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Friday, August 30

August 30, 2013

Songwriting: Today we started up. The goal is to at least double our output (three finished songs) of last year. Maybe more.

Here’s the soundcloud page where you can access the four new, in-process tunes Mr. Cameron has posted. Your assignment for next week is to, at minimum, come up with a title and concept (in written form) for each of the four tracks. If you wanna try writing a chorus for one of them, extra credit.

Critical Reading: Today we went over the syllabus: Critical Reading Syllabus Fall 2013 then launched right into notes – no time to waste these days.

First we generated a long list of “texts.” Remember that texts in this context is referring to a work or a piece that can be studied and analyzed. It also must be produced for a purpose either stated or unstated. Here’s a picture of the list:

We then talked about how to initially read or examine a text. There are three basic steps to take toward analysis, and they are 1) restate – what does the text say? 2) describe – how is the text constructed? and 3) interpret – what does the text mean or imply? We applied this first to the syllabus, and then to the first stanza of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” It seemed as though everyone was following along. Remember that the interpretation is the meaty part of this – you can interpret a work in an unconventional way as long as you are able to back up your argument.

Your homework for next week is to find a letter (any kind of letter – a business letter, a personal letter, old, new, whatever) and to apply these three steps. Write out your initial analysis, just like you did for “Mary.” If you are having trouble finding a letter, come see me early next week (Tuesday, preferably) and I will give you one.

Public Speaking: Today we talked about the speaker’s responsibility to change the room if the room isn’t working. Simply put, with a microphone comes power. Use it. Make the audience sit down front if they’re all spread out. Ask politely, even make a joke, and you’re on the way to winning them over. Some of them, anyway.

Your assignment for Wednesday: boil your 250-word maximum speech/monologue from earlier this week down to 50 words max, and have it ready, in written form, to turn in. You will be trying to say it from memory on Wednesday, using your 50-word notecard for cues.

Press: Boxes. Next week: make a decision about Handmade, pin down a redesign of YATSM, start reading submissions.

8th grade: Today we did a “You Oughta Know That!” about the Oxford comma; received our notebooks; and worked on our bios.

Survey: Individual meetings today.

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