Monday, December 19, 2011

Dear Santa...Notes for over break...

  1. I just picked up REA's AP English- Language and Composition Crash Course.  Great text so far in terms of providing strategy, vocabulary, and other great cheat contexts.  Get it! 
  2. Do pick up a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  $.01 on Amazon (Shipping not included)
  3. Remember to finish up your Editorial Writer analysis.  Login to Google for d94 is under AP Links section.
  4. Start to pull together what you need for your Critical Reading Journal Conference.  Feel free to e-mail me with any questions.
  5. Read...Anything...and read some more.

Book Recommendations-
Ready Player One- Earnest Cline
When She Woke- Hillary Jordan

Here is my Shelfari list of recent books I have read in the past few years...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Movie Speech Rhetoric

These are some of my favorites. Let's dig into the rhetorical situation of the scenes.
  1. Wall Street  Here Gordon is attempting to persuade stock holders to sell him their shares so that he can liquidate for an enormour personal profit.
Malice- Alec Baldwin's character speaking at a  preliminary hearing to detrmine if he was at fault for a botched surgery which resulted in the death of an infant.  This movie has plenty of twists but this arrogant front in this scene is intentional to have a negative response to him. 


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Why we think it's OK to cheat and steal (sometimes): Dan Ariely

More insight into cheating---

For Tuesday- Let's make a wordle (word cloud) of political speech.
A) Link to Top 100 Speeches from American Rhetoric
or History Place or Time or This or That
B) Copy the need to read it for this exercise.
C) Click here on Wordle or try Tagxedo 
D) Paste the text, create the word cloud, and print.  Color is not necessary.  Prior to printing, feel free to prune away the filler words by right clicking on the word and switching the maximum word by clicking on layout in tool bar in wordle.   

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Busted Calendar

Sorry I can't figure out what is going on with the Google Calendar.  Here is the link to the Bias Assignment.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Political Photobombs

Photobombs- Through political photography, find examples of how the candidate is targeting specific political themes (5) (job creation, education, security, etc). You must also comment upon the visual strategies that help persuade for the candidate (camera angle, lighting, positioning, obvious "photoshopping".

Once you find the obvious political theme and target, hit the "print screen" button above the / on the number pad.  Now you can right click paste the image into a Powerpoint.  Insert a text box to briefly describe how the image was constructed to attract a particular voter. 

Barack Obama Re-election site
The White House Flickr Streamand The Official White House page

2012 Republican Candidates
Click on the cadidate to find their official home page on the right margin of the page.

For Tuesday- 2.  Persuaders -Remember that the basic qualities of product advertising are at play with politics.  The difference is that you a spending a vote rather than money.  The candidates are products so let's see how they sell themselves.  Just as you found evidence yesterday of appeals towards a specific target voter, let's dig deeper to find how the methods of persuasion are layered in the official web sites of the candidates.  Find the evidence of the following:

A)3 "Basic Appeals"
B) 3 VALS techniques
C) 3 Example how the candidates attempting to build community around themselves (3)

After you paste your evidence, draw an arrow on the photo and provide a brief explanation of how the technique is used by the candidate for a particular effect.  I will be most impressed by successful identification of the DRAB!  Save the file in the Class Group Projects>AP Language Turnbaugh>Photobomb Class#.

From The Daily Bail

Can you find a real ad that resembles this satire?  Send to me me so I can post it!  Get that E.C.!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Friday Fun

 Click on your class and vote away!  Please take some time to cast a vote for the other AP classes as well.  The ballots close Sunday night.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Confidential File: Horror Comic Books!

Here is a great piece of propaganda from the 1950's. This will be an experiment in collective rhetorical analysis.

If we have time...Are you popular?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 AP Grammies Awards - Focus on Tone

Phase 3 of our vocabulary begins today and it will require some creative writing; however,  glory and some sweet reward awaits.  You will screen each of these short vignettes and find the various synonyms of the tone on display.  From this muse, you will write a brief yet creative narrative description of the tone for seven of these scenes.  The writing should be reflective of your understanding of the connotations of the tone and growing confidence in sentence sophistication.
Rage- (n) acrimony, bluster, choler, hemorrhage, eruption,

Sample:  His arrogance, an embedded deformity, sparked this phillipic.  This was his last lie he would tell.  Her snapped heart now hemorrahages a bile of hate congealed in his false accusations.

Considering the following:

  • Strong verb choice
  • Show mix of simple, complex, compound, compound-complex sentences
  • Drop in sentence spice where appropriate
  • Range of tonal adjectives to emotions on display
  • noun + participle descriptors
  • Use of allusions where appropriate
  • Use a thesaurus to kickstart noun and verb choice to capture tone
Don't jam all of these ideas into the description.  Sometimes less can be more. 
 Watch again

#1-Javier Barbem          #8 Jennifer Lawrence
#2 James Franco           #9  Noomi Rapace
#3 Natalie Portman       #10  Vincent Cassel
#4 Jesse Eisenberg        #11  Anthony Mackie
#5 Chloe Moretz           #12  Robert Duvall
#6 Matt Damon             #13  Lesley Manville
#7 Michael Douglas      #14  Tilda Swinton

 Submission:  Over break you can watch these again to discover more nuance than what you initially observed in class.  When you are ready to submit, click on your class period below.  Complete the submission form, copy and paste your description. I will format the submissions and we will vote for the best writers.  Finish before we get back from Break.  Good luck.

Period 2                  Period 5/6              Period 7/8

2 5/6 7/8

Turkeys & TED

Watch one of the following TED lectures.  Write an AP style rhetorical analysis of the speech as you discuss the rhetorical strategies of the presenter.  Cap your your time within the parameter of an hour to process the content and write the essay.

Science- Juan Enriquez shares mindboggling science

Elaine Morgan says we evolved from aquatic apes (Emily Warkins!)

Bonnie Bassler on how bacteria "talk"

Richard Dawkins on our "queer" universe


Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

Jose Abreu on kids transformed by music 

JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure


Steven Levitt analyzes crack economics

Hanna Rosin: New data on the rise of women


Mikko Hypponen: Fighting viruses, defending the net

Marco Tempest: The magic of truth and lies (and iPods)

You know my feelings about cephalopods...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Party Rock- Clever Writing

This is a repost from a post that deconstructs the current party anthem "Party Rock"

LMFAO, a dance pop music duo, is boldly advancing its “party rock” music, one that is devoid of any musical aspects of rock but seems to be channeling the broader culture of rock. It’s easy to write this off as a careless misappropriation of one art form into an highly dissimilar form. Like evoking nineteenth century impressionist oil paintings when talking about a crayon drawing just because they’re both renderings of a tree.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rhetorical Situation Practice- Find it in Spongebob Episode

Here is a link to the Afterword in The Scarlett Letter
This is what happens when you have a 4 year old...One of my favorites "Chocolate with Nuts"
1. What is the speaker's intent? (Spongebob/Patrick & the Bag Salesman)
2. What does the target audience desire? (other than the treat of chocolate
3. Strategy #1- How do they build bridge to the audience? (potential customer)
4. Strategy #2-?
5 Strategy #3-?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Visual Literacy- Halloween Edition - Build Suspense

Se7en Opening Credits

Dexter Opening Credits


Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.

Table 7's Scene of the Year from Let me In- Language + Violence

Friday, October 7, 2011

Brutal Review- The Happening

I know this is an old review of The Happening from several years back, but it is dripping with sarcasm.  Here are some of my favorite zingers by Christopher Orr:

M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie, The Happening, is not merely bad. It is an astonishment, so idiotic in conception and inept in execution that, after seeing it, one almost wonders whether it was real or imagined. It’s the kind of movie you want to laugh about with friends, swapping favorite moments of inanity: “Do you remember the part when Mark Wahlberg … ?” “God, yes. And what about that scene where the wind … ?”
The single most absurd element of The Happening, the wellspring from which all other absurdities flow, is its conceit: Across the Northeastern United States, people are succumbing to a toxic airborne agent that makes them commit suicide, often gruesomely. At first it hits major population centers, followed by smaller towns, and on down to groups of even just a handful of people. Initially, it’s assumed to be some kind of terrorist attack. But as we learn pretty early in the film, it’s not. It’s trees. Yes, the trees (and perhaps some bushes and grass, too, the movie’s never too clear on this point) have tired of humankind’s ecological despoilment and are emitting a complicated aerial neurotoxin that makes us kill ourselves en masse. I bet you wish you were the one who came up with this blockbuster idea.
But enough about the boring interpersonal melodrama: On to the boring arboreal genocide! Each time the airborne toxin strikes, everyone ceases what they were doing and freezes in their tracks for a moment. It took several such episodes before I stopped anticipating that they’d commence tapping their feet in unison, as in the beginning of a big musical ensemble number.
Alas, there’s no singing. But the methods of suicide chosen often seem chosen for their entertainment value, in particular: the man who meticulously starts an industrial mower and then lies down in front of it; the woman who wanders around a house methodically smashing her head through windows until she embeds enough glass in her skull to keel over; and, of course, the zoo lion keeper who invites his charges to bite off his arms so he can stand around, Black Knight–like, spraying blood from the stumps.
Equally odd is their insistence, even though they’ve known from the beginning that the deadly nerve agent is airborne, on spending as much time as possible outdoors. When fleeing by car, they leave the windows rolled down; anytime they want to look at a map or discuss what to do next they get out of the car to do so. It never seems to occur to any of the protagonists that they should get inside somewhere and tape the windows and doors --even though this is the only strategy we’ve seen work for anyone else. Eighty minutes into a 90-minute movie, Alma and Jess are still sitting in a small guest house with all the doors and windows open. When Elliot, who’s just watched someone fall victim to the toxin nearby screams, “Close the windows and the doors!” Alma innocently inquires “Why?”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Clever Writing- Glee critique

Here is some clever writing by Jace Lacob from the Daily Beast about Glee: (Annotation my emphasis of technique)
What is Glee doing when other shows would be moving forward, or showing their characters in challenging, or funny, situations? (1) Well, Glee has become a music single-delivery mechanism. (2) Scenes involving dialogue or plot development are shoehorned between massive musical set pieces, which draw from the vast and varied world of popular music. (3) Instead of illustrating the unspoken and inner desires or fears of the characters, the songs here seem like coldly calculated viral videos, designed to rapidly spread across the Internet.(4)
The more it focuses on the music and less on the characters, the higher the ratings climb. (5)
Why, I ask as I tear my hair out, is the show so beloved? (6)
Perhaps the answer is as simple as why people loved American Idol so much for so many years. The songs on Glee are not original; they’re culled from a huge catalogue of singer-songwriters, rock bands, and alternative types, but what they have in common is that they’re all part of the pop-culture lexicon already. These are songs that people know the lyrics to, after all. By redoing them within the context of Glee, Fox and its sister studio, 20th Century Fox Television, have created a cottage industry of mass-produced knockoffs, easy to consume and cheap to buy. (It might also be why Idol is so successful, but the original songs for the finalists fall flat every time.)
  1. Rhetorical question which bluntly exposes the show's lack of creativity.
  2.  Shoehorn connotes a forced attempt to avoid character development to adhere to the show's "winning" formula.
  3. Cold metaphor meant to strip the show of any artistic merit and reveal its equate it to boiler plate replication of industrial production.
  4. Simile meant to continue the slight by raising the content to creativity of LOL cats.
  5. Clever use of an antithesis.
  6. Hyperbole to capture intellectual exasperation.

Album Review- Bjork Homogenic from Deadspin

From Deadspin (normally a sports blog)

And, oh, God, the wonders of that voice. She speaks, she chants, she howls, she snarls, she screams, and she travels effortlessly and purposefully from one mode to the next. Few artists can make this seem so easy, and fewer still can freight their virtuosity with so much meaning. This is where Björk surpasses Beyoncé, or Whitney, or Mariah—she has a vocal-emotional range that surpasses the range of her pipes. The listener must learn how she feels, even when she garbles inaccessible lyrics. (Sometimes it's because the lyrics don't make much sense, and sometimes it's because they'd be painfully uninteresting without her stylings.)
Not from Homogenic but fun.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Clever Klosterman- Guilty Pleasures and Roadhouse

From Chuck Klosterman's Esquire review of the Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures
What the authors of The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures (and everyone else who uses this term) fail to realize is that the only people who believe in some kind of universal taste—a consensual demarcation between what's artistically good and what's artistically bad—are insecure, uncreative elitists who need to use somebody else's art to validate their own limited worldview. It never matters what you like; what matters is why you like it.
Take, for example, Road House. This is a movie I love. But I don't love it because it's bad; I love it because it's interesting. Outside the genre of sci-fi, I can't think of any film less plausible than Road House. Every element of the story is wholly preposterous: the idea of Swayze being a nationally famous bouncer (with a degree in philosophy), the concept of such a superviolent bar having such an attractive clientele, the likelihood of a tiny Kansas town having such a sophisticated hospital, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Every single scene includes at least one detail that could never happen in real life. So does that make Road House bad? No. It makes Road House perfect. Because Road House exists in a parallel reality that is more fanciful (and more watchable) than The Lord of the Rings. The characters in Road House live within the mythology of rural legend while grappling with exaggerated moral dilemmas and neoclassical archetypes. I don't feel guilty for liking any of that. Road House also includes a monster truck. I don't feel guilty for liking that, either.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lil Wayne- NYT Review

I love clever reviews of disappointing albums.  Here is a excerpt of John Caramanica's of Lil Wayne most recent album. 
He’s a punch-line rapper who rarely thinks about his lines beyond the rhyming couplet. Coherent verses are a rarity, coherent songs even more so. And his choice of words often feels arbitrary; he’s not obsessed with picking the right ones or the most important ones or the most revealing ones... 
In recent years, but especially on this album, he’s become the least quotable great rapper, with lines that land harder more because of his voice than because of his wit, which was once prodigious. Because Lil Wayne has been so sharp, so dexterous in the past, it’s tempting (and ultimately necessary) to overanalyze him. But even on this album’s weak tracks, and there are several, he remains a commanding presence, deploying just enough of his insistent croak to tether the song together. He doesn’t bother appearing on two of the best tracks on the album, “Interlude” and “Outro,” which are instead full of eager guests.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bohemian Rhapsody on Uke from TED Conference

When I see this performance I think of this quote from my favorite author Joseph Campbell:
People say that what we're seeking is a meaning for life.
I don't think that's what we're really seeking.
I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive,
so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

Haunting Description of Libya

From a dispatch by Alex Thompson
Piles of surgical dressings, bloody sheets and half-empty blood bags were all around us, oozing fluids onto the ground. ... Inside, it is not a hospital but a mortuary – or something for which there is no word. Stretchers and beds are stained with fluids and blood, some still dripping on the floor. In one room a picture of Colonel Gaddafi smiles down on at least 23 more corpses shoved onto trolleys at all angles. There is no language for the stench. You fear even to breathe in here.
Link found @ Daily Dish

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome to AP Language

That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."
— Christopher Hitchens

" I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant"
— Alan Greenspan