Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December Literature Circle Posting Assignment (Round Two)


Image: Louise Bourgeois in 1990 with her marble sculpture Eye to Eye (1970) Photo: Raimon Ramis. Taken from Telegraph.co.uk.

This is a 100 point homework assignment.
  • You need to make 4 posts in total. There is a Part A and a Part B to each post you make.

  • All posts are due by December 23rd @ noon., though you should be posting within the next week. Keep in mind others depend on your comments to continue with their own.

  • Please title your posts Post 1-5, Parts A and B, etc.
    Part A: Post your reaction to something specific and thought provoking in the book (though this is not a minimum, your post should be at least a couple hundred words.) Feel free to ask questions in this section as well, since everyone will be reading these posts.
    Part B: You should also respond by elaborating on another comment in the stream (about the same length--a couple hundred words as a minimum.)

You will be graded on the Malden High School Open Response Rubric.

The above prompts are vague because it is up to you as a group to start to develop your own focus. You can feel free to bring in outside research etc, just make sure you cite or give a link to your sources—but I’m most interested in your “philosophical” discussions about specifics in the books and your ability to discuss the writer’s technique and how he or she affects meaning.

Middle Eastern Feminist Literature (Round Two)




Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas

Group members:
Sodaba D.
Jenny L.
Vanessa G
Ashley A.

An interesting "conversation" between Khaled Hosseini and Firoozeh Dumas.

Monsters in Literature: Othello (Round Two)


Group members:
Kristen W.
Mario P.
Kayla P.
Emily C.
Tzivia H.

I'll post image and book when you all finalize.

Comparative Theme: The "Journey" (Round Two)


Herman Hesse's "Siddhartha".

Group members:
Michaela I.
Alinne D.
Mary N.

There's tons of info on this book, like the wiki page, but I think it best if you stick to both your philosophic reaction to the book, comparisons to The Alchemist, and passage explications.

Spirituality and / or Philosophy in Lit Group THE INFERNO (Round Two)


Group members:

Mels R.
Matty Z.
Cynthia R

I'll post an image when you give me the translation of Dante's Inferno that you are all reading.

Ibsen's Ghosts (Round Two)

Group members:

Andy V.
Stephen C.
Carla C.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Matt Z. on page 302


Matt Z! said...

Page 302

On page 302 of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips creates a cause-and-effect relationship that explains his philosophical reason for the existence of hell. This view is presented to the audience by his simplistic, yet revealing, use of color and shape that depicts a descent into darkness, biblical references in the form of numerology, and interjections of staccato text, which appear as if they are interjecting thoughts in a degenerating psyche. Together, these techniques create a situation where the carnal emotions of man send the reader on a self-reflective journey to discover the darkest parts of their own nature, and the consequences for acting on such dark emotions.

At first glance, the most prominent object on page 302 of A Humument is, in fact, the only colored object on the page. Sitting in the center of the top of the page against a solid black background is an unnerving blood-red object. This irregularly-shaped spot extends about a third of the way down the page, terminating in a circular shape that oddly enough looks like a flow of blood pooling on a flat surface. The shape of this object both hints at the spilling of blood, and starts the downward progression of the observers eye which leads to the other objects in the image. Additionally, the color of the object (a dark blood-red), in combination with the black background of the piece, gives the entire piece a sinister tone. Phillips use of this specific shade of red is extremely important as well to the overall tone of the piece. Pure red is a vibrant color- used to show liveliness, energy, and passion. Blood-red, however, is a muddy and dark shade of red which hints at the corruption of this energy and passion. It symbolizes all of the darker passions that arise within human awareness, such as hatred, anger, and destructive feelings. Combined, all of these factors demonstrate that it is all of these darker emotions that contribute to the degeneration of the human mind into a hellish environment, which can be viewed as a method of self-induced quarantine.

Directly below this red shape is the most prominent piece of text on the page. In the center, slightly above the horizontal midline of the page, is “CHAPTER XXX” written in all capital letters. This holds a symbolic biblical meaning, as the number thirty (XXX read as a roman numeral) equates to divine order in biblical numerology. Also, these words are surrounded by a parchment-colored oval, which is the only circular object on the page. Circles are also interpreted to have an extremely spiritual meaning, as they represent unity, infinity, and perfection. This further strengthens the religious allusions present in this piece. Divine order becomes the driving force behind the work as a whole, and is philosophically hinted at more prominently towards the end of the observers experience with the piece. This selection of words is connected by two extremely thin parchment-colored lines, reminiscent of a lightning bolts, that shoot both upwards and downwards in order to connect the oval with “sorrow/ materials” above it and “the emotions of men” below it. In context, divine order becomes the unifying concept between all “sorrow/ materials” and all of “the emotions of men”. This reveals to the observer that when viewed through the eyes of a higher power, it is his/her own human nature that causes their own pain and suffering. Diction is also important here, as the blame is only placed upon the emotions “of men”, or in other words, those emotions that correspond to the darker side of humanity. Interestingly enough, these are the same emotions that are connected to the color blood-red.

Descending from “the emotions of men” is another off-white line which juts sharply downward into the black background before forking into two separate lines, each terminating at another piece of text. The eye’s descent down the page is both literal and figurative, as it also represents the descent into the darker realms of existence. One of the paths terminate in a simple phrase, which sounds more like an observation than anything else. Here, the observer learns that “hell is/ torments”, immediately being faced the horrible consequences of their darker “emotions”, which are prescribed by the divine order embodied by the number XXX. Ironically, the second pathway leads to a second observation, stating tersely “tongs, supplied”. Tongs are tools used by blacksmiths to manipulate metal at extremely high temperatures, like those associated with the burning fires of hell. The ironic message transmitted here is that thankfully, although a soul has found itself in hell, tongs are “supplied” so they do not burn themself.

Finally, at the very bottom of the page, is a block of text that is completely isolated. Fittingly enough, this text is “separated/ once for all”, and indeed it is the only text in the entire piece that is not connected to any other block of text. It is the lowest object on the page, and the last thing that the eye is drawn to. It reflects on the divine order theme hinted at by the roman numeral XXX, as well as eliciting a tone of quarantine and preservation.

It is here that a philosophical reason for hell is suggested at as well. When a person’s dark passions overtake them and they are sent down to hell, shown by the downward progression of the words on the page, they are effectively “separated/ once” from the rest of creation “for [the sake of] all”. Here is where the entire rest of the piece is put into perspective; where the cause (“the emotions of men” and all “sorrow/ materials”), the effect (placement into “hell”), and the reason interrelating the cause and effect (separation “for [the sake of] all”) is revealed.

Jenny L. on Tom Phillips page 354


Jenny L said...

Page 354

The lucidity of one’s memories is in a constant struggle against the inevitable darkness that comes with the fading of mortality as Tom Phillips depicts in his artwork. Phillips uses an excerpted page entitled the Human Document, to show the inevitable fade of one’s emotions and memories as time prevails. Through his contrasting use of colors, from vibrant to dark, thoughtful placement of his selective diction, and contrast of the artificial with the natural using specific images, Phillips is able to accomplish a mood of looming darkness and nightfall.

The brightest and most vibrant colors present on page 354 are shades of pinks and reds. These colors, dominate the major portions of the page, just as the most unforgettable memories may dominate the minds of its beholders. Such bright colors symbolize the most vivid experiences in one’s life. The color red possesses a dual meaning: with the brightness connoting joy but the redness connoting pain since it may allude to blood. With this duality in meaning, Phillips is able to portray the pieces that puzzle together to form the memories one holds: the feeling of happiness and pain. However, the bright colors Phillips uses is no doubt contrasted by the inking black that creeps up from the corner and is slowing engulfing the page. This contrast places emphasis on the two forces at hand. The force of the brightness of the piece, pushes for the prevalence of memory against the force of darkness as death slowly takes over. At the captured moment of the artwork, Phillips shows only a small portion of the page covered by the dead black color. Nonetheless, viewers receive an inevitable sense that the black color will soon overwhelm the art work as a whole, swallowing life and its memories along with it.

In addition to the contrast of colors, Phillips contrasts images as well through his use of perspective. He is able to depict life through cartoon like images of drawn flowers on the wall with a vibrant use of color, but he is also able to allude to life using natural colors of life, green and blue, shown through the small window. The perspective Phillips uses to draw viewers’ attention to the outside creates a focus on the distance of life. The outside, portraying an impressionistic image with a blue sky and green hill seems out of place and rather surreal. With the ambiguity of the shapes in the images of the outside, Phillips tries to show the blurring of one’s memories as “night” or rather death, looms near. Phillips shows the engulfing of one’s life along with its memories through the ebbing of the black color on the page, but he also uses a subtle blurring and darkening in the sky to foreshadow nightfall.

Phillips’s piece places words artistically to contribute to the sense of a fading memory of love as words trail listlessly down the page. Meant to illustrate the initial vividness of one’s memory, he groups together the majority of the words in his piece at the top of the page. However, the words soon become loose and separated just as one’s recollection of the past becomes vague and distant. Though death can envelop one’s memories, “loving [someone]…is contained in the record of the…night.” The “love” Phillips decides to incorporate in his piece suggests the immortality of the emotion despite physical death. The “love” is “recorded” despite the arrival of “night.” Phillips draws readers to the strands of words, as it protrudes through and contrasts the colors of the background. The speaker of the words seem to declare that since his memories has been swallowed by “night” he “can’t write anymore” and declares surrender as he “come…away”, departing from his memory. Since the words move off the page of the artwork, openings are created, leading to a leak of memories into the “night” the speaker refers to. The speaker surrenders his memories as the words “night” and “away” ventures off the canvas of the page. Like many of his other pages of artwork, Phillips uses the word “toge” to depict the separation of together. The memories of the past, whether it be emotions or experiences is now detached as death begins to overpower life.

Through the words he selects, he creates a parallel between night and death. Phillips depicts the overwhelming power of death as he uses night to show its fall upon light, leaving a sense of gloom and darkness.

The sunny facade that the picture portrays possesses an underlying and undeniable lingering darkness. Phillips utilizes both words and images to evoke the imagination of his viewers. As day turns into night, and as one’s life draws to an end, the memories one leaves behind must struggle against the darkness to be remembered. With clear distinctions between light and dark, contrasts between images of life and death, and diction placed to visually demonstrate the dominating struggle of the art piece, Phillips is able to develop the idea of not only life versus death, but the ability for memories of emotions and experiences to stay alive despite the death of its owner. As the title of the piece “A Human Document” suggests, Phillips’s art on page 354 represents a documentation of life and death along with the trail of memories left behind that struggles to be preserved.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Claim Your Poet....

for you research paper by posting in the comment stream by Dec. 1st.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tom Phillips: Explicating A Humument (Final Step)


The same basic premise applies for explicating a visual image as it does a poem, especially in your thesis. You are actually doing both in this essay. You are trying to explain how the artist creates meaning. Since there are words in the image, you must also analyze them. Use the same techniques you would for poetry.

On page_ _ _ of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips [active verb] that_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ by [technique and effect]_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.


Guidelines for Posting:
  • Due Monday, December 1st, 2008. 3:00 p.m.
  • You should have at least 3 pages worth of writing, Times New Roman, 12pt. font, double-spaced (with extra space between paragraphs) before you post.
  • The Title of your essay should be the page number of A Humument hyperlinked. Kevin Ta.. gave a mini-lesson on how to do this below.

Tom Phillips: Writing About an Image OPTIC (Step 2)


OPTIC. I find Walter Pauk’s theory quite useful when writing about an image.[1] The AP Art History Course also uses this Acronym as a successful approach to writing about visual art. I have adapted it here with further commentary and explanation in light of your specific goals.

The point of the first two steps is pure description. What does your eye notice first? Then what? Think space, color, dimension, etc...Notice what you notice. You are doing this so that explicating will be easier and better. Pick and image that you can describe with words.

  1. Overview: Conduct an Overview of the visual or graphic. I recommend an extensive brainstorming process here.

  2. Parts: Key in on the Parts of the visual by noting any elements or details that seem important. The old cliché goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”, which translates to about three pages. I think this is a good rule of thumb, but by no means a fixed rule. Describe what you see. Where do your eyes go to first? Then what? Follow the natural progress of where your eyes go. Give as much detail as possible.

  3. Title: Explain the Title (if one is present) and its relation to the piece of art. Even an “untitled piece” may tell you about the artist’s aesthetic.

  4. Interrelationships: Use the title, or your theory, and the parts of the visual as your clues to detect and specify the Interrelationships in the graphic. In other words, this is where you develop your thesis about the image and connect ideas.

  5. Conclusion: Draw a Conclusion about the piece as a whole.
If you go through this process, you will have plenty of writing to cull from to start explicating the piece.

NO POST NEEDED HERE.

But here are two model papers from last year: Meg6 and Kevin Ta5


[1] Pauk, Walter. How to Study in College. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997, 271.

Tom Phillips: Explicating A Humument (Step 1)


You will be explicating a page from Tom Phillips' A Humument. Click the link and visit this fascinating website--you could spend days in the world he creates. There are links on the site that introduce the work and give Tom Phillips' biography. There are essays on the work and plenty of stuff to read up on. All of it will be great background knowledge. None of it will end up in your essay.
  • When you've found the page IN THE GALLERY you are going to explicate, post the page number in this comment section of this post to claim it. SORRY, NO REPEATS AND IT IS ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE BASIS.
  • Also, I would like you to hyperlink your title to the image you pick. Below is a mini-lesson on how to do this.
Kevin Ta 5 said...
Alright, here’s my quick mini lesson on how to hyperlink in comment boxes. Say you want to make a link like
this. All you have to do is type the following into the comment box:

<"a href=http://www.google.com">"this"<"/a">

and get rid of the quotation marks. When you publish it, it will look like:

this

Replace the URL (making sure you have the http:// part) and the “this” and it’s as simple as that.

Remember that the Preview button is your friend. Hope that helps.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Frank O'Hara's "Having a Coke With You"

video

Having a Coke with You” by Frank O'Hara

(click above link for poem)


Here are the only things that you should and / or need to know to explicate this poem; consider them your “footnotes”:


Polish Rider by Rembrandt

Futurism (not really important for the explication of the poem, but in case you wanted to know what it was.)

Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp

Marino Marini, who made the sculpture Horseman


If you do the explication correctly, you will notice that all outside information is extraneous and will not help you explain HOW THE POET CREATES "MEANING."


Please post your essay in the comment stream by 8:45 a.m. Monday, November 24th, 2008.

Please leave an extra space between the paragraphs when you post.


Here are some materials that may help:

APE Rubric (with grade translation)

Poetry Explication Assignment 2.0


Finally, a not-so-subtle reminder for those of you who may have forgotten some “poetic truths”: 1. It is the speaker of a poem (not the narrator) who “speaks” the lines; it is also not the poet or the poem who speaks. 2. Indicate line breaks / with a slash. Indicate stanza breaks // with two slashes.


There are a million ways to explicate this poem, so your explication should be different than all others posted before you. Post early if you are worried about this.

Please take a second to respond to this....

Can you please take a moment to respond to this in the comment stream so I can forward this on to Ms. Clapp. Since these prep sessions are for you, your comments will be listened to and planned for. Thanks bloggies.

A message from Ms. Clapp:

"Hi Everyone,

It was great to see everyone last Saturday and I hope your students felt it was worthwhile. Please let me know any feedback you've received, positive or negative.

So I'm now planning the next one, January 24th. The students will take a full sample exam in the first 3 hour block. Could you please ask them (and weigh in yourself) on what comes in the 90 minute block after lunch:

Option A: Student will review the multiple choice section of the exam they just took, using the student run discussion model we did at the prep session and that many of you use at home.

Option B: Students will attend sessions on new topics - writing, close reading, etc."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November Literature Circle Posting Assignment

Image from the ICA at Boston's website. Tara Donovan Through January 4, 2009

This is a 100 point homework assignment.

  • You need to make 5 posts in total. There is a Part A and a Part B to each post you make.
  • All posts are due by December 5th @ 3:00p.m., though you should be posting within the next week. Keep in mind others depend on your comments to continue with their own.
  • You can also use the comment stream to make some decisions among yourselves about what the posts should be on: topics, parts of the book schedule, or even (for those of you that prefer or think you need a stricter schedule—make one up.)
  • Your group should have book # 2 chosen by Dec. 1st. You may want to do this as soon as possible, in case your book takes a while to acquire.


Please title your posts Post 1-5, Parts A and B, etc.

  1. Part A: Post your reaction to something specific and thought provoking in the book (though this is not a minimum, your post should be at least a couple hundred words.) Feel free to ask questions in this section as well, since everyone will be reading these posts.
  2. Part B: You should also respond by elaborating on another comment in the stream (about the same length--a couple hundred words as a minimum.)


You will be graded on the Malden High School Open Response Rubric.


The above prompts are vague because it is up to you as a group to start to develop your own focus. You can feel free to bring in outside research etc, just make sure you cite or give a link to your sources—but I’m most interested in your “philosophical” discussions about specifics in the books and your ability to discuss the writer’s technique and how he or she affects meaning.


Here’s a links to a solid discussion from last year: Madame Bovary. The requirements were a bit vague for the postings and there is a variety of effort and insight in these posts, but on the whole I thought it was quite nice to read.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Schedule of Poetry Presentations

Image: Ryan Gallagher, "Persephone Eating Pomegranates" Oil on canvas. 16 x 20.

You are responsible for:
  • Bringing in a copy of the poem for everyone. Make at least 20 copies. Including me, we are 19.

  • Reading the poem aloud to begin. Read the poem how you think it should sound (tone, speed, etc.) Practice please. You need to read this poem many times anyway to come up with an insightful thesis; it will probably help your understanding of the poem if you read aloud: (melopoeia).

  • Orally Explicating the poem for us. In other words, you need to have a thesis. Then you need to show us HOW the poet accomplishes his or her purpose. Please refer to handouts. It would be entirely helpful if you photocopied your notes on the poem (maybe on the other side of the copy you provide us.)

You only have ten minutes, so prepare your remarks; this is not something you can "wing" successfully. You will be scored on the MHS Open Response Rubric. Even though this is an oral grade, you are essentially explaining how you would write an explication--we are just hearing your mind work.

Nov. 17th:
“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by W.B. Yeats: Carla
“My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning: Kayla
“The Author to her Book” by Anne Bradstreet: Mary
“The Unknown Citizen” by W.H. Auden: Jenny
“Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen: Stephen


Nov. 18th:
“This Is Just To Say” by William Carlos Williams: Andy
“Anyone Lived In A Pretty How Town” by e.e. cummings: Matt
“Root Cellar” by Theodore Roethke: Ashley


Nov. 19th:
“Metaphors” by Sylvia Plath: Sodaba
“You Fit Into Me” by Margaret Atwood: Tzivia
“Resume” by Dorothy Parker: Emily


Nov. 21th:
“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas: Mario
“Sonnet” by Billy Collins: Cynthia
“Sestina” by Elizabeth Bishop: Vanessa
“Because Poem” Lisa Jarnot: Kristen


Nov. 24th:
“The Second Coming” W.B. Yeats: Alinne
“I Know a Man” by Robert Creeley: Melissa
“Spring and Fall” Gerard Manley Hopkins: Michaela

Agenda for week of 11.10.08


Focus: Characterization & Historical Context (Ibsen's A Doll's House)

11.10.08: Class did not meet because of rotation.
11.11.08: Veterans Day, no school.
11.12.08: SLD on Act 1 of Ibsen's A Doll's House. Focus on characterization.
11.13.08: SLD on rest of play. Focus on "The Dr. Rank scene", "The tarantella scenes", and "the most wonderful thing (end of play) scene".
11.14.08: In-class Open Response on A Doll's House. For hints on how to prepare, look at Focus for the Week (above) and read introductory material in book.
11.15.08: Don't forget our Saturday class at Northeastern! Bus leaves MHS @ 7:30.


Start looking for a poet to research. Poet due by Dec. 1st! Please see me for suggestions if you are interested.


Finally, feel free to use this space as a "study guide" conversation with your peers as a place to work your ideas out.

Reading Lolita in Tehran


Group members:

Sodaba D.
Jenny L.
Vanessa G
Ashley A.


Image: "Two Orientalist paintings: Sir Frank Dicksee's Leila and William Clarke Wontner's Safie, One of the Three Ladies of Baghdad; Three colonial picture postcards of young Algerian women--staged, produced and bought by French colonial officers; The original picture from which the cover of Reading Lolita in Tehran was cropped." (Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM) Click link for image in context of an interesting article.

Reading / Posing schedule TBA

Monsters in Literature


Group members:

Kristen W.
Mario P.
Kayla P.
Emily C
Tzivia H.

Looks like we can go with David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Here's a link to the online book, so you can read while you wait for the hard copy of your book.

Posting schedule TBA.

Comparative Theme Group, will change name when you pick...


Group members:

Michaela I.
Alinne D.
Mary N.

Book choice: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Paulo Coelho has a blog. I think it might be nice if you referenced it and maybe even framed some conversations around his topics--but make sure you also write about the book. This is a pretty quick and easy book to read, so you should also force yourself to search a bit for outside material to read and discuss--that way you can also build your theme.

Spirituality and / or Philosophy in Lit Group



Group members:

Mels R.
Matty Z.
Cynthia R

I think a good place to start, to get some "philosphy" from Camus before you being, is his essay "The Myth of Sisyphus." You can wiki it to read about the essay as well.

Schedule TBA.

Japanese Literature (possible author study of Kawabata?)


Group members:

Andy V.
Stephen C.
Carla C.

Looks like we are going to start with Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata. I think you'll enjoy it. There's some interesting background info here and you can also check out the wiki site.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Peter Warshall "Two billion years of animal sounds" (melopoeia)


Peter Warshall "Two billion years of animal sounds"(June 16, 1999)




"A Peter Warshall lecture discussing animals sounds and the nature of music and speech. Warshall plays various animal sounds, talks about how sounds are created and the abilities of the human ear to hear sounds. He discusses a variety of related topics, including the evolution of vowels and consonants, sacred sounds and semantics." (Click here for source in the Naropa Archives.)

This is a 20 point homework assignment.
  1. Listen to the lecture and take notes. Write down what you think might be interesting, important, etc. There may be things to which you do not "get" the reference or allusion and there may be things that spur your own thoughts. Write them down. Pay attention to your mind and document it.
  2. Prompt A: Post your reaction to something specific and thought provoking in the Warshall lecture (though this is not a minimum, your post should be at least a couple hundred words.) Feel free to ask questions in this section as well, since everyone will be reading these posts.
  3. Prompt B: You should also respond by elaborating on another comment in the stream (about the same length--a couple hundred words as a minimum.)
You will be graded on the Malden High School Open Response Rubric.

Due Monday, November 10th @ noon. Since this is a discussion and your voice is important to the communal dialogue, late posts will lose 2 points a day. Budget your time accordingly, especially is you need the school computers to complete assignment.

Robin Blaser's "Where's Hell?" (logopoeia)


Robin Blaser lecture, "Where's hell?" (June 19, 1999) 65:58



"A Robin Blaser lecture titled Where's hell? Blaser reads and discusses portions of his Great companion piece on Dante Alighieri, a poetic commentary on Dante's ideas and use of language. Blaser discusses the works and ideas of other writers including James Joyce, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Ezra Pound." (Click here for source in the Naropa Archives.)

This is a 20 point homework assignment.
  1. Listen to the lecture and take notes. Write down what you think might be interesting, important, etc. There may be things to which you do not "get" the reference or allusion and there may be things that spur your own thoughts. Write them down. Pay attention to your mind and document it.
  2. Prompt A: Post your reaction to something specific and thought provoking in the Blaser lecture (though this is not a minimum, your post should be at least a couple hundred words.) Feel free to ask questions in this section as well, since everyone will be reading these posts.
  3. Prompt B: You should also respond by elaborating on another comment in the stream (about the same length--a couple hundred words as a minimum.)
You will be graded on the Malden High School Open Response Rubric.

Due Thursday, November 6th @ noon. Since this is a discussion and your voice is important to the communal dialogue, late posts will lose 2 points a day. Budget your time accordingly, especially is you need the school computers to complete assignment.

Materials Posted Below


I updated Scribd with three new docs below (tho I don't know why I can't embed the image of the pdf right now into the blog posts and I don't have time to figure it out right now.)

Anyway, Frank O'Hara wrote his famous poem "Why I am not a Painter" after this Mike Goldberg Painting.

APE Rubric (with grade translation)

APE Rubric
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Poetry Explication Assignment 2.0

Poetry Explication Assignment 2.0
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

SOAPStone + Theme

Soapstone
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Vote


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Agenda for week of 10.27.08

Julie, Mehretu, Retopistics: A Renegade Excavation (detail), ink and acrylic on canvas, 2001.
Can you believe the year is one-fourth over?
Due on Friday:
  • Your blog completely updated with everything you've done.
  • Sign-up sheet for AP day @ Northeaster on Sat., Nov 15th.
  • Latest draft (hopefully final draft) of College Essay...I will, of course, continue to work on this with you if you so choose.
  • In-class essay, (last of "bootcamp"). Your prompt will ask you to write about one of the following three stories (all in your anthology, which you will need in class to do the essay and can reference the anthology and post-it notes, but no notebook): Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" (419-421), Sandra Cisneros' "Barbie-Q"(422-423), and Virginia Woolf's "A Haunted House"(567-569).
  • Your Reader's Notebook.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some Model Metas

Here's some good model student work for some metas:

For example, look at Ashley's insight (with detailed specifics that refer to the book) for each song on her "soundtrack."


Jenny does the same thing; her meta is not by song, but is more of a personal-prose-reflection.
Both are well done. Pick a style that works for you--but please make sure the quality and depth remains.

Also, here are some nice covers with links to metas from






Friday, October 17, 2008

Agenda for Week of 10.20.08


Andy Warhol's "Ten Portraits of Jews of The Twentieth Century - Franz Kafka". Screenprint on Lenox Museum Box. 1980.


Focus: Irony, Theme, and Symbol


10.20.08: Late entry day and (due to the unfortunate nature of rotation) you will not meet with me this day.
10.21.08: 3rd draft of College Essay due. Two-sided notes on "Theme", pgs. 189-191, "Symbol", pgs. 236-238, & you may want to recheck your summer notes on "Irony." We will have a SLD on Jorge Luis Borges' "The Gospel According to Mark" (pgs. 183-187) & The King James version of "The Gospel of Mark".
10.22.08: AP TEST, SECTION 1, questions 1-24 due in my C House mailbox. I have a Professional Day: I'm actually teaching Thangka painting (traditional Tibetan Buddhist paintings) to Math teachers in the DYS system. Cool stuff. I'm sure you'll use the time off wisely. The Kafka story is rather long, but fantastic (in every sense of the word.)
10.23.08: SLD on Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis." We will focus on the first two sections.
10.24.08: SLD on Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis." We will focus on the second and third sections. After lunch, you will split into groups and retake the AP TEST.
DON'T FORGET TO UPDATE BLOGS (YOUR BLOG AND MY BLOG) WITH ALL THE WORK YOU'VE BEEN DOING. YOU'LL WANT ALL UP-TO-DATE AT THE END OF THE QUARTER.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What punctuation mark would you be?

and why?

See you all Tuesday (or at festival.) College Essay (first draft) and rest of Memoir projects due.

Gertrude Stein



photo: "Gertrude Stein & Picasso's Portrait" by Man Ray in 1922. Click here to learn more about the connection Stein to Picasso.


Here’s the link to her page for her audio archives at UPENN.

Here’s the text to “If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso”: Text

Here’s the audio to “If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso”: audio

Picasso's Potrait (1906)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

This weekend, in Lowell...

THE MASSACHUSETTS POETRY FESTIVAL (click here for website.)



(I designed the booklet, by the way.)


Here is where I will be:


SMALL PRESS FAIR

(curated by Ryan Gallagher and Derek Fenner of Bootstrap Productions)

10 − 5 PM

ALL Arts Gallery

246 Market Street

Meet the editors and publishers of 30 different presses and magazines, purchase their books and journals and “talk shop”. Many of the presses will be offering dis­counts and deals.


I NEED VOLUNTEERS! I can probably kick down 10 bucks (or free tickets--only a couple events are not free) to sit at a press table and give them a break.


SMALL PRESS PANEL

(curated by Ryan Gallagher and Derek Fenner of Bootstrap Productions)

11 AM − 12 Noon

ALL Arts Gallery

246 Market Street

The Small Press panel will examine the following two areas:

1. Investigating histories and lineages in the small press world.

2. The future of Small Press Publishing in the 21st Century.

Panelists to include: Ed Sanders (Blake Route, and many other past ventures) Geoffrey Young (The Figures), Anna Moschovakis (Ugly Duckling Presse), Re­becca Wolff (Fence Books), Kyle Schlesinger (Cuneiform Press). Moderated by Joseph Torra (Pressed Wafer).


Marjorie Agosín & Ed Sanders

Emceed by Ryan Gallagher

Saturday, October 11

1:30 – 2:30 PM

Lowell High School Freshman Academy

43 French Street (please use John Street side entrance)


Urban Village Arts Series (UVAS): MUSIC & POETRY

featuring Joe Torra, Eileen Myles & music by Frank Morey

Emceed by Derek Fenner and David Robinson

Saturday, October 11

4 − 5:30 PM

Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center Theater

246 Market Street


There are some other gems, details of schedule below:


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Independent Reading Assignments (Memoir)



Image: Painting Title: Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh V 1957
Francis Bacon (Even great artists imitate other great artists.)






You must complete three out of five assignments. They are worth 20 points a piece. The meta-cognition will be worth 40 points—this is where you will be able to “explain a lot of your choices”, so develop all of your ideas completely.

1. Design a cover. You will be graded on the following items:

  • 10 points: Your cover should show creativity, depth in thought, and visually represent important events, themes, or symbols throughout the book. The cover should look professionally and carefully constructed. You may draw or use the computer, but be careful not to commit the visual equivalence of plagiarism.
    If you use someone else’s images, change or collage them until they are your own.
    Make sure you have a front and back cover as well as a spine.
    Spelling the author’s name wrong would be about the worst thing you could do!
  • 10 points: You should provide a 100 word description of the book on the back cover. WARNING: DO NOT PLAGIARIZE THIS!—you will risk a zero for an easy part of the requirements. Remember: the point of a 100 word description on the back of a book is to convince someone in a store to buy the book. Remember this when you write the blurb. Why should someone buy this?

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2. Write a “filler page”. In other words, write what happens in between two chapters or pages or rewrite a page.

  • 10 points: The details and facts in your story are factually and contextually accurate in relation to the existing story. This includes the setting and historical time frame!
  • 10 points: You successfully capture the tone and style of your author.[1]

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3. Rewrite a page, but include yourself. In other words, use the author’s style to write your own memoir.

  • 20 points: You successfully capture the tone and style of your author.[2]

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4. Passage Explication Assignment

  • 20 Points. Please refer to Passage Explication handout.

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5. Mix CD: The Memoir’s Soundtrack

  • 20 Points . Choose 10 songs that you think best fit the memoir (explained in “meta”), whether a connection to lyrics, the tone of mood of the song, etc. Make sure you provide me with a CD.

If you have another creative idea, propose it to me with criteria on which you would like to be graded. I must approve this first.

[1] (which includes, but is not limited to: how author presents dialogue, appropriate word choice, symbols, etc.)

[2] (which includes, but is not limited to: how author presents dialogue, appropriate word choice, symbols, etc.)