August 22, 2012 Musical Memories:

August 22, 2012
Musical Memories:
Songs can invoke vivid memories; hearing a particular song can rocket you back to
seventh grade or last summer. Write about a song that is really evocative of a certain
time in your life.
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”—Leo Buscaglia
August 23, 2012
About my name:
Many names have special meaning or history. For example, the name Hannah means
“favor” or “grace.” The name Vito means “life.”
Write about your own name. Who named you? What does your name mean (you may
quickly look it up)? Does it have a special ethnic or religious significance? Are you
named after someone in your family? If you could change your name, would you? What
name would you choose and why?
“You must do the thing you think that you cannot do” –Eleanor Roosevelt
August 24, 2012
A Sense of Sports:
People feel passionately about sports. Some play sports and detest it because they’re
not as good as they want to be; others play and love it because they’re competitive and
skilled. Some pay close attention to pro or local teams. Some attend games as serious
fans; others attend because they like the social interaction in the stands. Some people
loather sports and think that the people who play them and watch them are brainless
jocks. Which group do you fall into? Explain.
“Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.”—Samuel Butler
August 27, 2012
To Be Great:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said,
“Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame, but greatness, because
greatness is determined by service.”
Do you agree that everyone has the potential for greatness? Maybe you think serving
others isn’t what makes someone great; if that’s the case, what do you think are the
qualifying features of greatness?
“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”
--Gloria Steinem
August 29, 2012
If I Were in Charge:
Most families set rules for their children, especially regarding behavior and
responsibility. Which rules do you find particularly annoying? Do you long to stay out
later, go out more, dress any way you like? Write about the rules that you consider the
most unfair.
“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death
by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person’s brow.”—Charles Brower
August 30, 2012
September 5, 2012
If you had to lose one of your five senses, which one would you give up? Why? What
would you miss the most? The least?
“We may never know when the right word will transform a person’s life.” –Philip White
September 6, 2012
New School Subject:
Write about something that you can only learn outside a classroom setting. Forget
math, science, history, and English—what are some subjects that aren’t taught in
school, but that you think make important lessons? You might write a lecture on the
new subject; or you might write a narrative showing a character learning the lesson; or
you might to the school board trying to convince them to add this new subject. Be sure
to put it lots of details.
“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” –George S. Patton Jr.
September 4, 2012
September 7, 2012
Treasure or Trash:
To the naked eye it looks like junk, but you know it’s precious: the beat-up stuffed
animal you slept with every night as a kid, the raggedy baseball mitt you used in Little
League, the tooth you couldn’t bear to throw away after it fell out. Choose a beloved
object from your own childhood, and explain why you feel sentimental about it or
treasure it so much.
“Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.”—Norman R. Augustine
September 10, 2012
The Boob Tube:
“Television hangs on the questionable theory that whatever happens anywhere should
be sensed everywhere. If everyone is going to be able to see everything, in the long run
all sights may lose whatever rarity value they once possessed, and it may well turn out
that people, being able to see and hear practically everything, will be specifically
interested in almost nothing.”—E. B. White
You could argue that these days, everyone is able to see everything, particularly since
Americans watch around four hours of TV per day. Do you think White’s forecast was
correct? Have extraordinary sights been cheapened by TV? Are people more scattered
in their interests because of TV?
“When people show you who they are, believe them.”—Maya Angelou
September 11, 2012
If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you want to
have seen? Why?
“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”
–Albert Einstein
September 12, 2012
No Women Stand-Ups:
Despite huge advancements in recent years, women still struggle for respect in some
fields. Many people still believe that women should not be allowed to pursue certain
careers, especially those that are dangerous, require physical strength, or have
traditionally been pursued by men. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of a
woman holding high political office; some people object to female stand-up comedians,
claiming that most women aren’t funny. Do you think women should be able to hold
any kind of job they want, regardless of danger and tradition? Or do you believe that
some jobs are only appropriate for men? Explain.
“You can’t step in the same river twice. Each time it is different, and so are you.”
--Alice Walker
September 13, 2012
September 17, 2012
Think of something that you have wanted but not gotten. It can be a physical item or a
reward or accolade. Describe the what it was that you wanted, and tell why you wanted
it. Then describe how it felt to not receive it. Did you learn anything from this
“No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving
behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.”
--George Washington Carver
September 18, 2012
Think about a time when you first felt like you were really growing/grown up. Tell
about that time and be sure to include both what happened and how you felt. Make the
reader feel what you felt by using strong descriptive and figurative language. If you
don’t feel grown up yet, explain why.
“An angry man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes.” –Cato the Elder
September 19, 2012
Think of a time when you have embraced the unknown. Write about the action that you
feared, why you feared it, and what motivated you to take action. Include anything that
you learned about yourself or life from doing so.
“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” –William James
September 20, 2012
Describe a time when you felt that you were unfairly stereotyped because of your age,
race, gender, or any other characteristic. Be detailed. Did you learn anything about
yourself or others? Did others learn something about you?
“Nothing makes one feel so strong as a call for help.” –George MacDonald
September 21, 2012
What is the worst natural disaster, such as a thunderstorm, blizzard, or earthquake,
that you have ever experienced? Write a narrative describing the experience. Include
descriptive and figurative language.
“A rich child often sits in a poor mother’s lap.” –Spanish proverb