Admittedly, this was not the case for much of what we read this year.  We covered a lot of important, but dark, literature.  But have no fear, there are some wonderfully powerful (and uplifting) works of literature out there.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find one of those pieces and share it with the rest of the class.  

Here's what you should do:
   - Explore the resources at your disposal (Norton Anthology, Short Story book, and your own reading experience)
   - Locate a piece of writing (poem, short story, play, novel) that you feel offers a hopeful, uplifting message to its reader.
   - Write a short (1-2 paragraph) description summarizing the work and explaining why you feel as though it is uplifting.  
   - Post all of this information as a comment on this thread.
This assignment will be worth up to one full point on your final quarter grade (which will be achieved by spreading out 

Fun review for the AP Exam covering some simple figurative language using Disney clips.  Thanks, Sammy!

The Fire



This one comes from Carley.  Certainly some thought-provoking lyrics...
Great song by Nickel Creek.  Powerful lyrics (chock full of figurative language too...) and beautiful music.  Thanks for sharing Sammy Farmer!
This post was submitted by Tristan.  Powerful reminder that poetry takes many different forms.  Thanks Tristan!
The first submission for the Connection Commons come from Trevor.  This was a poem with which he identified and was able to relate to his own life.  Great work, Trevor!  Extra credit for making my weekend better.
Stop and reflect on Walt Whitman again.  In Song of Myself section 6, he seemed to recognize something that we may all need to be reminded of from time to time - that sometimes we don't have all the answers, and it is in asking  questions and exploring uncertainties that we find real meaning.  We are forced to think about what things mean to us, and why.  Even as a teacher, I won't pretend to know everything there is to know about literature, and I won't pretend to be able to tell you what something should mean to you.

Really appreciating and understanding literature is all about making connections with the text, the world, and oneself. The most meaningful learning takes place when we feel personally invested and connected.  This page is a place for students to share the connections you make in whatever form you find them.  The connections may be in poems, videos, pictures, tv shows, essays, music, stories, books - whatever.  If you find some connection between our class and the world around you, share it!

Please email Mr. Shumway when you come across something that inspires you, or that you think may resonate with another student.  In "the real world," people get extra credit all the time.  If you go above and beyond - in your job, in your personal health, in your commitment to education, in your friendships - you will benefit from that.  Therefore, I'm willing to give extra credit to any and all who engage in the building of connections by using this site.
    "A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
    How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he."

            - Walt Whitman,        
                  "Song of Myself"

    As a teacher, there are days when I really identify with what Whitman is saying here.  Meaning in literature is like the grass - there are so many ways to look at it.  It means something different to each person, and means different things to people at different times.  As the teacher, who am I to tell you what something means to you?  

    Building real meaning in literature means building and recognizing connections.  This space is meant to be a place to share the connections that you make.

    Share your connections, comment on others' connections, and let's make this space a venue to talk about life.

    Email connections to