Monday, October 28, 2013

IB Questions for Candide

1. How does Voltaire design the opening chapter of Candide to be recognized as a parody of the Biblical story of the Fall, and why would Voltaire be doing this?

2. Compare how Voltaire has explored the themes of judgment and punishment, or disguise and deceit, or love and friendship, and with what effect.

3. If Candide is a satire, then what is the dominant vice or folly of society being criticized?

4. Interpret the last words of the short novel (in Robert M. Adams’ translation): “[…] we must cultivate our garden."
  • Exam on November 5 (the day before the Satire project is due)
  • You may have one side of one sheet of paper as prep notes for each essay
  • You will be asked to draw one essay on one topic from the essay question bucket on the day of the exam. The luck of the draw determines which essay you will write.
  • The exam will be open prep note, and open book (which means you will be expected to quote directly from the text.)
I will be available during my regular office hours for assistance with essay outlines.

AP Super Saturday Prep Session Reminder!!!

Attention AP (and IB students):

The deadline to sign up for the Super Saturday Prep Session Event on the 16th of November is Halloween.


Clickee for the link to the registration.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

IB Satirical Comic Book Project 2013

Due November 6, 2013
Now that you've finished reading Candide and are familiar with satire and the techniques used to create it, you now have the chance to be a contemporary satirist, like Voltaire, using humor to criticize human vice and folly in order to effect change. You have an open opportunity to make fun of society in order to change it!

The world is yours to mock!

Any and all of the taboo subjects are available for your mocking. I challenge you to create a Satirical Comic Book that clearly and effectively mocks some aspect of your world.

Your Satirical Comic Book must include clear and properly executed examples of:

  • Allusion
  • Situational and/or dramatic irony
  • Verbal Irony in the form of sarcasm
  • Understatement and/or exaggeration (Litotes and/or Hyperbole)
  • Pun or oxymoron
  • Humorous metaphor or simile
  • Parody
  • Caricature and/or Burlesque

Remember, the point of satire is to call the readers attention to some problem in order to change it; therefore, it should also do the following:

  • It should clearly mock something—society in general, school, government, teachers, parents, etc.
  • It should be long enough to effectively mock the thing in question.
  • It should use original photos, drawings, or other art to demonstrate creativity and originality.
  • It can use a program such as Comic Life, ToonDo, Xtranormal, or any other computer program you like. Or you can do an "old school" comic if you prefer (strip or book).

It must be submitted by November 6, 2013 at 4:30pm CST in one of the following manners:

  • A functioning link to the work online via email sent to (be certain to verify that I have received it by the assigned date and time)
  • A thumb-drive/memory stick/DVD/portable data-saving device containing a copy of the project
  • A full-color, frame by frame printout of the comic in hard-copy format
  • An old-school “funny book"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

File Under "Educational"

Take This Lollipop.

This is an exceptionally creepy little game that temporarily uses your Facebook info to create a short video on the dangers of social media. There is a write up about it here, just so you know it's not some kind of scam. It's a couple of years old, but well worth the watching.

It's kind of like "Scared Straight," but for the Internet.

IB: Questions on the Inferno

Three sets of questions to consider for Thursday:
  • What is the significance of the three symbolic beasts which Dante encounters before entering hell? What about the mountain which he is unable to climb? How do these symbols relate to the issues of responsibility for Dante's entrance into Hell?
  • Why is Dante allowed to enter the Underworld while he is still alive? Why does he suggest that he entered Hell "midway in our life's journey?" What may this imply regarding the character of the journey and its relation to the concepts of the first and second deaths? Are there any other "living" characters in Hell besides Dante? What does this imply regarding Dante's symbolism of Hell and damnation? When does one enter Hell? At what points is it still possible to get out? When does it become impossible to escape?
  • What is the symbolic significance of Cocytus, the frozen lake at the bottom of Hell? What about the figure of Satan himself, trapped at the center of the lake? Why is it surprising for the reader to discover that the bottom of Hell is frozen solid? What does the cold symbolize? In what way does the place affect Dante?
You do not need to address each question specifically or individually; rather, use the questions as a general guide for the direction of the essay you plan to write.