13 August 2011

It's been one week.

And like that, your first week is finished. Usually, I reserve this space for a short little ditty that I find interesting on any particular day, but we're getting back into the swing of things together, blogging about class happenings included. However, I will use this spot to plug a few things that hopefully grab your attention.

One, my Twitter feed is located to the right and when I'm not using it to make lame jokes or observations, the daily agenda will take up a lot of the timeline. Since keeping track of the agenda is worth a point per day, this is a great place to catch up on it should you ever be absent from class.

Second, you can "like" Mr. Talbot at Alta Loma High School on Facebook if you so desire. Look, I know it's lame to declare your "like" for a teacher in a public forum on the Internet, but I urge you to do so not because you actually do like me or the class yet. Do it instead because I post the link to all of the blog posts through the page; that way you don't have to constantly check the blog itself and a new entry's presence will just announce itself to you by way of your regular presence on the Facebook. Or don't. Ultimately, it's up to you.

Finally, Jon Morris has launched a new project called DC Fifty-TOO! that begins on Monday, August 15, leading up to the relaunch of DC Comics' latest big project, which I discussed over the summer. He's gathered a bunch of different cartoonists to do their own take on the DC Universe if they were given carte blanche to reboot the various series and characters. I'm really excited to see what comes out of this, moreso than the actual DC reboot since the latter has been either nonsensical or underwhelming save the idea of Grant Morrison getting a shot at building the Superman mythos from the ground up.

Tuesday was the first day of school. I learned a little bit about you, and you learned a little bit about me. This is what's known as "building a foundation.

The administration decided to make a few changes and created a brand new fourth period on Wednesday. I asked you to look around the room and find something that caught your eye. You, in turn, described the object and then analyzed it for what it says about me as a teacher or the class overall while avoiding use of first person. Additionally, everyone came up with two facts about themselves and one plausible lie, and the class tried to determine which was which to varying degrees of success. Also, a few students should try to keep in mind the idea of "plausible," since being eight feet tall or Batman doesn't really fit that definition.

Thursday, you gave me a writing sample, and Friday you completed the Brigance and Botel assessments. Both of these were attempts to figure out where you stand at the current moment. Anything you weren't able to finish on these two days will be completed on Monday.

On Tuesday, we did our introductions and I got an idea of some of the things you like.

Wednesday, we began reading This is Water by David Foster Wallace, discussing the speech at various points. Throughout the year and during the lit project, I'll be referring back to this piece as a means to remind you of your ability to choose. You get to choose what's important in your life and how important it is to you. Acknowledging your ability to do so is vital when determining things like theme and symbolism, so I hope you remember Wallace's speech while attempting your best analysis. I also assigned the quote assignment, urging you to focus more on the interpretation than the quote itself, since I care more about the words you write than the ones someone else has already written.

We finished This is Water on Thursday, and I asked you to write a short paragraph discussing your interpretation of the big idea to take away from it.

Friday, you turned in your quote assignment and we discussed the class overview as well as the Rules, Policies and What Not sheet I passed out to you the day before. We'll take another stab at discussing the quotes on Monday.

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