Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bikes To Togo

Following Tim's presentation on Tanzania, many students wrote in their reflections about how they could help the situation in a developing country such as Tanzania.  In today's Olympian, reporter Rolf Boone wrote a great article about a man from Togo who is taking action to help the people in his home country.  Olowo-n'djo Tchala operates a business based here in Olympia called Alaffia.  Alaffia uses botanical components grown in West Africa such as shea butter to make shampoos, soaps, moisturizers and other products.  These products can be found at the Olympia Food Co-op, Radiance, and Traditions in Olympia, and at similar stores across the country.  Tchala uses proceeds from his business to send bicycles to Togo in shipping containers.  This year Tchala is sending about 1,000 bicylces to Togo.  The bikes will be given to girls and young women in Togo to help them attend school.  Tchala contends that without adequate transportation, girls are more likely to drop out of school.  What a fantastic mission!  As an aside, I wonder how much it costs to send a shipping container from the Port of Tacoma to Togo.  Please leave a comment if you happen to know the answer to this question.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Business of MLS

CenturyLink Field ( photo)
 I'm very interested in the business-side of MLS, and I've recently read a couple of interesting articles that I wanted to pass along.  The first is a report in Forbes Magazine about the estimated values of MLS clubs and their 2012 revenues.  The Sounders are the most valuable club in MLS, as well as the most profitable.  L.A. Galaxy ranks #2 and Portland Timbers rank #3.  Soccer is thriving on the West Coast.

On the flipside is an article published on BuzzFeed Sports about players making the minimum salary in MLS.  The minimum salary in MLS is only about $35,000.  This is a paltry sum for a professional athlete in the U.S. or Canada.  MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL have minimum salaries around $500,000.  So while MLS is growing, it's not quite a Major League sport yet.  Or rather, while MLS is a Major League sport in Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles, it is not quite a Major League sport in the rest of North America.
Kofi Opare of the Los Angeles Galaxy (Photograph by Emily Berl for BuzzFeed)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Trimester 1 Geo Final Study Guide

Terms: Region
New England
Prime Meridian
Arab Spring
Fair Trade
"cheap fashion"
Tourist Gaze
Cultural Landscape
Primary or Cardinal Directions
Secondary Directions
Tertiary Directions

States: West, Northcentral, East, Southeast
Countries: West Africa, North Africa, East Africa
Continents & Oceans

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Golden Compass Essay

Question: How does The Golden Compass differ from a prototypical classic fantasy novel?

Most readers would classify The Golden Compass as fantasy.  It certainly shares a lot of characteristics with works from the fantasy genre.  However, The Golden Compass differs from works in the fantasy genre in some key ways.  Your job with this essay is to explore the ways The Golden Compass differs from prototypical works in the fantasy genre.

Your essay will be 5 paragraphs in length.  It must be typed.  It must have a title.  Use 1.5-line spacing and size 13 font.  It must have an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.  The introductory paragraph must end with a thesis statement.  Each body paragraph must begin with a topic sentence.  The essay must include a quote from the book.  Finally, you must complete an outline before writing the actual essay.

Introductory Paragraph:  Start with an interesting sentence.  This paragraph introduces The Golden Compass and discusses the characteristics the book shares with classic fantasy novels.  At the end of the paragraph it transitions to answer the essay question.  The final sentence in the essay is the thesis statement.  The thesis statement is a direct answer to the essay question.  The rest of the essay will be an attempt to prove the thesis statement is true.

Body Paragraphs: Each body paragraph focuses on one significant aspect of The Golden Compass that differs from classic fantasy.  This difference should be stated in the topic sentence of each paragraph.  The paragraph should then explain in detail how The Golden Compass is different from classic fantasy in this area.  Refer to specific characters, events, and passages when making your case.

Quote: At least one of your body paragraphs needs to include a direct quote from the book.  You can quote Philip Pullman’s narration or you can quote dialogue from the book.  The quote should be placed in the middle of a paragraph.  Do not place a quote at the beginning or at the end of a paragraph.  After the quote is used in the paragraph, explain how the quote is relevant to the argument you are making.  Do not let the quote speak for itself.  Use quotation marks around your quote.  After the quote put the page number(s) on which the quote is found in parentheses.

Conclusion: In the Conclusion, you need to wrap up your argument.  Re-state your thesis statement and key supporting details from your essay.  Then leave the reader with something new to think about.  There is no single way to end an essay.  You can end the essay creatively.  One way to end your essay would be to answer the following question: What makes The Golden Compass unique and worth reading?

Underline all book titles in your essay.

Avoid statements referring to the essay itself (i.e. “This essay is about The Golden Compass and how the book differs from classic fantasy…”).

Avoid referring to yourself in the essay (i.e. “I think The Golden Compass is about…”).

Outline: The outline includes the main ideas and supporting details for each paragraph in your essay.  You must create an outline before starting to write your essay.  You do not need to use complete sentences in your outline, but each main idea or supporting detail must be presented as a complete thought.  It is not required the outline be typed.  However, it must be neat and legible.

Main Ideas: Represent each main idea with a capital letter.  You will need 5 main ideas/capital letters in your outline.  The main idea should encapsulate what the paragraph is about.

Supporting Details: Below the capital letters in your outlines, you need to number your supporting details.  You need at least 3 supporting details per paragraph.  When writing your paragraphs, you will flesh out these details to form complete paragraphs.

Monday, November 18: Outline due 
Tues, Nov. 19: Intro Paragraph due
Wed, Nov. 20: Second Paragraph due
Hebrew Book Cover
Thurs, Nov. 21: Third Paragraph due
Mon, Nov. 25: Completed draft of essay due in class for peer editing.  Draft must be printed prior to start of class.
Tues, Nov. 26: Revised draft of essay due

Custom Cover by Taylor Stone, Edgartown, Massachusetts

British Book Cover

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tanzania Presentation

On Thursday our sixth grade Geography class was visited by Tim Scharks, professor of geography at Green River Community College. Tim shared his experiences leading groups of college students to Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. It was a fascinating presentation; Tim explained how when Westerners visit other countries, what they see in their travels is affected by the "Tourist Gaze." The Tourist Gaze is that set of expectations one has about what is worth seeing and what is not. Thus we saw incredible photos Tim took of Tanzanian wildlife and Mt. Kilimanjaro, but we also looked at slides showing the "Cultural Landscape" of Tanzania. Tim's presentation touched on issues of economics, agriculture, globalization, and sustainability. I'm sure the next time students from this group go abroad, they will perceive what they see in a slightly different way.  It was a great day for students.  You can check out Tim's blog by following the link below.

Tim's WWU Tanzanian Environments Blog

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sounders Day!

Today was Sounders Day at NOVA!  Everyone wore rave green and blue shirts, hats, scarves, gloves, jackets, etc.  Tonight we play Portland Timbers at 8:00 p.m.  The winner advances to the Western Conference Championship.  GO SOUNDERS!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Tomorrow is Sounders Day.  Wear your Sounders gear.  We will have a group photo Thursday at the beginning of Break outside Room 4.  Sounders vs. Portland 8:00 p.m. on NBCSN.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Golden Compass, Part III: Svalbard

Read Part III: Svalbard.  Do not read ahead.  Due Wednesday, November 13.  Please compose on a separate sheet of paper.
1.  Discussion Questions: Write 5 open-ended discussion questions for Part III and/or the book as a whole.  Write the questions only—do not answer them.

2.  Analysis: Towards the end of chapter 21, Lord Asriel explains his understanding of the nature of Dust to Lyra.  In your own words, explain your understanding of Dust.  What is Dust?  Why does Dust exist? How does Dust react to people of different ages?  How can Dust be used?  Your answer must be at least one thorough paragraph.
3.  Reflection:  Give the book as a whole a score out of 10 (10 being the highest).  Explain in at least one complete paragraph why you gave the book the score which you did.  Were you satisfied with Part III as the conclusion to The Golden Compass?  Refer to the specific elements of the book which shaped you opinion.

Monday, November 4, 2013