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Friday, November 15

November 18, 2013
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Songwriting: Mr. Cameron was working on the musical, so no class today. We will assign lyrics to each of the four songs from Soundcloud next week.

Critical Reading: Today you got back your filters assignment (on the Flannery O’Connor story) and we talked more about how to apply and use the idea of the filter. To distill it down into the simplest possible explanation: You know how to use RDI (restate, describe, interpret) – nothing has changed there. But when you are using a filter, you are basically using additional, [usually] factual information to interpret the story or whatever it is you are analyzing. So here’s the process:
a) Do RDI. Understand the work on your own terms, including making an attempt to understand what it means or does as a work.
b) Do research or identify/understand your filter. Remember – you need to be using citable facts and information here, not assumptions or generalizations. For example, you can’t just say “Minorities were powerless in the 1950’s” — this doesn’t mean anything. But you can find statistics and real information from this time period – laws, studies, numbers, etc – that illustrate this generalization.
c) Find connections between your research and the original text. Flannery O’Connor loved birds — Lucynell’s first word is bird! That’s a connections. Great.
d) Find meaning in the connections and interpret the work. What do the connections mean, show, illustrate, etc? You have to go further than just identifying the connection – you have to do some interpretation. So there’s the bird connection – what does it mean? Does the idea of the bird represent freedom? Entrapment? Something else? Even though you’re using a filter, the interpretation is still mostly subjective, and you need to tease out meaning and understand from the text, and remember that you must explain and support your ideas and interpretation thoroughly.

Your homework is to reread Foucault’s “What is an Author?” for next Friday. I’m not talking about his bio, thrilling through it is — I’m talking about the essay. Read it. Make every attempt to understand it. If this means looking it up online and doing additional research, DO IT.

A huge packet from Derrida was handed out and is due to be discussed after we return from Thanksgiving break. Friday, December 6, to be precise. These essays are VERY challenging. Most would say they are significantly more difficult than Foucault, so read early, read often, and do what you need to do to understand them as best you can. Do a little research. Annotate. Talk to your buddies. DO NOT wait until the night before to read – your head will explode.

Seriously.

Public Speaking: We did the fifth rotation recitations. Then I handed back the midterms with some comments. Your assignment for Monday is to turn in a new outlines, which includes a post-opening. This is really important: if you don’t have a post-opening, you’re not gonna be able to do this in front of a large studio audience — which is happening for the final.

Press: Don’t forget – December 7th.

8th Grade: Cultural literacy: maps. We made a list of 18 countries, on which there will be a quiz next week. Here is a guide to help you remember them:

1. The Big Ones (in Asia)
Russia*, China, India

2. The Little Ones (in Asia)
North and South Korea, Japan

3. The Close Ones
United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Brazil

4. The European Ones
England, France, Germany, Italy (Remember EFGI)

5. The Middle Eastern Ones
Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan (Remember SIIA)

*Part of Russia is in Europe and part of it is in Asia. For ease of remembering, we’re going to consider it part of Asia.

Survey: Fiction: Today we did a creative exercise (Exquisite Corpse, drawing style) and then we discussed your next big writing assignment. Survey Fiction 11.15.13 – Assignment Short Story #2 If you need a prompt, please use the drawing from E.C., but remember what we talked about in class. You don’t (and probably shouldn’t) use it literally – take your impressions from it to shape a strong, interesting story.

Homework for Monday: Read Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour from the Norton Anthology. There will be a quiz.

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