Sunday, April 19, 2015

Calenda and blog

After a hiatus, we're up and running (well, in my case, walking) again. Be sure to check the calendar, which will be updated each day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Odyssey questions

Below are the three questions we arrived at today. (Good work!) Prepare for two of the questions. (I suggest you write an outline and think through an opening paragraph. You will not be able to use those notes in class, however.) I will, on Friday, provide you with two questions, and you will respond to one of them.

In an organized manner essay, you will use events and details from The Odyssey to defend your position on one of these questions. Don’t simply retell the story. Always remember that you’re trying to prove something, not simply tell me what you remember.

1. The gods help and hinder Odysseus on his journey home. Overall, do the actions of the gods benefit Odysseus or harm him and his quest?

2. Penelope is presented as a character rich in wonderful qualities. In what ways does the text compare and contrast her with other characters in order to amplify our sense of her outstanding personal qualities?

3. Do the heroic qualities demonstrated by Odysseus make him more or less human? That is, do we see him as someone whose heroic traits make him relatable or, instead, inaccessible?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Oedipus Rex–Minority Report Assignment

I've posted links at right to both the assignment and the draft script.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Orwell reading and writing

For Feb. 2, read Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant."

Writing assignment: When discussing "A Hanging," we talked about how Orwell uses details as a way to give us something to think about beyond what we're being directly told. Orwell invites us to think about what he's showing us. Yes, he tells us how he realizes, in a surprising moment, the humanity of the condemned man, but he also lets us judge the situation for ourselves by providing us with the details of everything he observes and juxtaposing radically opposing moods and images (for example: death/laughter; chasing the dog/approaching the gallows). We saw also how Orwell doesn't pronounce judgment on the group that witnessed the hanging, but rather lets us make our own judgments.

In "Shooting an Elephant," what details cause you surprise or to see the situation differently? Also, what is Orwell's judgment of himself? Does he see his actions as moral? What aspects or moments in the story seem to give Orwell the greatest moral concern?

Type your answers.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Biblical writing and reading

Writing assignment, due Monday, Jan. 26:

Using one of the stories we've read in the Hebrew Bible, retell the story using a first-person perspective. The speaker can be any character present in the story. Don't change the essential details of the tale, but provide details you find lacking, fill in the gaps you're curious about, and give us a sense of the thought process of your character as he or she or . . . it experiences the selected tale. Length: 350-550 words.

Reading for next class, Thursday, Jan. 22:

You'll be reading the earliest sections of each of the four "gospels" (the word gospel is Greek for "good news"), recounting the life and actions of Jesus. You'll see, in two cases, stories of his birth; you'll also encounter the famous figure of John the Baptizer (or "the Baptist") and stories of Jesus' first major actions.

Matthew 1:18-up through chapter 3.
Mark chapter 1
Luke 1:1-3:22
John chapters 1 and 2

There is no writing assignment, but I want you prepared to answer these questions: What similarities and differences between these four texts seem most obvious to you? What connection do these stories have with the stories from the Hebrew Bible? What ideas should I take away from these readings?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hey, where's the homework?

I've heard that question several times today.

Answer: See the calendar.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hebrew Bible assignment 1

For those who didn't finish answering the questions in class, the questions to answer (handwritten) were:

1. How was the world created? What did God do in order to make the world?

2. What is the story of Adam and Eve?

3. What happened with Cain and Abel?

4. What is the story of Noah?

Read: Genesis Ch. 1:1-4:16 and chapters 6 through 9. (There's a link to the right to the Bible in case you don't have one.)

Type up answers to these questions:

For each story, what is the purpose or point of that story?

What did you find surprising or strange in any of the stories?