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Wednesday, January 16

January 16, 2019

Poetry Workshop: 

Screenwriting Workshop: Finished our discussion of Henry’s screenplay. You also handed in your coverage forms. If you didn’t give me one, or you were absent, please give it to me by tomorrow (if you’re not going to be here tomorrow, please take pictures and email so I can update grades).

We also, at long last, watched the final intro video and met Grant.

All in all, it’s been a very good semester, and we ended on a high note. To the seniors: I hope you had fun, and I hope that you all find a little space for screenwriting in the future. To everyone else: I’d be happy to see any one of you repeat this workshop! You made some excellent progress this semester and I hope you keep at it.


BatCat: Plan to work really hard on Friday. This is not to say that you haven’t been working hard, just that we don’t have school on Monday (MLK Day) and we need to push through as much of this editing business as possible.


Survey: Fiction: You finished the open-book quiz, and then made some cards. If you want to finish or make more, please feel free to do so (but don’t feel obligated).

Tuesday, January 15

January 15, 2019

Professional Writing: Off-the-Books Test #8. Our final OFTBT!

If you were absent, you will take this test either tomorrow or (in one case; you know who you are) Thursday.

Google Forms actually worked, which is swell, but we did NOT have time to play the review game. So here’s the list of questions and answers (you may find some of them familiar) that I was planning to use. It’s not comprehensive, but it might help you study. (And perhaps a few of them might turn up on the final?): professional writing review game q&a jan 15 2019

Bookbinding: Work day for the final project, which is due at 9:30 am on Thursday. Please review the original assignment sheet and the grading sheet. As I mentioned in class, most of you are on the edge grade-wise, so doing well (or poorly) on this final could easily make a difference in letter grade.

bookbinding 1.3.19 – proj. 8 grading

Bookbinding 12.18.18 – Proj 8, Final

On Thursday, expect to show and share about your final projects.

Journalism: Pitches III. We’ll give back scoresheets and feedback Thursday.

Publishing: Finished pitches. Think about things to make for the AWP pirate table: stickers, postcards, big pins, posters, etc.

Style: You shared and handed in your “final” styles. But there’s one more style: zines. You got a few examples in class, using the 8-page single sheet form. If you were absent, see me for a quick tutorial. If you want to share these on Thursday, bring 16 copies (no, you don’t need to fold them all).

Survey: Poetry: Final exam.

Monday, January 14

January 14, 2019

Poetry Workshop: Revisions from McKoen/Woelfel/Morsaint/Kennedy.

We’ll conclude this workshop Wednesday: no assignment.

Screenwriting Workshop: We briefly talked about script coverage, and then we launched into discussing Henry’s script. We ran out of time – there is more to discuss.

For Wednesday: complete this coverage form (screenwriting 1.14.19 – coverage) for Till Death Do Us Part (a.k.a. Henry’s script). For the “synopsis,” just write a one-paragraph summary of the story. Note that you’ll have to pick and choose what’s most important in order to do this effectively. For comment summary, make 3 suggestions: changes, revisions, etc. that you think would make this script/story stronger.

This will be collected and graded on Wednesday, so make sure you do it. Questions: see me, or email.

Siren: AP Style quiz. Brainstormed February ideas.

BatCat: Continued working on edits and potential artsy stuff for AWP. Result: probably not going to be doing gelli prints. 🙂

Violence: Today I gave back your final projects and responses. We talked about the Daredevil prompts, and how the five-minute, nearly continuous fight scene in “Cut Man” — it’s not actually a single shot, but it gives the illusion of one — makes the violence more real than the usual quick-cut fights from superhero films.

Remember: that was a choice by the creators, just like every violent act is something the creators choose how to depict. Why we make those choices has something to do with the forms and venues we choose — for example, the cinematic MCU shies away from extreme violence to preserve its PG13 ratings — but it also has to do with what we want to violence to suggest: about the characters, about the world they live in, and about what we hope our works get across to people. And that’s the whole class in a nutshell.

Survey: Fiction: First, a couple of you shared your assignments for today, then you handed those in. I just want to reiterate that I’ve been really impressed by these recent assignments – it seems like this technique works pretty well for most of you, and I hope you keep it up (and I definitely hope you develop some of these into full-blown pieces!).

In class we read the introduction to The Writer’s Field Guide to the Craft of Fiction by Michael Noll. He has more exercises and analyses at his blog: Also, I’m super happy that a few of you seemed to enjoy this intro, which is, in a lot of ways, a piece of creative nonfiction. That’s what you’re going to be doing next semester with Mr. LeRoy!

The second half of class: you started taking the final quiz. It’s a long quiz, and it’s open book/open notes (but not open internet). Bring whatever it is you need on Wednesday to finish this up. And remember: if everyone gets 80% or higher, which should be an absolutely achievable goal, considering the circumstances, you get to keep what’s in the bag.

Friday, January 11

January 11, 2019

Poetry Workshop: Today: McCoy/Brody/Bocek/Nelson.

We have four to go for Monday: Woelfel/White/McKoen/Morsaint. Please note that I don’t have the original version of the last poem, so do your best with what you have.

Screenwriting Workshop: Finished reading Henry’s screenplay. For Monday: write a thorough comment for this script and post it to the blog (as a comment on Henry’s post, as usual). This script is obviously long, and there are a lot of things that can and should be discussed in your comments. Should your comments be longer than usual? Yes. They should. Also, this is the last assignment of the semester, so please end it on a high note.

Siren: Today you turned in your sleep study quotes…I hope.

We reviewed the ones we got and tried to develop a third piece for our sleep study package.

Remember: AP style quiz Monday. That will be your final grade this semester.

BatCat: Met briefly to share what we’ve been working on, then continued working on your respective tasks. Don’t forget to grade yourselves…

Violence: For our final assignment, we watched Season 1, Ep. 2 of Daredevil on Netflix: “The Cut Man.”

Your job is to do the same thing we’ve been doing all semester: classify the violent acts on our continuum, and make at least one comparison to a work we’ve seen or read during this class. (NOT student works, though you can add those to a comparison to an established work if you wish.)

Have these typewritten and ready to roll Monday.

Survey: Fiction: Well, we did the best we could. You spent most of the block talking about eggs, but somewhere in there you developed a character based off of a want for an object. Your homework is to read the analysis of Aristotle and Dante… and do the corresponding exercise (you can use what you came up with in class, or start from scratch). The document is linked here for those of you who were absent: aristotleanddante

This is due Monday! (Typed, printed, etc.)

Thursday, January 10

January 10, 2019

Professional Writing: Off-the-Books Test #7: If You Don’t Know This By Now.

I gave out this review guide for the final, and we went over it together: professional writing fall 2018 final review guide

Here’s how things will work Tuesday:

We will begin with Off-the-Books Test #8 — our final off-the-books test. It will probably be a Google Forms assessment that will feature material similar to the stuff on the final. It will be timed, and you can expect distractions — both previews of things to come.

Then we will shift to a review game in teams — similar to the one we do in Survey Poetry. There will be prizes. There will be gambling. There will be hijinks.

That will set us up for the final next Thursday. See you there.

Bookbinding: Work day for final. These are due one week from today. No lates accepted. Handing in early is encouraged.

Journalism: Pitches, continued. If you didn’t go today, you will Tuesday.

Publishing: Pitches, continued.

Style: You handed in your notes, which I photocopied, and shared some information about your style and your plans with the class. Your final style pieces are due on Tuesday.

I updated your reading grades. I will update them again after next week’s reading. There are a couple of assignments that aren’t graded yet, but they will be shortly (and, assuming you did them relatively well, they won’t change your grade much). So at this point you can do some calculations and predict where your final grade might land. Some of you are on the edge: a really good final piece and a final reading could bump you up, potentially. Others are on the edge the other way: if you mess up a bit, your grade could fall. This is all to say: if you care about your grade, pay attention and do what you need to do in this final week.

Survey: Poetry: Review game — the closest we’ve ever had. The Furry Extermination League came out on top by half a point.

Perhaps no one will walk away empty-handed tomorrow. Or perhaps I’ll decide that this is a teachable moment regarding the cruelties of life. Stay tuned…

Either way, the final’s on Tuesday!

Wednesday, January 9

January 9, 2019

Poetry Workshop: Today: Holten/Kashuba revisions.

For Friday: Bocek (R5)/Nelson (R6) revisions.

We also have Kennedy/McCoy/Brody up Friday as well.

Everyone else’s revisions (Morsaint/Woelfel/McKoen/White) will be due Monday.

Saving the last day for something else.

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we read through page 78 of Henry’s screenplay. If you were absent or at Keystones, please read through this section before Friday. Copies are available for you in the box near my desk.

Siren: Reviewed the free speech quizzes. Make sure you know the definitions of “substantial disorder” and, in particular, “public forum.” School newspapers have generally been judged not to be true public forums because their primary function (especially when they are curricular) is educational, not informational.

Everyone has an assignment for Friday. Looking ahead to next month, we are going to expand the “snooze button” story, and Mr. Pauchnik’s “Nothing to Snooze At” piece (posted on the SIREN blog already) into a package that deals with the sleep habits of LP students. Therefore, you are to interview two students and one adult. The student questions are below; you can adapt them when interviewing a faculty member:

Your name:

Name (spelled correctly):

Grade level:




  1. How many hours of sleep do you get on the average school night?
  2. Do you know how many hours of sleep someone your age is supposed to get every night?
  3. Do you work after school? (If so: where? How many hours each week?)
  4. Do you participate in shows/other after school activities? (If so: What? How often? What time do you usually get home?)
  5. How many times this year have you missed school to catch up on sleep?
  6. Do you try to make up for lost sleep on weekends?
  7. Do you drink coffee/energy drinks/tea/etc. to stay awake during school? (If so, what and how much?)

You can cut and paste the following information (it’s also on the SIREN blog) into the post I made. Put ALL quotes there. Yes, you’ll be cutting and pasting this template three times. Yes, it will be a long post. That’s OK.

Make sure these are posted by the start of class, so we can evaluate what we have. And no talking to W&P majors, with one exception (Miss McKoen/Miss Nelson).

BatCat: Continued working in small groups; looks like a little bit of progress was made on all fronts.

Violence: Reviewed our last three works today: Coe/LeRoy/McDaniel. We have one more author to go (White).

There will be no final, as I mentioned in class. But there will be a final assignment. Most likely that takes the form of you watching something in class and then responding to it. What, exactly? Who knows? Show up Friday and you’ll see.

Survey: Fiction: Today you handed in your assignment from Monday (“The Flamethrowers” analysis and exercise). In class, we briefly discussed structure, going all the way back to Aristotle and the basic idea of a story have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

We re-read the piece of microfiction you encountered on the midterm (fiction 1.19.19 – this is how i remember it) and then you did an in-class assignment, which was due at the end of the block: fiction 1.9.19 – ica 10, single sentence story. If you were absent, or were legitimately not finished, please try to get this to me by Friday.


Tuesday, January 8

January 8, 2019

Professional Writing: Since half the class was missing due to Keystones, we:

  1. took a quick look at your press releases. I gave out a sample press release about the mentoring program, based on the information you guys used, as an example.
  2. decided how we want to proceed re: studying for the final. There were votes for a guided assessment (using your notes) and for a review game. We may combine those ideas. What will definitely occur is that I will give you a study guide similar to the one we used in Survey Poetry. I will give those out Thursday.

Bookbinding: Work day for final. Remember that these are due next Thursday or earlier. Make sure to check over the grading guidelines to ensure you’re checking all of the boxes.

Journalism: Pitches. These will continue on Thursday.

Publishing: Pitches. These will continue on Thursday.

Style: You read and handed in your stories based upon “My Brother Gary…” and then got the guidelines for the final style, which can be found here: style 1.8.19 – final style assignment. Please make sure to bring in both your material and well-written notes for Thursday.

Survey: Poetry: Heard two more of the final poems and did an on-the-spot analysis.

I gave you a quick 12-question assessment from Chapter 10: irony, coincidence, or paradox? That was in place of a formal Chapters 8, 9 and 10 quiz. But please note: you’ll be seeing this stuff again on the final exam.

I gave out this study guide for the final exam: survey poetry study guide final exam 2018-19 We will review Thursday, and the final will be Tuesday.