Friday, January 30, 2009

Writing and Visual Imagination: Choosing a Concept

Choosing a concept for your semester-long Concept-folio can be difficult and is certainly challenging. Let's use this post to declare "working concepts", or initial ideas. Post your possible concepts and offer an explanation for your focus. After you post your concept and offer an explanation, be sure to view your classmates' concepts. Offer commendations or criticism and don't be shy. After all, wouldn't you rather reformulate your concept now as opposed to in April? And remember- your concept should transcend disciplines; it must be applicable to:

-visual references: at least 10 color copies of images which exemplify the chosen concept; a list of at least 20 additional images which exemplify the chosen concept- every work of art must be cited with artist, title, date, country of origin, and medium

-3 student-authored critiques of 3 of the chosen color images which display mastery of the visual vocabulary terms addressed in this course; 2 samples of existing criticism, critique, review, or biographical information regarding the other 2 chosen color images

-5 student-authored narratives based upon 5 relevant color images which display a comprehensive understanding of the grammar and sentence pattern techniques addressed in this course

-2 student-authored examinations, with quotes and/or excerpts, of the 2 remaining color images which analyze the works of art in relation to the philosophical viewpoints presented in Plato’s Republic and Leo Tolstoy’s What is Art?

-at least 5 excerpts from literature, poetry, or non-fiction which support or reflect the chosen concept- every excerpt must be cited with author, title, date, and country of origin; a list of at least 20 additional pieces of literature, poetry, or non-fiction which support the chosen concept

-list of at least 10 websites or links which contain highly relevant information regarding the chosen concept

-evidence (photos, journal entries, etc.) of interaction with the community based on the spirit of the concept; for example, a concept-folio entitled “Perceptions of Beauty” may elicit a community-wide visual survey and a concept-folio entitled “Nature and the Arts” may elicit the promotion of a landscape painting excursion to the Norton Conservation on North Worcester Street

-2 page reflection outlining the concept-folio conception, process and results (FINAL EXAM IN-CLASS COMPONENT)

-color copy/copies/original of student artwork inspired by the chosen concept

-other additions may include: list of musical references, music, performance, web publication of concept folio with links, power point presentation of concept folio

The bottom line is: choose a concept that interests YOU. If you do, you won't even notice that you are working; if you don't, it will be a long semester.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Seniors: Research Paper Topics

Post your essential questions and potential research paper topics here. Then, offer at least 5 constructive responses to your peers' ideas.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Of Mice and Men: Dreams

George and Lennie are bound by a common dream. Identify this dream and consider the following: Is their dream realistic? Do they both value the same aspects of the dream? How does Steinbeck use the other characters to further define George and Lennie's dream?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bad Santa

Short Essay: The Rhetoric of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here to read and hear (with headphones) Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Then click here to read his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail". Familiarize yourself with the following rhetorical terms and note their presence as you read:

Argument: An attempt to persuade.

Authorial Intent: The intention of the work is its plan, its purpose. By observing carefully the author's choice of language, organization and content, we may determine the end toward which the author is working.

Intended Audience: The preferred audience, the audience for whom ideas are modified, language is constructed, and positions are modified.

Logos: Argumentation appealing to the logic or reason of the intended audience.

Ethos: Refers to the character or personal appeal of the author. "Trust me, I won't mislead you."

Pathos: Refers to feelings, either sympathetic or antagonistic, provoked in the audience.

Note these terms as they appear in the selected readings. Construct an essay which compares and contrasts Dr. King's writing approach and his treatment of the aforementioned concerns for "I Have a Dream" and "Letter From Birmingham Jail".

Electric Newt Squad Discussion

As Midyear Exams approach, reflect on your high school experience thus far. Was the first half of freshman year everything you expected? Describe some of the positive and negative aspects of the experience in a posted comment here (make sure to sign your comment with your first name and last initial). Mentors- please post a comment highlighting the differences between freshman year and the consecutive academic years at Norton.

After posting a comment, respond to at least five peer comments (make sure to name the person you are directing the comment to and to sign your comment with your first name and last initial).

When you are done with this, click here to visit Mr. Dewar's blog. Read and consider the 7 survival skills described under his "The Global Achievement Gap" posting. Offer a comment to this post discussing your assessment of these skills.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

POS: Sgt. Pepper

Part A: Over winter break, you listened to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album in its entirety. Based on the listeners' form we discussed in class, identify the most "poetic" song on the album. Using the attached Song Rating form to assess it, provide a final score along with an explanation of the major poetic attributes and deficits. And, finally- do you think Sgt. Pepper deserves consideration for the greatest album of all time? Why/why not? If not, offer a suggestion for an alternate.

Part B: Click here to visit Rolling Stone's complete list of the "Top Albums of all Time". Listen to 3 songs from 3 separate albums from the top 10. Post a brief observation here regarding content, sound and poetic merit.

Part C: Click here to visit Oxford's interactive Sgt. Pepper album cover. (Thanks to Doug V. for finding it)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Senior Short Essay Prompt

Choose one of the following prompts to respond to in short essay form:

Discuss the following quote from Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung: "There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness."

How does one's educational experience change over four years of high school? Are you more or less intellectually curious as you near the end of your secondary career? Why?

Discuss the following lines from Bob Dylan's song "My Back Pages": "I was so much older then/I'm younger than that now." How does this quote qualify as a paradox?

Steinbeck's Imagery

The first few pages of Of Mice and Men establish the seemingly idyllic setting through a stream of carefully crafted imagery. Revisit these passages and note Steinbeck's attention to plants, animals and sensory images. Steinbeck was clearly very familiar with this area of California. For this assignment I am asking you to describe, through vivid imagery and the "zoom in" technique we discussed in class, the town you are so familiar with- Norton. Create, develop and edit a passage which gives the reader a true sense of the town you live in.