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Tuesday, October 4

October 4, 2016
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Spongebob: We introduced our seventh archetype, The Boss, today, by watching the SpongeBob episode “Welcome to the Chum Bucket.” We saw examples of both subachetypes here: the Good Boss (Mr. Krabs), and the Bad Boss (Plankton).

A Boss represents our need and desire for control and order. Someone has to be in charge, and a good leader can make everyone’s life easier. Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec, Nick Fury from the Avengers films and Amanda Waller from Suicide Squad are all good leaders overall; even though they sometimes seem to take moral shortcuts (like Mr. Krabs), they end up doing the right thing.

But taking too much enjoyment out of being the boss can lead one to the dark side. After all, aren’t most villains — from the Wicked Queen in Snow White to Sauron in LotR — just bad bosses, even if, like Plankton, they really have no one to boss around? (There’s a reason that “bossy” is a pejorative.)

That was all we had time for today. We’ll introduce an eighth archetype Thursday.

Critical Reading: Today we looked at some “statistics,” and the rest of the block was yours to get your lives together. Or at least your lives as far as this class is concerned. If you did not do the assignment, or want to redo it, or need to type it, the sooner you get it to me, the better off you’ll be, grade-wise. It’s 20% per day. If you get it to me today, I may have some additional mercy.

Remember that Foucault needs to be read and annotated for Tuesday.

Siren: Sat in on guest speaker Ryan Skyy, who talked about his career and gave some advice for how to succeed in the music biz. It was a great opportunity to practice covering a live event, so we did. You took notes and we’ll try turning those into a story Thursday, focusing on how to write a strong lead, what to keep and what doesn’t matter.

Style: Handed in your Dale Carnegie-inspired pieces and heard some of them read aloud – I think we all learned a little something.

The style for this week is Amy Hempel (short stories/flash fiction). Please read the packet that was handed out, take notes, and we’ll discuss her work on Thursday.

Reading for Writers: Presentations! We’re in the home stretch – five more people to go. We will finish these on Thursday.

Due to the presentations taking way longer than expected (which is fine, BTW! They have generally been quite good), I am pushing back the Salinger deadline one week. To be clear: you must have your assigned Salinger book read by Tuesday, October 18. There will be a “did you read it” type quiz on that day that will be very hard, if not impossible, to pass if you have not actually read the book.

Survey: Poetry: Today we began talking about scansion. We discussed:

Syllabic poetry: poetry built on, and analyzed by, counting syllables. Haiku is an example.

Meter: a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in words and phrases. Metered poetry is poetry built on, and analyzed by, these patterns.

Scansion: the process of analyzing (or “scanning”) patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry. These stresses are expressed in feet: specific groupings of stressed and unstressed syllables.

We paid particular attention to the charts on pages 89 and 90. From those charts, we will be mainly interested in:

The four most common feet: in order, iambic, trochaic, anapestic and dactylic

The three most common line lengths: pentameter (five feet), tetrameter (four feet) and trimeter (three feet).

I gave you this handout of scansion tips scansion-tips-10-2-14, which we reviewed. It has a homework assignment on the back: I want you to scan the 10 lines of poetry by

  1. counting the number of syllables per line
  2. marking the stressed and unstressed syllables
  3. identifying the foot and line length of each line.

However, if you were absent, I think I’d rather just try to get you caught up Thursday myself, rather than have you attempt the homework on your own.

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