Monday, June 2, 2014

Masterpiece Academy Question

Hannah Savaso
Period 4
                Personally senior year was a year of growth for me. I saw growth in all aspects of my life: emotionally, academically, and physically (one inch to be exact). I learned a lot about myself, others, and the world around me. One of my biggest eye opening experiences was in my AP Literature and Composition class. Day one I could tell that senior year English was not going to be like any class I had before. This class was going to push boundaries, to make me think, to go above and beyond. All through school I had always loved learning however this year was different. This year I not only loved but also fully embraced learning. The Open Source Learning techniques presented in class made it easier to embrace learning inside as well as outside the classroom. Learning became a lifestyle not an occupation I participated in from 8 to 2.
                Open Source Learning put us students in charge of our education. Freedom? Decisions? In high school? I know it’s pretty unheard but I was a firsthand participant and witness. This new source of power gave many students including me self a sense of responsibility. I felt pride in the fact that I was entrusted to lead myself and my peers in our academic journey. After eleven long years of being told what to do, it felt well deserved to finally be able to take some control over my education.
                During the journey I have taken this past year, I found myself relating to many characters in literature. In the most recent book I read “The Book Thief” I found many similarities between myself and the main character Liesel Meminger. At first glance you may think that Liesel’s fiery attitude and witty comebacks are all that we have in common, but the similarities don’t stop there. Liesel, much like myself this year, was thrown into an environment she was very unfamiliar and uncomfortable with and was expected to thrive. After time passed, Liesal and I both learned to adapt to and love our new and very different surroundings. Besides Liesal, I found myself identifying with Bernard from “Brave New World”. In AP Lit we were all kind of Bernards, questioning the world and accepted learning methods around us. The last literary character I found myself connecting with was Jing-Mei Woo from “The Joy Luck Club”. In the beginning of “The Joy Luck Club” Jing-Mei feels unsure of herself and what she is capable of. However, as time passes Jing-Mei begins to recognize her potential and what she can achieve. This journey of self-doubt to self-realization parallels the one I endured this year.
                This year I have reconnected to and ignited a number of my passions. I would say the biggest passion I reconnected to this year was just the simple joy of learning. This year, more than any other, I appreciated what I was reading or seeing because it truly interested and engaged me. It is so easy to lose this passion when you are in classes that only use workbooks and worksheets as learning tools. In addition to learning, my passion for adventure sparked in a big way at the end of this year.  For our masterpiece, my friends and I decided to go on as many adventures as we could in the time we had left together. This project fueled my passion to travel and experience the world in its entirety.
                This past week I saw a common thread through many of the masterpiece presentations and mine. Hayley Forett’s blog “How to Love High School” highlighted a lot of the same kind of experiences that my group’s blog did. Breanna, Whitney, and Eli’s theme of living each day like your last was similar to the make the most out of every day mentality my group had. Both Miranda and Danny’s videos about high school and growing up touched on the concept of fleeting time that our video did. It was eye opening to see that so many kids were/are feeling the same kind of positive thoughts that my group is about high school, graduation, and the future.
                This year I went through my own little mini version of “The Allegory of the Cave.” I learned that there are alternative and effective ways of learning that do not solely depend on lengthy textbooks and endless lectures. I was once in the cave of dark uniform education, but now I am aglow with new possibilities (and the light from my Open Source Learning computer screen). I feel enlightened and even more than that, I feel the need to share my experience with others, because after all that is what OSL is all about.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Adventures of Us Project

 For my masterpiece I worked with Taylor Duguran, Meghan Martella and Kylie Sagasi. Our goal was go on as many adventures as possible in the time we had left together.

Here is the link to our blog:

Here is the link to our Prezi:

Here is the link to our video:

The Adventures of Us Project

Check out our video!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Active Reading Notes Act 5

·         Lady Macbeth alarms people by moving in her sleepwalking trance like state, complains of blood on her hands

·         Macbeth wildly making military preparations

·         Macbeth confident in his army over the approaching Englishmen, worried about Lady Macbeth

·         Macbeth is informed about Death of queen and approaching “forest” which is actually army in disguise

·         Alarms Macbeth because the “forest army” is fulfilling the first part of the witches death prophecy for Macbeth

·         Claims he will at least die fighting

·         Macbeth and Macduff fight on the battle field, Macduff wins and returns with Macbeth’s head to castle

Friday, April 11, 2014

Active Reading Notes Act 4

·         Macbeth goes to witches asking for them to tell him more prophecies

·         Witches tell him: 1. To be careful of Macduff – floating head appears

                                2. “None of woman born shall harm Macbeth”- bloody baby appears

                                3. He will die when Birnam Wood Moves

·         Lady Macbeth upset Macbeth has left her and she doesn’t know why

·         Murderers show up to the castle, stab Macduff’s son and chase after Lady Macbeth

·         Malcom speaks with Macduff and deems him a worthy ally

·         Ross appears and tells the pair of the turmoil that his befallen Scotland because of Macbeth

·         Macduff vows to get revenge after he hears that Macbeth has killed his family

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Macbeth Essay Questions

1. How and why is the contrast between appearance and reality so important in the

play? Include the role the witches play in affecting the play’s events.

2. What is Shakespeare saying about the nature of prophecy and fate? Just because

the witches predict things doesn’t mean they’re able to see the future…right?

3. What is Shakespeare saying about what it means to be a man? Which

character(s) do you think Shakespeare believes is the best example of a man?

4. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change dramatically over the course of the play,

and their marriage changes, too. What are these changes, what causes them, and

how and why is their relationship in the end so different from their relationship in

the beginning?

5. At the end of the play, is Macbeth’s death a good or bad thing, i.e., are we

satisfied to see Macbeth defeated or upset to see a potentially great man fall?

Finally, is Macbeth a tragic hero?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Literature Analysis #3

The Jungle centers around a family who immigrated to Chicago’s Packingtown from Lithuania to “get rich”. The family comes in hesitant to trust Americans, but optimistic about what the future will bring. However, as time passes the family begins to realize the harsh realities of working in this industrial nightmare. The whole family finds jobs in the meat packing district and each endures their own kind of horrors. Although the novel includes a variety of characters, the plot mostly focuses on Jurgis who is the “man of the house”. The family continues to struggle  and everyone is forced to make sacrifices. They reach a breaking point when Jurgis’s wife,  Ona dies while giving birth to a still born baby. Jurgis breaks down but trudges on with the thought of his one year old so Antanas on his mind. Tragedy strikes once again when Jurgis comes home to find that Antanas has drownd in the streets. This absolutely destroys Jurgis so he leaves the family and Chicago to go live by himself in the country side. Jurgis continues to live an unstable, homeless life where he tries many different menial jobs, gets involved in crooked politics and begins to steal. Eventually Jurgis falls into a group of men who are trying to spread the idea of socialism and he joins their cause.

The obvious theme throughout this novel is that capitalism can be extremely cruel. Sinclair brings the reader on a journey of despair, tragedy and hopelessness by highlighting the evils of living in “dog eat dog world”. The true evil that is revealed that in capitalism few truly benefit while the working class faces a daily struggle of trying to stay alive.

The authors tone in this novel is sympathetic. It is evident that Sinclair feels for his characters and thinks it is extremely unjust the way they are living. Sinclair wrote this to make others aware of how horrible workers are treated so his tone is defiantly in favor of the working class.


Sinclair uses direct characterization in the beginning of the novel when he describes Jurgis as being big, confident and strong. These traits aren’t revealed through actions they are written plainly by the author. An example of indirect characterization is when Jurgis goes after Ona’s boss for sending her to the whore house. This shows how quick of a temper Jurgis has and how deeply he cares about his poor wife.

The diction and syntax remain relatively the same throughout the novel. Sinclair varies in sentence length both the story is written simply and easy to follow. However, at the end the book becomes more technical when going in depth about politics and socialism. During these politically driven chapters there are many long speeches that Sinclair includes from various socialist supporting men.

Jurgis is practically the definition of a dynamic character. He arrives in Chicago optimistic and hopeful then when trouble falls on him he becomes hardened and dark. Later on he changes again and experiments with being a thief and having crooked morals. The novel ends with him finding hope again and having a cause, something to live for and believe in. It seems as though he goes through major personality changes frequently and I believe this to be a direct result of the corrupt, atrocious atmosphere he is surrounded by.

This book actually changed my outlook on a lot of things and affected me in a number of ways. I was disgusted by not only the food making processes but also the incredibly terrible treatment of the workers in Packingtown. The worst part of reading this novel is making the realization that the things Sinclair wrote about were based off of true events. Sure they may not have been a Jurgis or an Ona but their were/ still are thousands of millions of people who lived the terrible lives and received the despicable treatment that the characters in this book did. This book has furthered my interest in helping the poor and aiding those who do not have a voice.