JustinEarnshaw.com Posts

The Wonder of Will: 400 Years of Shakespeare. Image courtesy of The Folger Shakespeare Library. 2016.
The Wonder of Will: 400 Years of Shakespeare. Image courtesy of The Folger Shakespeare Library. 2016.

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!

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Admin Field Trips

Edna St. Vincent Millay. Photo credit: Carl Van Vechten. Poets.org
Edna St. Vincent Millay. Photo credit: Carl Van Vechten. Poets.org

“Travel”

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.

#pocketpoem

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Admin Class Resources

Charlie Chaplin and a Toe-Tapping Swing
Charlie Chaplin and a Toe-Tapping Swing

April (snow) showers bring new music!  This month’s themes: weather, generations, and perspectives of poetry.

  1. The Blues Brothers (Soundtrack) – She Caught the Katy
  2. Simon & Garfunkel – Cecilia
  3. Ivan & Alyosha – Running for Cover
  4. Jay & The Americans – Come a Little Bit Closer
  5. The Standells – Dirty Water
  6. Caro Emerald – Pack Up the Louie
  7. Spoon – The Underdog
  8. George Ezra – Budapest
  9. 10,000 Maniacs – Like the Weather
  10. They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse in Your Soul
  11. Kurt Vile – I’m an Outlaw
  12. Lucinda Williams – Lake Charles
  13. The Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday
  14. Mumford & Sons – Roll Away Your Stone
  15. The Perishers – Come Out of the Shade
  16. George Harrison – Got My Mind Set on You
  17. Queen – Hammer to Fall
  18. First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
  19. Tomaso Albinoni (Remo Giazotto) – Adagio in G Minor
  20. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – My Lucky Day
  21. Warren Zevon – Mohammed’s Radio (Live)
  22. War Horse Soundtrack – The Scarlet and the Blue
  23. The Lumineers – Ophelia
  24. The White Stripes – My Doorbell
  25. Nina Simone – Feeling Good
  26. Stars – Your Ex-Lover is Dead
  27. KT Tunstall – One Day
  28. BØRNS – Electric Love
  29. Regina Spektor – Us
  30. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Into the Great Wide Open
  31. Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone
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Playlists

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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Reading Picks Threads

Southeast Wyoming hasn't changed much since then...
Southeast Wyoming hasn’t changed much since then…

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!

sploder

http://www.sploder.com/?s=d004w1ct

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Admin Class Resources

Violent delights have violent ends!
Violent delights have violent ends!

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:

http://www.earlyshakespeare.com/images/Timeline.pdf


 

 

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:

http://www.canadianshakespeares.ca/folio/folio.html


 

And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:

The Readiness is All!

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9th Grade: Intro to Literature Class Resources

It may not be easy, but it's keen to be green.
It may not be easy, but it’s keen to be green.

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.

  1. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Learning to Fly
  2. Traditional – Tim Finnegan’s Wake
  3. Adele – Rumour Has It
  4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Death to My Hometown
  5. Jack White – I’m Shakin’
  6. The Head and the Heart – Shake
  7. Máire Brennan – Against the Wind
  8. Mumford & Sons – Hopeless Wanderer
  9. Brigham Phillips – Will Ye Go Lassie Go
  10. Talking Heads – Wild Wild Life
  11. Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments
  12. Hal Ketchum – Past the Point of Rescue
  13. Evan Dando – Hard Drive
  14. U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
  15. Green Day feat. U2 – The Saints Are Coming
  16. Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
  17. Traditional – The Jolly Beggar
  18. Will Millar – The Wild Galway Races
  19. The Fratellis – Flathead
  20. Dropkick Murphys – Fields of Athenry
  21. Natalie Merchant – Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience
  22. Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd
  23. Men at Work – I Come From a Land Down Under
  24. Tegan and Sara – Where Does the Good Go
  25. Frank Turner – Recovery
  26. The Hooters – And We Danced
  27. The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done
  28. The Black Keys – Little Black Submarines
  29. The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
  30. War Horse Soundtrack – Learning to Plough
  31. Dropkick Murphys feat. Bruce Springsteen – Peg O’ My Heart
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Playlists

Sorry for the radio silence (er… blog equivalent) for the last month.  I’ve been busy grading your Romeo & Juliet Act Packets!  Keep checking back in March for playlists, resources, and giveaway opportunities…

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Uncategorized

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  Seth Grahame-Smith.  Quirk Classics.  2009.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Seth Grahame-Smith. Quirk Classics. 2009.

Ah, February.  For many, the month brings to mind snowdrifts, Valentines, and the peculiarity of a short month made a little longer every four years.  But for others, February is about a different kind of romance – the marriage of classic literature and “ultraviolent zombie mayhem”. To wit, 2013 offered Warm Bodies, a film – based on a book – based on Romeo and Juliet (plus zombies).  This Friday marks the release of an undead, overdue film – based on a book – that may have started it all: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  While the film itself should be a delight (for those who like proper English ladies unsheathing decapitations upon dreadful Satan-spawn), the source material is not to be missed either.

Written by Seth Grahame-Smith (who also penned Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter), this novel comes from one of my favorite publishers Quirk Books, purveyor of all things interesting, literary, and, well, quirky (see: William Shakespeare’s Star WarsMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Horrorstör, to name a few).  Although eminently readable for its funniness and formally choreographed carnage, the genius behind PPZ is its authenticity in tone to Jane Austen’s 1813 original.  The manners and style that so occupy the Bennet sisters are retained, only now the ladies must sharpen swords and their martial arts skills in addition to proper dance form and social etiquette.  Also, the addition of “the dreadfuls” may clarify, for modern readers, some of the context and inferred elements of the novel, adding an undead focus.

p. 15 - "Mr. Darcy watched Elizabeth and her sisters work their way outward, beheading zombie after zombie as they went."  Illustrations by Philip Smiley.
p. 15 – “Mr. Darcy watched Elizabeth and her sisters work their way outward, beheading zombie after zombie as they went.” Illustrations by Philip Smiley.

The zombie trend, in my opinion, may have largely run its course.  Walking undead, such as vampires and zombies, aren’t really my thing, at least.  However, there is an undeniable appeal in the zeitgeist in imagining an endless horde of mindless consumers slowly, but surely, eroding the fabric of society.  Perhaps it was the same in Regency England!  If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em…er, join ’em.  For Brit. Lit. students, please consider PPZ as an option for the Unit 4 novels (or seek out sequels and spinoffs such as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters or Android Karenina). There may also be an extra credit opportunity for using the movie as an excuse to get literary – as if you needed one!

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Monsters Reading Picks

My desk is never clean enough.
My desk is never clean enough.

It’s a Leap Year, so take a deep breath and then make some big leaps this month! Here’s a list to get you started.

  1. Dire Straits – Romeo and Juliet
  2. Del Amitri – Roll To Me
  3. April Smith and the Great Picture Show – Movie Loves a Screen
  4. Lynden David Hall – All You Need Is love
  5. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – No Surrender
  6. Eric Bibb – Shine On
  7. The Avett Brothers – February Seven
  8. Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Go To The Mardi Gras
  9. David Mead – Girl on the Roof
  10. Gin Wigmore – Black Sheep
  11. Matt Costa – Mr. Pitiful
  12. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Breakdown
  13. Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy
  14. The Figgs – Je T’Adore
  15. Lyle Lovett – Private Conversation
  16. The Cure – The Love Cats
  17. Lenka – Trouble Is a Friend
  18. Elton John – Your Song
  19. The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl
  20. Mirah – The Garden
  21. The Musicians of Swanne Alley – Green Sleeves (Traditional)
  22. Dawes – A Little Bit of Everything
  23. Queen – Somebody to Love
  24. Dido – White Flag
  25. Fool’s Garden – Lemon Tree
  26. The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
  27. Firefall – You Are The Woman
  28. Annette Louisan – Das Spiel (Ich Will Doch Nur Spielen)
  29. Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds
  30. Tornado Brass Band (Various NOLA Street Guys) – Bye Bye Blackbird
  31. Across the Universe Soundtrack – All You Need Is Love
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Playlists