05 October 2010

Brocktober Begins

Get used to a lot of talk about Brock Lesnar as Brocktober 23 gets closer and closer.

In the meantime, the reason for my, as one student put it, "Negative Nancy" attitude recently is that my family had to put down Hershey, the dog I mentioned two weeks ago. And it's been rough.

For Thursday, we began to cover the elements of setting and you turned in the inference chart. Friday, forward was the name of the game. Monday, we finished our setting notes and you received the following questions:
  1. What kind of place is the story set? Season, climate, time of day?
  2. Are the characters in conflict with their setting?
  3. Does the setting help to understand the nature of the characters?
  4. What kind of atmosphere does the setting create?  Would you avoid it or like to live in it?
You'll apply the questions to The Most Dangerous Game, Cask of Amontillado and Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory. The point of all of this is to connect the idea that setting has a tremendous influence over mood and tone, and, without it, a story can lose much of its luster. Today, we'll continue reading A Christmas Memory, and anything left will be part of your homework tonight.

Last Thursday, you had one last work day in class to work on your Persuasion Portfolio, which I will collect today. Friday, I assigned your CD Creation assignment which also came with format guidelines. The CD Creation assignment will be due November 10. We began a discussion about the Radical Honesty movement, tying that in to our discussions about Truth (with a capital T) and what that actually means when we all take a minute to stop and think about it. The article can be found here.

We finished that discussion on Monday and then moved on to discussing what analysis looks like. Always remember that summarizing, while a valuable skill, is not analysis, which is our goal for this lit project. I desperately want you to come away from this project with the ability to analyze literature and, ideally, the world around you at large. One way to focus on analysis and avoid summary in your timed writings and your culminating paper is to write with the assumption that the person reading your papers has already read the text in question. We'll be discussing this at length once we start talking about theme in the next week or two.

Today, we'll go over the Persuasion Portfolio's point distribution and I'll be giving you a proofreading assignment in order to better help you identify some problems I found in the timed writing revisions.

One more thing to keep in mind is that there will be a test covering both sets of lit terms on Thursday, October 14. Don't let that knowledge fall out of your brains just yet.

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