New Town High School Essay Sample

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Summer reading at New Town High School is changing. This year, the entire school will be reading the same text. This book was chosen specifically for its content and its connection to the area in which we live. This assignment will be due the last week of September. Please see your English teacher for a specific due date.

Read The other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
(Warning: This novel contains some explicit language. If this is an issue for you or your child, please contact the English Department Chair at [email protected] to discuss. An alternate assignment can be created.) This book can be purchased at any area bookstore or off the internet (Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, etc), checked out of the library, or downloaded to any device. Overview

Two kids with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation. Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world. Task 1: Read the novel and keep a dialectical journal of your thoughts while you read. An example of a dialectical journal is attached to this assignment. Your journal should have a minimum of 15 entries and your excerpts and analysis should focus on important quotes from each section. Pay particular attention to why you think he chooses to tell the narrative of the different characters. Understanding what authors do and why they do it is essential in any English class. Your journal can be kept in a Word document or in a notebook. Important Excerpts from the Book

Your Commentary/Reaction to the Text
Personal Connections
Evaluate/Question/Explain
Predict
“I was taught to remember,but never question. Wes was taught to forget,and never ask why.”(P.13)

Task 2:
Define the following vocabulary words. Use each word in an original sentence. You can use the following chart, you can type your responses, or you can put your responses in your notebook with the rest of the assignments. Word

Definition
Original Sentence
Chasm (n)
A deep difference between people, viewpoints or feelings.
A Chasm between Democrats and Republicans.
Evoked (v)
To bring forth.
Seeing her old toy evoked memories from her childhood.
Affluent (adj)
Having an abundance of something.
The teens from affluent families drive expensive cars to school. Apprehensive (adj)
Anxious that something bad or unpleasant to happen.
He became apprehensive after watching the horror movie.
Apathy (n)
Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.
The student showed apathy towards their work, so little progress was made. Quadrangle (n)
A four-sided plane figure.
The Windsor castle in England is shaped like a quadrangle.
Entrepreneurial (adj)
Characterized by the taking of financial risks in hope of a profit The entrepreneurial women invested in the new car wash, hoping for it to grow big. Nonchalantly (adv)
Casually or unconcerned.
He walked nonchalantly through the halls that it didn’t seem like he cared about the test he had. Tableau (n)
A group of models or motionless figures representing a story or history. The artist finished her tableau of a scene from A Tale of Two Cities. Exhilarating (adj)
Making one feel very happy.
The theme park had some exhilarating and some boring rides.
Abandon (n)
Complete lack of restraint.
They drove recklessly with abandon
Hypocrite (n)
A person who pretends to be what they are not.
The hypocrite complained about people talking about her behind her back but had no problem gossiping herself. Plummeted (v)
To plunge.
The car plummeted off the mountain.
Vice Versa (n)
The other way around.
The positive canceled out the negative and vice versa.
Arbitrary (adj)
Decided by a judge rather than by a law.
He used an arbitrary decision to choose what he wanted.
Contingent (adj)
Happening by chance or without known cause.
The plans were contingent on the weather.
Plebes (n)
A newly entered cadet or freshman.
The new plebes were not yet used to the military life.
Fusillade (n)
A general outpouring of something.
He had to answer a fusillade of questions when he was on trial. Austere (adj)
Rigorously self disciplined and severely moral.
The austere student wouldn’t allow himself to get a B or lower. Sporadic (adj)
Appearing in scattered or isolated areas.
The teacher gave sporadic amounts of homework throughout the year.
Impermanence (n)
The state of not being permanent
The impermanence of the painting was why people didn’t want to buy it. Hypocrisy (n)
The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one is not true to. The politician’s hypocrisy was exposed when he claimed integrity but still accepted bribes. Mandatory (adj)

Required by laws or rules.
In his school it was mandatory to wear the school uniform.
Trepidation (v)
A feeling of fear about something that may happen.
He walked in trepidation after getting a threatening call.
Pandemonium (n)
Wild and noisy disorder.
When the animals got loose in the zoo there was pandemonium from panicked people. Audacious (adj)
Showing a willingness to take bold risks.
The audacious stunt man jumped into the cage with a wild bear. Gentrification (n)
A shift in an urban community toward wealthier residents or businesses and increasing property values. As gentrification became more effective property prices increased. Apartheid (n)
A system of segregation on grounds other than race.
The apartheid in Israel is spreading rapidly throughout the country. New Town High School
School Wide Summer Reading Assignment

Task 3: Respond in a well written essay to ONE of the following prompts. You should use references from the text to support your response. You should also incorporate AT LEAST 5 of the vocabulary words from Task 2 in your response. 3. We learn that the other Wes Moore’s mother had to drop out of Johns Hopkins when she loses her Pell grant. As a result, she is unable to finish college (though she does have an associate’s degree). Both of the author’s parents, on the other hand, finish college with four year degrees.

How do you think that the differences in educational levels shaped each of the families? What do you think the author is trying to say about education? What do you think that the author is trying to say about the importance of educational funding from the government? The chasm between the educational levels of the families shaped the two boys in different ways. For example, Wes Moore’s parents both finished college with a four year degree. This would benefit Wes because they could find good jobs that would pay an affluent amount of money, giving them a chance to live in a better neighborhood around good schools, leaving more options for him to choose from and it gives them better advice to give Wes.

Unlike Wes, the other Wes Moore only had one parent with an associate’s degree, which wouldn’t give her many job contingencies earning less money preventing them from not being able to live in a decent area filled with drugs and crime that would end up influencing Wes in a negative way causing him to have apathy against his education and more about the drugs causing his mother to have complete abandon over Wes since she couldn’t discipline him or teach him more about what to do with his future and the difference between what’s wrong and what’s right vice versa. What the author is trying to say about the importance of educational funding from the government is that everybody should be able to have it so they could have more opportunities with more value in life than having less of a freedom in choosing what they would want to do with their life because they couldn’t afford to go to college. RESOURCE: Creating a Dialectical Journal

Creating a dialectical journal will be a huge help when reading any text for high school or college. It’s a way to take notes, engage actively with the text, and remember important pieces of the novel when writing or discussing the text in class. You will be able to use the dialectical journal you complete for the text to complete any assignment that will be given, so the more detailed your journal, the better prepared you will be on day one of class. What is a dialectical journal?

A dialectical journal is a conversation between you and the text; a way for you to be more than just a passive reader. You write down passages in the text that seem to “pop” off the page or have special significance. It can also be something that personally resonated with you as you were reading. This process, a type of meta-cognition (thinking about thinking) is very important in any English class. By writing about what you read in this way, you create meaning from the text and are more prepared to speak intelligently about the text. It also allows you to “own” the passage and make it personal to you by adding your own observations. How to Set Up Your Dialectical Journal

Either create a table in Google Docs, copy and paste this into Word, or write this in a notebook exactly as it is shown below. Fill in the table with as many details as possible. Remember, the assignment requires a minimum of 20 entries; you may write as many as you feel are necessary. Important Excerpts from the Book

Use quotes from the text in quotation marks followed by page number in parenthesis Your Commentary/Reaction to the Text
Personal Connections
Evaluate/Question/Explain
Predict

“Quote from text, written word for word goes here.” (p.1)

Predict and make analysis about the text here. Make sure it is in complete sentence form and that your analysis is detailed to receive full credit.

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