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:
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
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…
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 Wars, Miss 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.
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!
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 novelby 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.
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!