30.11.09

Rant on Fashion: "I hate . . ."

My sad koi face does not like thee.
A blog post you really don't need to read because I just merely list the popular name brand clothing corporations I truly despise:

I Hate:

Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, American Eagle, Aeropostale, Ed Hardy, American Eagle Outfitters, Wal Mart, Macy's, Mervyn's, JC Penny, Gotschalks . . .

Thanks, francbecerra (for the inspiration)
PDF Copy for Printing

28.11.09

Let's Go to the Museum: "Oedipus Wrecks" in the Ninth Grade English Classroom

In this post, I write about a recent Ninth Grade English lesson based on the New York Times Learning Center curriculum where we turned our classroom into a museum full of objects based on the Greek Tragedy Oedipus the King by Sophocles.

Museum Exhibition of Oedipus the King
In all periods of my Ninth Grade English class at De La Salle High School in New Orleans, we created a museum exhibition for Sophocles tragedy Oedipus Rex.
Students create a puzzle game based on
Oedipus the King in a Ninth Grade English class.

In every corner of the room galleries were set up to showcase different significant objects from the play: the noose, the brooch, the crown, the walking stick, the nail, the masks the actors wore, to demonstrate non-linguistically the themes of the Ancient Greek tragedy.

In quadrant one museum-goers played the memory game, trying to remember different objects from the play. Can anyone remember where the brooch went? If you look carefully you can see one museum-goer chose a noose to demonstrate the noose Jocasta chose to commit suicide; I thought they performed the act with appropriate cheer.

Ouch.

I am glad we didn't have demonstrations of the brooch.

One group of students brought Oedipus cupcakes.


One group had sword fights to act out the fatal battle between Oedipus and his father at the crossroads. Clever. But, I heard one girl say, "He wants to kill his father?"

I liked the Oedipus crossword puzzle the kids created on the smartboard. That was fun. I found "furnace" and "citadel".

But, I could not get the smartpen to work. Doi *me imitating Homer Simpson*. So we had to remember what words were previously discovered.

I noticed that the success rate for the project was high. I should try to implement more projects like this one in the classroom. What do you think? I think it is important to try to encourage students to express in a non-linguistic form the themes of a piece of literature. Students react to thematic significance when they see the potent art of the literary piece brought to life. Isn't this what the Greeks did? They did not sit around in a classroom and underline important passages. In a way, it is the artistic expression of the work. It is a way to bring the work back to life; to take it from the textbook and reify the dramatic action.

I got the idea for the project from a New York Times learning center lesson plan using the idea of Orhan Pamuk's new novel the Museum of Innocence. In his new novel, every chapter is devoted to an object the main character Kemal associates with his ex-lover. We read the article in class and discussed ways we could create our own museum of innocence for Oedipus Rex. Fun stuff.

Well, I am off to attend a birthday party for my cousin. He turned sixteen today. Ain't that sweet?

Poem: "je t'aime"

he wants it all in a large package,

as if love can be given in one moment,
but I am not angry
at his infantile gestures,
rather
amused
that he could believe that love could be
so whole.
yet,
i believe in his tenacity,
somewhat envious, actually
of his certitude
so
i am able to say back to him,
without too much guilt and
little temptation to retract my words,

i love you too



27.11.09

Poem: "Cool"

Cool is so yesterday.

Weird is so today.

Conformity works only some of the time.

The rest is pure bullshit.

How's that for ideology?

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an iconic American holiday.
Thanksgiving Dinner Plate
     I know the origins of the holiday are rooted in Puritan Christianity.
     I know it is based on the slow seductive manipulation of Native Americans but Thanksgiving, as we know it today, is neither Puritan nor is it Anti-native American.
     Thanksgiving is a 1941 contrivance to boost the economy under the FDR administration. Today it continues to be a worship of capitalism and a wish for plenty.
     Grateful 
     Thanks
     Gracious

     Whew. I better baste that turkey before it dries out. Don't want my guest consumers to order a refund.
I wish I could offer more profundity here, but sadly I am rather consumed by vodka and an unusually sanguine heart.

26.11.09

Listen to an Audiobook: Hour Trips

Driving Is a Wasted of Time
     Extended driving times seem to waste so much intellectual potential. If you're going to take an hour-long trip turn off the radio and listen to an audiobook. This is a public service announcement from Greig. I am listening to Philip Roth's novel The Plot Against America.
     What are you listening to?