Friday, October 22, 2010

"Aladdin" by James Russell Lowell

"Aladdin" by James Russell Lowell

I had to memorize the poem, ALADDIN, in the 7th grade. It has remained with me since "I was a beggarly boy" At this stage of my life, I can truly identify with the poem's theme.

When I was a beggarly boy
And lived in a cellar damp,
I had not a friend nor a toy,
But I had Aladdin's lamp;

When I could not sleep for the cold,
I had fire enough in my brain,
And builded, with roofs of gold,
My beautiful castles in Spain!

Since then I have toiled day and night,
I have money and power good store,
But I'd give all my lamps of silver bright
For the one that is mine no more;

Take, Fortune, whatever you choose,
You gave, and may snatch again;
I have nothing 'twould pain me to lose,
For I own no more castles in Spain!

[The end]


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

50 Important Facts You Probably Forgot Between 5th Grade and College

50 Important Facts You Probably Forgot Between 5th Grade and College
There are a lot of fun-filled and educational years between grade school and heading off to college, providing ample opportunity to forget some of the most basic lessons you learned as a child. Here are some facts and tips that will help you refresh your memory and bring back some of that important information that can help you boost your trivia knowledge or even perform better in your college studies.


These facts will remind you of proper grammar, punctuation and structure.

Is it the "i" or the "e" first? This is a spelling question that troubles even the best spellers out there from time to time. The old rule "i before e except after c" will help you sometimes, but not in all cases. Some important addendums should include "or when sounded like a, like neighbor and weigh" and the rule should be dropped altogether when -c sounds like -sh, like in species.
How is a paper organized? Being able to organize an essay, research project or story is an essential part to doing well in any area of academics. While there are, of course, many subtleties, a paper should start with an introductory paragraph containing a thesis–the most important part of any essay. After this, each paragraph should have a main idea followed by information that expands on and explains these ideas. At the end, work should be tied up with a conclusion paragraph. It sounds basic, but many students let their writing become sloppier as they go along or never develop these strong fundamentals in the first place.
Which is the subject and which is the object? If you don’t remember which part of the sentence is which, you’re not alone. In most basic terms, you can remember that the subject is the part of the sentence that is doing something, while the object is the thing that is having something done to it. This can be helpful to know when learning a language besides English, as well.
What is a pronoun? Most of us know what a noun is, but do you recall what a pronoun is? Pronouns are the words that take the place of nouns in a sentence including I, she, he it, you, we and they. Using these correctly may get a bit trickier but you can find a guide here.
What is a homonym, antonym and a synonym. A homonym is a group of words that appear to be the same but actually have different meanings or pronunciations. An antonym refers to a word that is the opposite in meaning from another word. A synonym is a word that means the same or similar as another word.
What is the correct way to use commas? Commas aren’t alone in often being used incorrectly. Semi-colons, hyphens and colons are frequently used incorrectly as well. If you find it hard to remember to use these elements of speech correctly, reference a guide like this until you can commit it to memory.
What’s the difference between its and it’s? Find yourself often mixing these two up? You’re certainly not alone but there’s an easy way to remember which is the right word for the situation. Simply remind yourself that "it’s" is a contraction of the words "it is." If the expanded form of those words doesn’t make sense in your sentence, then you know to use "its" rather than "it’s".
How can you tell if a sentence is too long or too short? Sentences can either be a run-on or a fragment. You can determine if your sentence is a run-on by simply turning it into a yes or no question. If it makes sense, you’re doing ok. If not, you need to add some kind of conjunction or separate it into two sentences. A fragment on the other hand is simply an incomplete sentence that doesn’t make sense on it’s own. You can usually fix these by adding them back onto the main sentence to which they refer.
What are a verse, stanza and paragraph? If you can’t answer this question, it might be a good idea to refresh your memory on how writing is organized. In most cases, a verse is a single line of poetry, though more loosely it is a series of words arranged metrically. A stanza is a group of these verses, usually composed of four or more that work together in a poem or a song. A paragraph, on the other hand, is a division within a written work that focuses on a particular idea found in prose rather than poetic works.
What things need to be capitalized? While you’re probably aware that things like names, titles and other proper nouns need to be capitalized, are you aware of what parts of a book title should be capitalized or whether or not to capitalize the names of the seasons? Here you’ll find information on just about everything you should or shouldn’t put into caps.

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