Tag Archives: blog

Hamlet: Getting Started

“We all sympathize with Hamlet, and that is understandable, because almost every one of us recognizes in the prince our own characteristics.” – Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883) Russian novelist and playwright.

Hamlet raises many questions that you may recognize from your own life. Thinking about some of these issues will make your experience of the play more interesting and rewarding. Discuss one of the following questions in your blog. Write about any ideas you find interesting or thought-provoking.

  1. We all have procrastinated about something important that we had to do, sometimes disappointing other people and often disappointing ourselves. Why do we procrastinate?
  2. Most people have purposely “played the fool” at some time. Why do people do this? If a person for some reason plays the fool or pretends to be disturbed for a long time, do you think the person eventually can become truly disturbed?
  3. Isolation and loneliness are feelings common to most people at one time or another. Sometimes external circumstances create this situation, and sometimes people deliberately withdraw from those around them. What can friends or relatives do when someone has purposely withdrawn and chosen to be alone with his or her problems?
  4. Disillusion is a common experience of growing up. We find that people in the adult world whom we once idealized are less than ideal, and that situations we considered innocent are actually corrupt. How do young people encountering the “real world” for the first time handle these discoveries?
  5. In Shakespeare’s time, insane people were regarded as sources of entertainment. What is our society’s attitude toward mental illness?
  6. What is the difference between “taking revenge” and “getting justice”?
  7. Privacy is highly valued in our society. How would you feel if you found out you were “under surveillance” at school, at your job, at home, or among friends because of some change in your behaviour?
  8. What are you launching out to believe in your life? What are you seeking to know? How well are you using your mind in discovering the truth that you are here to know?

“We feel not only the virtues, but the weaknesses of Hamlet as our own.” – Henry MacKenzie (1745-1831), Scottish author

“Hamlet is the most baffling of the great plays. It is the tragedy of a man and an action continually baffled by wisdom. The man is too wise … The task set by the dead is a simple one. All tasks are simple to the simple-minded. To the delicate and complex mind so much of life is bound up with every act that any violent act involves not only a large personal sacrifice of ideal, but a tearing up of the roots of half the order of the world.” – John Masefield (1878 – 1967), British poet laureate

“Polonius is a man bred in courts, exercised in business, stored with observations, confident in his knowledge, proud of his eloquence, and declining into dotage.” – Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784), British essayist, biographer, and developer of the first English dictionary

“It has been stated that Hamlet is the only one of Shakespeare’s characters who could have written the plays of his creator.” – Betty Bealey (1913 -2008)

“Hamlet again is an example of the removed thinker who is cut off – better who has cut himself off – from human affairs, from life. Who ever thinks of Hamlet as possessing a body? Hamlet is pure mind, a dynamo of thought whirring in the void. He never stopped to put his hand in the garbage can. He is Prince of Idleness, an addict of thought and futile speculation.” – Henry Miller (1891 – 1980), American novelist

“Hamlet! Hamlet! When I think of his moving wild speech, in which resounds the groaning of the whole numbed universe, there breaks from my soul not one reproach, not one sigh … That soul is then so utterly oppressed by woe that it fears to grasp the woe entire, lest it lacerate itself.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 – 1881), Russian novelist

“Hamlet’s will … is paralyzed. He seeks to move in one direction and is hauled in another. One moment he sinks into the abyss. The next, he rises above the clouds. His feet seek the ground, but find only air….” – Stephen Leacock (1869 – 1944) Canadian author and humorist

“Hamlet is loathsome and repugnant. The fact that he is eloquent has nothing to do with him being obnoxious. He’s an aging playboy. The only time he gets animated is when he bosses around the players, telling them how to do their business.” – Charles Marowitz (b. 1934), American director, playwright, and critic

“Despite the initial view we get of Hamlet’s abhorrence of deception, he tries to dupe everyone else in the play.” – Michael M. Cohen (b. 1943), British Shakespeare critic

“This is the story of a man who could not make up his mind.” – Sir Laurence Olivier (1907 – 1989), British actor/director

“Hamlet is like a sponge. If he is not played in a stylized or antiquated manner, he immediately soaks up the entire contemporary scene unto himself. It is the most unique of all plays that have ever been written, because of its porosity.” – Jan Kott (1914 – 2001), Polish political activist, critic and theoretician of the theatre

“Shakespeare wrote of Hamlet as if Hamlet he were; and having, in the first instance, imagined his hero excited to partial insanity by the disclosures of the ghost – he (the poet) felt that it was natural he should be impelled to exaggerate the insanity.” – Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849), American poet, short story writer, and novelist

“Hamlet, this tragedy of maniacs. this Royal Bedlam, in which every character is either crazy or criminal, in which feigned madness is added to real madness and in which the grave itself furnishes the stage with the skull of a fool ….” – François René de Chateaubriand (1768 – 1848), French poet and essayist

“Character … is destiny. But not the whole of our destiny. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, was speculative and irresolute, and we have a great tragedy in consequence. But if his father had lived to a good old age, and his uncle had died an early death, we can conceive Hamlet’s having married Ophelia, and got through life with a reputation of sanity, notwithstanding many soliloquies, and some moody sarcasms toward the fair daughter of Polonius, to say nothing of the frankest incivility to his father-in-law.” – George Eliot (1819 – 1880), British novelist

“The most maligned man in history, one whose memory I propose not only to defend but to extol, is the man who complained that Hamlet was a boring play full of quotations, thereby proving the soundness of his literary instinct. Honour to this anonymous critic, whose sensitive though unlettered brain. stunned into apathy as one well-known phrase after another came booming accross the footlights ….” – Dame Ethel Smyth (1958 – 1944), English composer and a leader of the women’s suffrage movement

“Hamlet is a great story. It’s got some great things in it. I mean there’s something like eight violent deaths, there’s murder, there’s adultery, there’s a ghost, a madwoman, poisoning, revenge, sword fights. It’s a pretty good story.” – Mel Gibson, American actor

______________
Sources:
Hamlet Etext
Hamlet_eText

Hamlet Study Guide
Hamlet_eNotes

While you read…Brave New World

Using the format of a blog, comment at the end of each reading session on both the substance of your reading and its effects on you.

Record pages or sections on which you are commenting. Record your impressions of characters, events, conflicts, descriptions. Record responses to your own questions. Record questions about the novel as you read. Respond to course focus questions.

Make sure you take the time after, during, or before each reading session to make an entry into your blog. 10-15 sentences per reading session might be enough.

Make each entry interesting, personal, intelligent. Avoid retelling the story or simply “dumbing-down” the text. Write posts that engages your readers in critical thinking, enhances their attention span, and fills them with speculative awe.

Write several short posts per week, once a day at least. Write longer posts when your mood strikes you. Tag each post before publishing. Use categories such as the following to keep your responses organized:

Utopia
Community, Identity, Stability
Science and Technology
Conditioning
Soma
Sensual Pleasures
Religion
Family Life
Death
Skinner
Kohlberg
Piaget
Erikson
Freud
Adler
Thoreau

Track the posts you make and the comments you send and receive in a spreadsheet. Try to spend no more than 15 minutes on the computer per class. If that isn’t enough, do more work at home or during spare time. There is a need for quite, concentrated reading time during your day. Here we go.

Hamlet: Final Response

Choose a focus for your final response to Hamlet.

Synthesize alternative points of view, (include links to sources: your posts, STJ blogs, etc.).

Review your responses throughout our study:

Writing tips:

Trackback.

PS: “To thine own rubric be true.”
rubric.png

November 9th is the “cut off” day for submission of my marks to the office.
Any assignment to be (re)submitted for grading must be “in my hand” before 2:00PM November 9th.

Student blog will win $10,000 Scholarship

One blogger chosen by “the internet” will win $10,000 US scholarship … for keeping a blog.

As the ratio of high school student blogs I read to the number of college student blogs I read approaches infinity, I think it a good time we troll a few of the best college bloggers in the US.

All STJ student bloggers have been involved in assessment of one another’s blogs since the beginning of STJ iblogs in 2006. I’m certain we’d pick a deserving “Final Four” from the list of 20 finalists.

I’m curious to know for what blogs STJ bloggers vote.

Submit your comment (or trackback) here with a brief reason/detail/example justifying your vote for the $10,000 US scholarship.

Consider our recent emphasis on structure and voice: How are these college bloggers defining themselves through voice? What structures/patterns do successful bloggers adopt? What role do comments play in the development of the blog?

Yaaar, there be pirates in one of the blogs . . . but don’t let that influence your vote.

Religion 25 Final Exam New Revised

Would God enjoy a game of Bingo? Yahtzee? Battleship? Texas Hold’em? Would God enjoy the lottery? Just a random (rhetorical) thought.

Anyway, determine which questions have been randomly assigned to you. You can choose to do only the Short Answer questions you’ve been assigned. The Essay is worth 30%. Your grade will not exceed 100%. Good luck.

Short Answer:

  1. (___/4) What is the difference between Faith and superstition?
  2. (___/1) What was the inscription at Delphi?
  3. (___/2) Is there such thing as Natural Modesty?
  4. (___/2) How can Sophists be objectively wrong?
  5. (___/2) What did the Pre-Socratics think about Fate and Sickness?
  6. (___/6) How are Jesus and Socrates alike?
  7. (___/2) In Greek mythology, who was Hermes?
  8. (___/3) What is the difference between a Sophist and a Philosopher?
  9. (___/2) What did Socrates mean when he said, “He who knows what good is will do good?”
  10. (___/2) Explain Plato’s … “a longing to return to the realm of the soul.”
  11. (___/3) Describe Plato’s Academy.
  12. (___/6) According to Plato, what is the relationship of man to the State?
  13. (___/2) Can you have true knowledge about something in a constant state of change?
  14. (___/2) Who would make a better sculptor, Plato or Aristotle?
  15. (___/2) Are we born with innate ideas?
  16. (___/2) For Aristotle, contrast living and non-living.
  17. (___/2) What does Aristotle mean by “The First Mover”?
  18. (___/5) Indicate the factors that contribute to the formation of a person’s philosophy of life.
  19. (___/2) Why did Sophie’s teacher giver her an A on her Religious knowledge test? Why could he have given her a D?
  20. (___/2) What is the difference between Eastern and Western mysticism?
  21. (___/2 ) Why were Cynics happy?
  22. (___/2) What did Diogenes say to Alexander the Great?
  23. (___/2) Why are legal statutes unnecessary to Stoics?
  24. (___/2) What desire was common to all of the Hellenistic philosophers?
  25. (___/2) Who are the “garden philosophers”? Why?
  26. (___/2) Would Plotinus enjoy basketball or volleyball?
  27. (___/2) What does Aquinas believe are the two paths to God?
  28. (___/1) What inscription did Paul find on an alter?
  29. (___/1) What does “Sophia” mean?
  30. (___/2) When we talk about Socarates and Jesus, what dangers do we come across?
  31. (___/3) Who were the three great kings of Israel?
  32. (___/4) What was Paul’s revolutionary philosophy of God?
  33. (___/2) What was God’s covenant with Abraham and his seed?
  34. (___/6) What is the difference between the Indo-European and Semite origins?
  35. (___/1) What scared Sophie and Joanna about the postcards?
  36. (___/3) Should non-Jews first become Jewish before becoming a Christian?
  37. (___/2) What did Jesus call God that was unprecedented in the Jewish community?
  38. (___/2) Name the capitals of the Eastern and Western Empires?
  39. (___/1) What is the Latin word for Pope?
  40. (___/4) What epochs surrounded the middle ages?
  41. (___/1) The word “Christ” is a Greek translation of what Hebrew word meaning “the anointed one”?
  42. (___/4) Compare and Contrast Plato with St. Augustine.
  43. (___/2) Who was the female follower of Paul?
  44. (___/6) What three cultures emerged from the Divided Roman Empire?
  45. (___/3) “Almost all medieval philosophy centered on this one question.” What is this question?
  46. (___/2) What did St. Augustine say about Free Will?
  47. (___/2) Who was St. Thomas Aquinas’s famous teacher?
  48. (___/2) From where does evil originate?
  49. (___/4) How do you discern God’s will?

Essay
What, if anything, do the cookies we have shared during this class have to do with philosophy? Consider any of the following or come up with your own reasons.

Fate put them here and it is their destiny to be eaten – Pre Socratics

They are a message from the Gods. – Hermes

They were bought and paid for. – Sophists

Cookies, when did we have cookies? – anonymous absentee student

They are longing to return to the realm of the soul. – Plato

They are from Delphi – Know Thy Cookie!

They are created by a First Baker. – Aristotle

I don’t know. – Socrates

It’s better than Hemlock. – Socrates

The existence of appetite shows man’s place in society. – Plato

Cookies? What cookies? These are mere shadows. – Plato

These cookies will not eat themselves, they are nonliving. – Aristotle

The abundance of cookies only demonstrates the appeal of a Golden Mean. – Aristotle

The abundance of cookies demonstrates that the ideal is immutable. – Plato

The cookies are here because the task was required for homework. – Sophie’s Teacher.

The cookies are a portal to a parallel hyper-reality in which we are the ideas. – Alberto Knox

Attach your completed rubric and “fortune” to your response.
holistic.png

[rsspara:http://forum.stjschool.org/rss.php?tid=145]

Religion 25 Final Exam Revised

Would God enjoy a game of Bingo? Yahtzee? Battleship? Texas Hold’em? Would God enjoy the lottery?

Just a random (rhetorical) thought.

Anyway, determine which questions have been randomly assigned to you. Do only the questions you’ve been assigned. Your grade will not exceed 100%. Mwaahahaa.

Good luck.

  1. (___/4) What is the difference between Faith and superstition?
  2. (___/1) What was the inscription at Delphi?
  3. (___/2) Is there such thing as Natural Modesty?
  4. (___/2) How can Sophists be objectively wrong?
  5. (___/2) What did the Pre-Socratics think about Fate and Sickness?
  6. (___/6) How are Jesus and Socrates alike?
  7. (___/2) In Greek mythology, who was Hermes?
  8. (___/3) What is the difference between a Sophist and a Philosopher?
  9. (___/2) What did Socrates mean when he said, “He who knows what good is will do good?”
  10. (___/2) Explain Plato’s … “a longing to return to the realm of the soul.”
  11. (___/3) Describe Plato’s Academy.
  12. (___/6) According to Plato, what is the relationship of man to the State?
  13. (___/2) Can you have true knowledge about something in a constant state of change?
  14. (___/2) Who would make a better sculptor, Plato or Aristotle?
  15. (___/2) Are we born with innate ideas?
  16. (___/2) For Aristotle, contrast living and non-living.
  17. (___/2) What does Aristotle mean by “The First Mover”?
  18. (___/5) Indicate the factors that contribute to the formation of a person’s philosophy of life.
  19. (___/2) Why did Sophie’s teacher giver her an A on her Religious knowledge test? Why could he have given her a D?
  20. (___/2) What is the difference between Eastern and Western mysticism?
  21. (___/2 ) Why were Cynics happy?
  22. (___/2) What did Diogenes say to Alexander the Great?
  23. (___/2) Why are legal statutes unnecessary to Stoics?
  24. (___/2) What desire was common to all of the Hellenistic philosophers?
  25. (___/2) Who are the “garden philosophers”? Why?
  26. (___/2) Would Plotinus enjoy basketball or volleyball?
  27. (___/2) What does Aquinas believe are the two paths to God?
  28. (___/1) What inscription did Paul find on an alter?
  29. (___/1) What does “Sophia” mean?
  30. (___/2) When we talk about Socarates and Jesus, what dangers do we come across?
  31. (___/3) Who were the three great kings of Israel?
  32. (___/4) What was Paul’s revolutionary philosophy of God?
  33. (___/2) What was God’s covenant with Abraham and his seed?
  34. (___/6) What is the difference between the Indo-European and Semite origins?
  35. (___/1) What scared Sophie and Joanna about the postcards?
  36. (___/3) Should non-Jews first become Jewish before becoming a Christian?
  37. (___/2) What did Jesus call God that was unprecedented in the Jewish community?
  38. (___/2) Name the capitals of the Eastern and Western Empires?
  39. (___/1) What is the Latin word for Pope?
  40. (___/4) What epochs surrounded the middle ages?
  41. (___/1) The word “Christ” is a Greek translation of what Hebrew word meaning “the anointed one”?
  42. (___/4) Compare and Contrast Plato with St. Augustine.
  43. (___/2) Who was the female follower of Paul?
  44. (___/6) What three cultures emerged from the Divided Roman Empire?
  45. (___/3) “Almost all medieval philosophy centered on this one question.” What is this question?
  46. (___/2) What did St. Augustine say about Free Will?
  47. (___/2) Who was St. Thomas Aquinas’s famous teacher?
  48. (___/2) From where does evil originate?

Essay
What, if anything, do the cookies on your desk have to do with philosophy? Consider any of the following or come up with your own reasons.

Fate put them here and it is their destiny to be eaten – Pre Socratics
They are a message from the Gods. – Hermes
They were bought and paid for. – Sophists
They are longing to return to the realm of the soul. – Plato
They are from Delphi – Know Thy Cookie!
They are created by a First Baker. – Aristotle
I don’t know. – Socrates
It’s better than Hemlock. – Socrates
The existence of appetite shows man’s place in society. – Plato
Cookies? What cookies? These are mere shadows. – Plato
These cookies will not eat themselves, they are nonliving. – Aristotle
The abundance of cookies only demonstrates the appeal of a Golden Mean. – Aristotle
The abundance of cookies demonstrates that the ideal is immutable. – Plato
The cookies are here because the task was required for homework. – Sophie’s Teacher.
The cookies are a portal to a parallel hyper-reality in which we are the ideas. – Alberto Knox

Score your essay according to the following:holistic.png

Leaving STJ? Take your blog with you.

  1. Dashboard–>Manage–>Export
  2. Save the xml file to your disk/USB.
  3. Start a new blog at WordPress.com or Edublogs
  4. Dashboard–>Manage–>Import–>Wordpress
  5. Done.

You could start your own blog on a shared server, but for true blog freedom, master your own domain and install WAMP MAMP or LAMP and WordPress yourself.

I don’t plan on “pruning” the server database till the fall, but export before you leave in June.

Prepare for English Language Arts Finals

For those in the midst, or looking ahead at finals in my LA classes(9, 10-1, 20-1, 20-2, 30-1, 30-2).

Consider the outcomes we’ve tried to achieve.

Enhancing the artistry of communication has been a strong technical focus. Skills mastered include using online blogging tools, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, even graphical enhancements using Photoshop or audio/video podcasting tools have been included where time permitted and initiative taken. Participation on an online forum has generated a myriad of useful tips/reminders, questions/answers. There will be no speadsheets on the final, the use of Word will be necessary for English 30.

Each course has been structured around Focus Questions and related questions: English 10, English 9.

Emphasis on social networking, peer review/support/criticism has been critical for developing critical thought and reflection for writers defending an idea.

Each course has a reading list: English 10, English 30. Not every title has been studied intensively(or at all), but the proportion of attention paid to those pieces that were studied in class deserve the same level of attention on the final. Of course, those who choose additional literature from the list to focus on in the final deserve to have that initiative rewarded as well. If you choose to focus on Shakespeare, your audience gets tougher, I’ve noticed.

An English 30 paper looking at how the images/symbols/archetypes of Sophocles and Kingsolver relate to personal freedom to would be intriguing. Why not an English 10 paper discussing the threat of fanaticism by comparing the speeches of Mark Antony, Joseph Strorm, and Eamon De valera? What does Søren Kierkegaard have to do with every page you’ve ever read or written?

Extras, everyone should be able to link to Wikipedia for literary terms, difficult vocabulary, or just the odd or eccentric idea; can anyone incorporate the Hayflick Limit into their paper? Everyone has seen video and heard an mp3, but are any daring enough to Podcast their final essay? A carefully edited U2 mp3 snip, an embedded flash video of Ophelia Simpson, a slideshow?

rubric.pngThe only limit is to abide the first line of every rubric you’ve ever attached to any assignment:

I _________________ honestly declare that the work is what I have done. In circumstances when I have quoted a certain authority, I have clearly indicated what is a quote and the author. 

A Blogger’s Code of Ethics contains truths far older than the phenomenon of blogging.

English 30s will have no access to internet, filesharing, etc etc. English 10s can have it all.

My Mother’s Kitchen

  1. Use pencil crayons to draw a picture of your mother’s kitchen.
  2. Put the oven in it, and also something green, and something dead.
  3. Write a poem about your mother’s kitchen.
  4. You are not in this poem, but some female relation – aunt, sister, close friend – must walk into the kitchen during the course of the poem.
  5. Completed poems, with a suitable image(72 dpi, png, lightbox), should appear in your blog and trackback here.

A lesson on single point perspective. Hint: Tiles need an extra diagonal, too.