Journals, 2015

First Day: 08/20/15
Describe your first day of school.  How is it going?  What are you excited about in terms of your junior year of high school?  What are you anxious about?  What are your goals for the year? (collected)

Introductory Poster: 08/24/15
Explain the images you put on your identity poster last Friday when Borger took her flash-card pictures of you.  Why’d you choose those images & what do they say about you?  What other things does Borger need to know about you as a student? (collected)

Rules: 08/26/2015
What is the importance of rules?  Why do we have them?  What are they for? What do you think of rules in general? (submitted with seminar notes)

School Rules: 08/27/2015
If you could change one or two of the school rules, which rules would you change?  Why would you change them?  Be specific – the reasoning is as important as the rule change itself. (submitted with seminar notes)

Puritan & Rational: 09/01/2015
What associations do you have with the words “Puritan” and “Rational?”  What comes to mind when you think of these words / terms / concepts?  You can respond with words or by drawing a visual representation of each. (collected 09/10)

Edwards vs. Franklin: 09/10/2015
Compare the ideas from the writings of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin.  What’s the main focus / main imagery of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?”  What’s the main focus from the excerpt of Franklin’s Autobiography?  In what ways are the pieces similar?  How are they different? (collected with seminar notes 09/10)

Deal with the Devil: 09/14/2015
What kinds of stories/songs have you read / heard / watched in which characters make deals with the Devil?  What tends to happen in those stories?   If you were to make a deal with the Devil, what kind of deal would you strike? (collected)

Romantic / Romanticism:  09/17
What images or ideas or thoughts come to mind when you hear the words ‘romantic’ or ‘romanticism?’  This is a journal where you can draw images instead of write using words. (collected)

Nonconformity: 10/01
Emerson says “imitation is suicide” (185).  Explain what you think this means and talk about nonconformity:  students want to be different & unique &  to “step to the music which [s]he hears, however measured or far away” (Thoreau 204).  But, you don’t want to be toodifferent (peer pressure).  How do you navigate that space and what do these authors say about that tension? (collected)

Civil Disobedience: 10/05
Sometimes laws get passed that infringe on the rights of the people.  Reflect for  on the policies and laws already existing school or community (curfews, dress codes, smoking regulations, driving laws, etc.)  Or write about the effectiveness of protests, boycotts, rallies to protest against inequities in our society.  Do you think it is effective when protesters get imprisoned, get beaten or experience death as a consequence for disobeying the laws that they view are unjust?  Are these people criminals or patriots?(collected)

Respond to The Last of the Mohicans: 10/20
Respond to the end of the film.  What do you think about the ending.  Which character did you like the best?  Which did you like the least?  Which character changed the most?  Which character was the most representative of an American Romantic Hero? (collected 11/18)

Becoming Batman: 10/28
Respond to the podcast we listened to yesterday (use your notes / drawings to spark your memory). What are key concepts that stuck out  – what are notes that you made – what are key connections to intuition, conformity, non-conformity, individualism, society’s expectations, brains, etc. (collected 11/18)

Entanglement: 10/28
If emotions are somewhat contagious, if we imitate expressions & gestures of others, what are the implications of that?  What do you think of how others influence us? (collected 11/18)

Dark Romantic Story: 11/13
If you were going to write a story in the vein of Poe, using the ideologies of the Dark Romantics, what would your story be about?  Describe it.  Brainstorm some ideas.  Or, what would a modern-day Poe story be about?  Or, what are some examples of modern day Dark Romantic stories? What makes them similar to the works of Dark Romantics? (collected 11/18)

Substitutes: 11/18
Describe the class for the past two days with the two subs we had.  BE DETAILED AND SPECIFIC.  How should you act when a sub is in class? How do you act? What accounts for the difference? (collected 11/18)


Holiday Weekend: 11/30
Describe your holiday weekend.  Good / bad / boring / fun?

Freewrite: 12/10
Write about whatever you want for the duration of the time: journal about your day, write poetry of your own, write down song lyrics (include title & song artist), stream-of-consciousness, etc.

Holiday Break: 01/04/16
Describe your holiday break.  What did you do during the time you had off from school?  How was your holiday?  Were you affected by the weather?  How do you feel about being back at school?

Dead Poets Society: 01/05/16
Before break you watched the whole film.  We re-viewed key scenes to refresh our memories.  What do you think of the film?  What do you think of the boys’ transformations?  The tensions between conforming to social / parental expectations vs. being a non-conformist and following your own path?  For Mr. Keating?  For Neil?  For yourself.

Freewrite: 01/14/16
Complete a freewrite for journal time today.  You can write about the stories we’ve read, your day, your week, write song lyrics, doodle a picture, etc.

Weight of the World: 01/29/16
Describe a time when you felt as though the weight of the world had just been lifted from your shoulders.  How would you describe the feeling?  What caused you to feel this way? How long did the feeling last?

(Slave Narratives: 02/11)
How are Fredrick Douglas and Harriet Jacob’s experiences similar?  What images / experiences stood out most to you as you completed your reading?  What do  you think of their experiences / stories?

Slavery by Another Name 1: 02/16
What stands out to you about the film you viewed on Friday?  As a reminder, the film focuses on ways slavery was allowed to be sustained in our country through the 1940’s via convict leasing – prisons “leasing” out convicts to do free labor in fields, coal mines, etc. If you were absent, respond to the ways in which the legacy of slavery still exists in our country today.

Film Response: Many Rivers to Cross: 02/25
Respond to the film.  What did you tend to take notes about?  Is there a theme across your notes? Look at your word cloud or split-quotes.  What concept / theme / idea did you write about the most often?  Why do you think you focused on that idea/theme/concept?

Prominent African-American Artists: 02/29
In your opinion, who are the most influential/powerful/contentious African-American artists / personalities in America today?  You can think of musicians, actors, athletes, politicians, media personalities, etc.  Explain who the person is (Borg is out of the popular media loop) and explain why and how they influence others.

End to Racism? 03/01
When do you think we will see an end to racism and racial / gender / sexual orientation discrimination in our country?  Do you think it is possible?  Why or why not?  What would have to happen for racism and discrimination to end in our lifetimes?