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.


  1. This is the first time I have ever looked forward to writing an essay. Awesome topic!

  2. i know the class decided to go in a different direction today, But may i write the essay? Pleaseee :) ?

    1. Absolutely! And that goes for everyone. If it wasn't clear in the update at the top of this post, I expect everyone to have some sort of answer to the essay topic by Monday. That can be a traditional pen/paper essay, it can be posted to your blog, or it can be a representation in a different medium (video, mind map, remix,...?)

    2. oh my gosh thank you! now im kind of looking forward to writing this. weird huh?

  3. I'm not sure if this is because I've been writing a novel for the past month or simply because this topic is more playful than any essay topic I've received before, but when it comes to writing i feel as if I'm writing/telling a story, not an essay. I'm not entirely sure how to word or format it in essay form. I also have a question on the topic about Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones. What exactly is Brom Bones argument ? Is Ichabod Crane's rap the same as in the original prompt?

    1. So? What's wrong with telling a story? As long as you have a main point (thesis), and you show that you understand the basics of Romanticism & Colonial literature and literary techniques, does it matter whether your style is expository or narrative?

    2. RE: Jasmine's question about Brom Bones, I cast him in the same role as Young Goodman Brown in the first prompt-- that is, he is arguing for Colonial literature (the old rules-based approach).