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Thursday, February 4

February 4, 2016
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WWTWWT: Today we discussed your responses to the Groundhog Day prompt, and then we talked about Heraclitus and Parmenides.

Just like Thales and Pythagoras, there was a fundamental difference in the way these two metaphysical fellows saw the world.

Heraclitus (like Thales) used the evidence supplied by his senses to suggest that everything is in a constant state of change — that change, in fact, is the fundamental substance of the world. His money quote is that “you can never step in the same river twice,” later paraphrased in the opening lines of Disney’s ultra-politically-correct fable Pocahontas.

And Parmenides (like Pythagoras) appealed to reason when he said that change is just an illusion — because our senses can trick us. He thought, instead, that nothing really changes, and that we are all, in essence, one.

Again, we have the same schism: the senses versus reason. Get used to this idea: you’ll be hearing a lot of it.

For Tuesday: please re-read page 42-43 (about Protagoras), and page 45, about Democritus and Leucippus.

History: Today we had a discussion about your experience with the wax tablets, and then you took a few notes. You wrote down definitions for extant, diptych, triptych, and polyptych.

The oldest extant wax tablets were pulled from a shipwreck dated to around 1400 BC (off the coast of turkey – http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/316/uluburun/ scroll down for tablet image). We compared this to some later tablets: from 128 AD and from 138 AD and drew a sort of comparison of their apparent craft and usage to books from ~120 years ago to today’s paperbacks: the craftsmanship of the former is clearly more involved and balances with the content, and the content of the latter is clearly of more importance than the physicality/craft of the object.

Wax tablets were used for centuries after this – some businesses used them well into the 1800s. Now, though, you can still buy them – but they’re made mostly for medieval reenactors (or serious Luddites, I suppose).

After all of this, we moved back to the beginning and looked at papyrus (watched the first 6 minutes of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf795iWZoSs). Assignment 2 was handed out: Book History 2.4.6 – Assignment 2, Planning for Papyrus. If you were absent, see me to get your papyrus to trace (for size purposes – they’re all a little different).

If you are going to bring in a stick for extra credit, the point is to carve the end into a pen point. So a stick that’s a little larger than a pencil would be great – make sure there’s plenty of wood (bark will be stripped off – do this in advance if you want). You could also just buy a wood pen at Pat Catan’s – they are quite cheap and can be found in the calligraphy section.

Siren: Talked about all the $$$ we made at the bake sale last night. Also, we will be visiting The Beaver County Times (probably after spring break). Our first SIREN field trip in years!

Daily Prompt: Today, Exquisite Corpse. You can use your paper as an entry (just stick it in your notebook and date it) or you can write something inspired by the drawing (all or part).

Four entries due on Tuesday – remember, if you were absent today and missed the activity, you need to replace this prompt with one from the website. thedailyprompt.wordpress.com

Survey: CNF: You wrote a moment about

  1. a time you discovered that adults can’t always be trusted, or
  2. a time when you confronted a fear

Then we created moment trees — essentially, chains of moments related in some way to our main moment. I went over three of them in class.

So far, besides the moment you wrote today, you have written moments about times when you experienced a “first,” and about a time when you discovered something important. You assignment for Tuesday is to create a moment tree for either today’s moment, the “first” moment, or the “discovering something important” moment. (You can do this on the back of your notecard, but I will be collecting them.)

Survey: Screenwriting: 

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