MHSPT: Reading

Read the following passages and consider their common messages.

"Fort Sumter to Perryville"
(From The Civil War; Fort Sumter to Perryville)

After a few hours' sleep the following night, McClellan and his staff got out of their beds at four o'clock in the morning, mounted their horses and, accompanied by a squadron of cavalry, escorted General Scott to the railway station. It was rainy and pitch dark. On the depot platform the gaslight glittered blackly on the officers' rain-suits, so that they seemed clad in lacquered armor.
Touched by this show of respect, as well as by a general order McClellan had issues that day in his praise-"let us do nothing that can cause him to blush for us," it ended; "let no defeat of the army he has so long commanded embitter his last years, but let our victories illuminate the close of a life so grand."-the old warrior was cordial to the man who had made his final weeks in Washington a torment. He sent his regards to the young general's wife and baby, and added that his sensation were "very peculiar" on leaving active duty. Then, the clank of sabers and chink of spur-chains somewhat muffled under the rubberized suits, he received his goodbye salute and boarded the train, which then pulled out.

"Hippie Chick"
(From "Beauty Grows Groovy", January 1996 Sassy)

Get a peaceful, easy feeling with a look thatıs all sunshine, rainbows, and posies. Line inside rim of lower lids in jane's Gliding Liner in Rockin' Raisin. Use their Eye Zing in Copper Penny to contour browbone. Be bold and go for jane's Flashes Mascara in Black Out instead of brown. Keep lips light, using a shimmery pink lipstick like their Positively Pink with a slightly glossy finish. On cheeks, highlight with yellowy gold blush. Orange sheer ruffled blouse by Blue Place, $35. Lavender overalls by Miss Sixty, $128.

"The Difference Between Ammeters and Voltmeters"
(from Principles of Physics)

Students who confuse the ammeter and the voltmeter in situations such as those shown in fig.17.24 (not shown) face serious danger to life and happiness because of the severe displeasure of their laboratory teacher. An ideal voltmeter has in infinite resistance. As such, no current passes through it when its terminals are connected to two points that differ appreciably in potential. An ideal ammeter has zero resistance, however. If its terminal were inadvertently connected to two point of different potential, the current through the ammeter would be given by

I = V/R = something/zero approaches infinity

This student error is accompanied by smoke issuing from the meter case, irreparable harm to the meter, and an antagonistic attitude on the part of the instructor. So beware.

Now, write a short argumentative essay about the following situation. Use information from these three passages as evidence supporting your opinion.

"The Case of the Orange Shirts"

One day, a student whom we shall refer to as "Matthew" had an idea. He decided that he could make a lot of money and provide clothing for the needy students of Birkley High School by selling them custom-made T-shirts. For his entrepreneurial project, Matthew selected an attractive design featuring a smiling face and the words "June is national hands-on learning month." On the back, the shirt stated "Sam says 'It's Okay!'," a reference to his esteemed Assistant Principal. However, "Sam" was not amused by the T-shirts. It seemed Sam had interpreted the T-shirts in a way other than Matthew had intended.
"Matthew, you and your T-shirts have hurt my feelings," said Sam. "I am going to confiscate them and give them to Good Will."
"But that's not fair! My clients paid good money for those shirts!" Matthew said, and left to contact his mother for legal advice.
The students at Birkley were divided over the issue: were the shirts appropriate for school? Was Sam being manipulative? Were First Amendment rights violated? Should Matthew have called his mother? Was hands-on learning really a dirty thing? Write an essay using the information you have gained from the previous three passages to state your opinions on these issues. Remember, there is no "right" or "wrong" answer, just a "better" answer.

STOP! YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE FINAL SECTION OF THE HIGH SCHOOL PROFICIENCY TEST. PLEASE PAUSE FOR A MOMENT TO CONSIDER THE GRAVITY OF THIS FACT. THANK YOU FOR LIVING IN THE GREAT LAKE STATE.


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