Tag: British Lit.

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

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

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

Wookie Winter Wonderland
Wookie Winter Wonderland

December – melodies, medleys, and more than a little wassail.

  1. John Williams – Star Wars Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner
  2. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  3. Mannheim Steamroller – God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
  4. Lord Huron – Fool for Love
  5. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – The Silent Nutcracker
  6. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – A Mad Russian’s Christmas
  7. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Born to Run
  8. Wolfmother – Vagabond (500) Days of Summer Soundtrack)
  9. Mannheim Steamroller – Los Peces En El Rio
  10. Ryn Weaver – OctaHate
  11. Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen
  12. Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me
  13. Ed Sheerhan – I See Fire (The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Soundtrack)
  14. Danny Elfman – What’s This? (The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack)
  15. Kansas – Play The Game Tonight
  16. Among Savages – New York City
  17. Coldplay – Christmas Lights
  18. The Devil Makes Three – Dynamite
  19. Mick Jagger and Joss Stone – Lonely Without You (This Christmas) (Alfie Soundtrack)
  20. Elton John – Levon
  21. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Wizards In Winter
  22. Eagles – Please Come Home For Christmas
  23. Dar Williams – Are You Out There
  24. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24
  25. Mannheim Steamroller – God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  26. Capital Cities – Safe and Sound
  27. Van Morrison – Bright Side Of The Road
  28. John Lee Hooker – Bluebird
  29. Tom Waits – Cold Cold Ground
  30. She & Him – Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want (500) Days of Summer Soundtrack)
  31. Shivaree – Goodnight Moon (Kill Bill Vol. 2 Soundtrack)
  32. The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)
  33. Barenaked Ladies – Auld Lang Syne

Playlists

Open at the DMNS until the end of January
Open at the DMNS until the end of January

http://www.dmns.org/the-international-exhibition-of-sherlock-holmes/

“The Game is Afoot!” – as you will be reminded every ten minutes or so in your exploration of the latest traveling exhibit to hit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  I had the privilege to visit on Halloween this year, and will do my best to sell this experience briefly and with only the facts.  It’s the sequel to Power of Poisonwith an added, overt literary connection.  What’s more, this exhibit also is quite hands-on, with enough diversity for any visitor.  So read on, dear traveler, for the evidence of a great adventure and fabulous rewards with Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective!

Welcome to Sherlock's London!
Welcome to Sherlock’s London!

This is a ticketed exhibit, meaning there is an extra fee besides admission as well as a certain time-slot you are to attend within.  Taking up a sprawling space within this incredible building, the Sherlock Holmes exhibit is cross-curricular, diabolical delight.  Literary history and influence, forensics and the influential experiments of Victorian science, pop culture studies, and hands-on experimentation are all wrapped up in good, old-fashioned mystery.  Each guest gets a notebook to record their observations, learning more about the culture and social strata of Victorian London along the way.  The notebook itself is packed with clues and winking allusions to the great detective.

Every detective needs a notebook
Every detective needs a notebook!

The first section is literary, filled with interesting artifacts and media covering inspiration and influence – including Poe, serial publication, high profile murder, and the emblematic energies of the British Empire at its height.  Following this area, searchers find themselves in a reproduction of 221 B Baker Street.  Here, details and easter eggs from the many cases of Holmes and Watson are hidden throughout.  The next room holds the highlight for many visitors – the case study.  Investigators are asked, by Holmes, to help solve a mystery involving five deductive/inductive exercises – hands-on stations pertaining to the bullet, the seed, the footprints, the newspaper, and the suspicion of murder.  You may occasionally be harassed helped by overzealous  museum guides – some dressed in Victorian personas – trying to move the investigation along.  To avoid some of the crowds, arriving early is a must, and you might have more space to your own sleuthing without considerate peeping by that most troublesome occurrence – other people.

Staying one step ahead...
Staying one step ahead…

Following your (hopefully) accurate conclusions, the mystery is solved and visitors get one last peek at their favorite incarnations of Holmes, from Basil Rathbone and The Great Mouse Detective to Downey Jr., Cumberbatch, and Lucy Liu’s Watson.  The gift shop is also quite inviting, but you might check with me to see what I already purchased so you won’t have to (basically the whole store).  There are, of course, great sales-pitches here for any of your teachers’ field trip needs, but if unable to go as a class you have until the end of January to make your own visit.  There is also a teens-only event on November 21st: Sherlockian Clue: Museum Edition.  Extra credit will rain down upon you after any visit (and maybe a project grade for the BritLit seniors), but especially for anyone who can attend this special event.  In summary, this is definitely one of the coolest exhibits to ever reach our area, and you can revisit Power of Poison while you’re there!  Investigate Sherlock before it vanishes into the fog of the gaslamps.  Elementary, indeed.

The Continuing Adventures
The Continuing Adventures

Field Trips Uncategorized

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The November songs – thematic, seasonal, and here for your ears!

  1. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Further On (Up the Road)
  2. Chingón – Malaguena Salerosa (Kill Bill Vol. 2 Soundtrack)
  3. Cold War Kids – First
  4. Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good
  5. The Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man
  6. Adele – Skyfall
  7. Preservation Hall – Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams
  8. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home
  9. Imelda May – Johnny Got A Boom Boom
  10. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Refugee
  11. Dire Straits – So Far Away
  12. The Kingston Trio – El Matador
  13. The Book of Life (2014) Soundtrack – Si Puedes Perdonar
  14. The Book of Life (2014) Soundtrack – The Apology Song
  15. Beck – Lost Cause
  16. Sara Bareilles – King of Anything
  17. Alicia Keys – Wait Til You See My Smile
  18. Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin
  19. Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands
  20. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
  21. My Brightest Diamond – High Low Middle
  22. The Avett Brothers – I Never Knew You
  23. Priscilla Ahn – In a Tree
  24. John Hartford – Indian War Whoop (O Brother, Where Art Thou Soundtrack)
  25. The Steve Miller Band – Wide River
  26. Mumford & Sons – Dust Bowl Dance
  27. Natalie Merchant – Indian Names (by Lydia Huntley Sigourney)
  28. Dum Dum Girls – Coming Down
  29. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – I Hate Myself for Loving You
  30. The Black Keys – Gold on the Ceiling
  31. Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart – Old Habits Die Hard (Alfie Soundtrack)

Playlists

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!

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

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Here are 31 spirited songs for the 31 days of October.  Listen to one a day, tell me how mine plays in full (just over two hours), or shuffle your own!

  1. Delta Rae – Bottom of the River
  2. Tom Waits – Little Drop of Poison
  3. Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost of Tom Joad
  4. The Coral – Dreaming of You
  5. The Avett Brothers – Paul Newman Vs. the Demons
  6. Disney’s The Haunted Mansion – Grim Grinning Ghosts
  7. Mannheim Steamroller – Rock & Roll Graveyard
  8. Queen – Killer Queen
  9. The White Stripes – Little Ghost
  10. Meat Loaf – Bad for Good
  11. Hunters & Collectors – Holy Grail
  12. Laura Marling – Ghosts
  13. Ron Sexsmith – Comrades Fill No Glass For Me
  14. Tears for Fears – Mad World
  15. The National – Anyone’s Ghost
  16. Bright Eyes – We Are Nowhere (And Its Now)
  17. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – People Ain’t No Good
  18. KT Tunstall – Girl & The Ghost
  19. Van Morrison – Moondance
  20. Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London
  21. Ella Henderson – Ghost
  22. Shakey Graves w/ Esmé Patterson – Dearly Departed
  23. Jack White – That Black Bat Licorice
  24. Holy Ghost Tent Revival – Alpha Dogs
  25. Sweet – The Ballroom Blitz
  26. Róisín Murphy – Night of the Dancing Flame
  27. JBM – Winter Ghosts
  28. Elvis Costello (Ghost Brothers of Darkland County Soundtrack) – That’s Me
  29. Janelle Monáe – Dance Apocalyptic
  30. Mumford & Sons – Ghosts That We Knew
  31. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Theme from Swan Lake

Playlists

Banned Books Week 2015, courtesy ala.org/bbooks
Banned Books Week 2015, courtesy ala.org/bbooks

Every year, the last week in September becomes the focal point for a concerted effort to celebrate the freedom to read.  In this country, the First Amendment’s right to free speech must contend with a long history of censorship – promoted by individuals, organizations, and government.  Banned Books Week is organized by the American Library Association (ALA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and a host of non-profits, publishers, and legal defense funds.  It is supported by myself, among much of the reading world, and, through this week’s Extra Credit opportunity, by you!

To receive Extra Credit for Banned Books Week, you must choose one of the following options, and use professional images, symbols, designs, or media:

A) Create a Poster to celebrate the week, using the three requirements below:

  • Include the title Banned Books Week, in flashy color/font to catch the attention of passerby
  • Include a quote about censorship from this video provided by Simon & Schuster Books: Celebrate the Freedom to Read
  • Include suggestions on how to celebrate Banned Books Week in school or at home

B) Create a Handout to share information about banned and challenged books, using these criteria:

  • A list of frequently challenged books (Here’s a resource from the ALA)
  • Reasons why books are often challenged (Resources from the Huffington Post, in 2012 and 2014)
  • A checklist of frequently challenged books – check off as many as you’ve read!

C) Compose a 1 page essay (typed – 12pt font, TNR, double-spaced) on To Kill a Mockingbird as a challenged book.  Why (and where/when) has it frequently been challenged?  What might be ironic about wanting this book censored?  What is your reflection on reading the book – how might you oppose or defend a challenge to this book at our school?

Whichever option you choose, it must be submitted by the end of the day Thursday, October 1.  To be eligible, you must follow the requirements for each option, as well as aim for professional quality (Mom would put it on the fridge, and so would I!).  Successful efforts will be awarded 20pts, and above-average efforts 30pts (each option is worth more than a homework assignment!).  If nothing else, you can celebrate this week by finishing TKAM, and moving on to a new book which, having been published, probably has found someone to challenge it by now!

F(READ)OM!!

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