Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Reading Period 2: Sep 3-9: Benjamin Franklin

Welcome! We've now had one full week of our class, so you've had experience with all the different components of it, and you're doing great!
Here's our week:

8am, online poetry for Benny and Zoe via Hangout.
1:30pm, co-op poetry for Jacob and Sarah, live.
8am, online class for all.
Later in the day, new assignments posted.
Time to do your note-taking, Google Fu, quiz on your log read, and creative assignment.
Monday: All assignments and quiz due at midnight. Late assignments will receive half credit.

Here's what's coming up on the horizon:

Twitter: Create an account (use a fake name or your real name) and follow some of the feeds that I've listed here. Norfolk students should follow all that I've listed. Zoe can sub in some Northern VA feeds for the ones that are specific to Norfolk.

Real Literature Project: Start thinking about a project you can do that will have an actual impact on the real world of literature. Remember some of the ideas we brainstormed in class: Paint a literature-themed public mural, read to children/elderly, create a helpful web site about an author or work, host a Twitter feed for a dead author, make a clickable map related to an American novel or author, teach something about literature to someone else you know. When you have an idea for something you'd like to do, something you could then present to the class in a 10 minute speech, let's talk about it!

Paper: Your paper will be a generalization essay. You will defend the statement: "X is a real American!" where X is the name of an author or historical figure of your choice, relevant to pre-1870 America. This will involve creating a generalization about what it means to be an American. Start thinking of who you would like to choose as a topic.

With that, here are this week's assignments:

Long Read: The Scarlet Letter, chapters 16-18, 22-24

Short Read: William Byrd, “The History of the Dividing Line” AIAL p 50 (1729)
                  Ben Franklin, "An Apology for Printers"
Poetry: Ben Franklin “Freedom of the Press” 1757
            Ben Franklin,  “Death is a Fisherman” 1733
            Billy Collins, "Rain", 2008
            Dixie Chicks, "Not Ready to Make Nice" 2006

Creative Assignment:

Create an illustration for the poem, "Death is a Fisherman."


Write a dramatic version of the "Canterbury Tale" (or tall tale) of the man who found his way out of the Great Dismal Swamp, referenced at the end of our excerpt from Byrd's "The History of the Dividing Line." Your version should be at least 250 words long and can be as exaggerated as you like, but should include the episode with the insect.

Google Fu

This week let's practice your image searching prowess. Find me three images of the Great Dismal Swamp. These three images should be quite different from each other. The difference can be seasonal, geographical, or just vary in what is pictured. Try not to include anything in your pictures that William Byrd would not have seen, when exploring. Post the links to the Google+ Community.


Read this article on Salon, "I Shall Not Burn My Press Or Melt My Letters." It relates to one of your short reads, Benjamin Franklin's "An Apology for Printers." This article talks about two Franklins -- Ben and his grandson. I want you to focus your note-taking on ways to represent the comparison and contrast between these two. Maybe you want to make your notes in two columns on the page, or create a Venn diagram, or some other visual aid. Try to contain your notes to one page.


The quiz is over chapters 16-18 and 22-24 of The Scarlet Letter. It is open book.

1. Where are Hester and Pearl in chapter 16?
2. According to local superstition, what mythological figure lives in the woods?
3. What mark does Pearl ask Dimmesdale about?
4. What secret does Hester reveal to Dimmesdale?
5. Hester urges Dimmesdale to make a change in his life. What does she want him to do?
6. What happens to the scarlet letter in chapter 18?
7. What special occasion is going on, where Dimmesdale will give a sermon?
8. Describe the woman who is pestering Hester in the market-place.
9. Who is the "Prince of the Air"?
10. What does Dimmesdale reveal about himself to the crowd, both literally and in terms of information?

BONUS: What does this line mean? "We must not always talk in the market-place of what happens to us in the forest."

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