Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"A Doll's House" Video Critique of Act 1, opening scene

You will obviously notice some minor differences between this video and your text; some of the differences are the choices of the director to adapt the play to film (cutting lines or changing the order), and some are from using a different translation--and I would like you to keep this in mind when you are critiquing the film. You should use your knowledge of the play so far (you should have read all of Act 1) to comment on the following in your post:

The Assignment:

  1. Post your reaction to how the director of this film clip chooses to portray either Nora or Torvald based on your knowledge of the play in Act 1. This assignment is worth 40 points (Homework) and is to be posted by noon on Friday, September19th, 2008. Your comments need to be:
  • At least 700 words--(this is certainly a minimum; in order for you to comment on the movie, you must make me "see" what you are seeing, which takes quite a few words: how are the characters dressed, what do they look like, what are their mannerisms, expressions, tone etc....
  • You need to provide textual evidence from the play to support your argument. With no evidence, you will not be able to substantiate your argument.
  • Include your thesis, (which is your opinion of the above prompt.) You can use "I", but you do not need to--everything you write will be your opinion. It is redundant to say it is.
  • Different from what is posted before you!

This will be graded on the Malden High Rubric for Open Responses and you can access it by clicking this link.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Independent Reading Project: Memoirs

My biggest goal this year (since it is your senior year) is to transition you to life beyond high school--in other words, to make myself unnecessary in your life (in less than ten months.) So, I must hand over much of the responsibility of the class to you. In addition to what we study as "whole class texts," you will also be reading books in literature circles as well as independently this year. Our first "unit" (obviously with the college essay in mind) will cover memoirs--and I left a few choice first person narratives on the list because they achieve similar effects that we will be looking into. As you choose a book, you may also want to start to consider what "topic" you are interested in, because we will develop reading plans for ourselves after this first memoir.

Here's a short list of suggestions, but it is up to you to do the research on the books and make sure they fit your criteria. My criteria is that they should be at least 200 pages long (we can fill in the gaps with supplements if need be.)

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Chasing Ghosts by Paul Rieckhoff
Chronicles by Bob Dylan
Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni
Furthering My Education by William Corbett
Kafir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean
Gray's Anatomy by Spalding Gray
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
When I Was Cool by Sam Kashner
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (as told to Alex Haley)
The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov

This is also (obviously) an election year and both major party candidates happen to have compelling memoirs.

And some other first person narratives (fiction) that I would accept:

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines
On the Road by Jack Kerouac (or any number of his novels)
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Nadja by Andre Breton
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Native Son by Richard Wright

and the list goes on...I think I'll add Ms. Pettit's and Ms. Musilli's suggestions to the comment stream when they come in. Any of you can feel free to add a book and explain it a bit in the comment stream.

You will need a copy of the book you choose on Tuesday, September 23rd in class. Please plan accordingly.

Image is Three Studies for a Self-Portrait (1980) by Francis Bacon (the 20th century painter, not the Renaissance thinker) It is expected to reach £5.5m at auction.

Publish Your Paper

Painting by Alex Katz, Ted Berrigan, 1967, oil on linen, 121.9 cm x 121.9 cm,
Photo courtesy Pace Wildenstein , New York.

I would like you all to remember that all of your writing this year will be "published," so please make sure you present your best self when publishing your work.

After you have printed your paper, post in this comment stream. You will want to delete your name (your display name will identify you) and add spaces between paragraphs.

Then, post your paper on your own blog. I'll be around to help.

Some "Poetic Truths" and Formatting Your Paper

Some "Poetic Truths"

  1. It is the speaker of a poem (not the narrator) who “speaks” the lines; it is also not the poet or the poem who speaks.
  2. Indicate line breaks / with a slash. Indicate stanza breaks // with two slashes.
  3. Always use author's last name when referring to poet.

Format of Paper

  • Go to File, then Page Set-up and change all margins (top, bottom, right and left) to 1 inch.
  • Font: Times New Roman, 12pt.
  • Left Justified, 2bl spaced.
  • No space between paragraphs, use the tab button.
  • Go to Insert, then Page Numbers and add page numbers to the top right (except for first page). Then add your last name next to the page number.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rubric for Explications CP

Your paper is due in class on Friday: This means printed out, with staple, and a copy of the following rubric attached as class begins.

Read this document on Scribd: Rubric for Explications CP

Poem Explication Assignment

Read this document on Scribd: Poem Explication Assignment

This assignment will be graded on the Rubric for Explications. See above post.

Red Shift SOAP STONE + Theme

Hello all.

Period 7, the next time I see you is Thursday and Period 6, the next time I see you is tomorrow (Wednesday.) As I mentioned in class, you are to complete a SOAP Stone + Theme on Red Shift for next class. It is worth ten points.

This is just a reminder and a reason for me to post one of my paintings. It's called Red Shift: Ted Berrigan and the Emperor Wu. It's mostly oil (mixed media) on canvas and 16 x 20'.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ted Berrigan's "Red Shift"

Homework Assignment:

Complete "Talking to the Text" on the poem "Red Shift". You will not be graded on right or wrong answers, but on the depth of your questions, comments, and observations. This is worth 10 points. It should take you about 20 minutes to do properly (read the poem a few times) and will be obvious if you did not spend the time on it.

Due: (in class) 9.9.08

Friday, September 5, 2008

My portrait of Dre

You may spend the whole rest of this period "personalizing" your blog if you want. This will be an on/going portfolio of your work for the year and you should post any work you do for my class on this blog. (I also suggest you post work from other classes on this blog, but this is your choice--you can use the label bar at the bottom to separate your subjects.)


Some basic blogging etiquette

Three Blue and Gold Rules:

1. Compose your comments in Word and paste in when you are complete. If the internet crashes while you are composing, you will lose all your work.

2. Sarcasm is basically impossible to pull off in this forum. Keep all dialogue professional, courteous, and appropriate. This is a virtual classroom and once you post your comments, there is a record of them. This is the reality of the world you live in and you may as well learn how to perform in it.

3. Never post your last name. (You do not want a literary stalker.) This site (and your blog) are publicly viewable. Simply write your first name, last initial and period number.

Photo of Salvador Dali with rhino mustache tied with flowers. He claimed that he wore his mustache this way because it pointed toward God.

Beginning your blog experience

Hello Bloggers.

We have limited time here in blogland today, people, so let's use the time effectively.

Today we will build our own blog. You will need to create a google account to do this. It is essential that you remember your username and password! This will allow you to comment on my blog--and there will be assignments submitted that way. I will not accept "I forgot my password" as an excuse for not submitting work.

After you have created your account:

1. Post your paragraph about Erica Funkhouser's poem "The Accident".
10 Homework Points.

2. After you post your paragraph, scroll through the comment section until you read a post that you like. Respond to that post (another paragraph). It helps to start with something like: “Dear (blank), I was interested in your comments on (blank).” Then you may want to quote something he or she said and continue the idea, or ask a specific question, or move on to a related topic. Intellectual dialogue is the key here.
10 Homework Points.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Summer Reading...

Quiz and notebooks are do tomorrow.