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Tuesday, February 2

February 2, 2016

WWTWWT: I was at an enrollment seminar; you watched the first hour and 20 minutes of Groundhog Day — in honor of the day, and also because it’s one of the great philosophical movies. You saw enough to complete the prompt I gave you comparing Phil Connors to Sisyphus; you can just write your answer on the back of the handout (which is drawn from this longer piece). These are due Thursday.

History: Today you shared your assignments (introductions with nontraditional materials). Great job – these were all very inventive and worked well given the constraints!

We reviewed a couple of points on our timeline – specifically, that paper didn’t hit Europe full-force until around 1100 AD, and our history of the written word extends far beyond that date (to the earliest surviving scroll from 2400 BC – and well before, if we’re talking about stone tablets/carvings). So what were people writing on during this time? Papyrus and parchment. As we noted last class, some papyri and parchment manuscripts/documents have survived the ages, and are the best documentation that we have from this time period – and these materials were used for valuable texts and documents, as they were very expensive and required a lot of technique/time/energy to prepare. So what was the “scrap paper” equivalent for antiquity? Wax tablets were common – boards coated in darkened wax were used to scratch out lists, do calculations, etc.

More on the specifics of these materials later – in class, we made our own “wax” tablets (with modeling clay). Your assignment, if you want to call it that, is to actually use the tablet between now and Thursday. Use it to write/take notes, do a calculation or two, sketch out an idea… just use it in some way. We’re going to talk about your experiences on Thursday.

Siren: We set our lineup for the bake sale tomorrow, and talked (briefly) about perhaps the most common — if not the greatest — of the Seven Deadly Journalistic Sins: bias. I gave you the one-page overview; we’ll come back to it on Thursday.

Daily Prompt: Today was the first notebook check and reading. This is the way it will go down every week. The rest of the time was yours to work – you don’t have to work on prompts for this class, necessarily, but it wouldn’t be the worst idea. 🙂

Survey: CNF: Began by collecting homework from Thursday. Then we wrote a moment/riff about a time when you learned something important, and shared a few.

Finally, we identified moments and riffs on a handout (Mrs. Riboflavin). I asked you to read the David Sedaris essay “Today’s Special” for Thursday, and to mark each paragraph as either moment or riff (a couple will be tricky). This is homework; I will collect your essays.

Survey: Screenwriting: 

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