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Thursday, Oct. 6

October 6, 2016

Spongebob: We introduced our eighth archetype, the Charmer, today, by watching the opening sequence of Iron Man and a clip from Some Like It Hot. We focused on the characters of Tony Stark and Sugar Kane, who are both Charmers.

This is a character who is defined primarily by his or her amorous interest in, or attractiveness to, other characters. A charmer doesn’t have to be charming, in all cases: sometimes they just have to work at it.

The two subarchetypes of this archetype are fairly different. A ROGUE does work hard at using his or her charm. Sometimes they’re really successful (James Bond, Tony Stark, Sugar, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Blanche from The Golden Girls). Sometimes they’re not, so much (Ryan from The Office, Tom from Parks and Rec).

A BOY (or GIRL) NEXT DOOR, by contrast, doesn’t work as hard at exploiting his or charm. Sometimes they don’t work hard at all. Think of  Jim (and, to some extent, Pam) from The Office. “Boy/Girl Next Door” does not suggest innocence, necessarily: just that this character does not put racking up conquests on the front burner.

Toward the end of class, which I had to leave a little early, we did a mandala exercise to help pave the way for a discussion of some recent dreams.

“Mandala” is Sanskrit for “circle,” and circular imagery was important to Jung. He came to believe that it might be possible to reconcile all the archetypal contradictions in one’s character — the anima or the animus, for example, and the existence of the Shadow — and achieve wholeness — complete the circle, so to speak. I can’t speak to that, but what I can say is that:

  1. this relates loosely to the idea we discussed earlier, about mythology being “compensation” for the separation and alienation that occur when Man loses contact with his Creator and/or Creation. A substitute wholeness, if you will.
  2. the mandala, as depicted below, is thought to have calming properties when used as an instrument of meditation, which might open a door to the unconscious mind. Again, I’m just telling you what they say.

If you’re interested in learning more, here is the site we used for some inspiration.

(We also listened to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major.” It’s famous as a piece of meditative music because of its repetitive structure. Choose from the London Symphony:


or the dubstep version:

You wrote down your initial impressions, which I think were a lot more violent and agitated than what Jung intended. We’ll come back to this Tuesday when we can spend a bit more time on it.


Critical Reading: Today I returned your Filters Assignment Part B, with comments, as well as a sheet of short excerpts from this assignment (critical-reading-10-6-16-filters-assignment-examples-part-b). We talked about these in class. The big takeaways are:

  1. The process for using a filter can be simplified in this way: first, make observations. Notice things that appear in both works (or in the work as well as your body of research) that appear to be similar, or have something common. Example A: Three of the characters in the story are disabled in some way; Flannery O’Connor is also disabled. Example B: Lucynell can’t speak; Flannery O’Connor described herself as an awkward child.
  2. After making the observation, look a little more closely at their similarities and/or differences. Example A: O’Connor and her characters have their disabilities in common, and O’Connor chooses to make the disabilities affect her characters in negative ways. Example B: Both Lucynell and O’Connor are socially inept as a result.
  3. Interpret – search for meaning. Example A: Perhaps O’Connor is trying to show that disability has an inherent negative affect on people, and that she also viewed it as a negative thing – it held her back in a different ways (physically, like Shiftlet; emotionally, like Lucynell Sr.; socially, like Lucynell Jr.). Example B: Perhaps O’Connor is saying that social ineptitude (or awkwardness) itself is a kind of disability or a barrier that can never truly be overcome, even in adulthood. Etc.

New homework assignment: Do Part C for next Thursday. It must be typed, double spaced, and significantly better than Part B in terms of quality and given our conversation today. Do more.

Standing homework assignment: Read and annotate the Foucault reading assignment for Tuesday.

Siren: A trunctuated class, for which I apologize. We did assign November stories, and talked briefly about how to turn our reporting on Tuesday’s guest speaker Ryan Skyy, into a full-fledged story.

I gave out a handout on different types of leads. New folks, add this to your knowledge base, which should now consist of:

  1. Very basic AP Style.
  2. The seven reasons we cover a story.
  3. The parts of a story/front page.
  4. The three major story organizers and why we use them.
  5. Eight different types of leads. We’ll talk more about these one day next week.

Style: Today we took notes on Amy Hempel (I’m sorry, I missed getting a picture of the board, but I think everyone was in class). Your pieces are due on Tuesday, as usual. I’m asking for one piece of flash fiction. Make it good.

Reading for Writers: The last of the presentations were completed today. Nice job, everyone.

A very short reading assignment on war was handed out and needs to be read for Tuesday. Your Salinger books must be read by Tuesday, October 18. The original date (the 11th) has been pushed back a week due to presentations going long.

Survey: Poetry: Practiced scansion in the Great Outdoors. I thought it went pretty well. We’ll keep working on this before we get into writing some metered poetry next week.


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