I am reading my seniors last formal research papers of the year. As I read, I am making a list to show my classes of the "gold nuggets" of writing I have found in their papers. I am so proud of their writing. I can see their work on literary analysis coming through with their use of our literary vocabulary. I can see their confidence as thinkers from our collaborative work and essential questions coming through in their unique and exploratory tones and ideas. I can see their understanding that they really do need evidence for their ideas, and more than that, their ease with finding and interacting with such evidence. These seniors have had great teachers before me who brought them to a place where I could just put on some polish, and I just want to share here some examples to show how well they are prepared to be enthusiastic thinkers, valuable contributors, thoughtful speakers, and powerful writers as they move from us to their larger worlds:
- "Emilia may not be the smartest, the most noble, or the best leader, but she makes tremendous growth and ends the play with a staggering act of bravery."
- "All of that aside, we see that Iago is coming up with various plausible motives for his actions but that the actual actions show no real connection to any individual motive."
- "In the middle of the play our reader senses are prickled by Emilia’s seemingly motivated actions to please her husband."
- "Through Desdemona’s kind and generous pillar of friendship, Emilia, used to asking and receiving so little from both mistress and master alike, has grown into a strong, angry woman, more aligned with the truth than with any husband."
- "Othello fends off invaders from allies, Desdemona fends off her father’s disapproval of her union with the general; Othello wears armor to protect himself physically, Desdemona wears an ability to speak her mind to protect herself from being walked on; Othello has the full attention of his followers (minus one unusually cunning Iago), Desdemona commands the attention of the Duke’s court."
- "Emilia's flowing syntax, full of thought, quickly deteriorates into curt statements as she seemingly arbitrarily turns to Iago in her judgment. This shift reflects the haste with which her decision is made."