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As the academic year begins here at the University of Michigan, we thought we'd take a trip back to high school. 

Enjoy!

—The Good Sentences Team
1. Essay: In Alaska, Getting There is Half the Fun by Bill Pennington (2004)

Favorite Sentence: "Whether suffering from jet lag or sea legs, the Seldovia boys basketball team waited days to find its moment to shine in Bethel."

—Picked by Mitchell Forbes (Michigan Law Class of 2023, High School: Bethel Regional High in Bethel, Alaska) 


2. Fiction: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (1951)

Favorite Sentences: "Anyway, I kept standing next to that crazy cannon, looking down at the game and freezing my ass off. Only, I wasn't watching the game too much. What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by."

—Picked by Shawn Snoddy (Michigan Law Class of 2023, High School: De Anza High in Richmond, California)


3. Poetry: Written on the Eve of My 20th High School Reunion, Which I Was Not Able to Attend by A. E. Stallings (2008)

Favorite Sentence: "Still surprised at how
                                 We carry with us the omnipresent and ever-changing now"


—Picked by Muhui Shi (Michigan Law SJD Student, High School: No. 6 School in Guangzhou, China)
 
Michigan Sentences: Here's an article by Professor Brian Jacob of the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy about high schools that focus on vocational training.
Syllabus Sentences: Here's a short chapter I give students when we are trying to come up with what the novelist John Updike calls "facts I can picture." The chapter focuses on a character Updike created named Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, a former high school basketball star.
Book Recommendations
  • For good sentences about teaching in a high school in New York
  • For good sentences about teaching in a high school (and prison) in Arkansas  
  • For good sentences about teaching high school in Sheffield
Nuance Spotlight:
John Green
 
Here's how the writer John Green, who often sets his novels in high schools, uses the very first Notes on Nuance move we learned about.

"Almost" (November 2018): Note how the word “almost” helps writers gesture toward a more extreme word without fully committing to it.

"The enduring mystery of her sly, almost smirking, smile."

—John Green, Looking for Alaska (2008)

 
Additional Resources
                                              
Online Courses

Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting
Good with Words: Writing and Editing
Books   

Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting
Good with Words: Writing and Editing  
Notes on Nuance                                                    
The Syntax of Sports: Class 1 
The Syntax of Sports: Class 2
The Syntax of Sports: Class 3 
The Syntax of Sports: Class 4
The Five-Paragraph Essay
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Copyright © Patrick Barry, All rights reserved.



Our mailing address is:
barrypj@umich.edu

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