The ten literature selections for the Classical Conversations Challenge A program were all chosen with the theme “Ownership” in mind, and I have loved almost all of them. I appreciate the variety of fiction and historical fiction (from Ancient Rome to World War II, and two based on the lives of real people) as well as the balance of male and female protagonists (usually around the age of Challenge A students when they face their greatest conflict).
It seems as if I had heard some negative comments about The Door in the Wall, but it was one of my favorites and it led to great discussions when we were working on the ANI chart.
We are discussing Crispin: The Cross of Lead this week, and I couldn’t put it down once I started reading. My book is all marked up. I hope to share some discussion notes next week. I immediately purchased the other two books in the trilogy, Crispin: At the Edge of the World and Crispin: The End of Time.
The Bronze Bow, our last literature selection, is up next. I’m looking forward to re-reading and discussing.
A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32 was the book I struggled with the most. The writing felt forced or awkward, and I didn’t care for the journal-entry style writing (which contributed to the forced story-line). I also found it very difficult to come up with a large number of entries for our ANI chart without getting wildly inventive. It wasn’t awful, I just wasn’t particularly inspired to discuss the book.
Levi and I worked on the essay together, however, and it turned out better than I expected so I am sharing here. We chose to argue a different side of the issue from what we normally do. As I shared yesterday, these basic persuasive essays are intended to be precise, reduced writing with correct structure that will allow for beautiful, high-quality, productive growth in the coming years.
It’s not perfect (especially the support for proof 3), but we’re making progress.
A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos
Lost Tools of Writing Basic Persuasive Essay II
Is it possible to do the wrong thing with good intentions? In A Gathering of Days Catherine had good intentions, but she should not have left the blanket and food for the “phantom” for three reasons. Catherine failed to protect herself and others from danger, she failed to obey the authorities over her, and she failed to respect the property of others.
The first reason Catherine should not have left the blanket and food for the “phantom” was that she failed to protect herself and others from danger. Catherine, who was only a fourteen-year-old girl, knew that the “phantom” was a man by the size of his stride and footprints like craters in the ground. She did not know what kind of person he was or what his intentions were. Catherine also risked her friend’s life by asking her friend to accompany her on the mission.
The second reason Catherine should not have left the blanket and food for the “phantom” was that she failed to obey the authorities over her. Catherine kept her actions secret from her father who thought indentured servants ought to be returned and was likely to advise against helping a probable run-away slave. Catherine did not ask for any adult’s help or advice within her community. Catherine’s government, the United States, considered her action illegal. Toward the end of her journal Catherine wrote, “Thus it now appears to me that trust, and not submission, defines obedience.” (p. 139) She should have trusted her authorities.
The third reason Catherine should not have left the blanket and food for the “phantom” was that she failed to respect the property of others. The “phantom” legally belonged to someone else. He disrespected her property by stealing her book and writing in it. The quilt and food were not Catherine’s property to give away.
Catherine should not have left the blanket and food for the “phantom” because she failed to protect herself and others, she failed to obey authority, and she failed to respect the property of others. Catherine’s actions mattered most to her father because his daughter was in danger, she was under his authority, and the property given was his.