Journals 10 minute timed writing
Tuesday, September 3 • On September 2nd, 1969, America's first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. The busiest day for ATM usage world-wide is on Fridays. • Do you have a bank account? Have you ever used an ATM machine? Have your parents? Imagine a world without ATMs (and debit cards, as well). What would you do if you needed cash from your account? Consider the hours most banks are open; would it be convenient for you to go inside the bank for every withdrawal you needed? Why or why not?
Thursday, September 5 • According to Truckline.com, each year we celebrate “National Truck Driver Appreciation Week” in August or September. What do you think it would be like to be a truck driver? Would you like that job? Why or why not? How could you show your appreciation to our nation’s truck drivers?
Friday, September 6 • In 1978 President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day to be National Grandparents Day–a day to honor your grandparents. • Write about one of your grandparents and tell what he or she is (or was) like. Imagine what growing up was like for your grandparent. (If you did not know your grandparents, write about what they might have been like, what they may have done for fun, etc.)
Monday, September 9 • The folks at Wellcat.com deemed September 9th “Wonderful Weirdo's Day.” As they state on their website: “All of us are blessed with one or two wonderful weirdos in our lives. These are the folks who remind us to think outside the box, to be a little more true to ourselves. Today's the day to thank them. So give them a hug, and say ‘I love you, you weirdo!’” • After being asked how she compares to Lady Gaga, rapper Nicki Minaj said in a BBook.com interview February 23, 2011, “We both do the awkward, non-pretty thing. What we’re saying - what I’m saying, anyway - is that it’s okay to be weird. And maybe your weird is my normal. Who’s to say? I think it’s an attitude we both share.” • Write about someone you appreciate for doing things differently. This could be a celebrity, sports figure, or a close friend or family member. Maybe this person is you. What makes this person different? How have they influenced you? If you cannot think of anyone, write about someone like Minaj, Lady Gaga, Madonna, or Marilyn Manson, who all dared to be different.
Tuesday, September 10 The British parliament has voted down David Cameron’s government’s attempt to attack Syria. Why might a majority of people in Great Britain be against this action, and how has this affected American sentiments concerning Syria?
Wednesday, September 11 • The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States is a day those who witnessed it will never forget. Because of the timing of the event, many Americans watched the event on live television. the coordinated airline hijackings resulted in assaults on the New York City World Trade Center twin towers and the Pentagon and the attempt on Washington, D.C.--which ended in a Pennsylvania field--led to vast changes in government and spurred the nation to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not counting the suicidal Al Qaeda assailants, 2,973 people were killed that day. • President Obama declared September 11th a National Day of Service and Remembrance for all 50 States in 2009. How do you think Americans should honor this holiday? What types of service projects, activities, or programs would best honor this day and those who lost their lives?
Thursday, September 12 • Jesse Owens was born on Sept. 12 in 1913. A great athlete, he set 11 world records in track and field and won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. Because Owens was black, Adolf Hitler wasn’t very happy about his victories. Owens died in 1980. • Write about a person whose accomplishments you admire. This can be an athlete, a parent, a friend, a teacher–anyone you choose. Tell what the person has done and why you admire her or him.
Friday, September 13 • What are your feelings toward proficiency testing? Do you agree or disagree with the reasons why we test you? Defend your argument.
Monday, September 16 • September 16 marked the anniversary of the day the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, in 1620. The ship had 102 passengers and a small crew. Many people on board wondered whether they would ever reach the New World and if they had made the right decision. Despite rough waters and heavy storms, the boat reached Provincetown, Massachusetts on Nov. 21. Write about something you didn’t think you could do, but did it anyway. Tell how you felt afterward.
Tuesday, September 17 • Talk show host Oprah Winfrey launches her influential Book Club on September 17th, 1996 with The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard as her first selection. Oprah’s Book Club quickly became a hugely influential force in the publishing world, with the popular TV host’s endorsement capable of catapulting a previously little-known book onto best-seller lists. • As The New York Times noted: "Winfrey's project—recommending books, even challenging literary novels, for viewers to read in advance of discussions on her talk show—initially provoked considerable skepticism in the literary world.” However, the club proved to be a hit with Winfrey’s legions of fans, and many of her picks sold over 1 million copies. (She earned no money from book sales.) Winfrey’s ability to turn not just books but almost any product or person she recommended into a phenomenon came to be known as the "Oprah Effect.” • By the final season of Winfrey’s TV show,” in 2011, more than 60 titles had been chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. Whether people will admit it or not, Oprah’s Book Club helped spur renewed interest in literature, with the general public embracing new and classic titles. • The success of Oprah’s endorsement is largely due in part because she read the books and talked about them on her show. It’s not always evident with celebrity endorsements whether the product or service is being used by that person. Which celebrities have endorsed a product or service that you have purchased or wanted to purchase? Or which ones would you not trust? Is there a product or service you love that you’d like to see a famous person endorse? Explain.
Wednesday, September 18 • The pop culture of the 1990s is making a comeback just like the pop culture of the 1980s did a few years ago. Why do you think that fashion, music, and cultural trends keep repeating itself? If you were to rate the 1980s vs. the 1990s, which decade would you consider the coolest and why?
Thursday, September 19 • On September 19, 1973, 26-year-old country-rock musician Gram Parsons dies of "multiple drug use" (morphine and tequila) in a California motel room. His death inspired one of the more bizarre automobile-related crimes on record: Two of his friends stashed his body in a borrowed hearse and drove it into the middle of the Joshua Tree National Park, where they doused it with gasoline and set it on fire. • While attending a friend’s funeral a few months earlier, Parsons made a pact with his road manager Phil Kaufman: If anything should happen to one of them, the other would take his body to Joshua Tree and cremate it. Kaufman and another man had to steal his body from the LA airport (it was being flown to Louisiana for burial) in order to follow through with the pact. Since stealing bodies was not actually a crime in California, they were fined $300 each, plus $750 for the ruined coffin. • Have you ever made a pact with another person? Write about the pact and whether either of you followed through (or if it is still in tact). If not, write about a pact you would like to make with someone. Do you think both will honor the pact?
Friday, September 20 • President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery on September 22, 1862. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebel states "are, and henceforward shall be free." • The proclamation was a presidential order and not a law passed by Congress, so Lincoln then pushed for an antislavery amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ensure its permanence. With the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865, slavery was eliminated throughout America (although blacks would face another century of struggle before they truly began to gain equal rights). • The preliminary draft is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., but the final draft was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. • Have you ever had something irreplaceable destroyed (whether it be in a fire, flooding, a younger sibling or pet destroyed, etc.)? How did it feel losing this item that you treasured? If you haven’t, imagine what it would feel like if you lost a special artifact. What item today, in your opinion, would be the greatest loss to the general public if it were destroyed? Why?
Monday, September 23 • If you could spend an entire day with someone–alive or dead–who would it be? What would you do with that person, what would you talk about, and what would you learn from that person?
Tuesday, September 24 • Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, usually occurs in September each year. This is one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar. On this holiday some Jewish people eat apples dipped in honey as a symbol of their wish for a sweet new year. Some people walk to flowing water (like a river or creek) and empty their pockets into the water to show they are getting rid of their wrongs from the past year. • Make a list of some of the things you carry with you in your pockets, book bag, back pack, purse, etc. Why do you have these things? What do you think these things say about you?
Wednesday, September 25 • On September 25, 1930, poet Shel Silverstein was born in Chicago, Illinois. He wrote numerous works of poetry, books, and song lyrics, including several that Johnny Cash performed. One thing he was particular about was the way his work was printed. He insisted on the style and size of fonts used, the weight and quality of the pap er used, and did not want his books to be published in paperback, as they would lose that high quality. • Are you particular about what kind of fonts you use or how your typed work looks? If you were to publish a book today, how would you want it to look? What would be on the cover? What would it be about?
Thursday, September 26 • Describe yourself in detail. You can write about your personality, your likes/dislikes, your outward appearance, etc.. DO NOT write about other people (like your family)...this is just about YOU!
Friday, September 27 • September 28 marks the day Confucius was born in 551 B.C. He was born in Taiwan and was a teacher for more than 40 years. He died at the age of 72. People all over the world still respect and follow his sayings and teachings. In Taiwan Sept. 28 is Teacher’s Day in honor of Confucius. • Describe the “ideal” teacher. What would she or he be like? What would her or his classroom be like? You may also write about a teacher you respect–what is it that you like, respect, or admire about that particular teacher? Does it matter what subject they teach? Explain.
Monday, September 30 • How would you prioritize these issues and why? • Education • Defense • Congressional pay