Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Seniors: Video Supplement to The Kite Runner

Per your syllabus, visit the link below to watch Frontline's "The Return of the Taliban" (60 min.). Please note that each segment contains multiple chapters. Take solid notes- I will be asking you specific questions and I expect specific answers. Consider any parallels between the reality of the Taliban and Hosseini's depiction of the Taliban in The Kite Runner. Due November 30th (assessed by discussion and note-check). If you cannot access the technology to view the film, let me know as soon as possible and I will arrange it for you.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Closer Look: Writing and Visual Imagination

We will view the film "Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress" in class. Over Thanksgiving break, respond to the following questions in paragraph form.

1. Describe Close's work. How has it changed over time? Do you favor his early or late work? Explain.

2. Does photo realism have artistic merit, or are photo realists merely "one-trick ponies"? What would Plato or Leo Tolstoy say about Close's work? (use at least one quote from both philosophers to defend your statement).

3. As you have learned, Chuck Close suffered a collapse of a spinal artery which left him partially paralyzed. Explain the modifications he makes to continue his artwork and what these adjustments reveal about his character.

4. In the Jackson Pollock BBC film, we learned that Pollock's personal and artistic downfall was fueled by his decision to reveal his process in a documentary. Having viewed Chuck Close's process, do you gain more respect and understanding for his work? Or, do you think his images lose their mystique now that you have seen his process?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Poe's "Poe"try "Poe"sting

Hello, freshmen- you will complete the following activity in the computer lab during class time this week.

Create a Word document. Complete the enumerated tasks below in well-constructed responses.

Go to: (or just search and select “knowing Poe”).

Under “Poe the Writer,” select “The Poetic Principle.”
Launch, and carefully complete the interactive guide.

1. Look for your “checklist;” note the 5 quotations you have agreed with.
2. Under “Poe the Writer,” select “Poe the Perfectionist.” In a brief paragraph (5 sentences or so), indicate what the excerpts of “The Lake” tell you about Poe as a writer and as a person. You will need to analyze closely and think carefully.
3. Under “The Poe Library,” select and read “The Poe Toaster.” Respond in a paragraph.
4. Under “The Poe Library,” select and read “The Baltimore Ravens.” Respond in a paragraph.
5. Explore Poe’s house under “Poe the Person”.
6. Cite 2 specific facts or points of interest, which you find important,
from elsewhere on the website.
7. Finally, link to:
Read Poe's poem, "A Dream within a Dream". Using direct quotes, answer the following prompt: how does the poem offer direct correlation to Poe's real life? Why might the questions and philosophies raised in this short work have a greater significance to both Poe and the critical reader?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Writing and Visual Imagination: Self-portraits

Monday: Computer Lab. Search the internet for self-portraits by the following artists: Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent Van Gogh, Kathe Kollwitz, Paul Gauguin, Gregory Gillespie (see image to right), Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Susanna Coffey, Brett Gamache (a good friend of mine).

Create a Word document.

1. For each artist, record the title, year of completion, and country of origin.

2. Identify three comparable (composition, color, mood, etc.) self-portraits from the list. Construct a paragraph which identifies the parallels between these 3 works.

3. Identify the strongest self-portrait. In a paragraph, explain the elements which make it stand out; use your vocabulary words.

4. Typically, self-portraits are not lucrative efforts for living artists. Why might an artist choose to focus on self-portraits? What may drive an artist, like Rembrandt, to devote so much time and effort towards depicting himself? Explain in paragraph form.

5. On Thursday, you will use the Infocus machine to share an image with your classmates. Find an easily retrievable image which best embodies your concept and name it here. You will be asked to share as much information regarding the piece as possible, so do some research. Also- steer clear of apocryphal resources.

6. Proofread and post your document here.

Any additional time (wow- you're efficient!)? Work on your concept-folio.