Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Seniors: Research Topics

Please post them here by the end of vacation.

Friday, February 11, 2011

WAVI: Stephen Wiltshire

Click here to visit Stephen Wiltshire's website. Mr. Wiltshire is an artistic savant who is capable of reproducing incredibly detailed landscapes from memory. 1. On the left, click on "My Videos". Watch at least four of the videos and offer a commentary for each.
2. Visit his "Gallery" and browse through his work. Identify his most impressive drawing and his most impressive painting; offer explanation for each.

POS: Reflections of Popular Culture in Music

"As the music is, so are the people of the country." Turkish Proverb

Type your response to the following prompt as a Word document and be sure to proofread and edit before you paste and post. You will be assessed using the Short Essay Response Rubric.

Check either Billboard or Rolling Stone for the current list of America's top 50 songs. Choose at least 3 songs; avoid any songs you are very familiar with. Listen/study the lyrics to the selected songs.

Consider the subject matter, content and point of view of today's top songs and identify lines which contain poetic merit. What do these songs, as a whole, say about our modern American culture? In particular, what do these songs say about your generation as the greatest consumers of music media? How are gender roles represented in popular music? How is success measured?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Orwellian Connections

Part A: To supplement our reading of 1984, we have discussed the qualities of both utopian and dystopian societies. Visit the two links below. Make sure to view the video segment regarding Denmark. Post your responses here. What utopian qualities are found in Dubai? How about Denmark? Are they realistic? Close to actual utopias? Explain.

The World: Dubai

Denmark: The Happiest Place on Earth

Part B: Click here. View the document. Construct a thesis statement connecting the content of this article to 1984.

Part C: Click the links below to explore the images of North Korea on "The Big Picture". Peruse the photographs and read all of the captions. After viewing each image on all of the links, choose 3 that you feel echo 1984. Construct 3 separate theses that identify and articulate between image and text.

Recent Scenes from North Korea
Peering Into North Korea
A North Korean Anniversary and Debut
Tension in the Koreas

My Pet Peeves

In no particular order:

1. Alex Trebek: Alex Trebek, the host of Jeopardy, is super-annoying to me. I love the show, and my wife and I enjoy playing along. Alex, on the other hand, possesses a subtle type of pompousness that just gets me fired up. He has all of the answers on the screen in front of him, so why must he correct the contestants as if his intelligence is so impressive? Each evening, it is inevitable that he says something that aggravates me, but I tolerate his presumptuousness for the sake of the game.

2. Experts: By experts, I am referring to individuals who have a highly-specific, even esoteric knowledge of a particular field who, for whatever reason, assume that everyone else on the earth has the same particular knowledge. In other words, I don't want a mechanic to speak to me as if I should be completely aware of every facet of my truck's engine. I don't expect him to be able to produce a thesis statement evaluating the parallels between Orwell's vision of a dystopic society and the modern politics of North Korea under Kim Jong Il. The world doesn't revolve around you (or me), and if I, along with others, had a pre-existing knowledge of engine mechanics, you would be unemployed.

3. Phil Simms: He's the former Giants quarterback who works as a game analyst/announcer for the NFL on NBC. He just plain old bothers me. What bothers me even more is the fact that I cannot articulate exactly why he bothers me; he just does.

4. Parking Near Me: Don't park near me. I park, in most cases, as far away from other cars as possible, yet often I return from a place of business to find a vehicle parked uncomfortably close to my truck in some subconscious attempt to make my vehicle feel less isolated. There are hundreds of free spots; why is there a need to bump doors? Go away.

5. Snobs: When I worked in catering, I learned a lot about how people treat individuals when they are functioning in a position of "service". When I would "serve" people, they seemed to adopt an attitude of not only social- but intellectual- superiority. They spoke to me as if I were an idiot, assuming that my choice of employment must be a direct result of a lackluster intellect. Now, I put special effort into treating people who "serve" me not as servants but as human beings who should not be categorized by their occupation, no matter how menial.

6. "Hon": I don't like it when women call me "hon", especially when they are younger than I am. My mother, grandmother, and wife, along with elderly women, are allowed to call me "hon".

7. Sports Regurgitators: A sports regurgitator is someone who: a) is a devotee of Sportcenter and talk radio and b) regurgitates or otherwise recycles sports-related ideas and opinions of others in an attempt to pass them off as their own.

8. People Who Don't Pull Forward at Drive-Thru's: Congratulations, you've placed your order! But you're job is not done. There are seven people behind you, all of whom have not placed theirs, so creep on forward to allow others to do so.

9. "Could Care Less": It is I "couldn't care less". "Could care less" implies the existence of a level of care; "couldn't care less" implies a level of care so minuscule it is impossible to care less. So, "could care less"= I care. I try not to be an English snob (this would violate PP #5), but this one is so widespread it tends to bother me.

10. Strangers at My Door: I chose my dog, a Bullmastiff, because I feel an animal should contribute to the family in some way. I feel like dogs should earn their kibble. Bullmastiffs were originally bred to pursue and attack poachers in rural England. They still don't bark much, because barking would give humans an opportunity to escape and take the fun out of actually catching someone. So, essentially, their function is to protect their home from intruders. Ramona is gentle and goofy with her family and loved ones but she is suspicious of strangers. If the Comcast guy comes to fix the table, Mona makes it abundantly clear, via body language alone, that he is not allowed to give as much as a dirty look to anyone in the house. I live in a fairly large development, the type of neighborhood perfect for Halloween and ideal for door-to-door solicitation. My dog makes strangers very uncomfortable, and they seem to question why I would keep such a beast. The irony is that, in their discomfort, is their answer. Maybe I'm a hobbit.

What are some of your Pet Peeves?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ENS: 2-8

1. Click here. Complete a poem. Print it. Make it good- you will share it with your fellow ENS members on Friday.
2. Click here. Take the test. Have fun.
3. Click here. Check out today's best photography.

POS: Theme-Genre Brainstorm

Here is where you will participate in our online discussion by posting 3 potential theme-genre concepts and commenting on at least 10 peer theme-genre concepts. This assignment will be graded. Make sure to direct your comments with names and to sign all of your comments with your first name and last initial. Try to provide your peers with some direction; suggest names of bands or artists they may want to consider.

WAVI: Concept Brainstorm

"Innocent Eye Test" by Mark Tansey
Choosing a concept for your semester-long Concept-folio can be 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.

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.