Prepare for English Language Arts Finals

For those in the midst, or looking ahead at finals in my LA classes(9, 10-1, 20-1, 20-2, 30-1, 30-2).

Consider the outcomes we’ve tried to achieve.

Enhancing the artistry of communication has been a strong technical focus. Skills mastered include using online blogging tools, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, even graphical enhancements using Photoshop or audio/video podcasting tools have been included where time permitted and initiative taken. Participation on an online forum has generated a myriad of useful tips/reminders, questions/answers. There will be no speadsheets on the final, the use of Word will be necessary for English 30.

Each course has been structured around Focus Questions and related questions: English 10, English 9.

Emphasis on social networking, peer review/support/criticism has been critical for developing critical thought and reflection for writers defending an idea.

Each course has a reading list: English 10, English 30. Not every title has been studied intensively(or at all), but the proportion of attention paid to those pieces that were studied in class deserve the same level of attention on the final. Of course, those who choose additional literature from the list to focus on in the final deserve to have that initiative rewarded as well. If you choose to focus on Shakespeare, your audience gets tougher, I’ve noticed.

An English 30 paper looking at how the images/symbols/archetypes of Sophocles and Kingsolver relate to personal freedom to would be intriguing. Why not an English 10 paper discussing the threat of fanaticism by comparing the speeches of Mark Antony, Joseph Strorm, and Eamon De valera? What does Søren Kierkegaard have to do with every page you’ve ever read or written?

Extras, everyone should be able to link to Wikipedia for literary terms, difficult vocabulary, or just the odd or eccentric idea; can anyone incorporate the Hayflick Limit into their paper? Everyone has seen video and heard an mp3, but are any daring enough to Podcast their final essay? A carefully edited U2 mp3 snip, an embedded flash video of Ophelia Simpson, a slideshow?

rubric.pngThe only limit is to abide the first line of every rubric you’ve ever attached to any assignment:

I _________________ honestly declare that the work is what I have done. In circumstances when I have quoted a certain authority, I have clearly indicated what is a quote and the author. 

A Blogger’s Code of Ethics contains truths far older than the phenomenon of blogging.

English 30s will have no access to internet, filesharing, etc etc. English 10s can have it all.

The Night Aunt Dottie Caught Elvis’s Scarf When He Tossed It From The Stage Of The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center

This exercise is simple: write a poem about a family member meeting a famous person. All of us have such incidents embedded in family history or folklore: the day Dad shook hands with Ike in France; the time Mom spilled coffee on Elizabeth Taylor in a pizza parlour in San Mateo; the night Aunt Dottie caught Elvis’s scarf when he tossed it from the stage of The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. In most cases, our loved ones’ encounters with the famous or powerful tend to be fleeting and bittersweet, however memorable they may later seem — and it’s this aspect of the encounter that helps us to envision our family members in contexts that avoid easy sentimental gestures. These are situations that, in a small way, the forces of public history and private history collide, and these meetings help us to see our loved ones as individuals, not as types.

Guidleines for the exercise:

  1. The encounter can be real or imaginary, but at least should be plausible — no meeting between Cousin Ed and Genghis Khan
  2. The family member, not the famous person, should of course be the protagonist of the poem and it is his or her consciousness that the poem should try to enter or understand.
  3. The writer of the poem should be an effaced presence, understanding the inner workings of the family member’s mind but seeing the family member as a character referred to in the third person (“my father” and not “Dad,” in other words).
  4. The famous person can be anyone in politcs, entertainment, or the arts; JFK to Mel Gibson, Emily Brontë to Madonna
  5. Since the exercise tends to demand a fairly complex profile or portrait of the family member in question, it is best suited to longer poems — at least 30 lines.
  6. Submit completed poems via trackback

My Mother’s Kitchen

  1. Use pencil crayons to draw a picture of your mother’s kitchen.
  2. Put the oven in it, and also something green, and something dead.
  3. Write a poem about your mother’s kitchen.
  4. You are not in this poem, but some female relation – aunt, sister, close friend – must walk into the kitchen during the course of the poem.
  5. Completed poems, with a suitable image(72 dpi, png, lightbox), should appear in your blog and trackback here.

A lesson on single point perspective. Hint: Tiles need an extra diagonal, too.

So I was listening to Music from the Junos . . .(RS25)

The lyrics from K-OS’s, “Heaven Only Knows,” struck a chord with something we had been discussing in class about “mysticism.”

Discuss the following K-OS lyrics based on what we’ve learned when comparing Western and Eastern Mysticism.

Have a careful listen to a variety of current or classic tunes by a variety of recording artists.

Which artists demonstrate our understanding of Western Mysticism, which are clearly Eastern, are any a little of each?

Continue reading “So I was listening to Music from the Junos . . .(RS25)”

An Exodus Within(RS 25)

The Forth Dimension Sophie was introduced to Aristotle. Ideas no longer belong to a realm of their own, but somehow the idea is within the thing. Aristotle could explain this by talking of sculptures and stone.

Review what was said earlier about Plato and art. Discuss Aristotle’s take on the place of ideas and art.

Search for a thumbnail of an art work from the Louvre.

[rsspara:http://forum.stjschool.org/rss.php?fid=43]

“These are Aliens, Dad!”

Some have noticed that some otherwise regular discussions in class eventually turn to a discussion of, um…, ahh… well …, poop.

The inspiration of such mudtimes no doubt erupt from experience with my three growing boys aged 6, 4, and 2. Several days may pass without reference to “it.” But when the subject rears its ugly head, we usually are moved by good humour.

Today I added a “Spelling Bee” widget. My efforts were sincere, scholarly, and academic. Here’s what I saw for my first word:

fecies.png

I’m going to get a book and settle down to a good read.

Out.

1 Million Spams and counting

The best story today concerns the STJ email server. Good luck to those with email inboxes that have close to 4000 messages. My sympathy as you begin deleting over over 800 pages of messages, 20 per page. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes.

Every email account I have has a quota, a couple megs at yahoo, a hundred megs at mac.com, 15 megs at Telus. My Telus account gets full every time a pal of mine sends pictures of his kids, and then I get no more mail. I thought that was annoying of Telus. But today . . ..

I had no idea our email server had no quotas at all. Every account, and there are hundreds, must just be swelling with thousands and thousands of spams. Each account must just grow on forever till the crack of doom. Holy schmoly! Lets see, I’ll guess there are at least 250 idle accounts, if each had say 4000 messages that would be . . . ONE MILLION SPAMS!

1,000,000 spams, that’s 50,000 pages at 20 per page. It takes 10-15 seconds to delete one page. How long to delete 50,000 pages?
A) 10 years
B) 10 days
C) 10 hours
D) 10 minutes

Oh, and the idle accounts I saw today had only been idle for less than a year. What if an account created 5 years ago had remained idle all this time and swelled at the same rate? That’s 20,000 spams in one inbox.

I’m going to pass out now.

Personal Universe Lexicon

To construct your Personal Universe Lexicon, start with a new post. You may wish to construct the list with pen and paper first and transfer it to your blog later. Begin by following these instructions:

Write down as many words as you can then sort the words into the categories outlined below. Complete each category. Write as quickly as you can.

Categories:

  • 16 words of each of the five senses (16 x 5 = 80 words). The words must mean, suggest: taste touch, sight, smell, and hearing. For instance, desiccated or frozen might suggest touch to you, or birdsong hearing.
  • 10 words of motion. The words must mean, suggest motion to you. They do not necessarily need to be verbs. Baby could be a motion word for someone, for example.
  • 3 abstractions. Such as love or freedom or truth.
  • 7 anything else. Any word with meaning to you that does not fit into the other categories.

All the words on the list must

  1. have significance to/for you
  2. be specific; that is the word must not be “bird” but “robin,” not “tree” but “aspen.”
  3. sound good to the ear.

Use no adverbs. Use no plurals.

Keep track of the words with your blog. Move them around each other in the list every day for a week. Choose one word at random from the list; write what the word(s) sparks, what the juxtaposition of words builds for you.

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