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English II: World Literature: Journeys From Home
2012-2013 (9th & 10th graders)

To see who has signed up for 2013-2014 classes,
go to REGISTRATION & Class Lists

For your new words each week click: Honors World Literature VOCABULARY

Check all papers for these skills before turning them in to me.

Questions for paragraph #3 of Frost/cummings essay >>>

Why does cummings mention Frost's poem in his?
Do the two poems communicate similar ideas or attitudes about something?
What "doesn't love a wall" and "wants it down"?
What role do modern science and "Billiard Balls" seem to play in this for cummings?

Click on the icon at right to access Editors' Links and directions for email editing: Editors' Links

During your MDHS reading class this year, choose some books from the 9th-10th Grade Reading List .

The Ocean

by Tori Ratliff

During breaks in elementary school, I remember going to my grandparent's house in California. I would sleep in the beautifully-decorated "Elvis Presley" room. The bed could be folded into a couch, but my Grandma always had it in sleeping condition for me. On the wall, there were pictures and paintings of the handsome Elvis, and there a stuffed dog with a guitar sang "Hound Dog." As I would lie in bed and close my eyes, I could hear waves hitting the beach. I was amazed at how loud the ocean was and how the sound could travel all the way to me, when the water was literally miles away.

Falling asleep, I would think about the ocean and how my grandma and I would find seaweed and laugh as we pretended to be monsters from the sea. My grandparents would hold both of my hands as we tried to jump over each swell coming our way. Sometimes we got lucky and found sand dollars on the shoreline. We snatched them up before the seagulls came to take them away. Always the best thing to do at a beach was to stand in the water, digging our toes in the sand and feeling for little sand crabs. When I felt tickling underneath my feet, I would throw my hands in the sand and catch, but I had to be fast, otherwise they would dig deeper and disappear.

I lie in bed now and imagine waves crashing on the beach in a consistent pattern. I am happy spending time with my grandparents, and I want to stay in that moment forever. I do not want to forget my childhood that dwells perpetually within that old house. My family and I still visit and nothing has changed, but now we are older and everything seems smaller. I can see everything more clearly now, but the sound of the waves will always remain the same.


by Hattie Geist

The stairs in the house I grew up in were covered with light grey carpet with little flecks of color. I remember sitting on those steps, just a little bit higher than halfway up. I could peek my head under the handrail and quietly watch as my parents went about their business. On special mornings I would sit and watch as my dad cooked his famous pancakes, the smell of freshly-brewed coffee wafting up the stairwell to my nose. When I was two, I fell down those stairs. My dog knocked me over and I felt the carpet burn my forehead as I tumbled down. My parents rushed over together, frantically checking that I was okay. It scared me that they were so scared. When my parents were fighting in the kitchen, the stairs were secure and safe underneath me.

When my mom and I moved out, our new house didn't have the same kind of stairs. So only on visits to my dad did I sit on the familiar staircase. Soon my dad remarried, and instead of watching my mom and dad, I would sit and watch my stepmom and dad go about their business. From my secret spot I could see my new baby sister sitting in her bouncy chair. Different people, same stairs.

My mom and I moved again, this time more than a thousand miles away. So my visits became even scarcer, but every visit, as I walked upstairs to my room, the grey speckled carpet looked the same. As I got older the color of the walls going up the stairway changed from the familiar white to a new yellow. That change made me feel like a little part of my mom had left the house. My sisters then decided to make the walls more festive and they scribbled on them with pencil.

I grew taller but I always seemed to somehow fit on the stairs. I remember thinking I was really cool because I had learned how to make bracelets out of yarn, and I sat on the steps weaving the strings into different patterns.

Around the age of ten, I was informed that I would move out of my bedroom upstairs into a newly-renovated room downstairs. I hated this idea. The normal path I had taken all of my life, across the wood floor and up the stairs to my bedroom, was suddenly changed. I do not like change, I like knowing things are going to be okay: safe and secure, just like my stairs.

Now that I am older and have been in my new downstairs room many years, I rarely take the once-common trek up the grey-speckled steps. When I do, the sound of my footsteps on the slightly-rough carpeting and the bird's-eye view from a little more than halfway up bring back both happy and sad memories of different times and different people.

Inside an Outsider's World

by Kathryn Egnew

Situated in the center of the wildly outdoorsy town of McCall, Idaho, is PlayLive: a video-gamer's paradise. The small one-room store sits below an apartment building, between a liquor store and an art gallery. Upon entering, you realize it is truly an avid gamer's ideal store. When I first entered the building, I was underwhelmed. It was not at all what I had imagined. Fifteen flat screen TV's glow around the room, each with its own plush black chair, headphones, and mystical-seeming blue light coming from behind the screen. PlayLive almost gives off a night club feel, which leads people to being able to let loose and get totally into their games. My friend described it as a "government research center." The dark lets each gamer become totally immersed in his own world and allows the game to become his reality.

The ability to tune everything out allows socially-awkward people to leave the real world and try to be someone else. In the time I spent at PlayLive, I noticed almost all the stereotypical "gamer" types. There was an overweight guy probably in his late 20's, a ton of rowdy younger boys, and of course an acne-riddled teen. Going into this I jokingly expected to see the "stereotypical" gamers, but actually seeing each of them was different from what I had thought it would be. My first thought when I see someone who is addicted to video games is: "Wow, they have no life." After watching a few gamers for a while I realized they almost have their own set of rules and their own language. Inside their games they do not have to abide by the rules of society, but instead by the rules of the game. The gamers also have an unspoken rule—no talking to other gamers. In a place like PlayLive the game is a holy place and to interrupt it is to violate that privacy.

A few days later I took a few of my friends and we decided to try out PlayLive for ourselves. We walked in and asked to pay for thirty minutes of game time: $8 per person. After shelling out the money, we were led over to the Xbox Kinect so we could play Just Dance. At first we all felt slightly awkward. We were out of place and we knew it. The time flew, and soon, we were all dancing crazily. The darkened room gave us the feeling of anonymity and freedom from judgment.

** ** **

As I step out into the sunshine, blinking heavily, I think about the fun we had. I now have a better idea of what PlayLive is about, and although I will never truly feel content here, I understand why some people do. Even though PlayLive is still not my go-to spot, I am not as quick to judge those who do spend their time and money there. Now, the dark videogame store is no longer a slightly scary nerd vortex.

To see pieces written by this class, Click here

To see pieces written by this class in 2009-2010, Click here

To see pieces written by this class in 2006-2007, Click here

To see pieces written by this class in 2004-2005, Click here

To see pieces written by this class in 2003-2004, Click here

To see pieces written by this class in 2002-2003, Click here

To see pieces written by this class in 2000-2001, Click here

Alan Paton: Sponono

Douglas Dunn: Bobby's Room

Bill McKibben's A Special Moment in History

2nd Semester Unfinished Pieces

                Revisions = 100%
                Edits = 100%


                Revisions = 100%
                Edits = 100%

Interview piece

                Revisions = 100%
                Edits = 100%


                Revisions = 100%
                Edits = 100%


                Revisions = 100%
                Edits = 100%


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