Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Quote, and Some Good Dickens

"What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people's hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you're playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. To write a song that is remembered and taken to heart is a connection, a touching of bases. A thread that runs through all of us. A stab to the heart. Sometimes I think songwriting is about tightening the heartstrings as much as possible without bringing on a heart attack." -Keith Richards

Well, for one thing, I really feel like I should look up some of this guy's music. 

This oughta do it.


Right now, I'm ACTUALLY reading Great Expectations, which I lied about reading last semester. Well, I didn't lie, but I didn't read it. So I guess that's lying by omission.

So it goes.

Or doesn't go?

Anyway. Charles Dickens reminds me a bit of Mark Twain, mostly because of that "streaky bacon" dry humor in this book. It's a very loose comparison, but bear with me for a moment here.

Mark Twain's most well known works are Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, respectively. What do these have in common with Great Expectations, you may ask? THESE BOOKS ARE THE NARRATIVE OF A YOUNG BOY ENCOUNTERING PROBLEMS THAT ARE BIGGER THAN THEY ARE.

The child's perspective always offers this view of innocence and naivety because their opinion on the world is still developing. This offers a perfect canvas for a bildungsroman, because the character is literally and figuratively coming of age.

That said, I think Dickens wrote Great Expectations to offer his view on the human condition, both the good and bad, through a child's wide eyed wonderful perspective.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dickens Map

Is how I feel right now.

So much is happening! It's the last semester! We're doing great things! The "BALL" is rolling! Not limited to, but including, this class.

So here's what I was thinking. I'm a T.A. for two classes in a row, so I'm just gonna have to read the crap out of this Dickens book whenever I get a chance. I'll have to read it back stage, too, since this is Tech Week for Busybody at the Santa Maria Civic Theater. (WE OPEN FRIDAY AND RUN ALL MONTH ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY STARTING AT 7) Finishing this book isn't what I'm scared of. 

also, here are the 5 questions. I found them on Hayden Robel's blog, which I subscribe to. If I had time to do this earlier I would have found different ones, but it's late, and someone else already gave me a source. Here is a link to his blog.

Last, to demonstrate what we have learned, I think an AP style essay would be be best. My class mates might hate me for that....but come on. It will help us practice for the AP test, provide in class discussion, and more post opportunities on the blog. That way the blogging world can SEE our work. Oh, and peer editing. That's always a good thing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Remixing the remix of a remix

I love that we can all see each other's work because I know that if I'm lost or whatever, I can totally look on someone else's page to catch up. Some people REALLY get into this remixing thing, so I thought for my remix I'd post links and descriptions of people with unique habits to help ME study and hopefully help others to.

My rat, Codex, is currently running amuck all over my work area pleading for my attention. It will be hard to focus on homework with that temptation. However, I press on.

1) Christa Weston. This girl goes ALL OUT on her remixes. She deserves some props. I've never seen such dedication to an assignment like this. It's been a major help using her page to study off of.


2) Sarah Gutierrez. Sarah's blog is good for more than just videos on Shakespeare. A combination of word pictures, images, and videos. Very well done.




4) Lizbeth Estrada. If you've a visual learner, this is the site for you.


5) Kathryn Greenup. Kathryn is just an awesome allie to have in this class. She's always on top of everything.


I think that's it for now. Codex is getting antsy, and so am I. Good night Bloggians. I love some of you.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Poetry Analysis

We Real Cool
by Gwendolyn Brooks

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

This poem is so delectably clever for being as short as it is.
The quick, short diction make this a sort of limerick. The tone could be interpreted as ironic because of how the poem is about life and pride in living it in the fast lane, but it ends abruptly with 'we die soon' which cuts the poem as well as ending the life of the "we" character in the poem. I feel like this could also be literally, telling the reader that they "left school" because they "die soon" and want to do some living before that happens.

Dover Beach

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night. 

This poem seems so lonely, and yet so connected. It contains an allusion to Sophocles which most people will recognize. That allusion also relates to the theme of a universal human suffering. The entire poem has a melancholic tone.

To His Coy Mistress

by Andrew Marvell
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart;
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
   But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
   Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run

This poem is saying that if the narrator had time, he would spend an eternity admiring his mistress but time will slip away and they should enjoy one another while they are still young. This poem is written in iambic pentameter.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I searched through maybe 4 different websites and found NOTHING useful when I decided to give Cliffnotes a try. I thought they'd all be easy, but turns out I didn't give the site enough credit.


4. Examine the process of synthesis as it relates to Hesse's contact with Jungianism and relate its thematic influence in a selected novel.

 I thought this question was interesting, because it was not read and assess and asked a deeper question on the subject of theme.

7. What is the function of Kamala in the novel?

This question also speaks to the symbolism of a character in a novel, which I can see as more of an AP question than the others on the website.

Also, Sparknotes had some interesting essay topic suggestions.


5. Siddhartha concerns the quest for spiritual enlightenment, and by the end of it four characters have achieved this goal: Govinda, Gotama, Vasudeva, and Siddhartha. Is the enlightenment achieved by each of these characters the same? Why or why not? What distinctions and similarities exist between the paths these characters use to reach their final goal?

1. Discuss the role of the mystic utterance Om in Siddhartha. In what ways does it foreshadow Siddhartha’s spiritual progression? Is his relationship with it proactive, or reactive?

Re: Semester Endgame

  • Do you read your colleagues’ work online?  How often? What is it like to read their work? How does being able to see everyone’s work online at any given time change the way you do your work?

    Depending on the assignment I know there are a few other students I can blog-check for guidance. It's nice to be able to see their work and individual style as well as compare my own thoughts and processes to theirs.

  • How has the publicly and always visible course blog made this course different from one without a blog?  How would the course change if the course blog disappeared tomorrow?

    I'm not sure the public has had that big of an affect on me personally YET,  but if the blog disappeared tomorrow I would die. HOW WOULD I KNOW WHAT HOMEWORK TO DO?

  • Has publishing your work for the public to see changed your approach to completing an assignment? How so?  How would your feelings about the course change if you couldn’t publish your work that way?

    It definitely holds me accountable. I tend to slack off sometimes but the blog is like a living timeline of my work ethic.
  • Has your experience of the physical classroom changed because of the open & online aspects?  Where does your learning actually happen?

    It happens everywhere. I like that I can use my phone to access the internet in class. It's better to use those kinds of instant references, since they are available. I can only hope more teachers allow this in the future.

  • You were described in the Macarthur Foundation/DML  interview as “a pioneer”-- how do you describe the experience on the edge to people who haven’t been there (friends and family)?

    I kind of tell them it's common sense to use the technology we're all attached to anyway for educational purposes.
  • How do they respond when you describe the brave new world in which you’re working?

    Well, my worst case was them telling me that my generation is going to be screwed because we "can't talk to people", but most people just nod and say, "cool."
  • What do their responses mean to you?  What effect(s) (if any) do they have on you?

    The aforementioned worst case just made me sad for the ignorance of the generation before me. We're gonna have a much more productive time on this earth, I'll tell you that.
  • Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    "Whats in this for me?" (I hate it when I have to use your titles, Dr. Preston. I'm probably going to stop doing that.)

    Hello again, bloggians.

    I secretly hope we improve our blogging communities, because I like reading what other people write almost as much as I enjoy WRITING SOMETHING THAT WILL ACTUALLY BE BROADCASTED.

    I've been dabbling with spoken word poetry for almost a year now, and I *finally* read one of my poems out loud to an audience the other day.

    Well, you know me and audiences. I'm fucking hooked.

    (Pardon the crassness)

    ((don't really, I hate censorship))

    So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm developing an insatiable thirst for attention and being heard.

    And, who knows, I might just learn something from the other kids. I mean, students.


    What's in this for me? Well, there are a number of paths showing themselves as possibilities for my future given my strengths and weaknesses and interests and talents.

    I want to explore every possibility, but I don't even know the next step.


    And honestly, no ones really helping me out.

    SO I'm hoping to gain a little momentum in this class to hopefully set me on a successful road.

    I might just want to be an English teacher. Who knows? I'm thinking being in this class for two consecutive periods might just give me an idea of what that will be like and if it's for me.