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January 31

Today, I started looking for journals that I could use in my project. I found a good article on why
reading is important for a literate society. I also found a research paper on reading for pleasure,
which I’m not sure how I’ll use in my project, but it has some interesting info in it. I started thinking
about the formatting of my project—I’m really hoping to do some lesson plans so that I can use
them in the future. Not only will they be useful to me, but to other educators as well. I think that I
am going to create my website next week so that I can get a head start on making it look good. I
have very limited experience with website making, so I’m going to be using Weebly—the only site
that I’m familiar with for this task—and hoping for the best. I think it’ll turn out nicely, as long as I
can get some good pictures for my headers that are free to use.

February 7

Today I was ​determined​ to find a list of texts used for AP Literature. I have to figure out a way to
make sure that the texts that I choose to use are related in some way. I couldn’t find a list of texts
that teachers are required to teach in schools in ME, so I went with the AP route instead. I found a
book through the Mantor Library search, and after some searching through the index, I found what
the author considered good texts to study for AP. One of my professors sent me an interesting
podcast/blog she found about how teachers kill the love of reading, but I don’t think I can use this
for actual research, since it isn’t a very reliable source. I want my research to be sound, so I need to
make sure that I use only reliable sources. It was an interesting read, though. I have decided that I
am going to use ​Hamlet​, ​Heart of Darkness​, and ​The Great Gatsby​ for my primary texts. They are
generally accepted as classics, and were listed in the AP Literature book that I am using. I also made
the bones for my website today and chose a title: “Best Literature Practices.” It looks pretty spiffy so
far.

February 12

Okay so I haven’t been doing much research, but my books just came in the mail. I’m about halfway
done with ​Heart of Darkness​ so far, I’ve previously read ​Hamlet​, and after I’m done with ​HOD​, I’m
going to start ​The Great Gatsby​. I added a few more pages to my website, but haven’t written
anything yet. I want to get most of my research done before I write, however, I know that once I
actually start writing, more questions will come up.
February 24

Today, I’m working on my definition of classic literature. I found some pretty long articles, so they
might take me a long time to read, but I’m actually looking forward to it. I’ve already read the
journal by Mukherjee, which actually came up with some really interesting points, such as the
difference between a canon and a classic. I never knew what a canon was before this, so it was
pretty useful information. I won’t really use the definition of a canon in my project, but it’s useful to
know for my future career.

February 26

Okay so today I looked at the AP course description for English Literature and Composition. This
was very frustrating, as I was looking for a list of classics, but only came up with a list of authors.
There were SO many authors on this list—I counted 171. Obviously, each author has more than one
work, so this is an impossible list for students to follow.

February 27

Today, I looked at why reading is important. I came across a very interesting article by Bus & Mol, in
which they talk about the science behind why reading is important. This outlined the cycle which
comes from reading—once children start reading, they become better at it, therefore making them
want to read more, and their skills keep growing. Our job is to start this cycle, and of course it’s the
hardest part!

February 28

Today I finished up my introduction and the section about how reading impacts society. Essentially,
we need to have an educated country if we want our society to progress at all. I cited an article that
Misty Krueger showed us in my ENG 300 class about why people want to hire English majors. I was
able to look at her handout and find the source, so I didn’t cite the actual handout. I didn’t really
take any information from it, except for the quote that she got, but I cited the original source. I think
I did that right—I’m hoping I did!

March 14

Today I worked on writing my literary criticisms for ​Hamlet​. This is the hardest part of my whole
project. When I started searching, I was looking for people essentially trashing ​Hamlet​, but after
talking with Dr. Klein, I realized that this is not what I’m looking for. What is usually taught with the
play? What do people talk about when they talk about ​Hamlet,​ and why do we still teach it?? What
are the themes that students can get from this work? I’m still having some trouble, but I was able to
finish the literary criticism on ​Hamlet.​ I still have to do the two other books, but I feel at least a little
better about it. I also decided that there is no way that I am going to be able to create lesson plans.
They take way too much time. If I simply create a list of resources instead, I can incorporate more
research AND it’s more versatile for other educators, in case they want to use it. In the end, it will be
easier and more useful to just do a list with some explanation, rather than a lesson plan. I already
have a few resources for ​Hamlet​, and will find the rest for the other books soon.

March 15

Allan Bloom is boring—that’s what I’ve learned from today. His book, ​The Closing of the American
Mind​ is long, and frankly, close-minded. I looked at one chapter: “Books”, because it was the only
part that I could see pertaining to my research. I took a few quotes and will probably use this in one
of my sections about why it’s important to keep reading. It’s a good scholarly resource to support
my point.

March 20

Today, I wrote the abstract for my symposium presentation!!! CRAZY, this is going by way too fast.

March 23

Today was super productive. I found a bunch of different resources for teaching ​Hamlet​, as well as
research to back it up. I finished up writing that section of my website, so now I just have to write
about the resources for my other two books and the literary criticisms.

March 28

I decided that I am going to have 9 different types of resources. That way, I can have a bit of
research for each part, and hopefully find some nontraditional resources to include in my future
classroom. For example, today I found a video game interpretation of ​Heart of Darkness.​ Students
would be SO engaged if I told them that they were gonna be playing video games for class. I even
found research to back it up.
April 2

I found a CRAZY article on how the ​Heart of Darkness​ basically happened around 2010 through the
media. There were these two criminals and the media portrayed it like it was Africa’s fault and not
the white guys. It’s much more complicated than that, but you can read my resource page if you
want to know the whole story. I finished the resources for ​Heart of Darkness,​ AND I found what
resources I want to use for ​The Great Gatsby​. Now I just have to write for the latter.

April 7

I found a third resource for ​Heart of Darkness​ that I really want to incorporate into my website. It’s
an operatic version. I found some sources and wrote up a rationale for it, which is looking pretty
good in my opinion. I couldn’t find the entire opera online, but I found an excerpt of it and I think
that would be enough to use in a classroom. Students likely won’t want to watch the entire opera
anyway, and if they did, I would contact the producer to see if they have more resources for me.

April 9

Today I wrote the literary critique for the ​Heart of Darkness​. This one was much easier to find
resources for than ​Hamlet.​ Maybe I’m getting better at finding resources, or maybe there’s just
more information on this text (which seems to be the LESS likely of the two). I feel so productive,
I’ve written a LOT in the past few days in regards to this project. I wish that I had done some of this
earlier so that I was more prepared, but I know myself too well, and I know that I procrastinate. I’m
glad I’m getting this done NOW and not at the end of the month, right before the presentation at
Symposium.

April 10

Today I met with Dr. Klein and we got a lot done. I feel much better about my project—I thought I
had a lot more to write, but she said it was all good. I just have to finish the last few sections, and
then I have a lot of revisions to make. The revision is the easier part though, because it is not nearly
as time consuming as sifting through and reading sources to use for my research. Research is TIME
CONSUMING. I knew that before, but this project has just solidified that idea for me.
April 15

Today I edited some of my work on ​Hamlet​. Specifically, the John Marsden novel version. I decided
to get rid of the part about the comics, as I don’t really talk about them after that. If I were to talk
about the comics, I would need to elaborate more, and probably pull a few examples. Since I’m on a
time crunch, I don’t have time to find graphic novel versions of ​Hamlet​ and actually read them
without skimming. If I’m going to read something, I want to give myself time to take it in, enjoy it,
and even reread. If I could give myself more time, I would include this resource, but as of right now,
I’d rather strengthen what I do have than try to add bulk to sections that need a lot more work.

April 20

I’M DONE WRITING. It took months of research and writing time, but I finally did it. Now all I have
to do is revise—which is much less time consuming. My presentation is on April 24th, so I have a
few days left. The final draft is not due until after that, so I have a little bit of wiggle room.

April 23

I’ve done a lot of revision the past two days. I just saw a tutor in the Learning Commons, which was
really helpful in addition to Dr. Klein’s comments. I had the tutor look at my paper alongside the
comments to ensure that I’m revising according to her comments, while also asking her to make
comments of her own. After Symposium tomorrow, I am going to look over those comments and
revise accordingly.

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