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Friday, November 6

November 6, 2015

Songwriting: Watched part of this documentary about the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, and his lost (and recovered) masterpiece, Smile.

We listened to the song many consider his masterpiece, “Surf’s Up,” with impressionistic lyrics by Van Dyke Parks.

Unlike The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” in which the impressionistic lyrics add up to less than the sum of their parts, here I think the component parts actually DO succeed in getting across what’s intended. If you want to discover more about Brian Wilson, the documentary is a great place to start — and if you’re interested in music, especially writing about music, this is pretty much need-to-know information.

Pulp: Talked about outreach efforts for next week. I’ll check in with the outreach team Monday to go over the “script” and schedule for Tuesday.

Critical Reading: Today we had a very limited class in terms of time, but I think we made the most of it. We reviewed what we’re doing and why we’re doing it: RDI is a method by which a text can be evaluated in a critical way. A strong, defensible interpretation is what your target ought to be. To get to that interpretation, there are a lot of different approaches you can take. You can look at the choices (language, content, structure) made by the author/creator, use a filter (research- or text- based), look at subtext and context, and think about implication and interpretation. Lots of these things overlap or lead into one another, and depending where you, as an individual reader, are coming from.

Here’s the board:

In class, we looked at this print ad:
Critical Reading 11.6.15 - Pepsi Ad
Think about why it is laid out as it is, why the colors used are chosen, why Sophia Vergara is used in the ad, who it is targeting, what the underlying message is, etc.

Your homework for next Friday is to analyze a print ad and fill out this packet (Critical Reading 11.6.15 – Ad Analysis Packet). Intellectually rip the ad apart – what is it doing? What choices were made, and what’s the result? Etc. If you were absent, see me to get an ad.

Less Miserables: Reading rehearsal for LAVA next Thursday. We’ll do it again next Thursday Block 2. Attendance is mandatory (unless you have a test in your regular Block 2 class). Remember: you have to be present in school on the day of the reading to read: that’s school policy for all extracurricular events.


Middle School: Talked about why we like the books we like, differences in perspective and interesting, in medias res story-openers!

Survey: Poetry (M/W): We took your rondeaux (the plural of rondeau) and turned them into another French-derived form, the villanelle, which has 19 lines and two refrains (instead of just one, like the rondeau). If you did not turn yours in at the end of class, they will be due — both of them — at the start of class on Monday.

Survey: Fiction (M/W): 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 Monday with a discussion of this sheet. Be ready to talk and share. Prompt 8 will also be checked for completion on Monday (but not collected). Make sure you have something to show me – those are easy points to grab! 🙂

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