets that links to poems from each one)

Poetry Daily Archive (alphabetical archive of poems by title; here you can look for an interesting title and see if you can find a poem you like)

NOTE: If you are graduating this term (completed all courses required), please let me know. Teachers can help you figure out if you qualify. Please consider coming to our graduation ceremonies on June 22 since you will be able to see me in a pin stripe suit!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Favourite Moment (or scene) in Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights"

Discuss your favourite moment/scene in the part of the film assigned to you with a check mark. 

You can find most of the film (in pieces; no full version exists, although you might find an almost complete version if you look) at YouTube if you need to re-watch. Use at least one literary term (setting, character, conflict, irony etc.). 

Write between 150 and 200 words in a standard paragraph. Please print your work before class on Wednesday.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Persuasive RSAnimate

View two or three examples of RSAnimates and then choose the one you find most persuasive.

In a paragraph, explain why you find it persuasive (in a way, persuade us that we should also watch it!). Post your paragraph here (150 to 200 words) before coming to class.

Be sure to bring your work to class, word processed, next Friday.

Remember, also, to complete your paragraph based on Sherry Turkle's TED lecture.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Homework for the Story, "Literally"

Answer based on the topic assigned to you on your worksheet. Open the document on literary terms and review the questions for the topic (e.g. for conflict, you may answer this question: "List the personal qualities (character or personality) of the protagonist and antagonists." Your note taking here can help you to show how conflicts show us these personal qualities. Concentrate on your page range but remember to comment a little on the whole story.

Please identify which question you are answering first, before your paragraph. A good answer will range from 150 to 200 words and use one or two short quotations. It will be easier if you relate your answer to the overall "gist" of the story (how the element you discuss fits within the story in other words).

Friday, April 1, 2016

Homework for the Story, "Katania"

Using the questions you received with your first short story (on the reverse of the sheet) or the “Guide to Literary Terms,” write an answer based on the page range given to you at class on Friday. You may comment on more than one example (e.g. for setting you could refer to both the physical setting and the social environment) that occurs on those pages. Remember to have one overall topic that is more general than your content, so we know how you plan to answer. Write about 200 words in a single paragraph. Quote at least twice and work to integrate your quotations into your own sentences. Try to show how your page range relates to something that happens either before or after it in the story.