This is a list of all the journal topics we will do this year. Please make sure that you number them properly in your notebook.
1. Talk to me about laziness in your life? Do you ever procrastinate? What would you RATHER be doing when you are lazy? TV? Video Games? Sleep? Internet? What areas of your life are you the most tempted to be lazy in–school work? chores? devotions? Talk about how this makes you feel. Be honest. 🙂
2. What is the biggest conflict you have ever faced? Look at the list of conflicts in your Literary Terms copywork. Which type of conflict was it? Man vs. Man (this would include your parents), Man vs. Society (this would include school or church), Man vs. Himself (this would include personal sins, like temper), Man vs. Nature (this would include natural disasters, fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc), Man vs. Fate (this would include our Christian belief in “God’s will”)? How did you face the conflict? Was it resolved? What happened?
(reminder–to my new students, I think I forgot to tell you, I need you to write one page journals. But I don’t want you to think before you write. I want you to think AS you write. Do not edit your writing for spelling or grammar. Let it sound like you are talking to your closest friend. And if you don’t want me to READ them, then let me know and I won’t! You will get full credit as long as they are one page each.)
3. Have you ever met someone who made your skin crawl? Someone who made you feel unsafe or worthless? I want you to spend time describing this person. What do they look like? What do they act like? How do other people talk about them? How did you first know they were not safe or kind? (give me some indirect characterization) Do you think that some people are just wicked? Or do you believe that all people are good, but they just sometimes do bad things? Are some people more evil than others? explain? (If you absolutely cannot think of a time when you met an actual creepy person you are lucky. Then you can adapt this journal to a creepy character in a movie. But I would rather you do your own characterization, than rely on someone else’s) 🙂
4. How do you feel about hunting? Do you think it is okay to hunt for food? What about sports hunting? What about eating meat? I eat meat. Do you? Do you feel bad? Why or why not. What is the difference between hunting and murder?
5. There’s a saying “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” In very difficult circumstances some people do indeed get going. They have a spirit that moves them ahead–pushing them to do heroic deeds. What makes these people so tough, so strong in spirit? Why do they turn out to be so good? Why do others go so wrong? Jot down your thoughts about these hard questions.
6. Free write–pick your own topic. You can write about your day, whatever is on your mind, girl drama, boy drama, what you want to eat for dinner, or what you want to do when you grow up. Just pick a topic and WRITE a full page. Don’t stop to think, keep writing. 🙂
7. In the story “Marigolds” you see the protagonist display phony bravado. Young kids have always acted this way! Please describe a time when you displayed phony bravado, acted tough, were a jerk so you could feel and look “cool.” Have you ever tried to tell someone off, or speak with curse words to feel older and independent? Why did you do this? What was the situation? Does acting like this make you mature? Can you think of someone you know that acts like this? Are they confident or insecure? What does the Bible say about all this?
8. In the story “Marigolds” there is a quote that says, “Memory is an abstract painting. It doesn’t present things as they are, but rather, as they feel.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? I know I have some real foggy memories of certain events of my life, but I can still FEEL the emotions strongly. What memories do you have, where the feelings are stronger than the clarity of the events? Talk to me about it.
9. Based on your own experiences, what do you think makes some people become good people, and what makes others go wrong? Is it their own nature? Is it their personality? Is it the home or environment they are raised in? Are there exceptions? Can “bad apples” come from good homes/families? Can “good apples” come from difficult homes/families? Explain. What makes a good person????
10. Today you are reading two catalog poems, that list some of the things that people do everyday. Write about some of the things you do or the things that happen to you everyday.
11. Think of something manufactured. It can be something large, like a snowmobile or a jet plane, or something small, like a pencil sharpener or a cell phone. Jot down some notes about how this item looks, sounds, and smells (if it has a smell) and what it feels like. Does it remind you of anything. Compare it to something else using metaphors or similes.
12. Think of an emotion or a state of mind. You might choose feelings like grief, joy, anger, dreaminess, selfishness, or ambition. Then, jot down three metaphors in which you identify your subject with something else. Open like this: “Joy is…”
13. The titles of the two poems “Fog”and “Fire and Ice” cite three natural conditions:fog, fire, and ice. What thoughts come into your mind when you hear those words? What do you associate with each word? Jot down your ideas.
14.Fire and Ice are two extremes of nature. Either force could put an end to all living things. Desire and hate are two human emotions; we can be consumed by desire and hardened by hate. Which emotion–desire or hate–do you feel is more destructive? (Think in terms of an individual’s life as well as the life of the world.) Write a paragraph or two explaining your opinion.
15. Today we are reading a famous speech from the Shakespearean play “As You Like It.” According to Jaques, your now in the middle of the second act of your life. Before you read what he predicts about the rest of your life, try to second guess him. Write down what you think are the seven ages of a person’s life.