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:

How do I join?

First, join Ms. J’s NaNoWriMo classroom here:

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.






Last Minute Cramming

For those of you doing some last minute cramming…  You should be able to download the plagiarism PowerPoint so that you can study.


and for some trivia for the bonus question…


Heartbreaking or Heartwarming?

There is some buzz about a letter that was written by a little, 6-year-old boy to President Obama following one of the many recent attacks on Syrians.

Here is the image that motivated the letter:

Below you can see President Obama’s remarks that remind me that hatred is not something that is born into us– it is something that we learn over time.

Another Short Week…

Today I talked about James Dean to one of my sections of grade 11.

Here is the trailer:

And here is a highlight from the film…  Who is the chicken?


Short Week

Hello everyone,

It seems that everyone is excited about the short week!  I will be working off-site this week, learning some more about the IB in Cambodia.  Please be nice to the subs, as I know you will be.

I would like to remind you to keep up on your reading journal…  Here is a little song to make it stick in your head.

Also– Thanks to Jooy for my AWESOME 81 SONG kpop play list.  I can’t wait to check it all out.

What a Great Week

Hey there my people,

I just wanted to say how great everyone’s introduction presentations were this week.  I know some of you were nervous about speaking in class, but I was happy with the effort that each of you showed to do a good job and to give me some interesting information about who you are.

Also– I need to give a extra special shout out to Ann in my G/7 Block class for being the most skilled assistant.  You were really in good form and made the process run extra smoothly.  Here is a video of people doing things like a boss– just like you did today!

Welcome to My New Home

Hello all, and welcome to my new home: AIS.

I say “my new home” as you all have been living here for some time now and I have only just arrived here in VietNam and AIS.

Honestly, I’m pretty impressed with the place and i look forward to getting to know each and every one of my new students.

I also am looking forward to getting involved in other ways!  I’ve already volunteered to coach the cheer squad– Cheering was only a major passion of my life between 14 and 20, so I hope to share that with my new squad members.  If there are any surfers in the mix, please give me some pointers as to your favorite beaches in the area… I would love to go as soon as the surf is up.

If you scroll down from here, you will see many, many photos of my life.  Please feel free to look and ask questions that you may have in the comments box below or in the hallway between classes. I’m happy to answer your questions.

Week 3 and The Stress is Real

Hello people.

Do you feel it?  That’s stress.  It’s only going to get more intense.

Here is something to make you forget about it for a moment.  Friday is a special day.  It is the day, WAAAYYYYYYY back fourteen years ago in 2001, that Mr. Harris and I went on our first date.  This is a big day for us!

Here are some snapshots from the more recent past.  Can you tell which is from the day we got married?

Adam Being Gross

C and A Ann and Mitch Weddding

C and A Bartee Wedding

C and A Seattle

Ciara and Adam BBQ

Ciara and Adam Ewu GU game

Ciara and Adam Jess Jason Wedding

Ciara and Adam Wedding

C and A Turkish Dinner

O and M Wedding

The day we got engaged

Week 1– Song Parody and EE Day

Well… We didn’t see each other a whole lot this week.

Monday– Opening ceremony took our first two classes, so nothing to talk about for that

Tuesday– We had one period and you got the outline for the song parody project.  Here is a link if you lost it: Project 0– Song Parody The Bluest Eye

I have made a YouTube playlist that will help you get some social context so that you can better understand the issues of race that color the themes of the text. 

Friday– We were in the library “working” on your EE’s.

Next steps– Work on your song parody this weekend… Read the book!

Language and Taboo: The Article I Talked About Today

Some of you may be interested in the article I mentioned today.

The F Word

Take a Breather?

Here is a little video to help you relax.  I mean really, who doesn’t like baby animals?