Blog Entry #9 – “Answering Che’s Calls to Action” – Due March 12

Although his legacy is rather messy and controversial, I think anyone can find at least something to admire in the life and vision of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.  I like that The Motorcycle Diaries book included his later speech to Cuban medical students because we are able to hear for ourselves how Che’s journey around Latin America shaped…

Blog Entry #8 – “Travel and Tourism” – Due Mar 7

ICS students are some of the most well-traveled people I’ve ever met, and I know a lot of you really enjoy experiencing new places and new cultures.  I hope that this makes you appreciate the travel-minded spirit that permeates The Motorcycle Diaries.  But, I also hope you notice that the book does not merely describe the adventurous…

Blog Entry #7 – “DEEP QUESTIONS from our Novels” – Due Jan 22

As reflected in our presentations and papers, I love both these books for their commentary on particular social/cultural issues.  But I’ve also found them to provide great insights on deeper, existential topics that are universal to all people.  I’ll explain the separate prompts for each book below, but what I’m basically asking you to do…

World War II Poetry Analysis – Due Nov 25

As I hope you remember from 10th grade, Europe has been home to some of the finest poets the world has ever known.  Because I like to touch on a little poetry as we “travel the world” in each unit, I’d like you to spend today digging into some quality European poetry.  A while back,…

Blog Entry #6 – “Nationalism” – Due Nov 16

To me, this is another important piece of “the war of ideas” that we did not get much of a chance to talk about in our Middle East unit.  But, it’s obviously a big part of the history and themes we are talking about in our Europe unit.  I want you guys to do some…

Blog Entry #5 – “The War of Ideas” – Due Nov 9

You’ll often hear political commentators talk about “waging the war of ideas.”  While I am a pacifist, this is a fight that I would like to say I support!  I’d even say that I hope my classroom is a place where different ideas can be shared, discussed, analyzed, and weighed — all in the effort…

Blog Entry #4 – “Childhood Rebellion” – Due Oct. 9

While the the historical and political content of Persepolis is obviously crucial, I would argue that the book, at its core, is the story of one girl’s complex transition from childhood into adolescence and adulthood.  We can’t help but be drawn to sympathize and identify with her innocence, idealism, and identity being broken apart and…

Poetry by and Inspired by Rumi – Due Sept 30

I don’t do poetry much in World Lit, but when I do, I think it’s worth it!  As a first step into this unit, I’m excited for you to get exposed to Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi, the incredible classical Middle-Eastern poet who has withstood the test of time in rare form.  Perhaps you’ll soon discover…

Blog Entry #3 – “Culture and Morality” – Due Sept. 14

The tension between culture and morality seems to be ever-present in The Good Earth, but I think it reaches a climax when Lotus enters the picture.  I of course think that Wang Lung committing adultery is morally wrong, but these cultural questions still naggingly tug in the back of my mind.  Would I have felt…