Bravo English Placement Assessment
Welcome to Bravo Medical Magnet High School! We are so happy you have chosen to become part of our school and we REALLY want to help you get to the next level of your academic life. To do that, your future English teachers have put together this assessment to make sure you get into the classes that will best help you level up. Please respond to the following three (3) tasks. You will probably want to have a pen and paper handy for notes. Thank you for becoming the next Bravo Knight!
Date of Birth
Would you like to be in an Honors English class?
Task #1 - Please read this poem and take note of its key words and phrases:
To be of use
BY MARGE PIERCY
The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.
I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
Marge Piercy, "To be of use" from Circles on the Water. Copyright © 1982 by Marge Piercy. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Task #2 - In what you think is a good paragraph, please tell us what the word “dallying” means on line 3 of the poem you just read. Explain how the other words in lines 1 - 4 show its meaning.
Task #3 - In what you consider a good multi-paragraph essay, please explain the qualities and traits that Piercy admires in people. Then relate these ideas to your life. Be sure to use and explain the words and phrases that you took note of when you read the poem.
Optional: Any message you would like to leave for your new 9th Grade teacher?
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