February 15 2017

Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking. — Malcolm Gladwell

Tonight, please discuss the quotation above with regard to Night, Of Mice and Men, and Ethan Frome.  Use lots of text-based details to support your analysis.

As always, follow the rules of standard written American English and be sure to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

February 2 2017

Why not change your mind?

Tonight, please read the article entitled, “Why not change your mind” from The New Philosopher and then respond here.  For your response, you may consider the following questions:

  • What is the claim or thesis of this article?
  • What support does the author provide for his claim or thesis?
  • What if any rhetorical appeals does the author use?
  • Do you find his argument persuasive?
  • Would you ever consider changing your mind about capital punishment for the mentally disabled?

Please also listen to this podcast “The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind” from This American Life from Chicago Public Radio.

Full warning, however!

The podcast is almost a full hour long and deals with some controversial subjects like gay marriage and abortion.  Please be sure to get your parents’ permission to listen to this.

OMM blog #11
January 30 2017

How’s the research coming?

Dear Students,

Tonight, you should be researching your side of our debate topic:  Should mentally-disabled criminals be subject to capital punishment?

In the comment section below, please explain what work you have done tonight and what work you will be focusing on in class tomorrow.

Remember that we will begin the actual debates on Friday, at which point all position papers must be complete.

Enjoy the process!

:)Ms.Q

OMM blog #10
January 27 2017

It is so ordered.

Tonight, you have been asked to re-read the Wikipedia article and sections III and IV of Justice Stevens’ majority.  Next, please comment below on the specific reasons Justice Stevens gives for his decision.  In addition, please explain how Justice Stevens uses the rhetorical appeals — logos, pathos, and ethos — in his opinion.

OMM blog #9
January 26 2017

Atkins v. Virginia, Argued before the Supreme Court of the United States of America, February 20, 2002–Decided June 20, 2002

Please read the following texts:

If, for some reason, these links don’t work, please go to the handouts page of our website. They are listed there, all under “Atkins v. Virginia.”

These texts may be challenging for you, but you should that you can read the actual opinions handed down by the Supreme Court.  Not bad for 13 or 14-year-olds!

For you response, please give your understanding of the case and make a judgment of your own. How would you find if you were on the Supreme Court?  Write your opinion as if you were writing for the majority or the dissenting minority.

OMM blog #8
January 25 2017

“Of Mice and Men: The Execution of Marvin Wilson” by Andrew Cohen

Tonight, please read the article “Of Mice and Men: The Execution of Marvin Wilson” by Andrew Cohen, in The Atlantic, August 8, 2012, at least TWICE or as many times as it takes for you to get a fair  understanding of the meaning of the content and context.  (It took me twice to begin to get a grasp, and the article is only seven pages of large print with a picture, so I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request.  Remember, reading non-fiction is very different from reading fiction.  It takes time to get a real hold on and understand the context.)

Once you have read the article twice, write a blog here where you explain what Mr. Cohen’s opinion is and how he supports that opinion.   This is fairly tricky!  The author may not have a clear claim or thesis provided within the first paragraph.  You may need to infer his overall claim, and then please think carefully about the methods Mr. Cohen uses to convey his opinion.  Does he use facts?  What other methods does he use?  Is his argument convincing?  Why or why not?  (Be careful!  You are not asked to give your opinion here.  Rather, you should give Mr. Cohen’s opinion and explain how he supports it.)

OMM Blog #7
January 20 2017

We are lonesome animals.

January 17 2017

“I can still tend the rabbits, George?”

Discuss Of Mice and Men through page 65 here.  Be sure to include many specific text-based details in your commentary.  Be sure also to reply to your classmates as the discussion evolves over the course of the evening.

Also, don’t forget to write two or three discussion questions for class.  Remember, though, that a discussion question should not have an answer.  Rather, it should provoke interesting conversation.

OMM blog #3
January 13 2017

The bunk house was a long rectangular building.

Discuss Of Mice and Men through page 37 here.  Be sure to include many specific text-based details in your commentary.  Be sure also to reply to your classmates as the discussion evolves over the course of the evening.

Also, don’t forget to annotate your text as you read and to write two or three discussion questions for class.  Remember, though, that a discussion question should not have an answer.  Rather, it should provoke interesting conversation.

OMM blog #2
January 12 2017

“An live off the fatta the lan!”

Discuss Of Mice and Men through page 17 here.  Be sure to include many specific text-based details in your commentary.  Be sure also to reply to your classmates as the discussion evolves over the course of the evening.

Also, don’t forget to annotate your text as you read and to write two or three discussion questions for class.  Remember, though, that a discussion question should not have an answer.  Rather, it should provoke interesting conversation.

OMM blog #1