Do you usually answer the question ¿Hablas español? with a tentative…¿Sí?
Yeah, that’s what we thought. And we want to turn that into a resounding ¡Claro que sí!—so we’ve put together complete curriculum in Spanish I.
We’ll take you from cero to héroe as you learn the Spanish language while also soaking up the culture of various Spanish-speaking countries. With grammar lessons, videos, authentic listening activities, cultural readings, and more vocab than you can shake a palo at, you’ll get everything you need to become a Spanish pro in no time.
Happy Father’s Week, Shmoopers!
As we get ready for Dad’s Day on Sunday (you’re welcome for the reminder), we decided to draw a few portraits of literary dads to hang on our walls. We skipped Atticus since we already have a life-sized cut-out of Gregory Peck, but we hope we did justice to the rest.
The monster refers to Frankenstein as his creator, so we’re tempted to think of him as a father figure and talk about him like he’s a deadbeat dad. But we don’t think that’s entirely accurate. It’s more likely that Shelley saw him as a mean mommy. Check out our character analysis for more on why, and for now, just be glad that your parents didn’t name you “The Monster.”
Spoiler alert: in Death of a Salesman, the salesman dies. Even after Willy’s son, Biff, totally lays it out for his dad that all he wants to do is spend some shirtless, sweaty time in a Midwestern haystack, Willy refuses to understand. He takes his own life in the hopes that his son will use the insurance money to start a business. Guess what? He doesn’t.
Baba of Kite Runner fame is generous, gracious, and generally larger than life, but let’s be real: he doesn’t offer Amir much in the way of parenting. Baba keeps his distance, which is one of the major motivations for Amir’s betrayal of Hassan. Ah, the old “I blame my dad” defense. Classic.
Looks like our Dad Wall of Fame turned into a Dad Wall of Shame. Hey, at least they’re all fictional.
Quote of the Week
“I am your father.”
Hey there, Shmoopers!
We know: you’re antsy for summer break. You can practically feel the sun on your shoulders and hear the ocean waves calling your name…
Oh wait. That’s just your teacher waking you up. (Come on, buddy. Third time this week.) What’s the wake-up call this time? Summer reading assignments. Yep, all you want to do is daydream about dropping a water balloon on your unsuspecting punk neighbor, and here comes Teach harshing your mellow.
Allow us to, uh, re-mellow that harsh. Here are a few tips for turning summer reading into pleasure reading.
Read your books on Shmoop.
Whether you’re tackling Jane Austen, Frederick Douglass, or just a particularly rich Edgar Allan Poe short story, our free eBooks will make sure you pick up what these authors are putting down—without getting a paper cut in the process.
Relate ’em to your life.
Newsflash: classic literature is classic for a reason—it’s relatable. If you can’t figure out how some dead white dude might understand your current sitch, find your favorite (or least favorite) book on Shmoop—and allow us to tell you why you should care. Plus, our guides will clear up any confusion, hit you with some analysis, and let you get back to summer fun ASAP.
Watch ’em on ShmoopTube.
When your eyes are worn out from reading (or maybe just the pool chlorine), switch gears and check out thousands of videos over at ShmoopTube, the lesser-known summer blockbuster. Our videos will help you preview and review all your texts without having to lift a finger. (Except to click that pesky play button.)
Quote of the Week
“Oh! I am delighted with the book!
I should like to spend my whole life in reading it.”
Our calendars are telling us that a few Saturdays from now will be a big day for a bunch of you. That’s right: it’s the second ACT test day of the school year. With about a week left to study, you probably know everything there is to know about the content of the exam (…right?), so we’re here to arm you with five Shmoop-certified tips to ACE the ACT:
1. Stay calm.
Freaking out on the day of the exam is a recipe for disaster. Don’t make us tell you about the time we learned that the hard way, because we will.
2. Don’t be a zombie.
A lack of sleep will eat your brains and turn you into a brain-eater yourself. (Figuratively. Probably.) Let’s be real: a week of all-nighters with one night of solid sleep to cap it off won’t do the trick. Make sure to treat yo’ self right for the last few days before the exam. That means starting…now.
3. Keep your chin up.
If you think you’re going to bomb the exam, you’ll probably bomb the exam. But if you think you’re going to nail it, you’re guaranteed a perfect score.* In other words, stay positive.
4. Be prepared.
Not like Scar, and not really like the Boy Scouts, either—that is, unless they bring their photo ID and a calculator wherever they go. Make sure you’ve reviewed the must-havesand bring them with you on test day.
5. Guess away.
Remember, there’s no penalty for guessing. We wish that were the case for games of charades at Shmoop HQ, but someone just had to come up with the throw-the-potato-salad-at-the-loser rule. Take your ability to guess as the gift it is.
Now ACE that thing,
*Guarantee not guaranteed.
Quote of the Week
“Atticus, you must be wrong…”
“Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong…” (11.54-56)
Here’s hoping you’re in the right on test day.
As the school year winds down, everyone’s starting to get antsy for summer. That means it’s harder than ever to focus—and easier than ever to fall down the internet rabbit hole. And while we’re sure you can find the perfect gif for any occasion without blinking an eye, do you know how the internet…works?
1. It’s physical.
The internet might seem intangible, but it still relies on a physical system. It’s an entire web of connected wires and cables. Try not to trip over ’em.
2. It has a very small vocabulary.
Computers may seem really smart, but they only work with 1s and 0s. Really. A
ll that high-speed calculation and rapid information processing comes down to the manipulation of two numbers.
3. It takes up space.
Just because you can store something in the cloud doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take up space somewhere. When you send an email, upload a file, or Skype your friends across the ocean, that data has to exist somewhere and…it does. Through a server.
4. It knows where you live.
Every computer on the internet connects from a unique IP address. It’s just like a regular address, except that the actual numbers for individual IP addresses can change every session. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) holds on to a bank of addresses and sends your computer a new one any time you log in.
5. The Cold War is its mom.
When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, President Eisenhower saw that little antennae-decorated space ball shoot into the sky and rounded up a group of the nation’s brightest scientists to address the concern. Yada yada yada…the internet was born.
6. All those acronyms mean something.
That http at the beginning of a URL? That stands for hypertext transfer protocol. Speaking of URL, that one stands for uniform resource locator, the character-based address of a particular file on the internet. And of course there’s www, the world wide web. Get friendly with more acronyms with our internet glossary.
Okay, now get back to those gifs.
Quote of the Week
“Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I’m afraid.”
The way we see it, reading a modern English version of Shakespeare just isn’t the same. But, uh, not understanding what on earth he’s saying? Not so great either. We’ve got the best of both worlds: reading the original text while getting side-by-side insight into what’s actually happening in each scene.
We plan to get you a translation for every single one faster than you can say “to the fire i’ in the blood: be more abstemious, Or else, good night your vow!”
Now go get your Bard on,