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Tuesday, Sept. 8

September 8, 2015

Violence: Today we looked at these two examples of man failing to acknowledge nature. Then we talked about the poems “The Stoat” and “The Wind,” and the ways in which they reveal “nature, red in tooth and claw” (a famous line from “In Memoriam,” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.)

“The Stoat,” in particular, reveals two important lessons:

  1. The stoat is not just this :stoat 1but also this: imgres
  2. The narrator realizes that while he might have saved the rabbit (temporarily), he failed to save the egg, and thus is powerless to make nature behave as we might wish. You can’t save all the rabbits (or the chicks, or whatever).

“The Wind” is also revelation — the wind is not just some childlike huffer and puffer:

Image result for the wind children's illustration

but also does stuff like this:

Hurricane Andrew

i.e., “kills and kills and kills.”

Note that neither poem contains (in my view, at least) any higher-level violence: culmination and regeneration. They’re too short for the former, and there’s no evidence of anything new being created (except, perhaps, a revelation about nature!) in either piece.

We didn’t get to William Wordsworth’s poem “Nutting” today, but it, and “A Voice From Death” will be up next.

Radio: Today you gave your first weekly reports, and the rest of the time was spent updating software. You should have your audio or at least have a recording with which to record your audio. It would be to your benefit to have it by Thursday.

Siren: Today we talked about the five Ws and H, the basic news lead, and the inverted pyramid story organizer. Basic news leads are not as common for us; we don’t cover a lot of breaking, time-sensitive news, although it does happen (and should probably happen more). When time’s tight, though, you have to cut out the frills and communicate clearly the most important information first.

This is because 1) you usually don’t have time to think up fancy leads on deadline, 2) people are busy and often just skim stories, and 3) some copy editor might chop your story in half to make it fit into the paper. If that happens, you want the most important stuff up top.

Also: USA Today (via a local representative) will be visiting within the next couple of weeks to talk about setting up our hub site, which is a really great opportunity. We need a sports reporter! Just sayin’.

Style: Today you shared and handed in your stories based on Lorrie Moore. The style for this week is a piece/collection called “Alexia” by Jessica Poli. Please read and take notes on this for Thursday.

Survey: Poetry: Today we reviewed the five essential elements of poetry from Chapter 1, as well as five “don’t”s: abstractions (instead of imagery); cliches; excessive sentiment; self-pity; predictable rhyme schemes/rhythms.

We defined image (something you can experience with the five senses) and abstraction (something you can’t). We added a couple of terms that can be somewhat more imagistic than abstractions — generalizations and judgments — but aren’t full-fledged images.

Then we made a list of abstractions, which we’ll probably use for an activity Thursday. For next Tuesday: read Chapter 4 in Three Genres.

Survey: Fiction: Today we reviewed what we went over last Thursday (fiction, prose, forms, genres, literary fiction) and added a couple of new terms (speculative and premise fiction). We talked a little bit about what not to write about this semester (including a list entitled NO DON’T DO IT). Class ended with a little writing activity.

Your homework for Thursday is to read The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. There will be a short, super-easy-to-pass-if-you-read-it quiz at the beginning of class. See you then!

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