Today, the eve of Halloween, we will honor Edgar Allen Poe.

We will read the “The Tell Tale Heart” aloud in class.

Students will read “The Black Cat” & “The Pit & the Pendulum”  next week.

UPDATE: We’ve taken 2- 50 point split-quote quizzes over the first two stories.  If students come to class prepared with 5 split-quotes from “The Pit & The Pendulum” on Monday 11/09, we can go straight to seminar.  If students do not have quotes on Monday, we will take another (boring) quiz instead.


Expectations of Others vs. Individualism & Non-Conformity

We will listen to two podcasts related to Romantic & Transcendental ideas.  As students listen, they should draw pictures, doodle, or take notes: they should be engaged in listening the whole activity.  Students who are not listening or talking will be given a transcript of the show & go to alternative to finish their work.

Invisibilia: “How to Become Batman” 6:40- nearly the end

Invisibilia: “Entanglement: Contagion” (listen to the Candid Camera & conformity portion)

Notes/doodles will be due at the end of the hour.  We will be discussing & writing on these ideas later in the week.

Try to connect the ideas in these stories to the ideas in the quotes of Emerson & Thoreau below:

  • “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore”
  • “This American government…has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will.”
  • “The sun illuminates only the eye of man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child.”
  • “Our life is frittered away by detail….Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!”
  • “The lover of nature is he…who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.”
  • “…if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
  • “We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.”
  • “I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another.”
  • “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.”
  • “Trust thyself: Every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
  • “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…”
  • “Whoso would be a man must be a non-conformist.”
  • “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately.”
  • “I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there….I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.”
  • “envy is ignorance…imitation is suicide.”
  • “Let everyone mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made.”
  • “Nature never wears a mean appearance.”
  • “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
  • “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
  • “The life in us is like the water in the river.”
  • “Why has every man a conscience? I think we should be men first, and subjects afterward.”
  • “…it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: What is once well done is done forever.”
  • “Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further toward recognizing and organizing the rights of man?”
  • “To be great is to be misunderstood.”
  • “There will never be a really free and enlightened State, until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.”

Grade Check & Mini-Research

After taking the Last of the Mohicans viewing quiz, go to the lab and check your grades on Parent Connect. Go to “Daily Grades” on the left, then expand each class and click on the link that says (SEM 1) to see all assignments in that class.

Double-check my syllabus for assignment acceptance policies: late homework is accepted 1 day late for 1/2 credit & major papers are accepted up to 5 days after the due date but are docked 1 letter grade for each day it is late.

If you have a zero for a seminar, odds are you have not turned in seminar notes (or the notes are embedded in your journals).  You  earn partial credit for notes during seminar if you don’t talk.   You can only earn total credit for talking (or a combination of talking and note-taking).  Seminar is a listening AND speaking activity.

Once you’ve checked grades, do some research on the French & Indian war which is depicted in Last of the Mohicans.  You can also review your Romanticism notes, paying attention to the ideals of the American Romantics & focusing in on what an American Romantic Hero is (or do some research on that now).

You will be completing The Last of the Mohicans video guide for the remainder of your viewing.  Feel free to start using the notes you took yesterday.

In-Class Essay

Using your notes from American Romanticism & Transcendentalists, split quotes, journal entries, and texts from Emerson and Thoreau, explore one of the following prompts.  This is an in-class essay exam. You should introduce your ideas in a short paragraph, then explore the theme in a number of body paragraphs, then conclude your ideas.   USE QUOTES TO SUPPORT YOUR IDEAS.

  • Double-space (write on every other line)
  • Write in ink
  • Do not write on the back of the page
  • Follow proper quote format: tag+quote+cite+explanation = good support


  1. Intuition & Emotional Knowledge: The Romantics believed that imagination was able to discover truths that the rational mind could not each.  They favored intuition over reason.  Pull quotes from each writer that connect to this concept of intuition – the capacity to know things immediately through our emotions – and why intuition is more important than the reason.
  2. Nature: American romanticism developed as a reaction to rationalism, and as a result the city becomes a place of shifting morals, corruption, & death.   One must reflect on the natural world to find Big-B-Beauty (and Big-T-Truth).  In nature, the ordinary becomes EXTRAordinary / SUPERnatural.  They believed that nature can provide sense in a chaotic world.  Pull quotes from each writer that connect to this concept of nature as the locus of truth and cities / society as the locus of the dishonest majority.
  3. Non-conformity: The Transcendentalists believed strongly in self-reliance and non-conformity to tradition.  Pull quotes from each writer that examine the need and motivation to be a non-conformist.
  4. Compare/Contrast: Compare and contrast the writings of Emerson and Thoreau. Use specific quotes from each author to show their similarities & differences. Discuss how they represent the ideas of the Transcendentalists.
  5. Civil Disobedience: “Are the principles endorsed by Thoreau, King, and Gandhi still relevant in the twenty-first century?  Could these principles lead to a resolution of the violent political conflicts in the world today? Use quotes from each of the three authors to support your response.

Civil Disobedience

Read Civil Disobedience by Thoreau in your text book (210-216).  Collect 5 quotes that focus on his argument.  READ the intro on page 210 so you have context for why he’s writing this.

Wednesday, read the two selections after Thoreau by Martin Luther King and Gandhi, including introductory materials (219-222).  Write complete responses to questions 1-4 on page 223.  For the chart in question #2, use quotes from selections for each support: logical, ethical, emotional.

We will seminar on Wednesday and compose an in-class essay exam on Thursday 10/08 & Friday 10/09 for 100+ points.