Mr Christensen
  • Welcome to my Mr. Christensen's Marble Falls High School page. I am a writer and an English teacher who has extensive newspaper writing experience with The Brownsville Herald, where I worked full time while I completed my undergraduate degree and furthered my goal of becoming an English teacher. My articles have been published in magazines such as Texas Highways, as well as in trade publications such as Angling Trade and regional outdoors publications. I am formerly the outdoors editor/writer for The Brownsville Herald from 2009-2011 -- a position I held while I was still a teacher. This is my fifteenth year as a high school teacher and my third year at MFHS. I have a master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Brownsville (2013), and a bachelor of arts degree in English (1999) from the same school. I hold a current Texas principal's certificate as well as secondary English (grades 6-12) teaching, and English as a Second Language.

    From 2012 to 2015 I got caught up in the shale oil boom and took a hiatus from teaching to drive 18-wheelers hauling (mostly) "frac" sand to oil wells where it was unloaded from my truck for use in fracturing oil well source rock. Before I ever taught in Marble Falls I had driven through town on 281 hauling frac sand from the Unimin plant in Glen Rose all the way to the Gates Ranch in Laredo. During those three years I operated from the McAllen Ranch in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to Casper, Wyoming. I was proud of my contributions to the shale oil revolution, including many many tons of sand I hauled to the Matador well in Dilley, Texas, which was the world's number-one oil-producing well in the world in 2014. The adventure and the fantastic money were a poor substitute for all the time I missed with my wife and children, so just before Christmas in 2014 I applied for a mid-year English position at Marble Falls from a lonely hotel room in Greeley, Colorado, and got the job after an interview four days later.

    I am a 6th-Generation Texan who grew up on a ranch in deep South Texas near Port Isabel, and my grandmother was from the Marble Falls area. Her father was a Eubank and her mother was a Kuykendall. In fact, my father remembers attending the 1934 Kuykendall family reunion in Marble Falls.

    I LOVE educating and I feel I have a fun and interesting life. I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where I was trained as an infantry assaultman (0351), and served additionally as an infantry rifleman (0311) and a combat instructor of water survival (MCIWS - 8562). From 2004-2005 I deployed with Regimental Combat Team 7 in al-Anbar Province, Iraq, in the Hit-Haditha Corridor along the western banks of the Euphrates River, where I was a sergeant in a rifle platoon (2nd Platoon, C Company, Task Force 1-23).

    I enjoy spending time with my family and live on a small, rocky homestead near Johnson City. I am very fond of reading classical poetry and non-fiction; my favorite poet is Alfred, Lord Tennyson and my favorite writer is George Orwell. I dislike Modernism as an artistic movement, with perhaps the exception of the Realist writers exemplified by James Joyce (his book Dubliners is a masterpiece of prose).

    And finally, I stand opposed to facile consumerism and I believe students should at least pause to consider the ways things are supposed to be and the way things actually are, and to strive for the ideal. In my classes, we will tackle heavy thematic content and maturity is required!

    Sincerely,

    Ben Christensen

  • Romeo & Juliet

    by William Shakespeare Year Published: 1597 Drama

    The first performance of the play was at the playhouse called the Theatre where Shakespeare and his company the Lord Chamberlain's Men were based until 1597. The Theatre was the first purpose-built playhouse in London and could hold over 1,500 people.

    As the title page of the play's 1597 edition tells us, Romeo and Juliet was a popular success in its day: '...it hath been often (with great applause) plaid publiquely'. Shakespeare designed it to be played in daylight on the simple thrust stage of an Elizabethan playhouse, where the balcony at the rear of the stage provided Juliet's bedroom window and a trapdoor in the stage was her tomb. No scenery and a minimum of props allowed the action to move swiftly and the audience to focus on the richly evocative language. Music and costume added to the effect.

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  • Animal Farm

    by George Orwell Year Published: 1945 Fiction

    George Orwell's timeless and timely allegorical novel—a scathing satire on a downtrodden society’s blind march towards totalitarianism.

    “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

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