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Thursday, January 30

January 30, 2014

WWTWWT: Today we reviewed the syllabus. You shared your personal philosophies. (Privately; see me if you were absent.) And we warmed up with an ethical dilemma.

Adaptation: Today we went over the syllabus and made a list of forms in which a story may appear:
oral storytelling
short story
film (feature)
film (short)
song (narrative)
visual media
games (narrative)
television show
book series
real life – news
audio book

We spent the rest of class talking about adaptations (mostly film) that you both hated and appreciated. You wrote a list of 5 – 10 of your favorite things – books, movies, games, etc – and your homework for Tuesday is to research each title on your list, looking to see if it is an adaptation of something else, or if it has been adapted to another form. The lines might get kind of gray for some of these… research as much as you can and come to your own decisions about where to draw the line. Take notes, and be prepared to share on Tuesday.

Siren: You turned in February copy and began editing it. I worked on January edits.

Film Studies: Today we went over the syllabus and then talked about movies – what you like, what you don’t like, what you think of them, what makes them good, etc. You took a survey, letting me know what you’ve seen from Spielberg’s filmography and… that’s it. No homework, but if you are going to take notes by hand, be sure to bring in a notebook for Tuesday. If not, bring in your laptop/tablet.

Bookbinding: Today we went over the syllabus and you got your waivers – please share them with your parents and bring them back asap. Then we talked about and practiced measuring stuff and folding paper. Next week will be more exciting, I promise – especially if you get your waivers handed in.

ALSO – don’t forget, the more material you bring in, the more fun this semester will be. Large paper, scrapbooking materials, coffee table books that you don’t mind cutting up, record covers, wrapping paper, wallpaper, etc.

8th Grade: We talked about literary history. I gave you seven literary eras, with a great writer and a great work from each:

1. The Classic Era. Epic poetry was the thing, because it was recited instead of read. Homer, the blind poet, wrote some of the most famous works of this B.C. period, including The Odyssey.

2. The Old English Era. Skip forward about 1500 years, to around 1000 A.D. Epic poetry is still a thing. Beowulf, a poem about a brave fellow who has to kill a monster named Grendel (and his mom!), is written by someone whose name we don’t know. But we do remember the poem.

3. The Elizabethan Era. Late 16th-early 17th century. Named for the reign of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth I. A guy named William Shakespeare gets pretty famous writing poetry (sonnets), but also plays. Like Romeo and Juliet.

4. The Romantic Era. Early 19th century. The Romantics write lots of formal poetry, much of it about nature and beauty. Lord Byron, otherwise known as George Gordon, is one of the best-known romantics. His work includes the poem “Darkness.”

5. The Victorian Era. Mid-19th century. Poetry is the most popular literary form until now, when serialized novels by authors like Charles Dickens make fiction the dominant style. (A Christmas Carol is more of a novella, but you get the idea.)

6. The 20th Century, Pt. 1. Fiction is popular, but poetry ain’t dead just yet. Robert Frost fights against the growing move toward free verse and becomes hugely popular. “The Road Not Taken” may be his best-known poem.

7. The 20th Century to present. Fantasy fiction becomes more and more popular. Pick your favorite author. Tolkien. Rowling. Meyer. All represent the ascendance of fantasy. Which in a way, brings us right back where we started. Neat, huh?

Quiz next Thursday.

Survey: CNF: I gave out the syllabus. We read Davis Sedaris’s “You Can’t Kill The Rooster” aloud. (With edits.) We talked about the difference between moments and riffs, the two building blocks of CNF. And you started writing a moment about a “first” in your life. Please remember to try to avoid commentary in your moment — just give me the facts and the sensory details. And please bring these on Tuesday.

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