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Monday, October 12

October 12, 2015
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CNF Workshop: Today: Blackham and Denny. You turned in comments and annotations for Lepczyk, Holley and McClintock. We’ll get to two of those at least on Wednesday, with the holdover next Monday.

No assignment for Wednesday — we’ve completed the second round — but please remember that your third-round piece is due on the blog by 8:45 a.m. Thursday. I’ll be assigning two of the essays for Monday.

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we finished Round 1 with Abby. Your small groups for workshop are on the board. Wednesday will be a work day. All of your screenplays are due to the blog by 8 am on Monday, October 19.

Less Miserables: Voting on pitches. Thanks to everyone for their hard work. We’ll announce the winners Wednesday!

BatCat: Things. Check your calendars.

Middle School Lit Arts: Today we took a quiz on “Bottom of the Fourth,” plus “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Man in the Black Suit.” We talked a little about the similarities between the three stories; that discussion will continue.

We also discussed one way that an author builds tension: by adding a “clock” to a problem. Example: Trisha’s first problem — her family feuding — isn’t time sensitive. It’s been going on for a while and could continue indefinitely. But her second problem — getting lost in the woods — definitely DOES have a “clock” attached to it. She can only survive for so long on her own. There is a race against time, which adds natural tension to the story.

Then Trisha’s second problem gets even more complicated: she thinks she’s being chased by someone or something. Now there’s a second “clock”: she’s not only trying to get out of the woods before she starves, she’s also trying to get out before something gets her. It took us a hundred pages to get to this point, but now there are two clocks running on Trisha (and for us, as we read). When someone describes a book as a “page-turner,” this is often what they mean: there are multiple clocks running, ratcheting up the tension.

You finished your list of things you’d take into the woods. These will become part of Wednesday’s prompt.

For next week: please read “Fifth Inning” in Tom Gordon.

Middle School: Bert Bertram, Take Two. Our most guests ever!

Survey: Poetry: You turned in your poems. Please have these ready Wednesday at the beginning of class if you were absent — I’m probably NOT going to come after you to get them.

Then we discussed/practiced with a pair of feet that are less common than the iamb and the trochee: the dactyl and anapest. These are triplet-based feet: the dactyl is stressed/unstressed/unstressed, and the anapest is unstressed/unstressed/stressed. I gave you a handout that covers some of the scansion “cheats” we’ve been discussing, plus a few new ones.

We also discussed a much less common foot: the spondee, which is two stressed syllables. It’s much less common because 1) there really aren’t a ton of spondaic words; even words like “Pittsburgh” and “heartburn” could fit into a trochaic pattern too, and 2) even if you could come up with the words, a full spondaic line would be super-heavy. You could do it for effect, but the most common use of the spondee would be as an accent.

(The reverse of the spondee is the pyhrric foot: two unstressed syllables. You’re only going to see this one used in combination with other feet; a full line in this foot, if you could manage it, would be super-monotonous and boring.)

For Wednesday: please read pages 91-93 in your textbook, which list five ways to mute the effect of meter.

Survey: Fiction: Today you took a quiz on A Rose for Emily and we talked about the story for quite a while, including the person used in the story (which is first person plural – this was added to your notes).

I handed back your point of view analysis sheets from last week (the things you did with your partners). Generally, these were okay, but definitely not great – make sure to EXPLAIN yourself fully and cite SPECIFIC EXAMPLES in order to support your arguments (because that’s really what you’re doing here – making arguments about how to interpret the story).

You completed a point of view analysis sheet for this story in class (handed in at the end): Fiction 10.12.15 – POV Point of View Analysis Sheet. Your homework for Wednesday is to read the packet of flash and micro fiction that was handed out in class.

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