Grade 8 English Lesson 84

Today I learned about Twain, Part 4. Chapter 15

  1. Measles: a killer disease in 1845
  2. He describes his attempt to get close to a friend who had measles.

Chapter 16

  1. He received a letter from a woman he had known briefly five decades earlier.
  2. He had known her when he worked on a river boat.

Chapter 17

  1. He describes his older brother, who was a newspaperman who never prospered.
  2. He ends the chapter with the incident where Orion went into the family’s former house, by mistake.

Chapter 18

  1. His father died.
  2. His brother Orion supported them.

Chapter 19

  1. A practical joke: watermelon dropping
  2. Retaliation: a rock in the head
  3. He goes to work for his brother, Orion.
  4. He goes to New York City at age 18.
  5. He hops around from city to city.

What to conclude from this?

  1. Measles and the fear of death
  2. Near-death: great enjoyment
  3. A sweetheart long ago writes him a letter.
  4. His brother Orion: a manic-depressive
  5. His father died: poverty returned.
  6. His apprenticeship begins: room, board, and the promise of two suits a year.
  7. He works for his brother.
  8. He goes east.
  9. He returns to work for his brother.
  10. Then he went to Nevada: 1862/63
  11. Then he went to California.

Grade 9 English Lesson 83

Today I learned about Twain, Part 3. Forget it, now he’s giving brief descriptions of each chapter. Chapter 12

  1. He describes minstrel shows, which were popular for at least 35 years.
  2. Church members did not attend–a fact, if universal, is not mentioned in the accounts of these shows.

Chapter 13

  1. Twain’s encounter with phrenology

Chapter 14

  1. Letters from strangers, who talk about their mutual boyhood.
  2. One person did remember, and he mentioned the name of a boy with a unique talent.
  3. He told the story of a man who failed to marry his love, and who departed.

What to conclude from this?

  1. Twain’s account of minstrel shows reminds us of an entertainment from long gone.
  2. His mother’s enjoyment was central to his account.
  3. His account of phrenology is the opposite: a popular entertainment disguised as a science.
  4. His reminiscences were an old man’s reminiscences: interesting mainly to him.

Grade 9 English Lesson 82

Today I learned about Twain, Part 2. I suppose I will put the conclusions here just so that I say something though.

  1. He laments the “photographs of the mind” that are lost.
  2. He early equated an answer to prayer as successful theft.
  3. He justified his loss of faith as morality-based: trying to get something out of it.
  4. He was haunted by guilt at night: “never quite right in the mind.”
  5. This did not change his behavior during the day.
  6. He attributed this to all humanity.
  7. He said he had faith in the staying power of lies.

Grade 9 English Lesson 81

Today I learned about Mark Twain’s autobiography, Lesson 1. Mark Twain’s Autobiography was published in 1907. However it was published in the form of articles in The North American Review from 1904-1906.

  1. Not too detailed
  2. No observable structure on the book
  3. Masterful descriptions of events
  4. Insights into how the world

Each chapter is literally two pages long and the font size is pretty big, so I won’t be reviewing each chapter since the original does it best.

Grade 9 English Lesson 80

Today I assessed Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. I also had to write a 500 word essay.



Today I will write an essay on the following topic. Why do you think Plunkitt was so open about how he made his money? Well I have several reasons why I think he was so open about it.

One of the reasons why I think he was so open about how he made his money was because he wanted to show people that he was making money legitimately. In the book he talks about honest graft and dishonest graft. This I think was to help clear up the topic of politicians making money in office. Honest graft is when someone pursues the public interests and their own interests at the same time. Basically it’s legitimate when someone serves the public’s needs and makes money off of it the same time. However in the book he also describes dishonest graft. This is when someone takes from the public treasury for his own good or accepts bribes for making certain public decisions. Plunkitt gets straight to business as his first chapter talks about honest and dishonest graft.

Another reason why he was so open might be that he was maybe giving some advice to readers. I think so because in the rest of the book he gives some good advice. Like with learning human nature. He doesn’t seem afraid to share the tips that made him great. It think this builds on the first reason. He’s showing people how to make money honestly, and telling them not to make it dishonestly.

And the last reason I can come up with is that he is just sticking to his practice of being truthful and honest with people. He talks about this in chapter 8, “Ingratitude in Politics.” He passes on Richard Croker’s message, that sticking to your friends and telling the truth is the political leader’s stock in trade. I think that’s why he’s willing to give up his secrets and even how he makes his money. So I’m saying that he’s just trying to be honest and to tell the truth with people.

This essay was a tab bit hard because of the fact that this book was ghost written by Riorden. Riorden does a great job at writing like Plunkitt spoke, but didn’t write what Plunkitt would write. Honestly I had to listen to Dr. North to know which parts were accurate to Plunkitt and which parts were totally Riorden. So I’m sorta going by what I know here. But there are my reasons for why Plunkitt was so open about how he made his money. Thanks for reading.

Grade 9 English Lesson 79

Today I learned about Plunkitt, Part 9. Chapter 21: Concerning Excise

Plunkitt talks about about excise, a tax which is imposed on a certain good.

Chapter 22: A Parting Word on the Future of the Democratic Party in America

Plunkitt talks about the future of the Democratic Party in America. Yup pretty self explanitory.

Chapter 23: Strenuous Life of the Tammany District Leader

Let me let the book speak for itself:

“The life of the Tammany district leader is strenuous. To his work is
due the wonderful recuperative power of the organization.”

What to conclude from this?

  1. Excise taxes on liquor are unfair: plunder.
  2. All beverages should be taxed: milk (rural).
  3. Cheap liquor is dangerous: tenements.
  4. The Democratic Party should come out against Civil Service.
  5. Ideas do not have consequences in politics.
  6. What matters: taking care of your constituents.

Grade 9 Business Lesson 180

Today ended the grade 9 business course. Gary North posted a motivational speech by Denzel Washington. It was really entertaining and true. I recommend you watch it too. Otherwise he also added some comments. If you’re gonna get a job, get one in which robots will not displace you. And if you’re looking for a career which has a high demand, go into water treatment.