Thursday, December 26, 2013

private colleges rethink pricing

As you probably learned in Econ, pricing doesn't just mean how much something is listed for sale-- it also means how prices are advertised or presented to buyers.  For example, you may have heard of a hotel's "rack rate" (i.e., the full retail cost of renting a room)-- but it's doubtful anyone you know actually pays that rate when they can easily obtain discounts through websites, travel agents, or even AAA.  The rack rate is there for suckers, and to make the rest of us feel good about getting a reduced-rate "deal."

College pricing works the same way more often than you might think.  Who actually pays full retail for private college tuition when they can easily obtain financial aid or discounts?  Even though college is an accomplishment and a rite of passage in this culture, many factors (like economic conditions that negate the "tuition investment --> salary payoff" promise, even for law schools) have caused private colleges to rethink their pricing strategies

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

late stage college planning

Do you and your parents have a plan to reduce college costs that includes:
  • Creating a "bidding war" between colleges who see their competitors on your applications list?
  • Expertly searching and applying for private scholarships?
  • Analyzing education-related tax breaks such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit?
  • Opting out of the college's health plan?
  • Evaluating meal plans and textbook vendors? 
If not, please read this Wall Street Journal article and talk about it with your parents, your academic/college adviser/s, and your family's financial adviser/s.

If there is interest I can also ask Ms. Deborah Fox if she'll join us online for Q&A.

In the interest of full disclosure:
  1. Ms. Deborah Fox is a brilliant, insightful, nationally known expert in the field with a quick wit and a winning smile.
  2. She's also my cousin.
  3. I don't have any financial interest in her business-- but I think it's a really good idea, which is why
  4. I poached the article by taking the screen shots below, since (as you already know if you tried the link above without a subscription to the WSJ) the article lives behind a paywall (screen shot at bottom), which means that almost all of the people who most need to read it won't.  If this presents an ethical dilemma please stop reading here.



get this kid out of here

Congratulations to Nik Koyama for launching his Kickstarter campaign:

GET THIS KID OUT OF HERE!

Friday, December 13, 2013

my all-time favorite christmas tree

I have friends who make Christmas trees out of all sorts of things-- this was last year's, and I still regret not trying to read one of the bottom titles...

fundraising opportunity

The library got rid of a bunch of National Geographic Magazines -- apparently they don't know what people pay for these things on ebay.  If you want any to take home, give as a gift, or sell to fund your research or collaborative working group, they're yours.  I'll keep them in the room until the end of the first week of spring semester.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

fall semester showcase p5

[Working to complete this post by tomorrow-- if you have a file, link, or embed code, please send it along.]

Thanks to everyone who presented today!  We learned about an amazing range of ideas and the people who are pursuing them.  Following are highlights (listed more or less in chronological order); if you don't see your presentation here or if you have something to add/correct, please comment or email with info & a link or embed code.


Lindsey, Melissa, Allyson, Brenna, Rachel, Miki, Becky
Head to their Big Questions tumblr for links to videos, Prezis, and more about who we are, how we get that way, what others think, and why any of it matters...


Izamar
Internet Memes



Mia & Javie
In Loco Politico (check out the site here)

in loco politico



Kendall, Kristen & Jacob
Encouraging the Youth of Tomorrow, Today



Lisa 
Open Source Learning Wiki 



electric sheep art

Check this out.  And if you're interested in learning more please let me know-- Scott (a.k.a. Spot) is a friendly acquaintance.

for friday & beyond

FOR FRIDAY THE 13th:

(1) New plan for reporting blog stats: please bring them with you on Friday (or email Dr. Preston if you won't be in class). You will need to provide:
  • posts (by month)
  • posts (total) 
  • comments
  • page views
 If you need any help finding these please ask/email/comment to this post.

(2) Bring any ideas, questions, or brainstorms about how you might further your own interests through this course in the spring.  We'll have informal opportunities to discuss big questions, collaborative working groups, AP/college/career prep, reading choices for spring, and anything else that's on your mind.

(3) Pay very close attention to your environment.  It will be paying very close attention to you.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

fall semester showcase p3

[Working to complete this post between showcases today and tomorrow-- if you have a file, link, or embed code, please send along.]

Thanks to everyone who presented today!  We learned about an amazing range of ideas and the people who are pursuing them.  Following are highlights (listed more or less in chronological order); if you don't see your presentation here or if you have something to add/correct, please comment or email with info & a link or embed code.

Melissa, Allyson, Brenna, Rachel, Lindsey, Miki, Becky
Head to their Big Questions tumblr for links to videos, Prezis, and more



Shane, Edmond, Colter
YOLO: You Only Launch Once



Rudy, Zach, Hayley, & Lauren
How To Get Past Memorization




Michaila
The Happiness Project
 



Ashley & Bianca
To Draw Or Not To Draw: A Visual History of a Friendship
 


Micaela, Caroline, Hayley
If I Won the Lottery

december 11-12

Welcome to the Showcase!  Looking forward to everyone's presentations.  To complete the semester and set the stage for spring, please follow these steps:

1. Write your email address on the sign-up sheet in class;
2. Check your inbox after class for an invitation to a Google doc spreadsheet;
3. Open the spreadsheet and enter your name and blog stats.

Although the calendar says this is Finals Week, nothing about learning is final-- take the opportunity to reflect on your semester and think about how we can improve for the spring.  And, next week, CHECK THE BLOG (if you don't already follow it); there will be several shared missions over the break, opportunities for you to make up credit and get ahead, and the usual miscellany.

Wishing you and your families Happy Holidays :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

december 9

Watch this space.  Things will happen here over the next few days that you won't want to miss.

JOURNAL TOPIC: [Psych.  You can either take your journal with you or you can leave it in the crate for next semester.]

AGENDA:
1. A word about journals
2. Several words about end-of-semester reflection, evaluation, & planning
3. A few (more specific words) about HW & where we'll head after break
4. Logistics for this week's final periods

HW:
1. Put the finishing touches on any/all work related to your path of inquiry that you want included in the semester evaluation.
2. Write your first email to your future self-- then post about it to your blog per today's discussion (title: LIFE AFTER THIS BLOG POST)

Friday, December 6, 2013

december 6

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Destination Unknown" by Missing Persons; "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane]

In The Principles of Psychology (1890), William James wrote, “The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character and will. No one is compos sui if he have it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence.” How have your experiences in this course helped you focus your attention? What do you still need to work on? What elements of the following text (from Haruki Murakami's 1Q84) draw your attention and help you construct meaning?

The driver nodded and took the money. "Would you like a receipt?"
"No need. And keep the change."
"Thanks very much," he said. "Be careful, it looks windy out there. Don't slip."
"I'll be careful," Aomame said.
"And also," the driver said, facing the mirror, "please remember: things are not what they seem."
Things are not what they seem, Aomame repeated mentally. "What do you mean by that?" she asked with knitted brows.
The driver chose his words carefully: "It's just that you're about to do something out of the ordinary. Am I right? People do not ordinarily climb down the emergency stairs of the Metropolitan Expressway in the middle of the day-- especially women."
"I suppose you're right."
"Right. And after you do something like that, the everyday look of things might seem to change a little. Things may look different to you than they did before. I've had that experience myself. But don't let appearances fool you. There's always only one reality."

AGENDA:
1. Journal (and be sure to turn it in! :)
2. Planning next week's showcase: Q&A, logistics
3. Evaluative introspections

HW:
1. Get ready to rock.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

december 5

THIS IS A TEST OF YOUR WRITING SYSTEM.
















JOURNAL TOPIC:
Analyze your preparation and your performance on today's essay exam.  How well did you do?  Better or worse than you expected?  Why?  To what factors do you attribute your degree of success?  Is there anything you thought of afterward that you'd like to add? 

HW:
1. Prepare for your Showcase
2. Remaining lit analysis work (as needed)
3. Blog maintenance (as needed)
4. Bring journal up to date (as needed)

where does your t-shirt come from?

After reading a description of rice farming in When Heaven & Earth Changed Places, I started honoring every kernel of rice on my plate and eating every last one because of what I learned about the time and effort required to grow, harvest, and market it.

About 20 years later, this story from NPR is making me look at my t-shirts differently.

my new new favorite website

Banksy speaks for himself.

my new favorite website

If you get just four or five of the 1,057 reasons this is awesome, you can consider yourself culturally literate.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

*poof!* you're a journalist

I majored in Communication Studies at UCLA.  Then I wrote for The Los Angeles Times.  But I never thought of myself as a journalist.  I didn't think a stringer covering local school districts was on par with professionals whose Pulitzer Prize-worthy writing chops and Edward R. Murrow-like ethics brought us some of the most important and compelling stories of our time.

Times have changed, and I've changed my mind.  These days anyone with investigative social media skills and a writer's "voice" can find an audience hungry for stories that the corporate media doesn't cover.  Anyone can break a major story before major news outlets.  Consider the fact that Syrian use of chemical weapons was revealed by an "unemployed blogger" sitting at home in front of Twitter and YouTube in England.  According to a BBC producer, "this guy in Leicester has broken more stories than most journalists do in a career."  Even the raid in which Osama Bin Laden was killed was (inadvertently) live Tweeted by this (other) guy (who graduated from Preston University! :).

This bodes well for citizen journalism like In Loco Politico.

betrayers banquet

Speaking of trust, this dinner concept is brilliant. 

our biggest challenge

People frequently ask me what I see as the biggest challenge in education.  I imagine they expect the usual litany--poverty, culture, resources, policy-- but to me there is only one thing worth talking about: trust.  Americans don't seem to trust each other anymore.  Maybe taking the risk to learn out in the open will change some minds.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

december 4

THIS IS A TEST OF YOUR VOCABULARY SYSTEM.
















JOURNAL TOPIC:
Analyze your preparation and your performance.  How well did you do?  Better or worse than you expected?  Why?  To what factors do you attribute your degree of success? 

HW:
1. Review for tomorrow's essay exam
2. Remaining lit analysis work (if needed)
3. Blog maintenance (if needed)
4. Bring journal up to date (if needed)






tips for tomorrow

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.

no excuses

I don't listen too much to people when they tell me I can't do something There's not a whole lot that's going to stand in my way. -Richie Parker

why you're going to follow me on twitter in the next 5 minutes

For a while now I've been thinking about how to hack our physical classroom.  I've designed  furniture, interactive wall spaces and surfaces, talking Arduino units that collect data and put it where we need it, hardware, a fully integrated Open Source Learning experience, the works, so that it really will be "not a classroom, but more of a space, a space that hold [sic] endless possibilities." 

But first thing's first.  You have certainly proven yourselves worthy, and you have inspired me to the next level of Open Source Learning, but-- I don't know, maybe it's finals-- sometimes it still just feels like this is all, um, you know.  A class.

I hate that feeling.

As everyone knows, there is no better time to mess with a student's head than the night before a big test.  Very interesting and potentially very rewarding things are about to happen all around you.  You won't want to miss anything that will help you take full advantage.

For example, in five minutes I will reveal the answer to one question on tomorrow's vocabulary final.  I will do this on Twitter via @prestonlearning.  You should probably start a Twitter account and follow @prestonlearning.  Like, now.

To be fair, since this may take five minutes, especially if you're still on campus, I will include the hashtag #dplitcomp in the Tweet so that it appears on the course blog feed.  Starting at 8:00 P.M. I will post more answers-- and for those I will not include the hashtag, so if you're not following @prestonlearning by then you won't see them.  Also, since so many of you have mastered the art of collaboration and will no doubt post all this on Random Absence Mentoring, FB, and elsewhere, I will only continue Tweeting the correct answers if every student in every period is following @prestonlearning by 8:00 P.M.

Have a nice day. :)

american schools v. the world

According to this account of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment, we're expensive, unequal, and bad at math.

monster trucks and math

This girl crushes the competition in both.

lunch with mentors

If you're a member of the Open Source Learning Mentors collaborative working group, join us for lunch today!  If you're not a member, but you want to lurk/listen in/avoid sunshine, join us for lunch today!

december 3

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Imagination" by The Rolling Stones; "Imagine" by John Lennon]

The man who has no imagination has no wings. -Muhammad Ali
Imagination is more important than knowledge. -Albert Einstein
Imagination rules the world. -Napoleon Bonaparte
You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. -Mark Twain
If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. -Henry David Thoreau

What is imagination and what role does it play in your life?  Is your imagination getting stronger or weaker as you age?  To what extent does it help you create the experiences and the life you want?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Preparing for success unexpected in common hours

HW:
1. Literature analyses, blog maintenance, final/showcase prep

Monday, December 2, 2013

guadalupe scholarship

This just in from Sal Reynoso: Lupe Alvarez, the former mayor of Guadalupe, has sponsored a scholarship with his family for students who live in Guadalupe.  Here is the information:


Lupe Alvarez Sons Flier 2014-2015.pdf

december 2

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Back in the High Life Again" by Steve Winwood; "We Are The Champions" by Queen; "Winning" by Santana]

This weekend my beloved UCLA Bruins beat USC in football to reclaim all sorts of bragging rights in Los Angeles.  Why does anyone care?  Seriously: what difference does it actually make in the world that a bunch of barely-outta-high-school athletes I've never met won a football game?  Why am I so happy about it?  Why do so many of us students/alumni love our school colors and express loyalty and belonging by screaming about our teams at the top of our lungs?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Finals/end-of-semester prep & plan for the week

HW:
1. Semester wrap up: literature review/Dickens or Shakespeare; literature analyses; any/all outstanding work that you want considered for your final semester grade, all of which is due on your blog BY the time we meet on Friday, December 6. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

turkey drop?

I learn something new every day... when I get the alumni forum up and running we'll have to ask the collegians whether this is accurate.

practice essay

Here is the essay topic for the weekend:

Something happens in your environment.  It might be a sound just outside the field of your peripheral vision, it might be be an action that inspires or outrages you, or it might be an outright crisis or opportunity.  Adopt the persona of any character from either the "Allegory" or "No Exit" and explain how this character would respond to the event and why.  Explain how the response reflects the characterization, theme, tone, and general philosophy of the author (Plato or Sartre) who created the character.  Compare this analysis with the work you didn't choose (for example, if you choose Estella from "No Exit," explain her response in these terms and then compare with a slave from the cave in Plato's "Allegory).

Helpful hints: (1) Start with a pre-write to organize your thoughts; (2) Include enough about the literary techniques to support your argument without hijacking your entire thesis; (3) Feel free to collaborate-- this exercise is practice/study/review for next week's essay final.

happy thanksgiving

Here are some simple, FREE tips for enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend:

1. Don't go shopping today.  (Learn how Big Retail is trying to kill Thanksgiving)
2. Don't go shopping tomorrow. (Learn the Dirty Secrets of Black Friday "Discounts")
3. Seriously, don't go shopping tomorrow. (video of Black Friday chaos

Wishing you and your families a happy, healthy, less expensive Thanksgiving! :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

kudos: november

Congratulations to the following students on their college admissions and scholarship wins!

Mia Levy (admitted to Penn State University)
Malik Pope (admitted to Northern Arizona University)
Shane Hunter (admitted to Cal Poly SLO/Aerospace Engineering)
Allyson Brown (admitted to Ohio Wesleyan University w/ annual $23,500 scholarship)
Breanna Timmons (signed NLI to play softball for Seattle University)
Maddie Klusendorf (signed NLI to play volleyball for Franklin Pierce University)

If I missed anyone, or if you've done something amazing since I posted this, please let me/us know in class or comment below.

"i never learned to read!"

You know, as much as we talk about reading, it's easy to overlook the fact that some of us didn't grow up with books and occasionally have a hard time with the basics.

Consider poor Wayne:




So, how do you know how well you can sound out words and get through a text without mistakes?

Here's how:
1. Watch the video below;
2. Get a copy of Fox in Sox by Dr. Seuss;
3. Set up a phone or a camera (or get a friend to help);
4. Read the book as fast and as well as you can;
5. Record your time and the number of mistakes you make;
6. Compare your numbers with mine.  Don't forget to count my mistakes--I just learned that I've been mispronouncing the author's name my whole life!
7. Post your video and your stats on your blog under the heading I CAN READ!

UPDATE: In reply to questions from the email bag...
  • If you're having trouble finding the book, here is the text without the pics. 
  • My reading was a one-take job, but yours doesn't have to be.  You can practice all you want before posting your best effort.
  • To earn course credit you must post I CAN READ! by 11:59 P.M. Sunday, December 1. (Bonus for add'l. Thanksgiving renditions with friends/relatives :)


november 26

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes:"'B' Movie Box Car Blues" by The Blues Brothers; "Every Day I Write the Book" by Elvis Costello; "Bookshop" by Monty Python]

Ads and reviews frequently promise that a book or movie will "change your life"-- describe a time when one actually did.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Some words by & about Dickens
3. Semester endgame

HW:
1. Literature/group study
2. Finals prep
3. Final presentation proposal/s
4. Prove you can read
5. Comparative essay: Sartre v. Plato (topic TBD, will be posted by COB today) 

Monday, November 25, 2013

november 25

JOURNAL: [today's tunes: "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" by John Denver; "Thank You" by Led Zeppelin]

(1) On Thursday millions of Americans will stuff themselves until they are sick.  Why?
(2) What are you thankful for?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Groups/lit
3. Discussion: No Exit
4. Groups/vocab review

HW:
1. Lit/groups
2. No Exit (due tomorrow)
3. Study vocab (quiz tomorrow)

lunch cwg mtgs this (short) week

today: 5PH1NX
tomorrow: mentors
[???]: novelists (no school thurs and no/vember left)

Friday, November 22, 2013

little things lead to big ideas

When people talk about education they frequently overlook the contributions of parents-- how lucky are the kids who woke up and found this?

november 22

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Ballad of a Thin Man" by Bob Dylan (which you can mentally remix by substituting "Preston's Class" for "Mr. Jones"); "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield]

Read the following excerpt from David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and describe how Wallace uses literary elements to describe a large theme through one character's seemingly casual observation.

What's interesting to Hal Incandenza about his take on Struck, sometimes Pemulis, Evan Ingersoll, et al. is that congenital plagiarists put so much more work into camouflaging their plagiarism than it would take just to write up an assignment from conceptual scratch.  It usually seems like plagiarists aren't lazy so much as kind of navigationally insecure.  They have trouble navigating without a detailed map's assurance that somebody has been this way before them.  About this incredible painstaking care to hide and camouflage the plagiarism-- whether it's dishonesty or a [Y] kind of kleptomaniacal thrill-seeking or what-- Hal hasn't developed much of any sort of take.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Introduction/introspection/reflection (No Exit)
3. Collaboration (Henry V/Great Expectations/Tale of Two Cities)
4. Innovation (final presentation proposals)
5. Execution (to be clear, in this strange world, this item refers to implementation and not capital punishment)
6. Please note: all fall vocab eligible for next Tuesday's quiz 

no exit

1. Read Jean Paul Sartre's "No Exit." You can find the text online here and here, among other places, and you are certainly welcome to check the play out at the library or buy it at a local bookstore or online.

2. Be sure to take active reading notes and answer the questions embedded in the text.

3. Feel free to ask questions and comment to this post.

4. Create a post for your blog entitled THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX in which you compare how Plato and Sartre describe the limitations of our thinking and imply solutions to the problem.  Be sure to analyze their literary techniques, especially their use of allegory and extended metaphor.

5. Invite twenty (20) people to read and comment to your post.

THIS ASSIGNMENT IS DUE ON YOUR BLOG BY COB TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

mag requests submissions

One way to become a professional writer is responding to requests like this.

something (else) is rotten in the state of denmark

...and depending on who you talk to, it might be this painting of the Danish royal family.

canadians save shark choking on moose

Q: Why post an item about Canadians saving a shark who beached himself while choking on a 2-foot hunk of moose on a lit/comp course blog?

A:
1. Because it's awesome.
2. Because I can.
3. Because I'm pretty sure there has never been a story about Canadians rescuing a beached shark choking on moose before, and therefore I'm pretty sure there has never been a story about Canadians rescuing a beached shark choking on moose featured on a high school English course blog, so I get to claim this is as a historical first.

november 21

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Junk Food Junkie" by Larry Groce; "Whole Foods Parking Lot" by DJ Dave; "Alice's Restaurant Massacre" (abridged) by Arlo Guthrie]

Your friends invite you to a fancy restaurant in San Francisco for your birthday-- all expenses paid!  The waiter brings you a soda, calls you "sir" or "miss" and hands you a menu.  With horror you discover that each dish consists of insects and road kill in various states of decay/disembowelment.  How will you handle the situation? (Careful: if your friends eat here, they must be zombies/foreign agents who are trained to deal with this sort of thing.  They may turn on you if they consider you rude.  You can't just leave.  If you don't eat you'll have to talk your way out of it in a way that doesn't raise suspicion.)

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Literature circles & Henry V or Dickens
3. Return Hamlet & Plato essays [Update: still reading, will return Friday]

HW:
1. Write a sonnet about Plato's Allegory of the Cave and post it to your blog (title: ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE SONNET).  To receive full credit your sonnet must receive 10 positive reviews from your colleagues, each of whom must evaluate: a) whether your sonnet meets the definitional requirements and therefore deserves to be called a sonnet in the first place; and b) whether it's any good, as evidenced by the quality of narration, setting, use of figurative language, etc.
2. Begin reading the library book you selected (or Henry V, if you went that route; if anyone found a better script, please let me know and I'll post it).  In addition to your close/active reading notes, and whatever additional roles you decide on as a group, here is an additional incentive: if you answer the the Literature Analysis questions in a post to your blog by the end of Thanksgiving weekend (11:59 P.M. on Sunday, December 1) you can count this as a Literature Analysis.
3. Go to the member blogs page, find 15 people you don't know well, and comment to their blogs with: a) a compliment about their blog, b) a question you need help with for finals prep or Henry V / Dickens, and c) the URL of your blog so they can comment back.
4. Happy Thanksgiving in advance.  (Why wait to be thankful?)  Thank someone you love, thank someone you like, thank someone you can't stand, and thank someone you don't know.  And, since I don't say it often enough: thank you.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

november 20

JOURNAL TOPIC:

Today's entry will be a post-mortem on your essay. Please reflect on your strategy (How did you study? Did you do a pre-write? Did you allow enough time to proofread?), your sense of outcomes (Did you rock it? Did you suffer? Did you rock it AND suffer?), and your takeaways/lessons for next time (What will you do better and/or differently?).

AGENDA:
1. Essay
2. Journal

HW:
1. Begin collaborating with your literature group. Agree to an online platform and/or meeting schedule outside school that will support your study of Henry V, Tale of Two Cities, and/or Great Expectations. On that platform, come to an agreement on a reading schedule that will enable all members of your group to complete the reading by the end of Thanksgiving weekend (Sunday, December 1).
2. Post about your literature study/group to your blog (title: BRAIN WITH [x] LEGS). Describe the process of choosing the work, explain how you intend to collaborate on/offline, and share your reading schedule.

this just in from valerie rhs '13

I just received this email from Valerie Gonzalez, who graduated RHS last year. I receive lots of email from alumni but this one stands out. Why take my word for "life after high school" when you can get real-time info from someone who is living it? (FYI: we will be using this as our curriculum post-paper and pre-final.) Please feel free to take her up on personal statement advice-- Valerie is (obviously) a terrific writer and you're lucky to get her help for free.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

november 19

JOURNAL TOPICS: [today's tunes: "Fight the Power" (slightly edited) by Public Enemy; "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye; "Imagine" by John Lennon]

Like Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," each of today's tunes expresses a perspective on the idea that the human condition can-- and should-- be better. Analyze the tone and theme of each tune and evaluate its effectiveness. (Regarding the latter, attempt to be objective, i.e., focus on its reasoning/rhetorical appeal-- if you find yourself describing what you "like" then acknowledge this as a matter of personal preference rather than technical or artistic merit.)

AGENDA:
1. Check out Tale of Two Cities and/or Great Expectations from library (if needed)
2. Journal
3. Plato's "Allegory of the Cave": background and essay prep

HW:
1. Review vocab for tomorrow's quiz
2. Review Plato/notes for tomorrow's essay 

Monday, November 18, 2013

final presentations

Pondering your presentation preparation?

In contrast to the vocabulary final (Wednesday of dead week, December 4), which will be about as formal and anti-fun as you can imagine, and the essay final (Thursday of dead week, December 5), 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

            is

                                  different.

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 Tuesday, November 26.  Have fun and comment to this post with questions/ideas.

november 18

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Symbol In My Driveway" by Jack Johnson; "Money" by Pink Floyd]

Although we all buy, use, wear, and eat real "things" in the world, our selections are also symbolically significant in our culture.  When is a car a mode of transportation and when is it a status symbol?  How much of your wardrobe, home decor, and other "life accoutrements" are designed to "say things" about you in addition to serving their basic function/s?  Can you make a meaningful connection between your thinking on this topic and Plato's style and/or message in "Allegory of the Cave"?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Mind map collaboration p/review
3. Plato: style and substance

HW:
1. Review vocab lists 3, 4, 6, & 7 for quiz Wednesday
2. Bring your ID if you want to check out Great Expectations or Tale of Two Cities on campus Tuesday, November 19
3. Review Plato (essay Wednesday, November 20)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

incorporating twitter

Q: Wouldn't it be cool if Dr. Preston started dropping hints about finals on his Twitter feed?
A: Yes, it would.
Q: What is Dr. Preston's Twitter handle?
A: @prestonlearning
Q: Sweet.
A: Yes, it is.
Q: Why does he only have 423 followers?
A: Because he spends less time on Twitter than you do on homework.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

the student may become the master

It appears a graduate student has built a semantic search engine that's better than Google.

the brain with 156 legs is...ALIVE!




[UPDATE Saturday 1:45 P.M.  Brenna just posted a link to a TED talk by Daniel Kahneman that is so good I'll be stuck at my laptop for the next 20 minutes.]

[UPDATE Saturday 3:35 P.M.  Watching Ashley, Elisia, Lindsey, Maria & Miki work on the mind map (the Dr. Doolittle cover is a nice touch, Lindsey!).  It seems like we're getting the basics covered-- we'd be prepared to help someone answer a basic comprehension/recall question like, What books does Dawkins think world leaders should read?  But the deeper and more interesting question is: Why?  Do these books contain a powerful message?  Are they merely fashionable among certain types of thinkers?  Kudos to Erica for explicating Dennett's book-- I haven't read it and seeing the 7 tools really helped!]

[UPDATE Saturday 4:10 P.M. Thanks for editing the title link, Allyson! :]

[UPDATE Sunday 2:10 P.M. Thanks to everyone who participated during the first 24 hours.  Since this mind map will stay up for the foreseeable future, please feel free to continue contributing. #timeflies] 

Check in on the action here.

er...GO!

Just checked my watch and realized I'd better post to the blog to start the Brain.  Ha, ha.  58 minutes old & it's already shaping up.  Thanks to Andrew, Eli, Erica, and the others who have posted already!



Friday, November 15, 2013

brain with 156 legs: ready...set.

I found a shorter/more current/more allusion-packed article!  Here is the link to "Richard Dawkins: By the Book" which appeared in The New York Times on September 15, 2013.  I've copied the text to an etherpad [here] so that you can skim/ select/ declare the items and passages that interest you most.  I also created the mind map and sent email invitations via Mindmeister's "share" function.  If it doesn't show up please check your Spam folder and email if you need me to resend.

november 15

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Me and My Shadow" by Frank Sinatra; "Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens; "Jumpin' at Shadows" by Fleetwood Mac & Peter Green]

Compare yourself to the denizens of Plato's Cave. Describe something you expect to learn during the mind map experience (about a text, about the process, about yourself) that will help you break the chains and see more than shadows.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Discussion: "Brain with 156 Legs"
3. Discussion: "The Allegory of the Cave"
4. Calendar and lit circles 2.0 (Henry V, Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations)

HW:
1. Prepare for essay on "Allegory of the Cave"
2. Consider which collaborative working group you want to join, follow and/or create

inside the world of competitive laughing

You read that right.  Meet the laughletes.

a personal perspective on haiyan

This first-person perspective is as powerful as the storms of nature and politics that inspired it.

collaborative working group: oh the [project] humanity!

If you haven't already heard, Danny and Lesther have teamed up to create Project Humanity

Here is their most recent announcement to ASB and faculty:


Project Humanity - a RHS Club of concerned students - would like the entire student body to join in and help send our support to the people in the Philippines after the devastating typhoon last weekend. We are asking that tomorrow during 3rd period - a coin can will be sent around to each class. Please just drop in any coins you might have in your pockets. Many have been affected so every cent counts. Let's show that the Righetti Warriors are always willing to help out in times of need so that they will push on and never give up on life which are the true warriors in life. The people of the Philippines will be ever so grateful for your support! Thank you so much!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

canada's newest export: nice graffiti

This graffiti is impossibly gentle and good-natured.  I'm off to draw a smiley face somewhere (legal).

how to waste time properly

According to "How to Waste Time Properly," wasting time can make you more productive and creative.  I'll look into it as soon as I finish the 3017 things on my to-do list.

kevin lake: fashion god and entrepreneur

Last weekend our own Kevin Lake invaded New York and took the fashion world by storm with his new line for the fall.  In addition to being featured in retail stores in Manhattan, Kevin's style will also be featured in a new online mag.  He promises details soon...  (he's sitting in front of me now saying how much better you'd look in one of his shirts)...

stop punting!

According to this article, how does traditional/habituated thinking inhibit success?  Are we "ready for what we think we want?"

collaborative working group: mentors and educators

If you're interested in becoming a teacher, or you're just the sort of person who likes to help others understand schtuff, let's get together.  First meeting will be next Tuesday at lunch (*if you can't make it then please comment or email and we'll find a time that works). Mahalo.

collaborative working group: the game is afoot

Anyone interested in running a game with me?  Comment to this post and/or email so we can find a time and start the conversation next Monday at lunch. (*If you can't make it that day let me know and we'll include you.)  Mahalo.




plato study questions

Here are your study questions.  Feel free to comment with questions or ideas.  Online originals here [Update: they used to be there... in any event, thanks to Professor Michael Sudduth of San Francisco State.]

1. According to Socrates, what does the Allegory of the Cave represent?

2. What are the key elements in the imagery used in the allegory?

3. What are some things the allegory suggests about the process of enlightenment or education?

4. What do the imagery of "shackles" and the "cave" suggest about the perspective of the cave dwellers or prisoners?

5. In society today or in your own life, what sorts of things shackle the mind?

6. Compare the perspective of the freed prisoner with the cave prisoners?

7. According to the allegory, lack of clarity or intellectual confusion can occur in two distinct ways or contexts. What are they?

8. According to the allegory, how do cave prisoners get free? What does this suggest about intellectual freedom?

9. The allegory presupposes that there is a distinction between appearances and reality. Do you agree? Why or why not?

10. If Socrates is incorrect in his assumption that there is a distinction between reality and appearances, what are the two alternative metaphysical assumptions?

november 14

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.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Brain 2.0.2 / platforms and article/s
3. Plato's "Allegory of the Cave"

HW:
1. Brain 2.0.2 [TBD]
2. Read Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" (click the link or read here after the jump)
3. Answer these study questions in a post to your blog entitled "Plato's Allegory of the Cave"


hard copy hamlet essays

If I didn't get yours yet, please bring it to class today.  Mahalo.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

collaborative working group: project positive

Feeling down about the world?  Join Project Positive, where "small changes make big differences!"

novelists unite!

Hats off to everyone who is writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month-- check out the novelists' blog!


november 13

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Help!" by The Beatles, "Help Me" by Joni Mitchell]

Describe a time you gave or got much-needed help.  Why did it make a difference?  What about the experience can you take with you to make future efforts and relationships more successful?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Vocabulary/reading quiz
3. T.S. Eliot was no Lee Harvey Oswald
4. Brain 2.0.2

HW:
1. Comment to this post with your choice of mind map and your suggested article/s

brain 2.0.2 with 156 (+?) legs

1. [for Wednesday 11.13] Read the definition of mindmap in the screenshot here:

2. [for Wednesday 11.13] Familiarize yourself with CMAP and--if you like it-- download the mindmap program

3. [for Wednesday 11.13] 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 Wednesday 11.13] 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 11.15] Skim [EITHER "My 6,128 Favorite Books" OR AN ARTICLE TBD]. Look for words, ideas and allusions that you don't recognize and/or you'd like to know more about.

6. On Saturday [11.16], at a time we all agree on in class Friday, 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.

r.i.p. clifford nass

Clifford Nass was a Stanford professor whose research on our relationship with technology yielded great insight.  He showed that multitaskers are "terrible at every aspect of multitasking" and our computers make us "feel good or bad" in ways other tools don't.  Read more here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

a history of the college application from 1856 to today

The post of this title is actually the subtitle of the article I just read.  The title of the article I just read is...

How Getting Into College Became Such a Long, Frenzied, Competitive Process

they loved your gpa then they saw your tweets

Read this.  Then share it with your colleagues who still don't know better.

take out your mental trash

Isn't that a more interesting title for a blog post than "get some sleep"?

november 12

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?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Regarding vocab (resolved: lists 1, 2, 8, & 9 are eligible tomorrow-- find them here)
3. Regarding groups and collaboration
4. "Best of" discussion/presentations

HW:
1. Read Read the article after the jump (and post notes to your blog, title: WE HANG TOGETHER) -- 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.
2. Study vocabulary
3. Read this and do this.


wrt vonnegut

Don't know how I forgot to include the pic below on the Vonnegut post-- and, in response to Melissa et al, we can certainly read one of his novels together.  I'll put this on our reunion agenda today.


github (and us?)

Github is a web-based hosting service for software & content development projects.  Yesterday a good friend Tweeted a link to non-coding uses of Github, which got me thinking about ways learning and working with Github could amplify & accelerate your Collaborative Working Groups and other endeavors.  If you're interested let's play!

Friday, November 8, 2013

a letter from kurt vonnegut

I see the words in big blue graffiti every day in class.  So it goes.  Every day I read those words, and every day I think of Kurt Vonnegut and the people he's influenced.  Still, it's always great to see something familiar through someone else's eyes (why else would I read Hamlet for the nth time?).    This week Amanda Lyons tweeted me a message about a letter Vonnegut wrote to high school students, and it's a powerful reminder of why his words touched so many so deeply.  Inside each student and professional there lives a human being with a giving spirit, a loving heart, and a curious mind.  That's who Vonnegut wrote for.  And since he's not here anymore, it's up to us to remind each other.  So Read his letter.  Then Read it again.  Then LIVE it.  I'm going to keep trying too. :)
_________________________________________
From the Letters of Note website: 
"Back in 2006, a group of students at Xavier High School in New York City (one of whom, "JT," submitted this letter) were given an assignment by their English teacher, Ms. Lockwood, that was to test their persuasive writing skills: they were asked to write to their favourite author and ask him or her to visit the school. Five of those pupils chose Kurt Vonnegut. His thoughtful reply, seen below, was the only response the class received."

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

november 7-8

JOURNAL TOPICS:

[Choose your own.]

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Work on: Hamlet remix, sonnet study/big question remix
3. Literature analysis (if applicable)

HW:
1. Finish everything to your satisfaction by Tuesday

the french fight school on wednesday

According to this article, "The government's decision to no longer give schoolchildren a break in the middle of the week has parents up in arms."


youtube question

Does anyone know how to post a still photo for a music video, so the video just displays the pic throughout the song?  Please comment with your how-to wisdom.

november 6

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?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. Remix
4. Sonnet: definition & historical background
5. Big question + sonnet choice
6. [Planning discussion] Mastering, remixing, and teaching your sonnet

HW:
1. Revisit your Big Question
2. Select a sonnet that relates to your Big Question
3. Post about your thought process re: 1 & 2 (Title: A POETIC INQUIRY)
4. Post your lecture notes on sonnets to your blog (Title: SONNET ANALYSIS #1)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

got rhythm?

Every once in a while we discover how learning/thinking in one domain helps us learn/think about something completely different (you may remember the dancing stats or the photographer's approach to literature). 

This time, thanks to Ricky, here is more evidence that music makes everything better, including school and learning.  Rock on.

$70M high school football stadium?

According to this article, voters in Texas are being asked to foot the bill for a high school football stadium that "would open in August, 2015, seat 14,000 people and cost $69.5 million. And it would be placed right next to the 10,000-seat arena they already have."

november 5

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "The End" by The Doors]

Long before we met, and long after you've passed the AP exam and gone on to greater things, literature has always been and will always be an act of self-expression. Literature is the human record of how we create stories for ourselves and others. And, as we've discussed, literature also serves as an artifact of how individual authors observed, critiqued and were influenced by the times and cultures in which they lived. As Marshal McLuhan famously observed, "The medium is the message." As we've also discussed, we'd probably get to know Hamlet in a completely different way if he maintained a blog or posted pics to instagram, tumblr, flickr, pinterest, or...[?]  Explain how using technology to research/create/share content online can amplify your best qualities and more effectively tell your story. If you don't see a difference between telling your story in online media versus telling it with pen and paper, explain that too.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar (continued)

HW:
1. Consider, analyze, and evaluate the remix resources
2. Remix your Hamlet essay (title: HAMLET REMIX)

remix resources

Sarah's take on "to be or not to be" and our conclusion of Hamlet makes this the perfect time to formally introduce the concept of the remix.

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 (originally mentioned contributed by course alum Maddy Hunt and referenced by a few of you this year) in which a live talk by Sir Ken Robinson is reconfigured into multiple layers of visual media:

Monday, November 4, 2013

kudos: october

Congratulations to the following students on their college admissions and scholarship wins!

Mia Levy (Elks Lodge Scholarship; admitted to Rutgers University)
Javier Solis (Admitted to UCR; Questbridge Finalist)
Lisa Malins (NMSQT Semifinalist)
Rebecca Aldrich (Daughters of the American Revolution Scholarship)
Melissa Steller (Admitted to Purdue University; admitted to NAU)
Kylie Sagisi ($500 YMCA Scholarship; Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce Scholarship [November])
Maria Luna (Accepted to CSU Dominguez Hills)
Amara Sharp (Accepted to Fresno State)
Miranda Nillo (Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce Scholarship [October])

If I missed anyone, or if you've done something amazing since I posted this, please let me/us know in class or comment below.

congratulations thunder drumline

Congratulations to (author) Jon Begg, Ricky Luna, and the other members of the RHS Thunder Drumline on their Dia De Los Muertos performance and taking the #1 High School Percussion Award at the 35th Annual Pismo Beach Marching Band Review!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

november 4

JOURNAL TOPIC: [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 exploits. 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, 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 do  extraordinary things; 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.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar [possible topics: performative utterances in Hamlet, the essay, vocabulary, speakers, study/blog strategies, "Modern Thinkers," how the course can provide maximal value for every one of us from now until the end of the semester/year]; take notes and feel free to capture on phones and upload to the YouTube channel.  As always, please be mindful; before you turn on the camera ask everyone in your field of vision if it's ok to post their images-- and if they say "no" please don't.  Mahalo.

(To be continued Tuesday.  Please bring your current literature analysis novel to class Wednesday.)

HW:
1. Review/prepare for vocab #9 quiz tomorrow (Tuesday)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

congratulations annette and gabby


Congratulations to Girl’s Tennis Champions Gabby Pereverziev and Annette Sousa.  Good luck at CIF!

(I didn't catch this article about Annette when it came out, better to share late than never.  Kudos, Annette! :)

inside the cheater's mind

In attempting to answer the question, "Why do people cheat?" this article concludes, "A solid moral compass can, in other words, lead one safely through dim rooms with graffiti-covered walls."  Hey, wait a minute: WE work all day in a dim room with graffiti-covered walls... 

nominate the youth

If you know a young person in grades 5-11 who would be a good candidate for this opportunity, please share this link with him/her.  Mahalo.

If you ARE a young person in grades 5-11 who was referred here by someone who thinks highly of you (or you are lucky enough to have stumbled on this site by accident), please read the following letter and, if you're interested, compose an email-- WITH a parent or guardian who likes the idea-- and send it to dpreston.learning@gmail.com.


people to people -

Friday, November 1, 2013

member blogs: best of

I was just reading through the Member Blogs when I realized spent five minutes longer than I thought on Ian Steller's blog.  (I think I wound up there through the Random Absence Mentoring post on Princeton University.)  Why was I reading back through vocabulary and a literature analysis on Siddhartha that I'd already read?  There's a special quality about some of these blogs: the features, the layouts, the music (or quiet), the colors/graphics (or minimalist/functional design)... they just seem to work.  When a site draws you in like this, you begin to understand why there is an entire field of study dedicated to user engagement.  Kudos.  Please Note: There are lots of great ones, please comment to this post with your favorites--it might help someone's grade.

[Speaking of Kudos: I forgot to type/take a picture of the Kudos in class today-- will post Monday.] 


hating on daylight saving time

Until this author gets his way, we're stuck with it.  Don't forget to change your clocks on Sunday. :)

november 1

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Say What" by Stevie Ray Vaughan; "Say It Now (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" by James Brown; "Say It To Me Now" by Glen Hansard]

How does what we say relate to what we do? Does telling ourselves or other people what we think/feel/intend change our thought process and/or feelings? Does it make us more or less likely to act? Does it teach us anything about ourselves?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Read/summarize/discuss Act V

HW:
1. Please comment to this post with any questions/ideas about the following topic and ways to write about it. Please post the essay to your blog and bring a hard copy (typed or handwritten) to class on Monday, 11.4.

Using what you've learned about Hamlet the character and Hamlet the play, evaluate the impact of performative utterance on Hamlet and your own sense of self. How does the way Hamlet speaks constitute action in itself? How does it impact the characters and the plot? How does this compare with your own "self-overhearing"? How does the way you reflect on your experience create a sense of memory, expectation, and real-world results? Use the text, your reading/lecture notes, the experience of memorizing the "To be, or not to be" soliloquy, de Boer's paper (and Bloom's/Austin's theoretical frameworks), and the many online and offline discussions we've had.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

october 31

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes:  "What's He Building in There?" by Tom Waits; "Halloween (Michael Myers) Theme" by John Carpenter; "This is Halloween" by Marilyn Manson]

Since it's Halloween, two options (one for each face):
1. What role does fear (of death, of loss, of discovery) play in Hamlet?  What role does it play in your own life and decision-making process?
2. What masks do people wear in everyday life, i.e., how/why/when do we intentionally adopt personae that serve purposes other than reflecting who we are with integrity?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Discussion: limits on what we (digitally) perceive and express
3. Generational translation: Hamlet 2.0?
4. [Vocabulary]
5. Acts IV & V

HW:
1. Finish reading the play and prepare to discuss who dies, how, why, and so what...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

this just in from mrs. dirkes

Mrs. Dirkes asked me to ask you to list the colleges you are applying for on Naviance.  Below is a screen shot of her email with instructions-- if you have questions, please ask in class or consult with Maddie and/or the Cracking the Code on College team.  Mahalo.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

hamlet is bugging me

I was just posting to the blog and noticed 6 people are on, so let me ask you a question: Do you think Hamlet's nuts?  After our discussions today I reflected back on all the commentary and all the productions I could remember, and it seems like the overwhelming majority talk about Hamlet being mad.  But I still wonder whether his ability to see the ghost is commentary on Gertrude's blindness to the truth and Hamlet's ability to see right and wrong.  In fact, I wonder if it's the sanest thing in the world to be freaked out by feeling obliged to kill someone, and I also still wonder about Hamlet's ability to plan and say the right things (with double meanings!) under pressure.  I guess he could be an endearingly fiendish sociopath, but he seems too self-critical for that.  What do you think, and what is your evidence?  Especially curious about your perspectives after you read DeBoer's paper.

josten's info

As promised-- if you didn't go to the assembly today, please see the following email from Josten's representative Danny Hutchinson and/or check a friend's blog (Shane's has video :) for selection and ordering information.


october 30

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads; "Killing Me Softly With His Song" by Roberta Flack]

Why does Shakespeare end so many of his plays in death? Is this [spoiler alert] what makes Hamlet a tragedy, or it is something else...?  Provide examples from Hamlet, Julius Caesar and Romeo & Juliet to support your answer.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. "To be or not to be" frankenrecital (cont'd.)
3. Q & A: Hamlet Acts I-IV
4. Performative utterance (in the meantime, you can see comments from the Class of 2012, me, and the author of that paper here)
5. Hamlet: Act V  [***or not?***]

HW:
1. Please read the post entitled, "tools that change the way we think" and comment/post to your blog with same title.
2. Midweek magic: definitions & usage for VOCABULARY #9
3. Read closely at least to the end of Act IV

vocabulary #9


aficionado
browbeat
commensurate
diaphanous
emolument
foray
genre
homily
immure
insouciant
matrix
obsequies
panache
persona
philippic
prurient
sacrosanct
systemic
tendentious
vicissitude

tools that change the way we think

Please read the following passage and respond to the questions below. Write your answers in a comment to this post. Then, cut/paste both the passage and your thoughts to your own blog in a post entitled, "Tools That Change the Way We Think."

"Back in 2004, I asked [Google founders] Page and Brin what they saw as the future of Google search. 'It will be included in people's brains,' said Page. 'When you think about something and don't really know much about it, you will automatically get information.'

'That's true,' said Brin. 'Ultimately I view Google as a way to augment your brain with the knowledge of the world. Right now you go into your computer and type a phrase, but you can imagine that it could be easier in the future, that you can have just devices you talk into, or you can have computers that pay attention to what's going on around them and suggest useful information.'

'Somebody introduces themselves to you, and your watch goes to your web page,' said Page. 'Or if you met this person two years ago, this is what they said to you... Eventually you'll have the implant, where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer."

-From In the Plex by Steven Levy (p.67)


Answer this not-so-simple question: How does use of the Internet, media, and/or technology change the way you think? Focus on your memory, your ability to concentrate, your sense of time and priorities, and the subjects/topics that interest you most. If you find "thinking about your thinking" difficult to assess, try the following strategies: compare yourself with older people who did most of their formal learning before smart phones and 2.0 existed; compare yourself with contemporaries who don't use those tools much today; read up on what education leaders and thinkers have to say about generational differences in thinking (and remember to cite your sources).

filter bubbles