Grade 12 – English

English 4: The California Dream

The natural, social and political landscape of California has served as the muse for some of America’s greatest writers, working against a backdrop of striking beauty and under threat of earthquake and fire. Joan Didion’s Sacramento is a tense, frontier experiment: “things better work here, because here, beneath the immense bleached sky, is where we run out of continent.” Angie Chau’s immigrant San Francisco is a fantasized place of new beginnings and disappointing realities. Jack Keroac’s Bakersfield is “the land of lonely and exiled and eccentric lovers come to forgather like birds… where everybody somehow looked like broken-down, handsome, decadent movie actors.” Through a diverse collection of readings, frequent class discussions and analytical and creative writing, this course will explore the literature of California and the role that the California dream plays in the American consciousness. Course materials may draw from the work of Joan Didion, Angie Chau, John [...]

2022-01-12T06:23:11+00:00Categories: Grade 12 - English|

English 4: The Art of the Essay

A lasting and relevant art form, the essay endures as a popular and useful genre of writing, executed by students, academics, writers, journalists, and politicians all over the world. Due to many essays’ relative short length and topicality, it may become the type of writing you read—and compose—the most in your adult life. By applying simple concepts of observation, reason and common sense, or intellect, essayists make illuminating discoveries and explore disparate topics, examining them from myriad angles to see what they might uncover and hoping to open readers’ minds to new ways of thinking about themselves and the world. In this course, students will learn about various types of essays—personal, political, and opinion—how to read them well, and how essayists use particular forms of argumentation, as well as rhetorical skills, to effectively persuade. Students will also learn how to compose a well-crafted personal essay for college applications. The [...]

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