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Friday, September 21

September 21, 2012
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Songwriting: Today we got some good work done: a lead vocal for “Campin’ Cats” and the beginnings of a vocal track for “Awkward Lives.”

For next week, two things:

1. If you didn’t record your vocal for track #1 yet, we will try to get the rest of those done next Friday. Remember, Mr. Cameron will sing it for you if you don’t want to croon.

2. Meanwhile, everyone needs to have a verse written for track #2. You can access it here if you don’t have a copy.

The working title is “Pants Purgatory,” and it is the (first-person) story of a pair of corduroy trousers that were left in the handicapped stall of a bathroom. We developed a chorus which goes as follows:

Who would leave their pants hangin’ on the handicapped stall

To read upside-down graffiti on the  bathroom wall?

“So-and-so was here,” but where am I?

In pants purgatory, till the day I die.

Critical Reading: Today we talked about voice and the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Get the notes from a classmate if you were absent.

Two assignments for next week:
1) Read the three articles about the riots in Pakistan and write up a quick interpretation of each, followed by an explanation of the differences between the pieces. Unlike the previous assignment, these are not opinion based pieces, but you should be looking for the differences in the choices each author made in terms of content, language, and structure.

2) Research “Sapir Whorf hypothesis.” You don’t have to write anything up, but try to get a handle on the basic ideas and be ready to talk about it next week.

Act I: Change of plans from what was announced in class Friday. I apologize — but not too much, as we’re just pushing things back a day.

The assignment was to read the rest of The Bacchae —  Scene Five, plus the closing scene. We were going to have a test Monday on the whole of the play, but that is going to have to be postponed until Wednesday.

In the meantime, today we took a short quiz on Scenes 3 and 4, and read aloud Scene 3. A couple of takeaways:

1. Dionysus reveals himself in Scene 3 to be a truly devious and sadistic deity. He’s not just gonna be content with killing Pentheus — he wants to humiliate him in the most graphic way possible. It’s very similar to the way in which the Joker manipulates Harvey Dent toward the end of The Dark Knight. Dionysus preys on Pentheus’s weaknesses (by offering him a peepshow, and perhaps by playing on a little confusion about his masculinity — Pentheus certainly seems to know a lot about female dress, for one thing ) to set him up for an end he foreshadows by telling Pentheus that his mother will carry him in her arms. (He doesn’t say what part of Pentheus she’ll be carrying…)

2. This story about a monarch who’s not ready for prime time is a familiar one. You’ve seen it, for example, in The Lion King, where a young would-be ruler manages to get his hubris in check and the ending is a happy one. Could we say that something similar happens in The Emperor’s New Groove? I’d say we could. But these are Disneyizations of a classic theme in Greek mythology: that of (often young) kings who fail to understand the results of their actions. Oedipus, Laius, Agamemnon, Acrisius…it’s a very long list.

3. How does this apply to us, today? To you? If you’re 18 or under, especially…it should certainly strike a familiar chord.

I advise reading the rest of the play if you can — you’re definitely gonna have to know it all for Wednesday. Weather permitting, we’ll try our Dionsysian celebration Friday; Miss Kline is in charge, so see her if you’d like to bring something.

Batcat: Submissions! Will continue everything next week.

Survey: Fiction: Today, after a quiz on the short-short stories, you took notes on point of view and person. The homework for Monday is to read “A Rose for Emily” from the Norton Anthology (pg 262). There will be a quiz, as usual. Also make sure your notebooks are up to date since they will be collected and checked on Monday.

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