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Monday, Sept. 21

September 21, 2015
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CNF Workshop: Today: Blackham and Bett. For Wednesday: comments and annotations for Denny and Hill.

On Thursday (by 8:45 a.m.) your second-round piece is due on the blog.

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we workshopped Faith and Abigail. Please make sure that you’re holding yourselves to high standards – the comments and annotations this time were a little bit weaker than last week.

There’s only one screenplay for Wednesday: Rhyan’s. (Abby’s due date has been moved due to an upcoming absence, in case you’re wondering why.) Please have comments posted to the blog and annotations ready to go.

Less Miserables: Began watching Singin’ in the Rain, which we’ll finish Wednesday. I collected your Into the Woods responses. If you were absent, please have them ready for Wednesday.

Remember: I have digital copies of all these movies if you missed any of the screenings, but you need to see me — preferably with a flash drive — to get it.

BatCat: Submissions. We’re going to keep hitting them hard – I think it’s reasonable to expect that we’ll make some decisions in two weeks or so, if everything keeps going as it has. Please make sure to use your time in class well… today was weaker than last week’s efforts, certainly.

Upcoming events (check your calendars):
Saturday, October 10: Conversations and Connections Conference at Chatham University (need 3 people, max for editorial “speed dating”)
Saturday, October 17: Midland’s Fall Festival (just the button table)
Saturday, October 24: Frostburg Indie Lit Festival (we’ll be tabling all day)

Middle School Literary Arts Enrichment: Today I handed back your “Whole Town’s Sleeping” prompts. We talked about present tense and the effect it can have on the reader; especially when used in combination with a first-person narrator, it can help make a story more suspenseful because it doesn’t give us the “assumption of safety” that past tense does (this story has already happened, and therefore, the narrator must be OK).

I passed out copies of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and we talked about three things that the woods traditionally have meant:

  1. They are a place that houses dangerous animals, perhaps even supernatural beings (because they’re dark and dense and we can’t see well in there, and so we might be unpleasantly surprised).
  2. They are a place — perhaps even the only place — where people can go to do things that they probably shouldn’t be doing. They are private, in other words — and people often use privacy to hide wrongdoing.
  3. Because they are dark and dense and might be very large, it doesn’t take long for a person to lose touch with civilization once they enter the woods. (That’s true even today.)

For next Monday, please read up to page 41 (end when you get to “Top of the Fourth”). And remember our baseball terminology:
Closer = generally a team’s top relief pitcher, who enters a game when his team is ahead to protect the lead. Usually closers only enter close games, and so their job can be a very stressful one. Tom Gordon was one.
Runs = the unit used to keep score in baseball. (Not “points” — that’s football and basketball. Hockey is “goals.”)
Boston Red Sox = the team for whom Tom Gordon played at the time of this story (1998). Very popular throughout New England, including in Maine, where Stephen King is from.
New York Yankees = the primary rival of the Red Sox.
We’ll be adding more!

7th Grade: We talked about in medias res — a Latin term which means “in the middle of things” — and effective story starters. Then you tried to write one of your own. We’ll share some of them Friday.

Survey: Poetry: We took a quiz on Chapters 1, 3 and 4. Then we read the Dylan Thomas poem “Fern Hill” (it’s in your textbook on page 21) and talked about how the sound of the poem helps dictate the mood.
We defined two terms that aren’t (I think) in your textbook: euphony (a combination of sounds pleasing to the ear) and cacophony (a combination of harsh, grating or discordant sounds), and described letters that produce both effects.
I asked you to read Chapter 5 for Wednesday, paying special attention to the following terms: alliteration, assonance, consonance and onomatopoeia; true, slant and eye rhyme; and enjambment and end-stopping.

Survey: Fiction: Today you started off by taking a quiz on Steinbeck’s The Chrysanthemums and we had a really good conversation about the story and what it all added up to – thank you! Keep up the good work!

We added a few more terms to your notebooks: setting, atmosphere, mood, and foreshadowing. The rest of this break-less (sorry) class was spent working on Prompt 4 (Fiction 9.21.15 – Prompt 4, setting). We did Part A in class and discussed it, then went outside to do Part B. If you finished, great – no homework. If you need to do a little more on Part B, please have it done for Wednesday. We will likely be sharing some of these in class! No coercion, but hopefully some of you will be willing to share.

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