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Wednesday, January 25

January 25, 2017

Poetry Workshop: Today I collected comments and annotations for Bocek, Bett and Cianfarano. Then we gave our first poem — Miss Hamilton’s “In the Eyes Of” — a fairly detailed analysis. We did this to (hopefully) illustrate how many choices there are in a poem, and how much there really can be to talk about when you’re engaged. You guys did great. Now you only have to do that for every single poem, every single time 🙂

As your reward (and since we have five poems backed up on the runway), no assignment for Friday. I’ll give out the new packet then; the next three poems (for Monday) will be Kasper, Ohlund and McDanel.

Fiction Workshop: Today we did a few things. First, we started out with an in-class writing exercise involving transitional words. If you were not here, you missed out and do not need to make this up.

Each of you shared a bit about the story you read for the short story analysis, which was subsequently handed in. Those of you that were absent may be asked to go on Friday, or when you return – but it’s not 100% guaranteed.

Finally, you got a prompt assignment for Friday, which can be found here: fiction-1-25-17-prompt-old-school-photo. Completion of this is very important, as we’ll be using these in class on Friday.

Family Values: Today you took a brief pre-quiz to see how much you knew about the post-World War II era, where our story really begins. It wasn’t as bad as I thought.

The questions were:

  • What was the major event of 1945? (The end of World War II, with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.)
  • Who was the president in 1945? (Franklin D. Roosevelt — until he died. Then it was Harry S Truman.)
  • How many U.S. households had televisions in 1945? (Approximately 44,000.)
  • What postwar novel helped invent the concept of the teenager? (Catcher in the Rye.)
  • What was the most popular radio serial of its day? (Amos ‘n’ Andy — the first syndicated radio show. More on them next time.)
  • Which superhero was NOT active during this postwar period? (Spider-Man.)
  • What was the Cold War? (The showdown between the U.S. and USSR after WWII. The Soviet Union wanted to expand communism; the United States wanted to contain it. The two superpowers never went to war with one another, but fought by proxy — as in Korea and Vietnam.)
  • Finally, true or false: The United States in the 1940s and 1950s was a very conservative and repressive place, which only became liberalized in the 1960s with the advent of the counterculture. (If we’re talking politically conservative, and I was, then the answer is false.)

I gave out the syllabus, which you can get here. family-values-syllabus-spring-2017

You need a notebook for this class for Friday.

BatCat: Marbling prep in class today; marbling after school. It’s very likely that we’ll be doing more marbling on Friday, so come prepared.

Comedy: We talked about stuff that you found funny, in the two episodes of Arrested Development you watched yesterday, as well as in other films and even in real life. And it was such an entertaining discussion that we didn’t even get to any of the terms I was supposed to give you! So we’ll do that tomorrow.

Here’s what ended up on the board – rough categories of the humor in these episodes:

List generated from class discussion of Arrested Development (Ep. 1 & 2):

  1. George Michael’s awkward double entendre
  2. Ice cream sandwich to the face / no touching / physical shortcomings of others / throwing the letter into the sea
  3. Narration (sometimes sarcastic)
  4. Stereotypes (of rich bored people); exaggeration or subversions of stereotypes
  5. Cluelessness
  6. Visual humor (incl. puns)
  7. Unexpected situations
  8. Blatant contradiction
  9. Catchphrases
  10. Continuity / previous references
  11. Cinematography
  12. Deadpan humor
  13. Easter eggs

Middle School L.A. Enrichment: Final Catcher quiz. Say goodbye to that old phony, Holden. Bring your books back Monday and we’ll be starting our next one!

Survey: Screenwriting: Today we went over the syllabus (screenwriting-1-25-17-syllabus) and guidelines on how to take film notes (screenwriting-1-25-17-film-notes-guidelines). You took some familiar notes on conflict, and we began to watch Some Like It Hot (Dir. Billy Wilder, 1959, starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis). We will finish this film on Friday and it will take the entire block, so please try to arrive as early as you can so we can get started.

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