In Animals in Literature, Ancient and Modern, we will explore the roles that animals and animal symbolism play in literature across time and across culture, reaching back into classic folk traditions and extending into the modern literary imagination.* You will read and respond to a range of enduring literary texts from a range of literary genres, such as fables, fairy tales, poetry, fiction, and graphic novels. Through the process of exploring the place of animals in literature, you will also explore and present your own unique ideas and creativity through written expressions, interpretive performances, and formal presentations. For the major written assignments, we will follow the steps of the writing process—prewriting, drafting, revision, and editing. Throughout the semester, we will also sharpen your command of grammar, usage, and mechanics and expand your literary and everyday vocabulary.

* To establish some continuity between the work you did last semester and what we have planned for this semester, I will look for ways, as often as possible, to foster connections to the readings, themes, and concepts you have already studied. Please do not hesitate to call attention to any connections yourselves during our classes or in your work for this semester.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ancient Greek and Homeric Singing

The bards of Ancient Greece, such as Demodokus the blind, would sing the epic poems for the entertainment of their audiences, frequently accompanied by a lyre.
What Demodokus might have sounded like as he sang the story of Ares and Aphrodite to Odysseus and the Phaeacians.

A reading of the opening lines of The Iliad on YouTube. See if you can read along using the text in Ancient Greek and the pronunciation key I gave you.

Check out this website for a range of classical Greek and Roman texts in the original language. It's pretty sweet: you can actually click on individual words to learn what part of speech they are; what gender they are (masculine, feminine, or neuter), what their grammatical function is, how to pronounce them according to latinic script (our letters), as well as what they mean. Check it out:
The Perseus Project

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What LA 2 is up to now...

As part of our unit on Greek mythology, we're all blogging as our divine avatars as a way to engage and demonstrate our learning as well as have some creative fun. Here's the link to my avatar's blog: Artemis, the Olympian Goddess of the Hunt
and here are the URLs for some of the LA 2 students:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Exquisite Corpse Stories!

For those who don't know, an exquisite corpse is a creative work--whether a story, poem, drawing, or other medium--in which multiple people contribute to its creation. The students of LA 2 each contributed a line in the creation of the following stories. Unfortunately one of the corpses has gone missing. Keep your eyes out around VCS.
But here are the other two we created in class last week:

The first corpse:
     I woke up in a daze. I quickly realized that my lemming pinata was missing from my small room. So I jumped out the window and banged my head on the lawn. Then I realized just how stupid I was. I lent it to my buddy, Carl, but he went bowling at Lucky Lanes.
     I went to Lucky Lanes, home of the PINATA-EATING DEMON. When I arrived I could smell the pinata-eating demon. He crept up behind me, but I did a barrel roll, confusing him. I pulled out my anti-demon sword. And he fell over dead! But the moment he died all of his buddies came out and chopped my bowling ball to pieces.
     Then I got so angry that I took my sword and chucked it at one of the demon's buddies. As his limbs fizzed and popped, the demon's buddies ran away.
I am never going bowling again.

 The second corpse:
     Mr. Flemingerberman was walking down the street outside of his house, when a tall man pulled him off to the side. "Hello," he said, "I am here to take all your money as well as your twains and caws." He grabbed all of Flemingerberman's money and rode off, but Flemingber had a plan.
     Flemmingberger, you must remember, was super cool, so he started chasing the tall man. The man pulled a knife and Mr. F pulled a bazooka on tall man. They were about to create mutually agreed destruction. They stood there for hours waiting for the other person to charge. There was so much much tension in the air that oxygen molecules started to look like O3 instead of O2. The city was abandoned, except for the two people.     
     Finally the tall man threw his knife at Mr. F and started to run away. Mr. F dropped his bazooka and pulled on a jet pack. He turned the jet pack on and was about to take off, but then the engine sputtered and black smoke filled the air. He fell into the water, but tried to fix the electric ignition while he was in the water. Needless to say, he was shocked horribly.
     So he started to walk home along the empty roads to have some lunch. And when he got home he was greeted by a knife, a bazooka, and the tall guy saying, "Hello, my name is Javier, my last is Gustavo, and I live on the coast. Hasta la vista, baby!" And Mr. F fell down.
     So the world was a better place.