Thursday, December 17, 2009

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

If you haven't seen this yet, you should take a few minutes and watch it. It wins the honorary Clark W. Griswald award. If you don't know what that is, watch Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase, and you will know exactly what I mean...Merry Christmas Everybody!

A picture worth a thousand words...

Hey all,
Remember when you just a little kid, still cute and not all weird yet with your bizare hair coloring and loud music. Well if you forgot, that is where I want you to go for our last assignment. Dig through those old photo's of yours and find one of when you were still young and at a upbeat time in your life. Follow the directions on the slides and submit the writing by Friday at the latest. The assignment can be turned in up until Friday. That is the cut off. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Romeo and Juliet

Hey all, here is the take a stand and prologue assignment for Friday!

All of the notes for Romeo and Juliet as well!!!

P. more to follow...
A Painted House...Study Q's for the confused...
I thought that I would include for you a list of book q's to kind of help the reading process along. Though I won't be accepting them for credit, I still thought that they could be a resource to you for other projects that we are going to pursue.

The other item is a sample of what your slide project should look like when it is finished. If you have q's, please ask.

this just in! Key Quotes and Ideas for Quizzes! Check the slides and get back to me!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNo Week 1 Assignment: The Beginning...

This week Creative Writing students need to produce a beginning. As you well know by now, that does not nessicarily mean a "beginning" at the beginning, but a beginning, nonetheless! Check the slides, you will figure it out.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

NaNo NaNo and other Nonsense...

Hello true believers!
October is laying it's tender russet and golden orange head to rest soon giving way to November, the second to the last and almost the best. November is always a juglling act for primarily due to one event, NaNo WriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. During this time, my Creative Writing students and I will undertake the gargantuan task of writing a novel in one month! Yeah, I said novel (50,000 words) in one month. While I cannot claim the luxery of reaching my 50,000 word goal, several of my students last year did and achieved something that a relatively small portion of the population has done; become novelists. Prior to NaNo, November was always about Turkey and my birthday. Now it has become about late night and weekend writing. The level of frustration is, quite frankly, off of the charts but the payoff is equally satisfying. This year I am knocking down 50,000 words, no apologee's and no prisoners taken!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

End of the First Quarter looms...

Hey all,
Just a note about the end of the first quarter. I would first like to congratulate all of you for surviving thus far. The first quarter is always the toughest in my opinnion. If things are panning out the way you planned, Great! Keep at it and don't let up until the Christmas break. If things are not going your way, Great! Now it's time to figure out what is "broken" and fix it! Don't blame your folks and don't blame yours truely. Man up. Most situations demand more time and attention than students sometimes want to give. If it doesn't come easy for you, don't feel badly, it doesn't come easy for most people. Here is my sure fire way to improve your grades, this isn't for everyone, only for those people who really do want to see a change...
1. Keep track of when all of your assignments are due in one notebook.
2. Have your parents hold you accountable for when your work is due.
3. Work smarter! Do you homework as soon as you get it.
4. Meet with your instructors once a week to chart your progress.
5. Do all of your work to the best of your ability. If you lack ability,check into the free tutor programs that our school offers.
6. Feed your body and mind healthier food. Fruits and Veggies for snacks!
7. Go to bed by 10:00. You won't miss me on this one.
8. Make some friends who could help you study for quizzes and tests. It's a give and take on that one; you have to be open to the idea or it won't work.
9. If you have to do homework, block out time to work and time to space out. Doing it in intervals can really help. 3o min's on, 1o min's off.
10. If you can do it in advance,do it!

Once again, it's not an easy list but whoever said doing great things was easy? Make today the first day of doing it differently and in a way that is going to put you where you want to be. You determine your future, don't let others determine it for you. Let's Rock!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fear and Manipulation in Salem...a love story...

Sorry that it took so long to get this out to you kids. Here are the charts that we came up with for Act I and II! They should help in the construction of the Venn Diagram.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Once upon a time...

Hey! It finally feels like we are under way with our first BIG writing assignment. The Children's Story always thrills and surprises me. I forget how much the books of our youth help impact and shape our ideas of who we become. Granted, much goes into the making of a "person" at any given stage of their life, but I find some great pleasure in knowing the things that I held as important as a child (teamwork is important Mr. Biddle and the Birds, you should try new food Green Eggs and Ham, It is always best to share what you love The Giving Tree), are still important to me today. The Children's Story will hopefully give you the opportunity to share some of these important ideas in a very unique format. I have posted the ground rules here, any adjustments will of course follow if necessary!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

It be Talk like a Pirate Day on Saturday! ARGHHH!...

Some several years ago I had the distinct good fortune to stumble a little known "holiday", Talk like a Pirate Day. A local radio program was sponsering the days give aways with Piratey Talkin's. Callers would call in and do their best Pirate talk in order to win prizes. It was hillarious! I assumed that it was also a bogus holiday, much like Ground Hog Day or Valentine's Day. You know the type of holiday that I am refering to, one that essentially is only marked on Hallmark calenders. I got to work, fliped on my computer to get the days events laid out, and Shiver me Timbers, if Talk like a Pirate Day wasn't in the news! Apparently two louts made the day some several years before after a raquetball accident where one of the whelps cried "Arrrr" upon being unkindly struck by an errant rubber ball. It caught on and has taken on a whole life of its own. Humor coulmunist and author Dave Barry has even picked up the lads quest to bring Pirate Talk to the world on Sept. 19th every year! This year, Talk like a Pirate Day falls on a Saturday so we won't be able to experience it as a class, though, true to Piratey form, we will break the Sept. 19th rules and carry out Talk like a Pirate Day on Sept 18th. You might be wondering..."what does this have to do with English Mr. Perez?", to that I say that ye may consider yerself a Privateer in the Queens Royal Navy if it do help ye sleep better at night...So, without further Aideu, ...AVAST THERE ME HEARTY'S! THIS FLOATING BUCKET HAS BUT ONE CAPN, RED CISCO DOUBLOON, AND IF YE RIDE WITH ME, WE FLY UNDER THE SKULL AND BONES AND KEEP TO THE CODE! NOW HOIST THE MAIN LINES AND PREPARE YERSELVES FOR DEEP WATER! YARGHHHHH!
Red Cisco (Mr. P!)

Plot and Structure...

Certainly up to this point, the curriculum has been very agreeable in my opinion. We about to turn a corner folks. This weeks focus in on Plot and Structure in Story Creation. We have all created out beginning/middle/and end, only to have them mixed up and handed back out (sorry!!!!hahahahaha). Use your accquired skills to make this story happen. Imagination will rule the day on this one. Share your story ideas with others and ask for insight if you feel you need to. You can do it!


Friday, September 11, 2009

The Crucible

Honestly, who doesn't love a village idiot!...


Upright and Mobile....

Computers are a love hate relationship. If you are anything like me, you have grown to appreciate the convience with which most business is done; online. Everything from paying bills to (you guessed it!) updating a blog with important information can be done with a few simple key strokes. This being said, you can only imagine the level of dysutopian horror that I experienced about a week ago when my modem died on me. Funny how that term that was once exclusively used to describe human expiration is now lovingly applied to computers, cars, anything that plugs in or runs on batteries. Well, long story short, I managed to get a new modem for dirt cheap (Yea Me!)so you should be hearing from me more frequently now that all of my gear works. Thanks for being patient!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Map to Anywhere...

Directions for the Creative Writing Assignment!
Have fun!


The Analytical Paragraph meets Little Red Riding Hood!

The question that was used had to do with "What is a key theme in the story of Little Red Riding Hood?"


Friday, August 21, 2009

Native American Short Answer Response

Here is a sample of what your short answer responses should look like. Remember to rephrase the question as your topic sentence, provide an opinion, and then support your idea with concrete evidence using the page # to support! It sounds complex, but really it isn't. Check the model here if you need it.


The elusive North-American Jackalope...

Hey kids! Time to to petition for the pet that you always wanted but were too afraid to ask for. Elephants? No Problem! Sharks? No Problem! Lions, Tigers, and Bears. Oh my! Amaze and astound me with your newest pet.


The House on Mango Street Q's

I will be adding Q's for each new section for those of you who have access to the book outside of school. Remember! Rephrased Question as Topic Sentence, Opinion on the topice, and Concrete Evidence with page # support. The Sample Question is posted also so you have a working model.


Short Story Notes...all of them

Short Story notes, including the ones that we haven't done yet!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Week 1: Gettin to know ya...

The insanity of the first week of school never ceases to amaze me. Honestly, it was really pretty low key, but I felt horribly inadequate at moments. The classes were fantastic, but I was really scrambling in spite of knowing the material inside and out. Reflecting on it now has really helped me see that I need to give myself a few days to warm-up to the idea of coming back to school. This is where the, "it's like riding a bike!" simile really fits. The kids helped put me at ease in my own classroom by just being o.k. with being at school. Starting on a Tuesday and throwing in a minimum day in on Thursday didn't hurt to much either. With the first week under my belt it is time to set sights on other challenges, like keeping up with the online calendar! That is going to have to be a weekly update so that I can keep the thing accurate. I guess that in closing for this first short update for the new school year I just want to say thanks to my classes for being patient and helping me out the first week of school. Here's to a new year!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Metaphorically speaking ...

Hey class, here is your very first writing assignment of the semester. I wanted you to create 7 original metaphors and 7 original similes, then explain the rational behind the comparison. Have fun and bring them to class on Friday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"I'm a whild and crahazy guy!"

Summer always inveriable constitutes mass amounts of reading for me. It almost feels like a race, a quickly run highly indulgent race. Like watching those professional eaters who in 10 minutes pound down 60 hot-dogs (buns soaked in water/ bite the middle/ shove remaining portion in mouth/ chew once/ swallow/ repeat). My wife absolutely hates it, both the professional eater and me wandering around the house with a book in hand. It renders me somewhat useless and aloof to her "we've got things to do around here!" state of mind. I try to instill my passion for reading in my children, so far it seems to have stuck well. We have a weekly library trip where I often have to negotiate the number of books that I am willing to let my kids check out. Of late, I have turned my tastes more away from fiction stories and to non-fiction biographies. This last trip turned up a copy of Steve Martin's Born Standing Up, a short autobiography of how he came to comedy and his love of vaudvillian magic acts and the like. While I attribute much of my comdic tastes to my fathers exquiste taste for funny comedy albums (George Carlin, Cheech and Chong, essential 60's and 70's drug humor), Steve Martins work was one that I found by accident at about 11 years old. My recently divorced mother and I were staying one summer for several weeks in Santa Cruz Ca. Things had been kinda rough for everyone involved, so a couple of weeks in a beach house seemed to be just the thing that would perk up any kids ailing spirit. Really, looking back on it now, it was a chance for my mom to reconnect with some friends from that area and to gather what she loved most around her. The summer trip was an excuse to get away from the stress of the recent year. The house where we stayed was nothing special, a typical 60's style track home, within walking distance of the Santa Cruz beach and it's treasure of the 80's, the Boardwalk, boasting not one, but two giant arcades that housed the most eclectic and best video games of the day. When we weren't at the Boardwalk, we were hangout around the house, mostly in the evenings. The owners of the home had several albums, yes, albums pressed from plastic, one of which I had never heard but felt horribly drawn to because of the riddiculous cover. The cover had this rather conservative looking fellow in a white three piece suit...sporting a giant ballon made hat and the fake mustache/glasses/nose combo. A veritable miscommunication in the making. It probably wasn't what I needed to hear (a good portion of the contents were not really appropriate for 11 year old ears) though by that time I was a seasoned veteran of my fathers comedy albums. Over the course of several evenings,while my mom talked on the phone or visited with old friends, I listened repeatedly to Steve Martin's seminal work,Let's Get Small. I would put on the headphones so that I wouldn't have to share the more embarrasing jokes with an already overprotective mom, besides, she probably wouldn't find contributing to the delenquincy of a minor all that funny. As I listened, laughing so hard I though that I would surely blow it and draw the attention of my mom, I tried to absorb the nuance of his delivery and began learning the idea of comic timing, though I was too young to realize it at the time. He was just so weird and funny and profane but in a nice way. It was something that I had never heard before. Yes, the jokes were stupid and absurd, but it was also beautiful and just what I needed, someone to laugh at and laugh with.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sweet Summer will save us all...

Hey, if you are reading this then it is quite possible that you have come out of the study induced coma called "finals" and, regardless of how things wound up for you, will find some solace in the redeeming qualities of summer! Some parting words for each of you as the school year winds down.

Freshmen: You have one year under your belt, don't blow it! Yes high school is exciting and disappointing all at the same time; like getting a sucker from your dentist! A full mixture of seemingly confusing do's and dont's. Things like, "learn to think for yourself!...(as long as you don't question what I tell you to do!)". The goal for you now is to learn how to grow and thrive in such a system. My advice is to you is to start preparing now. I gave each of you a list of summer reading books along with the books that you will be reading next year. Pick up a copy of fun stuff and required stuff and read it. Self preservation means that you will need to take a proactive approach to being ready for next year. My other suggestion is to make a study group of friends. People that you can count on to help you out and vise a verse a when you really need it. Essentially someone who you can work with even if you don't have the same teacher. Odds are that you will have similar assignments so you should still be able to help and learn from each other. As Yoda says, "Remember what you have learned. Save you it can!". Dude, that puppet is hecka smart.
Juniors: You have the biggest task in front of you. The transition from Junior (mentally) to Senior in the course of 10 weeks (the length of summer! Shocking, I know). You have spent to many years in school to not finish well, and frankly, it's time to show your quality. You have the tools and the skills, put them to work for you in a way that insures that you have a successful year. Remember the characters from the stories that we read about, they are a glimpse of who you could become, but also a warning of what can easily befall those who are unwary. Consider the stories of the early Americans and Statesmen, those Revolutionary men and women who stood up and made the world take notice not just with there words, but with their deeds as well. Be the leaders that I know you can be. Lead by example. In your personal life, in your school, in your home, be the example. If you want to change the world kids, its done one person at a time and it starts first with "self". If you are half the people that I believe you to be, you will make excellent young leaders. Funny, and you thought that all you were getting was an "English" class.
Creative Writing: Each of you has the capacity to write the story that is laying dormant in you. Is it hard? Yeah, it is. But that doesn't mean that it shouldn't get done. You took my class cause you wanted to be a writer. Well, writers write...even in the off season...even if they don't take another semester of Creative Writing. Write your poems, stories, plays, and letters. No life was ever changed by sitting still and ignoring the universe. Your time is right now, and it is for as long as you can hold on to it. Put paper to pen every day and make it count! This goes for me as well as you so don't start with the, "Well, he isn't going to do it!" business. Write today because there is no guarantee on tomorrow. I learned this from Ray (Bradbury) so I'm telling you. This isn't for a grade, its for better development as a human being and our desire to connect to something bigger than us...Our window to the divine. Get back to me after the summer and show me what your pen discovered for you!
In closing, I would just like to say thank you to all of you. You shape me as much as I help shape you, always for the best. I will see you in 10 weeks. Adieu

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

End Game: Science Fictions Alternate Realities

Enders Game is a "gateway" book into Science Fiction. I hate to admit this, but the book sat on my self for almost half of the school year before I begrudgingly picked it up. You see, a student brought the book to me as a "must read" book. The student however, was a very persistant fellow and I eventually took the book home over an extended weekend to read. Best decsion that I have made in a long time. Orson Scott Card's universe of a distant earth is familiar, much like those universe's that I fell in love with as a child (Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Tron). Though Card's world is seen from the eyes of his young brilliant protagonist, Ender Wiggin. It is argued that he is the perfect character to hate and forgive all at the sametime, a walking oxymoron. As a reader, it is easy to simpathize with Ender, what kid has been the butt end of jokes and made to feel insignificant in a world of unfair rules and baised adult opinions. Ender straddles this dual world of unspoken rules amongest kids and the outward rules of the Battle School where he trains to possibly become the greatest General the world has ever seen. As we read through, we will be having much discussion of Ender's situation through several weekly themes. check out the Power point to get a feel for each day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Guerilla Poetry Project: Oakdale High School

The Guerrilla Poetry Project was something that I fortunately stumbled upon a few years back. I was looking for a dynamic way to integrate poetry into what my Creative Writing classes were doing. If you know me, then you know my dilemma. Poetry, while wonderful, must be made with a careful hand and be full of intent. I see it as the best words for the best possible moment. That is a tough spot to be in when what most of what the world hands you is the cliche, not the original. There is no greater slap in the face to poetry than the stuff of greeting cards in my estimation.
The Guerrilla Poetry Project is a call to all concerned writers, artists, and like-minded individuals to take the word back to the people. It is inspired through a very public and overt outreach program of insidiously leaving poetry everywhere possible. I liked the idea, the movement of how what inspires us, be it the famous well known or the unknown, can be lain out for the public eye, not seeking its approval or requiring its acceptance, but existing in its own space and hopefully inspiring others.
The Chalking(verb!) is what most of the students like to do. Somehow it feels a bit like graffiti, but with a safety net of sorts. You get to play with all of these lovely chalk colors and create/share a brief space of hopeful wisdom with whatever passers-by happens along. Who you are doesn't matter, what you say/write does! The kids know this and certainly the readers do as well.
If you liked what you read today or found one of our inserts, please come and drop us a line about what you think. Include the poem number so we will know whose work you found. Thanks so much!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nano Scrip Mo

It's time to crack knuckles and break our pencils in. Nano is back! For the month of April, our Creative Writing class will creativly be writing scripts. The first stop was to establish your group that you are to be working in and then sign up at:

for Nano and sign up at Google Docs so that you can build your script online. You will need to have a treatment worked up for the type of script that you are proposing to do by Monday, check the slide and shoot me any questions if you have them.


Farenheit 451 Themes

These are the themes that will need to be explored in Farenheit 451. Remember, one of these you will be turining into a larger paper.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Besty meets Dodger

Hey, you might need this if you were absent yesterday. I can't claim it as an original idea (The Pocket Muse), but felt that it would be a nice pallet cleanser from all of the poetry that we have created. The story is due on Friday at the end of the period.


Monday, February 23, 2009

The Day Without Technology...

I am certain at this point that the very thought of being separated from your ______(pick tech of choice and insert) totally freaks some of you out while for others, this will be a piece of cake. To be honest, as a 21st Century man, I find The Day Without Technology totally annoying. I love tech, pure and simple. Take for example the use of this particular site. When I use it, I feel empowered, juiced up and ready to rumble. I know on one hand that people will come to the site and see the work and know that I am more than capable of handling myself when it comes to using and adapting new technology to the classroom. It's an ego stroke. On the other hand, I also know the joy that I find when I do things that are technical, but not technological; like playing music with my kids or writing a really good short story. It's a technical feat, but one that can be accomplished without the use of buttons or a computer.
In spite of the annoyance, I really do believe that Ray (Bradbury) was right all along. That in order to grow we need good soil(books), sunshine(friends/family), and water(Love). The Day Without Technology is just that, a conviently placed excuse to get unplugged from the stuff around us and a means to get back to what we need, each other and no time limit. Plan your day in advanced, work out where to go and who to see and what to do. Most important, take notes on everythting that transpires and then REFLECT...!


Fahrenheit 451 Qnotes.

Hey, sorry that this is so late in posting... Three day weekends have the tendency to be a bit self-indulgent :) Any how, what I was thinking would be good to do would be the obvious continual update from class discussion, but what about this...IF YOU POST A COMMENT IN THE FORM OF A QNOTE OR GET A DISCUSSION THREAD GOING ON ONE OF THE QNOTE QUESTIONS...EXTRA CREDIT TO ALL THOSE INVOVLED. IT HAS TO BE A GOOD QUESTION/DISCUSSION NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU JUST FAKED UP FOR THE CREDIT. Any hoooo, what say you!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird

All of the Q'Notes for TKAM will be updated at this site. Check back periodically for new info.


Poetic Forms

Everything that you need for Poetic Forms...

Mr. P

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ballads and other things that sing...

I just wanted to give you the info on the Ballad and what the confines are for creating them. Granted, consider that the rules are a generalized framework and not as strict as the rules imply. The Ballad has more wiggle room for imagination than the sonnet. Any how, if you are still struggling with the idea of the ballad, write a ballad about a story or film that you are very familiar with. Use 5 significant events in the story to be the basis for the ballad...really it is just like using a plot line. Reading day on Friday with final drafts due on Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Poetry,...and I can't think of a snappy title title!

Poetry is always approached with a bit of levity for me. I know that I already explained this in class, but I just really feel lead to reiterate this idea. Don't get me wrong, I really do like poetry, but every time a student gives me a stack of "their poems" or a parent tells me at back to school night that their son/daughter is a "poetic genius" I inwardly freak out a little. It's not that I doubt their ability or that I don't believe the sincerity with which a parent will support and love their children, I just feel a bit aloof when it comes to making the inevitable judgement on if their work, usually bound in a special binder or other precious covering, is "good". Their is no worse place to be.
On one hand I feel an artists obligation to take a critical eye over their work, to consider all that I have come to learn about the forms and design, to really give them feedback on whether or not the work is, in fact, "good". If I do that I know that I am going to hurt feelings and alienate people who might really respect my opinion. Its the dilemma that is so frustrating. I want to ask them, sometimes, "Why me and my opinion? Isn't the act of creation enough and powerful that you don't require my approval? You didn't ask me if you could make the poem therefore it doesn't require my approval." And yet, I know how they are feeling. It is the sheer delight of having made a phrase that sinks into your skin, the idea that in spite of everything, my words ring true to my own ears and I identify, like a beacon, momentary truth in a very confusing and crazy world. I guess that secretly, poetry is a personal hurdle for me to leap. Clearly the power of the word is undeniable. After having vented all of that (sorry...) I really want you to know, that your work does not require my "approval" of good, bad, or indifferent. What matters is that you made it, love it, and will continue doing so. Be excited, share them with your friends and family. Represent!...
(I can't guarantee that the rest of my entrees for the Poetry unit will be any less weird, maybe that is good, I'm not really sure, but I will try to keep them both interesting and sincere.)
Haiku, Tanka, Cinquain Forms

Sonnet Form/Meter and Rhythm

Thursday, January 15, 2009

All is fair in love and war...UPDATED


The Great Gatsby Online

Just wanted to leave a bit of what we have been putting together in this post for folks who have been sick, or those who are "planning" to be sick. We have just wrapped up the 1st 3 Chapters of The Great Gatsby. Remember, each week has its own theme that applies to what you are looking for in the Double Entry Journal. Hopefully you will enjoy this book as much as I have over the years. I have also included the notes and the first Analytical Paragraph slide for Fridays class.
As always, if you have questions, please be sure to e-mail or stop by.

Oh the places you will go...UPDATED

Hey travellers!
My Dad and Step-Mom went to the Mediterranean last summer to see some of the worlds most fantastic sites of the old world. They sailed on a cruise ship half way around the world to see Greece, Rome and Italy as well as several other countries. The photos are nothing short of spectacular. It's really weird to think that my dad stood in the center of the Acropolis, walking where kings once ruled the old world from, then it's center, Greece.
We have all seen our fair share of Hollywood movies that have made their nods toward the ancients. Stories like Troy, 300, or the essential viewing of Clash of the Titans, which if you haven't seen it, treat your family to an exciting evening of 80's stop-motion animation. Really one of the last of it's kind. I find great comfort in some of the similarities that we share with our ancient predecessors, like the belief in defending what you love, sharing a common struggle with the good people around you, and the love of a well turned story. We are well into the story of Odysseus, having just finished Books 1 and 9, the story of Polymephus, the Cyclopes of Ancient Greece. I thought that it would be a good idea to post the slides that have been used thus far as well as add some links to a few places that could help you in your search for the perfect ancient god to modern hero match up. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to e-mail me.

Where to go...

Listen online to The Odyssey



Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Snap-shot Story

Hey, welcome back! The Snap-Shot Story is the first piece of new work on our agenda for the 2nd Semester. Here are the directions for the assignment. Have fun with it!