Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blog Entry 24: Sleep Dealer and the Copper-top Life

Blog Entry 24 will be your final long blog entry (or essay) for the semester. This is an open-note, open book essay. You may use your notes, ask questions (as long as they do not distract your fellow writers), and look up terms. You may use any of our films or readings this semester and your own experience.

As always, you must properly indicate where any and all information you use comes from. To cite a quote properly, you should use quotation marks, the author’s last name and the page number. For example, if I were to quote from an article on race and The Matrix, I would write something like this: as King and Leonard argue “People of color possess particular physical characteristics through which viewers read their race; they do not, however, possess racial identities, grounded in history or community” (36).

Remember: Your primary goal for an in-class essay test is in all cases is to demonstrate an active engagement with the material of the course(s). You should have a clear claim (or position) supported with reasons and evidence. Support you argument with specific details and examples from our readings in the cluster, our films and videos, and (if the prompt does not indicate otherwise) your own unique personal knowledge.

Please write your essay using ONE of the following prompts:

1.RACE: Sleep Dealer is obviously influenced by The Matrix (among other films). What connections do you see to The Matrix and like films? What differences do you see? What do these differences say about issues of race, for example Sleep Dealer is a Mexican-American production--What elements or themes in the film mark it as “particularly Latino” or “particularly Mexican”? What does Sleep Dealer have to say about the rural life versus urban life?

2. SOCIAL CLASS: In "The Matrix, Marx, and the Coppertop's Life (TMAP 216-224), Danahay and Reider argue that the Matrix (at least the first film) is not really about a revolution and that the directors use lots of tricks to actually make us want to be in the Matrix. What are these tricks? Do you agree with Danahay and Reider? Then, compare The Matrix to Sleep Dealer. How does Sleep Dealer address some of the same issues? What does Sleep Dealer have to say about class, work, and technology?

3. GENDER: The father of psychology, Sigmund Freud argues that all women go through a period where they recognize that little boys have a penis and they do not. They also recognize, based on the roles of “mommy” and “daddy”, that men have more “power” than women. From this observation, according the Freud, girls begin to “envy” the fact that boys and men have a penis that leads to power. They then desire a penis of their own, but the only way they can have one in real life is to a) possess or control their father, b) possess or control a male mate, or c) have a male child to possess and control, or c) buy a lot of guns of their own and blow shit up (OK, that last one was not exactly Freud, but he would have said it if he was alive today). Considering the films that you have seen in the cluster and (not “or”) drawing on your own experience of films, television, and life in general does Hollywood portray women as suffering from “penis envy”?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blog Entry 23: Week Eleven! Sleep Dealer

Step 1: Take the Survey! (you DO NOT have to create an account with Survey Monkey at the end. That is just an ad).

Step 2: Workshop ENG 102 (Encounter 7, 25 points): We will be helping my ENG102 students today with their final projects (Blog 13). I will assign each of you 2 students to respond to. Copy the questions below and then follow the link to ENG102 blog to locate your assigned students. Paste the questions in the comment window. Be sure to say "Hi, I am . . . " and give detailed responses. You are responding to Blog Entry 13. Here is the link.

  1. What has the author done well? What stands out to the reader?
  2. Is the draft complete? What needs to be done today to get it to the next level by the end of class?
  3. Is the discussion of the work detailed? Can you “see” what is happening in the story?
  4. Is the language clear? What problems do you see?
  5. Does the author cite their sources properly (everyone should at least cite their story)? If in doubt, Google search a few passages.

Step 3: Read TMAPhil 216-224.

Step 4: Blog Entry 23 (Due 5/25): What are Danahay and Reider's main arguments (their claims)? What sort of reasons and evidence do they use for support? Do you agree or disagree?

Step 5: As time allows: Work on media final, film, final, or blog revisions for final evaluation.

Next Time: Sleep Dealer. This film will start precisely at 10:30! If you miss it, you will not be able to write the in-class essay on Thursday, nor pass in the final in-class essay next week. This film is NOT widely available.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blog 22: Penetrating Keanu Part 2 (Essay 6) DUE 05/20 11:00am

**We finish at 11:00 Today! This essay is due at the End of Class!**

Using you entry for Blog 20 (below), our reading entitled "Penetrating Keanu", and your knowledge of the movies The Matrix and ExistenZ, write an essay of 500-750 words arguing for one film or the other as being the more culturally relevant. Which one interrogates or questions the nature of reality in a more meaningful way? You must use the article "Penetrating Keanu" to support and you may use any additional sources from our book or online as long as you cite properly. Be sure to include works cited entries for any source you use.

Homework--Read TMAF 216-224

Blog 21

Research and report out during class (see below).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Few Concept Videos

No Pants, Thriller in Prison, Guildwars Dance, Big Blue Dress, Where the Hell is Matt (Dancing)?, Frozen in Grand Central, Human Mirror, The Evolution of Dance, Who Ya Gonna Call?, The Book

Week Ten: Projects and Existenz

  • Blog Entry 21 Part 1: Goals for the Day (Beginning of Class)
  • Work on Media Project or Film Presentation as defined by your goals 
  • Blog Entry 21 Part 2: Report-out Goals (End of Class)
  • Film: Existenz
  • Blog 22: Reading/Film Response (Essay, Open Book, Open Note!)
  • Homework--Read TMAF 216-224

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blog 20: "Penetrating Keanu" (Due 5/17)

In "Penetrating Keanu" Cynthia Freeland argues in her comparison of The Matrix and Existenz that The Matrix, though "sleeker" is actually more "infantile" emotionally and philosophically and that, really, we have very little that is new to learn from the film. What reasons does she give for this claim? What evidence does she supply? Do you agree with her or not? Why or why not? Write a multi-paragraph blog entry engaging with Freeland's arguments. You should participate in the discussion HERE before writing your entry.

Week Nine: Continued

  1. Complete Blog Entry 19: NYPL (see below)
  2. Respond to classmates' games design (optional) with suggestions for improvement. An outside game expert will be reviewing your game concept next week. The winner gets 20 bonus points.
  3. Participate in "Penetrating Keanu" discussion in the telecommute (25 points, closes at the end of class). You must demonstrate that you actually read the text in order to ask questions about it! CLICK HERE.
  4. Complete Blog Entry 20: “Penetrating Keanu” (above)
  5. Work on Media Final
  6. Work on Film Final
Homework--Read TMAF 216-224 (for Tuesday), Existenze (film, Wednesday), Thursday TBA. Next Week: Sleep Dealer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blog 19: NYPL-Performing Arts Branch

Winning team: 20 bonus points to Final Grade! NYPL Link

The Situation:
The New York Public wants to design a series of board games or collectible card games that would be educational and fun, advertise the library, and could be sold in the gift shop. You have been assigned to come up with the concept for a game for the Performing Arts Branch at Lincoln Center.

  1. Your game cannot be a scavenger hunt.
  2. The game must be portable (take home) and NOT require a visit to the library to play. However, knowledge of the library could be a factor in playing the game well.
  3. It must be a board game or collectible card game (or equivalent).
  4. You are writing a concept piece that describes how the game would work, what it would look like and etc.
  5. Any illustrations you can devise (box art, sample card, etc.) will help but are not required.
  1. Explore the library to get a sense of what all there is to see.
  2. Make a list of cool or interesting things or places that you might want to include in your game.
  3. As a group, come up with a concept.
  4. Come up with a cool title for your game.
  5. Devise any illustrations.
  6. Post Blog 19 (Homework)
Blog 19: Report Out
  • All Group members must post a blog entry
  • All group members must list the members of their group in the title of their blog
  • One member of the group posts the Game Concept and any illustrations AND adds a poll (we will do this last bit in class)
  • Other group members report out on how the assignment went, what you learned about the library, and etc.
FOR NEXT TIME: Reading TMAF 205-215 (Reading Encounter 25 points, first 15 minutes of class). Blog Entry 20: Reading Response. BRING YOUR BOOK TO CLASS (Electronic Copy OK)!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blog Entry 18: Media Final Research Update

For today's blog entry, you should set research goals for the Media Final and post them. Then, at the ned of class, post what you accomplished and what you plan to do for the media final between today and next Tuesaday.

Part 1: Set Goals for Class (Beginning of Class, 9:15-9:30)
Part 2: Goals Met and Goals for Week (End of Class 11:00-11:15).

Week Nine: Research, NYPL-Performing Arts, The Matrix and Philosophy

Monday: Research and Blog Entry 18: Weekly Research Update (Part 1: Set Goals for Class / Part 2: Goals Met and Goals for Week).

Wednesday: We meet at NYPL Performing Arts Branch at Lincoln Center 11:00am. Click me for website and directions. Homework--Blog Entry 19: Report Out.

Thursday: Reading TMAF 205-215 (Reading Encounter 25 points, first 15 minutes of class). Blog Entry 20: Reading Response.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Notes from Class

Youtube downloader HD
Original Music video and Production Blog
Research Website that was turned into a print book using
A research blog on Homosexuality and Coming Out

Blog 17: Final Project Plan and Discussion (DUE 05/11)

Blogs: Today is your last chance for revisions on Blog Series 3/4 (Sunrise, Media Mid-term, Matrix Possibility) before evaluation (200/1000 points).

Blog Entry 17: For your 17th Blog Entry this semester (Wow! 17!) I would like you to review the Final Project assignment closely. Then, 1) summarize the assignment in your own words, 2) devise a project (if you have not already done so), 3) describe the steps in detail that you will need to take to complete the project (this may be a list or outline) and then 4) look at the actual calendar for the rest of the semester and assign "due dates" for your steps. You may include Tuesday class-time as "work days" for the final project, but not Wednesday or Thursdays (I am swapping Tuesday with Thursday so we can be in E141 working on our projects. Readings will not be due on Thursdays). Take your time planning as the more time you spend now thinking through the steps the less panic you will have later.

Research Note: Your research for your project will depend on what you choose to do. But, essentially you will be reporting-out to the class on your blog at least once a week on what steps you have taken towards your goal. If you have to learn how to use movie-maker, that is research! Who did you talk to? How did you learn how to use it? any question you ask and then find an answer to is research! Keep track of it all, since that is what I will be evaluating you on.

After: When you have completed Blog 17 you should get right to work on your project. Remember, in this class you are evaluated on your blog entries for the project and your 103 grade comes entirely from the project.

Next Week

  • Monday: Research and Blog Entry 18: Weekly Research Update
  • Wednesday: NYPL Performing Arts Branch at Lincoln Center. Blog Entry 19: Report Out.
  • Thursday: Reading TMAF 205-215 (Reading Encounter 25 points, first 15 minutes of class). Blog Entry 20: Reading Response.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Telecommute 05/05 10:30-12:30 (25 points)

Happy Cinco de Mayo for all you Pueblanos out there!

The telecommute will be on the Ning. There you will need to "sign up" (upper right hand corner after you click below) for the Ning to particpate. If you have used the Ning before you may just sign-in. This will be an expereimental combination of assignments and live discussions. You should have completed the reading prior to discussion. This assignment will be evaluated on the level of participation (amount) and the quality of participation (critical thinking). You should participate in ALL of the discussions repeatedly during the two hours. it is often best to rotate between them. I will be monitoring all of the discussions occasionally, as well as hanging out in the "Chat" area. Addtionally, you may add discussion topics yourself using the "Start Discussion" button on the "Main" page.

Remember: 1) You should think of these as discussions and not simple "blog entries". The back and forth really adds up to cool ideas. 2) Feel free to cruise the web in the background for help with some of these, but cite your sources if you use them! 3) If you think someone is not thinking as logically and critically as they could, call them on it! The point is for us to collectively, as a class, to really think about some of the philosophical issues surrounding the film, The Matrix.

To get started: Click Me! and click "Sign Up" in the upper right hand corner.

P.S. Some professors from other classes may be lurking or even post, so don't be too shocked if there are a few people you don't immediately recognize!

WEEK 8: The Matrix and Philosophy

Tuesday: Blog 16 In-class (see below)
Wednesday: Read: The Matrix and Philosophy 41-52. Live Telecommute (log-in here at 10:30) and follow directions (Encounter 6, 25pts.), I'll go live at 10:45 from my office.
Thursday: Blog 17: Final Project planning and research; Blog Series 3 closes.

Blog Entry 16 and Workshop: "The Matrix Possibility" (DUE 05/04)

Reading: Nixon's "The Matrix Possibility" Matrix 28-40. If you DO NOT have your own copy of this reading, go to the library, pick up the copy from the front desk (you will have to share if there are more than one of you) and photocopy it.

Blog Entry 16: Pick up you in-class essay and type it up as a blog entry making any and all necessary changes. You SHOULD use your book, The Matrix and Philosophy, to include evidence in support of your position and to show that you read and understood the text, or at least are working through his ideas. The prompt is: Are you, or could you, be living in the Matrix? How would you know?

Workshop: When you have finished, leave feedback to at least THREE classmates using the following questions (you may but and paste this over). Do NOT leave feedback for anyone who has had three responses already unless you have already responded to three others--meaning everyone should get some commentary. 
  1. What has the author done well? What stands out to the reader?
  2. Is the draft complete? What needs to be done today to get it up to speed by the end of class?
  3. Does the draft conform to the assignment? Why or why not?
  4. Has the author stated a clear CLAIM (Opinion)? What is it?
  5. Does the author have REASONS to support their claim?
  6. Does the author use direct quotations and summaries as EVIDENCE for the CLAIM?
  7. Is the language clear? What problems do you see?