Course Syllabus


Mr. Brazier



The Curriculum


Unit 1:  Confusion and Loss




William Faulkner – The Sound and the Fury

Flannery O’Conner – A Good Man is Hard to Find

Eudora Welty short stories

James Joyce – The Dead


Major Assessments:


  1. Summer Reading Essay
  2. Sound and Fury Essay
  3. O’Conner Project


Unit 2 – Lost Souls


Albert Camus – The Stranger

Franz Kafka – The Metamorphosis

Samuel Beckett – Waiting for Godot


Major Assessments:


  1. Existentialism Essay
  2. This I Believe Essay
  3. Midterm Self Paper –Essay and Presentation



Unit 3: Finding the Self


Shakespeare – Hamlet

Hermann Hesse – Siddhartha

Alice Walker – The Color Purple






Major Assessments:


  1. Hamlet Journal
  2. Personal Journey Essay
  3. Color Purple Essay



Unit 4: The Great Journey/Telling the Tale


Homer – The Odyssey

Tim O’Brien – The Things They Carried


Major Assessments:


  1. Self Paper
  2. Odyssey Project






Important Things to Know


            You should expect three to four major assignments a term. The most common of these will be the analytical essay that, on average, will be four pages in length. Other major assignments will be projects, exams, and presentations.  Smaller assignments will be 1-page writing responses, vocabulary quizzes, reading quizzes. Once or twice a quarter, we will have graded discussion seminars.  Assignments are given the following weight:

                        Essays:                                                50-80 points

                        Projects/Presentations/Essay Tests     50 points

                        Participation/Engagement                  100 points

Short Presentations                             20 points

                        Discussion Seminars                           20 points

                        Vocabulary Quizzes                            20 points

                        Reading Quizzes                                 5-10 points


            Each term you have one late day for essays or projects. You may not use this late day for anything other than essays and projects, and if you don’t use your late day, it does not carry over to the next term.  If you miss a smaller assignment, you may hand it in the next day for partial credit, but make sure you put it in my hands (don’t leave it on my desk).

            If an essay or project is late, 10 points are taken off for the first day and 5 points for every day thereafter. 



What you need to do/know to succeed in this class:



            I know that you are seniors and your lives are extremely busy, but you must make class attendance a priority. Since this will be a discussion-based class, you miss out and can’t make up or recreate a missed class. I do take attendance, and I expect you to inform me if you are going to miss even a single class. Very Important: If you are absent from a class, you need to get the assignments from someone in the class or from me. The homework for the next class is due even if you are absent, barring an assignment that is based on the class lesson.  Also, if you miss a quiz or test you need to remember to make it up. I will not hunt you down and remind you of missed work. College professors won’t do so either.


Assignments and Workload

            Depending on the difficulty of the reading, you can expect 30-40 pages a night.  I do give unscheduled reading quizzes, and I implore you to never resort to Sparknotes or any such summarizing aid.  We’ll be reading some of the best literature written in the English language, and it would be a shame for you to not actually read it.

            You can expect 3 major assessments. By far these are the most important assignments in terms of your grade since they are weighted heavily. Spend time on your writing and try your hardest to not wait until the last minute. Revision is a key to strong writing. You are given a late day each term. Save it for when it’s most needed, and if a paper is due on Friday and you are taking a late day, I expect you to email it to me on Saturday.

            We’ll do vocabulary approximately every other week.



Class Participation

            I stressed above that you attend each class, but if you sit through class in a daze you’re not really here. Class participation will be given a grade each term. If you are not inclined to speak in class, you can earn participation credit by talking to me outside of class and by paying close attention during class and talking during small group discussions. I also invite you to share with me interesting articles, readings, video clips, etc. that relate to what we are studying in class.



Random thoughts


Get your sleep!

Don’t let your college applications consume you

No, senior year does not end in January or April or when you get into college

Take advantage of this incredible year ahead of you but leave time to be quiet and think

Spend time with friends (after you’ve done your reading for me).

I’m here to help you, not make your life miserable with work

Take a deep breath – everything will be fine!



Course Summary:

Date Details Due