Borger Goes to SIU

In August, 2017 I accepted a position teaching UCOL 101, the first-year experience course at SIU-Carbondale. I’m grateful for my time at SHS and will miss my students and colleagues, but am very excited about this next chapter in my life.

I will leave your course pages up for awhile so you can access past resources. Most of this information will still exist on this site after that time, but it might be in a different location. Check your course sites periodically or email me if you need to find something:

If you’re in the SIU neighborhood, come pop in for a visit.  I’m in the Student Services Building on the first floor in Exploratory Student Advisement.



Final Exams

The list of students below are exempt from 2nd semester final exams – I will be updating through Friday morning, 05/19:

3rd Hour

  1. Lynsey H.
  2. Jesse H.
  3. Anthony K.
  4. Asa L.
  5. Sejal P.
  6. Cora R.
  7. Issac S.
  8. Deanna W.
  9. Tony W.

6th Hour

  1. Adrienne C.
  2. Isaac E.
  3. Rylie M.
  4. Gabby W.

8th Hour

  1. Mason B.
  2. Sydney C.
  3. Anna G.
  4. Kara K.
  5. Brianna L.
  6. Layla P.
  7. Heather P.
  8. Brady V.
  9. Tyler V.

Students who have to take exams should study all old quizzes given back this week. You can also review materials by going back through old posts starting in January (in links on the left if you’re on a computer, or all the way at the bottom of the scroll on a phone). Everything we have covered this semseter will be on the final exam:

  • Short Stories
    • “The Most Dangerous Game”
    • “The Interlopers”
    • “The Lady or the Tiger?”
    • “Gift of the Magi”
    • “The Necklace”
    • “Sound of Thunder”
    • “The Cask of Amontillado”
  • Jim Crow laws & Slavery by Another Name (film on convict leasing)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • The Odyssey


Hi Meine Lieblings:

You need to print your Romeo & Juliet essay today. Put your name on a rubric, staple it to the top of your essay and turn it in to the sub even if you don’t get finished. You can finish it as homework or in study hall and turn in a complete copy to me next week.  Also, share your Google doc with me before the end of the hour if you didn’t already share it with me yesterday.  If you’ve already shared it, you do not need to share it again – once is all I need. 

Help each other out and BE GOOD for the sub!

Have a good weekend.  Be safe and make smart-ish choices!

Romeo & Juliet Essays

Choose ONE of the prompts below & write  a complete essay over the topic.  You need to use quotes to support your argument.  Scroll to the bottom of the assignment for specific criteria regarding submission and grading.


Responsibility in Romeo and Juliet: Explain who is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet at the end of the play.

Discussion of the prompt:  Romeo and Juliet do not begin the play from a point of desperation—where they feel that taking their own lives is the only solution.  What are the different factors that result in their poor decision making at the end?  Ultimately, who do you blame the most & why? Choose one of the organizational formats below and organize an essay arguing who is most responsible for their deaths.  The apothecary, Balthazar, or Friar John can only be support for a larger point -you cannot write an entire paper on any of these MINOR characters.

Format 1:  Multiple characters’ actions

Each body paragraph will focus on a different character and how that character’s actions lead to the untimely deaths of our protagonists.  Explain how the character’s initial motivation may have been good, but due to the action and complications of the play lead our protagonists toward tragedy. USE 1-2 QUOTES FOR EVERY BODY PARAGRAPH TO SUPPORT YOUR POSITION.

Format 2: One character’s actions

Each body paragraph will focus on how different actions taken by one character lead to their untimely deaths.  For example, you could focus on three to four separate actions taken by Romeo which lead to their desperation.  You could focus on different aspects of the Friar’s actions and plans (remember, he says he should be punished at the very end of Act 5). USE 1-2 QUOTES FOR EVERY  BODY PARAGRAPH TO SUPPORT YOUR POSITION.

Love in Romeo and Juliet: Explain whether Romeo and Juliet are in love or not.

Discussion of the prompt:  Romeo and Juliet do not begin the play from a point of desperation—a place where they feel that taking their own lives is the only solution.  Do you believe that their final acts represent the fact that they were in love?  Or, do you believe they were never really in love to begin with?  In your opinion, which scenario is more tragic?

Body paragraphs can focus primarily on Romeo, primarily on Juliet, or can be balanced between both characters.  Cite specific evidence to prove your point – both points are equally valid depending on which quotes you use as support. USE 1-2 QUOTES FOR EVERY BODY PARAGRAPH TO SUPPORT YOUR POSITION.

GRADING CRITERIA / ESSAY RUBRIC:  Each essay should include 1-2 quotes per body paragraph to support your argument.  You must include the following criteria:

  • Introduction beginning with an attention-getter, continuing with a short summaryof the play, and ending with a thesis statement (the main idea of the essay stating who is responsible).
  • THREE-FOUR body paragraphs, each outlining one of the three main ideas of your paper (which should be apparent in the thesis statement as the three greatest character deficiencies).
    • Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence and end with a closing sentence.
    • Each body paragraph should provide SPECIFIC QUOTES from the play to support your main points (be sure to cite act, scene, and line numbers correctly).
  • Conclusion that consists of:
    • Re-statement of main ideas
    • Catchy last line to peak the reader’s curiosity or encourage the reader to think about your main points (include thoughts on the tragedy of their lives)

All papers must be typed. All papers must follow MLA format

  • Your name, my name, the class, & date in upper left corner (don’t put it in a heading, just the first thing you type on the first page)
  • Page numbers in upper right corners
  • Double-spaced typed
  • Title centered one space below the date
  • One inch margins
  • 12 pt, Times New Roman font
  • Save as “Romeo and Juliet Essay” in your Google Drive and share with me:
  • PRINT essay and turn into Borger’s sub with a rubric stapled to the front on FRIDAY 05/12 EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT DONE YET!

Acts 4 & 5

Students will be completing the last round of standardized state testing on Monday.

We viewed & discussed acts 4 & 5 on Friday. If there’s time after the testing, open a Google doc and respond to the following two questions:

  1. In the end, do you think Romeo & Juliet were really in love or not?  Justify your response with specific evidence from the play.
  2. Who do you think is most responsible for their deaths at the end of the play. You can place the blame on one character or multiple characters. Justify your response with specific evidence from the play.

We will seminar over these 2 topics & complete study guides & take quizzes over acts 4 & 5 Tuesday-Thursday this week.

Students will compose an essay over one of the prompts above.  They will need to use direct quotes as evidence in their essays.  They’ll need between 3-6 quotes for a passing grade.

Act 3: Romeo & Juliet

Students finished act 3 on Tuesday 05/02. They will review scenes, work on study guides, and the R&J act 3 quotes sheet in preparation for a quiz over Act 3 on Thursday 05/04.

We will begin act 4 on Thursday after the quiz.

“O, Romeo” recitations will be due on Monday, 05/08.  ALL STUDENTS NEED TO BE READY TO GO ON THAT DAY. As a reminder, presenting early, presenting in front of the class, or presenting creatively (in costume, with music, etc.) are all available for 10% extra credit.  A student who presents creatively to the class before Monday 05/08 can earn up to 130 points out of 100.