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"That's not writing; that's just typing." –Truman Capote

You Are Supernatural: Weekend Blog Post

Hi there.

This week, we’ve spent a great deal of time on detail, observation, description, careful crafting of language to communicate a specific tone/feeling/setting/etc. Yesterday, Seth was talking to you about a number of things, but chief among them was imagination. Creativity. Inspiration. I cannot tell you how it pains me to hear you all groan But I’m not creative! Because you are. You’ve just forgotten.

And I am going to force you to remember.

This weekend, I’m asking you to go find cool stuff on the internet and when something strikes you as interesting, unique, creative, inspiring, etc, use it to prompt your blog post. Perhaps you snoop around on Vimeo and find some crazy video that gets your imagination buzzing–embed it in a blog post in which you discuss what you dig about the video and/or how it inspires you and/or something that you wrote as inspired by said video. Cool Tumblr images might take the place of the video. Maybe it’s from YouTube and not Vimeo–that stuff doesn’t matter, the goal is to find something interesting and let it inspire you and then write about it. Maybe it will inspire you to dig out your finger paints–go for it. And then blog about it.

You and your big, beautiful brains need to remember how to create.

Here’s a super cool video to get you started:

The Vein / Magma from Dvein on Vimeo.

Your Observations

These are the observations you shared with us yesterday. 3rd and 4th block. This is how I recorded them, so if it doesn’t make sense…well, then it doesn’t.

Three spiders in house + Backstreet Boys

People are passionate about childhood movies

Turkey has an avg of 3,000 feathers

This month has rained more than snowed

Majority of items owned are blue

Lady bite apple in Target and puts it back

Listen—hear blood pumping in ears

Classrooms with windows = better participation

Gets dark at 5:18 dark blue to black

Humans baboon, chimps are only animals to kiss

9 yr old having a boyfriend

7thgrade girls have horrible style (aero uggs and baggy jeans)

News makes my parents angry – they yell at the TV

Contrast b/w public cheer and angst

Making eye contact with teachers during tests is very very scary

Formula for WHS girl: Uggs, Lulus, Northface, Caribou cup

Pomegranates looks really strange  (overall)

When we blush, it evokes sympathy of those around us (adrenaline response to stimuli)

NPR!!!!!!!! Poems about food: eating is the only form of professionalism tha tmost people ever attain

There’s a water bottle in my ceiling

Bathroom stall 2nd floor D wing: Keep Calm and Breathe

Spyhouse Cafe—girl walking with 2 guys…chucked the flowers

Telephone poles look like crooked cacti

Norwegian chess player (peeps are obsessed)

Ellie stares at people at stoplights awks

DQ meal– chicken tenders come with toast

No 2 laughs are the same 

7 lovely logics: (advice)

All the classrooms in the horseshoes have windows with blinds (that are in bad condition) so during lockdowns, the blinds don’t really help…

Grandma’s house: tiling and carpet separated by thin metal transitions that wiggle

Strange how people share intimate details about their lives with their hairdressers (counseling)

Food: sensory experience versus cognitive awareness

In Romania Christmas eve—no decorations, Christmas day is when decorations appear

The way people treat their pets says a lot about how they treat other/their character

Trail run: in the woods, beware purple thorns

The world is never completely silent

People are either staunchly, stubbornly closed minded or apathetic

Highway, white sedan, little old ladies surrounding tall man

APUSH didn’t mention anniversary of Gettysburg…but AP CALC did!

It’s fun to hold/smell money flashback and realizations about money

People have tics and habits and mannerisms

Brother’s long hair “weird woman”

Email: etiquette is missing in many exchanges with adults (it reflects poorly on them)

When teacher leaves the classroom during a test/quiz …cheating? Nope.

One camera for each level…surveillance

Hanukkah begins the day before Thanksgiving this year.

Ms. Boyd swears. (When girls fight.)

When a person dies, the brain is active for 7 minutes: WAKING LIFE

The girl who sits in front of me just had a 10 minute discussion with her table-mates about the popular game “Candy Crush”. I have never played it, but apparently she heard on a night-time news program the previous night that changes to the game were in planning. There is mutual outrage among the involved parties. Clearly “Candy Crush” is a major part of their day to day existence. This is troubling …

Happy Weekend

This weekend, you’re exploring 10 words from that mondo list–look into origin and etymology, look into context, connotation, usage, etc. and write 2 exemplar sentences that demonstrate the accurate use of the words. These sentences should aim to be legitimate and believable–not halting and awkward.

Also this weekend, you’re hunting for a passage of mind-blowingly good writing. Find and bring in a passage that exemplifies qualities of good writing–a passage that you’d commit to memory if you were ever compelled to do such a thing. It can be any genre, any form. No more than a page.

New BLA groups will meet briefly on Tuesday to finalize their plans. The following week, Nov. 26th, will be the first official BLA meeting. (That’s the day right before Thanksgiving break.)

Keep up with those observations journals. Remember to blend fun facts, random things, stories, bits of conversation, thoughts, etc. Sometimes pause and write for a while. Explain why you find something interesting, what you notice about it and why it maybe seems interesting to you. Other times you can just record snippets.

As for your weekend blog post, please write something based on a conversation you overheard or participated in. Take this however you’d like, but offer a little blurb of introduction before your post that explains where and when this conversation took place and whether or not you were a participant or merely a snooping bystander. Have some fun with it. Craft your words, don’t just barf up a story.

The Art of Looking

The Art of Looking is the article/essay you are reading for tomorrow. This link takes you to one of the greatest resources for interesting things I have ever known ever: I love it.

A more printer-friendly version is on our moodle page and I’m working on putting it on my website, too. Read it. Enjoy it. Heed the suggestions to observe your surroundings and learn from them.

This directly feeds into your observations journal.

Grades and Things

Hi cats and kittens.

Don’t email me forty times about your grade and skyward and all that. Nothing is finalized. I am still grading and entering scores and adjusting scores and all of that good stuff. Settle.

Term 1 Final: Take Home Portion

Watch this video. Identify his argument. Respond to it intelligently. In under 300 words.

Due tomorrow when you walk in the door. Typed.

Scary Stuff

Hi. Sorry about the delay…things just happen sometimes.

This weekend, I’d like you to blog about fear. If this means you mull over the abstract concept of fear and wish to write about it that way, go nuts. If you’d rather write about things that scare you, or things that people generally find scary and explore why, sweet. If you end up writing about fear in some other capacity, that’s fine, too.

And if you get to scared during this process, just pause and look at this puppy:
Isn’t he just the ugliest puppy you’ve ever seen?

Speaking of fear, you all have this incredible fear of “failure” (and by “failure” I mean getting anything less than a perfect score on anything and everything). This is madness, people. I get why this happens, but at some point you’ve really got to settle down. This is just high school. This is where you are supposed to take risks and make mistakes and learn from them. But since I understand your neurosis, let me remind you that Monday will be a review/study day for our term final (course midterm). Bring in any/all materials you have and be prepared to make a mess of them and then re-organize them. This isn’t really a test you can study for in the traditional sense. You can, however, review certain materials and remind yourself how to analyze and read closely. Actually, all “studying” really ought to be just this. Tests are designed to measure what you have learned thus far. They should be sprung on you without warning to be accurate. But you all freak out too much and there’s too much emphasis placed on the results, so we’ve quit doing that. Instead we warn you well in advance so you can prepare, which isn’t a bad thing if it helps you learn the material more deeply.

Happy “studying” everyone!

How About Those Zombies?

Alright, so.

You’re revising your little tails off this weekend. Good. This is the writing process, folks. Remember to, first and foremost, write an interesting and solid essay. Stop worrying about what “I want”–I’ve told you what I want: interesting, thoughtful, and engaging writing.  Do that. Worry about whether what you’re writing is any good in general terms not what grade you’re going to get. If you do good work, the grade will take care of itself. If you panic and default to sad, boring, stilted, studenty writing, the grades will likewise reflect that. Consult the original assignment sheet–there is valuable information there–and go through the workshop/revision steps in that blue packet. I am only collecting your final draft, so go ahead and set the other drafts on fire if you want. Really, it’s cathartic.

You need to read that “Extended Language” piece for our work next week. Reading all of that and working on your essay and blogging and doing everything else you must do is probably kind of a lot. Read it when you can, I am not going to sniff out those of you who haven’t read it yet on Monday, but it will help you to make sense of what we’re doing Monday and Tuesday so… you know, read it, but sleep, too.

Your blog post is not open topic this weekend. Instead, pay attention to the lyrics of a song you have been listening to recently. Post the song and/or the lyrics and then comment on them.  (When I say “comment on them” I mean make some sense of them, see what you notice about them, explain how they are oh-so-effective and why. Not like mad-rhetorical-analysis-why, but some kind of why.)

Oh, and stay warm because suddenly winter is all: 

Those Essays of Yours

Hey, remember when I moved your due date to Monday and you all cheered jubilantly? That was hilarious. I hope you learn something from this: I may expect you do so hard things but I am not altogether unreasonable, nor am I “out to get you” or some such nonsense. It took us a little longer to get through the documentary and I really wanted to be able to talk about it, so a concession I make is that we shove some things around. So what does this mean? It means this:

Tomorrow is our field trip to see King-Fu Zombies vs. Cannibals. Meet at the Trojan Head at the beginning of second block. Bring a bag lunch.

Friday you must have a printed draft of your essay in class for shredding and dismembering revisions and other workshop goodness. See blue packet you picked up for details about this revision.

Over the weekend, you’ll have your usual weekend blog post, your essay to make awesome, and that “Extended Language” reading which is a xeroxed textbook chapter, so plan accordingly. This chapter should be read by early next week. Monday would be great. Tuesday is, I think, more realistic for you. It will inform the work we do next week and the work we will carryover into next term, so treat it accordingly.

End-of-term BLA stuff is right around the corner. I will tell you about it on Friday.

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