Flavors of the USA

Every once in a while, living away from home gets a little tough and I start missing the foods that I normally eat there.  Here is a little video about one of those very American flavors: Ranch dressing.

Growing up, I loved putting this on nearly everything: salad, chips, pizza… everything. Here, the ranch dressing that you get is not quuuuuiiiiiite right, but I would have a hard time telling you why.  Maybe it’s not thick enough, maybe it’s not the right balance of flavors, or maybe it has milk from a different animal….

This makes me curious.  Is there a condiment/sauce here in Vietnam that people would believe makes “everything” taste better?  Let me know if you think of one.

Getting Ready for Summer

Hello all.

The site has changes a bit as I get ready for the 2017-18 school year.  If you are looking for something specific, try using the search bar to the right.  None of the previous posts are deleted, they are just hidden from view to make things a bit cleaner for the next round of classes.

I hope you all do a ton of reading this summer.  I will be trying to keep up with my reading by updating my GoodReads.com reviews each time I finish a book… I’m about 150 titles behind right now, so we’ll see how this goes.

Here are two of my favorite songs about summer to get in the mood…


Late Work Due Date

Late Work will not be accepted after December 12, 2016 for Semester 1. 

Please check in Plus Portal to see if you have any missing assignments that need to be sorted out or turned in.  If you bring me something Tuesday, December 13th… I will not take it.

Getting to the End

Here is some inspiration for you as you reach the end of your NaNoWriMo journey…

NaNoWriMo is Nearing

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and it takes place each year in November.  This was started in 1999 in the USA as a way for professional and amateur writers to come together from all over the world.

What do you do?

NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write an entire novel in the month of November.  Adults have a 50,000 word goal and student participants, like you, get to set their own targets.  Ms. Johnson has proposed 7,000; 10,000; and 13,000 words as attainable goals for high school students at AIS-Vietnam.

When does it happen?

NaNoWriMo is the month of NOVEMBER. So, you start writing on November 1, 2016, and you must finish and submit your text to the official “Word Counter” before midnight November 30th to have your work verified.

What can I win?

The most important thing to most of you will be the extra credit in your English classes.  Please see Ms. Johnson for details about this.

You can also win great prizes from the NaNoWriMo people.  You can check them out here: http://nanowrimo.org/winner-goodies

How do I join?

First, join Ms. J’s NaNoWriMo classroom here: https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/

and use this code to join: PQERNRMM

Then what?

Declare your goal and create your user profile.  Check back to find inspiration and fun activities all month long.

Extra Credit Anyone?

Literary PUN-kins

English Bonus Activity–Up to 20 Points

To add a little levity to English classes this Halloween, we will be creating and decorating some literary pumpkins in the semblance of our favorite literary characters.


  1. Let me know who your favorite literary character is by, well, as soon as you can (so we don’t have duplicates).
  2. Create your pumpkin character using anything you want—Sky’s the limit!
  3. Provide a “setting” or a habitat for your character to exist within.  This doesn’t need to be huge, but some sort of setting to help your character make sense is needed.
  4. Include a placard to accompany your pumpkin which will be on display in the school. Include the following information and should be 250-300 words in total:
    1. Character’s name
    2. Book title and author’s name
    3. Descriptive quotation(s) about your character
    4. A brief explanation of why this is your favorite character
    5. Reasons (at least two) why other students would enjoy this book
    6. Your name

Turn your PUN-kin in before school on October 31.  Details of where will be provided closer to the date.

Here are some images of ones that have been done in the past to get your ideas flowing.