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Monday, Oct. 22

October 22, 2012

Day One of Blackout Week.

Argument: Today we reviewed your responses to “What’s Happened To Disney Films?” Several people made good points in their rebuttals, including the need for corroborating evidence from older Disney films (which might actually hurt the author’s argument — maybe that’s why he didn’t provide it!) and a closer examination of the “G” rating.

We concluded that the moral appeal presented in this essay is a poor choice: it casts opponents in a negative light, and purports to tell readers who is and isn’t a good Christian. The idea that Disney films have become immoral is novel, granted, but selling it requires a little more subtlety than this.

In the last part of class, we tried sparring, and I was really happy with the result. So much so, in fact, that I’m going to invite our two participants back for another round next Monday. The rest of us will be charting the argument, similar to what I did on the board today.

No class Wednesday due to bookmaking. However, for next Monday: please have read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” It is in the packet I gave you at the beginning of the year, the one with “Modest Proposal.”

Bookbinding: Continued on the current project. HOPEFULLY we’ll finish soon!

Act I: Today you researched your celebrity death for the “celebrity death scenarios” we’re going to be working on next. Some good initial research — you will need to do more. Class as usual Wednesday, although we may dismiss a little early.

BatCat Press: BOOKS.

Stephen King: Today we talked about King’s idea of the “what if” scenario: that, instead of laborious plotting, a simple “what if?” question could suffice in many cases. You tried it with your own ‘sense of place” scenario, and we shared the results. One tip: remember that setting can be crucial. A “what if” that happens when two characters are alone in the woods is probably a lot more interesting than one that happens at the local convenience store. In the latter case, an escape is easy (and would probably occur). The the first case — the one where the characters are isolated (and therefore, alone), escape is probably not an option. Therefore, it gives the writer more freedom to put characters in uncomfortable situations.

Most likely, there will be no class Wednesday because of the PSSA celebration. I will have a story for you to read, however. Your job is to have read through it, and the end of Part II in Pet Semetary by next Monday. Expect a quiz.

Survey: Fiction: Today we talked a bit about the two different kinds of characterization that can appear in your writing: we can learn about characters from what the narrator tells us, or we can be shown character through watching and listening to them through dialogue, imagery, action, and thought. If it helps, you can think about the former as being similar to summary, and the latter as being scene-based. There was some confusion over which of these should be considered “direct” or “indirect,” so we’re just going to nix those terms. Think of the two types of characterization as being “telling”-based or “showing”-based. We’re going to talk more about this on Friday.

Prompt 10 was started in class and should be completed at home: take the character you created last Friday. Choose one distinct, strong quality that your character has and use different kinds of characterization to show or tell the reader about the character. You should have four short excerpts:
1) A 3rd person narrator telling us about the character
2) A 1st person narrator telling us about him/herself
3) A 3rd person narrator showing us the character
4) A 1st person narrator showing us him/herself
All four of these excerpts should be building the same trait or quality.

Also for Friday: Read Cathedral by Raymond Carver. It’s right after Miriam in the Norton. There will be a quiz.

Seventh Grade: Today we had our first IM Day (Miss Bett). Everyone else read their novels and then went outside for a sensory exercise, which you recorded in your course notebooks. keep reading the calendar!

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