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Thursday, December 5

December 5, 2013

Violence: Today we took a quiz on Native Son. Then we discussed some of the background that led to the book’s creation:

1. The Great Migration — the movement of African-Americans from the agricultural south to the industrial north, which led to a population explosion in urban areas like Chicago. There were three major factors that led to this occurrence.

a. The white backlash to post-Civil War Reconstruction
b. Poor opportunities for sharecroppers, and greater opportunities in industry
c. The boll weevil infestation of 1915, which destroyed the cotton crop and forced people to look for work elsewhere.

2. The Great Depression — followed the stock market crash of 1929, and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930, which destroyed any chance for economic recovery. Made the job market even tighter — and living conditions even more crowded and desperate — for many African-Americans who had migrated north.

3. The communist response — there were real fears during the 1930s that communists would try to use the depressed economy and public anger about it to get a foothold in America, or perhaps even attempt a violent overthrow of the government. Obviously it didn’t happen, but some Americans became communists during this time, including Richard Wright.

Then we discussed the book’s parallels to real criminal events:

4. The Leopold-Loeb murder of 1924
5. The Robert Nixon case of 1938

There was a handout on this stuff — see me if you were absent, and please read it for Tuesday.

Radio: Today we went over the guidelines for the final project, which can be found here: Radio 12.5.13 – Final Project Guidelines.

You no longer have to do weekly listening, unless you want to do it for a smidge of extra credit. Tuesday will be a work day. The groups are:
Group 1: Sydney, Jillian, Allison, Shannon
Group 2: Alyx, Christy, Rosemary, Andi, Kat B
Group 3: Jess, Rae, Autumn, Morgan, Kat R

If you have any questions, see me. At some point next week I need your informal proposals and will be talking to each group individually.

All of the essays I have received are posted in the shared file on Google Drive. ALL comments are due by next Thursday. Give them to me, and I will pass them along to the author.

Siren: Proofread the December copy and took a quiz about libel and the Seven Deadly Sins. You can make it up Tuesday if you were absent.

Style: Today we talked about young adult fiction. For Tuesday, you have a few options:
a) Write a 1st chapter to your own young adult novel
b) Write a parody of YA material
c) Use the analysis article to write in the style of Collins, Rowling, or Meyer, focusing on use of language (but not necessarily young adult in nature). This could also be parody.

Film Studies: Today you handed in your responses to The Last Crusade. We watched a short video of an interview with Spielberg (here: and you have a very short reading assignment for Tuesday (this blog post: There will be a quiz, so make sure you read it!!

8th Grade: Quiz on classical mythology. Then we went over a baker’s dozen Olympians for a quiz next week:

The brothers and sisters of the Titans, Cronos and Rhea:
1. Zeus (the youngest; King of the Gods)
2. Hera (his sister/wife; Queen of the Gods)
3. Poseidon (King of the Sea)
4. Hades (King of the Underworld)
5. Hestia (Goddess of the Hearth)
6. Demeter (Goddess of the Harvest)

and then seven kids (they all had Zeus for a dad, though they were born of different mothers):
7. Ares (the God of War; Zeus’s only kid with Hera)
8. Athena (Goddess of Wisdom)
9. Apollo (God of Knowledge/the Arts)
10. Artemis (Apollo’s sister; Goddess of the Hunt)
11. Hephaestus (God of the Forge)
12. Aphrodite (his wife; Goddess of Love/Beauty)
13. Hermes (Messenger of the Gods)

Second half: we watched the Twilight Zone episode “Mr. Bevis.” Your prompt was to write about which day in your life you would redo, if you had a guardian angel who would allow it.

Survey: Poetry: Today we took a quiz on Chapter 10 terms. You can make it up Friday if you were absent. Then we heard a few of your epistolary poems, which you turned in afterward.

Finally, I gave out a list of common poetic tropes, besides the ones we’ve covered already. (A trope is a word or phrase used in a new or different way in order to create an artistic effect.) I called six of them to your attention:

Apostrophe/Epistrophe/Litotes/Personification/Pun/Rhetorical Question

Next Tuesday we’ll review for the second test, which will be next Thursday.

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