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Tuesday, February 14

February 14, 2017
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Argument: Today we:

  • did a quick review of types of claims. Everyone seemed to do very well. (Here’s the sheet, if you were absent.: argument-and-controversy-types-of-claims-practice-sheet-11-5-12)
  • read the argument “We’re Good Republicans…and Pro-Choice,” and identified the primary (policy) claim: that Republicans should not take a position on abortion in their official platform. (See me if you were absent to get the handout; you’ll need it Thursday.)
  • we also identified a couple of supports for that claim, and warrants for those supports.
  • One support was that “abortion is divisive”; warrants for that support might include “divisiveness might affect Republicans’ ability to win elections” or “keeping the party united is more important than taking a stand on abortion.”
  • Another support was that “not taking a stand on abortion is consistent with Republicans’ limited government policy.” Warrants could include “consistency is good, generally,” or, again, “being consistent is more important than taking a stand on abortion.”
  • We then did a short in-class test designed to pick out warrants. If you didn’t do so well, look over the correct answers and ask questions!
  • Your homework for Thursday is to once again look at “We’re Good Republicans,” and identify 1) one secondary claim; 2) tell what type of claim it is; 3) give one support for this claim; and 4) give two warrants you would have to agree with to accept this claim and support as valid.

Adaptation: Today you handed in your research lists from last week (re: Shakespeare) and we began watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). We will continue to watch the film on Thursday.

As you watch, there are two ways to approach your note-taking: if you’ve already begun to read the novel, take notes on connections and the ways your expectations are either met or defied. If you have not yet started to read the novel, pay attention to the way the film is structured. Later on, we’ll be discussing the adaptation from novel to film (obviously), so an excellent understanding of how each work is constructed and operating will be paramount.

Siren: Today we gave out March assignments. If you were absent, take a look at this list and see what you might want (or need) to do for that issue:

Also, I gave out the first packet of workshop pieces, about Nathanael Turner. We’ll try workshopping them Thursday. Please annotate all four, looking both for grammatical/AP style stuff, as well as bigger things (Did you talk to enough sources? Did you choose the best quotes? Does the lead get the reader into the story immediately? Is there necessary information missing?)

Here they are, if you were absent: siren-workshop-round-1

Daily Prompt: Today notebooks were checked and we had an in-class reading. You were also introduced to Mrs. West! Thursday will be an activity.

Comedy: Today we got back to talk about the introduction sound film and some of the important-to-acknowledge challenges that came along with this shift.

First, we watched an old clip to further contextualize the major reasons sound film didn’t catch on in the earliest days of film:

We also watched the sad/hilarious clip of the old guy accidentally breaking a wax cylinder. I won’t post it here, but you can find it easily on YouTube.

Following this, we watched some clips from The Jazz Singer and Lights of New York:

We also watched this clip from Singing in the Rain, which includes a [fake] talkie that features most of the major early sound issues:

We came up with a brief list of the major silent-to-sound transition issues:

  • Syncing. We talked about this quite a bit; once sound-on-film replaced sound-on-disc, this was much less of an issue. But the earliest sound films were sound-on-disc (Vitaphone) including The Jazz Singer.
  • Mic placement. Sound tech at this point isn’t as good as it is now (and it’s still kind of problematic!), so mics would have to be placed either just out of frame or had to be hidden in the scene itself – sometimes even on actors & actresses. Mic placement was restrictive in two ways: one, actors were limited in their movement and direction, as they had to speak toward a mic, and two, the camera was relatively restricted by mic placement as well. To make matters even tougher, cameras were loud and had to be put inside of soundproof booths in order to avoid being picked up by the mics, which further restricted camera movement.
  • Silent era actors and actresses were not necessarily going to make it in a sound film. Some had thick accents or language barriers that prevented their transition to sound film; other had annoying or strange voices, or were simply not comfortable in speaking roles. Many silent film stars did not make the jump, and sound opened the door to performers who were accustomed to speaking roles, such as Vaudeville and stage actors – like the Marx Brothers.

On Wednesday, you’ll watch Duck Soup in class.

Middle School LA: 

Survey: CNF: With the help of a skinned Furby, we talked about moment and riff, including different types of moments:

  1. Moments embedded inside riffs.
  2. Flashbacks, which are just what they sound like.
  3. Montage moments, which are like the “cleanup” montage or the “get buff” montage you’ve all seen in endless sitcoms and films. It’s a device used to suggest the passage of a much longer period of time that we don’t want to show, as well as suggest that a given moment has happened over and over again, with only minor variations.

Then I gave you a sample five-paragraph essay cnf-first-essay-five-graf-sample-template-2017 (no, not one of THOSE five-paragraph essay) as a template for how we’re going to write the first essay: moment/riff/moment/riff/moment. In this essay, there are two embedded moments which are underlined; the second one (the highlighted one) is a montage moment.

I reviewed what makes a good moment. (Hint: avoid exposition. Just get to it — in medias res.)

These essays are due Thursday, and I sure would love it if they were typewritten.

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