JustinEarnshaw.com Posts

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.

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

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!

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

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…

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!

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

Playlists

State Dinosaur coming through!
State Dinosaur coming through!

Sometimes one forgets that you don’t always have to look to Colorado for illuminating excursions.  There are, for example, a bunch of exciting events held at the Wyoming State Museum downtown on Central Ave.  In addition to supremely exciting events (like this one — Folger Library’s First Folios on Tour!) and great geocache opportunities (with a gift shop reward for a clever find), the Museum hosts special presentations each month.  With the end of the quarter/semester looming, you might be looking for Extra Credit opportunities, and here’s an interesting one for you.

It’s “Wyoming Dinosaur Discoveries: Where Did the Dinosaurs Go?”, this Thursday the 14th at 7pm.  Per the Museum’s site:

Wyoming is home to some of the world’s most famous dinosaur fossils.  Since the first discovery in 1872, dinosaurs have been excavated, placed on railcars or loaded into trucks, and shipped throughout the world.  It was not until 1961 that a dinosaur from Wyoming was mounted and placed on display within the state.  Join Jessica Lippincott, Director of the Big Horn Basin Foundation, to learn about the past 150 years of dinosaur discoveries in Wyoming and where those dinosaurs are now.

You could pair this lecture with Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards, a 2005 graphic novel by Jim Ottaviani and Big Time Attic (available in our school library) that details the Bone Wars that brought paleontologists to Wyoming.  Or, while there, you can marvel at the now-legendary license plate boot out front, a painted boot featuring the fine brush strokes of a once-local student from way back when who likes to humblebrag in extra credit offers.  See me for more info, and get digging!  That saddle-bearing triceratops isn’t going to clone itself.

Stylin'.
Stylin’.
WyoStateMuseum Lecture Series
WyoStateMuseum Lecture Series

Field Trips

I'll Give You The Sun. Jandy Nelson. Dial Books. 2014.
I’ll Give You The Sun. Jandy Nelson. Dial Books. 2014.

This incredible novel is available in the school library again, but I expect it will be checked out soon!  How I managed to grab it for a quick reread is an unfathomable mystery, but a happy opportunity for me to revisit Jandy Nelson’s second book.  Nelson is an incredible talent, and well-deserving of the praise she, and this imaginative, artistic novel, have received.  This is a young adult book in terms of characters and setting, but the language and conviction are definitely skewed for older, retrospective readers.

Jude and Noah are twins, and each tells half of the story in this novel.  Noah’s story describes age 13, when each sibling begins branching out and staking a claim – for art, for romance, for themselves.  Jude’s story is set three years later, and by age 16 both twins have seen their worlds dramatically change.  They’re barely speaking, but somewhere in the space between them are the answers and truths to bridge their fractured universes.  A good novel convinces you to like the protagonists.  In reading this novel – no exaggeration! – I fell in love with the characters.  Nelson captures the voices and personalities of these people so well that it feels like the high school story you never had, but would have jumped for without another thought.

In addition to the characterization and powerful themes, this novel has electric language.  The figurative voice – invisible museums and kaleidoscopic connections – is in the upper echelon of great writers.  It’s John Green on hyperdrive, soaked in Neruda and Whitman.  That said, Nelson is of her own, and you will undoubtedly fall hard for her, Noah, and Jude (especially Jude).  Get ahead of the cultural momentum and read this book before it explodes onto the scene!

Reading Picks Uncategorized

The Doctor Dances (Some More)
The Doctor Dances (Some More)

A new year and a new playlist, with old songs and auld Scots swing!

  1. The Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
  2. Mick Harvey – Out Of Time Man
  3. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
  4. KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See
  5. Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
  6. Lord Huron – Ends Of The Earth
  7. The Avett Brothers – January Wedding
  8. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
  9. Rock Mafia – The Big Bang
  10. Lenka – Trouble Is A Friend
  11. Mumford & Sons – Winter Winds
  12. U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  13. The War On Drugs – Come To The City
  14. Trio – Da Da Da
  15. Michael Jackson – Beat It
  16. The Contours – Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)
  17. Cascada feat. Carlprit – Evacuate The Dance Floor
  18. The Raspberries – Go All The Way
  19. Dance of the Dumfrieshire Dwarves (Traditional)
  20. Peter Bjorn And John feat. Victoria Bergsman – Young Folks
  21. Amy Macdonald – This Is The Life
  22. First Aid Kit – Winter Is All Over You
  23. Paul Simon – Graceland
  24. 10,000 Maniacs – Trouble Me
  25. Scotland the Brave (Traditional)
  26. The White Stripes – St. Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air)
  27. Joe Purdy – Can’t Get It Right Today
  28. Laura Marling – The Captain And The Hourglass
  29. Barenaked Ladies – Sound of Your Voice
  30. Boy & Bear – Southern Sun
  31. Big Country – In A Big Country
  32. Dead Man Fall – Bang Your Drum

Playlists