Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Pre-reading The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

The things you can't leave behind...

1. Think as a poet for a few minutes. Then make three columns on a sheet of paper and head them "Things," "Abstractions," and "People."
2. In the first column, write a list of the most important things (actual physical things) to you -- the things you cannot leave behind. These things can have sentimental, superstitious, or symbolic value, such as a Christmas card from your grandmother or a special sock you wear during big games if yoiu like.
3. Next, make a list of the abstract, intangible things that are most important to you: freedom, happiness, loyalty -- and put these abstractions in the second column.
4. Next, make a list of the people who are most important to you in the third column.
5. Next, try to match the physical list to the abstract list and the people list.
6. Finally, combine these lists in an artful and creative way. This assignment is due on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Today's A-day took reading checks or fleshed out some ideas from the rest of the book. All graciousness is off on Wednesday!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm on page 255!
(Sunday )I can now post from my phone! Get some reading done.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Break week

Think about scars, trees, stumps, water; how Paul D's idea of Sethe's scar changes, and how the dead skin of a scar can become a living tree; how a clearing among the trees has anything to do with anything.

What does Beloved do FOR Sethe? How does she HARM Sethe? What is her effect on Denver?

Some images

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Read. Finish the book by the time you return on Monday, April 20.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday (Part Deux)

Look at the article linked at right on the growing possibility that medicine could "edit" your memory. What if Sethe had access to such a science?


Here are the questions for classwork/homework. I will not credit work that shows no thought!

Chapter One (3-23)
1. Look at the imagery surrounding the pink marble. What activities are combined in the image?
2. What is the most beautiful memory Sethe has of the landscape of Sweet Home? How is this memory related to the scars on Sethe's back?
3. Garner calls his slaves "men," but find at least two important ways that Garner or his representatives create an animal existence for them.
4. What is the chief function of Chapter One: what does it establish?

Chapter Two (24-33)
1. In this section, the omniscient third-person narration enters Paul D's consciousness. Examine the importance of trees to him and explain.
2. How does the behavior of Sixo, Halle, and the Pauls establish that they are, in fact, strong, moral men -- despite Halle's wedding bed of corn stalks because Mr. Garner thought corn "was a crop animals could use as well as humans" (31), and despite the calves?
3. In what ways is Sixo distinctly different from the other Sweet Home men?
4. What does Baby Suggs's experience reveal about a mother's best chance to survive slavery and the nature of slave family life? (Stick to the first two chapters).
5. How does Chapter Two clear the way for Paul D to consider the future?
6. (No response necessary) Note that Chapter One, in its immediate present, has the following characters: Sethe, Paul D, and Denver. Chapter Two has only Paul D and Sethe. Note the first sentence of Chapter Three. Read Chapter Three (34-51) for next class, then speed up!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Friday (Saturday, really)

Read through Chapter Two of Beloved. Expect a reading check on your progress so far. Look at the links to the right to find articles on the historical Margaret Garner, the runaway slave whose story inspired Morrison's first concept of her novel.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Bring in all books! I am sending them down on Monday and turning in a hold list, so after Monday, all deals will have to go through Mr. Henthorn.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Bring your Beloveds and your webs or charts. You should have read through Chapter 1 by class time.