Category Archives: Echoes

DIY Radio

Create a radio diary.

Anyone can make a radio diary. Try your hand at making radio. Whether you’re interviewing a neighbor, or a grandparent, or someone you’ve never met, a microphone is a passport into their lives. If you or someone in your community has a story to tell, get a microphone, a recorder, a pair of headphones, and get started.

The Teen Reporter Handbook has been used in schools across the United States, as well as in Russia, Israel, South Africa, and even in a journalism training program in Southern Afghanistan.

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Artificial Perceptions and Arbitrary Values

Analyze your current experiences with some feature of the Interent using McLuhan’s ideas.

Marshal McLuhan died in 1980.

“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.” Marshall McLuhan

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” Marshall McLuhan

“The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.” Marshall McLuhan

“Ideally, advertising aims at the goal of a programmed harmony among all human impulses and aspirations and endeavors. Using handicraft methods, it stretches out toward the ultimate electronic goal of a collective consciousness.” Marshall McLuhan

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Futuristic Story

Write a futuristic story in which you present your vision of life twenty years from now.

Read an interview with Derrick de Kerckhove, author of The Augmented Mind.

How will people in the future be “always on” or “plugged in”? What will “cloud computing” look like in twenty years? What “next big thing” will replace Facebook?

How many “degrees of separation” will exist between you and your friends, your family, your children, your spouse?

How will people use their imagination twenty years from now? Will they still have one?

Kerckhove says we exist in “the era of the tag” and “tagging … is the soul of the Internet.” What remains to be tagged in the next twenty years? What will the Internet be like in twenty years?

As of 2011 more than 2.2 billion people—nearly a third of Earth’s Human population—used the services of the Internet.
… the average UK employee spent 57 minutes a day surfing the Web while at work, according to a 2003 study

Will one of the oldest forum threads on the Internet still exist in twenty years? “I am lonely will anyone speak to me”?

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Newspaper Advertising

Newspapers have changed considerably in the past 30 years, specifically in response to other media, such as television and the Internet. Using a recent copy of a newspaper as a resource, compare and contrast the advertising and visual techniques of the newspaper with those in other media forms such as magazines and the Internet?In what ways have other media forms influenced newspaper advertising? In what ways have newspaper advertisements remained unique?

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Canadian Ritual

Write an expository essay that explains a Canadian or personal “ritual” for foreign readers. For example, you might explain the ritual of the graduation at your school; traditions followed in your family on birthdays or special occasions; or customs and procedures surrounding going to a big game or concert.

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Dreams

The psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that dreams often express our most hidden desires and fears – parts of ourselves that we do not want to or are too afraid to acknowledge when we are awake. He claimed that these neglected, or repressed, aspects of our personality often manifest themselves in dreams in the form of a relentless pursuer.

How does this theory apply to a protagonist from a text you have studied?

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Existentialism

Existentialism is a philosophy of life that emphasizes personal choice and subjectivity; that is the idea that our everyday choices, actions, and reactions determine who and what we are. Find out more about existentialism. Write as summary of what your have discovered.

Explain how a text you have studied reflects elements of this philosophy.

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Isolation and “otherness”

The motif of isolation and “otherness” is a common one in art and literature.

Select a text from your own reading or viewing that focuses on a character who is isolated and longs for another place or connection where he or she can feel a sense of belonging.

Write an essay analyzing this theme and showing how it is developed.

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Art is coming face to face with yourself

Select one of the following quotations and write an essay explaining how one of the texts you have studied does or does not support the quote.

“Art is coming face to face with yourself.” – Jackson Pollock

“When I reflect that the task which the artist implicitly sets himself is to overthrow existing values, to make of the chaos about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment so that by the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life, then it is that I run with joy to the great and imperfect ones, their confusion nourishes me, their stuttering is like divine music to my ears.” – Henry Miller

“The subject matter of art is life, life as it actually is; but the function of art is to make life better.” – George Santayana

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A Marriage Proposal

Read Anton Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal.

Meaning

  1. Identify the object of Chekhov’s satire in this play. Support your interpretation with a specific reference to the text.
  2. Why do you think Chekhov included the character to Chubukov in the play? What functioin does he serve?

Form and Style

  1. The play has a strong emotional tone. Explain how both the structure of the play and the punctuation of the text contribute to the emotional tone. Cite specific examples to support your answer.
  2. Melodrama is defined s “a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions.” Comment on how Chekhov uses melodramatic techniques to create humor in this piece.

Exploring Content

  1. What information about life in Czarist Russia do we learn from this script? Explain how this information creates the context of the drama in the play.

Creative Extension

  1. Choose a segment of the play and rewrite it in a narrative (short story) form. Be prepared to discuss changes you needed to make to transpose one form to another.
  2. Prepare a readers’ theatre presentation of a portion of the script. Focus on capturing the emotional tension created through the dialogue. Record your presentation (audio or video) and share it.
  3. Read Chekhov’s monologue On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco. Using this monologue as a model, write a script for a monologue given by one of the characters from A Marriage Proposal: Chubukov on the dangers of domestic champagne, Natalya on the dangers faced by women at harvest, or Lomov on the dangers of modern fabrics … and so on and so forth and all that.
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Introduction to Modernism Research Topics

Modernism
Modernism Introduction
Modernism Themes

Make It New: The Rise of Modernism

30-1:
Research these thinkers: Karl Marx, the naturalist Charles Darwin, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and the psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. What were their most important insights? What previous explanations did their writings reject? How do their ideas affect the world today?

30-2:
Most of the important modernist writers were born between 1880 and 1900, and most of them died in the 1960s. The world changed dramatically in the intervening period. In 1890 what were the world’s great powers? Who were its important leaders? What were the important issues in international relations? What products did people use? How did people travel from place to place? Compare the answers to these questions to what the world looked like in 1965.

30-4:
Modernism evolved as an artistic reaction to dramatic changes in politics, culture, society, and technology. Research some of the technologies that were developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s that might have literally changed the world. Some of the inventions you might want to investigate might be the technologies that captured and recorded reality (photography, sound recording, film), the technologies of communication, the technologies of transportation, and the technologies of weaponry.

Tips: connect the ideas you develop to course focus questions on the human condition.

Extras:
Snowflakes: Philosophy
Snowflakes: Thought Experiments

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A Personal Connection to Art

Identify a work of art that for you holds a personal connection or significance. Select one of the following quotations and write an essay explaining how your chosen work of art does or does not support the quote.

“Art is coming face to face with yourself.” – Jackson Pollock

“The task which the artist implicitly sets himself, is to overthrow existing values, to make of the chaos about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment, so that by the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life.” – Henry Miller

“The subject matter of art is life, life as it actually is; but the function of art is to make life better.” – George Santayana

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Alienation and Helplessness

Many twentieth century artists have explored humankind’s shared feelings of alienation and helplessness. Identify a modern song that you think helps to illuminate Prufrock’s character or some of the ideas in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.

Quote the lyrics of the song and write an explanation of how the song reflects the character of Prufrock or the poem’s themes.

Help with analysis of Prufrock:
Summary
etext of poem with a few hyperlinks
The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Study Guide
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Study Guide & Essays
The Prufrock Papers
THOMAS STEARNS ELIOT: 1948 Nobel Laureate in Literature
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948:
T.S. Eliot

A Study of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Literature Essay
Help finding song lyrics:
eLyrics

Help with quibbling about the human condition:
recall Honour and Certainty in Hamlet

Help with Modernism:
Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (Nu descendant un escalier), 1912

Prufrock Worksheet

Introduction to Modernism Research Topics

Inside Poetry

Artist: Crash Test Dummies
Title: Afternoons & Coffeespoons

What is it that makes me just a little bit queasy?
There’s a breeze that makes my breathing not so easy
I’ve had my lungs checked out with X rays
I’ve smelled the hospital hallways

Someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I’ll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Times when the day is like a play by Sartre
When it seems a bookburning’s in perfect order –
I gave the doctor my description
I tried to stick to my prescriptions

Someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I’ll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Afternoons will be measured out
Measured out, measured with
Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot

Maybe if I could do a play-by-playback
I could change the test results that I will get back
I’ve watched the summer evenings pass by
I’ve heard the rattle in my bronchi …

Someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I’ll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Afternoons will be measured out
Measured out, measured with
Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot
(2x)

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The Artist in Society – Alone, Isolated, and Alienated

Northrop Frye, the famous Canadian literary critic, said “…we may come to realize that two essential facts about a work of art — that it is contemporary with its own time and that it is contemporary with ours — are not opposed but complementary facts.”

Tennyson‘s “Lady of Shalott” and Elton John‘s “Candle in the Wind” reinforce this statement.

Write a persuasive essay convincing the reader that the plight of the artist in society has not changed over the centuries — that to be a master in a field is to be alone, isolated, and alienated.

The Lady of Shalott: Study Guide

The 5 Paragraph Essay (template)

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Separation from a Loved One

Compare and contrast how the following two poems deal with the theme of separation from a loved one:

Focus on such aspects as imagery, symbolism, archetypes, mood, and characterization. Quote directly from the poems to support your points.

Intro to John Donne

Forbidden Morning: Study Guide

Inside Poetry

The River Merchant’s Wife: Study Guide
The River Merchant’s Wife: Better Study Guide

The River Merchant’s Wife: Example Critical Essay

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The Medium is the Message

According to Marshall McLuhan, television is a “cool” medium because it provides little information and makes the user fill in what is missing. How do the House Hippo and Media Monkey ads make the user fill in the information?

House Hippo

Media Monkey

Do young people accept what they see in media as being reality? Provide specific examples to support your opinion.

Facts on Childhood Issues

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