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Thursday, November 5

November 5, 2015

Violence: Today we shared examples of times when being in a crowd affected our behavior — concerts, conventions, shopping, etc. We compared these experiences to Bill Buford’s experience of waiting for a goal at a football (soccer) game, in the excerpt you read from Among the Thugs (which, PSA one more time, is an awesome book).

This was a springboard to discuss three major theories in the relatively new field of crowd psychology. One of the early leaders in this field was Gustave LeBon, a Frenchman who published The Crowd: A Study of the Collective Mind in 1896. (LeBon’s focus on the collective mind has some parallels to Carl Jung’s idea of the collective unconscious.)
There are three major theories of how a crowd behaves:
1. Contagion theory. Advocated by LeBon and still a popular theory. It states that ideas/emotions are conagious, and can be transmitted between individuals in a crowd, much like a disease.
2. Convergence theory. A contrasting view, which states that like-minded individuals tend to gather together in groups, whether consciously or not, to carry out their desires.
3. Emergent-norm theory. Essentially, this theory states that crowds can evolve, somewhat organically, choosing their own leaders and determining their own direction.

For Tuesday: please read “My Kinsman, Major Molineux,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Be ready to explain which of the three types of crowd behavior you see in the story, especially as they relate to Robin.

I went over the tentative schedule for the rest of the year. Key points:

Next Thursday, we’ll be watching a movie that you will have to respond to in the form of a 3-5 page paper. Think of it as a late midterm. More details next week; it’ll be due the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Your final project will be due Dec. 17. More details ASAP.

You will need to have Native Son read by the time we get back from Thanksgiving break. That’ll be what we spend a couple of weeks on in December.

Radio: SALMON FRAUD. You handed in your rewritten articles (after reading them aloud, of course). Then we listened to a few of the projects that were handed in last week. Generally these were all very well done and quite impressive, given the amount of time you had to work on them! Keep it up.

Project #4 was handed out today: Radio 11.5.15 – Project 4 Guidelines. These are due two weeks from today. We’ll be listening to some other examples and references in class on Tuesday.

Siren: Working on November copy. It’s due at the beginning of class next Tuesday — all of it. Make sure you talk to people/get headshots!

Also lined stuff up for the bake sale at LAVA next Thursday — thanks to everyone who volunteered. I appreciate it very much.

Style: We talked about e e cummings. Here’s the board:

I would like to see you try to write a short series of poems for this; ideally 3. At least try out some variety – he uses a lot of formal forms, and at other times throws all of that out the window. Try both styles. These are due on Tuesday, as always.

Middle School:

Survey: Poetry: Looked at a new form: the terza rima. You wrote one. If you didn’t turn it in at the end of class, it is due at the beginning of class Tuesday.

If you want to share ANY of the formal poetry you’ve written, bring it in Tuesday. We’ll begin with that.

We’ll have a quiz on types of formal poetry next Thursday. The following week (beginning Tuesday, Nov. 17), you’ll need to start bringing those Betjeman/Hayes packets with you every day.

Survey: Fiction: First, a quiz on Miriam. If you were absent, please expect to take this upon your return.

Today you got a whole bunch of notes on character: round, flat, dynamic, static, stock, and caricature. Your homework is to complete this sheet: Fiction 11.5.15 – Character ID Sheet, in which you will look at a bunch of characters from the stories you’ve read for this class and try to classify them. Pick one each of round/flat and dynamic/static, OR – if you think they don’t command this much analysis – classify them as either stock or caricature. Make sure to include a note on your reasoning.

We will start class on Tuesday with a discussion of this sheet. Be ready to talk and share. Prompt 8 will also be checked for completion on Tuesday (but not collected). Make sure you have something to show me – those are easy points to grab! 🙂

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