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Wednesday, March 22

March 22, 2017

Poetry Workshop: Today: Hill/McDanel/Hamilton.

For Friday: Round 5 poems on the blog by 8 a.m.

Fiction Workshop: Today we workshopped Cecil and Cassidy. Henry and Bailey are for Friday. We will be setting the due dates for Round 3 on Friday! As was suggested last time, if you are absent on Friday, you’ll be put at the BEGINNING of the round (the first due date will be Friday, March 31 – that’s one week from Friday) – so be here. 🙂 Round 3 is a free-for-all – you can submit anything you want, as long as it’s fiction and school appropriate.

Family Values: Today we watched this episode of Leave it to Beaver, Season 3, Episode 20, from Feb. 13, 1960: “Beaver and Andy.”

Your prompt was to write about what was different about this episode, and we discussed the treatment of a very adult subject, as well as the moral (and who it was for).

We spent 10 minutes talking about a very important subject: the alleged “whitewashing” of television during the 1950s. Clearly, the ethnic and racially diverse comedies of the early TV era (The Goldbergs, which we watched, and Amos ‘n’ Andy and Life with Luigi, which we didn’t) had largely disappeared by the end of the decade, to be replaced with white, middle-class, suburban comedies that starred nuclear families (like Leave it to Beaver).

The simplistic explanation is the blame this on racism, and certainly, race played its role in creating the conditions for this switch. But the biggest reasons were demographic and economic. Between 1947 and 1957, we jumped from about 100,000 TVs to more than 40 million. No longer was TV exclusively the province of urban (and partially ethnic) audiences; now the nuclear families (primarily white) filling suburbia had TVs — as well the money to buy the products advertised on them. Therefore, shows which would appeal to this group of people and their concerns began to dominate TV. Follow the money. Always.

The next show we watched, which we didn’t finish, is also the last show we’ll see from the 1950s. It is the first episode of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, from Sept. 29, 1959 — “Caper at the Bijou”:

Dobie Gillis was a groundbreaking show in several respects, which we’ll get to on Friday.

BatCat: Pins and designs.

Comedy: Finished It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Middle School Literary Arts Enrichment: I had individual meetings with eighth-graders, and you read in class two Ray Bradbury stories: “The Veldt” and “A Sound of Thunder.” (The latter may be his best-known short story.)

I gave you a choice of two prompts to which you could respond, in at least six sentences:

  1. What do you think was the author’s attitude about technology, based on your reading of these two stories? Please use examples from both stories!
  2. “The butterfly effect,” as described in “A Sound of Thunder,” suggests that big, dramatic changes can occur because of small, seemingly insignificant events. Do you agree with this idea? Why or why not?

Survey: Screenwriting: Today we had kind of a weird day. Basically, we started talking about what a “sequence” is and will continue to do so on Friday. I handed out a sample sequence breakdown for Sunset Blvd (Screenwriting 3.22.17 – Sunset Blvd Sequences) as well as the assignment sheet for your next screenwriting piece: Screenwriting 3.22.17 – Assignment 7, Sequence. If you were in class, you got assigned a subject and an inspiration song; if you were absent, please see me to get these things.

This assignment is due Monday. I suggest you start brainstorming today and tomorrow, learn a little bit more about what a sequence is supposed to do on Friday, and write it over the weekend. Have fun with it.

I also handed back Assignment #6 (Scene with Dialogue) – if you have any questions about these, please let me know. They were generally quite good! Keep it up. 🙂

Link to the playlist:

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