Monday, September 29, 2014

Murder of An Apple


Murder of An Apple

Blood red,
tears my heart.
Trickled drops,
of pure pain.
Easily bruised,
but still crispy.

Harvest season,
the best time of the year.
Freshly picked by hand,
off an oak tree.

like a ball.
Sliced into pies.
Squeezed into juice.
Blended into cider.

A fresh aroma,
sweet as sugar.
Drifts towards my nose,
like bees to honey.

Ripe and juicy
Soft, yet firm
Fills the insides
Craving for more.

Everyone is Divergent

Everyone is Divergent

Identity is the sense of self.  It is the person you see in the mirror, past the eyes, to the inside.  When you do look into that mirror, you do not just see a face.  You see everything about yourself at once. What about other people, what do they see?  For Tris Prior, her past life only allowed her to glimpse into the mirror, to peer at an identity she was told she did not deserve to see.  

In a world that is constantly trying to tell you what your identity is, finding out for yourself can be one of the hardest journeys.  In Divergent by Veronica Roth, this is the biggest challenge Tris faces: coming to terms with who she is, and standing up to an overbearing society.   I believe that everyone faces this, and personally, I am learning to understand my own divergence, the way that society has told me I am different.      

            Tris came from Abnegation, the community dedicated to selflessness and service to others.  Following that background came a reputation, as clean and sharp as the lines in her plain, gray clothing.  She was expected to be quiet, to keep to herself, almost nonexistent, the gray in the background.  She was always taught to be extremely modest, to never show herself off.  The day that she chose the Dauntless faction over her home in Abnegation was the day the perfect lines got wrinkled. 

“Stiff!”-“What a goody- two-shoes!”  Tris and I have been called our fair share of names.  When Tris first arrives at Dauntless initiation, with many people from other factions, everyone sees her as the “stiff” from Abnegation, small, tense and as insignificant as a mouse, when her heart roars like a lion. She finds it difficult to show her true self because she has spent her whole life trapped behind a wall of insufficiency.  Their first impression is that she is boring, two-dimensional in the flat, monotone garb.  

Like Tris, the place I come from suggests that I am rigid, a major goody-two shoes, but unlike Tris, everyone expects me to be perfect; to get perfect grades, be pretty, to never swear, to never sweat.  They tell me that things should not be hard for me, that everything is handed to me without any work, but they only see my reflection, and nothing more.  Tris never identified with the place she came from and the expectations that came with it.  Like Tris, I don’t see that girl in the mirror.  

Her problems don’t end there: Tris is Divergent, and divergents threaten the system.  Tris is in danger because she is not just selfless or just brave or just wise, but all three.  Tris knows humility, love, sacrifice, and friendship.  She is many things and has many parts to her personality.  She is unlimited, undefined, and you cannot sort her, put her neatly into a file cabinet with a fancy label. Her society tells her that it cannot run efficiently unless she fits herself into that box, under a faction name.  The society is scared of the “Divergents” of the world.

Today, society is much the same, though not as extreme.  It is scared of the people who cannot be labeled. The truth is, everyone is a million different things, and should never yield to such an awful principle as trying to be just one.  Just because you are one thing doesn’t mean you aren’t another.  It is a gift, a privilege, to be selfless, to be peaceful, honest, brave and wise.

For Tris and I, it is time to stand in front of that mirror, scrutinizing, observing, and examining, until we recognize ourselves.  She must break the board, for she is no longer, and never was, “stiff”. As for me, I am growing out of my two shoes; they never really fit me anyway. It is time to stop being afraid, and to realize that everyone is special, everyone is different, and everyone is divergent.    



Thursday, September 11, 2014

What do H.P. Lovecraft and John Grisham have in common?

What do H.P. Lovecraft and John Grisham have in common?

PinterestWriter's Digest on YouTubeGoogle+
September 11, 2014
10th Annual Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards

Hurry—the Early-Bird Deadline is September 15!
Q: What do these great writers have in common?
Robert Heinlein. J.K. Rowling. Stephen King. Raymond Chandler. Patricia Highsmith. Nora Roberts.

A: They’d all be eligible to enter Writer’s Digest’s Popular Fiction Awards.
If you’ve written a short story that could give these pop-fiction greats a run for their money, Writer’s Digest wants to see it!

Enter your best short stories—4,000 words or fewer—in six genres for a chance at $2,500, a trip to Writer’s Digest Conference, and more!

The genres:

  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Thriller
  • Young Adult
  • Romance
  • Crime
  • Horror
The deadline: September 15, 2014
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Heroes We Never Name

Heroes We Never Name

Back of the men we honor
Enrolled on the scroll of fame,
Are the millions who go unmentioned -
The heroes we never name!
Those who have won us the victories,
And conquered along the way;
Those who have made us a nation -
A tribute to them I would pay.

Back of our nation's first leader,
Of Lincoln and Wilson, too,
Back of the mind directing our course
Was the army that carried it through.
Back of the generals and captains
Was the tramping of rank and file,
And back of them were the ones at home
Who labored with tear and with smile.

And What of the "everyday" heroes
Whose courage and efforts ne'er cease!
Toilers who struggle and labor and strive
And hope for a future of peace?
Hats off to the worthy leaders;
Their honor I'd ever acclaim -
But here's a cheer for the many brave,
The heroes we never name.

By M. Lucille Ford

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rock Ridge Day 1 Responses

On a scale of "No Problem" to "I'm totally confused" was it tough for you to find this survey?


What Block do you have English class with Mr. Koch?


What technology are you comfortable using for schoolwork/classwork?

Promethean Board2932%
Google Drive3640%

Do you have access to a computer or other networked device for homework every night?


What is your preferred method of communication with group-work partners, teachers or fellow students for school use?


Do you have a technology device that you can/will use at school?


Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge: Roles and the Writing Process by Betty Sue Flowers

Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge: Roles and the Writing Process:

"What's the hardest part of writing?" I ask on the first day of class.

"Getting started," someone offers, groaning.

"No, it's not getting started," a voice in the back of the room corrects. "It's keeping on once you do get started. I can always write a sentence or two-but then I get stuck."

"Why?" I ask.

"I don't know. I am writing along, and all of a sudden I realize how awful it is, and I tear it up. Then I start over again, and after two sentences, the same thing happens."

 Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge: Roles and the Writing Process

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Full Block Format - Business Letter

Block Format

123 Winner's Road
New Employee Town, PA 12345

March 16, 2001

Ernie English
1234 Writing Lab Lane
Write City, IN 12345

Dear Mr. English:

The first paragraph of a typical business letter is used to state the main point of the letter. Begin with a friendly opening; then quickly transition into the purpose of your letter. Use a couple of sentences to explain the purpose, but do not go in to detail until the next paragraph.

Beginning with the second paragraph, state the supporting details to justify your purpose. These may take the form of background information, statistics or first-hand accounts. A few short paragraphs within the body of the letter should be enough to support your reasoning.

\Finally, in the closing paragraph, briefly restate your purpose and why it is important. If the purpose of your letter is employment related, consider ending your letter with your contact information. However, if the purpose is informational, think about closing with gratitude for the reader's time.


Lucy Letter

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Goal Setting

Complete your goals.

Type them and bring a self-addressed stamped envelope - snail mail!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Goodreads | Rock9 Readers Group

Click HERE to join the conversation.

Paul's bookshelf: read

Bend Sinister
Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing
1421: The Year China Discovered America
Muhammad Prophet For Our Time
1434 The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance
The Alchemist
The Great Gatsby
The Read-Aloud Handbook
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Millennium Trilogy
Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base
Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943
The Catcher in the Rye
Of Mice and Men
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
Things Fall Apart

Paul Koch's favorite books »

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Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge: Roles and the Writing Process

Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge: Roles and the Writing Proces s: by Betty S. Flowers Professor of English and Director of the L...