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Friday, November 21

November 21, 2014
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Songwriting: For Monday: I need your verse for “Bastards.” You can turn it in on a notecard or whatever, at the beginning of Block 1. The verse needs to be about lunches or the stairs — that’s what we’re missing.

For two weeks from today (Friday, Dec. 5): I need your verse for our ballad. I’ll post a link to Mr. Cameron’s recording of the track ASAP.

Critical Reading: Today we went over the Judith Butler essay. There’s plenty more to say about it, so if you have some thoughts, save them and we’ll get to them next time. There is a new reading assignment, however, for Friday, Dec. 5 (no class next week because of Thanksgiving) – it’s a tough one, so spend a bit of extra time on it. Make annotations; I’ll check these and give you the same “quiz” as today, which you can still do ahead of time if you wish.

Have a great break! Thanks for all of the great discussions we’ve had lately – I’m really impressed.

Action Hero: Today we examined the classic “trolley problem” mentioned in your Batman essay. I’d say we had an even split between utilitarians and deontologists. (I do expect you to know what those are!)

We began discussing the backstory of Bond, but didn’t get far. We quoted from a 1962 review of Dr. No that pointed out Bond’s actions — most notably, shooting an adversary in the back — were morally suspect. (All the casual sex Bond appeared to be having vexed some reviewers, as well.) It’s something to keep in mind as we watch Goldfinger.

In the essay Narrative Structures in Fleming, Umberto Eco advanced the idea that every Bond story employs the same nine-part formula; if the order changed slightly, the elements remained the same:

A M. . . gives a task to Bond.
B Villain. . . appears to Bond (perhaps in vicarious forms).
C Bond. . . gives a first check to Villain or Villain gives first check to Bond.
D Woman . . . shows herself to Bond.
E Bond takes Woman (possesses her or begins her seduction).
F Villain captures Bond (with or without Woman, or at different moments).
G Villain tortures Bond (with or without Woman).
H Bond beats Villain (kills him, or kills his representative or helps at their killing).
I Bond, convalescing, enjoys Woman, whom he then loses (“Narrative Structures in Fleming,” 161).

I gave you a timeline of events over the decade between the appearance of the first Bond novel (1953’s Casino Royale) and the first Bond film, Dr. No (1963). We didn’t start filling it in yet but will soon — it is, I think, the best way to understand the moral ambiguities of this character.

BatCat: Did a lot of work in class today – thanks for all of your help! We’ll wrap up our display plans and pricing and other odds and ends on Monday.

8th Grade: Spelling bee, then a Thanksgiving exorcism of sorts. We’ll have the spelling quiz Monday. Here’s the word list if you missed it (with “quarantine” corrected):

  1. eligible
  2. technique
  3. difficult
  4. benevolence
  5. definitely
  6. delegate
  7. except
  8. lasagna
  9. camouflage
  10. sorority
  11. mayonnaise
  12. suffice
  13. ignorance
  14. quarantine
  15. necessity
  16. establishment
  17. witness
  18. turquoise
  19. enthusiasm
  20. symbol

Survey: Fiction: Today we entered our final “unit,” if you want to call it that. We’re going to start looking at the big picture of short story writing and analysis.

The notes today were handed out; make sure that these get stapled or taped into your notebook (which you should still have, btw). Here they are if you need them again: Fiction 11.21.14 – Story & Plot Notes.

In class you worked with a partner to analyze a piece of flash fiction, discussing the story being presented in each and the way the plot was arranged.

The homework for Monday is to do the same for Bullet in the Brain. Here’s the assignment sheet: Fiction 11.21.14 – Prompt 10 Story vs. Plot. Here’s the story again, if you need it: BulletintheBrain.

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