Mr. Daniel Williams
Course website: http://shalafitnhs.tripod.com
“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future
--Plato, The Republic
Students in English II generate compositions for a variety of purposes and in a variety of modes as well as read and analyze works from all genres of British authors. Based on a curriculum that integrates writing and reading, concepts and skills, this course empowers students to strengthen their writing skills (especially of the expository essay) and their ability to properly apply the conventions of the English language through drafting, revision, and proofreading. Students will also develop a personal voice and style as they write to learn about themselves, their world, and their print-rich environment. Vocabulary will be studied to develop apt and precise diction. Oral discussion and presentation will also be emphasized. Students read extensively, write responsively, listen critically, speak articulately, work cooperatively, and think independently. Summer reading is required.
The Book of Ill Repute: Policies and Procedures
Mr. Matthews has plenty to do without having to deal with disciplining my students for their shenanigans. To go a step further, I am a firm believer in “keeping it in the family,” so to speak. To accomplish this goal, I will deal with most of our problems here by having students sign The Book of Ill Repute.
We do not have nearly enough time in the year to do all of the things we need to do. I have absolutely no patience for any of the following: talking while I am talking, not doing homework, complaining, tardiness, etc. If you commit any of these infractions, you will find your name in The Book of Ill Repute. If this unsavory fate should be yours, then we will work out together, and with your parents, what your punishment should be.
The following are the rules and procedures for my course, break them at your own peril.
[ When entering the room: Our time is very short for all we have to do, when you enter the room, you are on my time. Do not be alarmed to find that your desks change formation. First, check the board to see where you should be sitting. Secondly, see what you are to be doing. My class openers will consist of one of several tasks: grammar practices, writing to show exercises, writing about visuals, rereading parts of a text, etc. After you see what you are to be doing, DO IT! There is no time for you to be talking amongst yourself (especially if you are complaining!); see what you are supposed to be doing, and please start working. If you are not engaged and working when official time for class begins, you will sign The Book of Ill Repute.
[ Verbal Misbehavior: Ours is a course that requires a great deal of oral participation from you. However, there are times when you should keep your mouths shut. When I am lecturing, you are expected to take notes, highlight, annotate, etc. You are not to talk to squawk with your peers while I am talking. This unnecessary tweeting often results in my having to repeat myself—an act I loathe immensely, and tries my patience. Don’t make me repeat myself because you are talking when you shouldn’t be. Likewise, when we are having class discussions, you are expected to be engaged with what your peers are saying, and prepare an extension to their comments or refutation. Finally, there is no room for complaining in this room. When I hand out materials, you are to sit quietly and await my instructions. Expressions of disgust, “What’s this?” “More stuff to read!” or any derogatory comment is insulting and unnecessary. Don’t do it.
[ Graded Work: This concept is very simple: if I assign work—do it. What’s more, when work is due, turn it in when I say to do so. Do not expect to be able to email work to me, or put it on my desk later in the day, or put work in my box. You are taking an immense risk by trusting I will receive your work when you trust in these alternate means of submitting work. I have far too much paper work as it is to keep up with your late work. Thus, I will not be accepting work late unless it is a major assignment, which I must grudgingly accept—but these assignments will be penalized for their inattention to deadlines.
[ Absences: If you are absent it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to obtain materials you need for my class, or submit work you need to submit. Since the vast majority of my course materials will be on the Internet, your first course of action should be to check there to see what you need. Your second course of action should be to email me to be sure you have your information correct. It should be evident to me when you email that you have checked the website or with someone in the class that you know what is going on. Follow this procedure and we will be ok.
Unexcused absences are a bad idea. The school’s policy is a zero for
all work due on the day of an unexcused absence, save for major assessments,
which will be deducted. Don’t get one of these and we don’t have
to worry about it.
[ Bathroom: Nobody goes to the bathroom until at least 45 minutes into class. Go before you ever ENTER MY ROOM. Our time is precious, as soon as you enter my room, you are on my time—I will not waste it with your going to the bathroom! Nature does, unfortunately, call, so I will allow you to go when I deem it appropriate.
[ Locker: Another chronic problem is not bringing the correct books. Your syllabus tells you what books and materials to bring EVERY DAY. I expect you to consult the syllabus to know what to bring. You have no excuses, as this syllabus is reachable from the Internet here at school.
[ Dress Code: Our school’s dress code exists for a reason. I expect you to be in dress code at all times while in my room. Also, I keep my room cold. If you have an innate inability to thermo-regulate, I suggest bringing a blanket. I’m not kidding—it will usually be cold, bring a blanket!
[ Tardies: As noted above, ours will be a class packed from beginning to end, so being tardy effects not only you, as it will inevitably put you behind for that day, but you interrupt everyone else in the room. If you are tardy, guess what you will be signing.
[ Unexcused absences: In addition to the debit from your account, I should remind you that minor grades taken on the day of an unexcused absence will be given a zero, and major assessments will receive a grade no higher than a 70.
See school handbook for excused and unexcused absence policy.
[ Plagiarism: Just so you know, I caught several people shamelessly plagiarizing papers last year. Plagiarizing is nothing less than intellectual thievery. If you are a weak writer, and all of a sudden you turn in a paper with incredibly sophisticated syntax and ideas—I will know. Do not insult my intelligence by trying to pass off others’ work as your own. It is more heroic to earn what you earn with your own mind than to pass off something else as your own. You will automatically receive a zero for plagiarism, and a discipline referral. Also, look at the long-term ramifications of this despicable action: If you plagiarize once, call me a pessimist, but you will label yourself in my mind as a cheater, and as a result, everything you turn in that is not done in front of me will be questioned. Do you really want that?
[ My Pet Peeve: Cultural insensitivity of any kind at any time is inexcusable no matter where you are. We are here to celebrate and learn from our uniqueness, not fragment. Saying or doing things that insult another’s culture, religion, or anything else is the greatest sin you can commit in my presence, and thus, it carries with it the greatest of my fines. I don’t care what you say it means, the word “gay” is not to be used by any of you at any time. Doing anything under this bullet will invoke my wrath as nothing else will—you don’t want that. The Book of Ill Repute is only the beginning of the Promethean justice you will endure for violating this point.
Because of the immense amount of material we will be covering this year, it is imperative that you have a notebook WITH ONLY MY CLASS IN IT!! This notebook will be checked as it suits my fancy and graded for its completeness. Bring your notebook EVERYDAY!
In your notebook you should have dividers in the following order:
1. Syllabi, with most recent edition on top.
2. Big book of literary terms
3. Lecture notes
4. Literature extensions (excerpts from literary works)
5. Graded work
In addition to bringing your notebook, you should bring the following as well:
1. Notebook paper
2. Pens (black, blue, or green)
4. Red pen
5. A package of map colors (8 will probably do)
6. Manila folder (only if you did not get one from Mrs. Barron last year)
Essay Procedures and Writing Portfolio
“Writing is never done, it’s just due,” or so my professors used to tell me.
Every draft of your essays is to be kept in your writing portfolio along with error journals and peer notes. You may continue to revise essays throughout the semester. After the nine-week grading period is over, the grade you had on the paper has to stand for that nine-weeks; however, if you are wiling to continue to put in the effort to revise your essays, then I am willing to continue to grade them. After the nine-weeks is up, revision grades will go towards your portfolio grade, thus raising the grade you will receive.
When preparing to turn in essays: save essays in AT LEAST 3 places! I don’t ever want to hear “Mr. Williams, I can’t give you my essay because my disk won’t open!” This excuse will not do. When papers are due—they’re due. Always print out two copies of your essays, just in case, unless I tell you otherwise.
Papers should be submitted with the following formatting:
All papers should be typed, double-spaced with 1-inch margins in a normal type-writer font. Papers not submitted in this format will not be accepted.
Heading: In the top left-hand corner of the paper on the first page
English II PreAP and Class Period
Header and Footer: in your header, put your last name, and the page number on the right margin.
Assessments and Grading Policy
40%: Major Essays and Tests
25%: Timed writings and Graded Oral Discussions.
25%: Short-answer expository question, Expository paragraphs and Response papers
10%: Grammar, Vocabulary, and other homework that does not fall in one of the other categories.