Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: Theme from the movie "Halloween"; "Masquerade" by Andrew Lloyd Weber]

Since it's Halloween, two options:
1. What role does fear (of death, of loss, of discovery) play in the play Hamlet?  What role does it play in your own life and decision-making process?
2. What masks do people wear in everyday life, i.e., how/why/when do we intentionally adopt personae that serve purposes other than reflecting who we are with integrity?

1. Journal
2. Cory Doctorow (zero period)
3. Finish Act V

1. Review "Performative Utterances" for quiz/discussion tomorrow (Thursday 11.1)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

cory doctorow

This is from Cory's wikipedia entry:

Cory Efram Doctorow (/ˈkɒri ˈdɒktər/; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British[2] blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the weblog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.[3]

I just bought 1 million FB users' info for $5

Read this and ask yourself what your privacy is worth.  I'm thinking .000005 is on the low side.

"I Just Bought 1 Million FB Users' Info for $5"

October 30

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Open Secrets" by Rush; "Rumours" by Timex Social Club]

In Hamlet's Denmark the characters appear angst-filled and manipulative. They are more apt to talk about each other than to each other. Are these conditions a matter of individual personality/psychology, or do they reflect the hierarchy of the court and/or the culture of the place/time? How does all this compare with people you know in your social systems (e.g., family, school, place of employment)?


 [7:30-8:20 Ted Newcomb on PLNs]

1. Journal
2. Hamlet Act V (if you're in zero period please read Act V tonight)
3. Hamlet: performative utterances, manipulation & state secrets

1. Read "State Secrets in the Age of the Internet" [UPDATE: if the link redirects you to register, skip it, go to google, enter "state secrets in the age of the internet" and click the result at
2. Read "The Performative Utterance in Hamlet"
3. Tomorrow morning at 7:30 we have a very special guest. Familiarize yourself with Cory Doctorow through his site, his curation/commentary on BoingBoing, his many talks on YouTube, or something equally interesting.

ted newcomb

This morning at 7:30 we will be joined by Ted Newcomb for resources that will help you build your Personal Learning Network. Some of you noticed Ted as the "silent partner" in Friday's talk with Howard Rheingold; Ted facilitates courses and coordinates alumni groups for Howard's online university. For the past 17 years Ted has been a co-host on The Well, one of the Internet's oldest virtual communities. Ted recently retired from a 30-year career in hotel/resort management. He received master's degrees in philosophy and theology from Claremont Graduate University and Fuller Theological Seminary, respectively. Fun fact: Ted's grandfather invented sound for motion pictures and last year the family found a print of Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights" in an attic.

Monday, October 29, 2012

literature analysis calendar

Here are the due dates for the remainder of this semester's literature analyses:
  • November 12
  • November 26
  • December 10
Please note that your literature analyses are due BY these dates.  This means your work should be completed and posted to your blog by close of business on the day before.  This also means you can complete your work anytime between now and then.  Remember to notify your colleagues (and me) to review and comment.

vocabulary: fall list #10


Sunday, October 28, 2012

a word about the AP exam

In a 1676 letter to Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton wrote, "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of giants."

Last year's cohort paved the way for what we're doing now and they accomplished so many "firsts" that they will always have a special place in my memory.

But I do have one regret. Even though I told them, as I've told you, that I expect everyone to take the AP exam, not everyone did.

If for any reason you are considering not taking the AP exam, please come talk to me before making me a final decision. Yes: I'm asking for the chance to talk you into it. Last year the community stepped up and helped each other with tutoring, with confidence-building support, with study groups, with finding out whether their intended colleges would give credit for it, and even with money to pay the test fees.

Registration is coming up soon so make the commitment. It will change the way you look at the next few months--every vocab word, every journal topic, every line of every text-- and it will change the the way you look back on what you accomplished this year.


vocabulary: fall list #9 (reminder/review)

in medias res
quid pro quo

October 29

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Killing With Kindness" by Tears for Fears; "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads]

Why does Shakespeare end so many of his plays in death? Is that what makes Hamlet a tragedy, or it is something else...? Provide examples from Hamlet, Julius Caesar and Romeo & Juliet to support your answer.

1. Journal
2. [Last week's] vocab test
2. Q & A: Hamlet Acts I-IV
3. Hamlet: Act V

1. Finish any remaining online assignments: last chance for any credit whatsoever this grading period.

Friday, October 26, 2012

TED talk on Kaitlyn's blog

Check this out!

October 26

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Happy Days" (TV Theme) by Fox/Gimbel/Pratt/McLain based on B. Haley's "Rock Around the Clock"; "Make Someone Happy" by Jimmy Durante; "Happiness" by Built to Spill; "Happiness is a Warm Gun" by The Beatles]

As we anticipate the Act V home stretch of Hamlet, how do you see this ending? What would a Hollywood studio have to do in order to twist this into a happy ending? What would it take for any of the characters to emerge satisfied?

1. Journal
2. Discuss blogs/literature analyses
3. Hamlet: Act V
4. [Vocab quiz postponed to Monday]

1. Review your notes on Hamlet Acts I-IV & prepare to summarize the plot from memory in class on Monday
2. Review vocab and study for quiz
3. Read and take notes on Hamlet Act V
4. Finish Literature Analysis #2 and post to your blog by COB Sunday

Thursday, October 25, 2012

thought for the evening

I was just reading Howard Rheingold's book Net Smart and I thought this was worth sharing:

I hope that if you're a parent who has read this far, you now have an expanded view of digital culture. And if you're the parent of a teenager, you understand that in addition to them having fun with their friends and maybe ducking their household chores while they are online, your kids are also creating publics, experimenting with identity, teaching each other technosocial skills, and learning to be active creators of culture. I also presume that any parent diligent enough to read this book will be willing to reconsider the mostly false picture promoted by too much bad journalism that has depicted the Web as a den of frivolity, superficiality, and danger to young people. Teenagers need to experiment with who they are and play with different kinds of identities-- and they need to do it with their peers, not just their parents. The public spaces where young people used to hang out have diminished through privatization, surveillance and prohibition-- malls have proliferated while town squares are disappearing; suburbs and urban neighborhoods have few public places where youths are allowed to loiter-- so they have created new peer publics in online spaces. What they are learning is not altogether detrimental to themselves and the society they are going to build when they grow up. (p.245)

howard rheingold

From last week's Forbes magazine:

"Howard Rheingold is truly a digital elder, and I mean that in the most respectful, old-school way. All of the fetishizing of the 'digital native' can distract us from the wisdom of those who experienced and shaped the birth of internet culture, and Rheingold was right there, in time and in space."

I am proud to be able to introduce you to one of the most experienced, prescient digital thinkers of our time. Check out his website, his writings, and (since he asked about it in today's webinar) his Wikipedia entry. Whatever direction tomorrow's conversation takes, I guarantee we'll all learn something.

If you have any questions or ideas you'd like Howard to consider in advance please comment to this post-- I'm sending him the link.

today's online conference with DML

That was fun. As much as we focus on critical thinking, we don't often slow down enough to reflect out loud; the way you described your experiences taught me a lot. Thank you. You can see the whole thing here.

Hamlet Act IV vids

Remember that you can also watch these inline with the script on the Hamlet page. Derek Jacobi/Claudius does damage control (Scene i)

Tennant calls Rosencrantz a sponge (Scene ii)

Olivier tells Claudius he's worm food (Scene iii)

Branagh asks, "what is a man?" (Scene iv/note cheesy soundtrack)

Gielgud asks (via Linguaphone), "What is a man?" (Scene iv)

Girl asks, "What is a man?" (Scene iv)

Laertes storms the castle & Ophelia goes cuckoo (Scene v/part 1)

Laertes storms the castle & Ophelia goes cuckoo (Scene v/part 2)

This clip begins with Tennant meeting Captain in country and asking, "What is a man?" (Scene iv) and goes through the end of Act IV (Scene vii) Note the departures from the original script

October 25

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Lose Yourself" (slightly abridged) by Eminem; "Bella" by Carlos Santana; "The Three Stooges (Three Blind Mice)" arr. by Spud Murphy]

How do you suggest Hamlet "get his mind right" in order to come through in the clutch and overcome his "paralysis by analysis"? How does Shakespeare manipulate characters through situational irony? (Consider what each character doesn't know.)

1. Journal
2. Vocabulary quiz
3. Hamlet: Act IV
4. Preview of coming attractions

1. Finish reading Hamlet: Act IV
2. Post Literature Analysis #2 to your blog and email/text five colleagues (including me) with invitations to comment. When you write the invitation be mindful of the art of hosting good conversations online (Due Monday, October 29)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

howard rheingold online conference activity form

Due to technical difficulties with docstoc and Adobe, I'm embedding this as a .jpg much closer to the date than I intended.  Please approach your 3rd period teacher with polite deference and caution, and reassure him/her that this won't happen again.  Our next conference is with author Cory Doctorow on 10.31 at 7:30 A.M.  I will post the form tomorrow, and I hereby guarantee that you and your teachers will have more lead time for planning in the future.

tools that change the way we think

Please read the following passage and respond to the questions below. Write your answers as a comment to this post. Then, cut/paste both the passage and your thoughts to your own blog in a post entitled, "Tools That Change the Way We Think."

"Back in 2004, I asked [Google founders] Page and Brin what they saw as the future of Google search. 'It will be included in people's brains,' said Page. 'When you think about something and don't really know much about it, you will automatically get information.'

'That's true,' said Brin. 'Ultimately I view Google as a way to augment your brain with the knowledge of the world. Right now you go into your computer and type a phrase, but you can imagine that it could be easier in the future, that you can have just devices you talk into, or you can have computers that pay attention to what's going on around them and suggest useful information.'

'Somebody introduces themselves to you, and your watch goes to your web page,' said Page. 'Or if you met this person two years ago, this is what they said to you... Eventually you'll have the implant, where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer."

-From In the Plex by Steven Levy (p.67)

Answer this not-so-simple question: How does extensive Internet/media/technology use change the way you think? Focus on your memory, your ability to concentrate, your sense of time and priorities, and the subjects/topics that interest you most. If you find "thinking about your thinking" difficult to assess, try the following strategies: compare yourself with older people who did most of their formal learning before smart phones and 2.0 existed; compare yourself with contemporaries who don't use those tools much today; read up on what education leaders and thinkers have to say about generational differences in thinking (and remember to cite your sources).

October 24

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Meadows" by Joe Walsh; "Bargain" by The Who]

Now that Hamlet has been "put out to pasture" by Claudius, how do you think he'll manage to execute his plan for revenge-- and his uncle? How much do you think Hamlet is willing to sacrifice in order to succeed?

1. Journal
2. Discuss HW
3. Hamlet: continue Act IV

1. Read "Tools That Change the Way We Think" and answer the questions in a comment to the post. THEN, go to your blog, create a post entitled "Tools That Change the Way We Think," and cut/paste your answers there as well.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

macarthur foundation event activity form

DML activity oct12

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 23

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Step Right Up" by Tom Waits; "Mercy" by The Shys]

Terms such as values and common sense can take on different meanings (how can something you define as common sense confuse me--isn't common sense the sense we share in common?) Cultural anthropologists and social psychologists describe values as learned, enduring, epistemologically grounded moral conceptualizations that assist us in making judgments and in preparing us to act. What values do you see in Hamlet? In Facebook/contemporary American culture? How do the characters in the former and executives in the latter use values to inform and justify their decisions and behavior?

1. Journal
2. Discuss Facebook article/intro to the Internet
3. Discuss Shakespeare article/context of Shakespeare's plays
4. Finish discussing Hamlet: Act III

1. Post to your blog under the title, "To Facebook or Not to Facebook?" Write about your initial impressions of Facebook, the benefits and risks associated with using Facebook, and an explanation of how reading the article and discussing in class informed your thinking.
2. Post to your blog under the title, "Who Was Shakespeare?" Do a quick search (remember to document search engine, terms, URLs and links followed) and see if you can piece together who Shakespeare was. What do we know about him, and what are we left to wonder? Write about how Shakespeare is perceived by students-- the name alone inspires strong feelings-- and how you have progressed in your understanding of his work over the years. What do you "get" now that you didn't before? What still causes you to struggle?
3. Post to your blog under the title, "Notes on Hamlet." Explain how your thinking about the play has evolved from the time we began reading to the end of Act III. Has anything changed your mind about the plot or characters since the ghost showed up at midnight? Where do you see things going from here? 4. Finish reading Hamlet Act IV

Hamlet act III scenes ii, iii, & iv vids

Remember that you can see all of these in the context of the original script on the Hamlet page of the blog.

 Branagh's Moustrap (Scene ii)

Tennant's Mousetrap (Scene ii/part 1)

Tennant's Mousetrap (Scene ii/part 2)

Patrick Stewart/Claudius confesses (Scene iii)

Branagh shivs Polonius (Scene iv/part 1)

Branagh shivs Polonius (Scene iv/part 2)

Tennant shivs Polonius (Scene iv/part 1)

Tennant shivs Polonius (Scene iv/part 2)

Hamlet act III scene i

Here are several versions of "To be, or not to be..." (including one by a girl with a guitar who wrote a melody to memorize it for an English course):

filter bubbles

October 22

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: Symphony #1 by Ludwig van Beethoven, performed by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein)

Why does Hamlet go to the trouble of orchestrating an elaborate ruse with the play-within-a-play, when the ghost's testimony and his intuition appear to provide sufficient justification for revenge?

[today's tunes: "Right Place Wrong Time" by Dr. John; "Wrong 'Em Boyo" by The Clash; "So Wrong" by Patsy Cline]
Why does Hamlet kill Polonius? How does Hamlet feel about it? How do the King and Queen react? Did you see this coming?

1. Journal
2. Vocab
3. Hamlet: Act III discussion

* Nominate "best of" remixes in comments to this post
1. Read "Hollywood Dishonors the Bard" (see below; online original here)
2. Read "Why Facebook is After Your Kids" (see below; online original here)
3. Remix Vocabulary List #9 & post to your blog in such a way that it helps you and everyone who sees it.
4. Watch Eli Pariser's TED talk on "Filter Bubbles"
5. Post a comment to the "Filter Bubble" post in which you respond to the video by answering these questions: a)What new information did you learn from the video? b)How does this information make you think differently about what you see online? c)What questions does this video raise about the Internet in general? and d)How can you improve the effectiveness of your searches?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

vocabulary: fall list #9

in medias res
quid pro quo

it's a big week

Looking ahead to the week and excited about what's coming up.  We will be:
  • Formalizing our literature analysis production schedule and reviewing/selecting tools to create our searchable library [Monday]
  • Finishing Act III & delving into Act IV while beginning a discussion of iambic pentameter and sonnets [Tue-Fri]
  • Featured guests of the Macarthur Foundation's Digital Media & Learning Hub at the University of California, Irvine (you can see a DML conference with last year's classes here) [Thursday]
  • Conferencing online with Howard Rheingold [Friday]
  • Doing all the usual journal topics, vocabulary, and a take-home essay next weekend [M-F]
This is the week we've been building up to since the first day of school.  Your blogs will probably be read by some very smart, curious, interesting people.  If you haven't yet updated your blog, evaluated your performance on the vocabulary midterm, done your remix, or proofread your posts, clean up: we're having company.

Please also take a moment to click on the links above and think about questions/ideas you want to share during the online conferences.  Adults are curious and concerned about how young people perceive and use today's information technology; this is your chance to tell them.  Howard is one of the foremost authorities on Internet culture so be ready to ask what you really want to know about social media, privacy, information, and Internet use in general.

And if all that isn't enough, Hamlet finally kills someone.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's topics: "Act Naturally" by The Beatles; "Play With Fire" by The Rolling Stones; "Games People Play" by Alan Parson's Project]

"The play's the thing." Explain.

1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. Act III
 4. Remix/state of the union

1. Post an autopsy on your vocab midterm to your blog.  Did you do as well as you expected/hoped?  To what do you attribute the outcome?  How can you improve for the final?
2. Remix something from Act III of Hamlet that will help your blog's audience better understand the play and Shakespeare's techniques. Post it to your blog (and our YouTube channel if it's a vid) and invite your friends to view it. [Note: This assignment won't count unless a minimum of 5 people have commented to your post by the time I tour the blogs Sunday evening.]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

casting call

Brady and Bailey are staging a... I'm not exactly sure what it is, but they need a guard who doesn't have many speaking lines. If you're interested you can either comment to this post or click the links to theirs on the Members Page and get in touch directly.

remix resources

Sarah's take on "to be or not to be" makes this the perfect time to formally introduce the concept of the remix. Please review these videos and be ready to discuss Friday, 10.19.

Here is Kirby Ferguson, creator of the Everything is a Remix series, explaining his theory of creative inspiration, remix, and cultural commons, and citing some of history's best-loved "individual" creators and explaining how what they did was a remix, i.e., an extension and a part of the work that came before them.

2011/08 Kirby Ferguson from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

Here is an example of an augmentative remix (contributed by course alum Maddy Hunt) in which a live talk by Sir Ken Robinson is reconfigured into multiple layers of visual media:

"to be or not to be" sarah-style

Thanks to Sarah for creating this!

October 18

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Beyond Belief" by Elvis Costello; "Satisfaction (I Can't Get No) by Devo; "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley]

If you've started reading Act III, explain two elements of foreshadowing from Acts I & II.  If you haven't started reading Act III, make two educated guesses about the plot and Hamlet's character.

1. Journal
2. Sarah Gutierrez/Hamlet media
3. Begin Act III
4. "To Be or Not to Be"

1. Read Act III

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Existential Blues" by Tom 'T-Bone' Stankus; "Meaning of Life" by Monty Python]

To be or not to be?  (You can either answer the question, or you can practice by writing the soliloquy from memory.)

1. Journal
2. To
3. Be
4. Or
5. Not
6. To
7. Be

HW: Comment to this post with your thoughts on these two questions: 1) What can we do to help those unfortunate individuals who haven't yet mastered the soliloquy, and 2) What is the most effective way to begin our study of Act III?  So far we've used direct lecture, readers' theater, independent reading, transmedia/video... you can recommend one of these or suggest/invent something new.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "When You Got a Friend" by Robert Johnson; With a Little Help From My Friends" by The Beatles; "Why Can't We Be Friends" by War]

What do the characters Reynaldo, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern suggest about Shakespeare's attitude toward friendship?

1. Journal
2. Quiz/discussion re: Hamlet Act II Scene ii

1. "To be or not to be" for tomorrow

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge; "All in the Family (TV Theme)" by Lee Adams & Charles Strouse; "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by John Williams]

What collaborative opportunities did you take advantage of last week?  What else could you have done & how do you plan to take more advantage in the future?  What did you discover through working with others that you couldn't have/wouldn't have on your own?

1. Journal
2. Exam

1. Be ready to recite "To be or not to be"-- perfectly-- in class on Wednesday, 10.17

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Man, I hope they studied," said the

mentor to the exam, one colleague to another, "or this is going to be savage."

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 9-12


Reflect on your understanding of Hamlet and your progress to date.  Describe your working process and how you are learning individually and collaboratively.  If there is anything you don't understand or need to work on further, please make a note of it and revisit the following day to ensure you're not missing something important. 

1. Journal
2. Self-directed study of Hamlet: Act II

1. Self-directed study of Hamlet: Act II
2. (Don't forget about "To be or not to be")


As I stated in class last week, the first grading period was designed to be forgiving because you all were getting used to new technology and new ways of learning.

That chapter has ended.

Your vocabulary midterm grades were generally encouraging, but things are about to get harder and it's important for you to be prepared.

On Monday, October 15, there will be a university-caliber exam on Acts I & II of Hamlet.  It will require precise recall and well-reasoned analysis.  It will take the entire period and it will demand your very best.

Therefore, however you handled the conversation about collaboration today, make every day count.  The heart of our mission is excellence and expertise; everything we do, from our blogs to our online conferences with thought leaders, is designed to help you optimize your understanding of the curriculum and your thinking in general.  Take full advantage of the next few days.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

tuesday's guest speaker: kenn heller

About a month ago I posted a media release for everyone to sign so that everyone would have the chance to consider that we are all visible on the Internet.  In case you were wondering, you didn't assign rights to anyone else; neither "Open Source Learning" nor "We Are Superman" are legal entities.  They are just ideas.  If you and your parent signed the release, you simply acknowledged that it was OK for images of you to be posted online in connection with this course.  (You gave up way more when you clicked "I Agree" to Facebook's policies.)  The release was designed for two purposes: 1) To start a conversation about how our information is used on the Internet, and 2) To ensure that everyone understands that if your likeness isn't already on the Internet, it will be, and you should be aware of your rights and the laws surrounding the online use of any property (pictures, texts, ideas, videos, ANYTHING) that you didn't create.

On Tuesday morning at 10:30 AM we will have an online conference with an expert on intellectual property, Internet use, and collaboration.  This will be an excellent opportunity for you to learn and ask questions before we launch the shared YouTube channel that all of us can use to post videos from class.  (For starters, you can ask him about why organizations ask individuals to sign releases and agree to conditions of use.)

Kenn Heller has been a UCLA administrator for over 30 years and currently holds two key positions that further the University's mission through the use of online media.  As the Associate Dean of Students, Kenn is responsible for overseeing and implementing the University's policies on the appropriate use of Intellectual Property.  He presents dozens of workshops a year in an ongoing effort to ensure that students are aware of copyright laws and the use of file sharing software.  In addition, Kenn serves as Associate Director of Innovation for the division of Cultural and Recreational Affairs; in this capacity he uses a variety of social media and networking practices to help UCLA staff optimize the value of their work for the greater community.

I have known Kenn since I was an undergraduate student at UCLA, and I can personally vouch for his expertise and his willingness to walk people (including me!) through the woods of emerging technology.  If you have questions about using others' information, or how information about you is being used online, he is the right person to ask.  Please feel free to comment to this post with any questions you'd like him to consider in advance; I've already sent him the link. :)

Reminder: if you haven't done so already, please remember to print the on campus activity form (if you're in period 0 or 4) and bring to the talk.

October 8

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: ?]

How can you use this week's collaborative opportunity to your greatest advantage?  Can you see ways to creatively extend your understanding of Hamlet and pursue your creative/professional goals?  Explain.

1. Journal
2. Collaborate and figure out how best to manage the week so that: a) You read and understand Act II by Friday; b) You get what you want and need from the experience; and c) Your blogs reflect both your Shakespearean expertise and your personal/collective accomplishments.  Nominate a facilitator to run the conversation (and/or ask Ian to help if he's there) and nominate a reporter to summarize the highlights and comment to this post.

1. Post vocabulary definitions and sentences to your blogs.  *Note: per last week's conversation, your sentences should be in the form of a paragraph (or several) that describe what you know about Hamlet so far and how the character is similar to and/or different from others you've read.

collaboratory update

Collaboration means working together to achieve a goal.  In the long term, we are learning to think and understand authors (including each other) at a deeper level.  In the short term we have a vocabulary list and a troubled prince on the agenda.  Right now it's time to stand and be counted.

Whether it's here, FB, or via another channel, please reach out and start conversations with your peers about how to organize yourselves and your time in class Monday for maximal benefit.  By Friday you need to master Act II of Hamlet and this week's vocabulary, and you should be making solid progress on your literature analysis book so you can start answering questions next weekend.  "To be or not to be" is also waiting in the wings; you'll need to know it by heart for next Monday, October 15.  Tomorrow (Monday, 10.8) is an "early out" and you'll have a journal topic, so there will only be 20 minutes of working time-- we can't afford to squander it asking each other, "So, what do you want to do?"

So, what do you want to do?

vocabulary: fall list #8

Per last week's conversation, please DON'T write random sentences this week.  Use the words to summarize what you know about Hamlet so far.  Feel free to collaborate.

carte blanche

Friday, October 5, 2012

collaboratory news

There isn't any.


But there will be, in the comments to this post, or I'll start inventing things for us to consider.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

In the words of Howard Rheingold:

what it is --> is --> up to us

rip: the cromarty dialect of the english language

When we talked about the evolution of English, the historical context may have given the impression that the process is over.

It's not.

As you know, English has grown. Shakespeare used 31,534 words. Today the Oxford English Dictionary includes over 600,000 definitions (including, as of 2001, Homer Simpson's "Doh!"). But languages are also dying off, and that's a problem. As we've talked about in learning, one way to do anything--no matter how good an idea-- is a bad idea. This is especially true in communication. Does anyone have relatives who speak a language or dialect whose meanings are so specific and nuanced that they're difficult to translate into English? How can understanding another language enrich our understanding of English and the world around us?

R.I.P., Cromarty dialect. I wish I could learn you but ah wudna ken artil start (I wouldn't know where to start).

who do you want to be (today)?

[Theme song by Oingo Boingo.]

Self-confidence is a significant predictor of performance, so as you head into today's midterm...

be this guy:


Not this guy.

October 5

JOURNAL TOPIC: [no tunes/topic today, it's straight to business.]

1. Vocabulary midterm

1. Reflect on your midterm by answering the following questions in a post to your blog: a) What went well?  b) What didn't go well?  c) How much of the content will stick with you?  d) What can you learn from the experience to improve for next time?

2. TBA :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

why is how you think more important than what you know?

Because half of the facts you probably know are wrong.

on campus activity form for 10.9 conference

Sorry the hour is a little late, here is the on campus activity form for next Tuesday's conference with Kenn Heller (more on Kenn and the topics shortly). If you know people with printer issues and/or early bedtimes, print a few and hand them out as gifts. If you can't get it signed tomorrow please remember on Monday-- and please offer my apologies to those kind-hearted teachers who deserve better than last-minute notice. :)

heller on campus activity -

hamlet: act I scenes iv & v vids

October 4

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Ghost Radio" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra; "The Payback" by James Brown]

A close study of revenge quickly reveals two schools of thought: 1)Revenge is righteous and/or fulfilling, and 2)Revenge keeps wounds from healing and may be appealing to consider but ultimately destroys every party to it. What do you think of the value of revenge, how do you see the effects of revenge played out in the world, and what do you think Hamlet should do now that he knows Claudius poisoned his father?

1. Journal
2. Sum up Hamlet Act I
3. Next week's collaboratory
4. Midterm review

1. Review (and sleep--if you've diligently implemented your plan, you shouldn't have to cram :)

reminder: project infinity meet-up

Everyone's invited to help design, build and/or govern Project Infinity. If you can't make the lunch meeting today please either share your ideas with a friend who can, comment to this post, or email either or

Looking forward to your ideas!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

modern shakespearean adaptations

October 3

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" by Smashing Pumpkins; "The Ghost Song" by The Doors; "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" by The Beatles/performed by Eddie Vedder]

What is it about society and relationships that leads individuals-- such as Hamlet-- to bottle up ideas that are dissonant or new? Is there a common thread between Hamlet's struggle to contain his inner thoughts/feelings and Laertes' warning to Ophelia?

1. Recap: Hamlet Act I Scenes i & ii
2. Hamlet: Act I Scene iii
3. Journal
4. Hamlet: Act I Scene iv

1. Finish reading Act I (for interesting conversation and possible quiz Thursday)
2. Write an advice column-style letter helping Ophelia; use at least 10 vocab words [UPDATE: Imagine you're answering a letter that says, My name is O. and I'm trapped in this weird sort of dating thing-- a prince says he loves me, but my father & brother hate him and tell me to stay away. What should I do? Post to your blog under the title, Dear Ophelia.]
3. Execute your study strategy for the midterm 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

hamlet act I scene ii vids

October 2

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Melancholy Mood" by Horace Silver; "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" by James Brown]

Hamlet is confronted by a difficult situation; what does it suggest about society's values at the time, and why does it challenge him so deeply? How would your response-- as a reflection of both your personality and our society's values-- be similar or different?

1. Hamlet: Act I Scenes ii & iii (time permitting)
2. Journal
3. Project Infinity

1. Study for vocab midterm Friday, 10.5

hamlet characters and Act I scene i vids

hamlet character map

Monday, October 1, 2012

hamlet's first big speech

What does Hamlet mean by the following?  Please comment to this post with your interpretation.

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--
Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!--
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.