Monday, December 8, 2008

The Hot Zone

Now that you've read the first part of The Hot Zone, what is your impression of Ebola, the scientists, and the repercussions of an outbreak? As you continue to read, answer each of the following prompts at least once.

To reply, click on the # Comments link at the end of blog entry, type your response in the Leave A Comment box, and under Choose Your Identity choose the Name/URL option, and type only your first name in the space provided. In addition to each of your reponses, respond to at least two of your classmates in a thoughtful manner by Dec. 19.

Write a full response to each of the following prompts:

  1. What is your opinion of what you just read?
  2. Is there an issue that you agree with? Disagree with?
  3. What steps or techniques did the scientists use to complete their job?
  4. List five science-related vocabulary words and define them.
  5. Write a letter to one of the characters.
  6. Write a letter to the author.
  7. Which character would you like to be? Why?
  8. Summarize what you have just read. (Entire book or a section)
  9. Draw a picture of something you read. Be sure to include a caption and explain why the illustration is important to the book. (Optional hand-in assignment)

I hope this foray into the minds of scientists, military and civilian personnel, and the peculiar spread of a virus will cause you to stop and reflect.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Twilight Madness

I'm just a wee bit obsessed with the Twilight series and found Wordle while reading Teri Lesesne's blog. So here follows my own Wordle, word cloud if you will, of words I associate with the Twilight series.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bonfire of the Disney Princesses

Bonfire of the Disney Princesses by Barbara Ehrenreich

Who is Barbara Ehrenreich? Do you agree or disagree with her stance in the article? Why?

Have you read Nickled and Dimed yet? This article is a great segue into Feminist (and Marxist) criticism. Ahh...yet another lens of interpretation to come.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Audio of Heart of Darkness

Here's a link for a free, legal audio version of Heart of Darkness:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Examples of Quality Blog Posts

Wondering what constitutes a thoughtful blog post? These are two examples.

Sonny's Blues

I really love this story. I think the fact that it’s about music touched a vein of mine, but I’m pretty sure you could substitute any kind of life work.

I really think it’s beautiful the way Baldwin describes life as beautiful, and music or drugs or anything being the culmination of so much life.

It really is like everything that we are coalesces into every moment, and every note of music requires all that we are, all of our emotions, and most of all the willingness to liberate ourselves by making ourselves vulnerable to the universality of music. It really is like dispersing into something that floats away with the air. Everything is so private all of the time; we live in such a subjective, restrictive world. The one moment we let ourselves go to the music, we give into a world that can make connections between the subjective sacks of our individual beings. We allow our anger or our passion to become intelligible. We punch holes in the isolation of existentialism. And what makes it all possible is the agony we go through. Every empathetic note requires its own agony.

I think, though, that if we can let ourselves go to things like music, life becomes worth it. Loneliness is ameleorated. We all enter that communal lake, a lake in which being high is an experience shared by everyone through the means of some huge connected being of humanity.

One of my favorite composers is Mahler. I really like him because he wrote about things that everyone connects to. When we played the Resurrection symphony in the Helena symphony, I really felt like something inside of me was pulled away into the music.

I just really believein the power of music I guess. It’s sometimes my one reassurance that we are not all alone in our minds. Something inside of us is connected.

Imperfect Mimicry in the Time Before Invisibility

I was thinking yesterday morning about some of the best imagery in the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Strangely enough, by two favorites were images for one idea: that of imperfect mimicry/assimilation. The first came while the narrator was working at Liberty Paints, creating “Optic White” (because if it ain’t white, it ain’t right). His task, to put exactly ten drops of black into each bucket of white, and stir until the gray mess became optic white. As an image of assimilation, it suggests that all black people just need to be dropped into whiteness and stirred around a bit before becoming a part of the perfect whiteness of white society. Then, when the narrator runs out of the black and finds some more in the back room (the wrong black) it doesn’t mix completely, and he ends up ruining whole batches of paint because the “wrong black” refuses to mix into society. Logically, this pisses off the narrator’s white boss…

Next, just before leaving Mary Rambo’s, the narrator is offered a cup of coffee. The coffee tasted bitter, because some renegade coffee grounds had leaked into the pot and ruined the narrator’s morning coffee. This is another suggestion that “a few bad grounds” can ruin the assimilation process for all blacks.

Can anyone think of some other images that suggest the same thing?

Previous examples from Mr. Pogreba's AP students