Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Guest blogger: Matthew Connolly '09, Weeks 7/8

The work: It has been a quick two weeks with multiple interruptions, whether it was St. Patrick's Day or Senior Service days. However, that did not stop us from reading Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie. Julio, Martin, Michael, Pat, and Nicholson were kind enough to lend the voices to our reading and analysis of the classic play. Tomorrow we end the text by reciting Tom's final speech.

The workers: While analyzing the play, Connor predicted that Laura's first gentleman caller will be her 'high school crush.' Andrew notices that Amanda 'forces her dreams onto her children.' Kevin made an impressive comparison to The Grapes of Wrath when he noticed that both Connie and Jim from The Glass Menagerie were both going to school for radio engineering.

Words to live by:
"Time is the longest distance between two places." ~Tom
"Just go, go, go..." ~Amanda
"It always came upon me unawares." ~Tom

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Term II, Weeks 5+6

The work:
Over the past two weeks we have based our classes around Jhumpa Lahiri's 2003 novel The Namesake (MM). We have been crafting essay introductions on different themes of the book, preparing for a test (TT). We wrote these on different themes like education and character development (DP). We focused on other themes like identity, education, marriage, culture clash, and the past. We determined the significance of a namesake and how it affected Gogol's decisions as a first generation immigrant (ME). We talked about our senior service projects and what our first day was like and what we expect to do at our sites over the next eight weeks (FT). Finally, we were tested on "The Namesake" in an in-class essay (MM).

The workers:
Connor: Their marriage is one of mutual respect but also devotion. (MM)
Andrew: Through the death of his father, Gogol realizes how detached he has come to his family. (FT)
Pat: Gogol matured at college...began to think on his own. (ME)
Brian: Between before and after independence...(KW)
Anthony: The author is stereotyping...(DP)
Frank: There must be a complex transformation to get something out of the book...(TT)
John: Lahiri shows the theme of nature. (MM)
Kevin: Education means experiences in [Twain's quote]. (BG)
Julio: agreed with Gogol's culture being an obstacle...(PC)

Words to live by:
"He remembered his father's footprints in the sand." ~Lahiri
"He's a telephone man who fell in love with long distance." ~Williams
"Don't let your schooling interfere with your education." Twain
"In America, anything is possible. Do as you wish." ~Lahiri
"The name...was the first thing his father had given him." ~Lahiri

Term II, Weeks 3+4

The work:

Within weeks 3-4 of the second term we have done a lot of work. We finished reading Death of a Salesman and we have memorized a few lines from the play and recited them in class with a partner (MM). We had an acting competition and my partner and I came home with the gold! (MG). We had the chance to then watch the scene played by Dustin Hoffman and John Malcovich (DP). To finish Death of a Salesman we wrote a paper analyzing the themes of the play (EO). We then began the novel The Namesake and discussed the beginning of the novel with the history of Gogol (CS).

The workers:
Kevin: They are waiting for what the name will be. (CS)
Dan: Willy and Biff were very physical in the final scene of the movie. (BG)
Pat: The kiss is a betrayal scene. (JG)
Martin: The Namesake is better than Huck Finn. (JG)
Julio: Education serves as an obstacle for Gogol. (ME)
Matthew: Willy is just as loyal to people as people are to him. (JG)
Manny: In hte video Willy showed a lot of emotion. (ND)
Anthony: Biff likes to take things and is disloyal to himself. (EO)
Andrew: They go south, into Manhattan. (KW)

Words to live by:
"Do yourself a favor. Before it's too late, without thinking too much about it first...see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it. One day it will be too late." ~Ghosh, The Namesake

"Be liked and you will never want." ~Arthur Miller