Welcome to 8th Grade Social Studies!"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
Britannica School
Britannica Image Quest
iCivics Games
Crash Course Video Guide: : Click here to access the Crash Course Videos

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We're pressing pause on the content to go back and connect the past four reading sections by identifying important people/groups, legislation, and key issues and events leading up to America joining World War II.

"Mobilizing for War" text

Mobilizing for War: Discussion Questions

Organizing: As you read about American Mobilization for WWII, complete a Bubble Map of the agencies the U.S. government created to mobilize the nation’s economy for war. Briefly describe the role of each agency. (There are five agencies in total)

Answer questions 1-5 in complete sentences:
1. How does the cost-plus contract system work?

2. How did Henry Ford and Henry Kaiser help the U.S. mobilize for war? Explain (A) what industry they were experts of and (B) provide one specific fact from the text about what they accomplished for the war.

3.According to the text, what was the best thing about basic training, according to those who went through it?

4.Why do you think African-Americans were willing to fight in the war even though they suffered discrimination? Provide one textual detail to support your answer.

5.How effective were African-American servicemen in battle? Provide one detail of how effective these units were in battle.

"America Enters the War" text (also handed out in class)

America Enters the War: Discussion Questions:

1. What are three ways that President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) got around the Neutrality Act and help Great Britain?
2. What three political groups popped up in response to American foreign policy? What does each stand for?
3. How does the 22nd Amendment apply to the presidential election of 1940? (may have to look up the 22nd Amendment)
4. Lebensraum means “living space”. How did this Nazi belief affect the war in Eastern Europe?
5. How did FDR get around keeping ‘neutral’ but aiding the Allied trade in the Atlantic Ocean?

VIDEO: Really cool version of WW2 from space/the air.

Friday, October 6:
"World War II Begins" text (also handed out in class)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017: Breaking Down Primary Documents:
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Taken from Loyola Academy, freshman students are expected to be able to break down primary sources of information identifying the Source and Context of the source as well as Cross-Checking it with other primary sources. Students practiced breaking down a primary source of information.

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Maddie M. then shared her thinking on how she broke down a primary source, text from a pamphlet on freedom of speech by Charles Schenck.

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Mr. P modeled his thinking while 'breaking down' this primary source of information, a speech by Eugene V. Debs about freedom of

World War II: The Rise of Dictatorships

Wednesday, September 27: Write these questions and answers in your notes:

1. What beliefs did Mussolini and Hitler share?

2. Explain why isolationism was strong in the United States in the early 1930s.

3. Why did antidemocratic governments rise to power in postwar Europe and Asia?

4. How did President Roosevelt justify his actions in light of the Neutrality Act?

5. How many people died while opposing Stalin's leadership?

Timeline Activity: Make sure to preplan tonight so that you set up your timeline correctly!
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Informational text reading section (handed out in class today)

Thanks Katy E for your notes from today!

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Class notes from Wednesday, Sept 13

1st Period SS: You have to take notes on the following that you missed from class:

Watch this video:

Take notes from these slides into your notebook:
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WWI Museum Walk: Eyewitness Easy Bib Citation: Adams, Simon. Eyewitness World War I. N.p.: DK Pub., 2007. Print.

Quiz Bowl Tryout Google Form:


Must sign up by Friday at 5 pm!

Wednesday, Sept 6, 2017

World War 1 Powerpoint
HW: Take notes on slide pages 17-21 (the rest)

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Due Tuesday, August 29:

You can add these to your Google Docs, but you do not have to print them off for Tuesday. Just make sure they are completed!

Section: The Treaty of Versailles (4 questions only).

1. What was President Wilson's plan for peace called and what did it propose to do? Provide one detail from the text to support his proposal.
2. France and Britain had a very different idea.
A) Why did they feel so differently than America?
B) What was their plan and what are two things they wanted in this plan?
3. Using text features from this section, why is it called the "Treaty of Versailles"?

Monday, August 21, 2017 - Final Posts!

Hello 8th Grade!

Here is the final week of postings for the packet readings. Remember...all discussion questions must be completed to be able to participate in the Ropes Course field trip!

Only 5 questions!

Section: Impact of the War (p.547)

1. Why was Emma Goldman deported back to Russia?

2. What amendment was Emma Goldman exercising that ended up getting her in trouble?

Section: War at Home

1. What were two ways average American citizens helped support the war effort at home?

2. How did Congress hope to decrease the amount of people speaking out negatively about the war? Provide two examples of this from the text.

3. How did the US try to eliminate anything German from society? Provide two examples.

I can't wait to see you all on Wednesday to kick off the year! It's going to be a great year!
Mr. P

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hi 8th Grade! My apologies for the delay on Week 3 but here they are (6 questions). Remember the directions from last week on how to answer them!
Section: Fighting the War
1. What is the Secret Service Act? How did American's feel about this new legislation?
2. What did the government do to promote the Secret Service Act?
3. WWI saw new weapons emerge that helped fight battles. What are two new types of weapons and how were they used in the war?
4. Were trenches a good or bad thing for soldiers? Provide two details from the text to support your opinion.
5. Were American soldiers extreme fighting machines ready for battle? Use details from the text to explain your answer.
6. What is another name for peace agreement?

Enjoy your last week of summer!
Mr. P

Monday, August 7, 2017

Hello 8th Grade! I hope you had a great week and are enjoying every ounce of summer vacation. I know I am!

Here are the questions for Week 1/Week 2 for your readings on "America at War." I just saw "Dunkirk" in the theaters, if you get a chance to see it (with a parent), it is a great movie about World War II and the Dunkirk beach in France that became occupied by the Germans. Great movie, but very sad.

Here is your combined Week 1/Week 2 questions. Here are the directions...
1. You may answer these however you want, on paper, Word, Google Docs. The only requirement is that you must have the question written before your answer. You can copy the questions from here and paste them into another document or you can just retype them. Your choice.

2. All of your answers must be in complete sentences and your answer must restate the question. For example, if the question reads, "In your opinion, what is the best flavor of ice cream?" An example of a good answer would be: " In my opinion, the best flavor of ice cream is chocolate." Make sure you answer them in complete sentences.

This chapter is all about World War I and America's involvement in the war. Be prepared to answer questions from the text. Here we go!

Section: War Sweeps Europe
1. Based on the the text, was America in the war from the beginning? Use a detail from the text to explain your answer.
2. What were the two major alliances of World War I?
3. What event started World War I according to the text?

Section: Entering the War
4. What position did the United States take during the start of the war? Why did they take this position?
5. What was the first event that happened that the United States changed their position?
6. Most don't think of Mexico as being a part of World War 1, but they almost did. According to the text, what role did Mexico plan and how would that have affected the United States?

That's it for this week, check back next week for the next set of questions!

Mr. P

Hello 8th Grade!

I hope you are enjoying your summer! I know I am! So much that I am currently on vacation and forgot to pack the discussion questions for Week 1. So, what does that mean? It means you do not have discussion questions for Week 1. I will combine Week 1 with Week 2 and post next Monday for you to respond to. However, if you want to get a jump, I would suggest reading the first three sections of the packet and annotate/highlight things you find important. I will be pulling questions from the text, so you can get a jump on the reading!

Check back next Monday, August 7. Have a great week!

Mr. P

Unit 5: The Constitution

Supreme Court Case Analysis
Click on the link above to find the Supreme Court project requirements and your case of study.

The Executive Branch

Executive Branch Quiz:


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Wed, March 8:

SS.CV.1.6-8.MdC. Describe the roles of political, civil, and economic organizations in shaping people’s lives.
SS.CV.2.6-8.MdC. Explain the origins, functions, and structure of government with reference to the U.S. Constitution

Mel's Advertisement

If you can believe it, this is Billy's way-too-neat-definitely-not-his advertisement. I call it "Fake News".

Very clever, Fred. :)

Tuesday, March 7: Ms. Key's class
1) Quiz 2: Legislative Branch
2) The Executive Branch (blue pages in your Constitution)
  • Read "The President's Job Description p.314-317
  • Answer questions 1-7 on p.317 in your notes section of the Executive Branch
  • Fill out the Graphic Organizer (bubble map)
  • The President's Cabinet, read p 31 - 32, answer the questions on p.32
  • Due Wednesday

Wednesday, March 1

Discussion Question:
What are the three specific powers the Constitution gives the House or Representatives and the Senate? (there are three each) (answer in the lined paper after your legislative branch section)

Thursday Work:
Articles of Confederation Notes

Powers Granted to Congress
The power to...
  • to win the American Revolution
  • raise and maintain an army and navy
  • make war and peace
  • negotiate treaties
  • fix standards of coinage (aka systems of money)
  • provide a postal service

Positive things Congress completed
1. Negotiated a peace treaty that secured new land west of the Mississippi River. (IOWA!)
2. The Northwest Ordinance, which opened up new territory for settlement into future states

Major weaknesses of the Articles
1. Congress could not tax the states! So...soldiers could not be paid for their service, loans from other countries could not be paid.
2. Army and Navy needed funds to maintain efforts in times of peace, but without money, they were not very strong.
3. More power were held at the state level than with Congress, and states were not willing to help each other out.

Constitutional Convention notes:
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The Preamble
  • Watch the School House Rock video below. You will need to learn this song!
  • Complete the Preamble readings in your 'Constitution". Annotate and complete the worksheet on the six goals of the Preamble.

  • Complete your Amendment notecards. You can use the amendment definitions in your "Constitution". All amendments must have a picture/symbol on the front of each notecard that helps explain the amendment.

3. Study for quiz on Monday over Articles of Confederation, Constitutional Convention, and the six goals of the Preamble.

Vocabulary: constitution, Constitution, amend, ratify, convention,

The Articles of Confederation
1. What are the Articles referred to as?
2. What governing body was in charge of the United States under the Articles?
3. What powers were granted to Congress under the Articles?
4. What are two positive things Congress completed?
5. What were the major weaknesses of the Articles?

Tuesday, February, 21, 2017: The Articles of Confederation

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Amendments websites:

Bill of Rights (1-10) https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript#toc-the-u-s-bill-of-rights

Amendments 11-27


Citizenship Test:

Unit 4: The Decades

8th Grade, Sorry I am not in today. Based on some of the essays I reviewed last night, I feel like you would benefit from another day so they will be due tomorrow at the end of the hour! You should make sure to have all of your essay written in Google Docs, spending tomorrow for revisions and final edits. The sub will conference with you today. Use this extra day wisely!
Have a good day...Mr. P

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The 2000s

The 1990s

P1: Blaire with Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, Jack with pizza bagles, and Sophia with Gushers


P2: Matthew with Hot Pockets and Cosmic Brownies, Melanie with HOMEMADE pizza bagels and Sprite, and Declan with Boca burgers.

P3: Liza with Lunchables, Kate with Dunakoos (homemade), and Alex with Gushers and Capri Sun.

The 1980s

P1: Tyler with Popcicles, Ben with Sloppy Joe, Fry with (a ton of) Pasta Salad

P2: Elizabeth with Pizza Rolls, Michael with Capri Sun.

P3: Colin with Now and Laters, Fred with Diet Coke, Maddie with Dominos Pizza

The 1970s

P1: Molly with PopRocks, Leon with Twix bars, Gabe with crepes.

P2: Tyler with Twinkies and Ho Hos!, Lizzie with Velvetta, Chicken-n-a-Bisket, Kool-Aid and Hawaiian Punch, Leah with candy buttons.

P3: Colin with Carrot Cake, Kristyne with Pop Rocks, Great with crepes.

The 1960s:


P1: Billy with fruit/jello mold, Ella with tunnel of fudge, and Colin with Pop tarts.

P2: Declan with pigs in a blanket, Gracie with a fruit/hello mold, Anna with "champagne" (aka apple juice).

P3: Ryan with Starbursts, Aidan with onion dip, and Tori with pigs in a blanket.

Websites you can use for your project:
https://www.dol.gov/featured/minimum-wage/chart1 (Thanks, Ryan!)
https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/timeline-guide-us-presidents/ (Thanks, Lizzie!)
http://www.fairus.org/facts/us_laws (Immigration Laws across the decades)


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Unit 3: The Civil Rights Movement (CRM)
Directions: Copy and paste the following set of questions into a google doc. Answer each in Complete Sentences (L1/L2)

31.6 Filling the Jails in Birmingham

1. Think about section 31.6. Many important events take place in Birmingham, Alabama beginning with the arrest of Martin Luther King, Jr. What is the chronology of events from MLK’s arrest to the death of four girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church? (RI 2, 3) You can list them in a bulleted list.

31.7 The March on Washington and Civil Rights Laws
1. What did King mean by “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down at the table of brotherhood?” (RI 1, 4).

2. Lyndon B. Johnson became President after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. What are the two laws that Congress passed during his leadership? Why were people worried about LBJ taking over as Commander in Chief? (RI 1)

3. Explain the shift in the fight for African American equality after 1965. (RI 1)

4. What is MLK’s legacy as a civil rights leader? (RI 2)

31.8 Black Power
1. What impact did prison have on Malcom Little? (RI 1)

2. How did Malcom X’s message about civil rights change throughout his life? (RI 1)

3. What are two ways the African-American community were inspired by the Black Power movement? (RI 2)

4. What is the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement on America? (RI 2)

Enimini Ekong. "Every Person Has A Story of Courage: The Little Rock Nine." National Park Service, US Department of the Interior (n.d.): n. pag. Little Rock Central High School. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Wednesday, December 7
CRM Facebook: Reflection Questions

Directions: On the page after your Video page, copy and answer the following reflection question:
When you created this page, you chose specific interests based on what you learned about your person. Choose three categories of their interests and explain what you found in their research that caused you to choose these examples. In your response, provide specific examples from their life that best describes why they would enjoy the interests you chose.

(For Example: Mrs. Pattee loves to run. In my research about her, I know that she has run 7 marathons. I chose the movie "Race" because it is about a character who runs, just like Mrs. Pattee does).

Monday, November 28: Answer the following discussion questions in your notebook. All answers must be in complete sentences.

31.1 Introduction
1. Based on the text, what is the goal of the Civil Rights movement?

31.2 Discrimination against African Americans
1. What is the main idea of this section?

2. Reread the anecdote that describes one of MLK’s childhood memories (it’s in italics). What does he mean when he says that the “divided system of the South... (was) a social condition rather than a natural order”? Explain this phrase using clues from the text.

You can only use the colored crayon or pencil you chose to fill this out.
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After the test:
1. Create a bubble map, list any words, ideas, people, or content that you know about the Civil Rights Movement.

2.Vocabulary: Use http://www.merriam-webster.com/ to define the following words. Start a new page in your notebook with a proper title.

civil rights, segregation, discrimination, boycott, integration, sit-in, NAACP, tolerance, oppression

Unit 2: The Cold War


Informational Text: Ronald Reagan’s Speech: “Tear Down This Wall”Name/# _
L1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
L2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
SS.H.2.LC. Explain how and why perspectives of people have changed over time.
SS.CV.4.LC. Explain the connection between interests and perspectives, civic virtues, and democratic principles when addressing issues in government and society
R1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
R2 Determine a central idea of text and analyze its development over the course of the text
R6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author responds to conflicting viewpoints.

Discussion Questions:
1. What words or phrases does the speaker use to praise the people of Berlin? Provide and explain one example.

2. What changes does Reagan say that he sees in the Soviet Union? Provide and explain one example.

3. What words or phrases does the speaker use to criticize the Soviet Union? Provide and explain one example.

4. What words or phrases does the speaker use to describe the wall? What emotion does this cause within the text? Provide and explain one example.

5. What is a specific sentence or argument the speaker makes that is especially successful or powerful__? Provide and explain one example.

Proxy Wars Assessment11/10/16
SS.H.1.LC. Classify series of historical events and developments as examples of change and/or continuity.
SS.H.4.LC. Explain multiple causes and effects of historical eventsKorea

Monday Presentations
P1: Cuba: Gabe, Welshie, Molly, Tyler

P2: Korea: Tyler, Lizzie, Leah

P3: Vietnam: Colin, Kate, Greta

Tuesday Presentations
P1: Afghanistan: Sophia, Sean, Declan

P2: Afghanistan: Elizabeth, Declan H, Michael

P3: Cuba: Fred, Aidan, Ryan

Proxy War Presentations: Thursday, October 20

Proxy War Presentations: Wednesday, October 19

Cold War Jigsaw Easy Bib Citation:
Egan, Katie. "Cold War Jigsaw." World History Online Course. World History Hybrid Course Development Consortium, 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.

Unit 2: The Cold War

Crash Course: The Cold War, Discussion Questions
Directions: In your notebook, write down both the questions and answers as found in the video. (they are in chronological order)
  1. Why is called the “cold war”?
  2. How long did the Cold War last?
  3. What did the Soviet’s set up to hopefully ensure that Germany would not come after them again?
  4. The US came up with the strategy of containment, what does that mean?
  5. What is the “Truman Doctrine”?
  6. What does the Marshall Plan support across the world?
  7. What happened to Berlin, Germany?
  8. Based on the video, what did Republicans and Democrats both agree on in the Communist fight?
  9. What are two examples of how American entertainment was affected by Communism?
  10. What was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in response to the fear of Communism?
  11. What are three ways America benefited by the fear of Cold War? How did our way of life improve?
  12. Who was Joseph McCarthy?

Notes from class on Wednesday, September 28
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Battles of World War II: Student Presentations

Friday Groups
P1: Kursk: Billy, Molly, Jack

P2: None

P3 Bulge, Colin W, Madeline, Fred and Kursk: Liza, Greta, and Aidan

Thursday Groups
P1: Stalingrad: Blaire, Gabe, Leon

P2: Bulge: Lizzie, Leah, Matthew K, Declan H

P3: Stalingrad: Kate, Colin, Kristyne

Wednesday Groups
P1: El Alamein: Sophia, Tyler B, Fry, Sean

P2: Stalingrad: Anna, Grace, Tyler G, Michael

Tuesday Groups
P1: Singapore: Ella, Katlin, Ben, Welshie

P2: El Alamein: Elizabeth, Melanie, Matthew K, Declan T.

P3: Singapore: Ryan, Tori, Alex

Crash Course World War II
1. What is the strategy of "blitzkreg"?
2. How long did it take Hitler and Germany to take over the majority of France?
3. What is the "Blitz"?
4. What are different ways countries contributed to the war, making it a 'world war"?
5. What is "total war"?
6. Why did Germany invade Russia, breaking their alliance?
7. What is one other interesting fact from the video?

The Manhatten Project

Sept 6, 2016
Students continued watching clips from the movie Pearl Harbor within the classroom setting to discuss the realities of war and how different groups of people were affected (American Servicemen, Women at War, African-Americans, Japanese-Americans). In the context of history, students discussed the difficult scenes together to understand the different perspectives as we entered WWII.

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Pearl Harbor movie clips:
Clip 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsxywOwyOJg
Clip 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ei4pjY1vE4
Clip 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjyMSQNpS8w

August 30, 2016

Khan Academy video that introduces the events leading up to World War II in both Asia and Europe.

Notes from the Khan Academy video.

: Job requirements of a student in Middle School.

Week 4: Hi 8th grade...last few days of summer! For this week, make sure to complete the other four sections from week 3 that you did not complete using the questions I posted below. All 8 sections must be completed by Thursday! Get er done!

Questions for American Servicemen, Wartime Government, Wartime Consumers, and Women at War
1. What role did this group play during World War II?
2. Provide three ways in which these groups supported the war efforts. Use specific examples.
3. Add any new vocabulary that you come across.

Questions for Japanese Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans
1. What impact did this minority group have on the war. Provide three specific examples.
2. Did this group face discrimination? If so, how were they treated?

See you soon!

Week 3: Hi 8th grade...the rest of the sections in this chapter cover different groups of Americans and how they impacted or were impacted by the war. Last week, I asked you to make a tree map of these eight groups. The first four groups involve 'typical' Americans, while the latter four describe how minority groups impacted the war and how they were treated.

For this week, you are to pick any 4 of the groups (free choice!). You can follow the sections or choose ones that you find more interesting. For each of the sections, answer the following questions. You can add these to your tree map, if you have room, or use a different thinking map to show your work. If you want to get a jump start on next week, you will need to complete the other four sections during Week 4. Work at your own pace but get them done!

Questions for American Servicemen, Wartime Government, Wartime Consumers, and Women at War
1. What role did this group play during World War II?
2. Provide three ways in which these groups supported the war efforts. Use specific examples.
3. Add any new vocabulary that you come across.

Questions for Japanese Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans
1. What impact did this minority group have on the war. Provide three specific examples.
2. Did this group face discrimination? If so, how were they treated?

That's it, gang! I hope you are enjoying your last two weeks of break! Email me with any questions!
Mr. P


Sorry for the late post this week, I was on vacation. However, it's an easy week but there is some work to prep for next week! Here ya go!

Week 2 Discussion Questions:

29.4: The War in the Pacific

1. What strategy did the United States use to maintain the upper hand in the Pacific Ocean? Provide two facts about how the US used this strategy effectively.

2. What is the "Manhattan Project"? Was it successful? Why or why not?

3. What is V-J Day? What is the significance of this day?

29.5-29.12: The rest of the sections in this chapter describe the impact of World War 2 on various groups throughout America. To prepare for next week's bridge work, make a tree map of these sections.

That's it for this week! Have a good one!

Mr. P

I hope you're enjoying your summer! However, it's time to start learning about World War II! I know you're excited! Here is your work for Week 1:

Task #1: Create a Google Document
  1. In your gmail, create a new Google Document
  2. Name it, "SS Bridge: Your Last name" (Ex: SS Bridge: Petersen).
  3. Share the Google Doc with me. (cpetersen@alphonsusacademy.org). I can track your progress and see how you are doing! If you don't know how to do this step, don't worry, just make sure to answer the questions each week.

Task #2: Read and Respond
29.1: Introduction: Read only.

29.2: The United States Gets Involved (read and answer the questions below)
1. What countries make up the Axis Powers?
2. What event caused the United States to change their foreign policy away from isolationism? Provide two examples from this event.

29.3: The War in Europe
1. How many countries make up the Allied forces of World War 2?
2. Where did the Allied forces start their first campaign? Why did the chose this location?
3. What are two key facts about the Battle of Stalingrad?
4. What is D-Day?
5. What is V-E Day?

That's it for Week 1! Email me if you have any questions, however I will be on vacation this week so my responses may be limited. You can always check with a classmate, too!

Have a good week!
Mr. P