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      American Dream Paper

      Rubric here.

      American Dream Essay


                      This 5 paragraph essay will give you the opportunity to discuss how the American Dream is portrayed in the stories we have read so far this year.  Some materials that would be exceptionally good are: Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, Winter Dreams, and the poets of the Harlem Renaissance.  There are lots of other things we have read that would also be acceptable for this paper.  This paper will serve multiple purposes.  You will demonstrate understanding of the literary concept of the American Dream and the stories themselves.  You will show understanding of proper research paper conventions.  You will show your understanding of proper grammar, spelling and writing conventions.  Information about the five paragraph essay has been covered before, and all of that information can be found on the website.




      Demonstrates understanding of the theme of the American Dream_____/15

      Demonstrates understanding of proper 5 paragraph essay form_____/10

      Demonstrates proper langue conventions for a paper (no writing crutches) _____/5





      Punctuation/Capitalization  _____/5

      Sentence structure_____/5

      Paragraph structure and proper title format _____/5


      Typing bonus/Late deduction      _____


      Total:   _____/50






      Cool graphics about wealth, click here.


      One of my favorite writer, John Scalzi, on being poor.


      A smart man, Paul Krugman, talking about the war on the poor in this country.



      The Great Gatsby



      Where have I seen that guy before?  Click here

      Get the worksheet here.



      Explicit:  What you are told directly

      Implicit:  What you can imply from what you are told

      Washington Crossing the Deleware


      Supermodel by Jill Sobule

      Jill Sobule Supermodel Lyrics

      I don't care what my teachers say
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel
      Everyone is gonna dress like me, wait and see
      When I'm a Supermodel
      And my hair will shine like the sea
      And everyone will wanna look just like me, me

      Cause I'm young and I'm hip and so beautiful
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel
      I'm young and I'm hip - so beautiful
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel

      I wish that I was like Tori Spelling
      With a car like hers and a dad like hers
      And I would show them how, how it was done
      That'd be fun, that'd be fun

      And I'd write my school report
      on why I love my jeans, why I love my jeans
      And open my locker door
      It's the coolest thing that you've ever seen

      Cause I'm young and I'm hip - so beautiful
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel
      I'm young and I'm hip - so beautiful
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel

      (I didn't eat yesterday, and I'm not gonna eat today,
      and I'm not gonna eat tomorrow - cause I'm gonna be a Supermodel)

      So beautiful, beautiful
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel
      I'm young and I'm hip - so beautiful, beautiful
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel
      I'm young and I'm hip - so beautiful, beautiful
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel
      I'm young and I'm hip - so beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel

      Cause I'm young and I'm hip - so beautiful, beautiful
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel
      I'm gonna be a Supermodel .... etc.
      Poem:  Beauty by Drew Richardson

      Sometimes beauty fades at my approach

      Delight turns to despair

      A gift of potential love and desire

      Vanish in the air


      Beauty sometimes breaks my heart

      With a smile, a wink, a nod

      It disappears as fast as it comes

      And laughs in my face


      True beauty lasts

      It lingers and stays forever

      If you are lucky




      Declaration of Independance

      Your task will be to mimic the Declaration of Independance by declaring your independace from something.  It can be very serious, like the one we read from Stanton, or the one I wrote below, or it can be silly and frivilous.  I was going to write about declaring my independace from my fat belly, but did not have time this weekend. 

      Your paper does not have to be particularly close to the original, but should be a recognizable satire.  It should use parallel structure in its list of grievances, and also internally, as we learned from the worksheets last week. 


      Original Declaration


      Declaration of Independence from the Teaching Profession


      When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one man to dissolve the occupational bands which have connected them with another, to assume the station to which the Laws of nature entitle him, a decent respect to the opinions of his colleagues requires that he should declare the causes which impel him to the separation.


      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all teachers are not created equal, but are endowed by their colleges and through their experience with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Autonomy, Trust, and the pursuit of Learning.  To secure these rights, governing bodies are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the experience of the governed.  Whenever any form of government becomes destructive to those educators, it is the right of the educator to abolish it.  When a long train of abuses and usurpations reduce them to despotism and corporate control, it is their duty to throw off such government.  The history of the present governing body is a history of repeated injuries and the tyranny of the policies of the states and nation.  To prove this, let the facts be submitted to a candid world.


      They have eliminated the basic prestige of the teaching profession, creating an attitude of hatred and mistrust towards it.


      They have held down salaries for the profession, in an attempt to minimize the value of the profession to a world that values only money.


      They have added duty after duty to the profession, taking away time better spent preparing classroom lessons than doing paperwork and preparing assessments.


      They have created an unfair system of evaluations where teachers are judged based on several things that are not completely within their control.  Student test scores, student attendance, and student preparedness all effect teacher evaluations, yet, a teacher can have very little effect on those items.


      They have designed a system that will discourage teachers from staying in the profession for the long term.  Low pay, unreasonable expectations, and minimal respect will drive talented young teachers from the profession until a vacuum is created that can only be filled with underqualified, underprepared, and undermotivated candidates.


      They have allowed teaching positions in needy districts to be filled with temporary, less-qualified teachers who work for very little money.  Therefore those impoverished districts get less help and support, rather than more money for more qualified teachers.  Then when those districts underperform, it perpetuates the myth that public schools do not function. 


      In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for mercy in the most humble terms.  Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.  We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.  We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common experience to disavow these un-American attitudes.  They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and only hear the voices of their corporate masters. We must, therefore, announce our separation, rise up as a profession, and refuse to submit to these unconscionable laws any longer.


      Roanoke Island