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Thursday, June 1

June 1, 2017

Argument: Final.

Adaptation: Today we had a final presentation from Cassidy, and then played Chalvine.

Siren: Finished June issue. Hopefully we distribute tomorrow.

Daily Prompt: Today the activity was One Act in One Hour. And here is the result! : )

Publishing: Things.

Comedy: Your final presentations. Last test + notebook check tomorrow.

Survey: CNF: Final.

Wednesday, May 31

May 31, 2017

Poetry Workshop: Round 10. I’m really glad we did this!

For Friday: Senior revisions: Bullock, Bowser, Ohlund, Kasper. I gave out packets; see me if you didn’t receive one.

Remember: no comments on the blog for the revision round! Just use the forms I gave you in the packets.

Fiction Workshop: Today we workshopped Becca, Layla, Joanie, and Victoria. There are two pieces for Friday (Spencer and Layla), and that will conclude the semester.

Family Values: Today we watched two of the most popular sitcoms of the Nineties: Will and Grace (S1, Ep1, Sept. 21, 1998, “Love and Marriage”) and and Everybody Loves Raymond (S.9, Ep. 6, Nov. 15, 2004, “Boys’ Therapy”).

Obviously one of these is a friend family and the other is a traditional (and extended one).

Here’s what should be in your notebook for Friday’s final check:

May 10: Four types of families

May 12: “Family Hour”/The Cosby Show/Family Ties (NO ENTRY REQUIRED)

May 15: The Golden Girls (S1, Ep 1, 1985)/Full House (S1, Ep 1, 1987)/Statistics and info on aging Americans + the growth of Florida as a retirement spot.

May 17: Married…With Children (S1, Ep 1)/VHF vs. UHF and cable

May 19: Roseanne (S6, Ep4, 1993) /Blue-collar comedy.

May 22: 1980s history.

May 24: The Simpsons (S1, Ep 1, 1989)/Homer and Marge comparisons

May 26: Seinfeld (S4, Ep 17, 1993)/Friends (S1, Ep1, 1994)/Demographics stats on single-parent homes and cable households

and then, of course, today.

Remember that handout on Eighties sitcoms! It will be a big part of Friday’s test!

BatCat: Wrapping up things.

Comedy: Finished Best in Show. Here’s what should be in your notebook for the final notebook check Friday (prior to our final test, on all this material):

April 17: Parody/critique/deconstruction notes

April 18-19: Take the Money and Run response

April 21: Arrested Development S2 Ep4 response

April 25: Mel Brooks documentary (NO RESPONSE REQUIRED)

April 26: Mel Brooks clips from Blazing Saddles

April 27: Young Frankenstein response

April 28: Arrested Development S2 Ep 5-7 responses

May 2: Monty Python clips (NO RESPONSE REQUIRED)

May 3-4: The Rutles response: examples of parody/deconstruction/deconstruction

May 8-9: The Blues Brothers response (spectacle/drug use on film sets)

May 15-16: Ferris Bueller response/John Hughes

May 17-18: Back to School response (fish-out-of-water scripts/premise comedy)

May 22-23: Liar, Liar response (premise comedy II)

May 30-31: Best in Show response/Christopher Guest

Obviously, since most of these films occurred over multiple days, the most important thing is that you have a complete response — Header (title/year/director/actors); observations/notes from your viewing; a brief summary of the film; personal response. (That goes for the Arrested Development episodes too.)

Regarding the test, you need to be acquainted with the films, the chronology, the elements of parody, critique and deconstruction (obviously). You need to know only a few names: Mel Brooks, John Hughes, Christopher Guest.

And even though it’s not part of the notes, add The Producers to your list of films for the test.

Middle School Lit Arts: Rehearsal for the showcase.

I gave back your “I Remember” poem cards, which you started a ways back. I also gave you an optional final assignment, which I strongly encourage you to do, as it could be the difference between passing and failing (or between grades generally) for quite a few of you.

The assignment is that you must continue/complete your “I remember” poems for next Monday. You can receive up to 15 points for this assignment.

The criteria are:

  • It must be typewritten.
  • Each stanza must begin with “I remember…”
  • Each stanza must include an image. We talked some fair amount this year about images, and the difference between images and abstractions. I’m counting on you to know the difference.
  • There must be a MINIMUM of eight stanzas, and a MAXIMUM of 12.
  • I will collect these at the beginning of the block. NO EMAILED ASSIGNMENTS ACCEPTED.

Survey: Screenwriting: Today: those of you who opted to take the test took the test. Everyone had a peer evaluation form to fill out for the development project (Screenwriting 5.31.17 – Dev Proj Peer Review). The rest of the time was a workday.

Reminder to those writing final screenplays: PRINT AHEAD OF TIME. PRINT THE RIGHT NUMBER OF COPIES (one per speaking role, plus one for the exposition). If you don’t do this, it will be considered late – and that’s 20% right off the top. This is not a drill – this will actually happen if you are printing after the beginning of class (which, if anyone needs that to be defined, is whenever I come into the room after the bell rings – generally, that’s about 1:50).

You have been warned!

Tuesday, May 30

May 30, 2017

Argument: Final presentations: Coe, LeRoy, Starr.

Final Thursday. Everyone received the packet last week, so you should be good to go. Ask Miss Bett for her study guide!

Adaptation: Today we had a presentation from Joanie. Cassidy will be presenting on Thursday.

Despite this eleventh-hour disturbance to the presentation schedule, we can still have a “party” on Thursday. You can bring food, but it must (defensibly) be some kind of adaptation – and you will be asked to write about it. Briefly. Maybe there will be extra credit involved? Maybe? You won’t know unless you try.



See you Thursday.

Siren: Finishing up stuff. The June issue should be ready to go by week’s end.

Daily Prompt: 

Publishing: Today we had a discussion about next year. Thank you for your thoughts, suggestions and requests. If you think of anything else, please do bring it to my attention.

Comedy: Gave out copies of this recent interview with Christopher Guest.

Watched this pre-mockumentary clip of Guest (and his future co-star Harry Shearer, plus Martin Short) from SNL, 1984:

(You can see the similarities between the narrator-less approach and modern mockumentary-style films and TV, like The Office.)

Began watching Best in Show.

Your final projects are due Thursday. Final assessment will be Friday, when your notebooks will also be due.

Middle School Lit Arts: If you are reading in the showcase, you MUST bring in a (clean) typewritten copy of your piece(s) tomorrow. That is a graded assignment.

If you are NOT reading in the showcase, but would like your work displayed in the atrium at the showcase, then tomorrow, please bring in a typewritten copy of a piece you believe is your best work from this year. Keep it on the short side. This is optional.

Survey: CNF: I gave back your how-to essays, which were really good, and we heard a few.

You turned in your emasculation/pet essays.

We reviewed for the final Thursday.

That is all.

Friday, May 26

May 26, 2017

Poetry Workshop: Our final three poems of Round 9: Ohlund, Hill and Hulick.

Round 10 poems due by 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Revisions due by 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Fiction Workshop: Today we workshopped Ash, Henry, Faith, and Cassidy. Four new stories were handed out today; please have all four of them ready to go for next Wednesday (remember, no school on Monday!).

We are close to the end – next week is it. So end strong, please!

Family Values: Watched Seinfeld (S4, Ep 17, Feb. 11, 1993: “The Outing”) and the first episode of Friends (S1, Ep1, Sept. 22, 1994: “The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate”). We talked about what made these “friend families” potentially attractive and influential. I gave you some demographic statistics on single-parent families and the growth (and decline) of cable households.

BatCat: We have some things to finish up, and we are well on our way. Thank you for all of the hard work you put in this month for LAVA – it was one of the best showings for us, ever! It’s all due to your dedication. Well done.

Comedy: You chose to work on your final projects instead of watching Arrested Development. There’s no accounting for taste.

Survey: Screenwriting: Today you handed in your treatments and made a decision: test or screenplay. If you were absent today, I’ll be asking for your decision on Tuesday, or whenever you return.

Thursday, May 25

May 25, 2017

Argument: Reviewed for our final next Thursday. See me if you didn’t receive a review packet.

Adaptation: Presentations today, presentations Tuesday. If Tuesday goes as planned, next Thursday can be a “party.” Whatever that means to you. It’ll be Olivia’s birthday. Don’t mess this up.

Siren: Our guest speaker was BatCat author Francesco Grasanzio.

Daily Prompt: Adding INSULT TO INJURY – this in-class activity asked students to decorate and construct a band-aid box and research literary insults which they wrote on band-aids. The templates for this activity are in the black bin in Mrs. Barringer’s office. (Bin is below the TV.)

Publishing: Workshop today.

Comedy: Work day. Hope you used it.

Survey: No class today due to the LAVA release event. Remember that your screenplay treatments are due tomorrow, and you also need to let me know what you’re going to take on for your final (the test or the screenplay assignment). Choose wisely.

Wednesday, May 24

May 24, 2017

Poetry Workshop: R9: Hamilton, Kasper, Bullock.

Fiction Workshop: Today was a work day. Kind of. For some of you. Four pieces are due Friday (see Monday’s post).

Family Values: The Simpsons, S1, Ep1, Dec. 17, 1989: “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.”

We talked about this unbelievably successful prime-time cartoon, which helped put FOX on the map for good, and traced some of its lineage:

  1. Homer is clearly an amalgamation of blue-collar TV dads like Ralph Kramden, Fred Flinstone and Archie Bunker — though he’s much dumber and better-natured.
  2. Marge is, in the words of Mr. Aloi, a combination of Alice Kramden and Edith Bunker, and I think that just about nails it: she is a long-suffering housewife whose love for her husband is the glue that holds her family together.
  3. And Springfield is the natural successor to Mayberry: a fictional small town filled with unforgettable characters.

BatCat: Good work today – we have about 50 Parakeets let to glue in, and that will be it!

Comedy: Work day. Your films are due next Thursday.

Middle School Lit Arts: We rehearsed for the Middle School Showcase in the Orchestra Room, and got (and gave) some public speaking pointers.

Survey: Screenwriting: Today was a work day for your treatments, which are due on Friday. We also discussed what is going on next week: you have a choice to make, and I need to know your decision by Friday. Here’s the sheet that was handed out: Screenwriting 5.24 – Final Options and the review list: Screenwriting 5.24.17 – Review List.

Think about this carefully! See you Friday.

Tuesday, May 23

May 23, 2017

Argument: Final presentations: Hulick, Bett, Denny, Cianfarano.

Adaptation: Today we had presentations from Cierra and Chip. Presentations continue on Thursday.

Siren: Folding and stapling of the May edition.

Daily Prompt: 

Publishing: Prepped for LAVA. Thank you for your contributions!

Comedy: Finished Liar, Liar.

Middle School Lit Arts: 

Survey: CNF: Turned in your Goodman or name essays.

We read Alan Olifon’s “Emasculation in a Jiffy,” and talked about Lee Gutkind’s idea of the universal chord: the midpoint between public and private moment. Put another way, it’s the way a reader connects with your essay.

In “Emasculation in a Jiffy,” the author talks about how he can’t change the oil in his own car, and it makes him feel dumb. Most of you probably don’t worry about car oil changes yet — but there ARE probably things you know you ought to know, or do, that you don’t, or can’t. (We talked about some.) That’s the universal chord of this essay — the similar experience that most, or all of us have had.