New Quizzes from eNotes!

Hi, everyone! While some of you might already be preparing for the next quiz you’ll be taking at school, some of us over at eNotes have been having (way too much) fun trying to  make some. Don’t worry, though— none of these quizzes will affect your grade. Have a look at the list below to see what we’ve added to our collection so far!

1. Take the Shakespearean Deaths Quiz to figure out which tragedy has the highest body count, where you can read about revenge in the form of unwitting cannibalism, and more!

 Why, William… why?!

2. If you take the  Authors and Animals Quiz, be prepared for more than beloved dogs and cats of various authors. There may or may not be a lobster involved. Oh, also a bear.

SAM_4519 …Fluffy?

3. At some point in your life, you might have encountered a book for which your hatred now burns with the fire of a thousand suns. Well, you are not alone in your passionate distaste for certain literature. Take our Author-on-author Insults Quiz to learn about the scathing remarks authors have made about other authors and their work.

“Lame!”

4. Remember that bit about people sharing your hatred? Well, not everyone is just content to rant about it at the next book club meeting. Some books offend people so deeply that they start throwing around the dreaded “b-word”— banned, that is. Our Banned Books Quiz contains questions that highlight some of the silliest reasons for banning books, quotes from authors who disapprove of censorship, and other fun tidbits about the baddest books in the business. A warning to those with weak constitutions: one of the books in this quiz features two rabbits getting married.

 Won’t someone please think of the children?

5. Last but not least, there’s a little something to brighten your day and give you a nice change of pace if you happened to have already taken the first and admittedly morbid quiz on this list. The Love Quotes from Famous Authors Quiz is sure to give you some warm, literary fuzzies. What did Mark Twain have to say about matters of the heart? Who loved so deeply he longed for a new set of words to express his devotion? Take the quiz to find out!

 D’aww.


Sanitizing “The Giver”

Brenton-Thwaites-the-giver-lg

On August 11, 2014, thousands of teens and their parents eagerly purchased tickets for the long-awaited film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1994 Newbery Award-winning novel The Giver.  My teenaged son read it in junior high and loved it. I loved it too. Like Madelyn L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Lowry’s The Giver has a subterranean angst that readers can feel bubbling under their fingertips as pages are turned, a sense that no matter how calm this world is on the outside, something is irreparably wrong.

Everyone complains when a beloved novel is turned into a film. This may be especially true of science fiction works, as  entirely new worlds depend on an individual’s imagination formed from an author’s words. When one person, a director, substitutes his own vision for that of countless personal interpretations, tempers flare. While most moviegoers understand the necessity of divergences from the original text, other alterations are harder to accept.

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You Don’t Know Dickens

7 lesser-known facts that may make you see the beloved author and philanthropist of the Victorian era in a new light…

by Michelle Ossa

10

1. He suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his time at Warren’s Shoeblacking Factory and Warehouse

At the age of 12 Charles Dickens suffers a life-changing event that forever marks his life. His father, John Dickens, was arrested for debt, and sent to Marshalsea Debtor’s Prison in London. The able-bodied, older male Charles was considered old enough to work and earn some wages. For this reason he is forced out of school and sent to Warren’s Shoeblacking;  a place fully-described in the semi-biographical novel Oliver Twist. Similarly, Charles works under grueling and cruel conditions that predate any workers’ rights movement.

Moved by these sad events Dickens used his talent to publish in mass and expose these realities. Through literature, he gave a voice to orphans, destitute children and mistreated workers using them as motifs that recur in his body of work.  According to Dickens’s most reliable biographer, John Forster, the author had “an attraction of repulsion” that rendered him more effective when dealing with topics that directly describe images of his sad childhood.  Therefore, this repetition of misery and pain during childhood as a central theme denote a need to continuously cope with the traumas of childhood.

Illustration Depicting Oliver Twist Asking for More Food by J. Mahoney

2. He was likely manic depressive

According to his own letters, Dickens suffered consistent bouts of “depression” that would start when beginning to write a new work, and would then developing into a “mania” that powered him to complete them.  It was a “balance” between deep, debilitating sadness followed by periods of acute impulsivity.  According to Hershman and Lieb in the book Manic Depression and Creativity  (1998), Dickens’s explosive creativity was a result of the maniac state that makes sufferers of bipolar disorder feel indestructible (p. 106).  An example of Dickens’s mania is what is known as the “Dickens Summers”. According to Manic Depression and Creativity Dickens would rent a spacious summer home and have sumptuous parties for large quantities of people on a daily basis. Dedicated to the very last detail both at home and work, Dickens would also spend hours insisting on completing massive amounts of work until the last word was written.

The book explains how bipolar disorder renders those who suffer from it extremely oblivious of the wants and needs of others. The need to be the center of all attention, and the extreme shift in mood certainly profile Dickens as bipolar.

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August’s Teacher’s Corner Column: Schools of the Future—Oh, My

Teacher’s Corner is a monthly newsletter from eNotes just for teachers. In it, experienced educator and eNotes contributor Susan Hurn shares her tips, tricks, and insight into the world of teaching. This month, she’s looking to the future of teaching with a skeptical eye. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.

Predictions about how students will be educated one day are intriguing, but a few of them are downright scary when you think of the implications. Some visions of education in the future seem really off-the-wall, but others are not hard to imagine, for better or worse, considering the continuing impact of technology in the classroom and how it has already changed instructional practices. Here are a few highlights from the prognosticators:

  • Schools will consist of interlocking modular pods that can be added to or removed from a basic structure to adjust for the increase or decrease in a school’s population.
  • Modular schools will be portable, easily moved from one location to another as the general population shifts geographically.
  • Students will be micro-chipped to facilitate supervision and safety.
  • Classes will be conducted with robots providing instruction.
  • Traditional schools will cease to exist. Students will complete individual studies on computers at community centers open 24/7, working when it’s most convenient for them and communicating with teachers by voice mail.
  • All field trips will be virtual, and students will attend virtual workshops conducted by recognized authorities in various fields.
  • Hands-on learning will be phased out; students will interact solely with 3-D models, touching only computer keys.
  • Computer keyboards will be phased out. Students will use hand and eye gestures, like playing games on a Wii, to control electronic tablets. Students will write with digi pens.
  • Large multi-national companies will have an increasing influence on curriculums and school resources.

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3 Places to Find the Help You Need on eNotes, Free

It’s almost time to head back to class. Are you ready? Make sure you’re set for school with help from eNotes!

In this post, we’re covering the 3 best areas of eNotes to find the help you need with your upcoming classes. Even better: most of the help you find on eNotes is completely free to access. Check out our eNotes refresher course below and be prepared for Fall!

Don’t have an eNotes account yet? Sign up here today to create your free account and start searching for expert answers.

1. eNotes Annotated eTexts

Did you know that eNotes hosts over 900 texts online in our eTexts section? From poems to plays, short stories to biographies, we’ve got hundreds of works that teachers commonly select for assigned reading and which you can read on your computer or mobile device for free. You don’t even have to buy your next assigned novel if you don’t want to!
What’s better than an entire library at your fingertips for no cost at all? An entire library of annotated eTexts. Over the past year, eNotes’ educators have been working hard to provide you with expert annotations on some of the most challenging works of Literature. From Dickens to Shakespeare and everything in between, they’ve written comments on important words and passages to help you better understand what you’re reading. To read these annotations, hover your cursor over any highlighted words found in any eNotes Annotated eText. A comment will pop up explaining the significance of those highlighted words. Annotations could cover glossary definitions, analysis or background information–just one way that eNotes helps you to study smarter.

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The New Harry Potter Story from J.K. Rowling

Hear more about the latest update on The Boy Who Lived, published on Rowling’s Pottermore website yesterday.

harry potter grown up

HP superfans will be delighted to hear that author JK Rowling, despite insisting that she won’t return to write another addition to her popular series, has released a short update on the adult lives of her beloved characters. The 1,500 word story appears in the form of a gossip column on Rowling’s Pottermore website, written from the perspective of her tabloid journalist character Rita Skeeter.

In it Skeeter reports from the grounds of the current Quidditch World Cup in Patagonia. As usual, nobody is safe from the sharp-quilled busybody, as Skeeter kicks up dirt on Dumbledore’s Army members Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and more. Among the most scandalous “discoveries” Skeeter shares with her Daily Prophet readers are the Longbottoms’ penchant for a tad too much firewhisky and Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley’s steamy snog sessions (“The good news is both of them seem to have invented a method of breathing through their ears”).

If you, too, are nostalgic for a time when we could all look forward to another Harry Potter adventure, read Rowling’s latest tidbit, “Dumbledore’s Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup Final” here, and let us know what you think!

 


eNotes Teacher’s Corner: To Teach or Not to Teach—That is the Question

Teacher’s Corner is a monthly newsletter from eNotes just for teachers. In it, experienced educator and eNotes contributor Susan Hurn shares her tips, tricks, and insight into the world of teaching. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.

Recently over lunch, a dedicated career teacher told me that she could no longer advise anyone to go into teaching; the joy is gone, she said, with teachers now locked into regimented lesson plans and required to spend all their time chasing test scores. She also worried about what we’re doing to kids in the classroom—demanding more and more of them at younger and younger ages. There’s no time now to let them be kids, she said, or color outside the lines, if they get to color at all. It was a depressing lunch.

I drove home with a lot to think about, especially since I had encouraged my own daughter when she decided several years ago to change careers, earn a second college degree, and go into the classroom. Had I steered her wrong? Remembering our animated conversations after she began teaching, however, I don’t think so. Teaching may be different today—the demands greater and the stressors more intense, but it still engages the heart and the mind in ways unlike those of any other profession. No two days are alike, and every day is a fresh opportunity to achieve something glorious, even for one unforgettable moment.

Students aside—and that’s a big aside—it’s true that our profession is less respected in some quarters than it once was, for reasons that seem to be bound up in politics and publicity. If a teacher is arrested for some terrible offense in any part of the country, it becomes national news; a steady drumbeat of these stories erodes confidence, creating the impression that teachers somehow have degenerated into an immoral lot, not to be trusted. On the positive side, however, every time teachers risk their lives or lose them trying to protect their students, which seems to be happening more and more frequently, their actions make the news, too. Ask the parents of those students if teachers can be trusted.

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