Friday, November 25, 2016

Reading Period 10: November 25 - Dec 1: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

Due Dates:
Quiz is due Monday, Nov 28
Assignments are due Wednesday, Nov 30

Long Read: 

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester
Stories 1, 2, and 3: "Hornblower and the Even Chance," "Hornblower and the Cargo of Rice," and "Hornblower and the Penalty of Failure."

Short Read:

"The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson

Poem: 

"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray

Challenge:

We are going to learn to play Whist in class, like the sailors in the Navy do! After reading a description of the gameplay in "Hornblower and the Even Chance" look up the rules of whist and try to understand them. Here's one explanation from Wikipedia, and here is another. You can also try playing Whist online here.

Creative Assignments:

Choose one of these scenes and draw before and after illustrations: Illustrate the duel between Simpson and Hornblower in two panels, showing the moment before the pistols go off and the moment right after. Illustrate the fate of the Marie Gallante in two panels, one as Hornblower takes control and one at the end of the story. Illustrate the state of the English sailors and French prisoners in two panels: one just after they get into the small boat, and one later after they have been in the small boat for three days.

OR

An elegy is a poetic form written on the occasion of someone's death. Read Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" as an example (as recited by Hornblower in our book). Also read "The Role of Elegy" by Mary Jo Bang. Take your pencil and paper to an actual graveyard and sit quietly on your own for a while. Then write a poem with "Elegy" in the title that includes an actual epitaph at the end. You don't have to use a regular meter or rhyme scheme like Gray. Write your elegy for a person, like Gray, that is imagined in your mind, someone who might be lying in that cemetery.

OR

Write a short story of less than 1000 words or a dramatic script (here's how to format it) that shows one scene where a struggling small businessman experiences a dramatic change, as the restaurant in Sherwood Anderson's "The Egg." You can include up to five characters: the businessman, a family member, an employee, and two customers. Don't try to show the whole story -- just give your reader the scene that changes the fate of the business. For example, you could write about a shoe store owner who can't seem to find a single shoe to fit a customer's oddly shaped foot. Maybe a bookstore owner is thrilled when a customer promises to buy the whole store, but then despairs when that customer turns out to have no money.

Writing Assignments: 

The scope of this story collection is January 1794 to March 1798. Do some online research and write a 250 word essay explaining the conflict between France and Britain during this pre-Napoleon time. Google "War of the First Coalition" to get started. Remember to cite your sources at the end of your essay, and if you use any direct quotes, you must put them in quotation marks.

OR

Hornblower toasts to the "confusion of Robespierre." Do some online research and figure out who Robespierre was, what his role was in the French Revolution, and why he would be an enemy of England. Write a 250 word essay explaining his importance to the historical events of this time. Remember to cite your sources at the end of your essay, and if you use any direct quotes, you must put them in quotation marks.



Quiz:

1. What Channel is referenced in the first line of the first story, and what two countries does it separate?
2. From the description we are given, what does Horatio Hornblower look like?
3. What is Hornblower's birthday?
4. Try to understand this vocabulary from context if you can. What are "toadies and lickspittles"?
5. Where is the Bay of Biscay?
6. What does the French word émigré mean?
7. Name one mistake that Hornblower makes in "Hornblower and the Cargo of Rice."
8. Give a quote that illustrates Hornblower's mental state in "Hornblower and the Penalty of Failure."
9. What does Hornblower learn of the history of the Pique, from studying the layout of her decks?
10. Why does Hornblower decide not to tell Pellew of what he did to destroy the Pique?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Reading Period 9: November 11 - 17: Romeo and Juliet

Due dates: 
Quiz: Monday, November 14
Assignments: Wednesday, November 16
Don't forget to print your writing assignment and turn it in, in class, with your outline.

Long read:

Romeo and Juliet Act 5

Short read:

"Rocking Horse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence

Creative Assignments:

If you're going to do one of the poem options, listen to both pieces first and see which one appeals to you.

Take out paper and pencil. Watch this video and listen to the London Symphony perform Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet Overture." While you are listening, write down the images and feelings that come to your mind. After the piece is over, turn the paper over, and use these images to create a poem of at least twenty lines, titled "Love." The poem doesn't have to have anything to do with the characters or settings of Romeo and Juliet. Focus on using visual imagery to create a mood.

OR

Take out paper and pencil. Watch this video and listen to the London Symphony perform "Dance of the Knights" from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet ballet. While you are listening, write down the images that come to your mind. After the piece is over, turn the paper over, and use these images and feelings  to create a poem of at least twenty lines, titled "Anger." The poem doesn't have to have anything to do with the characters or settings of Romeo and Juliet. Focus on using visual imagery to create a mood.

OR

Salvador Dali
Take a look at these incredibly beautiful and strange illustrations of Romeo and Juliet by surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Figure out which scene in the book is illustrated, and numbering from 1 to 11, give each one a descriptive title. Then using black, red, yellow, and blue only, and imitating the style of Dali, create your own illustration of a scene or idea from Romeo and Juliet.

Writing Assignment:

Watch a movie or stage version of Romeo and Juliet. If you went to see the American Shakespeare Theater perform last week, you can use that experience. Think about the character you play in our production, and the actor who played this character in the production you watched. Write a 250 word essay in which you describe the actor's choices in portraying this character, and then describe the choices you intend to make, whether the same or different, in portraying the character in class. Will you strike out on your own and do a new interpretation of your character? Will you borrow some things from the production you watched? Remember to print out your writing assignment and your outline to turn in on Thursday in class.

OR

Read these two articles (one and two) about Juliet's balcony, a tourist attraction in Verona, Italy. There is no historical basis for believing this is actually Juliet's house, but people like to write messages to her and leave them stuck to the wall. On one hand, people sticking chewing gum onto a historic house is bad, so maybe tourists should be stopped from doing it, and fined. On the other hand, Juliet's balcony brings in a lot of tourist dollars to Verona, and maybe the tourists should be allowed to leave their messages. Write a 250 word essay in which you choose a side and argue that the 500 Euro fine is fair or unfair, based on the information in these two articles. Remember to print out your writing assignment and your outline to turn in on Thursday in class.

Bye, Romeo and Juliet. We're moving on.
Quiz:

Identify the speaker of these important lines in Romeo and Juliet:

1. Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
2. My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
3. For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
4. Peace? I hate the word as I hate hell and all Montagues.
5. A plague on both your houses.
6. Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff;
Life and these lips have long been separated:
Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
7. I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
8. If love be rough with you, be rough with love!
9. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
10. O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet.
11. But come, young waverer, come, go with me.
In one respect I'll thy assistant be,
For this alliance may so happy prove
To turn your households' rancor to pure love.
12. I think it best you married with the County. 
O, he's a lovely gentleman! 
Romeo's a dishclout to him.
13. Talk not to me, for I'll not say a word
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee
14. No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.
15. Younger than she are happy mothers made. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Reading Period 8: November 4-10: Romeo and Juliet

Due Dates:
Quiz: Monday, November 7
Assignments: Wednesday, November 9

Long Read: 

Romeo and Juliet, Acts 3 and 4.

Poem: 

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)
William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616

 My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
     And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
     As any she belied with false compare.

Think, as you read: Where is the turning point in this poem?

Check out this scanned version of the book of sonnets, in the Folger Shakespeare Library.

By William Shakespeare


Creative Assignment:

Choose at least three characters from the play and draw them as Pokemon. Don't choose existing Pokemons that are similar to the character -- make up new ones! For extra wonderfulness, draw two pictures for each Pokemon -- one in its basic form and one after it has evolved. So maybe emo Romeo evolves into joyful Romeo.

OR

Write a letter to William Shakespeare in which you argue with one of his creative choices in the play. For example, you could ask "Why did Mercutio have to die?" or maybe state that characters who have met in Act 1 shouldn't be married in Act 2 -- it's too soon! Use persuasive language and a well-reasoned position to convince the author a revision is necessary.

Writing Assignment:

The two sonnets we have read by William Shakespeare, both last week and this week, are love poems that compare the beloved to different elements in nature. Write an essay comparing the love expressed in these two sonnets. We talked about the first one in class -- take a crack at reading this second one closely and delving into it line by line to determine the meaning. Your essay will need an introduction that grabs the reader's attention and presents your topic, a paragraph for each of the poems, and a conclusion that takes the reader to a new place or introduces a new idea. Maybe you could decide, in your conclusion, which speaker is more loved, or which mistress more lovely. When you turn this in on paper, please indent the first lines of your paragraph, use spaces between lines, and put your name, the date, and the reading period on the page.

OR

Romeo's life is an emotional roller coaster! That means that he can go from rage to joy to despair and back to joy in a short period of time. Read Act 3 carefully and pay special attention to tracking Romeo's emotions. Write an essay in which you describe at least three different emotional states, and use quotes from the play to show how Romeo is feeling in these different situations. Your essay will need an introduction that grabs the reader and presents your topic, three paragraphs to show different emotions in this part of the play, and a conclusion that takes the reader to a new place. Maybe in your conclusion you could speculate whether Romeo is being too emotional, or whether his emotions are genuine. You could criticize him for being a hothead, or suggest ways in which the character could be  played. When you turn this in on paper, please indent the first lines of your paragraph, use spaces between lines, and put your name, the date, and the reading period on the page.

Quiz:

1. Who killed Mercutio?
2. Who killed Tybalt?
3. What does the Prince decide will be the punishment for killing Tybalt?
4. How does Romeo get in and out of Juliet's room?
5. What does the nurse recommend that Juliet do, at the end of Act 3?
6. What does Juliet threaten to do if she has to marry Paris?
7. Describe Friar Lawrence's plan to help Romeo and Juliet.
8. What is Juliet worried about before she drinks the poison?
9. Who finds Juliet's apparently dead body?
10. Why does Friar Lawrence say the family should quit grieving?
BONUS: What do you think is the point of bringing the musicians on at the end of this act?