Since September, Mr. Rowe’s English II Honors class, comprised of 10 sophomores, has focused on enhancing our creative writing abilities, analytical skills of both poetry and books, and our overall vocabulary. Each week we write an essay, advance in our reading and have a vocabulary quiz, giving us a chance to achieve the great title of the “Student of the Week,” where you may sit in a comfy chair for the week’s remainder. Every Monday we get a writing assignment that could range from writing about a process occurring in our daily lives (for example, I wrote mine on popping a zit), to writing about our point of view on the death penalty. Whatever the topic, we always meet with Mr. Rowe on Thursday with a rough draft and then hand in our revised versions on Monday, when the process begins anew. On Thursdays we also have a vocabulary quiz where the student of the week gets to choose one of the fifteen vocabulary words to put on the quiz (which is why it is a good idea achieve said position).
Thus far we have read Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a series of poems by modern British poets and recently began Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. In The Canterbury Tales, we focused on relating how the characters interacted and the subject matter of their tales, to the subordinate role of women, the fakeness of the Church and the tension between upper and lower classes that existed during that time period. During our poetry unit, we focused on analyzing different poems and ultimately presented a poem to the class, playing “teacher for a day.” Now, we are reading Frankenstein and have begun discussing the parallels between Shelley’s life and the book, as well as the idea of “admiring the marvelous” or “stopping to smell the roses,” an idea presented early on in Shelley’s narrative.