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.
Odyssey season is upon us! Unless you too want to wander around the rocky islands of 9th Grade trying to get home, you would do well to heed our Olympian decree to keep up with the readings and get that final project done.
For the (24!) books of the epic, you have plenty of resources in getting the gist of the plot so you can focus more on our essential questions and archetypes. So, as the grey-eyed one provided Odysseus the tools he needed to be successful, this post is Part I of our mission to get you out of here in one, sophomoric, piece.
Besides the class books and graphic novels/comics, check out these links to get your Mentor on!
Traditional guides: the safety net of Sparknotesand the too-cool-for-school ethos of Shmoop(which has some funny infographics peppered throughout, and way too many popups…)
Full-text versions of the epic: including Ian Johnston’s recent translationout of Vancouver Island University, and two prose translations, old(A.T. Murray) and older (Samuel Butler).
And some really interesting new-media options: including some open/ed. designs from our community of Padlet(this one’s Verity Webster’s) and a fascinating, and highly distracting, clickable offeringfrom Emery University’s Carlos Museum. Clicking on the Greecetab will take you to the interactive site (Flash required).
Of course, we have the in-class options, but the Odyssey is one of the biggest stories ever told! You should journey onto the kool-aid seas of the internet to get the best version for you.
The annual Shakespeare commemoration (although, really, here’s it’s pretty much every day) is marked in this edition with a beautiful, sad song and a funny graphic adaptation of class favorite Romeo and Juliet.
From last year’s Shakespeare Live! from the Royal Shakespeare Company (aired on BBC), here is Gregory Porter singing “When that I was and a little tiny boy (With hey, ho, the wind and the rain)” from Twelfth Night, Act 5, Scene 1.
The following links are for the 1st and 4th Hour British Literature classes, but anyone should feel free to follow them to education (or emptiness). It may be said that no retelling can ever truly capture the horrors and mindset of warfare. But artists and authors have to try – sometimes only poetry or paint can communicate the senses and worst fears made real.
The British Library, again, gives us great multimedia and perspectives on our class content. The first link, on propaganda, should be used to answer prompt 13. The second link is extra reading, if you are looking for more perspective on the poems for your posters.
Freshmen! Welcome to theater. We begin this week in, er, the Beginning! The Ancient Greeks are credited with the invention of modern theater, and you are learning all about ’em this week through the City Dionysia packet. To complete the prompts, visit the most excellent resource of ARTSEDGE, the Education in Arts wing of the Kennedy Center.
Visit the site, which opens up in your first section: Prologue.
May this be your month! To keep the classroom humming productively for the next four long weeks, this month’s playlist is a nice mix of thumpin’ seasonal picks, an Odyssey-themed setlist, and a summer concert series that I’m personally looking forward to. What will you do this month to make summer worth the wait?
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – The Waiting
Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – Umbrella
OMC – How Bizarre
Tori Kelly – Nobody Love
Summer Camp – Down
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Darlington County
The Kingsmen – Louie Louie
Nashville Cast – The Book
Dawes – From a Window Seat
Shiny Toy Guns – Earth Below Us
Christodoulos Halaris – Hymn to the Muse (Trad.)
David Bowie – Heroes
The Lively Ones – Surf Rider
AWOLNATION – Sail
Mumford & Sons – The Cave
The Alarm – The Stand
The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows
The Strumbellas – Spirits
Leon Bridges – Smooth Sailin’
Chet Faker – Gold
Adele – Water Under the Bridge
Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch (O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack) – I’ll Fly Away
Tom Waits – Long Way Home
M83 – Midnight City
The Avett Brothers – Live and Die
Nahko and the Medicine for the People – San Quentin