Unit 10 College Prep. World Lit. Mr. Freedman Name: Day 1 Objectives

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Unit 10 College Prep. World Lit. Mr. Freedman Name:________________

Day 1

Objectives: 1. Improve vocabulary.

2. Understand the elements of memoir writing and the personal essay.

*Vocabulary Unit 10 (take notes on my explanation of the words)

Ambivalent (adj): having conflicted feeling about someone or something

Despite their ambivalent attitudes, the scientists went ahead with the program.

Beleaguer (v): to trouble; to hassle

Sherman’s division arrived by train, and then positioned itself to beleaguer the city.

Carte blanche (n) full freedom to act at one’s own discretion

The boss gave us carte blanche in the matter of how we were going to approach the client.

Cataclysm (n): a violent or devastating upheaval

Diplomacy could not stop the cataclysm of World War 1.

Debauchery (n) an act or occasion of vice

The debauchery caused the otherwise respected politician to resign his office.

Imbue (v): to soak through; to fill the mind

The celebrated teacher strove to imbue her students with the desire to succeed.

Lampoon (n): malicious satire (v): to satirize or ridicule

The left wing paper intended to lampoon the Tea Party candidate with an outrageous political cartoon.

Malleable (adj) Capable of being formed into different shapes; capable of being altered or influenced

The malleable minds of the young men made it easy for the dictator to control them.

Nemesis (n) an unbeatable rival

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones never saw each other as a nemesis; rather, they coordinated the release times of their singles.

Opt (v): to make a choice or decision

We decided to opt for the cheaper model even though it was risky.

Queasy (adj) nauseated or uneasy

I got too queasy while watching Saw 1 to appreciate its artistry and philosophical themes.

Savior-faire (n): the ability to say or do the right thing in any situation

The experienced ambassador handled the affair with his typical savior-faire.

The essential question we will be answering as we study the unit is as follows: What are the elements of effective personal essay and memoir writing?

The enduring understanding you will have when we finish is that the personal essay and memoir writing includes using the five senses to describe an environment, describing specific places and locations with proper nouns, using dialogue from conversations, and writing in a lively manner with active verbs and fresh metaphors.

*PowerPoint presentation (write down important points in addition to the bullets in the presentation)

*Long answer questions for chapter 1 of Angela’s Ashes (6-7 sentences required for each answer). Questions will be checked at the end of the unit. Use examples from the text as support.

1. Why did Malachy need to flee Ireland? How does he feel about his homeland?

2. What are the main topics McCourt discusses in chapter 1? Why are they prominent?

3. How does McCourt effectively show the way small children think about and perceive the world?

*Listen to memoir. Write down your observations of the sound of the language (Rhythms, tone, musicality).


--Finish chapter 1 and the questions by day 4.

--Be prepared for a reading quiz.

--Complete your research paper by day 6. There will be a five-point deduction for late papers.

Day 2

Objectives: 1. Understand the importance of Irish history to the people in the memoir.

2. Improve vocabulary.

*PowerPoint: setting of the memoir

*Read memoir. Complete question 1 from day 1.

*Discuss memoir. Write down the main point of the discussion. Share main point.

*PowerPoint: The history of Ireland in the 20th century.


--Finish chapter 1 and the questions by day 4.

--Be prepared for a reading quiz.

--Complete your research paper by day 6. There will be a five-point deduction for late papers.

**Research papers will not be accepted after March 24th.

Day 3

Objectives: 1. Improve vocabulary.

2. Recognize the elements of an effective presentation.

*Finish research presentations.

*Continue reading chapter 1 and answering the questions.

*Vocabulary practice. Answer the questions I ask using the vocabulary word.

*Homework: Finish chapter 1 and the questions. Be prepared for a reading quiz.

Day 4

Objectives: 1. Understand why Irish music is important to the people in the novel.

2. Understand how Irish music reflects the history of Ireland.

*Quiz on chapter 1.

*Listen to memoir.

*Questions for chapter 2. Use examples from the text as support.

1. Describe how life is different for the McCourts in Ireland than it is in America.

2. What types of bigotry and biases do the McCourts face in the south of Ireland? Why is Malachy disliked?

3. How does Malachy’s alcoholism impact the family?

4. Write down one observation or question about the memoir.

*PowerPoint: Irish music

*Lyrics study: Roddy McCorley (Irish traditional song)

Malachy is often heard singing Roddy McCorley, a popular song commemorating the bravery of an Irish rebel who fought against the English. Roddy McCorley is from county Antrim—the same county as Malachy. Read the song lyrics and complete the following questions (add this to your list of unit questions): Why does Malachy sing this song? How does it show his patriotism?

O see the fleet-foot host of men, who march with faces drawn,

From farmstead and from fishers' cot, along the banks of Ban;

They come with vengeance in their eyes. Too late! Too late are they,

For young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.

Up the narrow street he stepped, so smiling, proud and young.

About the hemp-rope on his neck, the golden ringlets clung;

There's ne'er a tear in his blue eyes, fearless and brave are they,

As young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.

When last this narrow street he trod, his shining pike in hand

Behind him marched, in grim array, a earnest stalwart band.

To Antrim town! To Antrim town, he led them to the fray,

But young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.

There's never a one of all your dead more bravely died in fray

Than he who marches to his fate in Toomebridge town today;

True to the last! True to the last, he treads the upwards way,

And young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.

*Homework: Read to the top of page 80, and then pages 91 to 103 by day 6. Also, complete the questions for chapter 2 and 3 by day 6. Be prepared for a reading quiz.

**Research paper due on day 6. This will be your final draft.**

Day 5

Objectives: 1. Understand how life is different for the McCourts when they go to Ireland.

2. Recognize the impact of the film version of the memoir.

*Read memoir. Complete question 1 for chapter 2.

*Discuss memoir. Write a main point of the discussion in the form of a thesis statement.

*Film version of Angela’s Ashes. Complete the following question and add it to your list of unit questions.

1. Describe Frank’s experiences at school. How do you think this shapes his understanding of the life and the world?

*Homework: Read to the top of page 80, and then pages 91 to 103 by day 6. Also, complete the questions for chapter 2 and 3 by day 6. Be prepared for a reading quiz.

**Research paper due. This will be your final draft.**

Day 6

Objectives: 1. Understand the psychological impact of Frank’s experiences at school.

2. Recognize the impact of the film version of the memoir.

3. Improve analytical writing.

*Peer editing: Correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors on the essay.

After twelve minutes of silent editing, conduct a conference with the person whose paper you have edited. I will call time after twelve minutes.

Put a check on the line when you see the following:

___1. Introduction (at least six sentences and the thesis toward the end)

___2. An argument is evident in the thesis statement

___3. Summaries of supporting information

___4. Quotes that support the thesis in each paragraph

___5. Analysis about quotes and summaries

___6. Clear transitions

___7. Conclusion that has a restatement of thesis and summarized arguments

*Quiz on chapter 2 and 3.

*Discuss memoir.

*Return books/complete questions.

*Finish film clips of Angela’s Ashes. Complete the question for the film.

Day 7

Objectives: 1. Improve vocabulary.

2. Understand the elements of the personal essay and what inspires authors to write.

*PowerPoint presentation (write down important points in addition to the bullets in the presentation)

*Read the following personal essay and complete the questions:

1. Describe the qualities of this essay that show it is a good example of the personal essay.

2. Why do you think the author decided to write about this subject?

My Touchstone and a Heart of Gold by, Caroline Leavitt New York Times, Feb. 7, 2015

I never intended to get a tortoise. I was in a troubled relationship with a man who was the opposite of me in almost every way. While I felt exiled every time I left Manhattan, he yearned to move to the country.

When we discovered we both wanted a pet, though, we thought we finally had found common ground. I was allergic to dogs and cats, so we scouted for other possibilities at the pet store. Finally I pointed to a crowded tank, a glossy shell and a pair of orange ringed eyes.

“This is what you want?” he asked doubtfully. I nodded. We named the tortoise Minnie, and by the time we realized she was a he, after an eye-popping male display, the name had stuck.
“How could we have gotten this wrong?” my boyfriend said, but I didn’t care. How could I not love this strange little creature? Minnie scuttled around our apartment, taking delicate little steps, sometimes eating lint off the carpet. He clacked his jaw as if he were speaking and drew up his long, lovely neck to sniff at the air.

I bathed him in the sink. I hand-fed him avocado, wiggling it so he would think it was live food, and sometimes he shut his eyes as if the morsel was simply too delicious to bear. I even kissed his shell.

“You’re a little obsessive about him,” my boyfriend accused. “It isn’t normal.”

He didn’t like the way I talked to Minnie every day, eye to eye (“He’s just a reptile,” he stressed). And though he had professed to want to marry me, he began to mention it less and less. The more time I spent discovering the tortoise, the more my boyfriend uncovered things about me he didn’t like. My friends were now too loud, and why couldn’t I trade my jeans for something more feminine, with a flounce?

One weekend, when he had gone out to spend the bright summer day with his parents at their country club, I was sitting alone watching an old movie on TV, the tortoise on my lap, a book on the table for later. As I stroked Minnie’s leathery head, I began to realize how calm and happy I was. I had a more fulfilling relationship with the tortoise than I did with the boyfriend. Minnie and I let each other be who we were. It wasn’t long before I broke up with the boyfriend, and Minnie and I moved to a small apartment in Chelsea. I knew the breakup was the right thing to do, and I wasn’t as dejected as I had feared, because as soon as I opened the door I heard rustling, and there was Minnie, stretching out his beautiful neck in greeting.

Every night I would take Minnie out of the tank and put him on the table and tell him about my day. Sometimes I’d cry because I was lonely. But Minnie always seemed to listen and clack his jaws at just the right places in my narrative. At night, when I woke up, all I had to do was look across the room and there he was, a Buddha in a shell, wise and deeply comforting.

I didn’t want to be in a relationship again where someone wanted me to pretzel myself into someone I wasn’t. “You’re odd,” my ex had told me. “All you want to do is watch movies, read books and play with Minnie.” He meant it as a rebuke, but I kept thinking: what was wrong with that kind of nirvana?

“Don’t worry,” my friend Jane said when I cried that maybe I was too strange, that maybe no one else would ever love me. “Someone’s going to find that so-called oddness your most appealing trait.”

Because Minnie was so important to me, I began to measure my dates by how they treated him. If dates gave Minnie the stink eye, that was that. If they expressed interest or wanted to hold him, it made me warm to them. But sooner or later a date would ask, “Do we have to eat with the tortoise on the table?” or “This is a pet?” and my heart would shutter. When I met Jeff, a smart, funny journalist who took me to a toy store for our first date, I was anxious about how much I liked him. I invited him to dinner, which I admit was more a dare than a meal. Minnie was on the table in a glass tank with us. We were having spaghetti. Minnie was having live worms.

Jeff cautiously sat down. He looked from me to the tortoise tank and didn’t say a word. When Minnie lunged for a worm, Jeff flinched. But he didn’t get up and leave, and at the end of the evening, he asked for another date. He didn’t object weeks later when I told him I wanted us to take Minnie to Central Park, and he came with a picnic basket and a little wrapped gift. I opened it and inside was a little red rubber squid toy.

“I thought he’d like it,” Jeff said, wiggling it at Minnie, who lunged toward it. Where my old boyfriend told me how obsessive I was about Minnie, Jeff celebrated our connection, making a fake newspaper cover featuring Minnie and me. (“Startling Tales of Tortoise Life! She holds me under the faucet!” the headline blared.) Two years later we married and moved to Hoboken, N.J., where Minnie resided in a glass tank on a table in my writing studio. All I had to do to see him was turn around. When Jeff and I had a child, I got critically ill with a rare blood disorder. I was in the hospital for three months and at home in bed for another six. Jeff would bring in our son every morning and set him on the bed so I could cradle and play with him. One day he brought Minnie and a towel and set him on the bed, too.

Minnie and I had been together for 20 years when his body began to fail. He refused to eat, wouldn’t walk, and even his beloved squid toy didn’t interest him. I hadn’t known how old Minnie was when I got him, so I couldn’t tell if this was the natural end of a long life or the crushing finish of a young one. The vet told me his body was shutting down and that the kindest thing I might do for him would be to put him to sleep. I cried. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give him up.

One afternoon when Jeff wasn’t home and our son was at school, I heard a noise in my office. When I walked in, Minnie wasn’t moving, and when I lifted him, his legs fell gracelessly against my hand. Sobbing, I carried him outside to our postage stamp backyard. I wanted to bury him there so he’d always be a presence near me, but the ground was rocky and I couldn’t dig a hole deeper than four inches, barely enough to cover his shell. Worse, it started to rain, soaking me. I kept imagining Minnie’s bones floating up from the ground like something out of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary.” So I wrapped him in a towel and ran two blocks to the vet, where, covered in mud and weeping, I let them gently take him from me. I grieved. Of course, I grieved. But when I told people how much I missed him, how I couldn’t write without him in my office, they didn’t get it.

“He was like a pet rock,” my mother said. “How can you miss a rock?”

People told me about their dogs and cats who had died, and I thought, it’s easy to love the beautiful, the normal. But what about the gifts of loving the strange, the uncommon, the odd? I felt I would never get over him. Then one day I came home to find Jeff grinning. “Come to your office,” he said.

We walked upstairs, and there on the wall was a painting of Minnie, walking on our wood floors, moving toward an open doorway, his head happily aloft. I looked at Jeff, astonished. An old high school friend, a painter, had captured Minnie on canvas, and Jeff had hung the portrait inches from where Minnie’s tank used to be.

Recently, when I got up to go to work in my office, I thought about how, for a while, I was unlucky in love. I no more fit in my old life than Minnie had in his tiny pet store tank. I remembered my ex telling me he wanted a girlfriend who was more normal. Then I looked across the hall to see my husband waving and beaming at me, and I gazed at the wall and there was Minnie. A strange little figure. Uncommon. Odd. And completely and always beloved.

*Share answers.

*Vocab. practice

The sergeant _____________ the privates with pride in the army.

George Bush was often _________________ while he was in the office.

Tired of being _________________ by the paparazzi, the celebrity wore a costume when in public.

An earthquake often results in a _________________ in whatever society it strikes.

Certain metals are more ________________ than other metals.

Due to the excessive amounts of email, companies are now offering a way to ____________ out of receiving them.

I keep far away from roller coasters because they always make me ________________.

James Bond’s ________________ has kept him alive in many dangerous situations.

___________________ and Las Vegas are like jazz and New York.

Though it often means the demise of a champion, a ___________________ can also result in an increase in his/her motivation.

After I hear a good politician speak, I often become_________________ about issues I was previously certain.

Day 8

Objectives: 1. Understand the importance of the writer Annie Dillard.

2. Understand the technique of observation used to write personal essays.

*PowerPoint presentation (write down important points in addition to the bullets in the presentation)

*Read the following personal essay and complete the questions. Add them to your list of questions for the unit.

1. Summarize what Dillard means by “seeing.”

2. What are some objects you would like to be able to “see”?

“Seeing” by, Annie Dillard

When I was six or seven years old, growing up in Pittsburgh, I used to take a precious penny of my own and hide it for someone else to find. It was a curious compulsion; sadly, I’ve never been seized by it since. For some reason I always “hid” the penny along the same stretch of sidewalk up the street. I would cradle it at the roots of a sycamore, say, or in a hole left by a chipped-off piece of sidewalk. Then I would take a piece of chalk, and, starting at either end of the block, draw huge arrows leading up to the penny from both directions. After I learned to write I labeled the arrows: SURPRISE AHEAD or MONEY THIS WAY. I was greatly excited, during all this arrow-drawing, at the thought of the first lucky passer-by who would receive in this way, regardless of merit, a free gift from the universe. But I never lurked about. I would go straight home and not give the matter another thought, until, some months later, I would be gripped again by the impulse to hide another penny. It is still the first week in January, and I’ve got great plans. I’ve been thinking about seeing. There are lots of things to see, unwrapped gifts and free surprises. The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But—and this is the point—who gets excited by a mere penny? If you follow one arrow, if you crouch motionless on a bank to watch a tremulous ripple thrill on the water and are rewarded by the sight of a muskrat kid paddling from its den, will you count that sight a chip of copper only, and go your rueful way? It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won’t stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. What you see is what you get. I used to be able to see flying insects in the air. I’d look ahead and see, not the row of hemlocks across the road, but the air in front of it. My eyes would focus along that column of air, picking out flying insects. But I lost interest, I guess, for I dropped the habit. Now I can see birds. Probably some people can look at the grass at their feet and discover all the crawling creatures. I would like to know grasses and sedges—and care. Then my least journey into the world would be a field trip, a series of happy recognitions. Thoreau, in an expansive mood, exulted, “What a rich book might be made about buds, including, perhaps, sprouts!” It would be nice to think so. I cherish mental images I have of three perfectly happy people. One collects stones. Another—an Englishman, say—watches clouds. The third lives on a coast and collects drops of seawater which he examines microscopically and mounts. But I don’t see what the specialist sees, and so I cut myself off, not only from the total picture, but from the various forms of happiness. Unfortunately, nature is very much a now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t affair. A fish flashes, then dissolves in the water before my eyes like so much salt. Deer apparently ascend bodily into heaven; the brightest oriole fades into leaves. These disappearances stun me into stillness and concentration; they say of nature that it conceals with a grand nonchalance, and they say of vision that it is a deliberate gift, the revelation of a dancer who for my eyes only flings away her seven veils. For nature does reveal as well as conceal: now-you-don’t-see-it, now-you-do. For a week last September migrating red-winged blackbirds were feeding heavily down by the creek at the back of the house. One day I went out to investigate the racket; I walked up to a tree, an Osage orange, and a hundred birds flew away. They simply materialized out of the tree. I saw a tree, then a whisk of color, then a tree again. I walked closer and another hundred blackbirds took flight. Not a branch, not a twig budged: the birds were apparently weightless as well as invisible. Or, it was as if the leaves of the Osage orange had been freed from a spell in the form of redwinged blackbirds; they flew from the tree, caught my eye in the sky, and vanished. When I looked again at the tree the leaves had reassembled as if nothing had happened. Finally I walked directly to the trunk of the tree and a finally hundred, the real diehards, appeared, spread, and vanished. How could so many hide in the tree without my seeing them? The Osage orange, unruffled, looked just as it had looked from the house, when three hundred red-winged blackbirds cried from its crown. I looked downstream where they flew, and they were gone. Searching, I couldn’t spot one. I wandered downstream to force them to play their hand, but they’d crossed the creek and scattered. One show to a customer. These appearances catch at my throat; they are the free gifts, the bright coppers at the roots of trees. It’s all a matter of keeping my eyes open. Nature is like one of those line drawings of a tree that are puzzles for children: Can you find hidden in the leaves a duck, a house, a boy, a bucket, a zebra, and a boot? Specialists can find the most incredibly well-hidden things. A book I read when I was young recommended an easy way to find caterpillars to rear: you simply find some fresh caterpillar droppings, look up, and there’s your caterpillar. If I can’t see these minutiae, I still try to keep my eyes open. I’m always on the lookout for antlion traps in sandy soil, monarch pupae near milkweed, skipper larvae in locust leaves. These things are utterly common, and I’ve not seen one. I bang on hollow trees near water, but so far no flying squirrels have appeared. In flat country I watch every sunset in hopes of seeing the green ray. The green ray is a seldom-seen streak of light that rises from the sun like a spurting fountain at the moment of sunset; it throbs into the sky for two seconds and disappears. One more reason to keep my eyes open. A photography professor at the University of Florida just happened to see a bird die in midnight; it jerked, died, dropped, and smashed on the ground. I squint at the wind because I read Stewart Edward White: “I have always maintained that if you looked closely enough you could see the wind—the dim, hardly-made-out, fine debris fleeing high in the air.” White was an excellent observer, and devoted an entire chapter of The Mountains to the subject of seeing deer: “As soon as you can forget the naturally obvious and construct an artificial obvious, then you too will see deer.”

*Share responses to questions.

*How to Write an Observation

An observation is a kind of writing that aims at giving the reader the clearest possible sensory image of an event or circumstance. The observation can be focused on one particular thing, such as an object of which the writer wants to capture details, or it can be about a time and/or place to which the writer would like to transport the reader.

The key to an observation is precise sensory language (touch, taste, smell, etc.) It may help to go through the senses one at a time, explaining exactly what the topic is like using the most descriptive language possible. You may also jump from impression to impression; just try to make sure that you write down every impression that you have and give the reader a full account of what is was like. You should have a notepad or some other kind of writing implement on hand so that you can write fresh material immediately as your observe it.

In general, you should try to be objective, but you can also include your more subjective impressions of the topic based on your own previous experiences and memories. In the end, when you go to write the observation you may find yourself leaving some details out in order to provide a clearer picture. You should take as much detail as possible while you are actually making your observations, then you can decide afterwards how much to leave in and what to take out for the sake of clarity. Great writers are often praised for their keen observation. What these writers are able to do, what makes their work so great, is present material on a subject that allows the reader to see things in their mind as clearly as if they were seeing it with their own eyes. In fact, a great writer will present a subject so well that a reader may be shown certain details that he or she had never noticed before. The goal of an observation is to be as descriptive as possible. In order to accomplish this, writers should choose the most precise words when constructing sentences. For example, describing something as "small" can lead to a wide range of images, but calling something "microscopic" is much more precise.

*Homework: Select something important and interesting to you. Complete an observation of it. Include the following:

  1. Use the five senses—taste, touch, sight, smell, sound

  2. Use precise language— “thing” is weak; “fuzzy, sharp-toothed, eight-legged beast” is strong.

  3. Use comparisons—similes (sun is like an enormous candle) and metaphors (the sun is a monstrous wildfire)

  4. Use much detail—plenty of adjectives

  5. Use relevant detail

*Homework: Complete an observation.

Day 9

Objectives: 1. Understand the technique of observation used to write personal essays.

2. Understand that memoir writing can empower a writer.

*Share observations with a partner. Use the list at the end of day eight and evaluate your partner’s paper. Write an example for three of the criteria from the list of How to Write an Observation.

*PowerPoint presentation (write down important points in addition to the bullets in the presentation)

*Read the following excerpt from the memoir I am Malala and complete the questions.

1. What do you think motivated Yousafzi to write her memoirs?

2. Why do you think the world reacted so strongly and positively to her memoirs?

3. Which of Yousafzi’s descriptions did you find effective and memorable? Why?

I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzi

Prologue: The Day my World Changed

I come from a country which was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday. One year ago I left my home for school and never returned. I was shot by a Taliban bullet and was flown out of Pakistan unconscious. Some people say I will never return home but I believe firmly in my heart that I will. To be torn from the country that you love is not something to wish on anyone. Now, every morning when I open my eyes, I long to see my old room full of my things, my clothes all over the floor and my school prizes on the shelves. Instead I am in a country which is five hours behind my beloved homeland Pakistan and my home in the Swat Valley. But my country is centuries behind this one. Here there is any convenience you can imagine. Water running from every tap, hot or cold as you wish; lights at the flick of a switch, day and night, no need for oil lamps; ovens to cook on that don’t need anyone to go and fetch gas cylinders from the bazaar. Here everything is so modern one can even find food ready cooked in packets. When I stand in front of my window and look out, I see tall buildings, long roads full of vehicles moving in orderly lines, neat green hedges and lawns, and tidy pavements to walk on. I close my eyes and for a moment I am back in my valley – the high snow-topped mountains, green waving fields and fresh blue rivers – and my heart smiles when it looks at the people of Swat. My mind transports me back to my school and there I am reunited with my friends and teachers. I meet my best friend Moniba and we sit together, talking and joking as if I had never left. Then I remember I am in Birmingham, England. The day when everything changed was Tuesday, 9 October 2012. It wasn’t the best of days to start with as it was the middle of school exams, though as a bookish girl I didn’t mind them as much as some of my classmates. That morning we arrived in the narrow mud lane off Haji Baba Road in our usual procession of brightly painted rickshaws, sputtering diesel fumes, each one crammed with five or six girls. Since the time of the Taliban our school has had no sign and the ornamented brass door in a white wall across from the woodcutter’s yard gives no hint of what lies beyond. For us girls that doorway was like a magical entrance to our own special world. As we skipped through, we cast off our headscarves like winds puffing away clouds to make way for the sun then ran helter-skelter up the steps. At the top of the steps was an open courtyard with doors to all the classrooms. We dumped our backpacks in our rooms then gathered for morning assembly under the sky, our backs to the mountains as we stood to attention. One girl commanded, ‘Assaan bash! ’ or ‘Stand at ease!’ and we clicked our heels and responded, ‘Allah.’ Then she said, ‘Hoo she yar!’ or ‘Attention!’ and we clicked our heels again. ‘Allah.’ The school was founded by my father before I was born, and on the wall above us khushal school was painted proudly in red and white letters. We went to school six mornings a week and as a fifteen-year-old in Year 9 my classes were spent chanting chemical equations or studying Urdu grammar; writing stories in English with morals like ‘Haste makes waste’ or drawing diagrams of blood circulation – most of my classmates wanted to be doctors. It’s hard to imagine that anyone would see that as a threat. Yet, outside the door to the school lay not only the noise and craziness of Mingora, the main city of Swat, but also those like the Taliban who think girls should not go to school. That morning had begun like any other, though a little later than usual. It was exam time so school started at nine instead of eight, which was good as I don’t like getting up and can sleep through the crows of the cocks and the prayer calls of the muezzin. First my father would try to rouse me. ‘Time to get up, Jani mun,’ he would say. This means ‘soulmate’ in Persian, and he always called me that at the start of the day. ‘A few more minutes, Aba, please,’ I’d beg, then burrow deeper under the quilt. Then my mother would come. ‘Pisho,’ she would call. This means ‘cat’ and is her name for me. At this point I’d realise the time and shout, ‘Bhabi, I’m late!’ In our culture, every man is your ‘brother’ and every woman your ‘sister’. That’s how we think of each other. When my father first brought his wife to school, all the teachers referred to her as ‘my brother’s wife’ or Bhabi. That’s how it stayed from then on. We all call her Bhabi now. I slept in the long room at the front of our house, and the only furniture was a bed and a cabinet which I had bought with some of the money I had been given as an award for campaigning for peace in our valley and the right for girls to go to school. On some shelves were all the gold-coloured plastic cups and trophies I had won for coming first in my class. Only twice had I not come top – both times when I was beaten by my class rival Malka e-Noor. I was determined it would not happen again. The school was not far from my home and I used to walk, but since the start of last year I had been going with other girls in a rickshaw and coming home by bus. It was a journey of just five minutes along the stinky stream, past the giant billboard for Dr Humayun’s Hair Transplant Institute where we joked that one of our bald male teachers must have gone when he suddenly started to sprout hair. I liked the bus because I didn’t get as sweaty as when I walked, and I could chat with my friends and gossip with Usman Ali, the driver, who we called Bhai Jan, or ‘Brother’. He made us all laugh with his crazy stories. Malala Yousafzai I had started taking the bus because my mother was scared of me walking on my own. We had been getting threats all year. Some were in the newspapers, some were notes or messages passed on by people. My mother was worried about me, but the Taliban had never come for a girl and I was more concerned they would target my father as he was always speaking out against them. His close friend and fellow campaigner Zahid Khan had been shot in the face in August on his way to prayers and I knew everyone was telling my father, ‘Take care, you’ll be next.’ Our street could not be reached by car, so coming home I would get off the bus on the road below by the stream and go through a barred iron gate and up a flight of steps. I thought if anyone attacked me it would be on those steps. Like my father I’ve always been a daydreamer, and sometimes in lessons my mind would drift and I’d imagine that on the way home a terrorist might jump out and shoot me on those steps. I wondered what I would do. Maybe I’d take off my shoes and hit him, but then I’d think if I did that there would be no difference between me and a terrorist. It would be better to plead, ‘OK, shoot me, but first listen to me. What you are doing is wrong. I’m not against you personally, I just want every girl to go to school.’ I wasn’t scared but I had started making sure the gate was locked at night and asking God what happens when you die. I told my best friend Moniba everything. We’d lived on the same street when we were little and been friends since primary school and we shared everything, Justin Bieber songs and Twilight movies, the best face-lightening creams. Her dream was to be a fashion designer although she knew her family would never agree to it, so she told everyone she wanted to be a doctor. It’s hard for girls in our society to be anything other than teachers or doctors if they can work at all. I was different – I never hid my desire when I changed from wanting to be a doctor to wanting to be an inventor or a politician. Moniba always knew if something was wrong. ‘Don’t worry,’ I told her. ‘The Taliban have never come for a small girl.’ When our bus was called, we ran down the steps. The other girls all covered their heads before emerging from the door and climbing up into the back. The bus was actually what we call a dyna, a white Toyota TownAce truck with three parallel benches, one along either side and one in the middle. It was cramped with twenty girls and three teachers. I was sitting on the left between Moniba and a girl from the year below called Shazia Ramzan, holding our exam folders to our chests and our school bags under our feet. After that it is all a bit hazy. I remember that inside the dyna it was hot and sticky. The cooler days were late coming and only the faraway mountains of the Hindu Kush had a frosting of snow. The back where we sat had no windows, just thick plastic sheeting at the sides which flapped and was too yellowed and dusty to see through. All we could see was a little stamp of open sky out of the back and glimpses of the sun, at that time of day a yellow orb floating in the dust that streamed over everything. I remember that the bus turned right off the main road at the army checkpoint as always and rounded the corner past the deserted cricket ground. I don’t remember any more. In my dreams about the shooting my father is also in the bus and he is shot with me, and then there are men everywhere and I am searching for my father. In reality what happened was we suddenly stopped. On our left was the tomb of Sher Mohammad Khan, the finance minister of the first ruler of Swat, all overgrown with grass, and on our right the snack factory. We must have been less than 200 metres from the checkpoint. We couldn’t see in front, but a young bearded man in lightcoloured clothes had stepped into the road and waved the van down. ‘Is this the Khushal School bus?’ he asked our driver. Usman Bhai Jan thought this was a stupid question as the name was painted on the side. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘I need information about some children,’ said the man. ‘You should go to the office,’ said Usman Bhai Jan. As he was speaking another young man in white approached the back of the van. ‘Look, it’s one of those journalists coming to ask for an interview,’ said Moniba. Since I’d started speaking at events with my father to campaign for girls’ education and against those like the Taliban who want to hide us away, journalists often came, even foreigners, though not like this in the road. The man was wearing a peaked cap and had a handkerchief over his nose and mouth as if he had flu. He looked like a college student. Then he swung himself onto the tailboard at the back and leaned in right over us. ‘Who is Malala?’ he demanded. No one said anything, but several of the girls looked at me. I was the only girl with my face not covered. That’s when he lifted up a black pistol. I later learned it was a Colt 45. Some of the girls screamed. Moniba tells me I squeezed her hand. My friends say he fired three shots, one after another. The first went through my left eye socket and out under my left shoulder. I slumped forward onto Moniba, blood coming from my left ear, so the other two bullets hit the girls next to me. One bullet went into Shazia’s left hand. The third went through her left shoulder and into the upper right arm of Kainat Riaz. My friends later told me the gunman’s hand was shaking as he fired. By the time we got to the hospital my long hair and Moniba’s lap were full of blood. Who is Malala? I am Malala and this is my story.

*Review questions.

*Review activities:

1. Use five vocab. words and describe an object that is important to you.

2. Change the following sentences to make them parallel:

Sandra's style was remarkable for its dexterity, grace, and she could play any position.

Juan's motivation to succeed in this program seems to be greater than his sister.

Either you will begin to study now or risk failing the exam.

The students prepared for their exams at home, they spent extra hours with their tutors, they did the necessary research in the library, and asked questions in their classrooms.

3. Change the following sentences to the active voice:

Mistakes were made by the company.

The baby was delivered by Dr. Gamble.

Items were stolen by a person inside the company.

Rules were enforced by the principal.

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