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Thank you so much, students, who have already signed up for Remind and other digital class notifications.  Today would’ve been the first day of school, but the powers that be wisely moved it to the side so that the real show – Total Solar Eclipse! – can take center stage.  I’m looking forward to seeing all of you tomorrow, and many of you on today’s Eclipse field trip, to start the academic year!

Diagram of a solar eclipse from a 13th-century illuminated manuscript. The New York Public Library Digital Collections – via BrainPickings

Those of you on the bus today will have hours to be regaled with eclipse myths, like the frogs who swallow the stars, or passages from Annie Dillard’s classic essay on 1979’s offering, or even jam out to Mr. E’s favorite eclipse playlists.

Space.com has the broadest collection, in my opinion:

If you won’t be on our trip, please make an effort on your own to see what Mabel Loomis Todd observed as: “A vast, palpable presence overwhelming the world. The blue sky changes to gray or dull purple, speedily becoming more dusky, and a death-like trance seizes upon everything earthly.”

Grab those special, approved viewers’ glasses and maybe read up on some of the political and cultural impacts of this eclipse in a particularly dramatic moment in American history at The Atlantic.

You should make every effort to live in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, what Emily Dickinson, who saw the eclipse in 1875, immortalized in the lines:

It sounded as if the streets were running —
And then — the streets stood still —
Eclipse was all we could see at the Window
And Awe — was all we could feel.

By and by — the boldest stole out of his Covert
To see if Time was there —
Nature was in her Opal Apron —
Mixing fresher Air.

Happy stargazing!

See you soon.

-Mr. E

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Admin Field Trips Playlists Threads

Kitchener, from: 'Your country needs you' advertisement in London Opinion, Vol. XLII No.546, 5 September 1914. British Library.
Kitchener, from: ‘Your country needs you’ advertisement in London Opinion, Vol. XLII No.546, 5 September 1914. British Library.

The following links are for the 1st and 4th Hour British Literature classes, but anyone should feel free to follow them to education (or emptiness).  It may be said that no retelling can ever truly capture the horrors and mindset of warfare.  But artists and authors have to try – sometimes only poetry or paint can communicate the senses and worst fears made real.

WNB#1/2 URLs:

World War Pictures hosts a variety of visual media pertaining to the conflicts: http://www.world-war-pictures.com/

The British Library, again, gives us great multimedia and perspectives on our class content.  The first link, on propaganda, should be used to answer prompt 13.  The second link is extra reading, if you are looking for more perspective on the poems for your posters.

http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/themes/propaganda

http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/articles/reframing-first-world-war-poetry 

If you are curious, you could also follow-up with two perspectives on the ubiquity of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” slogan, by Dr. Henry Irving and Owen Hatherley, respectively.

The US National Archives has a YouTube playlist of war films from 100 years ago:

Finally (because why not), here is a trench game from the UK’s National Archives.

Hurrah for the Scarlet and the Blue, and may we never again find ourselves in a war to end all wars.

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12th Grade: European Literature Class Resources Threads

Christmas Memories
Christmas Memories

The number one request in wishlists sent to Mr. Earnshaw’s North Pole Classroom Blog?  More videos from Bob’s Buskers (from Bob’s Burgers)!  So here you go – the National, a Christmas Tree, and a message we can all get behind.  Stay warm, students and friends; happy holidays!

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This year, I hope to share with you a set of video traditions that have already taken a special place in the hearts of my family, as I’m sure they will in yours.  Of course, they are mostly about food, but be sure to set time aside for that family talking and activities kind of stuff.  There are only so many Thanksgivings.

Now back to food.  Eat it, even if you don’t like it.  Put it on your plate.  Thank you food bringers for caring enough to bring anything.  Bob’s Burgers says it best:

And it’s been covered by the National!

That turkey should not die in vain.

Maybe it’s the gravy that really sets your family Thanksgiving apart.  Bob’s Burgers and The National are here to help us again!

And if you’re still needing to satisfy your family’s quirkiness or willingness to try it all, go Ron Swanson.  If you’ve already satisfied yourself with “the Swanson” – a turkey leg wrapped in bacon – maybe try one of Nick Offerman’s home recipes:

Enjoy!  Best of luck today, tomorrow (for the bold fools who will Black Friday), and this weekend.  See you Monday!

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Women are awesome!  Some people aren’t aware, apparently.  That’s why March is designated Women’s History Month.  It wouldn’t be a bad thing at all if someday we can collectively remember that history has been made by women, too – so you can do your part by checking out the titles below!

The Princess and the Pony. Kate Beaton. Arthur A. Levine Books. 2015.
The Princess and the Pony. Kate Beaton. Arthur A. Levine Books. 2015.

Kate Beaton is the magnificent wit behind the webcomic series Hark! A Vagrant, which has been printed in a few best-selling books (and also isn’t appropriate for all ages, especially because some killjoys detest constant giggling).  The Princess and the Pony, great for kids and adults, tells the story of Princess Pinecone, who wants a noble warhorse to ride into Viking-style violence.  For her birthday she gets instead a flatulent, rotund pony.  What happens next is funny and feminist.  Available from Scholastic Book Orders for $4!

Rad American Women A-Z. Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl. City Lights. 2015.
Rad American Women A-Z. Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl. City Lights. 2015.

Revolution begins at home!  America may be relatively young on the world stage, but its women have radically changed history.  The 26 women profiled in this book represent science, entertainment, athletics, innovation, exploration – basically all the walks of life that make our country what it is.  Kate Schatz writes the profiles, and Miriam Klein Stahl provides each illustration.  Available from Scholastic for $7, this pocket-sized guide is perfect for bite-sized, yet larger-than-life, world-widening.

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science - and the World. Rachel Swaby. Broadway Books. 2015.
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and the World. Rachel Swaby. Broadway Books. 2015.

Rachel Swaby was inspired to write this informative, invigorating collection of women inventors, scientists, and explorers after seeing too many get short shrift in their obituaries.  Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter and – more importantly – the world’s first computer programmer (in the 1840s!), is included.  As is Hedy Lamarr, scintillating movie star and also pioneer in radar technology.  And those are just the most famous faces.  This book captures the sentiment of the women’s history movement succinctly: the stories have been there all along, but someone *forgot* to tell the whole truth.  We owe it to ourselves to fix that.  Read well – it’s the best provision for changing your life.

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Image belongs to Lucasfilm/Disney (please don't sue) and some Santa-happy stock photographer.
Image belongs to Lucasfilm/Disney (please don’t sue) and swivel-zimber (props to you, internet artist).

It certainly has been a busy month, and I think we are all looking forward to the well-deserved break.  Before we go, however, I’ve got an opportunity to be not-so-secret Santa to one or two good boys or girls who check out the class website!  It is the holidays after all, and one of the best presents was Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In my possession are two different t-shirts (sized large) that I’m gonna give to the first two students who find the Golden Ticket.  “The Golden Ticket?!” – you may well ask.  It looks like this:

Yep. Solid gold.
Yep. Solid gold.

It is hidden in one of the previous posts (from Halloween on, let’s say).  Using your mouse and some keen detective skills, you can find the magic stub!  Follow the directions that show up with it, and you’re on your way to the best-styled Christmas this side of the galaxy.

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DeltaRae

It’s the season of suspenseful storytelling, with an emphasis on imaginative yarns and wanderings through folklore.  Here are some of the videos from class, by your request, that captured through digital wizardry (a most mysterious magic) the senses, tales, and spine-tingling thrills of the school year in October.

Intro to Literature: “The Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae

The song you can’t escape from, no matter how far the river takes you.  Perhaps one of the greatest music videos out there, not least of which in the terrible joy of ambiguity.

Brit. Lit – The Middle Ages: “The Canterbury Tales: Part I”, from Christmas Films, Pizzazz Pictures, and Right Angle.

These episodes aired on the BBC in 1998-2000, excerpting highlights from Chaucer with inventive animation swings.  Not for the faint-hearted or tidy-minded, but then, a lot of the fun stuff from different historical eras isn’t.

Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep6tvT3NQ_o

Part III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCq6117mYqg

 

ENGL 1010: Facundo the Great! from StoryCorps

The now-epic story of a stand-up guy who made room for others to stand up.  Keep checking out the StoryCorps animated features and other site items.  The Great Thanksgiving Listen is coming up soon! https://storycorps.me/about/the-great-thanksgiving-listen/

Thanks for reading/watching.  Now, get to work!

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12th Grade: European Literature 9th Grade: Intro to Literature Class Resources ENG1010: Concurrent Enrollment Threads