News from Tom’s Class

January 9, 2014

For Freshman Advisory on Thursday afternoons this
last month, ninth graders watched The Right Stuff to
accompany an earlier viewing of 2001. Some of these
folks might have the opportunity to visit outer space.
Ninth Grade American English class nears the finish line
of language mechanics review. Reading the students’
self-evaluations, I note confidence in most students
for their better understanding of parts of speech
and sentence structure. And, although I don’t call it
this, I am pleased with their prefix and suffix pattern
recognition that accompanies the weekly vocabulary
enhancement exercises. Students enjoy the InkPink
word game we play after taxing grammatical work.
Greek & Latin Roots classes emerged from the more
technical words of science and medicine to themeoriented
chapters…after a chapter on liars and lying
(students watched the relevant TED talk from Scotland
on their own), we watched the heartfelt comedy, The
Invention of Lying. Now we are examining diverse
verbs.
My poetry seminar, Literary Criticism, watched Bill
Moyers with Coleman Barks and Rumi accompanied
by the Paul Winter Consort at a festival. We have
been discussing Rumi’s work as well as Robert Bly’s
translations of Kabir and Mirabai. After a sojourn with
Keats through November, we encounter Lorca and
duende, and tomorrow, Neruda. Students’ anthologies
burgeon.
Learner & the Learning Process continued with
documentaries: The Cove, Catfish, Food of Our
Ancestors, and also for Halloween, Goya’s Ghosts. We’re
looking at trickster genre films now like The Yes Men,
Memron and Confederate States of America.

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