First of all, thank you all for the flowers and food, videos and balloons, and the wonderful tie (funny coincidence: when I left Singapore, my students signed school shirts, so I now have signed clothing from you, too). Thank you also for your enthusiasm and energy throughout the year (I’d say hard work, too, but some of you know that’s not entirely true). It has truly been my pleasure to work with all of you. I’m sure that you will keep doing great things next year. And yes, some of you should feel perfectly entitled to ask me for a recommendation letter next year (just give me lots of warning). That said, my work here is not entirely done yet, because there are still essays to be returned. You can come by my desk and pick up your History essays on Thursday afternoon (after 2). The most consistent issues (aside from APA instead of MLA, d’oh!) are the following: Some essays simply retold the events of their subjects’ lives as opposed to creating an analysis. If a paragraph simply restated biographical details, it wasn’t doing work to drive the argument forward. Secondly, it usually wasn’t necessary to start with the subject’s birth. For instance: where I went to high school is much more important to my becoming and English teacher than where my parents’ house is. If someone’s desire to conquer the world came from not having a father, then you should leave that in. Unless you could connect it to your point, you should have left it out. Focus is key to creating effective arguments. I’ll also try to have your Oral History assignments ready for you, although I must admit the comments will be light. Lastly, one more thing for you to do: In a comment to this post, please write what you think is the most important thing you learned in Comp Two this year. Please remember to take it seriously (no “I learned that Mr. Dranginis wears great ties” or “I learned that Moses looks like Mr. Cho when he wears a hood” or “I learned that Minho becomes a rather convincing prostitute on Halloween” comments, please. Let’s try to keep them academic).