Archive for September, 2014

Hot off the press! 10 students and 2 teachers from Nishio High School, our sister school in Japan, will be visiting us for one week in December. This is an exciting opportunity for all members of our school community to participate in authentic international cultural exchange.

  • The Nishio students and teachers will be arriving on Friday, December 12 and departing on Friday December 19.
  • On Monday December 15th and Thursday December 18th the exchange students and teachers will be spending the school day at East-West.
  • We are looking for two teachers to host the two teachers who will be visiting this year.The students and teachers will all do homestays with East-West families. Last year, East-West families successfully hosted 22 exchange students; Mr. Sherman hosted the principal, and Ms. Rengifo and Mr. Kuang each hosted a teacher.

Look out for more details in upcoming newsletters. Want to help organize the visit? Please drop Mr. Bantz or Ms. Brainsky a line.

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Gene Luen Yang video chats with Mrs. Matthusen and her AP Lit class

Questions for Gene Yang: September 24, 2014

Gene Yang, author of graphic novel, American Born Chinese.

Gene Yang, author of graphic novel American Born Chinese.

Ben: Was the novel “American Born Chinese” somewhat related to you? How did you create this story?

Angel: What inspired you to create the character Chin-Kee?

Jirawat: Are there any messages you wanted to tell us behind this book?

Juhao: Who is your favorite character in the story and why?

Pritom: Did the stereotypical Chin-Kee represented many Asian people’s insecurity of rumors or is it something much more than that?

Casey: What was the real reason behind for Greg telling Jin not to go out with Amelia?

Ricky: Why did you portray Chin-Kee as a Asian Stereotype and not the other Asians such as Jin Or Wei-Chen?

George: Does Wei-Chen ever return to his true form or live out the rest of his life as a human?

Jorge: Is there a reason you decided to mix the story of Jin with the story of the monkey king? If so why?

Yin: Do you think there is a (huge) difference between American born Chinese and other Asian Americans? Do the stereotype in your book also apply to other Asian Americans?

Niko: Did you have to grow up hearing stereotypical comments about your ethnicity? If yes, how did it make you feel?

Wilfred: Why did Jin kissed Suzy? Is there any real reason behind this action or did he just felt like doing it?

Shatima: Do you feel like Wei-Chen should have forgiven Jin after he kissed Suzy?

Calvin: When you were writing this book, who did you imagine as your audience?

Antony: What are some of the current projects you’re working on?


Lupe: Did you get any hateful feedback when your work was published? If so, how did you handle those comments?

YuanZhi: Why/how did you decide to combine the three story lines?

Gaby: Do you think some of the discrimination characters experienced in American Born Chinese is still happening today?

Dianxin: How did the success of this book change your life?

Suya: What was the greatest challenge in writing this book, and how did you overcome it?

Click here to view more books and works of Gene Yang

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On Tuesday September 16, AP Lit seniors had a personal video chat with Gareth Hinds, the author of their summer reading homework.


Mr. Hinds is an author and artist who has done several graphic novel adaptations of literary classics, including Beowulf and The Odyssey, which students just finished. Our AP Lit class teacher, Ms. Matthusen, met him at the NCTE last year and was able to successfully invite him to speak to her class via video chat.


Here are some sample questions her students have come up with:
Cynthia: What other classic novels are you planning on making adaptions of in the future? Do you think that you would eventually venture into other genres?

Ramanjot: What motivates you to bring alive all these classic novels? What gave you the idea to do so? Do you feel that you have accurately presented the original Homer poems well?

Santiago: Approximately how long does it take for you to complete a graphic novel that has so much detail in it like The Odyssey? What do you use as reference to create all of these mythical creatures and settings?

Deanna: What were the influences as you designed the characters?

Jenny: Do you think Odysseus and Beowulf are heroes?

Feng: Which hero do you admire more? Why? Why did you specifically choose The Odyssey and Beowulf to adapt over other well known ancient Greek heroic figures such as Achilles?

Raven: How were you able to sift through which parts of the story were important to the plot line, and what you would omit?

Hiroyuki: What is the hardest part about making graphic novels?

Moheeb: How did Beowulf and Odysseus impact your definition of a hero? If they did change your idea of a hero, what did you think a hero was prior to reading these books?

Amber: What would you do if you were in Odysseus’s place? Would you take such a cruel revenge on the suitors? If not, what would you do?

Kevin: I noticed that you used water colors to express the story. I personally felt it added depth and a sense of realism. Why did you choose this form of painting?

Kayana: Do you truly see Odysseus as a hero in his novel, or do you see him as a man who just has heroic qualities? Do you think he could be classified as something else?

Jamila: Which book did you enjoy making more , Beowulf or The Odyssey ? Why?

Haruna: How did you decide to use a different art style for each book in Beowulf?

Click here to view more books and works of Gareth Hinds.

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9 22 14Mitchell-Linden-1

9 22 14Mitchell-Linden-2

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Back to School Night

New Student Orientation Flyer 2014

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