+ Thoughts on (500) Days of Summer from the writers and director – a short piece that sheds a little light on the film’s creation.
+ Production Notes from the back of the published screenplay. For this one, it helps if you’ve seen the movie twice, especially if you’re going to eventually write about the film.
Welcome to the blog! Please make sure you bookmark this site, as well as the AUSD Portal (where you’ll log in before posting), before Wednesday's classes begin. (Don’t worry about logging in yet. You’ll only need to log in through the AUSD Portal when it’s time to begin posting publicly on the blog next week.)
If you’re a Search for Human Potential student who lost his/her syllabus, you can find a replacement here. If you're a SDAIE student in the same situation, you can find a replacement here.
Once you’ve read your syllabus, please remember to access the information and parent-signature form here. This includes electronic signatures from you and your parents/guardians acknowledging that you’ve each read the syllabus; you won’t need to print anything else out.
You’ll submit virtually every assignment you finish this semester to this class’s Turnitin.com section. Turnitin also controls the master list of student e-mails for the class, so whenever I need to send an update to all students – let’s say I need to delay a quiz by a day, for example – I’ll be using their program. It’s critical that you a) sign up for the section after your first day of class and b) have an e-mail address associated with your Turnitin account that you actually check; you’ll miss out on updates otherwise, and trust me – you don’t want that to happen!
You need a Course ID and password in order to enroll in the class. For Search for Human Potential, the Course ID is 6840568, and the case-sensitive password is B2B2. For SDAIE, the Course ID is 6859642, and the case-sensitive password is also B2B2.
Once you’re in, you’ll be able to see a list of assignments we’ll complete this semester. It’s somewhat subject to change, but this should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect this semester from a work standpoint, and it’s impossible to forget when something’s due, let alone whether anything is: Just sign into your Turnitin profile and check the assignment list!
This should help you keep track of your responsibilities and commitments throughout senior year, which will probably be pretty busy for most of you. Always plan ahead!
I’ve gone over this a little in class, but I want you to have this in writing as well.
Depending on your schedule this year, your time commitments will range from “manageable” to “challenging.” I put a lot of time and effort into doing my job well, and understand that a) it isn’t always easy to do what I need you to do and b) that I’m not the only person in your life making such requests. That’s why I allow all students to take up to four (4) extensions on assignments and projects per semester.
Here’s how you apply for one:
Plan ahead. You have a list of due dates ready to go in this class, and other teachers may provide you with similar setups if you ask nicely. Moreover, most extracurricular activities adhere to strict schedules for competitions, recitals, and performances – you’ll have that information as well. You must apply for an extension no later than 48 hours prior to the assignment’s due date. At the beginning of each week, make sure you have a pretty good idea of what you’ll need to take care of by the following weekend. Keep all of those plates spinning!
Justify your need. Don’t just ask me for extra time for the heck of it. Show me a) that you have an unavoidable conflict between this class and some other obligation; b) how your work would be unacceptable if I rejected your application and collected it from you on the intended due date anyway; and c) how your work would benefit from a specific amount of extra time (up to seven days).
An application should not look like:
Dear Mr. Feraco,
I’m really busy this week and I don’t think I can finish tomorrow night’s blog on time. Can I have an extension?
An application should look like:
Dear Mr. Feraco,
After we went over this week’s blog during Monday’s class, I started planning to do something pretty unique with my response. I know my grandmother’s lived through a scenario similar to what you described, and I wanted to get her take on things and weave her quotes into my writing. Moreover, because that happened to my grandmother before my mother was born, I wanted to ask my mother some questions about her perspective on the effects that experience had on our family history since. My mom really liked the questions, but she has a lot to say, and she wants to write down her answers. She won’t have time until this weekend, which also happens to be when we’re visiting my grandmother. I want to have enough time to reflect on their responses, then write mine; I think I can do something really interesting with this week’s work, but there’s no way I can do all of that by 11:59pm Thursday. May I please submit my blog by 11:59pm next Tuesday instead?
Provided you follow the guidelines, I almost never reject an application for an extension.
Note that the extension isn’t meant to be a last-minute Hail Mary. It’s a failsafe, a tool in your toolbox that can be very beneficial to you if you have the discipline and foresight to use it correctly in advance.
Some frequently asked questions:
1. Can I receive extensions on test dates?
Tests are not eligible for extensions. If you miss a test for some reason – and I tend to have very good attendance on my test days – you will have one opportunity to take the test: at 7am on the first school day following the test.
You have received a list of test dates for the semester, so make sure you don’t plan anything (say, a college visit) that interferes with those specific sessions.
2. Can groupwork be extended?
Yes – with the caveat that everyone in the group must have an extension available, as an extension on a multi-student assignment counts for every student involved in the work (whether they’re done with their portion of the work or not). If group members have already used their allotted four extensions, that group cannot receive extra time.
3. Can I use an extension on the Artium Magister (the final project)?
Almost never. You need to have a very compelling reason for submitting that particular project after the due date, as it’s critical to your grade and I need to have enough time to evaluate your work properly before grades are due. Moreover, if you do need the extra time, you need to apply for the extension before Winter Break begins – and you need to bring me evidence of the work you’ve already done on the project. (Last year, one student’s artistic portion of the project involved eight oil paintings, some of which weren’t drying properly enough to allow her to continue on the paintings’ next stages. She sent me photographs of the work in progress, and it was easy for me to grant her enough time to finish – I wanted to see how they’d turn out!)
4. Can I just save up all of my extensions and use them on a single project, which will basically prevent you from ever collecting it?
5. Can I sell or trade my extensions to other students if I don’t plan to use them?
That’s kind of brilliant and potentially profitable…so no.
The first assignment for all students, Great Expectations, can be accessed here.
Take what I said in today’s class about the work you can do in this course seriously. Choose a creative format that works for you – write it like a letter, or a speech, or a lesson – and show me your absolute best effort. Knock my socks off on the first go-round! Start tonight; finish later.
The official due date is 11:59pm on Friday, August 30th. As per the usual, you will only submit your work to Turnitin.com – no need for a hard copy!
Please remember to upload your documents in a Turnitin-approved format (.doc, .docx, .rtf, .odt). Please avoid submitting work to Turnitin via copy-and-paste; doing so strips your assignment of MLA formatting, paragraph breaks, and so on.
Finally, when submitting work in this class via Turnitin, you’ll need an MLA-formatted header. (No headers are necessary on posts submitted directly to the blog.) Your header will always appear in the upper left corner of your page. It looks exactly like this:
First Name Last Name
SFHP – Period
27 August 2013
Notice that you do not use an honorific (Mr.) with my name; that there’s a space before and after the dash in the third line; that you’ll fill in your period number yourself; and that the date is written in a Day Month Year format. (I do not care whether the header is single- or double-spaced, but proper placement is important.)