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Friday, October 14

October 14, 2016

CNF Workshop: Today we workshopped Kennedy, Adamson and McDanel. Good job today doing more of the work of workshop.

For Monday: Pilch and Hulick. You will be getting a new reading packet.

For Wednesday: Koscinski and LeRoy

For Friday: Mckinzie and Kasper.

For Monday, Oct. 24: Fourth round essays due on the blog by 8 a.m. Reading quiz.

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we workshopped Sara and Haley. Henry and Layla are for Monday.

Here are the due dates for Round 2:

Due Monday, Oct. 24: Sarah, Sara (Workshop date: Friday, Oct. 28)

Due Wednesday, Oct. 26: Chip, Ash (Workshop date: Monday, Oct. 31)

Due Monday, Oct. 31: Layla, Cassidy (Workshop date: Friday, Nov. 4)

Due Wednesday, Nov. 2: Alexa, Olivia (Workshop date: Monday, Nov. 7)

Due Monday, Nov. 7: Haley, Henry (Workshop date: Monday, Nov. 14)

Due Wednesday, Nov. 9: Rachel, Joanie (Workshop date: Wednesday, Nov. 16)

Due Monday, Nov. 14: Spencer, Payton (Workshop date: Friday, Nov. 18)

To recap: we’re doing two workshop days a week, to accommodate the length of this round. When you post to the website, please make a note of how you want to handle reading your piece in class (are we reading the whole thing, or an excerpt – and if an excerpt, what part?).

Wednesdays will be special topic days – we’ll be reading scripts, watching things, and doing related activities. Wednesdays will also be overflow days, in case we run out of time for discussion on other days.

Questions? Let me know.

Public Speaking: Today we finished your stories.

Then we watched this TED Talk by Nigel Marsh:

It’s a modest, but very effective talk: There are multiple reasons for watching, but we focused on two:

1. It has great examples of the power of silence. Watch how he avoids filler sounds and simply pauses after making each point, to let the idea land. You have to be confident to do this — but if you can, it will make a huge difference in your speaking.

2. It also has a very effective opening, in which Marsh does four smart things in the first minute:

  • He begins by involving the audience, asking them a question.
  • He then uses a startling statement that seems to insult his audience. (But not really – it also makes them laugh.)
  • He explains — very briefly — the “source” of the statement, St. Benedict.
  • And then he turns the focus back on himself. In other words, he’s saying, I’m the real idiot here.

We’ll come back to this speech, because it offers a nice template, potentially, for your own speeches. But for Monday:

  • Your assignment is to write down, on a note card, a maximum one-minute opening for your speech. It could be a reworking of your story. It could be something brand-new. But it DOES have to be written down, word-for-word, and it CANNOT last more than one minute. I will collect these at the start of class.

Also Monday, I will be giving you your feedback sheets for the taglines and stories. I solicited some additional input for you today, which I found interesting, and which you may find helpful.

BatCat: Frostburg is tomorrow (

Please make sure that you read the new submission labeled “all read” by Monday. There are some others that ought to also be looked at.

Horror: Today we continued our discussion of haunted places (item #7 on our list of Stuff That Scares Us) by watching two things:

  1. A Twilight Zone episode from 1963, “A Young Man’s Fancy,” which explores a potentially novel idea: a newly-married man returns, with his new wife, to his old house, which they’re planning to sell. Until a year ago, when she died, the man’s mother lived here, and the man begins to have second thoughts about selling the house — which seems to take on a mind of its own. Or is it the mind of the dead, domineering mother? No, it turns out that it’s the mind of the man himself — who wants to return to his boyhood. But clearly, the boundary crossing is when they return to the old house. They should never have come back, and let the house take control.
  2. This History Channel documentary, “Lost Souls of Pennhurst,” about an asylum outside Philadelphia that appears haunted by spirits of its past residents:

In this documentary, you heard the term eugenics used, and some of you already knew that this was a movement that promoted improving the human race by “selective breeding” to remove “undesirables.” This took on many ugly forms in the first half of the 20th century — the Nazis, obviously, approved — but 100 years ago this month, Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood, opening the first birth control clinic in the United States. Sanger, whom many people lionize, was also a eugenics supporter. Here’s a brand-new piece about her:

What Margaret Sanger Really Said About Eugenics and Race

Read for yourself and decide.

Remember: Pet Sematary quiz on Wednesday — chapters 42-47.

Middle School Rotation: Getting to know you day. We’ll talk more Monday about the cards you filled out.

Survey: Fiction: Today I handed back your POV analysis sheets from Wednesday (analysis of The Jilting of Granny Weatherall + 1 additional story) and we discussed them briefly. You took notes on audience and distance (if you were absent, get these from a friend).

Your homework for Monday is to complete the first part of the POV analysis sheet for each of the four pieces of flash fiction that you were to read for today. I will be checking these for completion. Here is the sheet if anyone needs an additional copy: fiction-10-5-16-pov-analysis-sheet.

On Monday, we will talk more about distance. See you then.

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