Lake of Life

by Noah Stapp

You lie, lake, throughout the winter hell.
Your ice cage, your cage a shield
for life, safe from the frozen spell.

Shut away beneath this icy shell,
a kingdom of life survives, waiting
to wish winter's wrath farewell.

Winds may blow, and lights may quell,
but always will there be a soul alive,
surviving throughout each death knell.

Winter ends and life begins to swell:
water begins its incessant flow.
Souls beneath gather, starting to rebel.

Sunshine beams as life emerges to dwell,
the curse of darkness failing.
A new world awakes, free of winter's prison cell.

Bright sun shines, stars twinkle, warm seas dispel
the cold. The world is full of vigor:
new and old are one, strong against the well.
Come out from death to live, to birth, to yell.


by Noah Stapp

“One. . two. . . three. . . . four. . . . . five!" The sharp clang of the steel bar hitting the rack jolted me from my focused state. As I re-racked the bar, my arms cried out, exhausted from exertion. It was Tuesday morning, and I was in the gym, working out despite a nasty cold and colossal mound of homework. I felt at peace, away from the stress of school, grades, and life. Here was a very different kind of stress: physical, heavy weight that tore muscles down and rebuilt them, stronger than before. The resulting soreness and exhaustion was oddly calming: a sort of pride taken from defeating your body and remaking it better. Sighing, I sniffled in a deep breath and grabbed the bar, starting a new set of repetitions.

Weightlifting is one of the few constants in my life besides school. Three times a week, every week, I go to the gym, ignoring, for the most part, weather, sickness, and stress. Consistency is key to weightlifting: without consistent, progressive exertion, you cannot improve and grow stronger. I have applied this lesson to everything in my life: school, hobbies, social activities. Repetition and consistency are the only way to improve most things in life, making success far easier. Before I began weightlifting, I would often procrastinate, putting off schoolwork until the last minute, then rushing and doing a subpar job. This laziness and lack of consistency carried over into other parts of my life: most notably, I was out of shape and incredibly socially anxious.

Weightlifting was the driving force behind fixing all three problems. I got into shape over time, and my newfound fitness gave me confidence and the drive to improve through repetition, helping me to conquer my social fears. I began planning ahead, doing schoolwork at a consistent rate, and no longer procrastinated until the last minute. The quality of my work began rising: consistent practice led to gradual improvement in skills. Skipping a day or week of exercise can mean stalling progress, forcing me to effectively repeat a previous workout, rather than growing stronger. Picking up that first barbell gave me an iron will, one that has proved invaluable in all areas of my life.

REVIEW key terminology & vocabulary on the AP Vocabulary Archive OR play to study on Quizlet!

Online dictionary -- go to >> <<

Check all papers for these skills before turning them in to me.

Click on the icon at right to access Editors' Links and directions for email editing: Editors' Links

During the year, choose books from the College Reading List.

See 2015-2016 AP English pieces by clicking HERE
See 2014-2015 AP English pieces by clicking HERE
See 2013-2014 AP English pieces by clicking HERE
See 2011-2012 AP English pieces by clicking HERE
See 2008-2009 AP English pieces by clicking HERE
See 2004-2005 AP English pieces by clicking HERE
See 2003-2004 English III pieces by clicking HERE


Participation = 30%
(purely subjective, based on my perceptions of your initiative, interest, self-motivation, & tenacity)

Assignments (two parts of grade)

1st Semester EFFORT = 20%; CONTENT = 10%
2nd Semester EFFORT = 10%; CONTENT = 20%

Vocab/Multiple Choice tests = 15%

AP Portfolio essay grades = 15%

Exams = 10%

"One of the ridiculous aspects of being a poet is the gulf between how seriously we take ourselves and how generally we are ignored by everybody else."
                                  Billy Collins, quoted in The Boston Globe

To see who has signed up for 2015-2016 classes,
go to 2015-2016 REGISTRATION & Class Lists

1st Quarter Unfinished Pieces

                Assignments: 83% [E] / 79% [C}
                AP essays = 66%
                Vocab/Mult. Choice practice = 47%

new poem
Common Application
long application essay
Business letter #2 requesting "pay"
Sound & Sense chapters 7 & 8 questions
Compare/contrast essay: Curiosity & Ulysses

                Assignments: 92% [E] / 87% [C]
                AP essays = 66%
                Vocab/Mult. Choice practice = 73%

Compare/contrast essay: Curiosity & Ulysses
Blue poetry

Grammar, key terminology, and vocabulary items that we have discussed in class are on the AP Vocabulary Archive. The sooner you get started, the sooner (comparative degree) you will know all your terms.

An explanation of the assignment grades above: The grade you see is an average of the CONTENT grades you have received over an average of the EFFORT grades you have received. We will have this on hand in class as a graph, which I expect to see rise over the course of the year. There will, of course, be dips, too...During the first semester, the effort grade will be weighted more; during the Spring semester, I will look at the content average as the more significant part of your grade.

Copyright © November 9, 2015 Marie M. Furnary All rights reserved.