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Thursday, October 15

October 15, 2015
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Violence: Short class today, as I sat in on the Mass Marketing class for the first half. I gave you an essay about LotF to read: “Grief, Grief, Grief.” That was going to be your homework, so if you read it, you don’t have any.

There are a few takeaways from this essay, some of which we’ll get to next week. The one we covered in class is probably the most important: the fable about the frog and the scorpion. It is used to illustrate a central point of the book: that people don’t always behave in predictable or even rational ways — even if their behavior ends up hurting them.

Apply this lesson to the island. The boys come up with a plan: they start a signal fire which will surely be seen by a passing ship or plane, and they’ll be saved. All they have to do is keep it going. Perfectly logical. But the plan doesn’t account for a behavior that Ralph and Piggy would surely find irrational: what if some of the boys don’t WANT to be saved? That sounds crazy, on the face of it. Even Jack surely must want to return home. Unless he doesn’t.

Then apply it to the example we used in class: even if we ended poverty tomorrow by giving everyone in America a guaranteed income that would place them above poverty level, some people would still be poor. They wouldn’t use the money in ways we consider sensible. Some would spend it on drugs and alcohol; some would gamble it away; some would simply waste it in ways we can’t even predict. They would do this even though it doesn’t make “sense.” No matter how advanced science gets, predicting human behavior is always something of a crapshoot.

That was a big part of Golding’s point in writing LotF, and a lot of had to do with the 50 years or so previous to the book’s publication. We’ll begin there Tuesday, when I’ll return your quizzes.

Radio: Today we listened to the opening segment of a TAL episode (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/513bleeped). Specifically, I asked you to listen for the way the piece is put together in terms of audio elements and tracks, then I gave you a timeline of the piece – similar to what might appear in Audacity if you were in the process of putting this segment together.

By yourself or in a partnership, you picked a different episode opening to analyze and break apart in the same way. Payton, you were the only one absent – come see me so I can get you up to speed. I’ll make copies of the charts you all made and pass them out next week.

Tuesday I’ll be looking for your weekly listening, as always.

Siren: Main takeaway today: house style. Every publication has one, to deal with stuff that isn’t covered by AP style. Our house style includes the following guidelines:

  1. References to the school and the Center: It is “Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School” (or “Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center”) on first reference, and a full abbreviation (LPPACS or LPPAC) or just “the school” (lower case) or “the Center” (capitalized) afterward.

Isn’t that potentially awkward? Do we HAVE to spell out the school name in the lead, for example? Not necessarily. Look at Miss Kremm’s piece last edition about our new guidance counselor. It doesn’t mention the school in the lead, because it doesn’t have to — we can assume that he’s working for the school. In other words, if you can avoid spelling things out, then avoid it. But if someone’s going to be reading this who’s outside our student body, we need to be more specific.

2. References to adults: We refer to adults by their title (if applicable) and first and last name on first reference. For example: Principal P.K. Poling. We refer to them by their honorific (Mr./Mrs./Miss) and last name thereafter: Mr. Poling said the dance would be canceled.

3. References to students: We need the following information EVERY TIME we quote a student in the paper: On first reference: first and last name, major, hometown, and grade level. For example: Literary Arts major Lynn Jefferson, a senior from Moon. Then just refer to the person by last name only. The crowd was intimidating, Jefferson added.

You might need to spread the above information across a couple of grafs:

“I wish they’d bring back the chili cheese dog wrap,” said junior Riff Toynbee.

         Toynbee, a sophomore from Butler, added that he’d never actually tried such a wrap.

Remember:

*  Grade levels are never capitalized unless they begin a sentence.

* For freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, use the class title, not the number. (Say “senior Sally Wright,” not “12th grader Sally Wright.”

* For middle-schoolers, spell out the grade and hyphenate it. (Seventh-grader Whiff Paxon, not 7th grader Whiff Paxon.)

Style: Today we talked about Gertrude Stein and listened to her read a couple of her own poems (from here: http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Stein.html). Here’s the board:

IMG_7370

Write a poem (or series) in the style of Stein for Tuesday. Would love to hear more of these read aloud!

Middle School:

Survey: Poetry: Today we practiced more scansion. We’ll pick things up there on Tuesday!

Survey: Fiction: Today you took a lot of notes on the second question of the point of view analysis: To whom is the story being told? We officially defined “distance” and “immediacy.”

Several things were handed out in class:
Fiction 10.12.15 – Distance Ranking Examples: In class, you ranked each set of sentences in order of their sense of distance. In group you compared notes and then shared your thoughts with the class. The sense of distance is somewhat dependent upon how you read and interpret the story – but most of the time, we can come to an agreement about the overall effect.

Fiction 10.14.15 – POV Analysis Paragraph Examples: Instead of continuing to do the POV analysis sheets, you are going to transition into just writing your thoughts down in paragraph form. Use these as examples to help you out with your homework for Monday, which is…

HOMEWORK FOR MONDAY: Fiction 10.14.15 – Prompt 7, POV analysis paragraph: Prompt 7! This is due in your notebooks on Monday, October 19. Please know that when I collect your notebooks, this is the prompt I am MOST interested in reading. So please spend time on it.

Fiction 10.14.15 – Assignment 2, flash fiction: This is your long-term assignment, due Monday, October 26. If you have any questions, please see me (sooner rather than later).

Also, on Monday you’ll be assigned to read Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper for next Wednesday. I’m telling you now so that you can do it early, if you’re in the mood.

That’s a lot of stuff! If you have any questions, please let me know.

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