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Monday, Nov. 19

November 19, 2012

Argument: Today we reviewed the pseudoproofs homework and the midterm, on which most people did a very acceptable job. Look out for warrants, though: that continues to be a stumbling block for some folks.

Remember that we added one new pseudoproof, which I inadvertently left off the list I gave you: the “either-or” fallacy, which wrongly suggests that there are only two possible outcomes (when there are, in fact, more). It was the answer to #9 on the homework; add it to your list and we now have an even dozen pseudoproofs.

On Wednesday we will be watching a documentary about Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense. I want you to have the backstory of this argument — which actually was popular and influential in its time. If you are absent, you can get the link from the blog. Please have the essay read by next Monday!

Bookbinding: Today you continued to work on the current project. Remember – if you want your end pages for the big books to match, you should plan on bringing in your own paper (cardstock works too). These need to be finished by the end of nex week so I can grade them.

Act I: Today we spent mostly doing other things. However, I gave out a copy of a new Tennessee Williams one-act: Hello From Bertha. Read it for next Monday (since class will be pre-empted by clubs on Wednesday).

BatCat Press: Continued working on Snowmen, submissions, and books for Handmade.

Stephen King: Today we talked about the theme of being lost in the woods, which features in tons and tons of horror literature. While we talked, we listened to The Cure’s “A Forest”

and checked out this set of photos of creepy-looking forests.

We pointed out that the idea of the forest as a source of fear, perhaps even horror, has many sensible reasons backing it up. It’s dark and sometimes cold there. Animals live there. There are lots of trees for things to hide behind. It’s hard to find your way if you don’t know a lot about nature.

We also pointed out that the woods feature in every story we’ve read thus far (except “The Hound”), and that woods are associated with boundary crossing and hubris (“I’ll be all right in there.”). In other words,

Don’t go into the woods!!!!!

(So why do people keep doing it?!?)

For next Monday: please have read King’s short story “Riding the Bullet” (get the link from last Wednesday’s post, or see me for a hard copy) and the first three chapters (Pregame, First Inning, Second Inning) from Tom Gordon.

I will take your copy of Pet Semetary if you haven’t turned it in.

Survey: Fiction: Today we traded homework to see which of the settings you created worked well, and read some of the best examples. Then we did an exercise based on the Sherlock Holmes story “The Five Orange Pips,” which showed how much setting you can get out of comparatively little exposition.

For Monday: read the Hemingway short story “Hills Like White Elephants” in your textbook.

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