That’s all folks! Another school year complete, I want to thank you for the advice, participation, suggestions, and giggles you gave me in and out of class in this site’s debut. Feel free to check in this summer, as I’ll post the occasional snapshot of my life during break. Plenty to look forward to in the fall – great reading, Google Classroom, new “district assessments”, and another chance for the best school year ever – but for now, I’m satisfied to sit back and summer it up. Hope you do the same! Stay safe, be good. See ya ’round! – Mr. E
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The Odyssey is one of earliest, and best, works in the “big trip” genre, so grand they named half the genre after it! For freshmen looking to complete a 3D Map for their Odyssey project, here are a few tips.
First – the in-class map is by no means definitive, but has two components that I think are key: an oversized Ithaca and an Underworld far (far) to the west. You don’t have to reach the Pillars of Heracles, but I like the idea of going to the edge of the known (Mediterranean) world.
Second – use your resources to help you tell the story! Some of my favorites are on Google Earth (download it if you haven’t – it’s worth it!), especially the Odyssey on Google Lit Trips, which features facts and artwork at the locations in each episode. Your map doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but consider adding stickers, flags, or figures to keep the travels alive.
Third – you don’t need to use salt dough, but this is a straightforward method to make your map 3D that is both easy and useful! The video below was made in jazzy style by a very good friend of mine some years ago, and gives you a nice breakdown of the salt dough process. I definitely expect your map to be in color, so grab the appropriate food coloring to go with it or paint it after it dries (a few days later)!
May this be your month! To keep the classroom humming productively for the next four long weeks, this month’s playlist is a nice mix of thumpin’ seasonal picks, an Odyssey-themed setlist, and a summer concert series that I’m personally looking forward to. What will you do this month to make summer worth the wait?
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – The Waiting
- Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – Umbrella
- OMC – How Bizarre
- Tori Kelly – Nobody Love
- Summer Camp – Down
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Darlington County
- The Kingsmen – Louie Louie
- Nashville Cast – The Book
- Dawes – From a Window Seat
- Shiny Toy Guns – Earth Below Us
- Christodoulos Halaris – Hymn to the Muse (Trad.)
- David Bowie – Heroes
- The Lively Ones – Surf Rider
- AWOLNATION – Sail
- Mumford & Sons – The Cave
- The Alarm – The Stand
- The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows
- The Strumbellas – Spirits
- Leon Bridges – Smooth Sailin’
- Chet Faker – Gold
- Adele – Water Under the Bridge
- Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch (O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack) – I’ll Fly Away
- Tom Waits – Long Way Home
- M83 – Midnight City
- The Avett Brothers – Live and Die
- Nahko and the Medicine for the People – San Quentin
- Gary Clark Jr. – When My Train Pulls In
- Trampled By Turtles – Come Back Home
- Lord Huron – The Man Who Lives Forever
- Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie
- The Wallflowers – One Headlight
If you’ve looked at this page but once, you know that the Bard is a pretty big deal around here. Today, then, would be remiss without an annual commemoration of his birth/death-day with some extra, added momentum. The whole world is turning out for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s (bodily) death, with touring productions, social media campaigns, reams of newsprint, and random English teachers’ blog posts. However, there is one special event that will be making its way to our humble corner of the world later this year.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, located in Washington DC, has 82 copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio. These items are extraordinarily rare, and unbelievable fragile. (You can read about the extreme safety precautions the Library takes by checking this link from NPR.) Published long after his death, the folio contains at least 18 of his plays that would not be known today without these labors of love. And this year, to honor his everlasting legacy, copies of the Folio will be traveling from the Folger Library out to all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and Wyoming’s temporary host is none other than our own State Museum in downtown Cheyenne!
From Sept 7 – 30, you can see one of these Folios, a repository of some of the greatest words ever penned by the human race, for the price of admission, which is typically FREE! While a trip to DC may be a prerequisite for American-ness, let’s be honest and say that this opportunity is likely your best bet to join in one of the most important celebrations available to young scholars and citizens of the world. Rather than leave you with yet another quote or pun on the topic, I think it suffices to let the plays speak loudest. Do yourself a favor and bask in the (probably musty) glory of all that is wonderful, inventive, and essential by checking it out next Fall!
by Edna St. Vincent Millay, (1892-1950)
The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.
All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.
My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.
April (snow) showers bring new music! This month’s themes: weather, generations, and perspectives of poetry.
- The Blues Brothers (Soundtrack) – She Caught the Katy
- Simon & Garfunkel – Cecilia
- Ivan & Alyosha – Running for Cover
- Jay & The Americans – Come a Little Bit Closer
- The Standells – Dirty Water
- Caro Emerald – Pack Up the Louie
- Spoon – The Underdog
- George Ezra – Budapest
- 10,000 Maniacs – Like the Weather
- They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse in Your Soul
- Kurt Vile – I’m an Outlaw
- Lucinda Williams – Lake Charles
- The Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday
- Mumford & Sons – Roll Away Your Stone
- The Perishers – Come Out of the Shade
- George Harrison – Got My Mind Set on You
- Queen – Hammer to Fall
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
- Tomaso Albinoni (Remo Giazotto) – Adagio in G Minor
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – My Lucky Day
- Warren Zevon – Mohammed’s Radio (Live)
- War Horse Soundtrack – The Scarlet and the Blue
- The Lumineers – Ophelia
- The White Stripes – My Doorbell
- Nina Simone – Feeling Good
- Stars – Your Ex-Lover is Dead
- KT Tunstall – One Day
- BØRNS – Electric Love
- Regina Spektor – Us
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Into the Great Wide Open
- Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone
Hope the no-wifi game isn’t the only thing to keep you entertained over your unexpected break! If internet has been restored (which I am assuming to be true, as you are reading this post…), be sure to e-mail me any missing assignments – SWRPapers, Unit 5 Reflective Essays, Annotated Bibliographies – because the 3rd Quarter is over! All grades are final on Tuesday. If I don’t have it then, there’s not much I can do.
For more fun and games, why don’t you check out this sweet game my wife made for one of her classes. It serves as Shakespeare Connections/Exploration Amazingness! No extra credit is being offered as of yet, but maybe you can earn a “Super Awesome” Prize if you solve the puzzle!
This message is intended for the freshmen classes! I wanted to share a few wonderful resources from a 3rd Hour Shakespeare’s World Research presentation today. As you may remember, there is a veritable slew (slew!) of subjects included on Tuesday’s Ides Test. These great four links help fill in general knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and works.
Here’s a link to a brief timeline of the life of Stratford’s most famous son:
This YouTube video takes a humorous look at introducing Shakespeare (make sure you stick around until the ironic, slow open is over):
Of course, here’s the Canadian Folio copy of the play:
And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:
The Readiness is All!
Spring may be around the corner, or maybe there’s another big winter storm on the way. At least we know we’ll always have the wind! Wind up with these tunes – some oldies, some goodies, and a crew of Celtic crush.
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Learning to Fly
- Traditional – Tim Finnegan’s Wake
- Adele – Rumour Has It
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Death to My Hometown
- Jack White – I’m Shakin’
- The Head and the Heart – Shake
- Máire Brennan – Against the Wind
- Mumford & Sons – Hopeless Wanderer
- Brigham Phillips – Will Ye Go Lassie Go
- Talking Heads – Wild Wild Life
- Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments
- Hal Ketchum – Past the Point of Rescue
- Evan Dando – Hard Drive
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
- Green Day feat. U2 – The Saints Are Coming
- Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
- Traditional – The Jolly Beggar
- Will Millar – The Wild Galway Races
- The Fratellis – Flathead
- Dropkick Murphys – Fields of Athenry
- Natalie Merchant – Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience
- Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd
- Men at Work – I Come From a Land Down Under
- Tegan and Sara – Where Does the Good Go
- Frank Turner – Recovery
- The Hooters – And We Danced
- The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done
- The Black Keys – Little Black Submarines
- The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
- War Horse Soundtrack – Learning to Plough
- Dropkick Murphys feat. Bruce Springsteen – Peg O’ My Heart