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Wednesday, September 18

September 18, 2013

CNF Workshop: Today we got the hat trick: Cunningham, Fox and Cianfarano. Remember two things we discussed:

1. A great moment can be fleshed out (and you can even come up with a well-defined theme) by creating a “moment tree” of similar moments in various categories. Think about this the next time a great moment occurs but you can’t put it into context. What moments you’ve already experienced is it most like and how are they similar?

2. A great moment also does not have to be given to the reader in one huge chunk. You can use it as the baseline of your essay and chop it up, returning to it at various points. Remember: you have complete control over the timeline!

For Monday, Sept. 23: please complete the second packet. Annotations and responses, please, for Holley/Poluha/Ree (the revised version that I handed out separately).

For Wednesday, Sept. 25: second-round essays are due. Old stuff is fine if it hasn’t been workshopped before. If you need a prompt, ask (soon).

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we workshopped Christy, Rae, and Sarah. For Monday: Abby, Jillian, and Sara. Please have all three ready to go.

Round 2 is upon us. We’ll finalize due dates on Monday. The requirement for this round is that you do one of the following:
1) A short film of at LEAST 10 pages (longer is better)
2) The first act of a feature length, 10 page MINIMUM (you must have mentally figured out what comes next)
Think about it – the first due date is Sept. 30.

Fiction Workshop:  Monday we will be workshopping Jonnah & Megan’s stories. Outlines and annotations will be due as usual. For those of you who have been writing shorter comments, please attempt to make them longer. (I’m looking for at least two substantial, i.e. not short, paragraphs or about half to 2/3rds of a page.) Everyone should be fully prepared to offer a lot of commentary in class as well. Physical copies of Megan’s story can be found on my “non-desk.”

Public Speaking: Today you spent the first half of class rehearsing your choice of two poems: “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost, or “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” by Dylan Thomas. Dead White Guys! Learning By Rote! All the things you’re not supposed to do to a class! That’s why we’re doing it! The received wisdom is wrong!!

You practiced in your groups; we’ll do a similar thing Friday. Then we’ll hear these on Monday in front of the class. This bumps up the degree of difficulty some way from the first assignment: because I know this is material most of you aren’t that interested in, for one thing. However, the poems are pretty short, and the longer poem has a good deal of repetition. I do recommend you trying to find out a bit more about the poem you choose: I expect you to not only recite it, but understand it. More about this Friday.

In the second half of class, I gave out the scores from your pitches for a three-to-five minute talk. The range of scores was from 41 to 101. Lower scores are better. If you got a high score, it doesn’t mean your idea or your pitch were bad. But it does mean you weren’t able to fully engage your potential audience.

My recommendations: If you got a score in the 40s or 50s, you should probably proceed with your talk as planned. If you got a score in the 60s, you should at least consider refining your pitch. If you got a score in the 70s or above, you should probably give serious consideration to finding a new topic.

We will begin re-pitching on Friday and do more on Monday. An outline of your proposed talk is gonna be due next Wednesday, so it would be a good idea to have your idea nailed down sooner rather than later.

Press: The usual.

7/8 Lit Arts: I still have only about half of the typed flash-fiction pieces turned in. If you have not handed one in yet (feel free to check with me if you are unsure,) I MUST have your work before Friday evening. Please e-mail it to me at Failure to do so will reflect very poorly on your grade and prevent me from providing comments on your work which is necessary for the revision process (also a big part of your grade.) In short: turn it in.

7th Grade:

Survey: Fiction: Today we talked more about the evaluation of point of view – specifically, what should we address when asking “To whom?” and “In what form?” If you were absent, please get the notes from a classmate. We also defined first person plural.

Your first major writing assignment was given: Survey Fiction 9.18.13 – Assignment Short Story. Please see me if you have any questions.

There is a reading assignment for Monday: The Jilting of Granny Weatherall from the Norton Anthology. There will be a quiz as usual. Please it carefully and be analytical – none of these stories are so advanced that they should be going over your head.

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