Monday, June 2, 2014


     "You do what?" "You get to decide what you want to learn?" "Teenagers are given that much freedom?" These are the questions that I typically get when I tell people that my AP English Literature and Composition class is based off of open source learning principles. People tend to think that it is crazy to give teenagers that much freedom. There are a lot of negative stereotypes for teenagers and one of them is that teenagers cannot handle having control over their education. Some people think that teenagers are lazy and would use an open source learning situation to cheat their way out of doing quality work. Open source learning is about taking advantage of all available resources to make your education tailored to your specific needs and interestd. It allows you to explore more possibilities and make more connections. Open source learning students are not lazy but in fact are very invested in their educations.

     This year, my fellow AP students and I defied stereotypes as we became self learners. It was very strange walking into class on the first day of school and being told that how we wanted things done was up to us. This was so strange to us that is took us quite a while to take advantage of. We were weary of this new system at first. For many of us, it was the first time we had been away from a traditional classroom setting. The agenda was different. The student-teacher relationship was different. The grading was different. Everything we had previously learned about learning was being challenged and tested. Being the critical thinking AP students that we are though, we were able to rise to the challenge. All of that freedom came with a lot of trust and for the most part, we respected that trust. Eventually, we took control of our learning.

     Our journey to open source learning success was not a completely new feeling. Throughout the year, we met many characters from literature that fit the story. Leah Price from "The Poisonwood Bible" gave up everything she knew for a life that she was passionate about. Similar to how us students have up traditional learning. John the Savage from "Brave New World" showed isolation and individuality. As the only open source learners on campus, we showed a lot of individuality. Sometimes though, the pressure got to us and we went a little crazy, like Hamlet. Well not totally like Hamlet but you get the point. 

Open source learning allowed me to focus on my passions. Besides learning the curriculum, I was able to focus on other things as well. My journey is not complete though. It is only beginning. I will continue to be an individual learner.


Monday, April 14, 2014


  • Lady Macbeth's servant brings a Doctor to watch Lady Macbeth sleepwalk. While sleepwalking, Lady Macbeth confesses her guilty conscious. 
  • Lennox and other soldiers are marching to Birnam Wood to fight. They want to replace Macbeth, whom they think is insane, with Malcolm. 
  • The English troops are coming for Macbeth, Macbeth still believes the prophecy that Malcolm cannot hurt him. Macbeth prepares to fight.
  • Lady Macbeth dies, Macbeth does his tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow deal
  • Macbeth embraces the upcoming battle and is ready to die
  • Macbeth kills young Siward
  • Macduff kills Macbeth and Malcolm will become king

Sunday, April 13, 2014


  • The three witches are making a potion that is complimented by Hecate
  • Macbeth shows up and demands that the witches tell him what they know
  • They show him three apparitions. The first is a head that tells him to beware of Macduff. The second is a bloody child that tells him that no one can harm him. The third is a crowned child that says Macbeth will be safe until Birnan Wood mobilizes.
  • Macbeth finds out that Banquo's children will reign. Witches vanish.
  • Macduff fled to England. 
  • Macbeth plans to go to Fife, seize Macduff's castle and kill his wife and children. He plans to start carrying out his actions as he thinks of them "To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done"
  • Lady Macduff accuses her husband of being a traitor. Denounces him to her son and Ross.
  • She tells her son that Macduff is dead. 
  • A messenger comes to warn Lady Macduff of danger.
  • Murderers come kill the son and chase Lady Macduff offstage.
  • Malcolm doesn't trust Macduff. 
  • Macduff says he is not it to be a king.
  • Ross tells Macduff his family has been killed
  • Macduff prepares for revenge. 


We have all come to that crossroads of should and must and know what it's like to like to make the difficult decision between should and must. If you're lucky, you've chosen must at that crossroads most of the time but many of us are stuck in the routine of choosing should. Should is outwardly directed. It is what we think others want to see us do. Should is based upon expectations. Must, on the other hand, is personal. It is our innate, instinctive passions and ideas.

In my life, I am happy with my balance between should and must. I live by my passions and I do the things that I love to do everyday. Being a high school student I still have to do a fair amount of shoulds but more and more as I become more independent, I notice myself focusing more on the musts. I know what work my heart is with and slowly, I am pushing myself to live in that direction.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Lupita Nyong'o is so much more than an amazing actress. Her determination, compassion, and acceptance should make her an inspiration to us all.


Jennifer Lawrence's answer to a question about body image is fantastically honest.
Click here to hear her awesome response.