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Thursday, February 25

February 25, 2016
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WWTWWT: Today we concluded our discussion of Plato by talking about his plan for an ideal society. It went something like this:

1. The way to give people an ideal society to to make sure that everybody gets what they want. Plato believed there were essentially three classes of people, from bottom to top:

  • The masses, who want stuff. (Material things, essentially.) This is the biggest group — just regular folks.
  • The auxiliaries, who want glory. These would be the law-keepers in society — soldiers, police, etc. (“Glory” doesn’t automatically mean “recognition” — it would mean people who take pleasure in doing noble deeds.)
  • The philosopher kings, who want knowledge. These would be the guys who ran the society. And they’d be unlike today’s corrupt politicians because their main goal would be gaining knowledge, not stuff.

2. Of course, there’d be no art, except perhaps a little military marching music. Artists = troublemakers. Imperfect copies of imperfect copies. Etc.

3. Kids would be raised by the state.

We had a nice discussion about “The State” and what it means to you and your life. More on this subject soon!

For Tuesday: please re-read the section on Aristotle in your textbook. And look over the handout I gave you: Plato Sez/Aristotle Sez, which highlights the key differences between these two important philosophers.

History: Today we mostly worked on Assignment #3 (the Book of Hours). In class, you picked one side of one folio to illuminate (the date of which has been pushed back to March 10, as you might expect). The other folio – the one that will not be illuminated – was given to someone else to copy.

Now everyone should have 2 small folios, each with 2 sides to copy. You need to make 13 copies, total.

We have moved the due date for this back to the Thursday, March 10. The goal is to have this book totally complete and bound by spring break, which is the end of March. Classes in the meantime will move on in terms of subject: next Thursday, you’ll be doing an in-class assignment, and the following week we’ll move on and start talking about printing.

Remember that the field trip is Tuesday – if you did not hand in your permission slip today, you MUST do so tomorrow! Do not forget.

The only homework as of right now is to work on copying your pages for the Book of Hours. Keep the scroll reading on deck; looking at the week after next for that discussion.

Siren: Plans for April Foolin’

Daily Prompt: In class you made a brand for yourself and then we made print plates and printed your name and logo. No writing needs to be based off of this (unless you’d like to do something for a separate entry, of course) – just put your prints in your notebook and that will suffice.

We will not have class on Tuesday due to the field trip. Four new entries will be checked next Thursday, March 3, and we will also be doing another activity that day.

Survey: CNF: Quiz #1. To review from Tuesday, when we read an excerpt from Henry Louis Gates’s memoir Colored People, and talked about sense of place: we said that every place in the world has its own:

  1. History (its full history, as well as your personal history in it)
  2. Geography (the physical geography — as in, the bank is on Fourth Street; the library is behind the Post Office.But also, the geography we impose: The bad part of town. The rich people’s street. The Italian neighborhood. Etc.)
  3. Characters (everyone has them, in their own hometowns: Lemonhead. Wayne the Crane. The crazy cat lady, or gentleman.)
  4. Language. (Pittsburghese is a good example, but so is Lincoln Park, and your house. Any place has in it certain things that are said there and nowhere else — “Lincoln Park Time”; your cute childhood nickname, etc.)

I gave back the notecards you did Tuesday, where you picked out a place you’re familiar with — a town, a house, a school, a room, a hangout spot, etc. — and have some amount of mixed feelings about. You listed the history, geography, characters and language of this place on one side, and a moment representative of this place (and your experiences in it) on the other. (If you were absent Tuesday, this is optional — but I definitely think it will be helpful.)

This sense of place essay is due a week from today: Thursday, March 3. Remember that your job is not merely to tell us about this place, but why it matters in some way — that’s your theme. “A place I love” or “A place where I made lots of memories, good and bad” are weak themes. You can do better. So do!

Survey: Screenwriting: Finished watching Tootsie. There will be a quiz on the film and perhaps other topics we’ve discussed on Friday. If you were absent today, please make an effort to try to watch the rest of the film tonight (if you can find it online or have it at home) OR come see me during the day tomorrow, if you have time, to make it up (there’s about 70 minutes left for you to cover).

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