We currently meet in the small conference room on Fridays at 1:15-2:15. We are reading stories from The Oxford Book of American Short Stories.

Oxford Book of American Short Stories edited by Joyce Carol Oates

"Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston

Led by Angel An, 10/09/09

"That Evening Sun" by William Faulkner

Led by JoAnn Alvarez 2009 Oct 2, 9

Read it here.

Some words:

Chiefly Southern U.S. A temporary bed made from bedding arranged on the floor, especially for a child.

a field used for grazing animals.

you all, you plural.

fixin' to do something
to be about to do something.


the long string at the center of a candle that holds a flame.

"The Girl with a Pimply Face" by William Carlos Williams

Led by Leena Choi , 09/11/09

"Blood-Burning Moon" by Jean Toomer

Led by Li Wang 09/04/09

"A Death in the Desert" by Willa Cather

Led by Sandeep Parvathapuram 08/14/09, 08/21/09, 08/28/09

"The Strength of God" by Sherwood Anderson

Led by Pengcheng Lu 06/26/09, 07/09/09

"A Journey" by Edith Wharton

Led by JoAnn Alvarez 06/19/09

"The Little Regiment" by Stephen Crane

Led by Heidi Chen 05/15/09, 05/22/09

"The Middle Years" by Henry James

Led by LeenaChoi 4/10/09, 4/17/09, 4/24/09

I think it is quite nice story about "writers" which is one of the topics Henry James liked to use.

The novelist (Dencombe) in the story wanted to have a second life because he just now knew how to write when he was almost dying. But there is no second life, of course..... I like the following quote of Dencombe:

"We work in the dark--we do what we can--we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."

Many other short stories


National Treasure

9/18/09, 9/25/09

Mad Money

6/05/09, 6/12/09

Some new idioms and expressions:

weasel: a person who is regarded as treacherous or sneaky. a small carnivorous mammal with short legs and elongated body and neck

mole: counterspy: a spy who works against enemy espionage. small velvety-furred burrowing mammal having small eyes and fossorial forefeet .

to pull the plug (on something): to end. to prevent from happening or continuing; "The government pulled the plug on spending"

to think outside the box: to think in creative ways beyond the given parameters.

a piece of work: The phrase "What a piece of work is a man!" comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act II, scene II. Commonly used to mean a person who has a strong and unusual personality, especially one with seriously unpleasant character flaws. For example: a nasty piece of work.

watch your step: be careful.

to roll over on someone: to betray an accomplice by reporting their actions.

to take one for the team: to do a chore or give up something for the good of the group.

to get busted:slang. to get into trouble, to get arrested. For example: He got busted for carrying guns

to flash one's money around: to display obtrusively and ostentatiously. For example: always flashing a roll of bills

"bring home the bacon" Bring home the money for the family.

"breadwinner" The primary income earner of a household.

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

To Chapter leader : Please summarize the nice sentences and/or vocabularies. Thank you!

Chap. 1 Leader Evelyn Wu 7/14/06

Nice sentence
Spare the rod and spile the child. from Good book ( Bible)
I'll lick you. ( I'll beat you and win!)

Chap. 2 Leader Sheryl Zhong 7/21/06

Chap. 3 Leader Ming Li 7/28/06 8/18/06

Chap. 4 Leader Shirley Liu 8/18/06 8/25/06

Chap. 5 Leader Sheryl Zhong 9/1/06

Chap. 6 Leader Heidi Chen 9/8/06

Many other chapters

Topic revision: r9 - 02 Oct 2009, LeenaChoi

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