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As before, if you have kept up with your blogging, this assignment will be a relatively straightforward operation. If you have some catching up to do, here is your opportunity to do so.
My intention is that preparing your blog portfolio, revisiting past entries, filling in the gaps in your own written responses, and participating in follow-up conversations with your peers will be a useful review for your final.
In the past, students have written their own fiction or poetry, that responds to the literary works we have studied. They have written and performed songs (in person and via YouTube). For example, Katie Lantz wrote a song and posted it to YouTube, synthesizing and commenting on the whole semester.
I'm completely open to whatever you want to try.
Recently, two students performed interpretive dances, wordlessly acting out key scenes from literary works. Rather than simply summarizing, they performed the same scenes in different ways, highlighting the different emotional possibilities within the text.
A shy student brought in a yellow piece of poster board, stood behind it, and delivered a monologue in the persona of the wall from The Yellow Wallpaper.
Be ambitious. Be interesting. Be surprising. Be interactive.
- Length: Seven minutes. (I will cut you off at eight minutes. If you join with a classmate, you will share 15 minutes.)
- Goal Statement: One page, typed. What intellectual task are you trying to accomplish for your classmates, and how are your creative choices helping them to achieve that goal? (Hand it to me before you begin.)
- Ambition: where does your presentation show an element of calculated risk-taking?
- Interaction: how did you engage your peers, giving them the chance to participate in the experience?
While you are here, take a moment to look at the Dec 1 class meeting page. Note that I'm giving everyone the option of bringing a 3x5 index card of notes to the final exam -- but I'm asking that you submit the card at the beginning of class on Dec 1. I will return the card to you at the beginning of the final exam. Otherwise, the final exam is not open book or open notes.
Here are links to EL266 podcasts (Ex 5).
Assignment: Listen to and blog about two podcasts -- the ones above and below your names. (Valerie and Alexi, please listen to each other's podcasts.)
You can create a single blog entry. Submit it by posting the URL in a comment from this page.
Depending on your speaking rate, 3 minutes will be about 500 words, or about two double-spaced pages. That could mean a scene from a work of fiction, part of a longer poem, or several short poems.
Submit your file by e-mailing it to me. (I suggest that you practice sending me a file sooner, so that we can be sure I can open it.)
You may use any tool, including Evernote on your iPad, Garage Band on your Mac, or Sound Recorder on a Windows machine. (If you bring your own laptop to my office hour, I will do what I can to help you, but the IT department has a small podcasting studio, that you can reserve in order to record your podcast with the help of a CIT work-study student.)
General microphone tips:
- The microphone in your iPad has been good enough for in-class
activities, but I encourage you to use better equipment. (The SHU
laptops have an excellent microphone, and I have a few I can loan you.)
- Rather than shout into the microphone, get your mouth a few inches away from it and speak clearly but normally.
- Avoid blowing into the microphone when you say words with "p" or "t," or you'll get a distracting popping sound.
- Excellent: speaker's voice is clear; no dead space before or after the recording; no distracting background noises (papers shuffling, chairs squeaking) or static; volume levels are steady (and strong) throughout; no distortions or "popping" (which comes from blowing on the microphone when you say a word like "pop").
- Acceptable: speaker's voice is audible; minimal dead spaces (no more than what anyone would tolerate in a conversation); any distortions, background noises or volume changes don't detract from the ability to hear the speaker
- Weak: dead time (longer than we would ordinarily tolerate in a conversation); distracting background noises; voice is distorted (from speaking too loud, too close to the microphone) or too quiet (from speaking too far away from the microphone).
Reading from literary works
How can you use your voice to convey meaning? You can get louder or softer; you can speed up or slow down. If you listen closely, you can tell over the phone when someone is smiling, and if someone you're talking to suddenly stops talking, even a brief silence can be effective.
Apply what you learned from writing the 200-word paragraphs. Refer also to the "Academic Tone" handout, for tips on how to move from personal statements like "I like Hester better than Dimmesdale" to an analytical argument, such as "Hawthorne uses Dimmesdale's many weaknesses in order to highlight Hester's strengths. In fact, if Hawthorne had made Dimmesdale had been a stronger man, he would have not created the trials that made Hester such a believably strong character."
An interpretation offers an opinion, supported by evidence.
About 150 words, uploaded to Turnitin.com by 5pm.
Where do you see FACTS, OPINIONS, and JUDGMENTS in your academic source?
How does your author use sources? (How long are the quotes, to what extent do they summarize, what purpose do they serve?)
Upload your response to the Nov 8 slot in Turnitin.com, by 5pm Friday. Demonstrate your ability to support a thesis by quoting from primary sources (the assigned literary works). No outside research is necessary for this activity.
(The poem is in the handout I distributed during class Wednesday.)
Share 1-2 pages of notes, as part of a 3-4 minute class discussion.
You may choose
- any Emily Dickinson poem that we have not already read in class (that means, please do not choose any poems from the "Nature" section that was assigned earlier in the term), or
- any Edgar Allan Poe poem (I suggest you start with The Raven and Other Poems)
Bring to Class
- Printout of the poems (to project as you read; this will greatly help the class focus on the content of the poem)
- Printout of 1-2 pages of notes (for you to hand to me when you finish your presentation)
- Sample close reading demonstration (demonstrate your ability to make a point by calling our attention to a specific passage in one or more poems)
- Discussion question (what do you feel is worth discussing?)
- Be engaging. You don't have to memorize the poem. You may prepare a recording, or you may recite your selection(s) live.
- Choose unlikely poems. (I'm banning Poe's "The Raven" and Dickinson's "The Chariot".)
- Don't worry about being "right." Just focus on how your oral presentation follows from the poems themselves. (You might, for instance, look at style, word choice, imagery, symbolism, genre, and/or anything covered in any chapter of Foster's How To Read Literature...)
I plan to be generous. Think of this activity as a dry run for Ex 5. Here are the areas where I will give you feedback.
- Excellent: Complete and legible
- Weak/unacceptable: Incomplete or hard-to-read
- Excellent: Clear, insightful, deep, organized;
- Acceptable: careful, varied, thoughtful
- Weak: disorganized, random, spotty
Update: More about the content of the "notes" section. The notes can include lists or an outline of taking points; I would prefer a list of brief statements, rather than a full-blown essay. You can write it informally, just as you would a blog entry. Your notes should demonstrate the breadth of ideas you have found when you analyzed the words. If you find interesting cultural or historical references, or you find possible connections to the poet's life, make sure any such details are there to serve and support the ideas you find in the writing itself.Sample Close Reading
(You do not need to answer every one of these questions, but here are some questions to consider: What do you want to say about the poetry you chose? What do you hope the class will comment on? To what details will you direct the attention of the class, and how will you encourage them to think about the issues you want to discuss? What direct questions will you ask the class, and what variety of answers do you think you might get? Do the questions you want to ask the class have an obvious answer? Will the class think you are fishing for a specific "correct" answer, or will the class think you are actually interested in their own interpretations? How will you react if the class offers an interpretation that differs from the one you chose? What do you hope the class will take away from the experience?)
- Excellent: Insightfully and unexpectedly linked to your main point
- Acceptable: Clearly and productively connected to your main point
- Weak: Loosely connected, with a focus on summary, personal opinions, praising or scolding the author or characters, etc.
- Excellent: Generates debate. Provides the class with new information to apply to the work(s) you chose.
- Acceptable: Encourages the class to return to the text for evidence.
- Weak: May be an obvious or limited ("yes/no") answer; may invite personal feelings or plot summary rather than literary analysis
- Excellent: Clear voice, good use of space (including eye contact, physical motions, interaction with classmates), and an insightful, challenging, well-supported main point
- Acceptable: Audible voice; not reading word-for-word from a page; evidence of personal commitment to this project
- Weak: Hard to hear (I may have to ask you to speak up more than once); little or no interaction with class