Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WInter Break Homework

There is nothing assigned for Winter Break, BUT...

1) ROAR book

2) pick a poem!

3) plan out your ROAR/Culture Vulture Presentations

4) browse around some of the sites for your Julius Caesar Annotations

Julius Caesar Annotations

Our class website!

If you did not sign up for lines, do not e-mail me your requests. You must wait until Monday morning to sign up.

Here are good sites for your research:

Primary and Secondary Sources

-Variorum edition of Julius Caesar, edited by H.H. Furness

-Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives of Noble Grecians and Romans

-New Hudson edition of Julius Caesar, notes by Henry Norman Hudson

-MIT On-Line Julius Caesar (hit “control+F” for all your searching needs)

-Folger Library

-Elizabethan History and Culture

-University of Victoria Shakespeare Site

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ROAR III- Book into Film

For this term, select a book from the list below. Read the book, and compose 4 posts to your ROAR blog. Then, read the film adaptation of your book. Compose 1 post that makes use of film terms and analyzes how it adapts the book.

Do select a book that interests you, but also one that you will be allowed to watch the film version (check to see what the film is rated).
You are required to prove you legally watched the film, so no downloading or streaming.

Playing the Enemy by John Carlin
Invictus is the true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team, Francois Pienaar, to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

Michael Oher is a poor, undereducated teenager in Memphis, whose father was murdered and whose mother was a crack addict. He is shuffled through the public school system, despite his low grade point average and absenteeism. His living situation is noticed by the wealthy Tuohy family. They take him in and he succeeds both athletically and academically, becoming one of the top high school football prospects in the country.

The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson
This is a perfect work of unnerving terror. Four seekers arrive at a notoriously unfriendly location called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick
America in the near future has lost the war against drugs. Though the government tries to protect the upper class, the system is infested with undercover cops like Fred, who regularly ingest the popular Substance D as part of their work. In a bizarre twist, the drug has caused Fred to develop a split personality, of which he is not aware.

The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri
What’s in a name? A MIT professor and his wife face this question, when hospital authorities won’t allow them to leave with their baby until it is given a name. The staff is ignorant of the cultural difference that allow for Bengali families to spend a good deal of time and deliberation before deciding their child’s name. Thus, Ashima and Ashoke are forced to enter a “pet” name for their son- Gogol.

Slumdog Millionaire Vikas Swarup (Q&A)
Jamal Malik is an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved.

A Civil Action Jonathan Harr
This is the true story of a town’s fight against deadly environmental toxins in the town of Woburn, MA. With a class action lawsuit to file, lawyers represent families impacted by the pollution. However, the case that could ruin the law firm firm.

Antwone Fisher Antwone Fisher (Finding Fish)
This autobiography tells how Fisher was born in prison to an incarcerated mother and a father who had been shot. After being placed in foster care, Fisher was treated brutally and blamed for his own misfortunes. Through these experiences, he eventually found his way into a stable job in the Navy.

Everything Is Illuminated Jonathan Safran Foer
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war, and a dog named Sammy Davis, Jonathan is led on an amazing journey into an unexpected past.

Fever Pitch Nick Hornby
Love sports? This book tells the story of the author's unhealthy relationship with soccer. As a fan of Arsenal, a London soccer team, Hornby describes his life as it relates to the successes and failures of his favorite team.

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
Bride & Prejudice

The five Bennet sisters, including strong-willed Elizabeth and young Lydia, have been raised by their mother with one purpose in life: finding a husband. When a wealthy bachelor takes up residence in a nearby mansion, the Bennets are abuzz. But when Elizabeth meets up with the handsome and snobbish Mr. Darcy, a battle of the sexes ensues.

Cold Mountain Charles Frazier
A wounded Confederate soldier walks away from the horrors of the war and back home to his pre-war sweetheart, Ada. This love story connects Inman's odyssey through the devastated South with Ada's struggle to revive her father's farm.

Girl With a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier
When Griet becomes a maid in the household of the painter Johannes Vermeer, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry, and the care of his six children. What no one expects is that Griet's quiet manner, quick perceptions, and fascination with her master's paintings will draw her inexorably into his world. Their growing intimacy sparks whispers; and when Vermeer paints her wearing his wife's pearl earrings, the gossip escalates into a huge scandal.

Secret Window Steven King (Four Past Midnight)
Mort Rainey is a successful writer going through a rather unfriendly divorce from his wife of ten years. Alone and bitter in his cabin, he continues to work on his writing when a stranger named John Shooter shows up on his doorstep, claiming Rainey stole his story. Mort says he can prove the story belongs to him and not Shooter, but while Mort digs around for the magazine that published the story, people begin to die.

Homework 12/17

1) 5th ROAR post due- be sure to edit those MLA citations!

2) Julius Caesar Test on Tuesday. Make time for Act 4&5

3) lots, and lots, and lots of Due Dates for Term 3. Get a calendar and start to plot out your work

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Homework 12/15

1) Read and notes for Julius Caesar 3.3

Monday, December 14, 2009

Homework 12/14

1) read and notes for Julius Caesar 3.2

2) complete ROAR posts on Thursday

3) Culture Vulture Response Rough Draft due Thursday

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekend Homework

1) Caesar Act 3 Scene 1

2) ROAR posts due on Thursday

3) Culture Vulture Rough Draft Response due Thursday

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Last Weekend Culture Vultures!

U ARE INVITED! AFH Holiday Open House, December 15

for the love of art... holiday open house

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
3:oo pm to 7:00 pm
at the AFH Epicenter

Step into a day in the life of Artists For Humanity. Tour the studios. Witness teen artists at work. Be inspired by their creativity, energy and initiative. Tap into the creative spirit and make art.

Be the first to see a display of the AFH youth designs that won the MERIDA rug competition.

HOLIDAY SHOP for one-of-a-kind gifts by AFH youth artists ... paintings, photographs, posters, apparel, tables made from junk mail and more.

Please invite friends and family.
Close to Broadway T stop.
Free parking after 5:00 pm.

See you on December 15th?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Homework 12/8

1) Vocab QUIZ lessons 1-7

2) read= notes, questions, and comments for Julius Caesar 2.2

3) be sure to complete a 4th ROAR post this week

SAT Prep

Compose an introductory paragraph, and list two quality examples to back up your thesis based on the following prompt:

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment
Something flawed is far more interesting than something perfect. Perfection is a
trifle dull. It is not the least of life’s ironies that this, which we all aim at, is
better not quite achieved.
—Adapted from W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up
Assignment: Is perfection something to be admired or sought after?

Monday, December 7, 2009

PPP #2

Below is the text of the paper you need to properly format.

1) copy and paste SPECIAL (just text) into Word
2) set up a cover page using your name, date, class, and the title
3) center title on 1st line of paper
4) insert page number with your last name
5) format the essay (double space, Times New Roman 12pt, indent new paragraphs)
6) format the works cited page

NOTE: the essay should fit on two pages, not including cover and works cited pages

Evaluating the Medieval in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Composed by an unknown monk in the north of England circa 1375, the romance of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight exhibits attributes common to medieval literature. The Gawain poet created his verse with attention to alliterative patterns, and employed stanzas of unfixed length that are connected through the bob and wheel device. Thematically, the poet places Gawain in situations that test his devotion to the medieval ideals of courtly love and chivalry. Thus, in form and theme this Arthurian romance contains poetic elements that mark it as a medieval text.
The text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is preserved in a religious manuscript that also contains three poems: “Pearl,” “Patience,” and “Purity” (Borroff 20). Yet, Gawain opens with a passage more accustomed to the nationalist ethos of epic poetry. The poet offers an account of Britain’s founding, connecting the heroes at Troy with the “Bold boys bred there, in broils delighting,” who inhabit England (line 21). As in Beowulf, alliteration punctuates the poetic line. Where the device once served as a rhythmic and mnemonic tool, the sound repetition in Gawain belongs to a revival of alliterative verse in the medieval period. The medieval audience would have recognized and enjoyed this poetic element as it suggested a popular Anglo-Saxon form of storytelling. Thus, the poet’s insists for the reader to “…listen to my lay but a little while,/ As I heard it in hall, I shall hasten to tell/ anew” (line 30-32). By alluding to typical elements of Old English oral verse, the Gawain poet attracts the interest of his medieval readers.
However, the form of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight breaks from the Anglo-Saxon pattern in its stanza construction. Visually, the poem lacks caesura line breaks that divided the line after two stressed syllables. In its place, the Gawain poet employs a bob and wheel at the end of each stanza. The bob is a two-syllable line that sets a rhyme scheme in the four-line wheel. Most often, the bob and wheel offers a conclusion to a stanza, as shown in lines 485-490:
"Such happiness wholly had they that day/in hold./Now take care, Sir Gawain/That your courage wax not cold/When you must turn again/To your enterprise foretold." Here the bob presents “hold” as the initial sound to be rhymed in the wheel; the poet forms the wheel around this sound in an ABABA arrangement. Before expanding the narrative by offering further description or changing scenes, the Gawain poet uses the bob and wheel to alter the physical line length.
In plotting, the poem exemplifies the paradoxical romantic virtues of courtly love. Sir Gawain is tested to deny his faith and break his word by the temptations at Lord Bertilak de Hautdesert’s home. The host and Gawain agree to swap their daily earnings: the lord from hunting in the woods, Sir Gawain from interactions with the lord’s beautiful wife. As a guest, Gawain must obey the wishes of his host and hostess- a situation made difficult by the lady’s bold suggestions. Resembling the game animals Bertilak hunts, Gawain nervously evades the lady’s requests. To preserve the marriage vows, their love is never consummated; still, Gawain obeys the lady’s demands and his own desires by sharing furtive kisses. The responsibility required by chivalry and courtly love make Gawain’s temptation a foremost example of romance literature.
The Gawain poet makes skillful use of the romance conventions, writing the poem with attention to medieval aesthetics. Modern readers might not share Bertilak’s claim that Gawain is “polished as a pearl,” or worthy to wear the pentangle star after his blatant deception and failure to trust Mary against the Green Knight (line 2393). Still, the romance offers a fitting example of medieval literature in its poetic construction and thematic development.

Works Cited

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Trans. Mary Borroff. The Norton Anthology of English
Literature. Ed. M.H. Abrams. 7th edition. Volume 1. New York: Norton, 2000.

Book Events- Extra Credit and Culture Vulture

Tuesday, December 8

7:00 pm, Porter Square Books
Anita Diamant, Day After Night

7:00 pm, Harvard Book Store
Lauren Grodstein, A Friend of the Family

Wednesday, December 9

7:00 pm, Harvard Book Store
December Winedown: Harvard Book Store Buyers present their favorite holiday picks from 2009!

7:00 pm, Porter Square Books
Mary Gordon, Reading Jesus

7:00pm, Brookline Booksmith
Maxim Shrayer
Yom Kippur in Amsterdam: Stories

Thursday, December 10

7:00 pm, Harvard Book Store
David Chang, Momofuku

7:00pm, Brookline Booksmith
A night of Boston Noir with contributors Dana Cameron, Russ Aborn, and
Brendan DuBois

Homework 12/7

1) read and notes for Julius Caesar 2.1

2) keep aware that Culture Vulture and ROAR are due 12/17


If we valued honesty, we would be willing to risk our jobs to become
whistleblowers and tell truths that our employers did not want revealed. If we
valued success, we would give up our free time in order to excel in a subject or
sport. In other words, the sacrifices we are willing to make reveal what we care
about the most.
Assignment: Can what we value be determined only by what we sacrifice? Plan and
write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue.

3) write a thesis statement, opening paragraph, and list two examples to answer this prompt

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weekend HW

1) Julius Caesar Act 1 Scene 3

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Homework 12/3

Here's the 1st Folio Edition of Julius Caesar (1623). Note the use of "V" for "U"

1) read and notes for Julius Caesar 1.2

give a try with

this is tough reading, but only with great effort does it become manageable (and fun)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Culture Vultures!

First, the free events!


Free Children’s Books and Readings*
Sat, Dec 5, 2:15 pm: Linde Family Wing
Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China, reading with author Deborah Noyes
Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo, reading with author/illustrator E.S. Redmond
Finn Throws a Fit, reading with illustrator Timothy Basil Ering

A Cappella Groups
Sat, Dec 5: Lower Rotunda
3 pm: Harvard Lowkeys
4 pm: MIT Muses

A Cappella Groups
Sun, Dec 6: Lower Rotunda
1 pm: Boston University Treblemakers
2 pm: Boston College Acoustics
3 pm: Simmons Sirens
4 pm: Brandeis Too Cheap for Instruments

Classic Holiday Movies
Sun, Dec 6: Remis Auditorium
1 pm: Christmas Story
Christmas Story reveals the unknown childhood of Santa Claus. The film is a story of selfless giving and lifelong friendship.
3 pm: Miracle on 34th Street by George Seaton (1947)

New England Conservatory of Music FREE Concerts

3:00:PMHaydn Piano Trio Seminar Recital
Haydn Piano Trio Seminar Recital more
Brown Hall
6:00:PMPierce Jazz Series
Student ensembles coached by George Garzone, John McNeil, and Bob Nieske. more
Pierce Hall

Not so free...

Urban Nutcracker

Homework 12/2

1) read the Julius Caesar adaptation and answer the questions

2) read Shakespeare's original, Act 1 scene 1, and have questions about his language

3) keep on ROARing

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Homework 12/1

Phew, it's December. Only four weeks until the end of term 2!

1) ROAR post #3 due at 10pm

2) Vocab Quiz #7