1st and 4th Periods

  • The Slot Machine In Your Pocket
    • Questions:
      • What is the main idea of Harris’s essay?
      • What does the verb “hijack” mean? Why do you think Harris used it?
      • Explain what Harris means by the following: “… when we change our main profile photo [,] Facebook knows that’s a moment when we’re vulnerable to social approval.”
      • Harris concludes his essay by arguing that we should have smartphones that put “our minds, not our impulses, first.” What does he mean? Summarize his argument. Is his argument persuasive? Why or why not?
      • Harris mentions more than once that he is a magician. Given his topic and his position, does his status as a magician enhance his authority? Why or why not? Should he have said more about the connection between magic and smartphones? Why or why not? Explain your reasoning.
      • A key element of Harris’s argument is the distinction between “time spent” and “time well spent.” What is that distinction? What remedy does Harris propose to ensure that smartphone users’ time is well spent? How realistic is his proposal? Why do you think so?
  • Is Google Making Us Stupid?
    • Questions
      • What is the main idea of Nicholas Carr’s essay?
      • Does the position Harris takes in “The Slot Machine in Your Pocket” support Carr’s point, or could it be considered counterevidence to what Carr is arguing? Why do you think so? Point to specific passages in both essays to support your conclusion.

Assessment for 1st and 4th Periods

According to Tristan Harris, “App designers play your psychological vulnerabilities in the race to grab your attention.” Assuming that this assertion is correct and that the situation is undesirable, with whom should the solution lie? Individual smartphone users? App designers and developers? Both? Neither?

Write a 300 word essay in which you compare and contrast the ideas presented in “The Slot Machine in Your Pocket” with “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Your thesis should address the core question underlined above. Also, please review my Preparing Your Essay post before submitting..

2nd, 3rd, and 5th Periods

  1. How does Bryan McGuire define forgiveness?
  2. In a paragraph, describe what kind of man McGuire’s father must have been. For example, paragraph 4 mentions “his misdeeds.” What do you think those might have been?
  3. Why did McGuire think he would screw up his son’s life? Are there indications from the narrative of him following his father?
  4. How did forgiving his dad set McGuire free? Why do you think he hadn’t forgiven him earlier?
  5. Vocabulary (define):
    • Indignation
    • Scapegoat
    • Dysfunctional
    • Impending
    • Inevitably
    • Innately
    • Epiphany
  • Download a copy of Living My Prayer by clicking the link.
  • Questions:
    1. Explain what Sister Helen means by this sentence: “I watch what I do to see what I really believe.”
    2. Sister Helen’s journey took her from her middle-class school and easy life to three other places, each more challenging than the last.
      1. What were they?
      2. Which do you think was the hardest for her?
      3. Why?
    3. What are the similarities between Sister Helen’s essay and Brian McGuire’s?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s