Tuesday, December 11, 2012

final presentations

Here are this semester's final presentations.

If you don't see yours here please send an embed code or a link. Thanks!

Link to mind map: "Evaluation of a Semester of Innovation"

semester endgame

On Friday, December 14 we will plan next steps for the break and discuss next semester.  To prepare for that conversation please answer the following questions on your blog in a post entitled, "Fall Semester Reflection." 

  1. Do you read your colleagues’ work online?  How often? What is it like to read their work? How does being able to see everyone’s work online at any given time change the way you do your work?
  2. How has the publicly and always visible course blog made this course different from one without a blog?  How would the course change if the course blog disappeared tomorrow?
  3. Has publishing your work for the public to see changed your approach to completing an assignment? How so?  How would your feelings about the course change if you couldn’t publish your work that way?
  4. Has your experience of the physical classroom changed because of the open & online aspects?  Where does your learning actually happen?  
  5. You were described in the Macarthur Foundation/DML  interview as “a pioneer”-- how do you describe the experience on the edge to people who haven’t been there (friends and family)?
  6. How do they respond when you describe the brave new world in which you’re working?
  7. What do their responses mean to you?  What effect(s) (if any) do they have on you?

Monday, December 10, 2012

the world you're preparing (for)

This morning a friend sent me an article about IBM's use of social media.  I was surprised to discover how closely our learning experience in this community parallels working in one of the world's most successful organizations. 

As of publication IBM was #2 on Business Week‘s best global brands list, with nearly 400,000 employees across 170 countries

"At 114 years old, IBM seems to be the Madonna of the corporate world, staying relevant from decade to decade. The first company to build a mainframe computer and help NASA land a man on the moon still holds more patents than any other U.S.-based technology company.

As it turns out, its decentralized social media approach is another milestone in the company’s history—driving unprecedented collaboration and innovation.

IBM lets employees talk—to each other and the public—without intervention. With a culture as diverse and distributed as IBM’s, getting employees to collaborate and share makes good business sense."

What can we learn from this?  What can IBM learn from us?

struggle for smarts

Here is a look at how Eastern and Western cultures approach learning

(Thanks for sending, Mr. Greeley!)

and now for something completely different

Over the weekend our friend Cory Doctorow posted an item on Boing Boing about this school

*December 10


1. Blog analytics
2. Finalize presentations/presentation day logistics

1. Finishing touches on presentations
2. Any outstanding blog/hard copy work

Friday, December 7, 2012

could boredom be curable?

From Dave Pell's Next Draft:

"Boredom can be boring. But it can also be dangerous and "has been implicated in drug use and alcoholism, problematic gambling and compulsive behavior -- and has even been tied to potentially lethal errors in job execution." A group of psychologists looked at nearly every study on the topic and came up with what they believe is the root cause of boredom. Now they are wondering: Could boredom be curable?"

*December 7


1. Prepare for final presentations: content & logistics

1. Double-check that your blog is complete
2. Literature analysis work (#3 is due Monday 12.10)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

*December 6


1. Lit analysis work
2. Presentation prep: bring materials and final proposal decisions for in-class workshop Friday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

our chat with amanda lyons

It was great to be able to talk with Amanda Lyons today about visual learning and techniques like strategic doodling. Thanks, Amanda! 

Here's the drawing I did.

visual learning with amanda

*December 5


 [There isn't one. Please turn in your completed journal for the semester.]

1. Preliminary vocab final grade report
2. Tomorrow's essay exam
3. Next week's presentations

1. Think
2. Plan
3. Lit analysis work

Monday, December 3, 2012

vocabulary final tips

Tomorrow's exam will require you to define some words, provide antonyms for others, and create meaning with as many as you can in the time you have left.  Intensify your effort but don't get anxious.  This is what Coach Wooden defined as competitive greatness in his Pyramid of SuccessA real love for the hard battle, knowing it offers the opportunity to be at your best when your best is required.

*December 4


1. Lit analysis work
2. Complete your fall semester journal and bring to class on Wednesday, December 5
3. Review your essay notes to prepare for Thursday's essay exam

finals schedule

Hi Everyone,

Here is the end game for the semester.  Please note the change: the vocabulary final exam will be Tuesday, December 4.  The day after tomorrow.  Bright side: you'll be glad to have it over with.  Bright side (II): you'll have a day to recover before the essay.  

Vocabulary Final: Tuesday, December 4

Essay Final: Thursday, December 6

Presentation: during 2-hour block week of 12.10

We've been at this nearly five months and you've earned a break.  Hang in there and good luck this week.

*December 3

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge; "'All in the Family' TV Theme [Those Were the Days]; "The Gang's All Here" by Dropkick Murphys; "Spirit Nation" by Spirit Nation]
Jane Neville (née Howard), Countess of Westmorland (1533/1537 – buried 30 June 1593), daughter of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Frances de Vere (according to Wikipedia), is quoted as follows:

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

Who is in your tribe/network/family?  Are all the members in the same circle or in different ones?  How do your relationships influence your character, your decisions, and your direction in life?  As you contemplate moving into a new chapter in your life, how will you add on to your network and/or construct new ones?

1. Journal
2. Last-ditch vocab review
3. Schedule and end-of-semester logistics
4. Group/individual work  

1. Last chance to study vocab
2. Lit analysis (light)
3. Presentation (light)
4. NOTE: your journal is due for final credit at the beginning of class on Wednesday, December 5

Sunday, December 2, 2012

final presentations

Pondering your presentation preparation?

In contrast to Tuesday's vocabulary final, which will be about as formal and anti-fun as you can imagine, and Thursday's essay final, which will require you to organize and articulate your expertise on multiple texts and literary elements, and which will probably make your pen-wielding muscles ache, your final presentation



This is your opportunity to showcase:
  • What you've learned for the first time;
  • What you've improved the most;
  • What you've done best;
  • What you want to learn more about;
  • What you know;
  • Your strengths and talents.
That's it.

(Imagined) Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How will we be graded?
A: Creative/effective communication of a topic that convinces your audience that you've mastered an element of the course = A.

Q: What tools/media can we use to create our presentation?
A: Anything that doesn't harm sentient beings or break any laws/school policies.  Except posters.  No posters.

Q: Is there a time limit?
A: Sort of.  We will be limited by the number of presenting groups in each two-hour final period.  However, if you use online media we can direct the audience to your site for the overtime.  This may be an interesting way to augment/replace what I have in mind over the break.  If your group has planned a presentation that you know won't fit into the final period schedule in its entirety, please plan on showing the "directors' highlights" and walking your audience through it.  Please remember-- and this goes for everyone-- to leave a couple of minutes for Q&A.

Q: Can we collaborate with students in other classes?
A: Yes.  You may collaborate with anyone on Earth.  Extra credit if you collaborate with anyone not on Earth.

Don't forget the secret ingredient.  Please plan to submit your group's proposal in class on Monday, December 3.  Have fun and comment to this post with questions/ideas.

Friday, November 30, 2012

thanks to quinn mattfeld

It's one thing to read Hamlet.  It's quite another thing to actually meet Hamlet.  Thank you to PCPA's Quinn Mattfeld for talking with us today-- so cool to learn Shakespeare from a guy who has lived the material.

You can see Quinn in PCPA's current production of The Wizard of Oz.  Buy tickets here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

*November 29

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Learning to Fly" by Pink Floyd; "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" by X]

Using the word "final" to describe next week's tests gives the wrong impression.  Learning is never over.  Think back on the semester and reflect on what you've learned whether it was about the course content, your own thinking/habits, or even something that you couldn't stand and never want to do again.  How can you use this information to your advantage in the future?

1. Journal/turn in essays
2. Brainstorm: final presentations

1. Study vocab
2. Lit analysis work
3. P3 (Prepare Presentation Proposals)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

*November 28

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Help!" by The Beatles; "With a Little Help From My Friends" by Joe Cocker]

Describe a way you can help someone today.

1. Journal
2. Essay help
3. Grade/blog conferences

1. Rewrite essay
2. Study vocab
3. Lit analysis work

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

*November 27

(to be done after the essay)
How did you do on the essay?  Did yesterday's Q&A help?  What will you need to do in order to ace the final exam next week?

1. Journal
2. In-class essay

Ichabod Crane and Young Goodman Brown face off in a rap battle over the most effective ways of learning American Literature and motivating every single member of the tribe to rock right now.  Crane throws down for Romanticism: the enlightenment, the individual, the transcendence.  Brown comes back with fire-and-brimstone Colonial dogma.  Describe the action and back the battlers with examples from at least two texts and three literary elements from class.  Ultimately it's up to you.  Given your expertise on their literature & your own experience with different tools and styles of learning, what do you think is the best learning solution?  Who wins?

1. Study vocab
2. Lit analysis work

Monday, November 26, 2012

*November 26


Why do people worry and complain?  Is there ever a time when these activities help solve a problem or make a situation better?

1. Journal
2. Discussion: essay topics, approach to work, outcomes for semester

1. Lick your wounds
2. Get the job done

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

you google wrong

I just read this article and realized how helpful it will be in your future endeavors.  How do you Google, and what tips from this article do you find valuable?  If you have some time over the weekend please skim and comment to this post (optional, I know you have a lot on your plate already and we'll discuss some of this in class next week :).

online security

After reading this I'm tempted to change my password to "Whoa."

The good news, I guess, is that there will be more and more jobs available in cyberforensics.

Monday, November 19, 2012

*November 20

JOURNAL TOPIC: [no topic today, please remember to put journals in crate.]

1. Essay

[UPDATE: 9:37 A.M.  After many text/Twitter/email conversations this morning, I hope you turned in whatever you could during class--and my answer to your questions is YES.  I will collaborate with you online this weekend and I will accept your individual/group work on this by Monday.  You can write on paper and bring it with you, you can post to your blog, or you can collaborate with a group and present in any media that shows you have an idea of what you're talking about.  On Monday this will be our agenda.  We'll talk about what we've learned and how we can use the content & experience to prepare for finals.]

(I think I managed to work in just about everyone's suggestions!  This is going to take a lot of suspension of disbelief, though, so buckle up.)

Ichabod Crane and Young Goodman Brown face off in a rap battle over the most effective ways of learning American Literature and motivating every single member of the tribe to rock right now.  Crane throws down for Romanticism: the enlightenment, the individual, the transcendence.  Brown comes back with fire-and-brimstone Colonial dogma.  Describe the action and back the battlers with examples from at least two texts and three literary elements from class.  Ultimately it's up to you.  Given your expertise on their literature & your own experience with different tools and styles of learning, what do you think is the best learning solution?  Who wins?

[Note: For Emily, and anyone who wants to join her, the prompt may be amended as follows.  Using the same elements, Crane and Brown battle over whether Poe is right and all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.  Don't forget the learning solution.]

[Note: For Connor & Matt, and anyone who wants to join them, the prompt may be amended as follows.  Using the same elements, Crane and Brom Bones battle (with Brom taking the traditionalist/Colonial side) at the von Tassels' party.  To the victor goes the love of Katrina, who live tweets the whole thing.]

Earth on Turtle's Back
Richard Cory
Young Goodman Brown
The Laughing Heart
[Paul Auster excerpt about the author in the bus station]
Dream Within a Dream
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
[Literature Analyses]

1. Novelists: finish your novels (Technically you'll still have next week, but--trust me-- you'll want to spend the last few days polishing and not trying to make the word count.)
2. Editors: get to work, your novelists need you
3. Everyone: Literature Analysis work, review vocab for final
4. Everyone: in a blog post entitled "Fall Final Project" propose a project that you and a team can present during the 2-hour final period that will demonstrate what you've learned this semester.  All texts, vocab, genres, literary elements, journal topics, discussions, assignments, and literature analyses are eligible, as are physical/in-person presentations & online/transmedia presentations.  One exception: no posters. :)
5. Happy Thanksgiving.  Thank someone you love, thank someone you like, thank someone you can't stand, and thank someone you haven't met yet.  And, since I don't say it often enough: thank you.

*November 19

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "What's He Building in There" by Tom Waits; "Brain Damage" by Pink Floyd]

What did you learn from the "Brain with 328 Legs"?

1. Journal
2. Discussion: Brain with 328 Legs
2. Vocab review
3. Calendar & preview of coming attractions

1. Comment to this post with suggestions for tomorrow's essay topic

Saturday, November 17, 2012

the brain with 200--er, 328 legs is ALIVE!

[Update Saturday 12:40 P.M.] Watching Hayden, John, Owen, Sara, Vanessa, Eli, Felicitas, and Andrew working on the mind map.  Who knew that the two-minute drill could be this interesting (thanks Feli)? #betterthancollegefootball

[Update: Saturday 2:04 P.M.] Right now it's Ming, Justin, Valerie, Josh, Carlos, Christa, Teanna, Katelyn, and Isiah, the map's so busy John keeps getting blocked out when he tries to post.  (Give the man a chance! :)   #definitelybetterthancollegefootballnowletsgobruins

[Update: Saturday 2:41 P.M.] Christa is having trouble logging onto the mind map so can anyone help by visiting her blog and posting the info (with her name) to the mind map?  Mahalo.

[Update: Saturday 4:47 P.M.] Mackenzie, Alex, Elizabeth, Sam, and Matt are also in the mix.  I ran across the thought, "Books are siege weapons" and realized I'm not sure I know what Queenan means.  Curious to see what you think.  #foramomentcollegefballwasactuallyprettygreatfinalscoreucla38usc28

[Update: Saturday 6:23 P.M.] Thank you Isiah for helping me understand the "siege weapons" reference!  Hey everyone, this looks great so far.  I wish I was an octopus so I could live tweet, post screen shots on Tumblr, and... I'm tired just thinking about it.  Those of you on Twitter will start seeing action from @prestonlearning (about this and coming attractions).  I'm stepping out for the evening, so if you need anything please email.  If you run into trouble that your colleagues can't answer, click the question mark in the circle on the Mindmeister dashboard (top right) and this video series also looks pretty helpful (as always, feel free to search out your own resources and comment here if you find something wonderful).  In a pinch email dpreston.learning@gmail.com.  See you here and on the mind map tomorrow!

[Update: Sunday 10:56 A.M.]  Top o' the morning to Socorro, Reed, Sebastian, Cassidy, Erika, Dulce, Devon, Josh, Michelle, and Kasie, and thanks to everyone who participated overnight.  This is literally the eleventh hour-- if you haven't contributed yet, this is the moment you've been waiting for!

[Update: Sunday 11:58 A.M.]  Great to see course alum Trevor Hudgins on the map!  Ask him anything, he knows more about the platform than anyone else I know.  Also: our 24 hours is up, BUT FEEL FREE TO ADD MORE WHENEVER YOU GET AN IDEA.  We can always tell from the timeline what happened when, and (as you've heard me say a thousand times) ideas often occur to us  well after the conversation.  It's one of the ways we can tell we're learning.  :) 

Friday, November 16, 2012

*November 16

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Searching" by Erykah Badu; "Still Searching" by The Kinks; "The Cave" by Mumford & Sons]

Betrand Russell wrote, “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” Today we're focusing on Russell's second passion. What is your experience in searching for knowledge? Have you ever wandered into a library/store/search engine/community just for the sake of answering a question? If you have, describe the experience: What did you expect to find? How did you unearth information? Where did the process lead you? If you haven't done something like this, visualize a question that intrigues you and imagine how you might go about answering it.

1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. Brain 2.0

Brain 2.0

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

*November 15

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Piano Quintet in A, D 667 The Trout" by Schubert]

[Choose your own topic. Today is an excellent day to show some initiative and creativity.]

1. Journal
2. Vocabulary/mindmap choices
3. T.S. Eliot was no Lee Harvey Oswald
4. Brain 2.0

1. Stake your claim on "6,128 Books"
2. Study vocab
3. Comment to this post with your preferred mindmaps

*November 14

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Come Together" by The Beatles; "Why Can't We Be Friends" by War]

What inspires you to be at your best? Do you work more effectively as an individual, as a member of a group, or does it depend on the task/people/situation? Explain the factors that enable teams to succeed in ways "Lee Harvey Oswalds" can't, and discuss the implications for community and country. For instance, after an event that divides winners and losers (a big game, a court case, an election), how can people come back to the table to work together?

1. Journal
2. Vocab/reading test
3. Collaboration and literature

1. Literature analysis work
2. Study vocabulary
3. Read this and do this.

*brain with 328 legs 2.0: mindmaps & strategy

1. [for Thursday 11.15] Read the definition of mindmap in the screenshot here:

2. [for Thursday 11.15] Familiarize yourself with CMAP and--if you like it-- download the mindmap program

3. [for Thursday 11.15] Determine how we can all contribute to the mindmap. If you don't see a way: 1) ask partner/colleagues for help, and/or 2) find, evaluate and propose a free mindmap platform that allows us all to collaborate.

4. [for Thursday 11.15] Find at least two mindmaps you think are good enough to be models for us all to consider. Cut/paste links to them so we can see what you see. After you list the links, so that we know what to look for, briefly describe what these maps do well and what they could improve.

5. [For Friday 11.16] Skim "My 6,128 Favorite Books." Look for words, ideas and allusions that you don't recognize and/or you'd like to know more about.

6. On Saturday [11.17], at a time we all agree on in class, we will begin working together as fast as we can to populate the mind map. We will have a maximum of 24 hours to complete the mission. We can finish before then if someone who's keeping track calls for a review and we discover that we've covered everything. In fact, now that I think about it, we should probably create some sort of strategic plan before we start-- this way we can decide things like whether we should start in sections, or in different places, or whether we should have specific roles (as in the neo-legendary literature circles of sophomore year).

*brain with 200 legs 2.0

Can 100+ students in three different classes work together to think together online? Some people think this sort of thing is impossible or pointless. Those people haven't seen what I've seen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

literature analysis reminder

Congratulations on finishing #2!  Please select and begin reading your next literature analysis novel, and please bring it to class.  (That will be worth extra credit today; it's an assignment for tomorrow [Wednesday 11.14])

Monday, November 12, 2012

*November 13

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Money Song" by Monty Python; "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits; "Eat the Rich" by Aerosmith]

In the 1960's it was "Can't Buy Me Love" and "All You Need Is Love." In the 1980's it was "Material Girl" and "Money for Nothing." What is the role of money in today's culture and music?

1. Journal
2. Vocab (you already have this week's list, and it's LONG)
3. Study vocabulary: your partner's grade depends on it

1. Make sure you've left no vocabulary stone unturned.  Seriously.
2. Read the article below (and take notes)-- there will be an extensive reading quiz tomorrow along with the vocabulary test (*you read that correctly; welcome to the speed round). As you read, pay particular attention to how collaborative relationships operate offline and think about how we can increase their value by networking online.  Then go back to vocabulary.

DP interdependence article -

Friday, November 9, 2012

RHS WASC accreditation

As some of you know, RHS is going through an accreditation process with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Part of the process involves soliciting feedback from community members.  If you have a few moments this weekend please click here to complete a brief survey about your experience at RHS.


*November 9

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Save it for Later" by The English Beat; "Waiting for a Miracle" by Leonard Cohen; "If Not Now..." by Tracy Chapman]

Meditate on the nature of procrastination.  Ask yourself when it helps you, when it hurts you, and how you can be aware of it and manage it so that it doesn't feel like an(other) overwhelming force in your life that you can't control.

1. Journal/return work
2. Vocab quiz

1. Finish Lit Analysis #2 (due by COB Monday)
2. Start looking into your Big Question and post 1-2 paragraphs to your blog (under title "BQ: First Steps") that explain where you think you can find information that will help you answer the BQ.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

*November 8

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "The Lovebug Itch" by Eddy Arnold; "Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent]

How long can you stand an itch before you scratch it?

1. Journal/turn in quiz HW
2. Big question/exit ticket
3. Writer's conferences
4. Independent/group work: vocab, big questions

1. Post your Big Question to your blog

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

legend of sleepy hollow quiz

Legend of Sleepy Hollow quiz

our chat with bryan alexander

Today we were fortunate to talk with Bryan Alexander.  From Bryan's bio:

Bryan Alexander is senior fellow at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE). He researches, writes, and speaks about emerging trends in the integration of inquiry, pedagogy, and technology and their potential application to liberal arts contexts. Dr. Alexander’s current research interests include emerging pedagogical forms enabled by mobile technologies, learning processes and outcomes associated with immersive environments (as in gaming and augmented reality), the rise of digital humanities, the transformation of scholarly communication, digital storytelling, and futurist methodologies
Dr. Alexander is author of The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media, published in April 2011 by Praeger. He is active online, combining research with communication across multiple venues. He runs the NITLE futures market, a crowd-sourced prediction game. He contributes to Techne, NITLE’s blog, and was lead author for eight years on it predecessor, Liberal Education Today (archive). He also tweets steadily at @BryanAlexander.
Born in New York City, Dr. Alexander earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan in 1997, completing a dissertation on Romantic-era Gothic literature. He taught English literature, writing, information literacy, and information technology studies at Centenary College of Louisiana from 1997 through 2002. He was a 2004 fellow of the Frye Leadership Institute. He lives on a Vermont homestead with his family, where they raise animals and crops, combining broadband with a low-tech lifestyle.

Here is the video of our conversation with Bryan (in two parts):

*November 7

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Someday We'll All Be Free" by Alicia Keys; "America the Beautiful" by Frank Sinatra; "United" by Aretha Franklin]

Yesterday the United States of America elected a president.  What about this experience is uniquely American?  Make at least three connections between our course of study and the broader experience of participating and living in this culture.

1. Journal/collect essays
2. Test on "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
3. A note about literature analyses

1. Find the best video of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and comment to this post with a link
2. Watch "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and compare the experience to reading the story in a post to your blog entitled, "the medium is the message"
3. Use the video and the text to redo today's test so it's perfect

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

when the cat's away...

...the mice learn how to outsmart the cat so they don't have to spend the rest of the semester looking over their shoulders.  Nice work!  (Thanks for the pic, Jacob)

Monday, November 5, 2012

*November 6 (which looks a lot like, yeah, I know)

JOURNAL TOPICS: [today's tunes: "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters; "Heroes" by David Bowie]

Heroes are essential to humanity. Every culture throughout history has chronicled their experiences. Today their role is more important than ever; heroes inspire us to think differently, act differently, and ultimately become better versions of ourselves. Even though everyone gets the general idea of a hero, however, the people we admire are as individual as we are. They may have impressive personalities, intellects or physical attributes; they may be ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary goals; they may be public or private. They may even be our friends and relatives.

Write a letter to someone you consider to be a hero. Explain to this person why s/he is heroic and tell the person how s/he has moved or inspired you.

1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar
[suggested topics: characters and events of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"; the essay; vocabulary; recent speakers; study/blog strategies; "Modern Thinkers"; how the course can provide maximal value to every participant from now until the end of the semester]
3. Take notes on the Socratic seminar and comment to this post with your suggestions for this week's vocabulary list, which will be posted by the time you leave campus tomorrow so you can do HW #1.

(There's a chance I won't be there, so would you please capture on phones and upload to the YouTube channel?  As always please be mindful; before you turn on the camera ask everyone whether it's ok to include their image in the video-- if they say "no" please don't.  Thanks.)

1. Post definitions and sentences/remix to your blog under title "fall vocab #10" (due by COB Monday 11.5)
2. Comment to the romanticism essay post from your Socratic seminar notes
3. Write the romanticism essay and bring a hard copy (typed or handwritten) 

we do these things because they are hard

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy gave a famous speech at Rice University in which he set the tone for accomplishing a seemingly impossible goal-- landing on the moon by the end of the decade-- by saying:

"We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

I know tonight's essay is hard.  That's why I assigned it.  I promise that after writing a draft, getting feedback, and revising, the next one won't seem nearly as hard.   We will reconvene the Socratic seminars tomorrow to make sure we answer your questions from tonight, so please write them down and bring them with you.

Now do your homework.  And keep things in perspective.  The
re is glory in the attempt.  The only way to fail is to avoid trying.  Besides, it's not like I asked you to climb the 103-floor Sears tower with a thought-controlled bionic leg.

vocabulary: fall list #10

So far only Eli has posted words.  Here they are:


I always hate to assume anything in electronic communication-- so many things can go wrong or be misinterpreted-- so I have to ask... does this mean everyone else knows all the words?  And does that mean I should make every word in the story eligible for this week's quiz?  I like your tendency to go big, but that's a tall order, so please let me know either by adding words to this week's list (in comments to this post) or affirming in a comment that, yes, in fact you are a vocabulary titan.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

*November 5

JOURNAL TOPICS: [today's tunes: "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters; "Heroes" by David Bowie]

Heroes are essential to humanity. Every culture throughout history has chronicled their experiences. Today their role is more important than ever; heroes inspire us to think differently, act differently, and ultimately become better versions of ourselves. Even though everyone gets the general idea of a hero, however, the people we admire are as individual as we are. They may have impressive personalities, intellects or physical attributes; they may be ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary goals; they may be public or private. They may even be our friends and relatives.

Write a letter to someone you consider to be a hero. Explain to this person why s/he is heroic and tell the person how s/he has moved or inspired you.

1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar
[suggested topics: characters and events of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"; the essay; vocabulary; recent speakers; study/blog strategies; "Modern Thinkers"; how the course can provide maximal value to every participant from now until the end of the semester]
3. Take notes on the Socratic seminar and comment to this post with your suggestions for this week's vocabulary list, which will be posted by the time you leave campus tomorrow so you can do HW #1.

(There's a chance I won't be there, so would you please capture on phones and upload to the YouTube channel?  As always please be mindful; before you turn on the camera ask everyone whether it's ok to include their image in the video-- if they say "no" please don't.  Thanks.)

1. Post definitions and sentences/remix to your blog under title "fall vocab #10" (due by COB Monday 11.5)
2. Comment to the romanticism essay post from your Socratic seminar notes
3. Write the romanticism essay and bring a hard copy (typed or handwritten) 

romanticism essay

Given what we've learned about Romanticism, is "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" or "Young Goodman Brown" a better example of the genre?  Support your answer by analyzing three of the following literary elements/effects in the work of Irving and Hawthorne:
  • allusion
  • tone
  • in/direct characterization
  • theme 
  • exposition/setting
  • suspension of disbelief
  • personalized, individual-as-narrator or protagonist
Extra credit for references to Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, or Whitman.

Please bring a hard copy (typed or handwritten) to class on Tuesday, 11.6.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

our chat with cory doctorow

On Halloween Cory Doctorow joined us to talk about writing, his new book Pirate Cinema, Internet culture, the evils of content filters, and the future of learning in the Information Age.

Here's the video (Note: Cory's image freezes at 23:58 but the audio goes on and it's worth a listen).

carlos comix

This just in from Carlos Cruz (RHS '12).  Thanks, Carlos!

carlos cruz osl comic -

Friday, November 2, 2012

*November 2


Part I
How does "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" end?

Part II
Now that we're at the end of the second grading period, reflect on your performance in the course.  Given your scores on vocabulary, grades on writing assignments, and your approach to journals/blogs, what grade do you think you've earned?

1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

1. Read "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
2. Read/work on Literature Analysis #3 (due by November 12)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

*November 1


How much did you read last night?  How much will you read tonight?  What will motivate you?  The lure of a good story, the promise of insight, the threat of a test...?

1. Journal
2. "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

1. Study for vocab quiz
2. Skim to the end of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and post the plot to your blog; also include a list of questions you'd like answered in class tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

*October 31


Happy Halloween.  Describe the masks you wear throughout the year (i.e., how/why/when do you act in ways that serve purposes other than expressing your true self)?  Are you the same person with everyone all the time, or do you act differently when you're with your friends, parents, employers, teachers, coaches, etc.?

1. Journal
2. Independent work: novelists and literary analysts
3. "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

1. Read "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" up to the point where Ichabod Crane...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

vocabulary: fall list #9


October 30


Describe a time you freaked someone out.  (Or a time someone freaked you out.)

1. Journal
2. Vocab
3. Continue "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

1. Post vocab definitions and remix

Monday, October 29, 2012

*October 29


What is it about scary stories that scares us?  Why, after watching a scary movie, does every shadow and every sound seem to take on a new significance?

1. Journal
2. Vocab
3. A word on active reading notes
4. Begin "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

1. Post initial impressions of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and vocabulary words to your blog
2. Novelists: Create a file for your work (if you haven't already) and create an account on Pathbrite
3. Non-novelists: identify at least one storytelling technique from "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and post a description with an example to your blog.


Friday, October 26, 2012

a novel proposal

For those who are about to write novels, we salute you!

Here is your first assignment: write a synopsis and a chapter outline of your novel. This will help you provide some structure to the ideas you have, and it will also help editors & page layout/graphic design folks start thinking of ways to contribute.

There are lots of examples online, such as this.

Once you've posted your synopsis and outline to your blog, invite your course colleagues and others in your social networks to comment with feedback. Treat this process like a focus group, and pay attention to what people understand and what may require clarification.

*October 26


This morning there was a fiendish, dusty wind blowing dirt across the highway.  Either: a) Explain why an author would include an element like this in a story, or b) Write your own mini-short story about it right now.

1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. Novelists: ready, set, go!
4. Begin "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

1. Novelists: create your proposal (template will be posted this afternoon)
2. Everyone: post to your blog about the note at the beginning of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (below).  How does it set the tone of the story?  How has this technique been used in other stories (e.g., "The Blair Witch Project")?   



Thursday, October 25, 2012

thought for the evening

I was just reading Howard Rheingold's book Net Smart and I thought this was worth sharing:

I hope that if you're a parent who has read this far, you now have an expanded view of digital culture. And if you're the parent of a teenager, you understand that in addition to them having fun with their friends and maybe ducking their household chores while they are online, your kids are also creating publics, experimenting with identity, teaching each other technosocial skills, and learning to be active creators of culture. I also presume that any parent diligent enough to read this book will be willing to reconsider the mostly false picture promoted by too much bad journalism that has depicted the Web as a den of frivolity, superficiality, and danger to young people. Teenagers need to experiment with who they are and play with different kinds of identities-- and they need to do it with their peers, not just their parents. The public spaces where young people used to hang out have diminished through privatization, surveillance and prohibition-- malls have proliferated while town squares are disappearing; suburbs and urban neighborhoods have few public places where youths are allowed to loiter-- so they have created new peer publics in online spaces. What they are learning is not altogether detrimental to themselves and the society they are going to build when they grow up. (p.245)

howard rheingold

From last week's Forbes magazine:

"Howard Rheingold is truly a digital elder, and I mean that in the most respectful, old-school way. All of the fetishizing of the 'digital native' can distract us from the wisdom of those who experienced and shaped the birth of internet culture, and Rheingold was right there, in time and in space."

I am proud to be able to introduce you to one of the most experienced, prescient digital thinkers of our time. Check out his website, his writings, and (since he asked about it in today's webinar) his Wikipedia entry. Whatever direction tomorrow's conversation takes, I guarantee we'll all learn something.

If you have any questions or ideas you'd like Howard to consider in advance please comment to this post-- I'm sending him the link.

today's online conference with DML

That was fun. As much as we focus on critical thinking, we don't often slow down enough to reflect out loud; the way you described your experiences taught me a lot. Thank you. You can see the whole thing here.

*October 25


When you write, what elements of your personality influence your choices in diction, syntax, topic, and tone? If a future teacher assigned something you wrote, what elements of your biography would be important to understanding it?

1. Journal
2. Vocabulary quiz
3. "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

HW: 1. Active reading notes (see post)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

online conference with howard rheingold

Due to technical difficulties with docstoc and Adobe, I'm embedding this as a .jpg much closer to the date than I intended.  Please approach your 3rd period teacher with polite deference and caution, and reassure him/her that this won't happen again.  Our next conference is with author Cory Doctorow on 10.31 at 7:30 A.M.  I will post the form tomorrow, and I hereby guarantee that you and your teachers will have more lead time for planning in the future.

*October 24


What scares you?

1. Journal
2. Review vocab
3. Collaborative Working Groups
4. Washington Irving (continued)

HW: 1. Finishing reading and taking notes on the Washington Irving article

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

da debate

Here is the YouTube video of the debate. Please comment to this post with at least one logical fallacy and the time marker where it starts. In order to "count" each comment must be validated with a reply that substantively supports or refutes it. Due Thursday 10.25.

macarthur event activity form

DML activity oct12

Monday, October 22, 2012

*October 23


Think of a time when you ended a conversation and LATER thought of the perfect thing to say.  Now review what you saw in last night's presidential debate, and help one of the candidates do the same.  Choose an argument from either candidate that contained a fallacy, and recommend how they might have gotten the point across using sound logic.

1. Journal
2. Analyzing the debate
3. Organize for National Novel Writing Month
4. Background on Washington Irving

1. Finish your vocab remix (definitions mandatory, everything else up to you) for tomorrow (Wed 10.24)

impressive learning story

I thought this story was worth sharing.  If it's something you want to participate i, find a way to contact Mr. Clark and ask.  If he says yes, I'll learn what he requires and how he grades, and you will submit the final work online in a way that contributes to his project. 

*October 22

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["The Logical Song" by Supertramp; "Argument" by Monty Python]

Define at least five logical fallacies from the list. For at least one, explain why it's weak & how you would defeat it.

1. Journal
2. Vocab/remix
3. Logical fallacy highlights

* Check out everyone's remixes and nominate "best of" in comments to this post
1. Watch tonight's presidential debate, track the logical fallacies, and post to your blog.
2. Remix this week's vocabulary list (due Wed 10.24)

filter bubbles

Sunday, October 21, 2012

vocabulary: fall list #8


it's a big week

Looking ahead to the week and excited about what's coming up.  We will be:
  • Formalizing our literature analysis production schedule and reviewing/selecting tools to create our searchable library [Monday]
  • Creating a strategic plan for groups and freelancers to tackle National Novel Writing Month [Tue-Fri]
  • Selecting our next author(s) together
  • Featured guests of the Macarthur Foundation's Digital Media & Learning Hub at the University of California, Irvine (you can see a DML conference with last year's classes here) [Thursday]
  • Conferencing online with Howard Rheingold [Friday]
  • Doing all the usual journal topics, vocabulary, and a take-home essay next weekend [M-F]
This is the week we've been building up to since the first day of school.  Your blogs will probably be read by some very smart, curious, interesting people.  If you haven't yet updated your blog, evaluated your performance on the vocabulary midterm, done your remix, or proofread your posts, clean up: we're having company.

Please also take a moment to click on the links above and think about questions/ideas you want to share during the online conferences.  Adults are curious and concerned about how young people perceive and use today's information technology; this is your chance to tell them.  Howard is one of the foremost authorities on Internet culture so be ready to ask what you really want to know about social media, privacy, information, and Internet use in general.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 19, 2012

logical fallacies recommendation from matt

Hey everyone, Matt Reynolds just submitted a resource that he says, "really helps to understand fallacies."  Check it out here.

*October 19


When teachers say "Use your own words," which words do you actually own?  For that matter, which of your thoughts is completely original (i.e., not based on or influenced by ANY outside information)?

1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. Fallacies
4. Remix

Remix Emerson's "Self-Reliance" in such a way that it will help your blog's audience better understand the ideas and/or Emerson's writing techniques. Post it to your blog (and our YouTube channel if it's a vid) and invite your friends to view it. [Note: This assignment won't count unless a minimum of 5 people have commented to your post by the time I tour the blogs Sunday evening.]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

remix resources

Here is Kirby Ferguson, creator of the Everything is a Remix series, explaining his theory of creative inspiration, remix, and cultural commons, and citing some of history's best-loved "individual" creators and explaining how what they did was a remix, i.e., an extension and a part of the work that came before them.

2011/08 Kirby Ferguson from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

Here is an example of an augmentative remix (contributed by course alum Maddy Hunt) in which a live talk by Sir Ken Robinson is reconfigured into two different visual media:

*October 18


Think of an old song or movie that was remade for a modern audience. Which version was better? Why? How did modern technology and language add or detract from the original meaning?

1. Journal
2. Re-mixing Emerson's "On Self-Reliance"
3. Ricky and Uriel remix the curriculum

1. Read your literature analysis book
2. Watch & take notes on remix resources
3. [UPDATE 7:56] Post to your blogs about how Ricky and Uriel connected the dots between the David Guetta movie and the course (due Friday)
4. Pick three fallacies from the list that you want to talk about tomorrow

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

nothing but the beat

Here is the movie that Uriel connected to the course:

logical fallacies

logical fallacies -

*October 17


How much of your thinking is private?  Can other people tell what you think or do you have to tell them?

1. Journal
2. Your mind is an open book
3. "Self-Reliance"
4. Logical fallacies

1. Listen to any conversation (TV/movie ok) and find an example of the ad hominem fallacy. Post to your blog under the title "Ad Hominem" and write: the definition of the term, the example you overheard (edited for language, if necessary), and how it qualifies as an illustration of the fallacy.
2. Watch the movie that Uriel recommended so you know what he's talking about tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"who's winning?"

It's the most American question there is.  And right now the answer is you, because you're seeing this and therefore likely to capitalize on the extra credit opportunity by answering the questions below in a comment to this post.

1. What does it take to win an argument?  Is this/should this be the same criteria we use to select a president?

2. Who do you think won tonight's debate?  Describe in detail three reasons for your answer.

*October 16


Describe something that is truly important to you.

1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar: Emerson's "Self-Reliance"

1. Create a post on your blog entitled "Self-Reliance."  Include your answers to the assigned questions, and anything else you think is relevant and important.
2. Watch tonight's presidential debate and take notes on anything you think is an error.

Monday, October 15, 2012

*October 15

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge; "All in the Family (TV Theme)" by Lee Adams & Charles Strouse; "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by John Williams]

What collaborative opportunities did you take advantage of last week?  What else could you have done & how do you plan to take more advantage in the future?  What did you discover through working with others that you couldn't have/wouldn't have on your own?

1. Journal
2. Test on "Self-Reliance"
3. National Novel Writing Month projects
4. Introduction to logical fallacies

1. Revise and extend your notes from today's quiz.  (You can do this on paper, no blogging required unless you find it helpful.)  Come to class ready to ask and answer questions.

Friday, October 12, 2012

looking for a great idea to write about?

One thing you can do to boost your creativity is go to sleep.  According to mentalfloss.com, "If bestselling authors are any indication, we should all be taking our worst nightmares and turning them into blockbuster novels."

Monday, October 8, 2012

*October 9-12


Have you ever been told to learn something for yourself?  Describe the experience and the results.

Report on your efforts to understand Emerson's essay on self-reliance.  How are you approaching the task?  How much time are you spending?  How hard are you trying?  Which ideas of Emerson's are clear and which are confusing?  What is the point of his essay and how does it relate to what you're being asked to do this week?

1. Journal
2. Self-directed study of Emerson's "Self-Reliance"

1. Self-directed study of Emerson's "Self-Reliance"


There are those who believe that today's students must be spoon-fed everything in order to think.  This is antithetical* (*look it up) to the idea of Americans as independent, free thinkers who are motivated to improve our lives and our nation in order to form a "more perfect union."

Kudos to those of you who signed up for roles related to National Novel Writing Month.  We will form working groups in class on Monday, 10.15.

But the first item on the agenda that day will be a test on Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous essay entitled "Self-Reliance" (which you can read at emersoncentral.com here or after the jump in this post).

In order to understand Emerson's essay you will probably have to employ several strategies, including:
  • reading it more than once
  • consulting with your peers
  • consulting a dictionary to identify and understand each and every single word you don't understand
  • consulting credible sources such as this one
Apart from the vocabulary, this is your only assignment this week.  Your journals and your time in class will be geared toward supporting your efforts.  If you need help, reach out.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

*October 8


Describe a fireworks show to a blind person.

1. Journal
2. Vocabulary

1. Post vocabulary definitions and sentences to your blog.

vocabulary: fall list #7

ad infinitum
 bona fide

welcome to the open press

In August we began a discussion about writing books for National Novel Writing Month, which goes from November 1-30.

If you do a quick search on the "history of book publishing" you will quickly discover that, as the online Encyclopedia Britannica puts it, "The history of publishing is characterized by a close interplay of technological innovation and social change, each promoting the other."

Publishing used to be something only people with printing presses and/or lots of money could do.  Now any of us can walk into a public library, start a blog, and find an audience.

So... *POOF!*

We're now a publishing house.

Some of you are interested in writing a book.  That is a bold endeavor and it's not something that an individual does alone.  There are many aspects to writing, and even more needs to be done to create a finished book.  Every author needs support in the form of editing, page layout, graphic design, etc.

Please comment to this post with an idea of what you do well and how you'd like to participate.  If you're writing a book, you will be deep into one project; if you're performing a support function you may have the option to work on more than one.

(NOTE: In the words of Rush, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."  If you do not comment to this post by Monday [10.8] night, your role-- and a large part of your obligation to this course for the rest of the semester-- will be decided by someone else.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

who do you want to be today?

Be this guy; Not this guy.

*October 5

JOURNAL TOPIC: [no tunes/topic today, it's straight to business.]

1. Vocabulary midterm

1. Reflect on your midterm by answering the following questions in a post to your blog: a) What went well?  b) What didn't go well?  c) How much of the content will stick with you?  d) What can you learn from the experience to improve for next time?

2. TBA :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

cameron's number one...

...on Google when you search using the terms "audience for earth on turtle's back"

*October 4

JOURNAL TOPIC: (today's tunes: "Apeman" by The Kinks; "Let It Be" by The Beatles]

Summarize last night's reading-- or explain why you didn't do your homework.

1. Journal
2. Transcendentalism
3. Poetry in motion (?)

1. Review for midterm (and sleep-- if you studied this week you shouldn't have to cram :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

*October 3

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "You're Dreaming" by Katchafire; "Wet Dream" by Kip Addotta; "Crazy Dream" by Los Lonely Boys]

Describe the most memorable dream you've ever had.

1. Journal
2. Dream
3. Within
4. A
5. Dream

1. Read this page and be prepared for an interesting conversation (and maybe a quiz) Thursday

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

from thoreau's walden

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to 'glorify God and enjoy him forever.'

Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!

*October 2

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Mother Nature's Son" by The Beatles; "Pacific Shores" by The Sounds of Nature]

What would Thoreau say about the pressures of high school: tests, grades, cliques, Homecoming dates...

1. Journal
2. Thoreau (II)
3. Vocabulary/Thoreau writing

1. Study for the vocabulary midterm Friday, 10.5

Monday, October 1, 2012

fall vocabulary page for midterm review

Several students asked me to put the vocabulary words in one place for easy reference, so I compiled the lists and put them here

literature analysis #1

The questions for your first literature analysis are here. Please post the answers to your blog by Friday, 10.5.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

reminder: vocab midterm fri 10.5

To those vocabulary champions who have been watching the blog and wondering why List #7 hasn't been posted, this is a reminder that this week is the midterm.  Everything on lists 1-6 is eligible.  You will have time in class on Monday to organize yourselves for the purpose.

The goal is perfection. :)

*October 1

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: up to you]

In schooling the word "test" has a particular set of connotations.  In the world, being tested means different things altogether.  Describe something from your life outside school that tested you.  How?  What did you learn?  Did you pass or fail?

1. Journal
2. Midterm preparation:
  • Determine what resources you'll need (vocabulary lists, to be sure, but what else will help you study?  flashcards?  software/apps?  other people?)
  • Talk and collaborate with people you want to team with
  • Create a schedule for yourself from today until Friday
  • Write a checklist on a piece of paper or device so that you can measure your progress each day
[UPDATE: I'm posting this the day before so that those of you who want to think about this and organize online can get started.]

1. Post your midterm review/study strategy to your blog.
2. Review at least 10 of your colleagues' blogs and comment with suggestions, questions, and thank-yous for good ideas.  If you get an idea worth using from someone else's blog, revise the strategy on your post to include it.  Credit the person who shared the idea by citing his/her blog as the source and including a link back to it.
3. If you find a blog that's worth an honorable mention for content or design, please comment to this post with the URL so that we can all see.

Friday, September 28, 2012

*September 28

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "We're All Alone" by Boz Scaggs; "Solitude" by Herbie Hancock]

Blaise Pascal observed that, "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit still in a room alone."  Do you agree or disagree?  How do you feel in those moments when there is no noise, the screens are all dark, the books are all closed, and your only companion is the little voice inside?

1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. Intro to Thoreau's "Walden"

1. Spend time with "Dream Within a Dream"-- you'll need to be able to recite it from memory by Wednesday, 10.3
2. Take a walk by yourself.  Think.  Observe.  Write it all down.
3. Research Romanticism online and find 3 websites you think are credible.  Bookmark or cut/paste the URLs.
4. Using what you learned on these websites, read what you wrote and analyze whether it qualifies as Romantic literature.  Provide at least three reasons for your conclusion.
5. Post all the information from #1-3 to your blog by Monday, 10.1

Didn't memorize "Richard Cory," "Immigrants in Our Own Land" or "The Laughing Heart"?  You can salvage your grade in this domain by memorizing "The Raven" (text after the jump).  If you think it's too long, consider that everyone in my crappy LA junior high school's 7th grade English class-- including the kids who were just learning English-- did it.  We weren't any better or smarter than you.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

*September 27

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Break on Through" by The Doors; "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" by Eliza Gilkyson (with a nod to Bob Dylan); "Rusty Cage" by Soundgarden]

Describe something you want to transcend.

1. Journal
2. "Dream Within a Dream"
3. Romanticism
4. Vocab review

1. Study for vocab quiz tomorrow

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

*September 26

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Walking Man" by James Taylor; "My Way" by Frank Sinatra; "Hazy Shade of Winter" by Simon & Garfunkel]

Listen to the lyrics of today's tunes. Write down examples of figurative language and imagery. When you get 3-5 for each song, explain how these ideas and ways of expressing them give you a sense of what the song is about.

1. Journal/discuss
2. YGB prompt & essay writing strategies
3. Hopeless Romanticism

1. Read Poe's "Dream Within A Dream" (after the break) and post a one-paragraph reaction/reflection to your blog.

Monday, September 24, 2012

*September 25

JOURNAL TOPIC: [radio silence, Project Infinity credit if the class can agree on a tune, hum in unison, and video/post to someone's blog]

Choose your own topic.  Since this should be of more interest to you than whatever someone else assigns, write closer to a page (or keep writing the whole period).

1. Journal
2. Work independently on vocabulary and/or literature analysis questions

1. Read your literature analysis book (remember that it needs to be finished by 10.1)

Vocabulary: Fall List #6


*September 24

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Isn't It Romantic" by Chet Baker; "A Fine Romance" by Ella Fitzgerald; "What I Like About You" by The Romantics]

What do the words romance and romantic mean to you?  Have you heard of Romanticism?  Do you think it means the same thing(s), or something else in the context of literature?  There's no way to get this wrong (yet), so throw in everything you think you know.

1. Journal
2. Vocab/finish writers' conferences
3. Intro to Romanticism (part I: part II will be Wednesday)
4. Your lit analysis book

1. Vocab definitions and sentences
2. Please bring your literature analysis book to class every day, and especially Tuesday 9.25

Friday, September 21, 2012

"self-regulated learners"

I just got an email advertising the online conference below, which costs $345 to attend.  Shouldn't college freshmen-- who are legally adults and theoretically able to lead independent lives in our culture and economy-- be able to think, plan, and take action independently by the time they graduate HS?  Please comment with your thoughts.

the art of hosting good conversations online

(original online here)

The Art of Hosting Good Conversations Online

questions/ideas for howard rheingold

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Open Source Learning is connecting directly with authors and thinkers who create the materials we read and discuss.  At the end of October we will be talking online with Howard Rheingold.  (In addition to his own writing and teaching, Howard moderates online events for the University of California Irvine's Digital Media & Learning Hub, which is funded by the Macarthur Foundation.)

Another distinguishing characteristic of Open Source Learning is the idea that every participant can "write" to the curriculum-- in other words, we all create and refine our path(s) of inquiry by asking questions and suggesting resources, ideas and actions that accelerate understanding.

Lastly, Open Source Learning is transparent; online data can be shared in its original form.

Here's an example: Howard and I exchanged emails in which we discussed the online conferences.  I asked him about topics and he said it's up to you.  So, please comment to this post over the next month with anything you'd like to see considered in our conversation with Howard.

*September 21

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["You Learn" by Alanis Morissette; "Short Memory" by Midnight Oil]

President Roosevelt visited nonagenarian Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in the hospital and was surprised to discover the old man reading a book on Greek grammar. "Why are you reading Greek grammar?" the president asked. "To improve my mind," the justice replied. Many students rightly want to get out of school, but mistakenly believe that their learning ends when they drop out or graduate. What is the difference between learning and schooling, and what is the value of learning in your life? How long do you plan to keep it up?

1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. Writers' conferences/jump start weekend HW

1. NOW post your essay revision/improvement strategy to your blog
2. Read your literature analysis book and take reading notes


Thursday, September 20, 2012

*September 20

JOURNAL TOPIC: [radio silence, Project Infinity credit if the class can agree on a tune, hum in unison, and video/post to someone's blog]

Choose your own topic.  Since this should be of more interest to you than whatever someone else assigns, write closer to a page (or keep writing the whole period).

1. Journal
2. Vocab
3. Read literature analysis novel
4. Catch up on any outstanding assignments

1. Study vocab for tomorrow's quiz

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

*September 19

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett; "Strength, Courage & Wisdom" by India Arie]

Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden observed, "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."  Briefly describe your character and your reputation.  What differences do you see between the two?

1. Journal
2. Reading quiz: your American novel
3. Writers' conferences/vocab study

1. Choose a novel if you haven't yet & bring it to class tomorrow (p.1 don't disappoint Bernardo!; p.2 don't disappoint Kristina!)
2. Vocab