Friday, September 15, 2017

Reading Period 3: September 15-21: The Three Musketeers

Long Read: The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, chapters 40-67

Short Read: "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" by Stephen Crane

Poem: "La Rochelle" by Richard Aldington. There are two lines on the next page; get them by clicking the right arrow.

Creative Assignments:

The first stanza of the poem "La Rochelle" by Richard Aldington shows a version of La Rochelle long after the siege, a sweet picture of a pleasant seaside town. But the author doesn't want us to forget the "iron men" who defended La Rochelle and starved and died there. The second stanza  Write a poem about a battlefield you may have visited in Virginia. You could even write about the Battle of Hampton Roads which took place in the rivers off Norfolk. In your poem, emulate the form of Aldington's poem. So in your first stanza, talk about the scene as it is now. In your second stanza, remind the reader of what it was like when the battle was being waged. Study the poem and use the same techniques -- colors, sounds, and visual details to invoke your scene.

OR

After the siege of La Rochelle, Louis XIII had himself painted being crowned by victory.


Here are a couple of other portraits of this modest fella:


That's La Rochelle down there. Probable caption: #PWNED

When you are king, you have to make sure portraits of you are always super powerful and super perfect, so you can remind people of how great you are. Pretend you are the king or queen of the universe. Paint or draw a portrait of yourself looking incredibly powerful and important, possibly with lightning bolts shooting out your eyes, surrounded by symbols of your power, and riding high on a boatload of victory.

For extra bonus fun, use your Photoshop skillz if you have them to put some "regular guy" clothes on the images of Louis, above. What would he look like in blue jeans and a Radiohead tshirt? What if instead of a scepter he was holding a remote?

Writing Assignments:

It's time to watch a movie version of The Three Musketeers! So many versions to choose from, including a recent one where the Duke of Buckingham arrives at the Louvre on an airship! Before you watch a movie version, though, please consider what choices you would make if you were producing a movie. Write a 250 word essay in which you talk about what parts of the book you might cut out, what characters you might cut out, and how you would simplify the novel. Or, you can make the case for filming a miniseries or a trilogy, so that all the piece of the novel and all the characters could be represented. After you post your assignment, watch a movie version. Then you can come back to your post and rant and rave in a comment about how perfect and wonderful or how infuriatingly awful the movie was.

OR

Just like the sheriff in "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" by Stephen Crane, the characters in The Three Musketeers have public and private identities. When these clash, the story develops. Write a 250 word essay in which you compare Jack Potter, whose public identity as a gun-slinging sheriff clashes with his private identity as a husband and family man, to a character in the novel who is similarly at odds with himself. One good idea would be Aramis, who repeats that he is only an interim musketeer because he wants to join the priesthood, and yet fights violently and loves passionately.  Use specific events from the novel to support your comparison.

Quiz: 

In lieu of a reading comprehension quiz this week, please define these vocabulary words:

1. Provincial
2. Connoisseur
3. Patois
4. Physiognomy
5. Protégé
6. Coquetry
7. Ransacked
8. Posterity
9. Reproach
10. Incontinence
11. Alibi
12. Lackey
13. Misanthropic
14. Fanfanorade
15. Rendezvous
16. Bourgeois
17. Apprehended
18. Bastille
19. Decamp
20. Edict

Don't forget to write about The Three Musketeers in your personal archive!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Reading Period 2: September 8 - 14: The Three Musketeers

Milady de Winter
Due Dates:
Quiz September 11, 7pm
Assignments September 13, 7pm
Quiz should be emailed to me with the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 2. Assignments should be posted to the Google+ community in the appropriate category.

Long Read: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, chapters 21-40

Short ReadPuss in Boots, French folk tale translated by Andrew Lang

Poetry: "More Strong Than Time" by Victor Hugo

Creative Assignments: 

Write, as Aramis did, a 400 line poem where each line is a word of only one syllable. If you lose count of your lines, use the word count feature to check it. If you aren't able to copy and paste so many lines into the Google+ field, post a link to a Google Doc and make it public. For your poem's title, take one of the chapter titles. I particularly want someone to write a poem titled "At Night All Cats Are Grey" but "The Rendezvous" or "The Return" might also work, as well as "The Dream of Vengeance" or "Milady's Secret," etc.

OR

Cardinal Richelieu's most famous quotation may not have been spoken by him. Its authorship is disputed, but the idea is connected firmly with the Red Duke: "Give me six lines written by the most honest man in the world, and I will find enough in them to hang him." Another quote that was definitely attributed to Cardinal Richelieu is this: "Harshness towards individuals who flout the laws and commands of state is for the public good; no greater crime against the public interest is possible than to show leniency to those who violate it." The fleur de lis is a symbol of France, and was branded on criminals to punish them and identify repeat offenders. Milady De Winter has one such brand on her shoulder. Create a graphic illustration using one of the above quotes and a fleur de lis. You must use the color red, to symbolize the Cardinal. Your illustration of the quote must include the color red, the quote itself, and a fleur de lis. Everything else is up to you.



Writing Assignment:

Having read forty chapters, we now have several different points of comparison for Athos, Aramis, and Porthos. You might for example compare their romantic lives, or their interests and pursuits, their physical appearance, or their way of fighting. You could compare what happens to them on the way to see D'Artagnan of to London, or what has happened to them when he goes to pick them up. This week's writing assignment will compare Athos, Aramis, and Porthos in a five paragraph essay. Choose one point of comparison from the above suggestions (or another idea) and back up your points with quotes from the novel. You will use the following outline:

I. Introduction: Say something to introduce your reader to your topic -- evoke an image, set a scene, introduce an emotion, ask a question, or start with a quote. Remember that your introduction not only leads the reader into your topic, but also represents your writing. Make it a firm handshake.
II. First Musketeer
     A. Description
     B. Quote
III. Second Musketeer
     A. Decription
     B. Quote
IV Third Musketeer
     A. Description
     B. Quote
V. Conclusion: In your conclusion you must go somewhere new. Don't simply reiterate your points or return to your thesis statement from your introduction. Take the reader to a new idea, a true conclusion, something you could only point out having lead the reader through the points of your essay.

We will discuss all this in class on Tuesday, so the notes above will be review. Please come to class with an outline or some idea of what you will be writing. On Thursday you will need to bring in a printed out version of your essay and outline. We will talk about formatting in class.

Quiz:

1. Why does the Duke of Buckingham need to employ a goldsmith?
2. Why was the Cardinal embarrassed at the ballet?
3. Planchet believes M. Bonacieux is not to be trusted. What evidence does he give?
4. What does D'Artagnan learn from the old man in the hut?
5. Where has Mousqueton been getting food and drink for Porthos?
6. On what topic is Aramis planning to write his theological thesis?
7. In what mental state was Athos when he told the story of the count and the branded woman?
8. Even though when Athos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan visit Porthos they are eating chicken, veal, and lamb, Athos says they are eating horse. Why?
9. Why do the musketeers and D'Artagnan so desperately need money?
Mme. Bonacieux
10. Planchet intercepted a note meant for Lubin, the lackey of the Comte de Wardes. What did the note say and who was it from?
11. Why was Athos forced to kill his opponent in the duel?
12. Why was it funny that M. Coquenard and the clerks were so excited by the food presented at dinner with Porthos?
13. How does D'Artagnan acquire the second and third note to Comte de Wardes?
14. What lie does Aramis tell about where the money came from for his outfit?
15. D'Artagnan pretended to be the Comte de Wardes when he visited Milady de Winter (Lady Clarick). How was this possible?
16.  What does Milady want D'Artagnan to do, after she gets the fake note from the Comte de Wardes?
17. What secret is revealed when D'Artagnan tears Milady's nightgown?
18. How does Athos finally get the money for his outfit?
19. Who was leaning out of the carriage on the road to Chaillot, blowing D'Artagnan a kiss?
20. What does Cardinal Richelieu want D'Artagnan to do?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Reading Period 1: August 11-September 7: The Three Musketeers

Due dates:
Quiz: Monday, September 4, 7pm
Assignments: Wednesday, Sept 6, 7pm
Post assignments to the Google+ Community under the appropriate category. Email quiz to me with the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 1.

Long Read: 

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, chapters 1-20

Short Read: 

The Great Automatic Grammatizer by Roald Dahl

Poem:


"a total stranger one black day" by e.e. cummings

a total stranger one black day
knocked living the hell out of me--
who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self he was
-but now that fiend and i are such
immortal friends the other's each
Creative Assignments:

Cardinal Richelieu is a very manipulative person, particularly with the king. Read their conversations, on page 169 and 177, where the Cardinal is saying the opposite of what he wants the king to think, just to get the king to disagree with him. This is called reverse psychology, and you can read a bit more about it here. Write a scene of about 250 words including dialogue between two people, one of whom is using reverse psychology on the other one. Maybe you'll write about a mom trying to get a kid to pick up his room by claiming that he can't do it, or a little sister getting the flavor of cupcake she wants by insisting she wants a different one. Have you ever used reverse psychology? You could write about that. Make sure you punctuate your dialogue correctly using quotation marks and commas where needed.

OR

Take a look at this current satellite map of Paris, which is marked with lots of the locations in the novel. Here is a link to the street view, instead of the satellite view. Here is the famous Merian map of Paris in 1615, which shows the fortifications and farmland, and the Bastille. When you're looking at it, realize the Merian map is facing sort of southeast. On the Merian map, zoom in to find the Pont Neuf, and Notre Dame, the Louvre, etc. Finally, take a look at the famous Turgot map of Paris in the early 18th century. Now make your own hand-drawn map of Paris. Include the Seine River and ten landmarks -- from the book, from modern times, or from history. Use unlined paper and make sure you include a compass to show which way is north, and a key if needed.

OR

The Nike of Samothrace, or the "Winged Victory" as it is known, is an interesting piece of art in that it inspires a lot of intense feelings in people, and yet it has no head or arms. Write a poem about this sculpture in which you try to capture the emotions portrayed in this marble work. Here is a site that will show you some other views of it.



Writing Assignments:

The Louvre was originally built as a square, moated castle with defensive towers at each corner. As Paris grew, it became a more elaborate palace. Take a look at this drawing of the Louvre Palace as it was during the reign of Louis XIII. Nowadays, it is no longer a fortress or a palace, but an art museum. At the art museum, there are certain rooms and displays that are visitor favorites: the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory, and the Venus de Milo. These areas can become very crowded -- but does that stop people from looking? A research team at MIT used Bluetooth data to figure out whether the size of the crowd affected the time the visitors spent at the museum. Take a look at what they found out.






After thinking about the traffic flow reflected in the MIT simulation, write a personal essay of 250 words about what you would do if you got a chance to go to the Louvre. Would you head straight for the Mona Lisa? Would you be bothered by large crowds of people? Would you try to see everything or just skip through the most famous galleries? Browse the museum's collection here. Which art pieces would you most want to visit?

OR

As you are reading The Three Musketeers, you may run into a line or paragraph that makes you angry. This book was published in 1844 and reflects some attitudes and ideas that we no longer like. For example, on the top of page 117, you'll find this:

"There is in affluence a host of aristocratic attentions and caprices that go well with beauty. Fine white stockings, a silk dress, a lace bodice, a pretty slipper on the foot, a fresh ribbon in the hair, will never make an ugly woman pretty, but will make a pretty woman beautiful, to mention what the hands gain from it all: hands, women's hands especially, must remain idle to remain beautiful." 
What do you think of that quote? Is the narrator correct, that hands must be idle to be beautiful? In a 250 word essay, say whether you agree or disagree with this quote, and why. You might give examples of what you consider beautiful, and compare it to the list you find in the quoted paragraph.

OR

Read the short story "The Great Automatic Grammatizer" and explain the last line for me, in an essay of 250 words. Remember that you will need to explain the story a bit to set up your explanation.

Quiz:

Here are twenty questions to make sure you're paying attention to the things I want you to notice in the reading. Each number lines up approximately with a chapter, so if you're looking for the answer to number 5, start in chapter 5! The quiz is open book. Copy the questions and add your answers in an email to me, and use the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 1. Quizzes are due on Monday, Sept 4, at 7pm. Full answers are appreciated, but one word answers are fine when that is all the question requires.

1. What were the three presents D'Artagnan's father gave him, and what had happened to each one by the end of the first chapter?
2. Give one thing that M. Treville and D'Artagnan have in common.
3. What does M. Treville suspect about who might have sent D'Artagnan?
4. What three people has D'Artagnan got himself signed up to duel?
5. Why does D'Artagnan end up fighting beside the musketeers instead of against them?
6. "As he had already accomplished something in making this child revolt against his master, he said no more." In this quote from page 65, the "he" is M. Treville. Who is the child and who is the master?
7. What would it mean that D'Artagnan considers Athos an Achilles, Porthos an Ajax, and Aramis a Joseph on page 86? (use the note!)
8. Who does M. Bonacieux suspect of abducting his wife?
9. Which Englishman is the queen suspected of being in love with?
10. How does D'Artagnan establish an alibi so that no one knows he was getting La Porte from the Louvre at half past nine?
11. What was Mme. Bonacieux's mission, which D'Artagnan interrupted?
12. Why is the Duke of Buckingham planning for England to go to war with France? What does he want out of it?
13. What two characters are being held captive in the Bastille in chapter 13?
14. What does the Cardinal learn was in the rosewood box, according to his spy Mme de Lannoy?
15. Who won the argument between M. de Treville and the Cardinal?
16. The Keeper of the Seals took a letter away from the Queen. To whom was it written, and what was it about?
17. Why is it a problem for the Queen that the King wants her to wear the diamonds to the upcoming ball?
18. From what location can Mme. Bonacieux and D'Artagnan overhear M. Bonacieux and the Comte de Rochefort talking?
19. Where did D'Artagnan get 300 pistoles, and how did he divide it up amongst himself and his friends?
20. How did Aramis, Porthos, and Athos get waylaid on their way to London?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Reading Period 27: June 9-29: The Neverending Story

Long Read: 

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, chapters 18-26

Short Read:

"Robbie" by Isaac Asimov. You can read the intro to the collection too, if you want to, or just skip to the story "Robbie."

Poem:

"I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone" by Rainer Maria Rilke


Creative Assignments: 

After reading Rilke's poem, consider this question: What is it the speaker yearns for? He repeats the phrase "I want" a number of times. What is it that he really wants? Now write a poem of your own in which you examine the question of what you really want. It must start with the phrase "I am much too ___ in this world" (you can substitute your own word for "alone") and it must contain at least three lines that start with "I want..."

OR

Pretend you are Bastian and you have been given the gift to create Fantastica in whatever way you wish. Start with a blank piece of paper and some colored pencils or pencil and crayons, and create a map of Fantastica. You can put known elements in from the book or you can devise your own fantastical world. You can add beasts and plant life to your map, or stick to just geography. Start with mountains, add rivers, forests, or make your map a complete fantasy, where rivers flow up from the sea and mountains hang from the stars. Use color and your imagination.

Writing Assignments:

Finish up the short story you've been working on about the three invented creatures you pulled from the bag. Post the final version. If you haven't come to "The End" at least polish and post one episode from your story. Try for 1000 words.

AND

Consider these questions: Which was your favorite of the books we read? Which was your least favorite? Which do you think should stay on the syllabus for the next time I teach this class, and which should I cut to make room for something else? From which book did you learn the most, and which was the most entertaining to read? Now write a well-structured essay of at least 250 words in which you choose one book to defend, that should definitely stay on the list, and one book to critique, which you feel should come off the list for next time.

Both of these writing assignments are required! Also, make sure you have your archive up to date.

Quiz:

1. The Acharis have been transformed into what goofy creatures?
2. Give a quote that shows Bastian is losing his memory of his own world.
3. What is the shape of Xayide's castle?
4. Give a quote that shows how proud and arrogant Bastian has become.
5. What plan does Bastian overhear Atreyu and Falkor discussing while he is invisible?
6. In chapter 22, Xayide tells Bastian he has finally found what he really wants. What does she say it is?
7. What happens to the sword Sikanda when Bastian draws it against Atreyu?
8. Why is the City of the Old Emperors full of humans who are stuck there?
9. What does Bastian eat at Dame Eyola's house?
10. What does Bastian discover about Mr. Coreander?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reading Period 26: May 12-18: The Neverending Story

Long Read:

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, chapters 9-17

Short Read:

"The Wish" by Roald Dahl

Poem:

"Ode to Joy" by Friedrich Schiller. Here is the German next to the English. Make sure you click on "Show Original" if your browser tries to automatically translate it for you!

Creative Assignment:

Take a look at the works of German expressionist painter Paul Klee, particularly the painting "Once Emerged from the Gray of Night," in which words are inscribed in colored squares. (Klee lived in Switzerland but was part of this German art movement.)

Flora on Sand by Paul Klee

Senecio by Paul Klee

Once Emerged from the Gray of Night by Paul Klee

Here's the text of Klee's poem:

Once emerged from the gray of night
Heavier and dearer and stronger
Than the fire of the night
Drunk with God and doubled over. 
At present ethereal 
Surrounded by blue 
Soaring over the glaciers 
Toward the wise constellations.

Create your own poem inscribed in a field of colored squares. You can use graph paper if you want or create your own grid. You can see that Klee's squares weren't all the same size -- so be flexible! You can use your own poetry, or use a stanza of a poem you particularly like. Let the content of the poem dictate the colors you use in your grid. 

OR

Listen to the "Ode to Joy" movement of Beethoven's 9th and last symphony. This is Schiller's poem set to music: 



Now write your own poem entitled "Ode to Joy." You must use at least ten words from Schiller's poem, but they don't have to be in any order, and you can add as many of your own words as you like. Listen to the music while you write, and try to capture some of the spirit of its phrases in your poem.

Writing Assignment:

Your only choice of writing assignment is to work on your short story! Think about our class discussion as you compose your story. Plot is rooted in the identity of your characters, but you need to place them in a world that brings their identity into a place of conflict. I can't wait to read your creations!

Quiz:

1. Who sent Gmork to hunt Atreyu?
2. Finish the line: When it comes to controlling human beings, there is no better instrument than _____.
3. What is the deepest secret of the world of Fantastica?
4. What name has Bastian thought of for the Childlike Empress?
5. What makes Bastian hesitate and not want to come into Fantastica?
6. What is the job of the Old Man of Wandering Mountain?
7. Why is there nothing but a grain of sand left of Fantastica when Bastian arrives?
8.  What is inscribed on the back side of the Auryn?
9. Why is it madness to swim across the Lake of Tears?
10. What is different about the way Bastian appears to Atreyu now, as compared to how he appeared in the mirror gate?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Stickybeak Archive's Color Poems

Inspired by Rimbaud, we wrote poems that convey emotions through color, and other sensory information.

The Bird
by Sadie

A robin sits on a cherry tree,
singing a lovely song.
The tree spits puffs of pink clouds
and sets the stage for the bird

The bird is shot down,
giving out a horrid screech.
Fire engulfs the tree and all fall to the ground,
the puffs of pink turn to piles of ash.

A gentle hand cradles the dying bird,
and wishes for its song to return,
but it's last wheezing breath is released,
and head droops down, and falls like its tree.

The Clock
by Epona

Quiet room quiet house
all that is heard is the clicking of a mouse
and the ticking of a clock
all is still even the small windmill
sleeping cat sleeping birds
sleeping raccoon's hidden in the ferns
clock still ticking clock strikes 7:00
sun going down as it starts to get late

Clock still ticking clock strikes 10:00
thoughts of grey run through my head
waiting and waiting for the door to ring
while sitting in my room
with a sore look on my face

Clock still ticking clock strikes 10:30
I hear a ring from down stairs
with a smile on my face I run through the house
I open the door I greet them with a great embrace
all grey thoughts have been erased

An Anchor
by Keely

The clouds were red and white
I had A singing heart
Sailing on A calm and brilliant sea
But away you go from me
The clouds are grey
And the sea is dark and stormy
The boat sinks to a watery grave

In a cold stone cell
The mildew wrecks my mind
Grey and icy bricks are all that I can find
And I pound and I pound on the stone, begging to be let out
Because the People are all outside
Joyous and together
While I am locked away

An anchor is in my chest
A sharp knife of silver in my body
That never seemed to go away
The piercing sound of nails I made never did a thing
And all the people talking
Were just sounds thumping in my brain
A never-ending storm
That lasts all day

The King
by David

Bright, Trumpets Blasting
Declaring the rein of the rising king
As he silently creeps up his red carpet
Now the purple ladies play their quintet

A thousand sand chorus breaking into song
Yellow has come hopes to stay long
As all the green look up to him and his great crown
Now great Yellows rein has been

The dark witch has seen
And fixes the king a nasty gaul
As black and blue no one has been
Now the blue cascades down like a waterfall
The purple eyes are sick, the greens’ are weak
The Yellow drops are dark, and white reigns over all

The Final Sounds
by Parker

The sounds of drums.
The sunset, a deep red.
Marching coming from everywhere.
The final sounds till nothing.

Zip Zip Zap
The streaks, they run.
All the day, everyday.
Zap Zip Zoop

The clouds going slowly.
The waves splashing still.
It will become clear.
Once you sit without fear.

Endless Sleep
by Snowden

It feels like an icicle in your heart slowly
spreading the cold throughout your chest
It smells like candles and wood. It doesn't
smell bad, but more unsettling. Like
something crawling beside you,
questioning time.

Why does it smell like mulch and flowers? Will this sleep ever end?
How long has it been? I wonder what time it is?
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
No more icicles in your heart. No more being lost in time. The endless sleep is ended.

This is Now
by Ean

The heat of summer, the white puff of the clouds,
the refreshing breeze, the touch of your hand, the light of the sun

That was then

The cold rain, the grey fog,
the biting gale, the heart-rending feeling of regret,
the roaring of nature

That was then

The calming of the storm, the clearing of the clouds,
the dying down of the maelstrom, the drying of the tears,
the return of the sun

This is now


The Stickybeak Archive's Invented Word Poems

The Crazable Dinosaurs
by Sophie

In the prenight stood the xiongguanlong,
It’s semiscaly skin is strong.

A semispinosaurus stood out in the fog,
His dragonyowl echoed in the bog.

The crazable dinosaurs,
Sounded like wild boars.

From the bushes emerged a young dinosaur,
In it’s claws was a convenience store. 

Stuck in Semisleep
by David

It’s hot and I can’t sleep
I can only drift into hotsleep
Why can’t I sleep like a tiger
I just want to have a tigersleep!

Now my bed cloths are in a great big heap
And I hear the morning cheep
But I can’t sleep at all, too hot
I just want to have some tigersleep!

I feel that call the call of sleep
I feel the sleepcall edging its way
But I am stuck in semisleep 

While the Greenhearted
by Epona

A world of the greenhearted
They have no worries at all
In a land of gleehearts and feels a glowingnight at sleep
But then they’re the brokenwings, the insanityseekers, and brokengems
Who have all worries and no glowingnight at all
Hoping that one day a gemheart will come
To heal all their worries and to make them feel like freedwings
But alas they wait for that person to come while the greenhearted
Count their money all day long
They will never know the pain hidden in plain sight
The invisibletruth lingers day and night

The Fallcat
by Parker

Along the edge of space and time,
there it stands.
The Fallcat.

Standing there, amidst the lavafalls.
there it is.
The Fallcat.

Standing there, during Dreamfall.
Looking on.
The Fallcat.

It stands there, being antibored.
There it stands.
The Fallcat.

Waiting there, looking at the Fallgold.
There it waits.
The Fallcat.

The Upsad
by Sadie

Laziment claims the soul of the upsad.
They make a fish treed.
Fishment is common, for the victims of Upsads,
If you are caught, be Strawberrily friendly.