Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reading Period 10: Oct 29 - Nov 4: The Chase

Long Read: 

Moby-Dick, chapters 132 - the end!

Bring it home, brave literary sailors.

Poe Paper Doll. Believe it. 
Short Reads:

Edgar Allan Poe, "The Fall of the House of Usher" (in your textbook)
Edgar Allan Poe, "The Masque of the Red Death" (also in your textbook)

Poetry:

"The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

"To -- -- --: Ulalume: A Ballad" by Edgar Allan Poe

"Spirits of the Dead" by Edgar Allan Poe


"Theme in Yellow" by Carl Sandburg

Creative Assignment:

Write a spooky poem for Halloween. Choose one of the poetic forms from our vocabulary list this week: villanelle, lyric poem, confessional poem, sonnet, epic, ballad, etc. Here's the list, to remind you of your options. When you post your poem, tell what form it is and why. 

OR

This choice is mandatory for those of you taking the Genetics class at co-op. Formal poetry has a rhyme scheme described by letters (ABAB CDCD etc).  Let's create a new poetic form based on the Punnett Square. Can you create a rhyme scheme or a formal meter, using a Punnett Square with one, locus, two alleles? How about a larger one -- with at least two loci, two alleles at each locus? Would that form be in couplets, quatrains? Would you need to create columns for this poem to make sense in the form? How might meter play into it? What might such a poem be about? You can use upper and lower case letters to designate different rhymes. Challenge: I double dog dare you to write a poem connecting to the genetic themes of "The Fall of the House of Usher" using a form you invent based on the Punnett Square. Note: If you manage to do this, it will count as your "Real Literature Project" and you can do your presentation on it. 

Google Fu:

The "red death" in Poe's story is a made-up plague where you sweat blood and die fast. Use Google to search the internet and find out what disease inspired this story element. You can start by reading about the story on Wikipedia, but definitely go deeper than the paragraph about the disease from Wikipedia, which offers several possibilities. Post the answer you think is most likely, and give your source. 

Twitter Scholar:

Twitter posts can only have 140 characters. This is the perfect length for a haiku, another poetic form. Read about the emerging poetic form, "Twaiku," in this NPR article. This week, write a haiku and post it to Twitter, and then retweet someone else's Twitter haiku. 

Paper:

This week, while I'm looking over and responding to the first draft of your outline, please take more time to delve into your sources and just read and think about your topic. Your Moby-Dick assignment this week is quite short, so you should have plenty of time to read around in the books and articles you've gathered in your research. 

Note-Taking:

Choose one of your sources and take notes on a book chapter or article. Choose your format strategically -- bullet points? outline? key quotes? sections? compare/contrast? Now is your chance to use what you have practiced. Post the results so we can all be amazed. 

Quiz:

1. What two literary devices are in use here: "the pensive air was transparently pure and soft, with a woman's look, and the robust and man-like sea heaved with long, strong, lingering swells, as Samson's chest in his sleep." 
2. What does Ahab drop into the sea in chapter 132?
3. What does Starbuck beg Ahab to do in chapter 132?
4. In this chapter, Ahab looks into Starbuck's eyes and Fedallah's eyes. What does he see in Starbuck's eyes, and where does Ahab see Fedallah's eyes, after Starbuck leaves him?
5. Who is the first to spot Moby-Dick?
6. What happens to Ahab's boat and Ahab in their first engagement with the white whale?
7. How did the sailors get Moby-Dick away from his "prey" on the first day? 
8. Who carries Ahab when his fake leg gets broken, and of what material does the carpenter make a replacement?
9. What happens to the Parsee?
10. How does Fedallah's prophecy come true? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reading Period 9: October 22-28: Show Us Your Coffin!

Long Read: 

Moby-Dick, chapters 119-131

Short Reads:

"The Pit and the Pendulum" by Edgar Allan Poe.
"The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe (AIAL p 160).
"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe.

Poetry: 

"Old Ironsides" by Oliver Wendell Holmes (AIAL p 311).
"The Star Spangled Banner" by Frances Scott Key.
"America the Beautiful" by Katharine Lee Bates.
"America" by Simon & Garfunkel.

Yes you may do your Creative Assignment in LEGO. (via)
Creative Assignment:

Create an amazing illustration for one of the Edgar Allan Poe stories we are reading this week.

OR

Memorize the first and last stanzas of Star Spangled Banner and recite it on video for our entertainment, wearing an exceptional hat of your choosing. Post the video to the Google+ community. You can post a video by choosing "Add Video" and then "Record Video" when you make a new post.

Note-Taking:

Read this article: "Tecumseh, Red Cloud, and Sitting Bull: Three Great Indian Leaders" by J.J. Meyers. Organize your notes as an outline with five sections: intro, one section for each leader, and conclusion. This article is a great example of what we talked about in class -- taking the reader somewhere new in your conclusion rather than just restating the thesis or summarizing what's been said. Where does the author of this article take you? Make sure you highlight that in your notes.

Google Fu:

The Star Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the USA and its words are in English, our official language. Use the internet to find out about the national anthems of some different countries who have multiple official languages. Post to the Google+ community telling us what country you found, how they handled multiple languages in their national anthem, and provide a link to the source.

Paper

This week you're working on a first draft of your outline. Make sure you have your thesis statement in your introduction, two main sections as we discussed in class, and at least some idea of how your conclusion might take your reader to a new place. You can check out this resource on outlines, or just whack out a first draft and see how it goes. You will get a chance to revise your outline over the next few weeks. If you have not turned in your bibliography, you need to do this right away.

Twitter Scholar:

There are multiple people on Twitter posting as Edgar Allan Poe. Do a search and take a look at a few of them. Decide which one you like the best, based on whatever criteria you want, and Tweet about it, announcing it the best Poe-related feed on Twitter. Use the hashtag #poe and #halloween and any others you think are relevant.

Quiz:

1. Paraphrase this quote: "Warmest climes but nurse the cruellest fangs."
2. What are corpusants? Use a search engine if you don't have a footnote.
3. How many words in chapter 122?
4. Based on what Ahab says in his sleep in chapter 123, what is he dreaming about?
5. Explain with science what has happened to the ship's compass in chapter 124.
6. Explain how to make a compass, according to Ahab.
7. What is the log and line for? What function does it serve?
8. How is Queequeg's coffin transformed in chapter 126?
9. What question does Ahab always ask every ship they meet? And how does the commander of the Rachel answer?
10. What happens to Ahab's hat in chapter 130, and where does it end up?

BONUS: What ritual are the sailors on the Delight engaged in when they meet the Pequod?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reading Period 8: Oct 15-21: Have I Been But Forging My Own Branding-Iron, Then?

Long Read: 

Moby-Dick

Must read: 109-118
No skipping this week!

Short Reads: 

"Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving
"The Devil and Daniel Walker" by Washington Irving

Poetry:

"Live Your Life" by Tecumseh
"Blind Curse" by Simon J. Ortiz
"The Gift Outright" by Robert Frost
"The Theft Outright" by Heid E. Erdrich

Google Fu:

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" has been adapted in many different versions for lots of different media. What if I wanted to create a list of all the film and television adaptations of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"? One way would be to find all the adaptations and create the list myself. Another way would be to see if anyone on the internet had already created a list of adaptations, and just link to that. Which is better? For this assignment, first find a blog post or article with a list of adaptations of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and post that link. Then find an adaptation (could be theater, music, tv, children's books, etc) that this article/post doesn't mention, and post that link.

Creative Assignment:

Imagine you fall asleep in the mountains for 20 years and then stumble back into your life. What changes may have taken place? Create a one page comic (can be one panel or many panels) where you show the world 20 years in the future. Make sure you show at least one personal change (what will your family look like 20 years from now?), one technological change (an advancement in science), and one political change (RVW missed the American Revolution while he slept -- what major political upheaval might you miss if you took a 20 year nap?).

OR

Write a short letter to Pixar, the creators of "Finding Nemo," letting them know that we've figured out their source material for the shark support group is Fleece's sermon to the sharks in Moby-Dick. Use specific comparisons and make your case that "the shark well-governed" is straight outta Melville.

Note-Taking:

In class we discussed a number of Revolutionary War songs and you took notes on your paper copy of the songs. Write a short essay (250 words or one page) comparing two of the songs we discussed. You can compare them on content, on who the speaker is, on the occasion of the song, or when it would be sung, on the meter, or any other point of comparison.

Twitter Scholar:

Tweet your thoughts about your reading in Moby-Dick this week. Include three hashtags in your tweet.

Paper:

This week your assignment is to collect your sources. In class we discussed developing your research questions -- make sure you have a clear idea what answers you need, before you go looking! You can post your list of sources to the Google+ Community (at least 4 sources) and also comment on other students' sources.

Quiz:

1. What are Ahab and Starbuck in disagreement about, and who wins the argument, in chapter 109?
2. How does Queequeg get sick?
3. With what pattern does Queequeg decorate his coffin?
4. What poem that we read this semester are you reminded of in the second paragraph of chapter 111, "The Pacific"?
5. Chapter 112 gives a history of the ship's blacksmith. What was the "desperate burglar" that robbed his family of everything?
6. Who forges Ahab's harpoon?
7. The imagery in "The Gilder" compares the sea to what?
8. The Bachelor is a lucky ship full of good humor. When the captain invites Ahab to come aboard, he says, "Thou art too damned jolly. Sail on." What previous situation in the novel does this remind you of?
9. Fedallah (the Parsee) makes a prophecy in chapter 117. Ahab must see two hearses on the sea, and only help can kill him. What Shakespeare play do these prophesies remind you of, and what were the prophesies in that play?
10. What happens to the compass in chapter 118?

BONUS: Reread the ending of chapter 116. What lesson does Ahab learn from the behavior of the dying whale? Paraphrase those last four paragraphs.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Reading Period 7: Oct 8-14: Does the Whale's Magnitude Diminish?

Long Read:

Moby-Dick!

Must Read: Ch 89, 91-99, 105-108
May Skip: Ch 90, 100-104

Short Read: 

The Bill of Rights: The first ten amendments to the Constitution.
Letters of George Washington during the Revolutionary War: Browse around this archive and read a few letters that look interesting to you, based on their titles.

Poetry:

Songs from the Revolutionary War 
Ignore the "Working in Groups" and "Working Individually" and just read the songs and their interpretations.
Print-friendly version

Google Fu: 

The Bill of Rights is our name for the first ten amendments to the Constitution, but now we're up to 27 amendments! New amendments are unofficially proposed all the time. Search the internet and find two ideas that people have proposed for what the 28th amendment should be. They can be reasonable or crazy -- just see what you come up with. When you post this assignment, give a summary of each idea, whether you think it's reasonable or crazy, and the links to where you found the ideas.

Twitter Scholar:

If you search "British Bill of Rights" on Twitter, you'll see that a sort of Bill of Rights for Great Britain has recently been proposed by one of their political parties. Read through the Tweets that come up when you search, and decide whether the population of Twitter is in support of this idea or rejects it. Tweet your answer.

Creative Assignment:

Create a graphic novel / comic version of Stubb's encounter with the Guernsey-man and the captain of the Rosebud. Include as much about the setting as you can, including the whales alongside.

OR

Write a response (at least 250 words) to Ishmael's questions at the end of "Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish." Is Ishmael correct in his assessment of what a Loose-Fish is? Are you a Fast-Fish or a Loose-Fish?

Paper

This week's assignment is to write your thesis statement, which should have a very specific form. See the page about the paper for further instructions.

Quiz

1. Why is it hard to define what a fast-fish is?
2. From what country is the Rosebud?
3. Why did Stubb trick the Guernsey-man from the Rosebud?
4. What is ambergris used for?
5. Who falls overboard in "The Castaway"?
6. Define these terms: Slobgollion, gurry, and nippers.
7. What is being dissected in chapter 95, "The Cassock"?
8. What confusing thing happens to Ishmael in the chapter "The Try-works"?
9. Paraphrase the instruction/warning in the last three paragraphs of "The Try-works."
10. What part of the body does Stubb compare the doubloon to?

BONUS: Ahab asks the carpenter if he would rather work in clay. To what is this an allusion?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Reading Period 6: October 1-7: The Shark Well-Governed

Hey-oh! Just a regular grey whale. Nothing to see here.
Long Read: 

Moby-Dick!!

Must Read: 60-61, 64, 66-67, 69-70, 72, 78, 87-88.
May Skip: 62-63, 65, 68, 71, 73-77, 79-86.

If you like audio books, and would like to try listening to some of Moby-Dick, I highly recommend the one narrated by Frank Muller. I've read this book many times, and listening to this version really gives it a different flavor. Particularly chapter 61 and 64, assigned for this week, are good to listen to with the different accents and inflections. Check it out if you have an Audible.com membership, or get it pretty cheaply on iTunes.

Short Read: 

The Constitution of the United States

Read it. It's your duty as a citizen of the USA. And it's not that long. Surprisingly short really. If you're feeling particularly citizen-ish, you can click through to the Bill of Rights.

Poetry:

"Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant, AIAL p 153.
"And You As Well Must Die, Beloved Dust" by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
"O Death" American Folk Song. This version is by Ralph Stanley, here's a video:




Google Fu:

This week we're reading the Constitution of the USA. I gave you a link, above, to the text where you can read it. But is this site reliable? I intentionally chose a site that has advertising, sells products, and links to online auctions. Does that mean you can't trust its information? I want you to find a better link, a more reliable site than the one linked above, where you can find an official version of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Post your link along with a defense of why you think your link is better than mine.

Note-Taking:

Your note-taking assignment this week is to write a one page summary of the article I read to you in class, covering the history of the song "Yankee Doodle." Use only your notes to refresh your memory of the content. Use lots of impressive details and specifics, but don't go over one page. If you're typing, that's about 250 words. Please email these to me, instead of posting them publicly, so everyone has a chance to search their own memory and notes for details.

Creative Assignment: 

Read the chapter, "The Jeroboam's Story," (71). Knowing what you know of Macey, the chief mate of the Jeroboam, write what you think might have been in the letter from Macey's wife.

OR

Read the chapter, "The Monkey-rope," (72). Create an illustration of another situation in which two humans are bound together in this way -- one depending on the other for safety, while the second must keep the first safe for his own survival. You can interpret safety and survival as physical or emotional, metaphorical, whatever. Melville's note on this chapter may not be printed in your edition, but here it is: "The monkey-rope is found in all whalers; but it was only in the Pequod that the monkey and his holder were ever tied together. This improvement on the original usage was introduced by no less a man than Stubb, in order to afford to the imperilled harpooneer the strongest possible guarantee for the faithfulness and vigilance of his monkey-rope holder."

Twitter Scholar:

Watch this one minute video about Emoji Dick, a version of Moby-Dick written entirely in emoji cartoons and recognized as art by the Library of Congress. After you watch the video, Tweet your thoughts about it, including a link to the video. You can either copy/paste the URL into your Tweet or use the "Share" links below the video. Also try using the hashtag #emojidick to see what others are saying about it.

Paper:

You'll notice there's a new tab up at the top of the page! That's right, it's time to start firing up your essay-writing machine. Read the whole page and post to the Google+ community if you have any questions. Your assignment this week is to choose your topic. Who will you defend as a "true American"? Stake your claim on Google+.

Quiz:

1. In the final paragraph of "The Line," Ishmael compares the coiled line to the calm before a storm. This is an example of what literary device?
2. What literary device is in use here: "...to Queequeg it was quite a different object."?
3. What metaphor does Melville employ to describe Stubb's killing blow with the lance?
4. What complaint does Stubb have about his whale steak?
5. Summarize the part of Fleece's sermon to the sharks that Stubb refers to when he says, "That's Christianity."
6. Given the context, how do you interpret Queequeg's remark at the end of chapter 66? What does "one dam Ingin" mean, in your opinion?
7. What is "cutting in"?
8. Read this line from Ahab at the end of the chapter "The Sphynx": "O Nature, and O soul of man! how far beyond all utterance are your lnked analogies! not the smallest atom stirs or lives in matter, but has its cunning duplicate in mind." What other chapter in the assigned reading does this quote remind you of? Hint: It might be after this chapter, not before.
9. What does the Dough-Boy try to give Queequeg to drink after his run-in with the sharks, and what becomes of this drink after Stubb gets his way?
10. Who does Queequeg rescue in chapter 78, and what other episode of the novel does this event remind you of?
11. What geographical area has the Pequod now reached, in chapter 87?
12. How is a lone whale like Daniel Boone, as Ishmael says in chapter 88?

BONUS: What has happened to the mother and baby sperm whales toward the end of chapter 87? How are they connected?