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Wednesday, May 27

May 27, 2015

Poetry Workshop: Finished today with McNulty, Kreitzburg and Blackham. I’m very happy with how you guys did in the final round, running this essentially yourselves. I couldn’t remark on all the perceptive comments I heard, but I heard quite a few. If you were silent during this round, I hope you were listening at least and taking mental notes. This is how a workshop should work.

You have your revision partners for the revision round Monday. I’ll be giving out those packets to each of you tomorrow. Remember, the final responses will be graded! Let’s finish strong, everyone.

Fiction Workshop: Today we workshopped Mallory, Rhyan, Sarah, & Jonnah. Please have Haley, Winkle, and Laura ready for Monday. Also keep a look out for Rosemary’s, which may still be coming.

Monday will be our last day of class. Plan accordingly. It’s been a very good workshop, so I hope that our last day can be extra-good.

Act One: Ran a few revisions and a couple of Ives plays. We have (by my count) nine finals to get through Friday, so we will do our best. if there’s time at the end, I reserve the right to offer a final quiz on the basics — stage directions, SAF, maybe even an extra credit question or two. That will be our final class meeting, so hopefully we go out the right way.

BatCat Press: Thanks for your help – more to come.

7/8 Lit Arts:

8th Grade:

Survey: Screenwriting: Today I met with you to return your excerpts and to discuss your grades. The final screenplay is due Monday, June 1. For those of you that have assignments outstanding, the sooner I get them, the better.

50 Poems: Our next-to-last meeting. We covered Yeats’s “Broken Dreams” and “The Cold Heaven,” and talked about how they connected to his fear of, and theories about, the afterlife — specifically, phantasmagoria/the dreaming back (living one’s life in reverse), and the shifting (a sort of after-death role reversal). “The Cold Heaven,” meanwhile, relates in part to the Irish idea of hell as a freezing wasteland.

Then we concluded with Philip Larkin’s no-so-uplifting “Next, Please,” a thoroughly modern poem that suggests Death offers nothing but nothing — a long, slow black boatride to nowhere. (If you think about Emily Dickinson as one of the first modern poets, along with Walt Whitman, you can kind of trace the lineage of this worldview, descended from bleak poems like “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” and “I Heard A Fly Buzz.”)

I hate ending things there. (Really! That wasn’t the plan.) So that’s where you come in. On Tuesday Block 3, I would like to have one final meeting, if possible, in which you will bring in at least one original (and new) poem on this topic of the afterlife. I would like you to be ready to share this piece, discuss it briefly, and be able to cite at least one work we have covered this semester that inspired it in some way. (I’ll give out a list of all 25 poems we covered tomorrow.)

We didn’t get to everything I hoped, and now that we’re nearly done, I can think of two dozen other pieces I wish we’d covered. I’m still glad I did this with you guys — I have enjoyed it, and I hope you’ve gotten something from it as well.

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