Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Poetry,...and I can't think of a snappy title title!

Poetry is always approached with a bit of levity for me. I know that I already explained this in class, but I just really feel lead to reiterate this idea. Don't get me wrong, I really do like poetry, but every time a student gives me a stack of "their poems" or a parent tells me at back to school night that their son/daughter is a "poetic genius" I inwardly freak out a little. It's not that I doubt their ability or that I don't believe the sincerity with which a parent will support and love their children, I just feel a bit aloof when it comes to making the inevitable judgement on if their work, usually bound in a special binder or other precious covering, is "good". Their is no worse place to be.
On one hand I feel an artists obligation to take a critical eye over their work, to consider all that I have come to learn about the forms and design, to really give them feedback on whether or not the work is, in fact, "good". If I do that I know that I am going to hurt feelings and alienate people who might really respect my opinion. Its the dilemma that is so frustrating. I want to ask them, sometimes, "Why me and my opinion? Isn't the act of creation enough and powerful that you don't require my approval? You didn't ask me if you could make the poem therefore it doesn't require my approval." And yet, I know how they are feeling. It is the sheer delight of having made a phrase that sinks into your skin, the idea that in spite of everything, my words ring true to my own ears and I identify, like a beacon, momentary truth in a very confusing and crazy world. I guess that secretly, poetry is a personal hurdle for me to leap. Clearly the power of the word is undeniable. After having vented all of that (sorry...) I really want you to know, that your work does not require my "approval" of good, bad, or indifferent. What matters is that you made it, love it, and will continue doing so. Be excited, share them with your friends and family. Represent!...
(I can't guarantee that the rest of my entrees for the Poetry unit will be any less weird, maybe that is good, I'm not really sure, but I will try to keep them both interesting and sincere.)
Haiku, Tanka, Cinquain Forms

Sonnet Form/Meter and Rhythm

Thursday, January 15, 2009

All is fair in love and war...UPDATED


The Great Gatsby Online

Just wanted to leave a bit of what we have been putting together in this post for folks who have been sick, or those who are "planning" to be sick. We have just wrapped up the 1st 3 Chapters of The Great Gatsby. Remember, each week has its own theme that applies to what you are looking for in the Double Entry Journal. Hopefully you will enjoy this book as much as I have over the years. I have also included the notes and the first Analytical Paragraph slide for Fridays class.
As always, if you have questions, please be sure to e-mail or stop by.

Oh the places you will go...UPDATED

Hey travellers!
My Dad and Step-Mom went to the Mediterranean last summer to see some of the worlds most fantastic sites of the old world. They sailed on a cruise ship half way around the world to see Greece, Rome and Italy as well as several other countries. The photos are nothing short of spectacular. It's really weird to think that my dad stood in the center of the Acropolis, walking where kings once ruled the old world from, then it's center, Greece.
We have all seen our fair share of Hollywood movies that have made their nods toward the ancients. Stories like Troy, 300, or the essential viewing of Clash of the Titans, which if you haven't seen it, treat your family to an exciting evening of 80's stop-motion animation. Really one of the last of it's kind. I find great comfort in some of the similarities that we share with our ancient predecessors, like the belief in defending what you love, sharing a common struggle with the good people around you, and the love of a well turned story. We are well into the story of Odysseus, having just finished Books 1 and 9, the story of Polymephus, the Cyclopes of Ancient Greece. I thought that it would be a good idea to post the slides that have been used thus far as well as add some links to a few places that could help you in your search for the perfect ancient god to modern hero match up. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to e-mail me.

Where to go...

Listen online to The Odyssey



Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Snap-shot Story

Hey, welcome back! The Snap-Shot Story is the first piece of new work on our agenda for the 2nd Semester. Here are the directions for the assignment. Have fun with it!