Category Archives: In Flight

After the Harvest

Write a comprehensive film review of the film “After the Harvest.”

If you have read “Wild Geese” by Martha Ostenso, be sure to compare and contrast.

Consider especially details from class discussions, notes, essays or any other ideas to help you out.

Tip: consider a 5-paragraph essay as an organizational structure for your review. Perhaps one third focusing on literal elements, one third on figurative elements, and the final third thematic elements.

Screenshots:

http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/geese/geese.html

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“Credo” by Robert Fulghum (excerpt)

I realized that I already know most of what’s necessary to live a meaningful life – that it isn’t all that complicated. I know it. And have known it for a long, long time. Living it – well, that’s another matter, yes? Here’s my Credo:

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Flush.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life -learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and plants foes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own messes.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

  1. What is your reaction to Fulghum’s statement that everything he really needs to know he learned in kindergarten? Do you agree or disagree? Explain your response.
  2. Think back over your elementary, middle, and high school. What would you do differently if you had the chance? What would you not change?
  3. What advice would you give to someone entering your high school next year? Decide on the tone and form for your message. You could take a humorous or serious approach.
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Earth First

Research an environmental issue and organize an action in response to the issue.

Environment Canada Issues:

What you can do:

(Hints: poster, pamphlet, booklet, 4H speech, video clip, display, commercial, web app, animation, plant a tree, join a group, etc.)

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Instant Communications Technology

“Our embrace of high-tech gadgetry could turn life into a series of rushed encounters and clipped exchanges, producing ideas of diminishing depth.” – Langdon Winner

What effect does “instant communication” have on you? What effect does “instant communication” have on your relationships with other people?

Corners of our lives once sheltered from direct technological intervention are now bombarded by the demands of incoming and outgoing messages … However, people text-message alone. It is mainly an isolating experience in society … Of its role in the future only one thing is certain: it will be larger than ever before. – S.D. Robinson

Film Creation Idea:
Write a script for a text messaging dialogue between two friends (they are not face-to-face) for one of the following scenarios:

  • two friends discuss running against each other in the student council election
  • two friends argue about an environmental issue
  • a person tells a friend who has taken a part-time job that he/she is upset that they are spending less time together.

Film your script while paying particular attention to your actors non-verbal behaviour, watch out for various types of body language. Add the “dialogue” – the text messages – as titles to each scene in iMovie. It is not necessary to have any audio captured with the video at all.

  • What is the person doing with his or her hands? Is the individual tapping a finger on a table? Are the arms crossed?
  • What is the position of the individual’s body? Is the person leaning forward? Leaning back? Is the body turned away from another person?
  • What is the position of the individual’s legs? Are they crossed? Is the person tapping his/her foot?
  • Where are the eyes looking?
  • Does the person smile? frown? yawn? cough?

Consider these and other questions in your planning:

  • Who are my 2 friends? Describe their emotional and psychological states, too.
  • Where are they? Remember that the video you shoot will be shot at school.
  • What is the issue? What point are you trying to make?
  • How will you show that their conversation is rushed, incomplete, frustrating?
  • How can you show that their responses to each other lack depth?
  • How can you show or demonstrate how alone they really are?
  • How can you demonstrate how texting is an isolating experience?
  • How can you show them being “bombarded by the demands of incoming and outgoing messages”

Consider capturing/grabbing your iPhone/iPod message screen and then get those pics into an iMovie.

iPhone spell-checker frustration.

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Love Songs, Love Poems

Robert Burns (1759-96), a popular poet from Scotland, lives again each January 25th, when millions around the world celebrate his poetry. In his poetry, Burns expresses his concern for people of the working class. He is also one of the first poets to question the treatment of women and children in society. Robbie Burns is best remembered for his love poetry. The following selection is one of his better-known ballads.

A Red, Red Rose, by Robert Burns

O my luve is like a red, red rose
   That's newly sprung in June;
My love is like the melodie
   That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonny lass,
   So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
   Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love!
   And fare thee weel, awhile!
And I will come again, my love
   Though it were ten thousand mile.

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-94) is a well-known poet of the Victorian period. She was acclaimed for her poetic skill and distinctive style. Some recurrent themes in her poetry are of unhappy, delayed, or frustrated love. “A Birthday,” one of her best known poems, has a more positive theme.

A Birthday by Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird
   Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
   Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
   That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
   Because my love is come to me.
 
Raise me a daïs of silk and down;
   Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
   And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
   In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
   Is come, my love is come to me.
  1. Burns and Rossetti both use a common literary technique, the metaphor, to describe feelings of love. Identify and discuss the similarities and the differences between the two poems.
  2. What effect does the repetition of the phrases create in the poems? Do you like the effect that is created? Why or why not?
  3. Choose your own personal metaphor for describing love. Write a poem, song, or short narrative or create a collage of images which incorporates your metaphor for love.
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Could It Be Love?

The two following poems express different attitudes toward love. The first poem, “How do I Love Thee?,” was written in the nineteenth century and the second one, “First Person Demonstrative” was written in the twentieth century.

"How do I love thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
"First Person Demonstrative" by Phyllis Gotlieb (1926-2009)
I'd rather
heave half a brick than say
I love you, though I do
I'd rather
crawl in a hole than call you
darling, though you are
I'd rather
wrench off an arm than hug you though
it's what I long to do
I'd rather
gather a posy of poison ivy than
ask if you love me

so if my
hair doesn't stand on end it's because
I never tease it
and if my
heart isn't in my mouth it's because
it knows its place
and if I
don't take a bite of your ear it's because
gristle gripes my guts
and if you
miss the message better get new
glasses and read it twice
  1. How did you feel after reading “How Do I Love Thee?” How did you feel after reading “First Person Demonstrative”? Which poem do you like better? Why? Which do you think is the more appealing poem?
  2. Compare the thoughts and feelings of the two poets. How do the poems differ? How are they similar? Does this comparison change your feelings toward either of the poems?
Picasso: The Two Saltimbanques

Picasso: The Two Saltimbanques

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Looking at Masks

Masks have been worn in many different cultures over the centuries. No matter what culture or time period it is from, the visual impact of a mask is often dramatic. Even though you might know very little about the cultural or historical significance of a mask, you can still understand a great deal about it by considering its effect on you.

  1. Brainstorm a list of masks that people wear. Consider masks worn to protect as well as masks worn to disguise. How do you feel when you encounter someone wearing a mask? Does your reaction depend on the situation? Explain your response.
  2. Brainstorm a list of movies, songs, plays, short stories, comics, and television programs featuring characters that wear masks. Why do the characters wear masks? How does the mask affect your perception of the character?
  3. Write about your own experience wearing masks. On what occasions have you worn masks? Did wearing a mask affect your actions and feelings?

African Masks: Baule Mask - This type of Baule mask is known as a Goli mask. It is used in dances during harvest festivals, in processions to honour distinguished visitors and at the funerals of important figures.

Jacque Plante's original goalie mask

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Masks

Masks are intriguing because they serve some interesting purposes. When you put on a mask, you do one of many things: transform your character, hide your identity, or protect yourself. Everyone has worn a mask at some point in life. When was the last time you wore a mask? How did it feel to have a mask on in that situation?

 

Cultural Masks
Literary Persona
Character Masks

The concept of character masks refers to the circumstance that, in human societies, people can take on functions in which they “act out” roles, whether voluntarily chosen, by necessity, or forced. In those roles, some or all of their true characteristics and intentions may be partly or wholly masked, so that they appear different from what they truly are – “public face” and “private thoughts, interests and emotions” diverge. Also, their activity may have broader social effects that they would rather not know about, which they wish to be unknown or presented in a certain light, or which they are unaware of, and therefore the effects are mentally disconnected from their real causes.

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About Technology

Write a post on one of the following topics about technology:

  • technological change in schools
  • technology both shapes and is shaped by society
  • the need for public policy that controls technological change
  • genetic engineering
  • determine a plan of action to address a technological problem that your class or school has
  • look at how a television program or modern movie treats the issue of technology
  • create a bulletin board display or electronic collage about technology and society
  • create a 3-5 minute digital recording of you reading an interesting news story about technology
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No Cell Phones!

Pretend that the members of your community have decided to turn off their cell phones, televisions, computers, consoles, hand held devices, game gadgets, etc. for a week. Write a persuasive letter to the editor of your local newspaper as part of the publicity campaign that would be used to inform the public, enlist their support, and provide them with alternatives to their electronics.

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Your Autobiography

Create a short autobiography. Use these statements to get your ideas flowing:

  • My greatest achievement was…
  • My greatest loss was…
  • I have never felt happier than when…
  • I have never felt worse than when…
  • The funniest thing that ever happened to me was…
  • The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was…
  • The person who has influenced me the most is…
  • What is important to me is…
  • My future goals are…

You may wish to write your autobiography chronologically or in another way that seems appropriate. Include photos and keepsakes to illustrate your narrative.

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Job Shadow

If you have a career in mind, see if you can spend a day “job shadowing” a person in that career. Job shadowing means that you spend a day following the person in his or her job, observing all that he or she does. Keep a record of the various things involved in doing the job. Make a list of those abilities that you will need to acquire to be successful in the job.

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Predict the future

What changes do you think you will see in your lifetime? Consider the areas of communication, transportation, food, climate, mass media, economy, workplace, daily routines, and family life.

Choose one of your ideas about the future and develop it further. How will this change affect your life? Will you benefit from it, or not?

Write a narrative or essay about your prediction and its impact on life in the future.

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Interview an older relative or friend

Interview an older relative or friend about the changes that have occurred in his or her lifetime. Consider going to a senior citizen’s home and asking if any of the people there would like to share their stories with you. Prepare your questions ahead of time.

Ask open-ended questions such as:

  • What changes have occured in modes of transportation in your lifetime? How do you feel about these changes?
  • What was your daily routine like when you were my age?
  • What has remained constant throughout your life?
  • Do you have any advice to share about adapting to a changing world?

In your report on your interview(s) discuss which responses were most interesting. Were you surprised by any of the changes described? Why or why not?

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What Does Your Future Hold In Store?

What does your future hold in store? Explore your thoughts on this topic in your blog. What personal goals do you have? What changes do you foresee in your daily routines and you career choices as a result of technological developments and changing social structures? How will your life differ from that of your parents or grandparents?

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