Grade 8 English Lesson 180

Today I learned how to analyze fiction.

  1. Figure out the author’s main goals
    1. Entertainment
    2. Persuasion of a worldview
    3. Understanding of human nature
    4. Creation of a fantasy world of imagination
    5. Book royalties
    6. Fame
    7. Getting even
  2. Read reviews
  3. Decide whether to write a review
  4. Select your audience
  5. Decide what would interest your audience.
  6. Read the book for pleasure.
  7. Re-read the book for analysis.
  8. Decide how long the review should be.
  9. Watch a movie based on the book.
  10. Write down the main themes.
  11. Assemble the evidence – quotations.
  12. Write a first draft.
  13. Wait at least 24 hours.
  14. Re-read your review.
  15. Edit it.
  16. Post it online.
  17. Wait for criticism.

What to conclude from this?

  1. You will learn how to analyze multiple kinds of literature.
  2. This will help you comprehend what you read.
  3. You will learn how to write persuasively.
  4. These skills are not normally taught in high-school.
  5. You will have a head start in life.
  6. You will have to work to retain your advantage.

I also had to write a 500 word essay.

Today I will write an essay on the following topic. Why Posting My Essays on My Own Blog Site Every Week Will Benefit Me in the Long Run. Posting essays on your very own blog site can benefit you in a couple ways. First of all though, it would be useless not to post your essays on your website. If you are scared of people not liking your post. As Dr. North says in the video people don’t care about you nearly as much as they care about themselves. I know, the harsh truth. However this means that if your writing bad, it makes them feel better about themselves. If it’s good you might get some people saying that they liked it. However also in the video, don’t post the link to your essay to a public forum. If you are trying to get constructive criticism then good luck with the flamers. People that honestly don’t care about giving you constructive criticism yet take the time to roast your post. If you are going to put a link on a forum, make sure those on the forum are filtered.

Now that that’s over with lets move on to the actual benefits. As mentioned in a previous essay, if I am in a job interview, I can bring up your website, there the interviewer can find my essays. If he likes them, then I am one step closer to being hired. If someone in need of someone who can write well happens to stumble upon my website website, then he might consider me. Fine the chances might be low, but there’s a chance instead of nothing. And also I understand that it all depends on how well I write. The same sorta goes with college, only the pretty good make it in (and those with the money). Anything that goes towards proving how good I am is welcome.

Another thing posting essays every week will do for me is keep my writing skills sharp. Imagine the skill of writing is like a bar. Practicing writing makes the bar go up, however, the bar goes down at a slow but steady rate. That’s writing for me. And honestly, I only do these because I have to. What these assignments do for me is make me keep my skills sharp, so that I don’t go into college writing like a ten year-old. If I keep this up, later in life I can go to my website and see if I’ve improved.

So posting essays to your blog can be useful in a number of ways. If you are afraid of what people think about your essays, then reconsider, there will always be a group of people that don’t like you. Posting essays to your blog can help earn you a job. And writing them weekly will help you keep your writing skills sharp. Thanks for reading, I hope you learned something useful.

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Grade 8 English Lesson 179

Today I learned about Utopian Literature, Part 29. Today I assessed In His Steps by Charles Sheldon.

  1. It was the first Social Gospel novel.
  2. It gave impetus to the movement.
  3. It sold millions of copies.
  4. It offered a new approach to Christians.
    1. No creeds
    2. No doctrine of Christ’s substitutionary atonement
    3. No biblical laws of conduct: steps
    4. No concept of non-Protestant Christianity
    5. No concept of church history
    6. No doctrine of the tithe
    7. Postmillennialism with no doctrine of final judgement
    8. It offered moral justification for Prohibition.
    9. It offered a doctrine of individual salvation through commitment to social action.
    10. It offered a theory of social salvation through individual sacrifice.
    11. It offered no concept of economics.
    12. It offered no theory of sobriety.

What to conclude from this?

  1. It had great influence until 1933: the repeal of Prohibition.
  2. It indicated that prohibition was a liberal cause: theologically and Politically.
  3. The Social Gospel denominations have shrunk since 1960.

I also had to write a 100 word essay.

Today I will write an essay on the following topic. How should church members have tried to find out what Jesus would have done in their situations? They should have read the Bible. In this book, everyone doesn’t think twice after they think they know what Jesus would do. There are many guidelines in the Bible, many things that would change what they did. They just though asking the question, “What would Jesus do?” would be sufficient. It’s not though because, really when they asked themselves, “What would Jesus do?” they’re just doing what’s right in their own eyes. A phrase in the Bible used to describe sin. Jesus never owned a newspaper shop so what did Roland, the newspaper editor base his decision on? Whatever he felt was right. Even if what we’re thinking of doing is right, we still must check with the Bible.

Grade 8 English Lesson 178

Today I learned about Utopian Literature, Part 28. Today I read In His Steps chapters 29-31 of section 13. In the twenty-ninth chapter he talks about.

  1. A poor man gets shot for stealing coal – no details about who shot him or where.
  2. The tenement just happens to be owned by a church member.
  3. The man has been guilt ridden; he had taken the WWJD? pledge
  4. He had experienced a waking vision: Christ pointing a finger at him.
  5. The story of Penrose ends – no specifics.
  6. Felicia finds true love with a settlement worker.
  7. Maxwell and other church members visit.

In the thirtieth chapter he talks about.

  1. Maxwell preaches to the group.
  2. About 20 to 30 men respond.
  3. The men are invited to speak: 3 minutes.
    1. The first is an unemployed typesetter.
    2. The second is an old man, unemployed.
    3. The third is a socialist.
    4. The fourth was a single-tax promoter: land.
    5. The fifth was a union member.
  4. The meeting closed with Rachel’s singing.
  5. The socialist cried.
  6. The unemployed man forgot his plight
  7. The critic of the churches relented.

In the thirty-first chapter he talks about.

  1. Maxwell next preaches to a large church.
  2. Members had heard of the Raymond movement.
  3. What would Jesus do about…
    1. The saloons
    2. The unemployed
    3. Low pay for young women
  4. Lots of people took the pledge.
  5. We get summaries of the lives of characters in the book: winners and loser.
  6. He had a vision of the redeemed churches of America.

What to conclude from this?

  1. All’s well that ends well.
  2. What would Jesus do about…
    1. Really bad writing.
    2. Really bad editing
    3. Copyright laws

Grade 8 English Lesson 177

Today I learned about Utopian Literature, Part 27. Today I read In His Steps chapters 27-28 of section 12. In the twenty-seventh chapter he talks about.

  1.  The Bishop gets mugged.
  2. One mugger recognizes his voice.
  3. The Bishop had helped him years before.
  4. He is still an alcoholic.
  5. The Bishop offers him a job.

In the twenty-eighth chapter he talks about.

  1. The man is sweeping the front steps.
  2. He is tempted by the local saloon.
  3. The Bishop grabs his arm.
  4. He tells the man to pray.
  5. The saloon’s building is owned by a member.
  6. The church member is tormented with guilt.
  7. The lease expired in a month.
  8. The owner hands it over to the settlement.
  9. They turn it over to Felicia.
  10. She teaches local girls how to cook and become servants.
  11. Her program success.
  12. The winter is cold.
  13. Churches, voluntary groups, and the government donate clothes, food and money.

What to conclude from this?

  1. The mugger just happens to remember the Bishop.
  2. The Bishop gives him a job close to the saloon.
  3. The Bishop pulls him back from temptation.
  4. We never hear about the man again.
  5. The saloon’s building just happens to belong to a church member.
  6. The building is his #1 investment.
  7. The lease just happens to run out.
  8. He gives it to the settlement, which gives it to Felicia.
  9. Felicia accomplishes great things with it.
  10. The rich donate money, not their time.

Grade 8 English Lesson 176

Today I learned about Utopian Literature, Part 26. Today I read In His Steps chapters 24-26 of section 11. In the twenty fourth chapter he talks about.

  1. Rev. Bruce and the Bishop are at the Sterlings’
  2. Mrs. Sterling had died of shock.
  3. Mr. Sterling had gone bankrupt.
  4. He had been a mere speculator.
  5. Rose went into shock – nearly paralyzed.
  6. Felicia started making plans.
  7. They moved in with the Winslows.
  8. Felicia did not know how to work.
  9. She became a household cook.
  10. Rose brooded.
  11. Her aunt now changed her mind: Felicia should not do “common work” forever.
  12. She may become a teacher to the poor.

In the twenty-fifth chapter he talks about.

  1. Rev. Bruce decides to help the poor.
  2. The Bishop makes a confession.
  3. They decide to set up a settlement house.
  4. They rented a former brewery warehouse.

In the twenty-sixth chapter he talks about.

  1. Rev. Bruce resigns from the church.
  2. The Bishop resigned.
  3. This gets publicity.
  4. They meet Felicia in the slum.
  5. She has come to serve.

What to conclude from this?

  1. Sheldon did not understand the economic functions of speculation.
  2. He though of work as physical.
  3. Writing is mental.
  4. The redemption of the poor requires a sacrificial lifestyle by the well-off.

Grade 8 English Lesson 175

Today I learned about Utopian Literature, Part 25. Today was a review of parts 21-24. I also had to write a 500 word essay.

Today I will write an essay on the following topic. What should Virginia have done before giving editor Norman $500,000? If you are familiar with the past lessons you know that Virginia gave Norman $500,000 so he could put his “plan” into action. Obviously you don’t just hand out $500,000 out if you have any sense. Of course Virginia doesn’t have any sense and doesn’t think twice before handing it over. Because the book is all about sacrifice what I’m about to say is going to sound really selfish. The first thing you think about when handing over money is if it’s worth it, are you getting the money back, are you getting your money’s worth? She’s definitely not getting her money back, she’s only funding the newspaper until her money runs out. The first thing she should have done was ask if she was going to get her money back.

Another thing she should have done was consider if she was actually helping him. Like the government, giving him money makes him not care about actually making money. Giving someone money also results in them being useless with it. It’s not their hard earned money, so they aren’t as reluctant to spend it. Norman’s not saying, “I just need a boost, I’ll return it as soon as I can” he’s talking about a plan to start a Christian (social gospel) newspaper with a bunch of money. However much she wanted a social gospel newspaper, she didn’t even pause to think if giving him money would do that. Then she would have come to the conclusion that giving him money was not the way to go. However it does work because Sheldon, the author, had no financial sense, and wanted it to work.

Third she should have considered what other better things she could do with that money. Paying Norman to produce a social gospel newspaper that only social gospel Christians will read is not effective at converting people (lucky us). She could help lower-class people learn skills that help them get along in the world. Of course she wouldn’t do that because she feels Jesus definitely wouldn’t help the poor. Or because the people in this book’s idea of sacrifice is skipping their vacation. Just think of all the people you could help with $500,000. You could buy hearing aids for editor Norman so that he listens to that guy who warned him of bankruptcy. You could pay for Rachel to have brain surgery so that she has financial sense. And you could entirely remove Rev. Maxwell’s brain so that he stops making people take the pledge. But no, those are all wastes of money.

If Virginia had any sense, those would be the things she would do before forking over the money to Norman. Unfortunately, she doesn’t do those things, (God help her soul). The best way to learn about this book is to not read it, and listen to Dr. North’s accurate remarks. I still have to read it though, so wish me good luck.

Grade 8 English Lesson 173

Today I learned about Utopian Literature, Part 23. Today I read In His Steps chapters 18-20 of section 8. In the eighteenth chapter he talks about.

  1. Virginia studies London slums and Arnold Toynbee’s writings.
  2. Rollin is involved with his club.
  3. He talks with Rachel about his ministry.
  4. She re-evaluates him.
  5. Rev. Maxwell oversees the building project.
  6. But nothing had changed in the Rectangle.
  7. The anniversary of the pledge was approaching.

In the nineteenth chapter he talks about.

  1. Letter from Rev. Calvin Bruce, D.D., to Rev. Philip Caxton, D.D.
    1. A major change in the novel
    2. Same style as the rest of the novel
    3. Topic: Raymond church’s pledge
  2. The church has divided: pledge-takers and non-plege-takers.
    1. Some have left the church
    2. Others tried to get Maxwell fired.
  3. Maxwell is a changed man.
  4. The railroad was not prosecuted by the I.C.C., but is rumored to be bankrupt.
  5. The newspaper is a huge success.

In the twentieth chapter he talks about.

  1. The letter goes on.
  2. Church members have not given away their wealth.
  3. Some businessmen have lost money.
  4. Some workers have lost their jobs.
  5. Church members have given them aid.
  6. Now, the real reason for the letter:

What to conclude from this?

  1. The letter is a rhetorical device.
    1. Describes Sheldon’s hopes
    2. Avoids issues of institutional cause and affect
  2. The writer is facing a moment of truth: whether to preach the message.
  3. The imagery of the sun: new dawn