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  • Homework - Dedicatory Letter

    Posted by: IVAN GONZALEZ
    1. Write a brief summary of the following Letter.
    2. How does this letter reveal Machiavelli’s point of view in The Prince? 

    Dedicatory Letter Niccolo Machiavelli to the Magnificent Lorenzo de’ Medici 

    In most instances it is customary for those who desire to win the favour of a prince to  present themselves to him along with those things which they value most or which they feel will most please him. Thus, we often see princes given horses, arms, and vestments of gold cloth, precious stones, and similar ornaments suited to their greatness. Wishing, therefore, to offer myself to Your Magnificence with some evidence of my devotion to you, I have not found among my belongings anything that I might value more or prize so much as the knowledge and deeds of great men that I have learned from a long experience in modern affairs and a continuous study of antiquity. Having with great care and for a long time thought about and examined these deeds, and having now set them down in a little book, I am sending them to Your Magnificence. And although I consider this work unworthy of your station, nevertheless I am sure that your humanity will move you to accept it, for there could be no greater gift from me than to give you the means to be able, in a very short time, to understand all that in so many years and with so many hardships and dangers I have come to understand and to appreciate. I have neither decorated nor filled this work with elaborate sentences, with rich and magnificent words, or with any other form of rhetorical or unnecessary ornamentation that many writers normally use in describing and enriching their subject-matter, for I wished that nothing should set my work apart or make it pleasing except the variety of its material and the gravity of its contents. 
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  • Homework - Due 1/8/17

    Posted by: IVAN GONZALEZ

    Read the article below and answer the following:

    1. How does the title of Memmott’s article impact your understanding of the article’s purpose? 
    2. In paragraphs 1 and 2, what specific phrases does Memmott choose to describe Trujillo and his actions? How do these descriptions impact your understanding of Trujillo? 
    3. What details does Memmott provide about Trujillo’s attitude toward “ethnic Haitians”? How do these details further develop Trujillo’s character? 

    Remembering To Never Forget: Dominican Republic's 'Parsley Massacre'
    Mark Memmott

    Seventy five years ago, thousands of Haitians were murdered in the Dominican

    Republic by a brutal dictator. It was one of the 20th Century's least-remembered acts of genocide.

    As many as 20,000 people are thought to have been killed on orders given by Rafael Trujillo. But the "parsley massacre" went mostly unnoticed outside Hispaniola. Even there, many Dominicans never knew about what happened in early October 1937. They were kept in the dark by Trujillo's henchmen.

    Domician Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo, in a portrait taken in the 1950s.

    AFP/Getty Images

    This week, people from around the world are expected to gather in the Dominican Republic for a "Border of Lights" commemoration that aims to "honor a tragedy long forgotten, and unknown to many people."

    Writer and Middlebury College professor Julia Alvarez, the daughter of Dominicans and someone who lived there as a child, said on Tell Me More today that the killings must be acknowledged and testified to. "We can't change the present of the future unless we acknowledge what has happened," she told guest host Celeste Headlee. "There's no place on this planet anymore where that should be happening. It's time that the people themselves say ... 'that's enough.' "

    The method his soldiers used in 1937 to try to identify those who would be killed was cruelly unique. When confronting someone in the lands along the border with Haiti, they would hold up a sprig of parsley and ask what it was. If the person responded by trilling the "r" in perejil (Spanish for parsley), he would be free to go. Anyone who didn't trill the "r" was thought to be a Haitian Creole speaker — and was likely to be killed.

    On Tell Me More, Alvarez and Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat demonstrated the slight difference in speech that cost many people their lives. Danticat's book The Farming of Bones tells the terrible tale of the 1937 massacre "through the eyes of a young domestic servant." She was among the 2009 winners of a MacArthur "Genius Grant."

    As for Trujillo, he stayed in power until 1961, when he was assassinated. Last year, the BBC spoke with one of the army officers who killed the dictator. "The only way to get rid of him was to kill him," Gen. Antonio Imbert told the BBC.

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  • Homework - Due 1/2/2017

    Posted by: IVAN GONZALEZ
    Read the Alice Walker poem and explain:  

     How does Walker develop a central idea also present in King’s letter? 

    In order to properly answer the question in one to two PARAGRAPHS, you must identify the central idea in Walker's poem, explain how it's developed and explain how Martin Luther King developed the same central idea in "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."   For clarification on what a CENTRAL IDEA IS, please read below the poem.

    They were women then
    My mama’s generation
    Husky of voice—stout of
    With fists as well as
    How they battered down
    And ironed
    Starched white
    How they led
    Headragged generals
    Across mined
    To discover books
    A place for us
    How they knew what
    Must know
    Without knowing a page
    Of it

    The central idea is the central, unifying element of the story, which ties together all of the other elements of fiction used by the author to tell the story. The central idea can be best described as the dominant impression or the universal, generic truth found in the story.
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  • Homework - Due 12/18/16

    Posted by: IVAN GONZALEZ

    First Task - Research Rabindranath Tagore and write one or two sentences about him.

    Second Task - Read and analyze the poem “Freedom” by Rabindranath Tagore 

    Identify to whom King and Tagore address their texts. Analyze the similarities and differences between their addressees. Support your response with evidence from both texts.  (Click HERE for text of King's letter.)

    Freedom from fear is the freedom
    I claim for you my motherland!
    Freedom from the burden of the ages, bending your head,
    breaking your back, blinding your eyes to the beckoning
    call of the future;
    Freedom from the shackles of slumber wherewith
    you fasten yourself in night's stillness,
    mistrusting the star that speaks of truth's adventurous paths;
    freedom from the anarchy of destiny
    whole sails are weakly yielded to the blind uncertain winds,
    and the helm to a hand ever rigid and cold as death.
    Freedom from the insult of dwelling in a puppet's world,
    where movements are started through brainless wires,
    repeated through mindless habits,
    where figures wait with patience and obedience for the
    master of show,
    to be stirred into a mimicry of life.
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  • Homework - In This Blind Alley - Due 12/11

    Posted by: IVAN GONZALEZ
    Read the following poem and excerpt from Letter from a Birmingham Jail and choose ONE question to answer.  

    In This Blind Alley
    They smell your mouth
    Lest you've told someone 'I love you.'
    They smell your heart
                  These are strange times, my dear
    they drag out under lampposts
    to thrash.
             Love must be hid in closets at home.
    In the cold of this blind alley
    They keep their fires ablaze
           burning our anthems and poems.
    Do not venture to think.
                These are strange times, my dear
    He who pounds on the door in the nighttime
    Has come to kill the light.
               Light must be hid in closets at home.
    Lo! the butchers
    stationed on roads
    with chopping-board and cleaver soaked in blood
                 These are strange times, my dear
    They slit smiles off of lips
    And song from the throat.
              Joy must be hid in closets at home.
    Canaries are being roasted
    on a spit of lilacs and jasmine
             These are strange times, my dear
    Satan, triumph-drunk
    Feasts at a table spread with our mourning
          God must be hid in closets at home.

    Lettter From a Birmingham Jail

    One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor,
    they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent
    pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant “Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

    We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.  Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait."
    But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you
    suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see
    her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.


    1 What are the similarities between the speaker’s relationship to “They” in “In This Blind Alley” and African Americans’ relationship with the “white power structure” as expressed in “Letter from Birmingham Jail”?

    2 How does King’s description of the “vicious mobs” and “hate-filled policemen” in paragraph 11 relate to Shamlu’s descriptive language in this poem? 

    3  What connections can you draw between a central idea from “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and a central idea present in “In This Blind Alley”?

    4  Analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices, including figurative language and connotation, on the development of a central idea present in both “In This Blind Alley” and ”Letter From Birmingham Jail.”

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