Not a rant, I promise…

So today is the beginning of a new semester for my students–a new beginning that some of us need. Grades for first semester were pretty sketchy, but most that weren’t up to par were caused by missing assignments. I’ll never get used to that–just label me with a middle-class mindset on that topic; I’ll accept it without any fuss. If the difference between getting a C and an A is three or four assignments, you can bet your bippity I’m turning in the assignments. Not everyone thinks that way, though, and I grind my teeth every time a student asks,”If I turn that in, will I be passing?’ I want so much more for them than just passing.

Before we left for the break, two of my students had read books they recommended I read, and I did. One was All Unquiet Things, and the other was Next Semester. I enjoyed them both. The first was a mystery, and I’ve made no secret about how much I like those–there weren’t as many differences between the ones written for adults and this one written for young adults as I thought there might be. I wonder if this genre will grow in YA literature, or if those readers will just do what I did before there was so much written for us–just read the adult ones. Ironic that when I was young I read the adult books, and now that I’m ancient I’m reading YA lit…

As a class, we’re going to be reading To Kill a Mockingbird. To get us ready for that, I’d like you to find a recent trial in the news. Link the article about the trial to your blog, and give your readers a quick summary of the trial and its outcome. Do you agree with the verdict? Why or why not? Also, look up any definitions we might need to understand your article (what is “entering a plea” for example).

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