For the ill and the absent-minded -

Here, you will find a very brief summary of class discussions and activities, lists of assigned readings and links to other resources. It should serve as a reminder of what we covered in class and/or of what you missed by being absent physically and/or mentally. Please read the posts and talk with your classmates before stopping me in the hallways to ask me if "we did anything important the other day". Feel free to make comments and if you're still confused, please email me!

(NB: I do not condone class absences - you must be present, in class, actively listening and participating whenever possible. Always communicate your absences with the school office as well as with me. It is your responsibility to make arrangements for missed learning opportunities. You MUST meet all assignment deadlines.)

20 February 2017

G - The in medias res thing.

Patrick took us through "On Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three." I revisited my lesson on how to approach a piece of literature systematically in order to explain/expose it clearly and concisely.

Thunderchild did a very succinct introduction to the excerpt from Milton's Paradise Lost. Learners took turns reading aloud from the excerpt in their best "epic poetry" voices. I was called away and I entrusted you to read together. Likely, you only go through the first 25 lines of the section before you yourselves were called over for the assembly.

NEXT CLASS: Finishing the excerpt from Milton's epic

COMING UP: Presentations from your inquiry

17 February 2017

A - The thing about not having read what you were supposed to have read...

Nikkeyla presented a summary and some important lines from I,ii.

Erik and Anesha spoke about I,iii and Ralph made some important contributions regarding Polonius, Laertes, and Ophelia.

Then, we had to stop because you all hadn't finished reading even to scene iii! I spoke about the importance of completing the assigned reading.

READ: all of Act I and Act II

Write an extended paragraph on ONE of the characters from Act I, citing and integrating five to six quotes to support your character descriptor. Please provide a HARD COPY of the paragraph next class. Be sure to
  • write in the present tense;
  • provide context;
  • and use quotes sequentially.
NEXT CLASS: Your summaries and questions on Act I, scenes iii (review), iv, and v, and on Act II, scenes i and ii. 

16 February 2017

G - The things about 54 scholars.

We worked through Elizabeth I and Lanier's poems, excerpts from the King James Bible, and Milton's sonnet "On His Blindness."

HIGHLIGHTS: Two women poets of the Renaissance (finally female voices!), 54 scholars/translators, archaic form of translations, charity and love, Milton's desire to make individual connection with God, Milton's blindness, the language of poetry,...

READ: Paradise Lost


15 February 2017

A - The one with all the work on the play.

Learners read their independent novels.

I checked in with the groups from last day and created new groups for looking at Act I, II, and III of Hamlet. Learners worked their assigned scenes to come up with:
  • a summary of the scene
  • highlight important lines connected to the themes and motifs of the play
  • design three questions for clarification
READ: to the end of Act II

NEXT CLASS: Presenting Act I

14 February 2017

G - The Meditation 17 and Cavalier poets fiasco.

We finally go to Meditation 17 and we revisited Suckling and Lovelace. I asked learners to consider a more structured approach to explaining/presenting their pieces:

  • Read the piece aloud
  • Pay attention to the time period / author's biography
  • Decide on form (prose, poetry,...)
  • Summarize by paragraph / section / stanza
  • Comment on tone
  • Note important lines and contributions as a representative piece
TO DO: Complete the ENTRANCE SLIP from last day's post

READ: Two Women Poets of the Renaissance, The King James Bible (Psalm 8, Genesis 2 & 3, 1Corinthians 13)

NEXT CLASS: The Puritan Age!

08 February 2017

A - The lesson on directing Hamlet's emotions.

We worked with Hamlet's fist soliloquy. Learners worked the emotional spheres of the soliloquy by playing "actor" and "director."

I split the class into four groups and learners worked scenes ii, ii, iv, and v to come up with:
  • a summary of the scene
  • highlight important lines connected to the themes and motifs of the play
  • design three questions for clarification
READ: to the end of Act II

NEXT CLASS: Presenting Act I

07 February 2017

G - The Cavaliers and carpe diem things.

Julia lead us in a discussion of Vaughan's "The Retreat." We spoke briefly about the comparisons to the other metaphysicals, specifically to Donne's Holy Sonnets and to Herbert's "Easter Wings."

Eva talked about Herrick and his "To the Virgins, To Make Use of Time." We discussed the Cavalier poets and the whole carpe diem way of thinking.

Christine also talked about Suckling and Lovelace and gave us some notes on "The Constant Lover," "Why So Pale and Wan?" and "To Lucasta, On Going to the Wars." I asked learners to consider a more "rakish" tone to the poems.

READ: The rest of the representative pieces from the Renaissance Period, She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

NEXT CLASS: Meditation 17 (please!), The Cavaliers continued, Women poets of the Renaissance, Lucy's Inquiry on Shakespeare

ENTRANCE SLIP: How would a 21st century feminist respond to Herrick, Suckling, and/or Lovelace? (Please post a response below BEFORE coming to class next day.)