Monthly Archives: March 2019

Ursula Le Guin Prescribes a Lifestyle

“When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”

Ursula Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness ch. 3 (1969)

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

The Weekly Text, March 29, 2019: Women’s History Month 2019 Week V–A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on J.K. Rowling

Today marks the end, on Mark’s Text Terminal, of Women’s History Month 2019. When I return on Monday, it will be April Fool’s Day. Here is a reading on J.K. Rowling and its attendant vocabulary building and comprehension worksheet.

I would think this is high interest material, as Ms. Rowling and her books remain interesting to kids.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

“(1927-2013) British novelist and short-story writer. Born in Germany of Polish and German-Jewish parents, Jhabvala lived in England for twelve years before marrying an Indian architect and moving to New Delhi, where she remained until she moved to New York in 1976. Her subject is India, which she views as both an insider and an outsider, and with increasing distress at the poverty and misery surrounding her own comfortable life. She is concerned with social mores and psychological power struggles and psychological power struggles, and employs wit, nuance, and evocative descriptive detail. Her first novels, To Whom She Will (1955; U.S. Amrita, 1956), The Nature of Passion (1956), and Esmond in India (1957), deal with Indian arranged marriages and an East-West alliance. She has written a number of screenplays. Her later novels, such as Heat and Dust (1975), later made into a successful movie, show the influence of cinematic techniques. She has also published several volumes of short stories. In Search of Love and Beauty (1983) is a novel about German emigres in 1930s New York. Poet and Dancer (1993) is a novel.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Everyday Edit: Anne Frank

Here is an Everyday Edit worksheet on Anne Frank. And let me say for the last time this month, to give credit where credit where credit is overwhelmingly due, that if you and your students like working on these short grammar exercises, the good people at Education World generously give away a yearlong supply of them–just click on that long hyperlink.

You don’t need to bother with advising me on typos in this document–they’re there for a reason.

The Algonquin Wits: Peggy Wood

Peggy Wood, actress and Round Table frequenter, joined the group one day when [Alexander] Woollcott was discussion the feasibility of reviving Macbeth as a Broadway play. Acknowledging the arrival of Miss Wood, Aleck said, ‘We’re discussing the cast. I don’t think you’d make a very good Lady Macbeth, do you Peggy?’

‘No, Aleck,’ she answered. ‘But you would.’”

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

Princess Diana

OK, here is a reading on Princess Diana and the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies it. I have been surprised at how many of the young women I teach took an interest in this.

But then, I guess I’ve never understand the appeal or allure of the British royal family. I know it’s harsh, but I have always concurred with Elvis Costello’s assessment of the royals, uttered in a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone magazine. When asked about playing at a  Prince’s Trust benefit concert at Buckingham Palace, Costello replied: “No. I wouldn’t do anything with the royal family. They’re scum. Why do we subsidize this family of buffoons? What makes them so damn important? I just don’t understand why we subsidize people who seem to just go on holiday all the time. So no, you won’t be seeing Elvis Costello live at Buckingham Palace.”

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Jessye Norman

“(b. 1945) U.S. soprano. Born in Augusta, Ga., she won the Munich International Music Competition in 1968, and debuted in in Berlin as Elisabeth in Tannhauser (1969), She appeared at La Scala in 1972 and made recital debuts in London and New York the next year. Having garnered extraordinary praise for year, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Le Troyens in 1983, confirming her reputation as perhaps the greatest soprano of her generation. An imposing stage presence, her operatic and concert repertoire ranges with equal conviction and musicality across an exceptionally wide range.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

The Trenchant Louisa May Alcott

“Women have been called queens for a long time, but the kingdom given them isn’t worth ruling.”

Louisa May Alcott

An Old-Fashioned Girl ch. 13 (1870)

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Everyday Edit: Dolley Madison

Let’s start the final week of Women’s History Month 2019 at Mark’s Text Terminal with this Everyday Edit worksheet on Dolley Madison.

Incidentally (if I haven’t previously clouted this point into tedium), if you like these Everyday Edit worksheets, you can find a year’s supply them at Education World, where the proprietors of that site give them away for free.

Cultural Literacy: Pocahontas

Alright, it’s Tuesday again. Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Pocahontas. I expect this is probably relatively high interest material for certain kids, and certainly those kids who are familiar with the Disney movie about this extraordinary woman.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.