3 December 2010

Today was busy, basically broken into three parts:  vocab words (no quiz), essay ambulance and doing some more Antigone background work.

So first, I gave you your new vocabulary words:

  • phon, phono – sound, voice – as in telephone, a machine that allows us to hear voices from far away
  • pneum – lung – as in pneumonia, a lung infection
  • port – carry – as in portable, able to be carried
  • psych – soul, mind, spirit – as in psychology, the study of the soul/mind/spirit

Then I did some essay ambulance work, in particular,

  • We looked at a a remix of showing v. telling.
  • I pointed out the Fine Art of Punctuating Dialogue handout in your memoir packet.  Some of you need it.  Hint Hint.
  • We talked about avoiding adverbs (quickly, immediately, miraculously)–adverbs are the lazy way to force a reader to see what you see.  Instead, help the readers to experience it,  and then they will see it as you did.
  • We discussed the invisibility of “said.”  As a dialogue tag, it’s hard to beat because it is invisible.  When you use a different word, then you really draw attention to the tag.  If every tag is different, it’s distracting.  Instead, stick with the invisible and occasionally switch it up.
  • We talked about avoiding weak verbs (to be, to do, to have)–and looked at an example of how to revise weak verbs OUT–first, a paragraph with lots of weak verbs:

Even better, the enemy WAS experiencing the same problem as we HAD the round before, it WAS turning away! Immediately our robot located its enemy and rushed forward. The enemy WAS caught off guard, and our weapon DID its work. We HAD attached a set of wheels to the front of our bot, and now these wheels spun up under the enemy and flipped it over the edge. We HAD won!

Then that same paragraph, revised to avoid weak verbs:

This time, our opponent’s robot turned away. Our robot located it and rushed forward .  He spun his wheels up under the enemy and flipped it over the edge.

Finally, we continued exploring the background to Antigone:

  • Finished looking at tragedy as a genre–focused on the structure of tragedy as well as the purpose of the chorus.
  • Watched a short movie clip that gave the Oedipus back story (Oedipus was Antigone’s father and brother, and yes I typed that correctly).  You can see it (again) below, if you like:

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