Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hail Hydra!

This is a test.  This is only a test.

O.K., students, I know you'll have to ask your teacher what this thing is.  You young teachers out there, I know you'll have to ask the, um, teachers with more life experience what this is.

Ah, the good old days when you only have four TV stations to choose from...

Anyway, the forces of evil have now taken over and it is time to test! (And I've run out of questions.) If you need some last minute tips, try here:

Otherwise, I'll leave you with one last question:

In Marvel comics, the oath that all Hydra agents take is:

"Hail, Hydra! Immortal Hydra! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place! We serve none but the Master—as the world shall soon serve us! Hail Hydra!"

What literary term is being used here?
a. metaphor
b. allusion
c. archetype
d. hyperbole

Scroll down for the answer.

The answer is b. allusion.  It is a reference to the Greek myth of the hydra monster that Hercules fought.  Don't know your Greek myths?  Get on that this summer.  Not only are they fun to read, but mythology is fair game for allusions on any state test, the SAT, and the ACT.

Good luck!

Teachers, give any student extra credit if they shouted out "Hail Hydra!" when they saw the Hydra logo.

Monday, June 5, 2017

When You Wish upon a Star

Look at the picture below:

What literary term is this an example of?

a. personification
b. alliteration
c. pun
d. irony

Scroll down for the answer.


c. is the correct answer.  A pun is a play on words and this is a play on "Once upon a time."

Thanks to http://thatspunny.blogspot.com/ for the picture.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Just Imagine the Count from Sesame Street When You Read This One.

Read the following passage:

In All Quiet on the Western Front, the company commander is counting how many men are left in the Second Company; "he ceases at thirty-two" men. And has a long pause before asking "anyone else?" 

What kind of tone is Remarque using in this?

a. happy

b. angry
c. confused

d. shocked

Scroll down for the answer


a) incorrect; because a lot of men died; that's not happy

b) incorrect; because you can't really be angry at dead people for not being there. But you could be angry at the people who killed them.
c) incorrect; because you know that people died; there's no reason to be confused
d) correct; because the commander was expecting a lot more. Many died in battle.

Thanks to Jacob and Nick from Mrs. Stamey's class for this question.  This one really had me stumped.  I thought he ceased at 32 because he couldn't count any higher.  You know, maybe he was a State grad or something.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

We All Make Mistakes from Time to Time

Read the following excerpt from Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

“The accused looks down at the floor. Then he answers in a low voice, 'I was afraid, I was afraid. I never meant to shoot him.'”

How is the above mentioned character portrayed in this passage?

A. angry for being questioned
B. hopeful he will be acquitted
C. nervous about the outcome of the trial
D. excited to speak to a judge

Scroll down for the answer.


Answer- C. The character looks at the ground while speaking, and then speaks very quietly.

Thanks, Maggie from Ms. Stamey's class.  You know, with a little bleach and planning, he wouldn't have to be standing before a judge.  Oh well.  Some people just don't think ahead.

From Maggie

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I think I taught this kid...

From this excerpt from the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen 

Garret was a D student, but he was popular in school because he goofed around in class and made fart noises whenever a teacher called him out. Garret was the king of fart noises at Trace Middle. He was most famous for farting the first line of the Pledge of Allegiance during homeroom. And Garret's mother was a guidance counselor at Trace.

Which figurative of speech is it using?

A) Simile 
B) Personification 
C) Irony
D) Metaphor 

Scroll down for the answer.


The answer is c. Irony because Garret was famous at his school for being uncivil and inappropriate, but his mother is a counselor at his school, and her position was to make sure students act civilized and appropriate.

Thanks to Lin for the question!  She is a bright and wonderful student who would never, EVER fart out the Pledge because she is quite proper.

As an added bonus, I'm betting the author of this book chose to use owls for the center of his environmental novel because as a child he was subjected to the Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute ad campaign of the late 1970s.  Warning - watch at your own risk.  When you see the quality programming my generation had as kids, you'll understand why we always went outside to play instead of staying indoors all the time like you kids do.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

It's Alive! It's Alive!

Read the following passage taken from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:

It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.

The author wrote these words for a purpose.  What is the most likely reason she wrote the opening to chapter 5 this way?

a. to foreshadow the monster's coming to life
b. to set the mood
c. to demonstrate verbal irony
d. to create an allusion to one of her earlier works

Scroll down for the answer.

a. is incorrect.  The monster is already coming to life.  Foreshadowing hints at what will happen later.
b. is correct.  She is trying to set your mood with words like, "dreary," "anxiety," and "dismally."  What other words can you find that set the mood here?
c. is incorrect.  Verbal irony is when something is said that is not meant.  Nothing is said in this passage.
d. is incorrect.  Not only has she not written anything before this, there is no reference to anything else.


Friday, May 26, 2017

However, It's a Loud Party Everyday on the Eastern Front

Read this passage from All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

“Wearily I stand up and look out the window. Then I take one of the books, intending to read, and turn over the leaves. But I put it away and take out another. There are passages in it that have been marked. I look, turn over the pages, take up fresh books. Already they are piled up beside me. Speedily more join the heap, papers, magazines, letters.
    I stand there dumb. As before a judge.
    Words, Words, Words- they do not reach me.
    Slowly I place the books back in the shelves.
    Quietly, I go out of the room.”

What is Remarque’s purpose for using repetition of “Words, Words, Words?”

A. Speaker wants to demonstrate his poetic prowess
B. Speaker’s mindset is joyful because he gets to read again
C. Speaker is bored as he’s stuck in his room
D. Speaker is frustrated that he cannot find what he is searching for amongst his books

Scroll down for the answer.


Answer- D- The speaker is hastily picking up book after book to find something. Words like wearily and dejected demonstrate his negative state of mind. Option C does suggest negativity, but because he is frantically jumping from one book to the next, Option D’s suggest of searching for an unknown entity is the best option.

Thanks to Lydia and Kris, two extremely bright students from Mrs. Stamey's class that I am sure will get a scholarship to UNC someday.