AP Language and Composition
Instructor: Deb Carr
Welcome to your first AP-level class! AP, or Advanced Placement, is a type of course that has ahigh level of academic rigor that you have not yet experienced as a student. Though the materialis challenging
and at times downright difficult
rest assured that if you persevere, you will notonly learn a few things about communication in various formats, you will become a much better,much deeper thinker about the things you see and hear every day.The purpose of AP Language and Composition is to teach you how to think more critically aboutvarious types of communication. The title of the course includes the word
, whichwould seem to suggest we will merely be looking at different types of writing. In fact, this coursewill cover both verbal (spoken and written) and nonverbal types of communication(advertisements, graphs, paintings, statues, etc). You will learn how to decode the rhetoric of themessage a rhetor is trying to send to you, and you will also become emerging and effectiverhetors yourselves. Our culminating event, of course, is the Advanced Placement exam, given inMay, and proctored by someone other than the instructor of the course. Given a high enoughscore on this exam (generally a 4 or 5, sometimes 3) you may be awarded college credit at thecollege of your choice. Even if that does not come to pass, you will still take the basics of rhetoric away from this course and these will serve you well in your continuing academic pursuits.
Our texts are as follows:
The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric
(Shea, Scanlon, Aufses,Bedford St. Martins, 2008)
primary text (all readings, unless otherwise indicated,come from this text, though they have previously appeared in print elsewhere.Bibliographic information is available in the back of the textbook).
(Shostak, Sadlier-Oxford, 1996) supplementary text,
used asnecessary to build a larger and more apt vocabulary
SAT preparation materials(www.collegeboard.com), used as necessary for test practice
AP Language and Compostion test materials(www.collegeboard.com), used as necessaryfor test practice
“Essay Writing” Packet (teacher created) that specifically shows how to:
Build a strong thesis statement2.
Write a creative and engaging introduction, including several ways of catching the
What to put in the body of an essay (or full-length paper), how to incorporate sources,check for correct grammar, write with appropriate voice and tone4.
How to write a conclusion
The Scalpel and the Silver Bear Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:
This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Scalpel and the Silver Bear by Lori Alvord.
The Scalpel and the Silver Bear is the autobiography of Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord, the first female Navajo doctor in the United States. Alvord was raised in a small town named Crownpoint on a Navajo reservation adjacent to New Mexico. She grew up the daughter of a Navajo man and a white, blond woman, feeling torn between Navajo and modern American worlds. The book tells the story of Alvord's attempt to integrate the core insights and wisdom of her two cultural traditions. She intends her book to serve two other purposes as well: to tell the story of how one Navajo broke the glass ceiling and to illustrate the medical knowledge latent in Navajo rituals and taboos.
Alvord argues that modern medicine has lost any sense of spirituality. One of the most intimate things you can do with a person, in Alvord's opinion, is to cut them open and change what is inside of them. Navajos traditionally do not allow themselves to be cut open and are afraid to touch the dead. Alvord was thus raised with a profound sense of reverence about the body and found her interest in surgery coming into conflict with it.
Alvord became convinced early in her career that the Navajo philosophy of the harmony of all things, The Beauty Way, could be used to aid in the healing process for her patients, especially Navajo ones. She argues throughout the book that hospital staff should try to form communities of care, to integrate families and communities into patient care and to show respect for the culture and histories of patients.
The Scalpel and the Silver Bear has fourteen chapters. Chapter 1, Chantways, relates Navajo health culture to the reader and introduces Dr. Alvord's practice, birth and childhood, along with the histories of her grandmother, mother and father. Chapter 2, Walking the Path between Worlds, discusses the relationship between Alvord's Navajo culture and her experience in college. Chapter 3, Journey Down the Medicine Path, explains how Alvord decided to become a surgeon and how her desire both amplified and alienated her from her connection with her Navajo roots.
Chapter Four, Life Out of Balance, clarifies how Alvord learned to be a better doctor for her Navajo patients and discusses treating her patients for gallbladder problems. Chapter Five, Rez Dogs and Crow Dreams, examines the terrible struggle that many Navajos and Native Americans generally have with alcoholism. Chapter Six, Ceremony Medicine, focuses on the role of the medicine man or woman in Navajo culture and how they often possess wisdom about healing despite being unacquainted with modern medicine. Chapter Seven, Spiritual Surgery, shows Alvord starting to explicitly integrate Navajo philosophy into her medical practice. Chapter Eight, The 'Navajo Plague' discusses a hantavirus epidemic among the Navajo.
Chapter Nine, Two Weddings, explains Alvord's relationship with and marriage to Jon Alvord. Chapter Ten, At the Big Medicine Space, explores Alvord's life at her hospital in Gallup, New Mexico. Chapter Eleven, Do Not Try to Count the Stars, and Chapter Twelve, The Spirit Horse's Bridle, focus on Alvord's pregnancy and her associated visit to a medicine man. Chapter Thirteen, A Knotted Sash, tells the story of her son Kodi's birth. Chapter Fourteen relates the story of Alvord's grandmother Grace's death and her family's decision to leave Gallup for Dartmouth, where Alvord would take up a prestigious position at the medical school and start to integrate her Navajo philosophy into medical practice there.
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