Monday, January 30, 2017

are you [now] within the sound of this blog?

Comment in the next five minutes (by 9:01 PM PST) and get credit for a brilliant idea.  Whether you have one or not.

january 31

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Rearviewmirror" by Pearl Jam]

At the end of Chapter 2 we encounter a harsh moment between Tom and Myrtle.  We've already encountered a few harsh moments between characters who have money, time, and the lifestyles we generally associate with being easy on ourselves and others, not hard.  Why do you suppose some people are angry or mean toward themselves and others, even their loved ones, even when they appear to "have it all"?

1. Journal
2. A word about thesis statements
3. Finish Chapter 2 and get into Chapter 3

gatsby thesis statement

Write a thesis statement that would begin your essay answer to the following prompt:

The Lost Generation
– Gertrude Stein once said to Ernest
Hemingway about the artists of the
1920’s, “You are all a
lost generation.”
Explain what it means to be “lost” in this context, and
analyze how at least two of the characters
in the novel are representative of the lost
generation of the 1920’s and 1930’s in America.
Use quotes, symbols, and events to support
your answer.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

follow the blog and win

Did you get the notifications for the last couple posts? 

Unless you're one of the 12 people following the blog, I doubt it.

So here is what I'm going to do.

I am going to give a test tomorrow. 

The grading implications will be massive.

Your entire future may well depend on it,

I will give the questions online. I will give the answers online.  I will give you exactly five minutes to answer.

This will all happen at 8:23 AM.

So maybe you should follow the blog between now and then.

Just sayin'.

january 30

Today is my birthday.  (That and $2.50 will get me a cup of coffee.)

Why do people make such a big deal out of birthdays? 

1. Journal
2. Chapter 2 & 3 of Gatsby

my kicks

I got a kick out of all the attention students gave my shoes on Friday.  I got some really nice compliments, and I confess that I'm not used to being noticed for what I wear to school.  In fact, usually I think of my school wardrobe as "constructively invisible" -- I want the focus to be on your ideas, your skills, and your success.  However, these shoes have a story.  For the holidays I bought everyone in my family a pair.  So it tickled me that people noticed. 

Sometimes the little things make a big difference. 

Hope you all had a great weekend. dp

Friday, January 27, 2017

january 27

Remember music as literature?  Instead of listening to a tune today while you write in your journal, think of a song that comes to mind when you reflect on the characters and the landscape in The Great Gatsby.  Why this song?  The sound/melody/beat?  The lyrics?  The memories you associate with it?  Please describe and explain.

1. Journal
2. Chapter 2 in small bites

HW: Please post your notes (title: GATSBY CHAPTER 2 NOTES)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

january 26


Imagine a new student comes into class for the first time today.  She doesn't want to ask the question out loud, so she turns to you quietly: "What's the book about?"

What do you say?

1. Journal
2. Remix review
3. Thesis statements
4. Gatsby Chapter 2

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

january 25

Here's where we get to practice some of what we've learned.  Using what you know about the art of the remix, do your magic and remix the pages of The Great Gatsby we've read so far.  Please feel free to include connections with history, with genre, with literary devices (exposition, allusion, characterization, diction, syntax, figurative language, etc.) and with today's culture.  Please post your remix to your blog (title: GREAT GATSBY REMIX 1).  Mahalo.

1. Remix what you've read so far in The Great Gatsby
2. Journal

Now that you've had some experience with remix and literature, please reflect: what was easy and/or enjoyable about the work you did today, and what was challenging and/or frustrating?

january 24

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Sympathy for the Devil" by The Rolling Stones]

Sometimes when we start a book it's easy to get impatient with all the background information the author gives (on places, characters etc.) before something actually happens.  Why do we get all of this stuff first?  How does it help to know these things when the action starts and the plot gets going?  What would we miss if The Great Gatsby started with a chase scene?

1. Journal/ discuss exposition and getting the reader to lean in
2. The Great Gatsby  (please make a note of where your class starts/stops reading for the day)

HW: Post GREAT GATSBY NOTES 2 to your blog

Monday, January 23, 2017

your gatsby notes

In thinking about today's class and tomorrow's: it will take you less time and keep things fresher in your mind if you blog your reading notes each day.  Please post GATSBY NOTES 1 today, so that you don't have to post two days' worth tomorrow as you prepare for Wednesday's remix.  Mahalo.

gatsby narrator's relationship to Daisy

On p. 10 of The Great Gatsby our narrator tells us that, "Daisy was my second cousin once removed."  Some of you asked me what that means -- and I've always had trouble remembering the specifics -- so here is a family tree diagram I found on Lifehacker.

january 23


What makes a person "great"?

1. Journal
2. Remix review
3. Introducing The Great Gatsby

Friday, January 20, 2017

january 20

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: See if you can get the class to hum or sing something in unison-- if you can, and you post the video as a comment to this post or on your own blog, the class gets an "A" for collaboration today.]


1. Do your remix thing
2. Journal

Thursday, January 19, 2017

a socratic seminar remix haiku

So far, this is what I've gotten from today's Socratic Seminar:

We are created
We copy, combine, transform
We create anew

we are surrounded by brilliance and humor and insight

One of the greatest pleasures I have is reading your blogs-- and being surprised both by what's there and what isn't.

I encourage you to do the same.  Give yourself five minutes sometime today and click around.  You'll be rewarded by something you didn't expect.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

january 19

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Short Memory" by Midnight Oil]

(Answer one or both of the following questions.)

1. What do you remember about the ideas we've discussed the last two days of class?

2. Why do you think songs bring back memories of specific times and events in our lives?

1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar: Steinbeck & Genre
3. Prep for Remix Friday

remix in case you missed it

Hey!  If you were absent last week and missed our video sesh and conversation about remix on Friday, please make sure to watch the video HERE and post your notes to your blog.  We are going to start remixing our work next week and you need to get on the bus.  Mahalo.

january 18

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" by Hugo Montenegro; "Good Times Bad Times" by Led Zeppelin]

Yesterday we talked about duality in terms of conflict and story, in terms of complements, and in terms of relationships.  Describe something good and something evil.  Explain the difference.

1. Journal
2. Picking up where we left off yesterday
3. Planning for tomorrow

Monday, January 16, 2017

january 17

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Pride (In the Name of Love)" by U2]

Listen to this speech.  Then write about it.

1. Journal
2. Remix revisited
3. Misery, hope, and ways of writing about both
4. Genre at the beginning of the 20th century: naturalism, realism, and modernism

Friday, January 13, 2017

january 13

JOURNAL TOPIC: As Robert Burns put it (and John Steinbeck liked this enough to allude to it for the title of his novel), "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray."  How do you deal with the unexpected in your life?

1. Journal
2. Remix

*I could've remixed this old post-- in a way, I guess the digital version is linking to it.  Please make sure you finish watching the Kirby Ferguson video and post your notes.

Post your notes on the video (title: EVERYTHING IS A REMIX)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

january 12

JOURNAL TOPIC: (today's tunes: "Graceland" by Paul Simon; "Boy in the Bubble" by Paul Simon; "Homeless" by Paul Simon)

1. Based on what you learned yesterday & last night, is it fair to say these songs were "by" Paul Simon? Why/why not?
2. Explain how Simon created something new by going back to the roots of a musical genre.
3. Can we describe music as literature?

1. Journal
2. Hey You: Masterpiece
3. Discussion: Creativity & Collaboration
4. Intro to SMART goals

1. Create a post for your blog entitled, "MUSIC AS LITERATURE"
2. In that post, answer this question: Can we consider music to be literature? What is the difference between a novel, a poem, a rap, a song, an opera, and a symphony?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

january 11

JOURNAL TOPIC: (today's tunes: "Let the Day Begin" by The Call; "Where Do I Begin?" by Jill Sobule; "Begin the Begin" by R.E.M.)

Describe a thought or a feeling that you'd forgotten over break and experienced again when you walked back into this room.  How will you re/create the thoughts/feelings you WANT in this room this semester?

1. Journal
2. Reboot
3. Introduction to spring semester
4. Post to your blog (title: HELLO 2017!) with a 3-5 sentence description of how you've grown as a person since January 2016.

Research Paul Simon's album Graceland (starting with this) and come to class Thursday prepared to discuss whether this qualifies as American Literature.  To do this properly, you will have to do some research and/or review your notes in order to define American Literature and make your case.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

happy 2017

Hi All,
I hope you've had a restful, rewarding vacation from school.  To think: you've been learning and creating every day, and no one knows it but you!  (Unless of course you've been posting to your blog, like Lesley-- check out "Pennie and the Shattered Heart").

So now it's time to shake off the cobwebs.  At the beginning of break I decided to give us all... a break.  Then I came down with a nasty case of bronchitis so the break got longer.  But the year isn't getting any younger, and the semester and the AP exam aren't getting any further away, so here we go...

This is what we should all have ready for each other when we reconvene next week:

Create a dedicated page on your blog dedicated to your Big Question (referred to from now on as your "BQ").  This way we can open a tab and easily refer to the material that has to do with your own research, as opposed to the general concepts and AP-related stuff we do in the course.

This page will effectively be one post, which we will grow into a multi-media research paper and remix/mash-up (depending on what works best for your purposes, which we will get clearer on in class).

Please write Chapter 1.  The title of this section is GENESIS: THE BACKGROUND OF MY BIG QUESTION.  Write a brief essay describing how and when your interest in your Big Question began.  Describe the issue you're exploring, the question you're trying to answer, the problem you're trying to solve, the skill you're trying to acquire.  Explain why your BQ matters to you. Explain why it should matter to the world.

Please choose one of the essay prompts here.  Give yourself no more than 40 minutes (honor system) and answer the prompt.  Remember to identify key terms in the prompt, do a pre-write, and leave yourself time to proofread.

On our first day back we'll review our blogs, we'll map out our schedule, and if I can stop hacking (*not the computer kind) we may even have some pancakes.  Enjoy your last week of vacation!