07 December 2010

Can't blog. Grading.

Wrong Homer, guys.

Last Friday, we began reading the textbook's truncated version of Homer's Odyssey of which we'll be reading several excerpts. We covered most of Odysseus' exploits with Polyphemus and the latter's subsequent blinding at the hands of the former. While Odysseus is the hero of the story and represents the kind of person that the Greeks of that time aspire to be, I always find it funny that the whole debacle starts with him breaking into the cyclopes' home. That should be a lesson to everyone: never leave the giant boulder to the front of your home open, lest you want tiny men to ask for your hospitality.

This is a great place to also explain the Plot Point notechart you are creating while reading the story. Having folded your paper in half down the center, you will write a plot point in the left hand column (either a one sentence quote with the speaker and page number noted or a one sentence paraphrase/summary with a page number noted), and then in the right hand column explain in a sentence how said plot point embodies the values of Greek society. Since this is English class, all sentences must be complete. You will need to do a set number of plot points/value assessments for each section and here's that breakdown:
  • The Cyclops - 5
  • Circe - 2
  • Land of the Dead - 3
  • Sirens; Scylla & Charybdis - 4
  • Cattle of the Sun God - 2
  • Meeting of Father & Son - 3
  • Beggar & Faithful Dog - 1
  • Test of the Great Bow - 4
  • Death at the Palace - 3
  • Odysseus & Penelope - 2
Monday, we discussed Odysseus' encounter with the Sirens and how he and his men get stuck between a monster and another, bigger monster. You needed to finish the section titled Cattle of the Sun God. My favorite part of that section was actually cut out of our textbook, and we discussed how much I missed the zombie steaks in class today.

Today, we witnessed Odysseus' reunion with his son, Telemachus. He's a lot more forgiving than I would have been had my father been missing for 20 years, but Odysseus has a pretty good excuse.

Friday, you turned in your culminating paper. I have a plan of attack in terms of grading them so as to return them to you on Monday, December 13. Of the papers I've graded so far, a few have been great and more than a few have missed the mark, at least in terms of credited sources. We explained this several times before, but a credited source is one where the source has a listed author. Gradesaver, Shmoop, Pinkmonkey and Sparknotes are not credited sources.

Monday, you received the opportunity to organize your portfolio, which was due today.

Today, you turned in the portfolios and we continued discussing the prologue to Canterbury Tales.

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