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Wednesday, May 11

May 11, 2016
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Poetry Workshop: Today: Doban and Thellman.

Here is the schedule for the rest of the semester. No more room for a bonus round, unfortunately:

Monday, May 16: Comments and annotations due for: Denny/McClintock/Cianfarano

We will workshop: Lepczyk/Denny/McClintock

Wednesday, May 18: Comments and annotations due for: Holley/Paul/Swogger

We will workshop: Cianfarano/Holley/Paul

Monday, May 23: Comments and annotations due for: Hall/McKinzie/Winkle/Campbell

We will workshop: Swogger/Hall/McKinzie

Wednesday, May 25: Revision due.

We will workshop: Winkle/Campbell/anyone we’ve missed

Monday, May 30: No school/Memorial Day

Wednesday, June 1: Revision round (seniors)

Friday, June 3: Revision round (everyone else). This will, essentially, be our final meeting.

If you miss your slot, we’ll do our best to accommodate you at a later date, but no guarantees.

Fiction Workshop: No workshop today. Please make sure to check your calendars for the updated workshop dates. Due dates remain the same. You should now have 6 stories that have not been workshopped; do annotations and comments ahead of time!

Cultural Lit: Talked about economic literacy. I gave out this list of terms: Cultural Literacy – Basic Economic Terms Then we used the example of a chocolate-selling business to explain some concepts like taxation, raising the minimum wage and what happens to businesses when they are regulated/taxed.

We didn’t get very far on your handout of terms, but I did talk about three basic types of taxes that we all pay:

  1. Income tax: tax paid on earned income. The majority of this income goes to the federal government. The average rate is anywhere from 15 to 25 percent for most “middle class” taxpayers. The state (at least, this state) takes another 3 percent or so. “Payroll taxes” are taxes that come right out of your paycheck, but you have to pay taxes on most income over a certain amount, even if your employer doesn’t take out a payroll tax.
  2. Consumption taxes. The big one is sales tax, which is six cents on the dollar. Pennsylvania actually has more exemptions than I thought for its sales tax; according the revenue.pa.gov website, the following items are exempt: food (not ready-to-eat); candy and gum; most clothing; textbooks; computer services; pharmaceutical drugs; sales for resale; and residential heating fuels such as oil, electricity, gas, coal and firewood. (So I was wrong about groceries — I apologize. Must have been reverting back to all those years I lived in West Virginia.) Most sales tax goes to state government; some local governments charge an additional tax.
  3. Property tax. This is a tax on houses and land that goes to local governments; the big ticket item it funds is schools. You have to pay a yearly tax on the assessed value of your property. Different municipalities have different rates, but a ballpark figure for a $100,000 property (home and land) in Beaver County would probably be between $2,000 and $2,500 annually. (Some states charge property taxes on cars, boats, other vehicles, etc. — Pennsylvania doesn’t.)

BatCat: We have a lot to do! If anyone could stay after tomorrow (Thursday), that would be great. If not, think ahead to next week: we’ll be doing as much as we possibly can.

Middle School Lit Arts: Watched some of this 1977 version of Our Town:

Bring your scripts back Monday!

Survey: CNF: Quiz on CNF ethics, etc.

I gave out two “How-To” essays from last year’s literary journal: “How To Be Your Father’s Daughter In 25 Easy Steps,” and “How To Take A Shower.” We talked about the concept of a how-to essay; specifically, that a how-to essay is not always about the thing it claims. There can be an ulterior motive.

We brainstormed some ideas for how-tos and I will post a list of those idea here ASAP. You will have to choose one for your how-to essay, though I haven’t set a due date yet.

I HAVE set a due date for your “what if?” essay, which is due Friday, May 20. And your portfolios are due May 31.

Survey: Screenwriting: Today you handed in Part 5 of the Story Development project. I handed out a reading assignment from “Your Screenplay Sucks” by William M. Akers and we went over a few common pitfalls that often pop up during this project (as history has proven). Don’t fall into these traps!

Part 6 was handed out: Screenwriting 5.11.16 – Story Dev Proj, Part 6 Pitching. You had time to work today, and will have Friday in class as well. Pitching will take place on Monday and Tuesday – I wouldn’t be surprised if you might have to do some prep outside of class. More on this on Friday.

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