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!
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.
Last night, the third (and final) Presidential Debate was held a few blocks down from me at UNLV, and I’m happy to say that I survived with no more than a smattering of harsh words heard.
In case you’ve forgotten, this is my preferred candidate for the time being:
Putting that behind us (and not soon enough) – Well done, everyone! I didn’t get any notice (yet) from concerned individuals – parents or administration – so I can only assume that all is good. I will be traveling back homeward near the end of the week, and will resume gradebook updating and responding to queries early next week. If you have any questions or items that I should note, please consider leaving me a note in the turn-in tray, which should be filled with:
9th: “The Interlopers” WS, Peter and the Wolf Viewer’s Guide, “Gray Area” graphic organizers, and the Wolf Writing Constructed Response (as well as any missing TKAM items).
12th: Unit 1 Projects, with reflective essay and rubrics attached, leaving me a note if your project didn’t fit in the bin, or was digital upon completion. All of the Unit 1 (Beowulf and Canterbury)items should be in as well.
1010: Playing Devil’s Advocate graphic organizer, Toulmin Model organizers, Character Cards, and any notes or relevant votes pertaining to the Town Hall.
Congrats, again, everybody! Start planning your Halloween costume if you haven’t already (like some of us did back in July) – the costume contest will be in one week, on the 27th of October!
And on that final pic, good gourd, you shall dance into the weekend. Woot!
Hey, hey Wednesday! I’ll be brief, as your Remind text probably sent you here while you should be getting ready for school. Skim through these notes while you slug that skim milk.
Just kidding – no one should drink skim milk:
9th: Important goings on in class today! But first: Werewolf socks!
Okay, now that that’s covered – your own Wolf Week continues in class today, involving group collaboration to synthesize (Vocab! see the board’s Thinking Strategy poster) some article pieces from the Casper Star Tribune in 2015.
There are photos and links to help each group, but especially pertaining to those of you in Group 3 for the Timeline, which has a much larger version available through the article.
12th: It’s your final official work day for Unit 1 Projects, so make some magic happen! Or else.
1010: Today’s the day for your Town Hall! Unless you want to do it tomorrow. Whatever works – it’s your class. Just live in that character card, keep your manners clean, and don’t be throwing anything besides carefully considered arguments and objections.
Still unsure what a Folio actually is? Check it out!
Now that you know tthe readiness is all, are you ready for the Extra Credit? (By “Extra Credit”, I mean one of the three options – a HW pass, points on a low-scored assignment, or an item from the Time and Space Box.)
It’s simple, by Jove – go see the exhibit! That’s it. Brush up your Shakespeare with a visit to the State Museum, and prove it with a selfie in the exhibit!
The Museum is located at 2301 Central Avenue in downtown Cheyenne (mind the road closures at 19th street). The hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday (Fridays and Saturdays are your best bet unless you’re on a field trip I should’ve been invited on, fustilarian!). Admission is FREE!
There is also an opening night reception, featuring guest lecturer Professor Peter Parolin of UW’s English Dept. (one of the best classes I took there)! This event is tonight (8th September) from 5-7 pm to see the folio, and the lecture runs from 7-8 pm. So fair a day you shall not likely see, and you can get extra credit if I see you there!
So that’s it! Check in with me for more info should you need it – better three hours too soon than a minute too late!
That’s all folks! Another school year complete, I want to thank you for the advice, participation, suggestions, and giggles you gave me in and out of class in this site’s debut. Feel free to check in this summer, as I’ll post the occasional snapshot of my life during break. Plenty to look forward to in the fall – great reading, Google Classroom, new “district assessments”, and another chance for the best school year ever – but for now, I’m satisfied to sit back and summer it up. Hope you do the same! Stay safe, be good. See ya ’round! – Mr. E
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.
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!
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.
“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 Poison, with 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!
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.
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.
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.
Let’s take a field trip! Your English budget is pretty much devoted to books and other resources, but this event is cross-curricular – so get talkin’ to those science teachers to put up some fundage and we can all go.
The Power of Poison is a traveling exhibit from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, currently in residence in Denver until January 10th of next year. This one is definitely worth the drive down! If you haven’t been to the DMNS before, it is just south of the Denver Zoo off Colorado Blvd, and always worth a daylong visit. I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon there while in CO for a July run, and this potent exhibit is deadly fun.
Poison is a paragon of what a museum exhibit should be. There are plenty of reading panels for people like me who have to stop and read everything, but there also plenty of big attractions to run through and see up close – life-size models of yew trees, larger than life ant colonies, tons of interactive, touch-screen challenges, and even a terrarium of poison dart frogs. There is a demonstration by able-minded museum curators of the first practical arsenic test in history, as well as two real-world games designed to detect and cure poison before it’s too late. (If all of this mystery-solving gets you stoked, prep for a future installment in which we return to the DMNS to visit the world’s greatest detective – http://sherlockholmesexhibition.com/!)
Two key installations for us, of course, focus on literature. One is the Shakespeare diorama: the poisons of the plays (9th grade – Intro to Lit.) with emphasis on the witches of Macbeth (Euro./Adv. Lit). The other is the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (Euro. Lit). How did poisons influence both of these incomparable writers? Head to The Power of Poison to find out! Or, I guess, you could use the internets. But only one of those options includes lunch at Cinzettis. Oh. Yeah.