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Wednesday, September 28

September 28, 2016
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CNF Workshop: Today: Adamson and Hulick. For Friday: Hall and Pilch.

I gave out the new reading packet, which has three essays in it. Have those read for next Wednesday — when, believe it or not, your third essay is also due.

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we workshopped Cassidy and Payton. Rachel and Ash are for Friday – have your annotations ready and comments posted online by 8:50 am.

Good job today – every single person had something to say for both pieces, which is really wonderful. I really appreciate the focus of your comments and the way you listened to one another. Let’s keep it up!

Public Speaking: If you didn’t present today, you go Friday. No additional penalty.

Then we watched two TED talks –or at least, one whole one and one excerpt. The whole one, by chef Jamie Oliver, began with a startling statement:

And this one, by Simon Sinek — which we watched the first half of — began with a question:

In both cases, the speaker managed to hook the audience’s attention through a different device. Oliver presented a series of startling facts, including one having to do with the expected lifespan of audience members’ kids. (He also involved the audience with an easy question to which he knew most people would answer “yes.”)

Sinek, meanwhile, presented three different, well-known examples to illustrate his opening question: Why do some people/organizations become successful? (Apple, the Wright Bros. MLK Jr.) He then answered the question with a simple but effective diagram he called “The Golden Circle,” which illustrated his idea that successful people think in a completely opposite way to the rest. (And he teased the rest of his talk by stating that there is biological proof of what he claimed.)

We will be discussing more of this next week, when we’ll begin honing our ideas for the midterm/final talks.

BatCat: On Friday, we will be discussing all of the submissions currently labeled “ALL READ” on Submittable. If you haven’t read all of them, DO IT! 🙂

Horror: Today, we:

  1. finished watching the Twilight Zone episode “The After Hours”
  2. discussed the term “uncanny valley,” which comes to us from Japanese roboticist Matsuhiro Mori. (The term was actually coined in Japanese during the 1960s, but it wasn’t until a 1978 translation of Mori’s work that we got the English version.) The uncanny valley refers to a point on a continuum of emotional responses to humanoid and nonhumanoid characters. The theory goes that our emotional response to a humanoid character that is “not quite right” is revulsion and fear. It dips, creating the “uncanny valley.” Here’s a chart from Wired UK. As you can see, the “humanlike” character scores lowest on likeability:Image result for uncanny valley
  3. added another item, our fifth, to the list of Stuff That Scares Us: kids and kids’ stuff. The short explanation is that it’s always worse when a kid is involved, whether as a victim, or — even worse — as the antagonist. My theory is that this is because kids, of all people, are — in theory, anyway — the most constrained by boundaries. When they go beyond those boundaries, it’s more shocking and unexpected (though history tells us maybe it shouldn’t be).
  4. added a reading assignment for Monday: Chapters 28-35 in Pet Sematary. This should take us up to the second section.

Survey: Fiction: Today you handed in Assignment #1. As I mentioned in class, if what you handed in today is problematic in some way (no MLA header, no double spacing, etc), you may hand it in again tomorrow for full credit with those issues corrected. I will not come to you for this – if you decide to redo it, bring it to me at your earliest convenience.

In class you took a quiz on The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, which we will be talking more about next week (so don’t forget everything about it, please!).

The rest of class was spent outside, working on Prompt #5, which is due on Monday in your notebooks. I will be checking for completion. Here is the link to file again if you need it: fiction-9-26-16-prompt-5-voice-persona.

There is no other new homework for Monday, aside from Prompt #5.

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