Me & the World

Teacher:Lise Brody
Extra Help:Mondays, room 302 or by appointment.

Welcome! In this course we will come together to write, think, discover and take action. We will start with the personal and then move outward to see how our unique experience fits into the world around us. Have other people's lives been touched by some of the same issues, questions, problems or realities as ours? Is there something that needs to be said? Is there something that we can change for the better? Our exploration will happen in three parts:

Unit I. Writing My Life

This unit is a personal narrative workshop. We will draw on our own experience and work together as community of writers to explore what makes personal writing powerful. At least 90 minutes a week of class time will be dedicated to in-class writing and individual teacher conferencing.

Unit II. Research

For this unit you will look back at your stories and identify an experience or issue that has personal relevance to you, then educate yourself about it. Your research questions will include: What is the history of this issue? How has it affected other people? How is it being talked about in the media, in science and social science?

Unit III. Making a Difference

In this unit you will draw on your research to take action through writing. You will write at least two different pieces – these might be a letter to elected representative or newspaper, a leaflet with a call to action, a blog, an educational pamphlet... This is your chance to talk to the world about something you care about.

Skills Assessed

Content (25%); Structure (25%); Language & Conventions (25%); Work Habits (25%)


Honors work is designed to make you think more deeply and ask more complicated questions. In other words, it's not the same only more: it's the same only harder.

Extra Help

Please come! My extra help is on Monday afternoons or by appointment (


Risk Taking and Respect

You will be sharing your creative work in this class.. That means that everybody needs to feel safe and respected. It is important that we give both others and ourselves permission to take risks, and that we be enthusiastically, critically, supportively engaged in one another's process.

Computer Use in Class

Computers should be closed in class unless we are doing in-class writing or group work. Please bring a notebook for taking notes.

Cell Phones Too

Turn them off and put them AWAY. No, not face-down on your desk. Not on your lap. AWAY.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism is claiming someone else’s words or ideas as your own. That means:

  • copying/ pasting something from the internet or another source without quote marks and citation

  • paraphrasing something from any source without citation

  • using someone else's ideas without giving them credit

When in doubt, cite! If it’s in the gray area, it IS plagiarism. I take this very seriously.

For more information on the Academic Honesty policy, please refer to the student handbook. 
I will take cases of plagiarism to Dr. Arnold with the
first offense.


All homework will be posted in the course web-page. You are responsible for work assigned while you are absent. I will make accommodations for serious illnesses and real emergencies.

Late Work Policy

I grant no-strings, no-questions-asked extensions, provided you request them before the end of the school day at least two school days before the assignment is due. If you do not have an extension, I will accept late work, but the work-habits grade will drop one letter grade per school day (whether or not we have class that day). If you are failing the course or dissatisfied with your grade due to missing work, please do not ask me to design special extra credit assignments for you.