Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SAT Changes Policy, Opening Rift With Colleges

SAT Changes Policy, Opening Rift With Colleges By SARA RIMER, NYTimes 12/30/08
This March, high school juniors taking the SAT will have the option of choosing which scores to send to colleges while hiding those they do not want admissions officials to see. The new policy is called Score Choice, and the College Board hopes it will reduce student stress around the SAT and college admissions.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Early Applications

Colleges report increase in early applications By Lisa M. Krieger Mercury News 12/21/08
In a recession, expensive private colleges like Stanford University lose students to cheaper public universities. That's the conventional thinking. And it's wrong.

San Jose State receives fewer applications for next fall, overcrowding unlikely By Lisa M. Krieger, Mercury News 12/22/2008
A preliminary tally of applications to San Jose State University shows that overcrowding is unlikely to be a problem during the upcoming school year. The school has received a total of 27,799 applications for next fall, down from 34,263 this year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Corruption in schools a big problem in Vietnam

Corruption in schools a big problem in Vietnam by Ben Stocking, Associated Press 12/28/08
The thugs came after dark, as Do Viet Khoa and his family were getting ready for bed...Khoa, a high school math and geography teacher, says the message was clear: Stop blowing the whistle on school corruption - or else.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Lit 122808

The Best American Series® 2008
Best—selling authors handpick the year's finest writing in short stories, comics, mysteries, essays, travel, science and nature, sports, spirituality, and nonrequired reading. Available at your local bookstore or library.

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008 By Dave Eggers (Edited by); Judy Blume (Introduction by)

The Best American Short Stories 2008 By Salman Rushdie (Edited by); Heidi Pitlor (Series edited by)

The Best American Essays 2008 By Robert Atwan (Edited by); Adam Gopnik (Edited by)

The Best American Comics 2008 by: Lynda Barry (Guest Editor); Jessica Abel (Series edited by); Matt Madden (Series edited by)

The Best American Mystery Stories 2008 By George Pelecanos (Edited by); Otto Penzler (Series edited by)

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2008 by Jerome Groopman (Edited by); Tim Folger (Series edited by)

The Best American Sports Writing 2008 by William Nack (Edited by); Glenn Stout (Series edited by)

The Best American Spiritual Writing 2008 by Jimmy Carter (Introduction by); Philip Zaleski (Series edited by)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Saturday Arts 122708

Staten Island School Chorus Finds Fame on YouTube By AZADEH ENSHA, NYtimes

The children, students at Public School 22 in Graniteville on Staten Island, listened to Mr. Breinberg carefully before starting again. As well they might — he helped make the chorus popular on YouTube.

Science Friday 122608

Click graphic to see the full sequence. Source: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

The Chaos Inside a Cancer Cell, By NICHOLAS WADE, NYTimes
Researchers have made some sense of the jumble of chromosomes inside a cancer cell.

Hobbyists Are Trying Genetic Engineering at Home
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

this i believe: Religion and the Holidays

this i believe: Special Feature: Religion and the Holidays

Our world comprises much religious diversity. Yet regardless of our faith and its rituals, we all have the opportunity to care for one another, especially at this time of year. Click the links below to read how these essayists have embraced and been embraced by spiritual differences.

The Spaces Between Us
Expressing True Faith
In the Spirit of Peace and Joy
The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Lit 122108

Big Think: "That was my only dream, to be a novelist"

Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany talks about his creative process and why he is still a dentist. Join the conversation at Big Think.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

VOANews: Foreign Student Series: The SAT and the ACT

Foreign Student Series: The SAT and the ACT

In part 14, we talk about the two competing college-admissions tests in the U.S., and about schools that require neither. Transcript of radio broadcast: 10 December 2008
MP3 - Download (MP3)
MP3 - Listen to (MP3)

More audio clips from VOANews: Foreign Student Series

Friday, December 19, 2008

Science Friday 121908

VOANews: Scientists Find Previously Unknown Sea Creatures

For more info, go to Census of Marine Life Making Ocean Life Count
A global network of researchers engaged in a ten-year initiative to assess and explain the past, present, and future diversity, distribution, and abundance.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

History Thursday 121808

Big Think: On desegregation and Thomas Jefferson

Annette Gordon-Reed discusses being the first African-American student at an all-white school, and her work as a historian. Join the conversation at Big Think.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Princeton Settles Money Battle Over Gift

Princeton Settles Money Battle Over Gift By TAMAR LEWIN< NYTimes
The legal battle over how closely Princeton had to adhere to the terms of a gift had been closely watched by many universities and college that manage donations with strings attached.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The College Board Settles Loan Inquiry

The College Board Settles Loan Inquiry By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
New York officials said that the College Board had resolved a two-state investigation into deceptive marketing of student loans.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Scarsdale Adjusts to Life Without Advanced Placement Courses

Scarsdale Adjusts to Life Without Advanced Placement Courses By WINNIE HU, NYTimes
Most praise the decision to make A.P. exams optional for replacing mountains of memorization with more creative curriculums, but more objective measurements have been mixed.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Arts 121308

Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style
A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youths in Cambodia. Video

Friday, December 12, 2008

Science Friday 121208

Winners of Prestigious Student Science Awards Are Named By AMANDA M. FAIRBANKS NYTimes
Among the winners of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology was Wen Chyan, a 17-year-old high school senior who received a $100,000 scholarship.

Science Students Get a Real-Life Lesson, in Science Fiction By FELICITY BARRINGER , NYTimes
A group of budding scientists attended a forum that examined whether a remake of the classic science-fiction film “The Day the Earth Stood Still” got the science right.

18 and Under

What to Do When the Patient Says, ‘Please Don’t Tell Mom’ By PERRI KLASS, M.D NYTimes
For doctors with patients who are middle-schoolers, it can sometimes be unclear what information should stay confidential.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Student Loans and Microbanks

Turning Around the Idea of Student Loans By STEVE FRIESS, NYTimes
In raising money and investing it with a nonprofit lending institution, the Meadows School in Las Vegas is by all accounts one of the first high schools to operate a microbank.

College May Become Unaffordable for Most in U.S. By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes
Tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, while median family income rose 147 percent.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Going Off to College for Less (Passport Required)

Going Off to College for Less (Passport Required) By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes
More American students are heading overseas not just for a semester abroad, but for their full degree program.
Previous Articles in the Series »

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good Deeds: The Backlash

Good Deeds: The Backlash By DOUGLAS QUENQUA, NYTimes
Schools have trimmed community service hours for high school students, hoping they will aim for quality, not quantity

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Lit 120708

Big Think: The evolution of Indian culture
The consul general of India, Neelam Deo, discusses her country's culture and environmental resources. Learn more at Big Think.

For more info about India, check out:

Planet India: The Turbulent Rise of the Largest Democracy and the Future of Our World by Mira Kamdar

The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us by Robyn Meredith

Saturday, December 6, 2008

SAT December 2008


Week (0r Two) Before the Test

  • Gather all your completed SAT Practice Tests into ONE pile.
  • Review a completed test every evening before the Night Before the SAT Test.
  • Look-up any difficult vocabulary.
  • Note how you used POE (Process of Elimination) to get the right answers.
  • Analyze your wrong answers, and adjust your POE.
The Night Before the Test
  • Don't cram for the SAT!
  • Follow you normal Friday Night Homework routine.
  • Go to bed early.

Day of the Test:
  • Wake up fifteen minutes early to focus your thoughts.
  • Eat breakfast
  • Bring Student ID
  • Bring pencils, calculators, ear plugs, water, energy bar, etc.
  • Arrive early--use the spare time to encourage yourself and your friends to do your best.

During the Test

  • Stand up and stretch!


  • Read the Prompt
  • Read the Quote
  • Read the Prompt again.
  • Think for 1 minute (don't write).
  • Brainstorm. Focus, focus, focus your examples. Organize. (2 minutes)
  • Write (20 min)
  • Intro Paragraph:
  • Thesis plus preview of your examples
  • 3 body paragraphs. Topic sentence plus 3-4 sentences of concrete detail.
  • Transition between paragraphs.
  • Conclusion.
  • Fix errors and upgrade vocabulary (2 min).

Writing Section

  • The Fist of No Error (see sidebar)

Critical Reading

  • POE (process of elimination)
  • Avoid answers that are too extreme (narrow, general, always/never, etc)

Long Passage

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)
  • Skim & underline for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)
  • Mark-up the passage as per the Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)
  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer the questions via POE

After the Test

  • Don't just go home--celebrate!
  • You spent a lot of time (and money) preparing for the SAT.
  • Go out to a good lunch with your friends/family to debrief.
  • Go on to your next task!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Science Friday 120508

A New Picture of the Early Earth, By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes
Geologists now think the planet soon became a cool place of land, seas and perhaps even life.

How to Increase Your I.Q. by Nicholas D. Kristof
A simple, effective way to improve the health of impoverished people is to add iodine to the salt supply. Video

The Micronutrient Initiative
We are dedicated to ensuring that the world's most vulnerable - especially women and children - in developing countries get the vitamins and minerals they need to survive and thrive.

Gene Test Shows Spain’s Jewish and Muslim Mix By NICHOLAS WADE, NYTimes
A study of genetic signatures has provided new evidence of the mass conversions of Sephardic Jews and Muslims to Catholicism in the 14th and 15th centuries.

2009 World Science Festival By John Tierney, NYTimes
Science-festival fans, mark your calendars for June in New York. After its sold-out debut in New York this year, the World Science Festival promised an encore, and now we know the dates: June 11th to 14th, 2009.

Observatory: Turtle on the Half Shell: Fossils in China Show an Evolutionary Step, NYTimes

Observatory: A New Understanding of Iceberg Formation May Aid Climate Studies, NYTimes

Observatory: A Ball on the Seafloor Casts Doubt on Views of How Life Diversified, NYTimes

Mental disorders seen in 20% of young adults, SFGate
Almost 20 percent of young American adults have a personality disorder that interferes with everyday life, and even more abuse alcohol...

Internet searching stimulates brain, study says, SFGate
Can Googling delay the onset of dementia? A new UCLA study, part of the growing research into the effects of technology on the brain...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

NYTimes: Colleges during the Financial Crisis

Colleges Are Not Going Hungry, but Are in Need
Against the real likelihood of financial doom for so many people, what precisely do we owe our alma maters at a time like this?

Private Schools Say They’re Thriving in Downturn
In letters and meetings, elite schools in New York say applications and donations remain strong.

Beyond the Ivied Halls, Endowments Suffer
Some of the nation’s universities are trying to sell chunks of their portfolios privately as their endowments swoon with the markets.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Test Passes, Colleges Fail

The Test Passes, Colleges Fail, By PETER D. SALINS, NYTimes editorial 11/17/08

While some institutions justify this move primarily as a way to enroll a more diverse group of students, an increasing number claim that the SAT is a poor predictor of academic success in college, especially compared with high school grade-point averages. Are they correct?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NYTimes: Gen Y and Non-profits

Training to Lead Nonprofits By CATE DOTY
Members of “Gen Y” have sparked a surge in nonprofit management and leadership courses at colleges and universities around the country.

Groups ‘Party for a Cause’ to Help Charities By PAUL SULLIVAN
An annual event that has raised more than $40,000 for Heal the Bay, a nonprofit organization devoted to cleaning up the beaches of Southern California.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Term Paper Artist

The Term Paper Artist: The lucrative industry behind higher ed's failings.
By Nick Mamatas, The Smart Set from Drexel University, 10/10/08

One great way to briefly turn the conversation toward myself at a party is to answer the question, "So, what do you do?" with, "I'm a writer." ... If I want attention for an hour or so, however, I'll tell them my horrible secret — for several years I made much of my freelance income writing term papers.

On the Media: The Paper Market
Term papers don't write themselves. Most college students pour hours of work into finding sources, crafting thesis statements and writing drafts. But some don't – they pay people to write papers for them. Author Nick Mamatas was a paper-writer-for-hire, and has few regrets about taking money from cheaters. Listen to the interview:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Lit 113008

Big Think: Middle Eastern identity and writing

Author Porochista Khakpour talks about her work and offers advice to young writers. Join the conversation at Big Think.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Arts 112908


Lang Lang: His Life So Far By ANTHONY TOMMASINI, NYTimes
The story of a gifted boy, his father and his love of the piano. Video

Friday, November 28, 2008

Science Friday 112808

Appropriate technology is technology that is appropriate to the environmental, cultural and economic situation it is intended for. It usually describes technologies which are suitable for use in the majority world (or "developing nations"). For more info, check out Appropedia.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

History Thursday 112708

Boston 1775
History, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the start of the American Revolution in Massachusetts.

I LOVE Boston 1775 ! Check out their Thanksgiving post: A Massachusetts Thanksgiving in Newport .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This I Believe: Sharing Food with Family

This I Believe is an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives. Here are the Thanksgiving stories for 2008.

Special Feature: Sharing Food with Family
Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, with the attendant gatherings of family over food and drink. Regardless of the context, sitting down to share a meal can affirm our connections, our roots and our traditions. Click the links below to partake of these beliefs about food and family.

Rice for Thanksgiving (great essay!)
Doing Things the Slow Way
Remembering the Past at Waffle House
A Home-Cooked Tradition
Finding Acceptance in Macaroni and Cheese

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This I Believe: Thanksgiving

This I Believe is a national media project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives. NPR airs these three-minute essays on All Things Considered, Tell Me More and Weekend Edition Sunday.

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, with gatherings of families and friends, and the sharing of food and drink. During the festivities of the coming weeks, we hope you take time to reflect on the beliefs that guide your life, just like these essayists have done.

Family Blessings, by Meghan Guinnee
Joy Beyond Measure, by Linda Balestracci
Hope Dished Out in Plenty, by David Cowen
You Can Go Home Again, by Victoria Higle
Baking by Senses and Memories, by Emily Smith
Click here to read previous Special Features

Monday, November 24, 2008

Boys in the Scrum

Boys in the Scrum NYTimes
The Hyde Leadership Public Charter School in Washington has the country's first all African-American high school rugby team. (video)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Lit 112308

ALPHABET JUICE: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory. By Roy Blount Jr 364 pp. Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $25. Reviewed By JACK SHAFER, NYTimes

Roy Blount Jr. has returned from the fields where the American lingo grows wild to write “Alphabet Juice,” his personal lexicon, usage manual, writers’ guidebook, etymological investigation and literary junk drawer. This alphabetically arranged book reads like a big bag of salty snacks: nibble five or six of its 500-plus entries and you’ll have to wolf the whole thing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Study Abroad Flourishes, With China a Hot Spot

Study Abroad Flourishes, With China a Hot Spot By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes
Record numbers of American students are studying abroad, with especially strong growth in educational exchanges with China, the annual report by the Institute on International Education found. Graphic: Looking Beyond Europe

Friday, November 21, 2008

Science Friday 112108

Interactive Map: Mapping the World's Fastest Supercomputers
While the U.S. has the world's fastest supercomputers, it faces increased pressure from countries like India and China.

Video: America's Disappearing Forests
The mountain pine beetle, an insect pest, is destroying massive swaths of American lodgepole pine.

Invasive Plants in Galápagos May Really Be Native By HENRY FOUNTAIN
Some plants that were thought to be invasive species in the Galapagos Islands predate humans by thousands of years.

In Bias Test, Shades of Gray By JOHN TIERNEY
Are there problems with the way researchers have been using split-second reactions on a computer test to diagnose an epidemic of racial bias?

Debating the Vices and Virtues of Google
A public debate on whether Google violates its motto "Don't be evil" moves quickly to considering whether the search company is guilty of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

History Thursday 112008

The Smithsonian National Museum

of American History Reopens Nov. 21!

Come Celebrate with Us! Reopening Festival Nov. 21-23 The Museum will officially reopen to the public after a two-year renovation with a ribbon-cutting ceremony (Friday, Nov. 21, 8:30-10 a.m.).

Add your photos to our Flickr group and see some of our favorite images
Follow us on Twitter for live coverage of the reopening events
Become a fan on Facebook and tell us how we're doing
Watch our YouTube channel for sneek peeks of new exhibitions and more

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'Adina's Deck': A series of lessons that click

'Adina's Deck': A series of lessons that click
Cyber-bullying, chat room predators and the lure of engaging in online plagiarism are all potential hazards facing young people today. A new educational DVD to help kids cope with these issues is being shown at schools and youth organizations across the country, and parents can check it out for free this weekend.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finding Similarities Among the Differences

Finding Similarities Among the Differences By JOHN HANC, NYTimes
A program brings together high school students of different faiths and encourages cooperation on community service projects.

Monday, November 17, 2008

All 23 CSU campuses may turn away students

All 23 CSU campuses may turn away students
The state's worsening budget crisis is forcing the California State University system to consider turning away some eligible students from all 23 campuses for the first time in its history.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Paying for College Student Resource Guide

Paying for College Student Resource Guide
(Includes scholarships, internships, fellowships, books, and websites)
Courtesy of U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard
Congressional District 34-California

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Arts 111508

Maya Lin's 'Wave Field'
The artist discusses her new projects, including her new installation at the Storm King Art Center. Especially check out her map "10 Degrees North" (3:30-4:00) Video

Friday, November 14, 2008

Science Friday 111408

Now: The Rest of the Genome By CARL ZIMMER, NYTimes
Only 1 percent of the genome is made up of classic genes. Scientists are exploring the other 99 percent and uncovering new secrets and new questions.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

College Application: Whoops! Return to Sender

Whoops! Return to Sender , By SAMANTHA STAINBURN, NYTimes
Address your college application carefully; Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, is not Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus

With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus, By KATIE ZEZIMA, NYtimes
Free bikes or bike-sharing programs have cropped up on campuses nationwide, aimed at reducing traffic and parking shortages on campus and improving community building.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Combat to College

Combat to College by Lizette Alvarez, NYTimes
A new G.I. bill is expected to swell the number of veterans in the nation’s colleges. Are campuses ready for them?
Video: Soldier, Student
The New G.I. Bill: A Primer Resources Beyond the Bill

Monday, November 10, 2008

Turning Life Experience Into College Credit

Turning Life Experience Into College Credit, By RACHEL AVIV, NYTimes
Adult Education: How to get credit for travel, work or your personal passion.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Three Education Articles from the NYTimes

Tough Times Strain Colleges Rich and Poor By TAMAR LEWIN
Universities are freezing hiring and postponing construction projects as endowments shrink and states cut their financing.

Racial Imbalance Persists at Elite Public Schools By JAVIER C. HERNANDEZ
Asian and white eighth graders in the city are outpacing their black and Hispanic peers on an admissions test.

U.S. Buying More Loans to Students By JONATHAN D. GLATER and ERIC DASH
The government will expand purchases of the student loans it backs to head off a potential shortfall going into the next school year.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Arts 110808

As you browse through these thousand reviews, then, all of them originally published in The Times in the years since the start of the sound era, you may discern two related themes: the fallibility of even the most perspicacious critics . . . and the durability of what appeared at the time of their release to be some of the cheapest, the silliest, the out-and-out strangest movies.

Trendspotting Handmade
Student photographers rove their campuses for The New York Times. This issue, arts and crafts at the University of Kentucky, Oregon College of Art and Craft, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Slide Show

Portfolio Prep, By DANIEL GRANT, NYTimes
Getting a portfolio ready for admittance to a visual arts program.

Friday, November 7, 2008

SAT: Hold That Score, and That One, and That One . . .

Hold That Score, and That One, and That One . . . By SAMANTHA STAINBURN, NYTimes
Starting this spring, students will be able to pick which College Board scores are sent to admissions offices. Cause for celebration?
Graphic: Stress Factors

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Medical Student Burnout and the Challenge to Patient Care

Medical Student Burnout and the Challenge to Patient Care By PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D., NYTimes
Students, just like doctors, need to take care of themselves in order to take care of patients.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lessons on an Election

Lessons on an Election By CLYDE HABERMAN, NYTimes
A course at Baruch College taught by Mario M. Cuomo, the former New York governor, is one of many around the nation incorporating the presidential election into curriculums.

GRAPHIC: Party Lines of the Under-30 Set
The number of young people identifying themselves as Democrats is near a high not seen since Jimmy Carter was president.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Three incumbents face challengers in Santa Clara County Board of Education election Nov. 4

Three incumbents face challengers in Santa Clara County Board of Education election Nov. 4 By Dana Hull Mercury News 09/14/08
Eight candidates have filed for four seats on the Santa Clara County Board of Education, which includes seven trustee areas.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Lit 110208

Handle This Book! By ROGER MUMMERT, NYTimes
Rare books and manuscripts, once restricted to scholars in white gloves, are being incorporated into undergraduate courses. Slide Show: The Past Between Two Covers

Just Leave Them Behind, By CHARLES McGRATH, NYTimes
One author argues that some of us are just not college material. Another, that colleges should just stick to the basics.

The Visitor, By J. D. NORDELL, NYTimes
A visiting writer teaches an unexpected lesson: what it was like to be a woman in the Bad Old Days.

Saturday, November 1, 2008



Before the test:

  • Sleep
  • Eat breakfast
  • Bring Student ID
  • Arrive early--use the spare time to encourage yourself and your friends to do your best.


  • Read the Prompt
  • Read the Quote
  • Read the Prompt again.
  • Think for 1 minute (don't write).
  • Brainstorm. Focus, focus, focus your examples. Organize. (2 minutes)
  • Write (20 min)
  • Intro Paragraph:
  • Thesis plus preview of your examples
  • 3 body paragraphs. Topic sentence plus 3-4 sentences of concrete detail.
  • Transition between paragraphs.
  • Conclusion.
  • Fix errors and upgrade vocabulary (2 min).

Writing Section

  • The Fist of No Error (see sidebar)

Critical Reading

  • POE (process of elimination)
  • Avoid answers that are too extreme (narrow, general, always/never, etc)

Long Passage

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)
  • Skim & underline for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)
  • Mark-up the passage as per the Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)
  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer the questions via POE


Friday, October 31, 2008

Science Friday 103108

A Beautiful Math By John Tierney, NYTimes
NOVA's Hunting the Hidden Dimension explores the compelling mathematical detective story" of fractal geometry. Video: Hunting Hidden Dimensions

Drinking Lots of Water Is Good for Your Skin By ANAHAD O’CONNOR, NYTimes
The adage about excess water benefiting healthy skin persists, but is it true?

Mercury's many volcanoes spewed blue material, SFGate
Earth's first nearly full look at Mercury reveals that the tiny lifeless planet took a far greater role... Photos

Online Videos - and Our Attention Spans - Get Longer, NYTimes
Internet users are spending more time watching video, both longer programs and sequences of segments they assemble themselves.

Signs in Asia of Tsunamis That Struck Centuries Ago By REUTERS
The tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 2004 was the biggest in the Indian Ocean in some 600 years, two new geological studies suggest.

Steampunk: Boiling Point By Richard von Busack, Metroactive
Steampunk retrofits the technology of the present with the aesthetics of the past. The first-ever convention brings it.

Solar City, NYTimes
Columnist Jim Dwyer's building is one of the first private co-ops in the city to use arrays of solar panels.

Thoreau Is Rediscovered as a Climatologist By CORNELIA DEAN , NYTimes
Scientists are using notes from Henry David Thoreau to discern patterns of plant abundance in New England and to link those patterns to changing climate.
Slide Show: The Warming of Walden

The Unappreciated, Holding Our Lives in Balance By NATALIE ANGIER, NYTimes
The vestibular system is a Joe Sixth-Sense, laboring in anonymity and frequently misunderstood.

Voices of the Manhattan Proje Audio & Photos, NYTimes
Seven veterans of the Manhattan Project talk about the experience of building the first atomic bomb.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

History Thursday 103008

USINFO. State.Gov Outline Series is appropriate for a quick review before SAT II Subject tests.

Outline of U.S. History A chronological look at how the United States took shape -- from its origins as an obscure set of colonies on the Atlantic coast a little more than 200 years ago into what one political analyst today calls "the first universal nation." This fully illustrated edition has been completely revised and updated by Alonzo L. Hamby, Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio University. (November 2005)
Outline of American Geography Considers the physical environment of the United States — landforms, climate, soils, and vegetation — in terms of its impact on the country's cultural, regional, and political development. (November 1998)

Outline of American Literature The Outline of American literature, newly revised, traces the paths of American narrative, fiction, poetry and drama as they move from pre-colonial times into the present, through such literary movements as romanticism, realism and experimentation. (December 2006)

Outline of the U.S. Economy Examines how the U.S. economy works and how it has evolved over the past 225 years. Considers forms of business enterprise, the role of financial markets, how government shapes the economy and seeks to manage the pace of economic activity, the agricultural sector and U.S. farm policy, the changing role of labor, and current U.S. policies on trade and international economic affairs. (February 2001)

Outline of the U.S. Government What makes U.S. government uniquely American...its Constitution, the separation of powers, the concept of “checks and balances,” the decentralized roles of state and local governments, and a citizenry with wide opportunity to be part of it all. (September 2000)

Outline of the U.S. Legal System This Outline covers the history and organization of the federal and state judicial systems; the criminal and civil court processes; the background, qualifications, and selection of federal judges; the role of other participants (lawyers, defendants, interest groups) in the judicial process; and the implementation and impact of judicial policies. It is based on the Congressional Quarterly Press' Judicial Process in America, 5th edition, by political science professors Robert A. Carp and Ronald Stidham. (December 2004)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Students, schools adjust for struggling economy

Students, schools adjust for struggling economy By Rick Hampson, USA Today
NEW YORK — Eliana Goolcharan, a senior at Oyster Bay High School on Long Island, had hoped to attend an out-of-state college, perhaps the University of Texas-Austin ($34,000 yearly for out-of-staters) or maybe a private school such as Providence College ($40,000).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Horizons in High School Classrooms

New Horizons in High School Classrooms By WINNIE HU, NYTimes
Pelham Memorial High School added 17 electives courses this year, allowing students to pursue specialized interests that once were relegated to after-school clubs.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Lit

A Close-Up of Pop-Up Books, Magical and Movable By AILEEN JACOBSON
The Tee Ridder Miniatures Museum of the Nassau County Museum of Art is exhibiting highlights of a 1,500-volume collection of pop-up books.

Ambivalence as Part of Author’s Legacy By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN
An exhibition about Irène Némirovsky at the Museum of Jewish Heritage includes the manuscript of her “Suite Française.”Slide Show

'Factory Girls' Reviewed by HOWARD W. FRENCH
Leslie T. Chang’s deeply affecting book tells the story of the invisible foot soldiers who made China’s stirring rise possible: the country’s 130 million migrant workers.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Arts 102508

from the National Museum, Kabul
October 24, 2008– January 25, 2009

A Banquet of World Art, 30 Years in the Making by HOLLAND COTTER, NYTimes
Under the circumstances, everything registers as both high and low. Uplift means whatever turns you on. Beauty, as a concept, is relative, and not necessarily elevated. Art assumes different meaning and value depending on how you view it: as a social historian, a finely attuned connoisseur or as a recreational window-shopper. Slide Show

Eastern Views NYTimes
Images from films playing in the 2008 South Asian International Film Festival, Oct. 22-28.

Bollywood: Often Energetic, Now Animated By RACHEL SALTZ, NYTimes
“Roadside Romeo” is something new under the Bollywood sun: sophisticated computer-generated animation that uses stars to voice the characters.

Pompeii Style, B.C.E. (Before Catastrophic Eruption) By KAREN ROSENBERG, NYTimes
There are some eerie parallels between Pompeii’s frozen-in-time culture of excess and our own staggering economy as evidenced in a show at the National Gallery.
Slide Show: The Treasures of Pompeii

A Century of Italian Art, NYTimes
"Ruins and the Rebirth of Art in Italy," a show that opened in early October at the Colosseum in Rome, features ancient works of Italian art. Slide Show

Antique Muses Stir a Modern Orpheus By JORI FINKEL, NYTimes
Jim Dine’s latest project at the Getty Villa has allowed him to meditate on two of his greatest passions over the years — sculpture and poetry.

Art and Commerce Canoodling in Central Park By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF, NYTimes
The Chanel Pavilion that opened Monday in Central Park sets out to drape an aura of refinement over a cynical marketing gimmick. Slide Show

China's 'Now' Art SFGate
Chinese contemporary art collector Uli Sigg fills the Berkeley Art Museum with a fraction of his holdings.

King Tut's Coming Back SFGate
Thirty years ago, the King Tut show in S.F. was a blockbuster. And in 2009, it's coming back and will be at the De Young Museum for 9 months.

Painting A Community SFGate
Noe Valley comes alive in new murals by artist Mona Caron.

Focusing In SFGate
International Center of Photography documents documentarian Susan Meiselas.

In Its Grip SFGate
Sara Kraft takes on media ubiquity with her multimedia piece "HyperREAL."

A Family Affair SFGate
One man has brought his family's art treasures from Berlin museums to the Legion of Honor.

For "Bay Area Currents 2008," at the Oakland Art Gallery, curator Aimee Reed picked 12 emerging artists who work in untraditional media, including Noah Sakamoto, who makes drawings out of scraps of paper.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Science Friday 102408

Diving Into a New World By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN, NYTimes
The Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is the largest renovation in the museum’s century-long history. Slide Show: A New Approach for a New Exhibition

Reaching an Autistic Teenager By MELISSA FAY GREENE, NYTimes
A school in Georgia believes that it’s not too late for boys like Sam Gross to make emotional connections. All you need is a lot of energy and, sometimes, a magic box. NYTimes Health Guide: Autism Asperger's Syndrome

Partying Helps Power a Dutch Nightclub By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL, NYTimes
The dance floor at Watt harvests the energy generated by dancers and transforms it into electricity.

From a Strip of Scotch Tape, X-Rays By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes
In a tour de force of office supply physics, researchers have shown that it is possible to produce X-rays by simply unrolling Scotch tape.

Climate Campaigners Were on Terrorist List By ANDREW C. REVKIN, NYTimes
Dot Earth: Environmental activists with no criminal record find themselves tracked as possible terrorists.

India Launches Unmanned Orbiter to Moon By SOMINI SENGUPTA, NYTimes
The mission is scheduled to last for two years, in which the craft will search the lunar surface for natural resources.

The Wonders of Blood By NATALIE ANGIER, NYTimes
Essay: Even the most extravagant blood lore pales in comparison to the biochemical, evolutionary and engineering marvels of the genuine article.

The Terror and Attraction of Science, Put to Song By DENNIS OVERBYE, NYTimes
The tug of war between beauty and horror is the theme of “Doctor Atomic,” which opened last week at the Metropolitan Opera.

Deep in the Rain Forest, Stalking the Next Pandemic By ELIZABETH SVOBODA, NYTimes
Nathan Wolfe hopes his research will result in staving off global pandemics before they happen.

Man Who Set Stage for a Nobel Now Lives a Life Outside Science By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes
Douglas C. Prasher provided the essential piece that made the work that won this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry possible.
A Guiding Glow to Track What Was Once Invisible
Three Chemists Win Nobel Prize

Thursday, October 23, 2008

History Thursday 102308

Practicing Politics Just Like the Big Boys (and Girls) By SUSAN DOMINUS, NYTimes
A new documentary tracked the campaign for student union president at Stuyvesant High School, and found some seeming similarities with national politics.

Two Generals, Still Maneuvering
“Grant and Lee in War and Peace,” which opens on Friday at the New-York Historical Society, is a rejiggering of an exhibition mounted last year by the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, where it was called “Lee and Grant.” Slide Show: Grant and Lee in War and Peace

National Constitution Center: We the People Stories
Podcasts of speeches related to US History & Politics.
The Teaching Company: History
One of my favorite ways to study history is to listen to lectures from The Teaching Company. Checkout their online catalog, then order the tapes/cds/dvds from your local libary--they're great!

The History Channel: US History Videos
Checkout their online catalog, then order the tapes/dvds per historical period from your local libary--they're great!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

College Board Will Offer a New Test Next Fall

College Board Will Offer a New Test Next Fall, By SARA RIMER, NYTimes
The College Board unveiled a new test that it said would help prepare eighth graders for rigorous high school courses and college.

Its Native Tongue Facing Extinction, Arapaho Tribe Teaches the Young

Its Native Tongue Facing Extinction, Arapaho Tribe Teaches the Young, By DAN FROSCH, NYTimes
More than a half-century later, only about 200 Arapaho speakers are still alive, and tribal leaders at Wind River, Wyoming’s only Indian reservation, fear their language will not survive. As part of an intensifying effort to save that language, this tribe of 8,791, known as the Northern Arapaho, recently opened a new school where students will be taught in Arapaho. Elders and educators say they hope it will create a new generation of native speakers

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baylor and the SAT

Baylor Rewards Freshmen Who Retake SAT SARA RIMER, NYTimes
Baylor University in Waco, Tex., which has a goal of rising to the first tier of national college rankings, last June offered its admitted freshmen a $300 campus bookstore credit to retake the SAT, and $1,000 a year in merit scholarship aid for those who raised their scores by at least 50 points.

Baylor Faculty Members Condemn SAT Retaking SARA RIMER, NYTimes
Dr. Green and her colleagues in the Faculty Senate passed a motion criticizing the effort. Baylor had offered incoming freshmen a $300 credit at the campus bookstore to retake the SAT. Students who raised their scores by 50 points or more received $1,000 a year in merit scholarship aid.

Monday, October 20, 2008

In Downturn, Families Strain to Pay Tuition

In Downturn, Families Strain to Pay Tuition By JONATHAN D. GLATER, NYTimes
With the unemployment rate rising and a recession mentality gripping the country, more families are applying for federal aid for students attending college.
Times Topics: Student Loans Credit Crisis

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Lit 101908

Unsafe at Any Read By LEE SIEGEL, NYTimes The idea that great literature can improve our lives is a con as old as literature itself.

Comics by the Hernandez Brothers Reviewed by DOUGLAS WOLK, NYTimes New tales and old from the Hernandez Brothers’ ”Love and Rockets” series.

The Future of Reading: Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers By MOTOKO RICH
Publishers, authors and even libraries are embracing video games to promote books to young readers. Previous Article in the Series »

He Counts Your Words (Even Those Pronouns) By JESSICA WAPNER, NYTimes
James W. Pennebaker looks at every single word people use — even the tiny ones — and is leading a resurgent interest in text analysis.

THIS I BELIEVE: Special Feature: Tolerance

The French writer Voltaire called tolerance a “consequence of humanity” and the first law of nature. Yet some of us practice it more successfully than others. Click the links below to read how these essayists seek to exercise tolerance in their lives.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Arts

New Slide Shows from the NYTimes:

Identity by Design
More than 50 dresses are on view in “Identity by Design: Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women’s Dresses,” at the New York branch of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

A Century of Italian Art
An exhibition celebrating a century of Italian art at the Roman Colosseum

The Art of Calligraphy
Two shows on calligraphy and the Koran at the Asia Society are perfect in size and proportion, gorgeous, and worthy of the book they honor.

A Career in Portraits
The best of Elizabeth Peyton’s portraits, as seen at the New Museum, are accessible, devotional and visually alive.

African Textiles
Two new exhibitions provide insight on the history and artistry, of wax-print cloth in Africa — and on Western viewers’ relative ignorance of both.

The Work of Shepard Fairey
Shepard Fairey, a star in the world of street art, has earned a new level of mainstream attention.

In Modern China, ‘Little Kingdoms’ for the People By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF
A new exhibition offers further evidence that China has become the most fertile territory on the globe for experimentation by architects.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Science Friday 101708

The World, Up Close
The top 10 images in the Nikon International Small World Competition, which recognizes excellence in photographs taken through a microscope. Interactive Feature

Math Skills Suffer in U.S., Study Finds By SARA RIMER, NYTimes
The United States is failing to develop the math skills of both girls and boys, especially among those who could excel at the highest levels, a new study asserts, and girls who do succeed in the field are almost all immigrants or the daughters of immigrants from countries where mathematics is more highly valued.

The First Google Phone, David Pogue, NYTimes
David Pogue takes a look at the G1 from T-Mobile, the first cellphone to run Google software.

From Old Vials, New Hints on Origin of Life By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes
Researchers who have taken a second look at a classic 1953 experiment say it points to volcanoes as perhaps a more likely environment for where life originated.

Rivals’ Visions Differ on Unleashing Innovation By WILLIAM J. BROAD and CORNELIA DEAN, NYTimes
The presidential candidates’ visions for sharpening the nation’s competitive edge are strikingly different.
Graphic: Budget Impacts of Candidates’ Proposals
Previous Articles in the Series »

Fish Fossil Yields Anatomical Clues on How Animals of the Sea Made It to Land By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD, NYTimes
Scientists are finding striking evidence of the steps by which marine vertebrates evolved into land animals.

Thinking Anew About a Migratory Barrier: Roads By JIM ROBBINS, NYTimes
Scientists are coming to understand the marked changes brought by the roads that crisscross the landscape and the effects they have on wildlife.

Always a Doctor, Even in the Dying of the Light By KENNETH R. WEINBERG, M.D, NYTimes
My father took pride in keeping up with the latest in medicine, and the functions of his body were fascinating to him in a detached, scientific way.

With Little Fuel, Eco-Racers Arrive in Las Vegas By STEVE FRIESS, NYTimes
In making it from Berkeley, Calif., to Las Vegas without burning an ounce of petroleum, a duo from Oregon collected a $5,000 prize in the Escape From Berkeley race.

For U.S. Astronauts, a Russian Second Home By JOHN SCHWARTZ, NYTimes
American astronauts have developed mutual respect for their Russian counterparts during years of cooperation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

History Thursday

SparkNotes SAT US History (available through Barnes & Noble Amazon) has posted a very helpful online review. US History is presented in triple-tiered chapters, so it is easy to drill down to the details of a particular topic of a historical periond.

Below, a superior analysis of the juxtaposition of gender politics, the presidential/vicepresidential candidacy, and pop culture.
*Warning* Adult Language.

Make a Point at

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Latin: A Dead Language That’s Very Much Alive

A Dead Language That’s Very Much Alive By WINNIE HU, NYTimes

The resurgence of a language once rejected as outdated and irrelevant is reflected across the country as Latin is embraced by a new generation of students.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Popular Mechanics: 100 Skills Every Man (sic) Should Know: The Instructions (With Videos!)

100 Skills Every Man Should Know: The Instructions (With Videos!)
By The Popular Mechanics Editors

Brains and charm are fine, but a real guy (sic) needs to know how to do real stuff. After months of debate among PM’s expert editors—and a preview of 2008’s ultimate DIY list—now you can explore how to perform life’s essential skills, broken down in 10 categories for the competent man—plus 20 tools you need to own. Did we leave anything out—or included a skill you don’t think is worthy? Scroll down and click through for tips, then sound off in our chat, or take PM’s interactive DIY quiz to see how you measure up against the MythBusters and more TV know-it-alls.

Monday, October 13, 2008 The Tell-All Campus Tour

The Tell-All Campus Tour By JONATHAN DEE, NYTimes
An online start-up,, allows high-schoolers to find out what students really think about their colleges. (mp3)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Financial Crisis Hits Teens

(I'm in Portland for the day, buying books at Powell's. Check back next week for Sunday Lit. Meanwhile, check out the video below).

Video: Financial Crisis Hits Teens
Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York City offers a snapshot of how the nation's financial crisis is trickling down to teenagers.
Article: The Frugal Teenager, Ready or Not

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Arts 101108

A Man of Many Talents, Eager to Use Them All, By ALLAN KOZINN, NYTimes
Caleb Burhans is part of a new generation that doesn’t feel compelled to specialize and works easily in classical, rock and much in between. Video

Wong Kar-wai’s Phoenix Project, Rising at Last By SCARLET CHENG, NYTimes
“Ashes of Time Redux” is a martical-arts movie that took years to film and more years to restore. Trailer Filmography: Wong Kar Wai

Audubon’s Species: Bird Art, in All Its Glory By CORNELIA DEAN, NYTimes
Four new books illuminate the confluence of science, art and ornithology.
SLIDE SHOW: Beautiful Birds Naturalist drawings of birds, and photos of some of the animals’ unique nests.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Science Friday 101008

Physics of Baseball, KQED
Use this QUEST segment and Educator Guide to explore the physics behind baseball and see how one Bay Area teacher explains the connections.
Download the Educator Guide (PDF)
Discuss "corking" a bat on the QUEST Blog

Genebase Bionet: The DNA Ancestry Project
Discover your deep ancestral origins. Find out where your ancestors came from, their ethnic background, and how they have scattered throughout the world today.

SLIDE SHOW: Corals and Comet Dust, NYTimes
And more science in pictures: aspirin-making walnut trees, glass butterfly wings and catapulting fungi.

Three Chemists Win Nobel Prize By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes
One Japanese and two American scientists won this year’s prize for their work on observing cells.

Three Physicists Share Nobel Prize By DENNIS OVERBYE, NYTimes
The prize was awarded to an American and two Japanese physicists for their work exploring the hidden symmetries among elementary particles.
Times Topics: Nobel Prizes
Discoverers of AIDS and Cancer Viruses Win Nobel

Computers + Biology = Virus Detector A Conversation With Joseph Derisi By CLAUDIA DREIFUS, NYTimes
Joseph DeRisi, a molecular biologist and biochemist, helped invent the ViroChip, which accelerates the ability of researchers to diagnose viral infections.

One in 4 Mammals Threatened With Extinction, Group Finds By JAMES KANTER, NYTimes
One in four mammals is in danger of disappearing because of habitat loss, hunting and climate change, a global conservation body warned on Monday.

Video Game Helps Math Students Vanquish an Archfiend: Algebra By WINNIE HU, NYTimes
Then all action stopped as an algebra problem popped on screen: What is the slope-intercept formula for points A and B?

Butterfly counters miffed at S.F. museum, SFGate
Liam O'Brien was sitting down for dinner Sept. 27 when he flipped on the television news to see a flock of monarch butterflies...
The ultimate science and technology website with over 76,000 content pieces. Launched in 1996 and since extended to include three channels (Space, Tech and Environment), a YouTube channel, podcast series, regular vodcasts and 6 blogs, New Scientist online has over 2 million monthly unique users

Thursday, October 9, 2008

History Thursday 100908

VOANews: Nobel Peace Prize Winners Inspire Young Activists

Practicing Politics Just Like the Big Boys (and Girls) By SUSAN DOMINUS, NYTimes
A new documentary tracked the campaign for student union president at Stuyvesant High School, and found some seeming similarities with national politics.

Flickr: Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes Trial Photographs
During 1925, Watson Davis (1896-1967), Science Service managing editor, took numerous photographs while covering the State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes trial as a reporter. In what was dubbed "The Trial of the Century," Scopes was tried and convicted for violating a state law prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

At School of Finance, a Building Block Takes a Tumble

At School of Finance, a Building Block Takes a Tumble By SUSAN DOMINUS, NYTimes
Teenagers observing the markets gyrate and the government officials scramble are seeing institutions that they had every reason to trust flailing in ineptitude.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

College Loans

Counseling on Student Loans Now May Ease Pain Later By RON LIEBER, NYTimes
As of this week, hundreds of thousands of young men and women have taken their first big step on the road to financial adulthood: They’re now on the hook for their first student loan.

Marketing Code for Student Lenders By JONATHAN D. GLATER, NYTimes
The agreement was part of a settlement of claims that they misled consumers about loan terms and benefits.

Panel Proposes Broad Changes in Federal Financial Aid for College By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes
The recommendations included a simpler application, Pell grant maximums linked to the consumer price index and federally financed college savings accounts for children in low-income families.

Bank Limits Fund Access by Colleges, Inciting Fears, By SAM DILLON and KATIE ZEZIMA, NYTimes
Wachovia Bank has limited the access of nearly 1,000 colleges to $9.3 billion the bank has held for them, raising worries about meeting payrolls and other obligations.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tyranny of the Test: One year as a Kaplan coach in the public schools

Tyranny of the Test: One year as a Kaplan coach in the public schools By Jeremy Miller,Harper's Magazine
I am here because the High School for Health Careers and Sciences . . . has purchased Kaplan’s SAT Advantage program, an abbreviated version of the SAT prep course offered by the testing company at any of its 150 centers nationwide. (“Higher test scores guaranteed or your money back.”) As one of Kaplan’s roving “coaches,” I will spend the day helping math and English teachers kick off the test-taking course by modeling the “Kaplan method” for their classes...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday Lit 100508

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read!
Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. The 10 most challenged titles were:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes
4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
9. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
(Click here to see why these books were challenged.)

My Platonic Sweetheart By Mark Twain
I met her first when I was seventeen and she fifteen. It was in a dream . . .

Students Make Literacy Day One for the Books By ASHLEY SOUTHALL, NYTimes
Elementary school students on Thursday tried to set a record for the largest number of people reading the same book on the same day.

A Mass E-Mail Amy Ozols
Dear All: Before I begin, I’d like to apologize for sending a mass e-mail . . .

this i believe: Learning Is Worth Doing Every Day by John-Paul, Tacoma WA
My oldest memory is that of a set of encyclopedias in my grandmother's living room

Saturday, October 4, 2008

SAT Advice


Before the test:

  • Sleep
  • Eat breakfast
  • Bring Student ID
  • Arrive early--use the spare time to encourage yourself and your friends to do your best.


  • Read the Prompt
  • Read the Quote
  • Read the Prompt again.
  • Think for 1 minute (don't write).
  • Brainstorm. Focus, focus, focus your examples. Organize. (2 minutes)
  • Write (20 min)
  • Intro Paragraph:
  • Thesis plus preview of your examples
  • 3 body paragraphs. Topic sentence plus 3-4 sentences of concrete detail.
  • Transition between paragraphs.
  • Conclusion.
  • Fix errors and upgrade vocab (2 min).

Writing Section

  • The Fist of No Error (see sidebar)

Critical Reading

  • POE (process of elimination)

Long Passage

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)
  • Skim for information
  • Mark-up the passage as per the Questions
  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer the questions via POE