Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Interdisciplinary Arts: 9-18 Blog Work

Directions: Follow the steps below, developing a document to post as a comment by the end of the period. Be sure to proofread.

1. Visit the Grand Central Academy Blog. Peruse the blog, being sure to access older posts via the "older" option at the bottom of the post scroll. Locate 3 different images that depict only the block-in stage of the drawing process.

2. Click here to access a video tutorial regarding the edging process. Offer a brief synopsis that includes at least 3 take-aways from the video. Please use headphones if you have them with you.

3. Click here to see more work from Anthony Ryder. Locate a drawing that exemplifies his process as covered in your homework reading. Defend your selection with precision and specificity.

3. For the remainder of class, search the web for cast drawing sites and videos. Post 3 useful resources for your classmates and teacher to consider as we look forward to the next unit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Interdisciplinary Arts

Please post your Compositional Analysis here. Be sure to include your name and a link to the image.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Journalism: Homework Reading Response

In a carefully constructed paragraph, evaluate the author's ability to convey his position through the literary and rhetorical techniques he chooses. Please remember to include your name in your post.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

D Block English I-H: Lord of the Flies & Jung's Shadow

Please click here to read an article regarding Carl Jung's "shadow" concept. You are also free to visit any other sites you deem worthy. Once you have a solid understanding of the concept, answer the prompt below in a well-developed response. Paste and post your response as a comment to this post. The AP timed response rubric will be used for grading.

How is Jung's shadow represented in the text? How does Golding utilize this representation to reflect his thinking about humanity in general (allegory)?

The Poetry of Song 6-13: Backmasking & Reverse Speech in Music

Backward messaging in music (commonly known as backmasking) has been a controversy ever since the late 1960s, when messages were found backwards on some Beatles' albums, hinting that Paul McCartney had died. Some of these subliminal messages have been identified as purposeful while some are apparently inadvertent. Some believe that many of these backward messages were in fact examples of "Reverse Speech" in music. Speech reversals occur naturally in all forms of speech, sung or spoken. Explore some of the links and sites regarding this subject and offer your opinion on at least 10 specific examples. Do you buy into the theory of Reverse Speech or is it all a bunch of hogwash?


(1) Human speech has two distinctive yet complementary functions and modes. The Overt mode is spoken forwards and is primarily under conscious control. The Covert mode is spoken backward and is not under conscious control. The backward mode of speech occurs simultaneously with the forward mode and is a reversal of the forward speech sounds.

(2) These two modes of speech, forward and backward, are dependent upon each other and form an integral part of human communication. One mode cannot be fully understood without the other mode. In the dynamics of interpersonal communication, both modes of speech combined communicate the total psyche of the person, conscious as well as unconscious.

(3) Covert speech develops before overt speech. Children speak backwards before they do forwards. Then, as forward speech commences, the two modes of speech gradually combine into one, forming an overall bi-level communication process.

List of Backmasked/Reverse Speech Songs

Jeff Milner's Site

Reverse Speech Site

Click here to hear a well known sample of backmasking from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". This audio file will play both forward (original context) and backward (backmasking revealed).

Post a reflection that a) discusses your opinion of backmasking and reverse speech, b) assesses the validity of the examples you experienced. I expect direct, specific references to songs, artists and lyrics. Be sure to demonstrate the level of your investigation by being precise and thorough. (3-5 paragraphs)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

5-15 Substitute Plans: English I:H D

1. Choose 3 devices that Golding employs, with success, in Lord of the Flies thus far. One device must be linguistic (diction, syntax, etc.). As a comment here, offer a concise (short paragraph) analysis of each. Include specific examples, and discuss how Golding’s handling of each device is representative of his authorial voice and style.

2. Propose 3 potential scenarios for your RAFT by commenting here. Use the acronym to frame your scenario.

3. For the last half of class, read, annotate, develop, and post a response to the AP poem prompt. This will be graded with the AP rubric as a quiz.

5-15 Substitute Plans: The Poetry of Song

1. Due to my absence today, the “Soundtrack of My Life Presentations” will be pushed to Monday and Wednesday of next week. Be prepared to present on Monday, and be sure that you’ve emailed me a Power Point attachment ( by the end of the block. Make sure the files are free of any grammatical, punctuation, or capitalization errors.

2. If you are one of the several students who have not submitted a tonal analysis for ½ (late) credit, you need to complete it now. Submissions received after today will not be scored, and missing a test grade will likely result in an F for term 4. If you choose to complete it today, email a copy to Mr. Kefor.

3. Review the SSRS form- if you’ve misplaced your copy, you can download one from Edline. Locate 3 devices that a) we haven’t covered in class or b) you are still confused about. As a comment to this post, type the terms and their definitions; locate an example (quote) from a song we’ve covered in class (note the title and artist); and offer a statement explaining how the sample exemplifies the term.

4. Finally, after looking carefully at the dynamics of the SSRS, attempt to locate a song (any song) that you believe could potentially outscore any other song when cycled through the form’s tabulation. In other words, locate what you believe is the most poetic song out there. Post the lyrics to your blog under the heading “SSRS Throwdown: Proposed Lyrics.” Beginning next week, we will have an SSRS Throwdown, whereby teams select a song, evaluate it based on the SSRS, and go head-to-head to make their case. Grades are based on your song’s performance and your group’s ability to identify its elements and devices.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Seniors: Sharing our Stories

Before you develop your own “This I Believe” statement, peruse and listen to existing testimonials here. Use the “explore” tab to search for 5 intriguing statements. For each statement, note the following:

1. author/speaker

2. crux or “thesis” of statement

3. 3 observations regarding style, delivery, structure, or other storytelling elements

4. your attitude in relation to the speaker’s

Once you have completed this step, begin constructing and refining your own statement.

Visit “The Moth” site. Over the course of the next week or so (check the syllabus for specific timelines), you will listen to 5 Mole stories. For each story, note the following:

1. speaker and title

2. theme of the story

3. 3 observations regarding style, delivery, structure, or other storytelling elements

4. your attitude in relation to the speaker’s story

5. a score (based on our rubric)

Then, click here to learn some storytelling tips. Once you have completed this step, begin constructing and refining your own story.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Poetry of Song: Review of Devices & Elements

Below is a list of the devices that we have covered thus far in the course. For each device, develop a review bank based on the following template. Absentees must be sure to obtain active listening notes and instruction from peers or Mr. Kefor. You will have an objective test, for which you will be accountable for all of these terms, on Thursday, May 1.

Device: definition. Artist’s “Song Title from Active Listening”; Artist’s “Song Title from Elsewhere”; (example).

imagery, hyperbole, allegory, alliteration, assonance, consonance, local color, double entendre, oxymoron, irony, paradox, tone, point of view

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mr. Milliken's B Block Honors English IV: Literary Theory Research & Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated bibliographies are a very useful tool for sorting out ideas and beginning to write a daunting paper using many sources. It allows you to begin collecting meaningful quotes and analyzing before you're required to formalize your thoughts into a final paper. Your goal for today is to complete one complete citation as described on the Annotated Bibliography assignment sheet.

Citation generator: this site will create a citation in MLA format for you if you give it a title which it recognizes. Make sure you check this citation against the publication information provided in your specific copy. There is also a "cite manually" option, where you fill in a form and the site formats the information for you. This latter function is one I use more often, and I have not run into issues/mistakes going through Easybib. For you own peace of mind the first time using Easybib or any other citation generator, check it against a scholarly source like the Purdue OWL.

Scholarly search engine. Use this as a search engine when researching. It will provide only scholarly articles and allow you to be confident in your source. Remember to vary search terms if you find that one approach does not provide the content you hoped for. Going forward, any college will want you to be familiar with this skill, but their platform will look slightly different. For instance, Wheaton College uses JSTOR instead of Gale.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Poetry of Song: Plagiarism in Song and Music

Musical plagiarism is complex, subjective, and a bit confusing. For decades, blues musicians have covered or restructured older songs as homage to past musicians. An artist may borrow lines, make allusions, or sample. Occasionally, artists take issue with this "borrowing" and sue.

For blog-work this week, research and listen to some examples of musical plagiarism. Identify: 1) the definition of plagiarism 2) at least one example of a truly plagiarized song (paragraph explanation) and 3) at least one example of a coincidental relationship between 2 songs (paragraph explanation). Discuss your findings here.

 In the spirit of avoiding plagiarism and associated transgressions, you must cite (MLA format) at least 3 sources for each argument. Citations will also allow you to incorporate periodicals and other resources that may offer some direct evidence to support your claims. On the left side of this blog, you will find some of the many useful citation tools available to you.

Some notable instances include (listed as original/supposed plagiarism): Chiffon's "He's So Fine"/George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"; Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance"/The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dani California"; Queen's "Under Pressure"/Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby" , Joe Satriani's "If I Could Fly"/Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and, more recently, Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"/The Black Keys' "Little Black Submarines," Bob Dylan's "Fourth Time Around" and Fleet Foxes' "Lorelai,"and Pink Floyd's "Breathe"/Dave Matthews Band's "Drunken Soldier." You are not limited to these examples, so feel free to find your own.

Monday, March 31, 2014

AP Book Club Groups

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Tyler Fairbairn
The Handmaid's Tale
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Invisible Man

The Poetry of Song: Class Work for Tuesday, 4-1

A double entendre is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué, inappropriate, or ironic. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a double entendre as especially being used to "convey an indelicate meaning". It is often used to express potentially offensive opinions without the risks of explicitly doing so. A double entendre may exploit puns to convey the second meaning, but puns are more often used in sentences that do not have a second meaning. Double entendres tend to rely more on multiple meanings of words, or different interpretations of the same primary meaning; they often exploit ambiguity and may be used to introduce it deliberately in a text.

For active listening, please locate the lyrics to: 

“Mary Jane’s Last Dance” by Tom Petty

1. In the Petty song, "Mary Jane" serves as a double entendre. Describe both feasible interpretations of this term and include specific language from the song that is suggestive of these respective interpretations. Why do you think Petty utilized this double entendre? (one paragraph)

Allegory is a figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than the literal. Allegory teaches a lesson through symbolism. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation. Allegory is generally treated as a figure of rhetoric, but an allegory does not have to be expressed in language: it may be addressed to the eye, and is often found in realistic painting, sculpture or some other form of mimetic, or representative art. Simply put, an allegory is a device that can be presented in literary form, such as a poem or novel, or in visual form, such as in painting or sculpture. As a literary device, an allegory in its most general sense is an extended metaphor. As an artistic device, an allegory is a visual symbolic representation. An example of a simple visual allegory is the image of the grim reaper. Viewers understand that the image of the grim reaper is a symbolic representation of death. Nevertheless, images and fictions with several possible interpretations are not allegories in the true sense. Furthermore, not every fiction with general application is an allegory.

For active listening, please locate the lyrics to: 

"Animal Planet" by The GZA (Genius)
"The Trees" by Rush
"Right in Two" by Tool

2. For each allegory, construct a breakdown (a short paragraph) that includes: a) the identification of the literal/superficial framework, b) the identification of the figurative (allegorical) framework, and c) the effect or message that this allegorical scenario conveys (the "why"). 

3. Peruse your peers' blogs. Post the name of your nominee for this week's "Blog of the Week." 

4. If you haven't yet posted your binary thesis, please do so. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

G Block English I: Class-work for Monday, 3-10

Locate your To Kill a Mockingbird notes and book. Today, I am asking you to focus on the distinctions that exist within the range of a particular device. In other words, how can we subdivide Lee's use of a given device? Shakespeare, for example, conjured celestial and fatalistic imagery in order to achieve varying effects on his audience. 

1. Select 2 prominent devices employed by Lee (imagery, characterization, colloquialism, etc.)

2. Using quote integration techniques with textual excerpts, pinpoint the distinctions within device types in paragraph form. You should compose 2 paragraphs in all, with each paragraph dissecting at least 2 variations (2 modifiers) of the given term. Consider what derivation is used, how it is used, and why it is used. If you would like to see a model, click on the comments below (from D block). Obviously, I don't want you to mimic someone else's work, but looking at these should help you understand what the final product should look like. 

I have jury duty today- if you have any questions or get stuck, you can email me- I may or may not be able to use my phone to respond. 

D Block English I-H: Class-work for Monday, 3-9

Locate your To Kill a Mockingbird notes and book. Today, I am asking you to focus on the distinctions that exist within the range of a particular device. In other words, how can we subdivide Lee's use of a given device? Shakespeare, for example, conjured celestial, aviary, and fatalistic imagery in order to achieve varying effects on his audience. 

1. Select 3 prominent devices employed by Lee.

2. Using quote integration techniques with textual excerpts, pinpoint the distinctions within device types in paragraph form. You should compose 3 paragraphs in all, with each paragraph dissecting at least 3 variations (3 modifiers) of the given term. Consider what derivation is used, how it is used, and why it is used. 

3. Students who finish early may pair up for DF preparation, if applicable. You may also finish your Word Wealth work if necessary. 

I have jury duty today- if you have any questions or get stuck, you can email me- I may or may not be able to use my phone to respond. 

The Poetry of Song: Class-work for Monday, 3-10

Please complete the following tasks before the end of the period. Post your final product as a comment to this post. Please number your responses according to the order below. I have jury duty today- if you have any questions or get stuck, you can email me- I may or may not be able to use my phone to respond. 

1. Be sure that your URL link list is complete. Confirm that you have successfully linked your classmates. If your link is faulty, or does not appear on Mr. Kefor's blog, please write it, along with your name, neatly on the board. Your classmates can then include you in their lists. 

2. Revisit our song from last week, “Little Green” by Joni Mitchell. If you were absent or if you've misplaced the lyrics, you may locate them online. You can also locate your thesis under the comments to the post below. For each of your 3 devices or elements, complete a what-how-why progression. Consider what device or tool is being used, how it is being used, and why it is being used. This is the type of thinking that should pervade a successful analysis. Here is a random example (for a different song); mimic this format for each of your 3 devices:

WHAT: "Song #1," by the Kefor Jazz Trio, is infused with celestial imagery pertaining to the cosmos and the seemingly infinite world beyond our earthly limits.
HOW: These images are largely visual, and are repeatedly paired or juxtaposed with their earthly or homebound counterparts, which inhabit the opening of each stanza. 
WHY: This infusion of celestial images, carefully balanced against the limits of the speaker's terrestrial limitations, serves as a conveyance of the infinite and suggests that our inner voices and emotions can transcend our surroundings and have effects far beyond our comprehension. 

Be particular; be specific. Pinpoint the nuances between and among the tools. Adverbs (repeatedly, intermittently, pervasively, sparingly, subtly, etc.) are particularly helpful for the "how" sections. The "why" sections should convey the means by which each element supports the universal idea in its own unique way. There should be little to no duplicates- in other words, imagery is likely serving the song in a different way than, say, symbolism. They are performing different functions. This is as much (or more) about thinking as it is about writing.

3. Select an album from your theme-genre to review. Your review will be graded as a quiz on the 0-9 Song Analysis rubric. Type the album title and artist here. In class, we will go over the methods of approach for this, as it differs from the thesis-driven mode of the song analysis. Set up an outline document into which you should paste the track losing (in order) and the lyrics to all of the songs. Spend the remainder of the class listening to (if you have headphones) and annotating the lyrics in the document. Color coding this may be wise, in order to separate the lyrics from your observations. You may not finish this process, which is okay, but please work until the end of the period.