• Announcements for Week 9 June 1-4

    1.  Be sure to get in your missing work by Thursday at 8 A.M.  I will need some time to grade it!

    2.  Here is the Last Lesson for the year.  If you want to know absolutely practical strategies that work for my students currently in college, read on!  It's common sense and straight from the heart.

    How to succeed in college: What really works

    3.  Thank you all for being a true blessing in my life.  Westhu hal (Stay healthy, stay holy)



    Announcements for Week 8 May 25-29

    I can hardly believe that we are on our last week of this tumultuous semester.  I want to thank each and every one of you for hanging in there and performing at a high level through the most challenging of times.  I am so proud and so honored to have been a part of your academic development.  You are ready for life!

    Here is the last assignment, optional, of course, for an additional 5% to your grade if you do all seven assignments.  Join us on our last Zoom meeting on Tuesday or Thursday 10-11.  If you need an individual Zoom, just email me and we can set up one in an instant!

    I would greatly appreciate it if all missing work were turned in on May 29th, so that I can get it graded and let you know if something else is needed.

    AP Lit and Comp Week 8



    Announcements for Week 7 May 18-22

    Yipee!  We are done with the test!!  Thank all of you who gave me feedback about your experience;  I'll be sure to pass it along to the proper folks.  Next you have a choice to make

    a.  You love your grade!  You are done for the semester.

    b.  You don't love your grade and would like to raise it 5%.  You will be finishing up our work for Brave New World as outlined in the assignment.

    AP Lit and Comp Week 7 and Week 8: Optional

    I'll be Zooming on BNW during our regular time 10-11 on Tuesdays and Thursdays to give the contextual background and to answer any of your questions.  Join us even if you don't plan to do the Lit Circle writing, but would like to learn more about this dystopian novel so relevant to us today!


    Announcements for Week 6 May 11-151.  The essays are over! Yipee!!  I loved reading every word of your analyses and watching you grow.  You are more than ready for the test on Wednesday!

    2.  The Assignment for this week is to rest, watch the last video, and review for the test.  It answers your basic questions about the test and leads you through an easy review.

    AP Lit and Comp Week 6 Assignment May 11-15

    3.  I'll be available on Zoom Monday 1-2, Tuesday 10-11 and 1-2 to answer your questions.  BE SURE TO TAKE THE PRACTICE EXAM SO TECH ISN'T AN ISSUE!

    4.  After the test you have two optionsA.  Look at your grade and percentage ;  if you like it, do nothing and this will be your semester grade. B.  Look at your grade and percentage; if you would like to raise it 5% do the work for Brave New World which will be posted for the next two weeks.  Many of you are very close to the next highest grade, so I want you to have the chance to earn it!  I'll be on Zoom to discuss the novel and answer your questions;  if you are going to do the work, join us; if you are not going to do the work but want to hear about the novel, join us.  I'll Zoom about BNW May 14, 19,21,26,28 from 10-11.  Let me know if you need the link.

    5.  All work for the semester is due Friday, May 29th.  However, I don't know how books will be returned for seniors, so it might be best to finish the BNW work earlier rather than later.


    Announcement for Week 5 May 4-8

    Hello!  We are getting closer to the test!!  I sent all of you all of the information that I received about the details of the test on May 11th.  If you signed up for the test, one is being reserved for you.  You REALLY need to review ALL of the material in the email I sent, and you should attend a Zoom meeting.  Beginning next week I will hold Zoom hours for everyone from 1-2 every day in order to answer your questions about the detailed instructions for the test and to review what ever you desire.

    Remember that on May 4th the College Board will send you the information you need in order to take the practice test.  Go over the Power Point on that before you give it a try.  If you cannot navigate the practice test, you cannot navigate the actual test so you will need to contact Trina Bradshaw immediately.  She is our AP Coordinator and she has been trained to help you (she is also very nice).  I hope to see all of you next week at our regular Zoom times or in the afternoon!!

    AP Lit and Comp Week 5 Assignment May 4-8


    Assignment and Announcements for Week 4 April 27-May 1

    Hello!  I loved seeing you on Zoom and discussing the literature for this week!  I truly appreciate the time we spend together hearing about your lives and digging deeply into some complex texts.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    Thank you, also, for the wonderful essays you have been turning in;  what a joy it is to read your writing and see how prepared you are to take the test on May 13th.  By now, I hope you have received the emails from Ms. Bradshaw and from the College Board itself.  I got an update from the College Board about the status of you who are taking the test.  Quite of few of you indicated that you would take it, but many of you are in the"unknown" category.  If that applies to you, you should let the College Board know your plans as soon as you know them yourself.

    For those of you with missing work from 3rd Quarter, I would love to get it by May 1, if possible, because the counselors are going crazy with worry about your graduation (and I am too).   Please, if there is anything I can do to help you or if you would like a phone tutorial, just let me know!  The S1 phone is 925.634.3521 extension 5490, and I'm here 8-3 every day.  I would love to talk to you!  For those of you who have turned in your missing work, THANK YOU!


    Here is the wonderful video for this week on Structure/ Plot.  Please view it first, take notes, and then apply what you have learned to the essay topics for this week.  May the Force be with you!

    AP Lit and Comp Prose Analysis structure/plot


    AP Lit and Comp Week 4

    (Sorry it's a big file this week.)








     Assignment and Announcements for Week 3 April 20-24

     Hello!  It was just wonderful to see you during our Zoom office hours on Tuesday and Thursday!!  I truly miss seeing you and hearing about your lives;  it was a pure pleasure to share literature with you once again.  You certainly made my day a sunny one!!!

    Here is your assignment for this week.  Remember to have the essays in by midnight on Sunday or your parents will probably be getting a phone call from Mr. Burstein!  The Liberty Admin are very concerned about every student turning in the weekly assignment on time.  They don't want anyone to slip through the cracks and neither do I!!

    I will be posting the models of the essays for Week 1 on Monday.  If I don't have your Week 1 essay by midnight Sunday, I'll have to give you an alternate assignment because you will have access to the models. Please turn in those Week 1 essays if you haven't.

    First, watch the video on Prose Review: Setting;  take notes and turn them in with your essays. 

    AP Lit and Comp: Prose review: Setting

    Next, complete the essays and incorporate what you have learned from the two videos.  May the Force be with you or as Beowulf would say "Westhu hal!"

    AP Lit and Comp Week 3 Assignment


    Announcement for Week 3 April 20-24

    1.  Missing work:  The counselors are very concerned about seniors who are still working on assignments from Quarter 3.  Once you have an assignment done, please send it to me ASAP so the counselors can see your progress.  Always complete the work for the week first, then work on the missing work.

    2.  The Test:  You should have received an email from Liberty's Ms. Bradshaw about the new format for the test on May 13th.  You should also soon receive an email from the College Board about your secure log-in credentials, the protocols, and the practice that you can do before the test so that you know exactly how it will work.  If you haven't received the message from the College Board, you will need to contact them immediately to make sure they have your contact information. 

    3. AP Review: For those of you wanting a comprehensive review of AP Lit and Comp here is a link to the Official AP online courses and reviews.  There are twenty videos for AP Lit and Comp for your viewing pleasure.

    AP Online courses and review



    Assignment and announcements for Week 2. April 13-17

    The College Board has approved of Barber and Escobar to do review videos of about 35-45 minutes for AP Lit and Comp. They have videos for five topics on Prose Analysis, and you will be viewing one each week.   Be sure to view only the approved Barber and Escobar videos because the College Board assumes that you know the material they present!  Yes, they are basically telling you what you need to do for the essay on May 13th!!  How nice!!!!

    As you watch this video take notes on the pointers they give about determining the power of characterization in a prose passage.  Just sum up the key points to add to what you already know. You will turn in your notes with your essays.  I'll be doing the same! Then APPLY what you learn about characterization to the two essays you will write each week until the test.  Please watch the video BEFORE you write.  These are sweet AP teachers who really know their topic and want to help you pass the test.  We will be taking questions during our weekly Zoom office hour on that week's review video and the two prompts from the previous week.

    Prose review: Characterization

    AP Lit and Comp Week 2 Assignment

     Here are some announcements of official information that you might be interested in.  I'll keep these updated as the State of California and the UC/CSU / CC system formulate their policies.

    Here is the College Board information if you have not received it.


    Here are the grade policies for higher education





    Assignment for Week 1 April 6-10

    1.  Read, take notes, plan and write the following essay, unless you already have! Please take only 40 minutes, and email me your two essays at the same time to macdonal@luhsd.net as a pdf, if possible.

    Remember to use your "Pinkie" to help you write your essay.  Each one is a QLM with an introduction that states the title, author, two tones, theme, and conclusion; a body analyzing the opening, the transition, and the ending by finding 9 quotations, labelling them with the proper literary device, and explaning the complex meaning that builds the tone/theme; and a conclusion that does not repeat what you have said, but goes deeper into the anagogical meaning of the text (Divine, Love, Death, Transformation). Be sure to use Control+click to open the link.

    May the Force be with you!

    2016 AP Question 1

    Read carefully the following poem by Richard Wilbur, first published in 1949. Then, write an essay in which you analyze how the speaker describes the juggler and what that description reveals about the speaker.  You may wish to consider poetic elements such as imagery, figurative language, and tone.

    "The Juggler" 2016


    2.  Read, take notes, plan, and write the following essay.  Please take only 40 minutes.

    AP 2016 The Mayor of Casterbridge


    You will want to be sure to read this and note the changes from the previous update.  Now perhaps two essays!