Category Archives: THE CLASS IN GENERAL


Dear Periods 4 and 7:

At the beginning of quarter 2, you will officially join the “Rabbits and Cheshire Cats” blog.

Please go to this link to find all weekly entries.

Grade Changes for Periods 4 and 7 starting in quarter 2:

  • C = 2
  • B = 3
  • A = 4
  • A+ = 5+


  • ONLY do the entries that include Periods 4 and 7
  • You will no longer need to use the “Pass the Conch” blog
  • All comments must be left on the “Rabbits and Cheshire Cats” blog


Set-Up: During our “Last Friday” advisory meetings this week, we finally had a chance to consider the summer reading:  Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Challenge: I’m curious about what you see as valuable/useful about Carnegie’s ideas and examples.

  • Pick at least 1 idea from the text.
  • Explain how it may be relevant to your current and future life.

Length: 5+ sentences.

Note: For anyone in Mr. Long’s advisory, feel free to comment on the Skype video chat we had Friday morning with Megan Hustad, the author of How to Be Useful:  A Beginner’s Guide to Not Hating Work.  I’d love to hear what you thought before the weekend is over.

BTW: I’m hoping to ‘bring’ her to class in the coming weeks to talk about the writing/editing process, so your responses might give the rest of my 10th graders a hint of what she’s about and why it was worth talking with her today.  Oh, and here’s the link to her blog, in case you’re curious (wink, wink; nudge, nudge).


I’m impressed by the subtle improvement in both periods 4 & 7.

Additionally, because I will be assigning your first major essay this Friday with the expectation that you’ll be working over the weekend on a partial draft, I have decided to ‘cancel’ all blog posts this week.

Note: Please go to Edline to see the words for the next vocab quiz (on Tues, Sept. 23).

Enjoy the break. See you next Monday when Week 6 will begin.



This is NOT a blog entry to ‘respond to’ for credit for Monday.

This is an assignment in addition to the weekly blog entries.

Due: next Wednesday (9/17)


  1. Required: Start your own Google Docs account (which you can start here for free). You can either use a Gmail email account (which you can start for here for free also) or any other email address you may already have. Let me know if you have trouble getting your GDs account started. We’ll figure it out together.
  2. Optional: If you haven’t watched the short video on the start page, watch it now.
  3. Required: Send me an email — — telling me that you’ve successfully started your Google Docs account. This will also be the email address you’ll always use to ‘invite’ me to read and comment on all of your Google Docs essays this year.
  4. Optional: Consider keeping an eye on the “Official Google Docs Blog” to learn some cool tricks and ideas that may help you using GDs in all of your classes.  And if you find out anything interesting, tell us about it.
  5. Optional: If you want, you can create a “new” document and send me an invitation to “read” or “collaborate” (i.e. comment/edit) to see how it works; look under “Share” in the upper right of any document you’ve created or uploaded. Note: If you do this, make sure you unclick these 2 options: a) “Collaborators may invite others” and b) “Invitations may be used by anyone” so that you can be assured that ONLY the person/people you invite have access to this specific document.

Explanation: Starting next week, we’ll start using Google Docs on a regular basis. The purpose is to:

  • give you a way to submit papers to me digitally/on-line (as well as turning in paper copies)
  • give me a way to leave comments ‘inside’ your paper
  • give you a way to easily revise formal essays and send updates to me
  • give you/I a way to review all of your old essays throughout the year


All students in periods 4 and 7 are allowed to do “W3, #3: FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE A BIG DEAL” during Week #4 for credit.

Note: this is the one where you re-type your in-class essay introduction, identify key things you should improve, and consider revising it.

Why the optional extension?

Since I collected everybody’s hand-written in-class essay on Thursday — and not everyone has a photocopy with them (Mr. Long’s fault) — it would be impossible for everyone to do this entry by Monday @ 8:30am. I will make sure that everyone has a copy to take home on Monday if they do not already have it.

Thanks to the students who let me know about this on Friday. Glad we can find a decent solution together.


Set-Up: It is quite possible that you’ve heard something from last year’s students — accurate or not — about:

  • this class in general
  • the work we’ll do this year
  • the books we’ll read/analyze
  • the writing assignments
  • what it takes to be successful overall
  • even a bit about “that teacher guy” up in front of the room

At the same time, you may be entering this class with zero assumptions. Either way, you undoubtedly have at least one question you’d like to ask as you prepare to start the year.

Challenge: Write one question you want to ask Mr. Long or one ‘rumor’ you’ve heard about the class.

Length: Follow this question/rumor up with 4+ sentences as to why you want to know the answer. You may add anything else that may be on your mind as long as it helps me come to know you a bit.

Hint: Other than the obvious choice to be ‘appropriate’, there is no limit as to what you can ask or share here. Whatever helps you get your footing in this class so that you can be successful over time — or just have a curiosity answered — is the key to this entry.