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Friday, January 27

January 27, 2017

Poetry Workshop: Today: Bullock and Bocek. Another great job — keep it up!

I gave out a new packet. For Monday: comments and annotations for Kasper, Ohlund and McDanel.

Fiction Workshop: Today we started off with another in-class writing prompt – story on a postcard (if you were absent, you do not need to make this up).

After that, we moved on to your homework assignments for today. First, I asked you to take note of the following on your assignments:
Count the number of sentences/periods
Count the number of commas
Take note of any other punctuation used (semicolons, dashes, ellipses, parenthesis, etc.)
Count the number of “the”s used
Find the longest word (by number of letters)
Find the longest sentence (by number of words)
Find the shortest sentence (by the number of words)

After taking note of these statistics, we discussed some outliers and things that you noticed about your own work.

Your assignment for next Friday is here: fiction-1-25-17-assignment-rewrites. If you have any questions let me know. Yes, you do need to rewrite the same thing 10 individual times; yes, this will be a lot of work, which is why you have a whole week.

There is no standing homework for Monday.

Family Values:  Today we talked not about TV, but radio — the root of all sitcoms. We discussed the ways in which radio predated TV as a big physical object in the people’s living rooms during the first part of the 20th century. (Think Christmas Story.) We talked about the fact that these objects were expensive; that there was therefore only one of them in most households; and that it would have been natural for families to gather around this big, expensive object to be entertained.

Next, we listened to a segment from one of the most popular broadcasts during the Golden Age of Radio: Amos and Andy and “Marriage Proposal Mixup.”


I had you fill out responses after we listened. People rightly pointed out that the “mistaken identity” plot has been used on innumerable sitcoms — the standard “sitcom plot,” in terms of tropes, structure and even length, was in place well before there were TV sitcoms; that Andy’s character (the clueless, easily-duped protagonist) has likewise been recycled endlessly (pay attention, SpongeBob folks!); and that the idea of white actors portraying black characters like Amos, Andy and Kingfish could be a source of uneasiness (which it was).

Remember for Monday to please bring a notebook you can use for this course. Any notebook will do, as long as it isn’t shared with another class.

BatCat: We have a lot of work to do! Show up next week ready to work – hard. We will be staying after Wednesday (and also on Thursday, by default, for the reading).

Comedy: We began with a bit of terminology that should be useful as we begin watching stuff:

slapstick: physical comedy

humor: stuff that is funny in a fairly gentle or benign way (laughing with someone)

wit: stuff that is more pointedly funny and has a sharper edge (laughing at someone)

satire: exaggeration for humorous effect, in an effort to poke fun at those in power, institutions or widely-shared beliefs.

farce: a completely over-the-top version of satire. You might wonder if satire is serious; there’s usually no question about farce.

Next we watched episodes 3 and 4 of Arrested Development, Season 1. You took notes, and probably saw examples of most of the stuff we discussed above.

Survey: Screenwriting: Finished Some Like It Hot. Notes are due on Monday.

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