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Wednesday, Nov. 20

November 20, 2013

CNF Workshop: Today both our essayists were absent. I gave out copies of the first four essays from Round Four: Cavender, Cianfarano, Peterson and Dixon. Have those four ready to go (that is, comments and annotations) for Monday.

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we workshopped Kat. Christy’s screenplay is being held over till Dec. 2, the Monday after Thanksgiving. Rae’s screenplay was handed out and will be workshopped on the 2nd as well. Morgan’s screenplay will hopefully be handed out by the end of the week.

Round 4 is nigh! The requirements are the same as Round 3 – you can either add to something you’ve been working on already, or write something entirely new, but the expectations for quality this round are significantly higher. What does this mean? It means that I’ll be grading you a bit more harshly. So make sure your formatting is perfect. Make sure that your dialogue sounds REAL. Make sure that your style is easy to read and flows well. And most importantly, make sure that the story you’re telling is visual, interesting, dynamic, and complex. I know that’s a lot of stuff to think about, but look – we’re four rounds in. The bar has to raise.

Round 5 will happen in January and must be a revision, in case this changes your Round 4 plans at all. We’ll talk about this later on in December, but I just wanted to put it on your radar. We will not be formally workshopping Round 5 (not enough time, since it’s January).

Fiction Workshop: We will be workshopping Andi and Danielle’s Story on Monday. Yinz know the drill.

Public Speaking: Today you rehearsed your Round 6 recitations for Friday. if you were absent I still expect you to be ready to recite. Bring a hard copy of your piece so I can follow along as you recite.

We also watched this TED Talk by Nigel Marsh:

There were three reasons for watching:

1. It has a great example of an effective post-opening. He said he had four points to make, and as he made each one, he introduced it with a short, pithy sentence. (For example, and I paraphrase slightly, “We can’t count on the government and business to do this for us — we have to do this ourselves.”)

2. It has great examples of the power of silence. Watch how he avoids filler sounds and simply pauses after making each point, to let the idea sink in.

3. It has a very effective closing — a simple line that is modest, but direct. (“And that’s an idea I think is worth sharing.”) There’s a school of thought which states that you should end with a simple “thank you” — and that can be effective too, in part because it’s a clear signal to the audience that you’re done and that they should start clapping. Either type of ending is fine — just be sure yours is definitive.

Press: The usual.

7/8 Lit Arts: The revised 5 paragraph essay on Animal Farm is due. Also, as always, please turn in any assignments you have not yet.

7th Grade:

Survey: Fiction: Today you finished the themes analysis packet and presented your ideas to the class. This was followed up by an in-class writing activity: use all of the words on the following list in a story. The words must appear in the same order that they appear on the list:


If you were absent, please do this activity (set a timer for 20 minutes, if you like) as homework, as it was collected at the end of class.

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