Thursday, August 5, 2010

English 4 (WILLIS) FALL 2011 (MONDAYS)

1. 8/22 Introduction; biographical material on Eugene O'Neill

(HW - buy your books, if you haven't already; send an email to Mr. Willis.)

2. 8/29 Begin Long Day's Journey Into Night.

(HW - Read "The Appointment In Samarra," "Godfather Death," "A & P," "A Rose For Emily.")

9/5 Labor Day; no class

3. 9/12 Finish Long Day's Journey Into Night.

(HW - Write essay 1 on a theme from Long Day's Journey Into Night.)

4. 9/19 Turn in essay 1; discuss short stories assigned class 2; read and discuss "Oedipus the King."

(HW - Read "Miss Brill,' "The Tell-Tale Heart," "A Good Man is Hard to Find," and "The Five-Forty-Eight." Also, you have two weeks to read The Lord of the Flies.)

5. 9/26 Hand back essays; read "Antigone"; discuss short stories assigned class 4; read and discuss "The Road Not Taken,' "Ozymandias," 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," 'To An Athlete Dying Young," and "To His Coy Mistress."

(HW - finish reading The Lord of the Flies; write essay 2, focusing on one of the five major characters: Ralph, Jack, Piggy, Simon, or Roger.)

6. 10/3 Turn in essay 2; discuss The Lord of the Flies.

(HW - Read "The Open Boat," "The Storm," "To Build A Fire," and "Greasy Lake." Also, you have five weeks to read Les Miserables.)

7. 10/10 Hand back essays; discuss short stories assigned class 6; begin reading A Streetcar Named Desire.

(HW - Continue reading Les Miserables.)

8. 10/17 Continue A Streetcar Named Desire; have "love" discussion.

(HW - continue reading Les Miserables.)

9. 10/24 Finish A Streetcar Named Desire; read two "Streetcar" essays of former students; read and discuss 'The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner,' "The Flea," and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."

(HW - finish reading Les Miserables; write essay 3 on any theme from either Les Miserables or A Streetcar Named Desire.)

10. 10/31 Turn in essay 3; begin "Death of a Salesman."

(HW - read "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," "Barn Burning," and 'Araby"; complete "Fallacies" assignment.)

11. 11/7 Turn in "Fallacies" assignment; take, correct, and discuss a quiz on Les Miserables.

(HW - Read "The Gospel According to Mark," "Young Goodman Brown," "The Rocking-Horse
Winner," and "The Chrysanthemums"; develop the thesis statement for your Research Paper.)

12. 11/14 Finish and discuss "Salesman"; discuss short stories assigned classes 10 and 11; discuss Les Miserables; turn in the thesis statement for your Research Paper.

(HW - write essay 4 on any theme from either "Death of a Salesman," "Oedipus," or "Antigone," or write five short poems.)

13. 11/21 Turn in essay 4; read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

(HW - Read "The Lottery," "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge," "Harrison Bergeron," "The Story of an Hour," and "The Cathedral.")

14. 11/28 Read "Lest We Forget," (which includes "Colin's Choice"), "Mr. Rose" and "The Doorway," and "Barrington Bunny."

(HW - write essay 5, your Research Paper.)

15. 12/5 Turn in essay 5; discuss short stories assigned class 13; read "The Lover of Horses"; read past reflective essays of students.

16. 12/12 Read and discuss "Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God," "The Unknown Citizen," "In Westminster Abbey," "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," and "The Tyger."read "Strange Snow"; review for final.

17. 12/19 Final exam (we will correct it in class, and you will know your semester grade before you leave.)

Final Exam

75 quotations from the works read - you must identify the speaker; 53 questions matching work and author; 39 general questions on the works = 167 total questions.

Number Wrong on Final x .6 = % wrong (then subtract from 100%)

A+ = 96-100%

A = 93-95

A- = 90-92

B+ = 86-89

B = 83-85

B- = 80-82

C+ = 76-79

C = 73-75

C- = 70-72

D+ = 66-69

D = 63-65

D- = 60-62

F+ = 56-59

F = 0-55

Semester Grade

Each of your five essays (as well as the Les Miserables quiz) = 1/10 of your grade; the final exam = 4/10 (1/2).

Rules and Information

1. Late essays will be downgraded 1/3 of a grade for every day late. In other words, if an essay is due on a Monday, and you turn it in on the next Monday, it will go down 2 1/3 grades (an "A+" would become a "C"; a "B" would become a "D-"; a "C+" would become an "F").

2. If you are absent on the day an essay is due, you may email it to me to avoid the downgrade penalty. You will be charged 25 cents/page for the printing.

3. If you are absent on the day of the Les Miserables quiz, you must make it up before the next class. You and I will make arrangements as to time and place.

4. On your fourth absence, you will be dropped from the class.

5. If you need to miss class, please call me at 925-443-9135.

6. My email address is

7. My website's address is

8. A helpful site in studying for the final -

9. Download the “cheat sheet” for the final at

10. Download suggestions on writing a poem at

11. Download the character list for the Les Miserables quiz at

12. Download the Les Miserables practice quiz at

13. Download the English 4 Syllabus at

14. Essay suggestions for Long Day’s Journey into Night, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Lord of the Flies can all be found under 2009, June at

Friday, July 3, 2009

Willis Family Blogs

Interesting Trips

Read about our trip to Europe , in 1993 and France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Belgium will come alive!

London is one of the world’s greatest cities! Relive Jim’s and Claudia’s 1997 London trip.

Alaska is one of the world’s most picturesque places, as Jim & Claudia learned in 2004.

A PhotoShow of the 2004 Alaskan trip

A PhotoShow of Claudia’s & Jim’s 2004 trip to Maine and Quebec City.

A PhotoShow of Jim’s & Claudia’s 2006 trip to the U.S. Southwest.

Spain is a phenomenal country. Relive Claudia’s & Jim’s 2008 journey to Spain.


"Lest We Forget," Jim’s moving account of Colin, their youngest child who died in 2001.

Pictures and short bios of all the Willis family members.

PhotoShow of Corrigan & Dee, made by Jim for their 2006 wedding.

PhotoShow of our River Meadows home

PhotoShow of the Willis boys’ birthdays in 2004

Christmas letter, 1996, detailing Corrigan’s success at the Babe Ruth World Series in North Carolina.

Jim’s book on his classroom experiences at Granada (in progress).

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Authors' Pictures

W.H. Auden (1907-1973)
( The Unknown Citizen )

Martin Bell ()
(Barrington Bunny)

John Betjeman (1906-1984)
(In Westminster Abbey)

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)
(An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge)

Robert Bolt (1924-1999)
(A Man For All Seasons)

T. Coraghessan Boyle (1948-)
(Greasy Lake)

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)
(Jane Eyre)

Raymond Carver (1938-1988)

John Cheever (1912-1982)
(The Five-Forty_Eight)

Kate Chopin (1851-1904)
(The Story of an Hour; The Storm)

Robert Cormier (1925-2000)
(The Chocolate War)

Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
(The Open Boat)

Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)
(The Jewels)

John Donne (1572-1631)
(The Sun Rising; The Flea; Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God)

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
(The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock)

William Faulkner (1897-1962)
(A Rose For Emily; Barn Burning)

Robert Frost (1874-1963)
(The Road not Taken; Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening)

Tess Gallagher (1943-)
(The Lover Of Horses)

William Golding (1911-1993)
(Lord of the Flies)

Graham Greene (1904-1991)
(The Heart of the Matter)

Jakob (1785-1863) & Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859)
(Godfather Death)

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
(Young Goodman Brown)

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
(A Clean, Well Lighted Place)

A.E. Housman (1859-1936)
(To An Athlete Dying Young)

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
(Les Miserables)

Shirley Jackson (1917-1965)
(The Lottery)

Randall Jarrell (1914-1965)
(The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner)

James Joyce (1882-1941)

John Knowles (1926-2001)
(A Separate Peace)

D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
(The Rocking-Horse Winner)

Jerome Lawrence (1915-2004) and Robert E. Lee (1918-1994)
(Inherit the Wind)

Harper Lee (1926- )
(To Kill a Mockingbird)

Jack London (1876-1916)
(To Build a Fire)

Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)
( Miss Brill)

Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)
(To His Coy Mistress)

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)
(Appointment in Samarra)

Steve Metcalfe (1953-)
(Strange Snow)

Arthur Miller (1915-2005)
(Death of a Salesman)

Farley Mowat (1921- )
(Never Cry Wolf)

Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964)
(A Good Man is Hard to Find)

Eugene O'Neill
(A Long Day's Journey into Night; Desire Under the Elms )

Eugene's daughter, Oona O'Neill Chaplin, married to Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977)

Eugene's father, James O'Neill (1846-1920)

Eugene (1888-1953), Jamie (1878-1922) , and James O'Neill (1846-1920)

Monte Cristo Cottage, the O'Neill home in New London, Connecticut and the setting for Long Day's Journey into Night which occurs in 1912.

The Cottage

The Parlor

The Family Room

Memorabilia Room

Tao House, Eugene O'Neill's and Carlotta Monterey O'Neill's home in Danville, California where he wrote Long Day's Journey into Night in 1939-1940.

One wing of Tao House, pictured from the rear

Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)
(The Tell-Tale Heart)

Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980)
(The Jilting of Granny Weatherall)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
(MacBeth; The Taming of the Shrew)

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991)
(Gimpel The Fool)

Sophocles (496-406, B.C.)
(Oedipus the King; Antigone)

John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
(Cannery Row; The Chrysanthemums)

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
(Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)

Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883)
(Fathers and Sons)

John Updike (1932-2009)

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)
(Harrison Bergeron)

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)
(A Streetcar Named Desire; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)

James B. Willis (1944-)
(Lest We Forget)

Robert J. Willis (1935-)
(Mr. Rose; The Doorway; Colin's Choice)

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
(I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud)