•  What's new this year, Mr. Russ?
       This year we will be moving forward with the Block Schedule and trying out some new things management-wise, namely Quarterly Assessments (yeah)!  If you haven't heard, at the end of each marking period, we will be having a test in place of a midterm and final.  "Yea!" you might be saying to yourself, "No more finals!" But you should also know that these Quarterlies will count for 20% of your Marking Period grade.  Basically, pass or perish.  For example, you could have a 79 for the MP and bomb out on your Quarterly, and fail.  Oh boy.  
       But have no fear!  You will be well prepared for each one and we will work together to absolutely crush them.  We're going to do so much that you will be fine.  
      Ok so what do I need? 
    Oh that's easy.  I've made a simple chart to help out with that.  Here you go:

    Things You Absolutely Need

    Things I’d Like You to Have

    Things You Don’t Need

    -         -   Textbook

    -         -   Notebook and Folder
             OR Binder

    -         -   Pens (many of them)

    -         -   Pencils (also many)

    -         -   Second Smaller Notebook (but not until around Winter Break)

    -         -   Brain

    -          Easy Internet Access

    -          Patience and Passion

    -          Some Sort of Smart Device

    -          Lit Homework

    -          A New Read Every Month (at least)


    -          Alligator

    -          Fresh Swag

    -          ‘Tude

    -          Math Homework

    -          Laser Pointers


          Got it?  That's not too bad, right?  I'd also like you to bring a burning desire with you at all times.  I am not specific as to what you must desire, only that you are totally passionate and devoted to something with all of your being.  It could be Literature; it could be Journalism; it could be dinosaurs; bottom line is I don't care, just have pure, unbridled passion. 
    And that's it? 
    Yeah, dude.  
    So what else about you do we need to know? 
    Not too much really.  I went to Middletown North when you were all about 3- to 8-years-old,  then I went to TCNJ and majored in English Education with a minor in History.  
    I play rugby on the weekends and it helps to keep me sane. I may come in with a broken nose or black eye at any point in the school year.  Don't worry about it, it doesn't hurt.  But you should see the other guy.
    My favorite authors include Hemingway (hemingway ), Faulkner (Faulkner ), and Whitman (whitman ).  
    Also I'm getting married in April.  So that's happening.
    Cool!  Can I come to the wedding?  
    You don't really play rugby, do you? 
    deal with it  Deal with it.deal with it