Friday, April 25, 2014

A.P. Lit Is Flipping a Coin: April 25, 2014

Focus: Who are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and why are they interesting to Tom Stoppard?

Celebrating Kate!

From Mrs. Lee: Kate has a permanent grin and its genuine.  I enjoy her positive attitude and kindness.

From Mr. Escue: I always thought Kate to be the quiet type of student, then I watched her work in her group this semester and she was bringing great humor and energy to the group. She has been wonderful in class this semester.

From Mrs. Crosby: Kate is one of the most consistently dedicated students I've taught in years, and her continual willingness to express insightful comments and ask deep questions is impressive.

From Mrs. Ferrill: Kate Englert was another exceptional student in my AP Lang class last year, and she also scored a "5" on AP test.  However, I'll never forget her demonstration of how to BAAA like a lamb.  Kate was part of a group assigned to perform a choral reading of William Blake's "The Lamb," and as Kate crawled into the room, she began bleating like a lamb--and she sounded like a real woolly creature!  We could not stop laughing.  Ask her for a demonstration!

On a more serious note, Kate wrote a poignant and eloquent narrative for The Muse called, "Two Days After" about the events of 12-13.  It made me cry, and I hope you have a chance to read it too.

From her mom and dad: Kate is an amazing young woman.  She has an incredibly positive attitude toward life and believes that positive thoughts and beliefs can change an outcome of a certain event for the better.  Her great compassion displays itself in her love and concern for her friends and acquaintances.  For a friend in distress, Kate will drop everything to be at that friend’s side, to offer love and support.  She has a great spiritual perspective on life and believes that too much time and energy are wasted on trivial and material matters.  We admire her and love her so much!

1. Warming up with the flip of a coin

a. Take a coin and flip it in the air 20 times. Record how many times it comes up heads, and how many times it comes up tails. Interpret/explain the results.

b. Now, imagine that you take a quarter (a normal quarter) and flip it in the air twenty times. If it were to come up heads each time, would you be surprised? Why or why not? In your opinion, is the world generally an orderly or a disorderly place?

c. How would Samuel Beckett explain the imaginary phenomenon above?

2. Speeding up: Here's what you need to know about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet...
  • In Hamlet, they are minor characters and spend the vast majority of the play offstage.
  • They're supposed to be Hamlet's friends, but they're really being used to spy on him.
  • Near the end of the play, they ride on a boat from Denmark to England with Hamlet; they have sealed orders from King Claudius to the King of England, requesting that the King of England kill Hamlet.
  • Hamlet, however, changes the note so that the orders are to kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, which the King of England carries out when they arrive in England.
  • The action in the two bullet points above all takes place offstage and is merely reported by Fortinbras at the end of the play.

3. Acting out the beginning of Act One
As we read, keep a log in your composition book of this play's use of extended metaphors:
  • Where do you see elements of Absurdism?
  • Which objects seem to serve as metaphors? What larger ideas do they stand for and how?
  • What connections to Waiting for Godot are you noticing?
4. Wrapping up: Find one brief passage from our reading today, copy it into your composition notebook, and perform a close reading on it. Feel free to include questions as well.

1. Please complete your Bedside Stack request form by Monday.
2. Culminating essay is due in exactly one week.

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