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Tuesday, November 19

November 19, 2013

Violence: Today we played a game based on “Six Thinking Hats,” to get you more familiar with the concept. We reviewed the guidelines for the final project, which is due Dec. 17.

Remember: you are to have read Native Son by Dec. 3. It’s likely there will be a test on that date.

Radio: Today you reported your weekly listening, then there was a tutorial on layering/editing tracks in Audacity. If you have any questions, let me know… Thursday will primarily be a work day. Very concerned about the recording of audio… have you recorded your essay yet?

Siren: Took a quiz on libel. Remember: libel is

1. Printed
2. Demonstrably false
3. Something that can harm someone’s business or reputation

Hopefully we will have papers to assemble Thursday. Get working on December copy — it’s due in two weeks, on Dec. 3.

Style: Today you shared some of your short imagined monologues – lots of computer issues in this class, it seems.

The style for this week is stand-up comedy. Your homework for Thursday is:
– On your own, go out and watch/listen to as much stand-up as you can stand. Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, This American Life, Spotify… other places…
– Write up notes on things you think we should discuss in class regarding the style. The notes don’t have to be specific to any particular comedian – just address the larger ideas.
– Send at least one example of (clean, school appropriate) stand-up to me via link ( Please do this before 7am on Thursday, otherwise your example won’t be used in class. I’m going to watch them all BEFORE showing them, so make sure to send them as soon as you find them.

We’ll chat more on Thursday. Get ready. This is happening.

Film Studies: Today we started to watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. We’ll continue on Thursday.

8th Grade: 1st half: we discussed classical mythology. Quiz next week on the points we discussed in class:

1. “Classical mythology” means Greek/Roman mythology (as opposed to, say, Norse or Egyptian or native American mythology)
2. Greek mythology came first (because Greek civilization at its peak preceded the Roman Empire). The Romans adapted the Greek stuff, changing names but mostly leaving the framework intact. (Sometimes they didn’t even change names, like the case of Apollo.)
3. Egyptian mythology came before either the Greeks or Romans. However, Egyptian gods were distant and not completely human-like. (Partly because many of them were half-man, half-animal.) Greek and Roman gods were very human. They looked like humans, they had very human characteristics and weaknesses, and they often interacted with human beings, as well.
4. Figures from classical mythology were not worshipped in the same way that people worship in the major religions today. Greek and Roman mythology was not, in other words, like the Bible, the Torah or the Koran. (Individual gods and godesses were worshipped in different areas, on an ad-hoc basis, via various temples devoted to them.)
5. There were three reasons, then, that Greek and Roman mythology existed:
a. To explain stuff, like natural phenomena
b. To teach lessons. (The cautionary tale of Icarus, for example.)
c. To entertain. (One reason we still like these stories today!)

2nd half: The Twilight Zone: “Long Live Walter Jameson.” This is actually a topic that dates back to the Greeks — eternal life and what it would be like.

Survey: Poetry: Today we reviewed the quizzes from last week, and covered external and internal order. Hopefully we cleared up some stuff.

Then we talked about some terms from chapter 10:

Irony: A reversal of expectations
a. Verbal irony (sarcasm — when you say something that is the opposite of what you mean.)
b. Situational irony (when an event has an outcome that is the exact opposite of what was expected. For example, an Olympic swimmer dies by drowning in his bathtub. Or, let’s say, a couple who go to divorce court end up falling back in love during the divorce proceedings.)
c. Dramatic irony (when the audience/reader knows something that a character does not.)

Paradox: A statement that seems contradictory but which carries some deeper meaning (as when Jesus said, “They have ears, but hear not.”)

Satire (poking fun at powerful people, things or ideas — for example, politicians, institutions, traditions, etc.)

Coincidence (a random juxtaposition of events. “Rain on your wedding day,” to quote the popular song, is really just coincidence. Yes, you might expect that wedding days will be sunny, but of course, lots of them aren’t. That’s really not a sharp enough contrast between expected and actual outcome to qualify as irony. If you’re surprised to meet your friend at the mall, even though you didn’t plan it, it isn’t ironic — it’s coincidence. That sort of thing happens all the time too.)

Your narrative poems are due on Thursday. Also for Thursday, please read Chapter 10 (we covered the hardest part of it above) and the John Betjeman poem I gave you, “Executive.”

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