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Tongue Stuck to Wall

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  1. Does your school have an established academic integrity policy or something similar, that clearly spells out what constitutes an integrity infraction and what consequences are (eg: escalating ), and can be used to formally record these incidents? As well, having three cases of cheating on the first test you administered as a teacher is indeed a rough beginning and you deserve advice and/or support on how to handle it. I don't think it reflects badly on you if you were to approach your department head or relevant vice-principal to a) make them aware the class does have repeat offenders in it and b) obtain clearer guidance on how to proceed.
  2. Agree with all of the above. The collapse of Arnor and the following wars of succession left the land no longer under the aegis of the central monarchy in Fornost. The internecine warfare coupled with the Angmar War did indeed heavily depopulate the region. It's clear the absence of royal authority, and the concomitant lack of law enforcement / public security, in what was Arnor played a key factor in the region's sparse population. When Aragorn became monarch of the Reunited Realms, of course his Northern Policy was to reestablish the king's seat at Fornost, restore stability and reintroduce migration to the region, although wild wolves were evidently still a problem well into the first century of the Fourth Age!. As well, the Great Plague (particularly in southern Cardolan) of TA 1636 and flooding caused by the Fell Winter, TA 2911-12 (which was the death knell of Tharbad) further contributed to the desolation of Eriador. The Plague was also devastating east of the Misty Mountains as Rhovanion lost 50% of its population during the outbreak. The unfamiliarity of Hobbits, particularly in civilizations east of the Misty Mountains, clearly and profoundly underscores how inward-looking and effectively isolated those peoples had become. The relentless wars against the Easterlings and Mordor had forced them to embrace martial virtues at the expense of lore. I also think it's Tolkien's commentary on the shorter memories of men. For example, in the five hundred years since the Eorlingas migrated to Calenardhon / Rohan, hobbits had faded into obscurity. Proximity to a foreign culture, race or nation does not seem to be a factor either as the Rohirrim know almost nothing about Ents despite the fact Eomer wiped out a band of orcs practically under the eaves of Fangorn. What is obvious, as rightly mentioned, is that Hobbits and their potential to influence the course of Middle's Earth history was, to put it mildly, definitely unaccounted for by even the most learned and astute leaders, despite that they may have recognized their existence. Neither Denethor, Boromir nor Faramir to our knowledge seem especially nonplussed by the mention of the "halfling" in the summoning dream.
  3. Grade inflation to boost students' chances of getting university offers is a huge problem and your principal should indeed know better. I'm the university admissions' counselor at my school and the pressure to get students multiple offers from good universities is extremely intense, but it must be balanced with protecting the students and the school's reputation. Many universities actually do keep track of grade inflation and factor it into their admissions' decisions. Here's an article about how the University of Waterloo in Ontario has been doing that, much to the detriment of the students from the secondary schools flagged by the uni: https://globalnews.ca/news/4405495/waterloo-engineering-grade-inflation-list/ What platforms are you using, Tony? My school in Shenzhen has been teaching online for about a month now and we've been using a combination of Wechat for attendance and class messages , Zoom for online lessons/activities/discussions, and Managebac for assignments (don't know if your school has a license for it or not). Our grade 12s normally taking blended online classes through Moodle, so we transitioned with them relatively easily to going fully online. Zoom has worked really well so far but you do need to be judicious about making sure the students cameras and mics are on at all times so you can monitor if they are paying attention or not. I have 15 students in one class and can oversee all of their windows at once. It was definitely a learning curve at first for everyone, however after a few days we settled into a smooth rhythm, and the kids have been very good about complying with our online classroom management techniques. Our parents have also been very supportive with making sure the students are participating as fully as possible. And yes!...being able to cover the allotted class time requirements online (each of our secondary school courses must be 110 hours in length according to the Ministry of Ed.) definitely means less make-up time in the summer. 加油 my friend...I'm sure it will go well this week!
  4. Sad about David Ogden Stiers - he was a really versatile actor and did great voice-over work. I still listen/watch the intro to Icewind Dale from time to time just to hear his voice and awesome background music.
  5. Hey, I read your prologue and the first few chapters, and enjoyed it overall. By no means am I an accomplished writer but I'd like to offer the following feedback: 1) Watch your spelling and word usage - for example, it's "faint", not "feint", stifled is not a great negatory verb for seeing (maybe blinded?), etc. You want to be taken seriously as a writer so make sure you avoid easily-correctable errors like that to establish your credibility. 2) You have WAY too much background information (ie. infodump) for the prologue. I found myself immediately confused about the places and people you mentioned in such a short space. Remember: your world-building may be complete in your mind, but you need to introduce it to your readers in digestible chunks. Your final draft might have a glossary, map and timeline, but I don't want to be referring to it exhaustively in the first few pages. I really liked the twist at the end of the prologue and wanted to read more about you-know-who's motives. Don't detract from establishing good hooks such as that by overwhelming your readers with information. 3) Some logic/continuity issues: if the wind is so strong, how can Mordin hear Merrik if he's mumbling his answers? Could a single log on fire illuminate armoured marching men so far away that you describe it as an "abyss". 4) Repetition: I don't think you need to have Merrik constantly complaining about how cold it is on sentry duty. I get the point that he's not a great guard and thinks more with his stomach and being warm, but it's a lot of commentary for a short prologue. 5) Similar to 2) - Show, don't tell - for the rest of the chapters try to find a way to cut down on the exposition. You're trying to set up the story of a bunch of rough-and-tumble characters, but it's jarring to switch between pages of history and the dialogue of your characters. Aside from that, I really did like what I've read of your story so far. You created a vibrant and violent world that believably lends itself to Jamie's plot arc and character development.
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