Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31, 2011


1. Vocabulary sentences and practice in groups
2. Discuss the two readings, "The Prodigal Son" and "The Allegory of the Cave" in groups and then as a class.

HW: Read James Joyce's "Araby" and think about the role setting has on the story. Is it symbolic? Story and setting can be very closely integrated.

Araby by James Joyce

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011


1. Grammar Lesson
2. Handout on Literary Terms
3. Define symbol, allegory, fable and myth
4. Sentences to vocabulary and practice with each other (if time)

HM: “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” by Luke and “The Allegory of the Cave” translated by Benjamin Jowett and be prepared to discuss in class what makes them allegories? Bring in your own copies of each if you can.

Parable of the Prodigal Son

The Allegory of the Cave


Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011


You are blind. In your journals, and using imagery, tell me what GREEN looks like, feels like, smells like, taste like, sounds like. Be creative. Be exact.

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26


1. Vocabulary quiz
2. Watch interview with Eudora Welty on “A Worn Path”
3. Class Discussion on “A Worn Path”

HW: Choose one essay prompt and write a well-developed, analytical essay answering the prompt. Due Sunday night by 12:00am to my email,

Choose one topic for your essay:
-How does the title fit the story? How are the psychological and physical elements of the story embedded?
-Describe the form of the story? How does Welty use the rising action to set the story apart? How does it mirror Phoenix’s path?
-Critic Roland Barthes has said, “Literature is the question minus the answer.“ Analyze this central question to what extent does this short story answer it?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 25

1. Review vocabulary
2. Group discussion and questions on "A Worn Path"

HW: Outline your essay for class tomorrow; bring in a copy of the short story

Choose one topic for your essay:
-How does the title fit the story? How are the psychological and physical elements of the story embedded?
-Describe the form of the story? How does Welty use the rising action to set the story apart? How does it mirror Phoenix’s path?
-Critic Roland Barthes has said, “Literature is the question minus the answer.“ Analyze this central question to what extent does this short story answer it?

A Worn Path questions

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 24

1. Continue discussion on "The Lottery" and discuss "Sabotuer" by Ha Jin

2. Literary terms / Beginnings and Endings

HW: Read “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty 

A Worn Path

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23

1. Grammar Lesson
2. Read "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
3. Note Taking and Annotating

HW: Actively read “Saboteur” by Ha Jin.

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

“The Lottery”
 by Shirley Jackson

1.     What is the POV? What is the position from which the narrator sees and describes the events?
2.     What would the story be like if it were omniscient POV? With the first person? Could the story be as suspenseful?
3.     Does the conclusion of “The Lottery” seem to come as a surprise? Were there hints earlier in the story of what was to come?
4.     A scapegoat, in the ritual of purification described in the Old Testament, was an actual goat that was released in to the wilderness after having been ceremonially heaped with the “iniquities” of the people. What traces of such a ritual are suggested in this short story? Can you think of any other kinds of rituals that are retained today even though their purpose is now remote or even nonexistent?
5.     Is “The Lottery” a horror story or a surprise story, or neither or both? Explain.

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22

1. "Richard Cory" recitals

2. Vocabulary
3. Literary Analysis (lit analysis attached)
4. Discuss HW on Collier’s essay / discuss organization

HW: Vocabulary sentences (from imagination or conversation) / Read Lore Segal’s “Modern Courtesy” and answer the discussion questions on the wiki page for your class – you are again required to answer and then respond to someone else’s response – for a total of (2) two entries on the discussion page.


Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19



1. Vocabulary Quiz

2. Elements of a thesis and unity in writing


 H.W. Read and review the essay by James Collier, "Anxiety: Challenge by Another Name." Go to my Wiki page - sign up and sign in and discuss the two questions posed on the discussion page. You should each have input plus one response to something someone else wrote for a total of two discussion submissions. This is due by Sunday night 8/21 (12:00am).

by James Lincoln Collier

Between my sophomore and junior years at college, a 
chance came up for me to spend the summer vacation
working on a ranch in Argentina. My roommate's father was in
the cattle business, and he wanted Ted to see something of it.
Ted said he would go if he could take a friend, and he chose me.
The idea of spending two months on the fabled Argentine 
Pampas was exciting. Then I began having second thoughts. I
had never been very far from New England, and I had been
homesick my first few weeks at college. What would it be like
in a strange country? What about the language? And besides, I
had promised to teach my younger brother to sail that summer.
The more I thought about it, the more the prospect daunted me.
I began waking up nights in a sweat.

In the end I turned down the proposition. As soon as Ted 
asked somebody else to go, I began kicking myself. A couple of
weeks later I went home to my old summer job, unpacking cartons
at the local supermarket, feeling very low. I had turned
down something I wanted to do because I was scared, and had
ended up feeling depressed. I stayed that way for a long time.
And it didn't help when I went back to college in the fall to discover
that Ted and his friend had had a terrific time.

In the long run that unhappy summer taught me a valuable 
lesson out of which I developed a rule for myself: do what
makes you anxious; don't do what makes you depressed.

I am not, of course, talking about severe states of anxiety or s
depression, which require medical attention. What I mean is
that kind of anxiety we call stage fright, butterflies in the stomach,
a case of nerves—the feelings we have at a job interview,
when we're giving a big party, when we have to make an important
presentation at the office. And the kind of depression I am
referring to is that downhearted feeling of the blues, when we
don't seem to be interested in anything, when we can't get going
and seem to have no energy.

I was confronted by this sort of situation toward the end of
my senior year. As graduation approached, I began to think
about taking a crack at making my living as a writer. But one of
my professors was urging me to apply to graduate school and
aim at a teaching career.

I wavered. The idea of trying to live by writing was scary—a 
lot more scary than spending a summer on the Pampas, I
thought. Back and forth I went,• making my decision, unmaking
it. Suddenly, I realized that every time I gave up the idea of
writing, that sinking feeling went through me; it gave me the

The thought of graduate school wasn't what depressed me. It 
was giving up on what deep in my gut I really wanted to do.
Right then I learned another lesson. To avoid that kind of depression
meant, inevitably, having to endure a certain amount
of worry and concern.

The great Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard believed
that anxiety always arises when we confront the possibility of
our own development. It seems to be a rule of life that you can't
advance without getting that old, familiar, jittery feeling.

Even as children we discover this when we try to expand our- to
selves by, say, learning to ride a bike or going out for the school
play. Later in life we get butterflies when we think about having
that first child, or uprooting the family from the old home-town
to find a better opportunity halfway across the country.
Any time, it seems, that we set out aggressively to get
thing we want, we meet up with anxiety. And it's going to be
our traveling companion, at least part of the way, into any new

When I first began writing magazine articles, I was fre- 
quently required to interview big names—people like Richard
Burton, Joan Rivers, sex authority William Masters, baseball-
great Dizzy Dean. Before each interview I would get butterflies
and my hands would shake.

At the time, I was doing some writing about music. And onee
person I particularly admired was the great composer Duke
Ellington. Onstage and on television, he seemed the very model 
of the confident, sophisticated man of the world. Then I
learned that Ellington still got stage fright. If the highly hon-
ored Duke Ellington, who had appeared on the bandstand some
10,000 times over 30 years, had anxiety attacks, who was I to
think I could avoid them?

I went on doing those frightening interviews, and one day, as
I was getting onto a plane for Washington toastonishment that
I was looking forward to the meeting. What had happened to
those butterflies? 

Well, in truth, they were still there, but there were fewer of
them. I had benefited, I discovered, from a process psycholo-
gists call "extinction." If you put an individual in an anxiety-
provoking situation often enough, he will eventually learn that
there isn't anything to be worried about.

Which brings us to a corollary to my basic rule:
you'll never eliminate anxiety by avoiding the things that caused it.
I remember how my son Jeff was when I first began to teach him to
swim at the lake cottage where we spent our summer vacations.
He resisted, and when I got him into the water he sank
and sputtered and wanted to quit. But I was insistent. And by
summer's end he was splashing around like a puppy. He had
"extinguished" his anxiety the only way he could—by
confronting it.

The problem, of course, is that it is one thing to urg
body else to take on those anxiety-producing challenges; it is
quite another to get ourselves to do it.

Some years ago I was offered a writing assignment that
would require three months of travel through Europe. I had
been abroad a couple of times on the usual "If it's Tuesday this
must be Belgium" trips, but I hardly could claim to know my
way around the continent. Moreover, my knowledge of foreign
languages was limited to a little college French.

I hesitated. How would I, unable to speak the language, to
tally unfamiliar with local geography or transportation systems,
set up interviews and do research? It seemed impossible,
and with considerable regret I sat down to write a letter begging
off. Halfway through, a thought—which I subsequently
made into another corollary to my basic rule—ran through my
mind: you can't learn if you don't try. So I accepted the assignment.

There were some bad moments. But by the time I had fin-
ished the trip I was an experienced traveler. And ever since, I
have never hesitated to head for even the most exotic of places,
without guides or even advanced bookings, confident that
somehow I will manage.

The point is that the new, the different, is almost by defini-
tion scary. But each time you try something, you learn, and as
the learning piles up, the world opens to you.

I've made parachute jumps, learned to ski at 40, flown up the 
Rhine in a balloon. And I know I'm going to go on doing such
things. It's not because I'm braver or more daring than others.
I'm not. But I don't let the butterflies stop me from doing what
I want. Accept anxiety as another name for challenge and you
can accomplish wonders.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 18, 2011


1. Turn in your summer notes for credit
2. Quick Write: To tell a joke is an art. Write a paragraph in which that sentence is your thesis sentence.

3. Quick Grammar Rule
4. Vocab review and discussion (quiz Friday, August 19)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 17


1. Essay exam (on summer reading) - Summer Reading Essay

In each of the novels assigned for summer reading, characters’ belief systems were challenged by events and information that caused them to reconsider their assumptions. Analyze and compare two of the novels to explain how the author achieves this purpose. Your analysis must include at least three technical elements of literature (such as plot, setting, characterization, diction or syntax).

For example - In Bless Me, Ultima and Siddhartha, the authors use indirect characterization, formal diction, and internal conflict to help the reader see how the main characters’ beliefs change throughout the novel.

If you are new to Righetti or for some reason did not read this summer:

In many works of literature, past events can affect, positively or negatively, the present actions, attitudes, or values of a character. Choose a novel or play in which a character must contend with some aspect of the past, either personal or societal. Then write an essay in which you show how the character's relationship to the past contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. (Do not merely summarize the plot)

*Please bring your summer reading notes Thursday, August 18 for credit.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Welcome Back!

Who are you and what are you doing in this class? What do you expect from the class and from yourself this year? How far are you prepared to go in order to achieve your goals?

1. Journal
2. Vocabulary (quiz Fri. 8/19)
3. "Richard Cory"(to be memorized by Mon. 8/22)
4. Essay exam tomorrow (Wed. 8/18)

NOTE: If you need a copy of the syllabus or the summer reading contract please see below.

Richard Cory

Honors English Summer Contract 2011