Daddy Film School #6: TRUE GRIT (1969)

One of my favorite critics and fellow Letterboxer Adam Kempenaar made a valid point about his anxiety over showing his son John Wayne movies to young:

 “You run the risk of (your kid) looking from the Duke, then back to you, and feeling profoundly disappointed.”

I definitely worried about this. But I chose this film because the kids asked about film scores, and this soaring Elmer Bernstein introduction came to mind.

Plus, better to start with the older, fatter John Wayne, just in case Adam’s on to something.

Plus, this movie is available free on Comcast, and NOTHING is free on Comcast.

THE WORRIES: The only ‘G’ rated movie that begins with a hanging and ends with a  rattlesnake bite. Who rated this film, the man who shot Bambi’s mom? (Spoiler alert)

THE LESSONS LEARNED:

  1. Revenge is important…or is it?
  2. It’s fun to go around calling everyone “baby sister” in a John Wayne voice (i.e. your mother asks you to set the table, and you say, “Look here, baby sister…”)

The kids and I have a good time with this one. A Daddy Film School rebound movie (CITY LIGHTS didn’t go over so well), and I enjoy it more with them than I did on my own.

Plus, the kids HATE Glenn Campbell. They think he’s a terrible actor, and well, they’re right. They may be learning something about films, after all.

FINN (9): “He’s (The Rhinestone Cowboy) the worst.”

ME: “He (The Wichita Lineman) was a big, big star back then.”

FINN: (incredulous look) “Wow. People were weird back then, huh?”

ME: “We didn’t have Google.”

CHARLIE (11) SAYS: “Sometimes revenge doesn’t happen the way you want it to. You have to make compromises. Some processes take a long time. I loved John Wayne. I love that he was funny, serious and brave…all at the same time. 3.5 stars.”

FINN SAYS: “I like Rooster! He has ‘grit!’ You hear me, baby sister?”

Up Next? More. John. Wayne. The kids want more Duke. I start to doubt my decision-making. Surely, my place as family patriarch is prime for being “wrassled” away by a Missourian-born named Butch who reminds the kids to not “dig for water by the outhouse.”

Better class up these proceedings…and quick!

 

Daddy Film School #5: CITY LIGHTS (1929)

Flying high off vampires and killer sharks, I decide to get them started on one of the giants of film – the little Tramp, himself — Charlie Chaplin.

For my money, this is Chaplin at his finest. Chaplin’s humor is raw and physical. He packs a punch in each boastful expression, every sideways glance.

City Lights also boasts the single greatest “final shot” in film history.

 

I want them to love this movie as much as I do. I want them to love Chaplin. I want them floored by his humor. I want to hear their hearts break when the tramp, with that crooked finger in his mouth, points at her eyes. “You can see…”

In my opinion, every romantic comedy made since 1929 is just chasing Chaplin and this movie. That enchanting scene. How Chaplin says volumes without saying a word.

That face. The one that fades to black, may be cinema’s single greatest expression of pure love and joy. It just may be that important.

Also, I love the discipline! Chaplin’s restraint as a director in that he says nothing after the scene. No afterword. No epilogue. He simply fades to black…and he trusts his audience to share in his truth.

The EXACT OPPOSITE of JK Rowling’s end to the otherwise flawless Harry Potter series.

harry-potter-epilogue

With Daddy Film School still in its infancy, I worry that the stakes are just too high!

I talk myself into it, though. I have led dozens of teenagers in the act of falling in love with this movie…that moment.

But those were teenagers…they’re lovesick at the jump. These are middle graders. They’ll gag. I steel myself. It’s ok. Just don’t oversell it.

I oversell it. They’re unimpressed.

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FINN: “Is this even a movie?”

THE WORRIES: What if they hate it (and go on to write the definitive work about how Buster Keaton is the superior silent comic and dedicate that best-seller to me, their dad?? Breathe, Joe, breathe!)?

THE LESSON: I overdo it. I talk through too much of the movie. I rewind the ending for them…twice (read: three times).

They got it. Kinda. They laughed at some parts. Not at others. The boxing scene tickles us all. It reaffirms me. Minutes later, though, they look bored. Their mothers comes in, and she looks bored. Why is everyone so stinkin’ bored? These people wouldn’t know delightful if it fell in their laps. Good damn them and their internets! Agh!

Then Chaplin scrapes a bald man’s head with a spoon, like it’s a melon, and they all fall to hysterics. Maybe the world isn’t so bad a place.

***

I had to explain blindness more than I expected.

FINN (9) SAYS: “Is that kind of eye surgery real?”

“No,” I say.

“That’s dumb. It should be real.”

***

Twenty minutes into the film, FINN ASKS: “Is this even a movie?”

***

And what about that final scene, eh? eh?

CHARLIE (11): “It was good.”

FINN: “Kissing girls makes me feel all e-GOO-ey!”

CHARLIE SAYS: “Chaplin is funny. I liked the part with the river. It had a good story, too. 3 stars.”

Up Next: I explained how Chaplin wrote all his own music for his movies. “What’s a score?” Hmmm…the possibilities…I need a iconic film score!!!

Stockton Rhetoric Class #13 (THE LAST CLASSES): Final Assignments for April 17 – 29th 2019

endofsemester

BEFORE YOU ENTER: 

Tonight’s class will be in D27

CLASS AGENDA for April 17: 

  1. Questions about “perfect” first page
  2. FE#5 Evidence paragraphs
  3. Review of remaining assignments/Family Meeting time set-up
  4. Easy to follow checklist for end of semester

YOUR BLOG: A final link to your COMPLETED BLOG should be sent to me via email (joseph.costal@stockton.edu) BEFORE the semester deadline.

Subject line MUST read: BLOG FINAL

Blog Post #8: whatever you wrote will count as extra credit

Blog Post #10:

What do we do to insure credibility in such a biased media environment?

Trump Border Article #1

Trump Border Article #2

Trump Border Article #3

Trump Border Article #4

Trump Border Article #5

Link to the Doc

Choose TWO of the articles on President Trump linked above. From the articles, determine if the publication is leaning LEFT (liberal, progressive), RIGHT (conservative, nationalistic) or CENTER. Use at least one citation from each article to support your claim.

Blog Post #11: A Letter to Me: One page of reflection on the course, your year at college and the world that waits for you. Consider the following: what did you learn in this class? Highlights and low-lights of the course? What about the year here at Stockton in general? What did you learn about yourself? What’s your hope for the next 5 months? The next 5 years? And beyond?

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YOUR FINAL PAPER:
Final Essay: Formal Essay  #6: PROPOSING PROBLEM / SOLUTION
(much of the language of this prompt is an amalgamation of my own ideas and those borrowed from other institutions, including Florida International University, Johnson County Community College).
Length of paper: approx. 5 pages, excluding work cited.

Your objective for this assignment is to research, analyze, create a thesis, and synthesize a solution for a common social problem. To do this, let’s begin by challenging the common ways of looking at problems themselves.  The process of research, as discussed in this course, is to generate, then narrow, questions. Great research creates questions. Great argumentation papers do more to generate further questions than to answer them. Let’s ponder this together, first.

The goal of the “Proposing a Solution” Essay is to make an argument that calls an audience to action. By focusing your argument on one specific public problem, you will be responding to the frequently asked question: But what can we do?

Your task in researching this paper is three-fold:
1. You must demonstrate that a significant problem exists
2. You must propose a solution to the problem
3. You must justify this particular solution, showing how the benefits outweigh alternatives, or, at the very least, how your proposed solution is better than no action at all.

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Consider this as your essay’s development in three parts:

1) a description of the problem (with researched background).

2) a proposal for a solution.

3) a justification for that solution.

Your introduction should get your audience’s attention (possibly by appealing to pathos through anecdote or example), provide background on the conversation you are joining, and clearly state the claim you intend to support (thesis).

The body of your argument should appeal to logos by presenting reasons and evidence in support of your position, as well as appeal to ethos by responding to opposing views (rebutting the counterargument). You may also appeal to pathos within your body by appealing to the values and beliefs of your audience.
ALL must be cited in APA format.

I will look for the following in your essay:

•Does the writer make a convincing argument as to why her audience should or ought to take action?

•Is the proposed action (or “claim”) clearly identified and explained?

•Is this claim logically supported by reasons and evidence?

•Have opposing views been considered or addressed?

•Does the paper provide adequate background on the problem the author is attempting to remedy?

OTHER NOTES FOR THE PAPER:
• All information taken from sources needs to be cited (not just quotations)
• There are lots of great places to get your ideas flowing.  Here. Here’s my favorite one from, SHOCKER, The New York Times. 

• Use APA for the entire paper. Find resources for doing this in Hacker. Or here.  Or here.

• Use quotations only where necessary. Better to summarize information and discuss how it becomes evidence when married to your point.

• Each paragraph should have a topic sentence and show unity.

• Each evidence paragraph will contain at least one citation identifying where you got your information.

• This is your chance to SHINE on the fact that our multiple revisions have not been a total waste.

SCHEDULE:
Monday, April 22: NO CLASS (but I would use this time to get stuff done, do preliminary research for the paper and get all other edits done)
Wednesday, April 24: Family Meetings for Final Papers
4:15pm:
4:30pm:
4:45pm:
5pm:
5:15pm:
5:30pm:
The conference is mandatory, but I will be providing a VOLUNTARY, online “check-in.” You can sign-up any time beginning at 2:30pm on Friday, April 26th. Sign up here.
Final Paper & Blogs Due to Costal, Monday, April 29th by 11:59pm 
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FAMILY CONFERENCES:

Come to conference class with the following prepared:

Conference Assignment: Please have the following information ready for submission during our conferences. All components must be typed and professionally presented:

1. Working Outline

2. Working Thesis

3. Annotated Bibliography

———————————————————————————————————
1. The working outline is a very important first step that serves as a guide for your entire paper. Follow any form you feel most comfortable with (See Hacker for a variety of outlining methods if confused). The outline should give me an idea of how you plan your paper…point by point at least…example by example if you wish. There should be a bullet-ed component for each paragraph. Keep in mind that this is the mode by which you will also present your research. Remember that good development “systematically fulfills the reader’s expectation.”
oh-you-have-finals-coming-up2. Student will present a working thesis. The expectation is that this will allow us to work together in making sure the paper is on the right track. Thesis should evince the components of thesis writing discussed in class today.The thesis for this paper should be both complex and clear.

Make sure to move through a logical progression with your ideas.
3. Annotated Bibliography should provide insight on the sources you plan to use. Where does information exist? What types of sources have been prevalent? Why would you use (or not use) the sources you’ve collected. You’ve done this already. Should be cut and dry.

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THE TOP 20 COUNTDOWN!!! The Final Checklist: 
Answer the following with the preface: Does your final paper:

1. …have approx seven pages total, but more importantly FIVE pages of EVIDENCE (body) (Not including formatting pages)? If not, how can you add length without adding fluff?

2. …have proper formatting (12-point, double-spaced, one-inch margins, Hacker approved APA-style? including abstract and CORRECTLY formatted WORKS CITED)

3. …have an interesting, original, and relevant title?

4. …have an effective, divisive attention-grabbing introduction?

5. …provide necessary background for reader to understand YOUR THESIS (NOT the entire topic. Think 5Ws) (BG MUST be relevant to your thesis!)

6…establish the controversy surrounding the issue? Does it accomplish this through the use of personal anecdote? Is the introduction/background adequate in length (no more than 1/4 of entire page)?

5. …have a specific and explicit/implicit thesis statement that evinces the main issue and the writer’s position? Is it argumentative? Does it contain a subordinate clause to drive complexity?

6. …have logical development? Does each paragraph flow into the next, using the thesis as a road map to “fulfill the reader’s anticipation?”

7. …have sufficient supporting evidence? Does the paper employ strong ethos such as facts, statistics, examples, and expert opinions? Is this support connected to the thesis in a meaningful way? In other words, is it relevant, accurate, and representative?

8. …have credible sources? Are several of the sources also academic, scholarly and peer-reviewed? Is it free of questionable web sources such as http://www.beardedguysanswerimportantquestions.com?

9. …have NO generalizations, overstatements or other forms of logical fallacies?

10. …have a fair representations of source integration like direct quotations and summaries? Are DQs appropriate in scope and length (not too long, not irrelevant)? ARE DQs formatted correctly?

11. …have in-text citations after every quotation, paraphrase, or summary? Are there citations after each body paragraph (or included in each?) Are the in-text citations in proper APA format?

12. …also have attributions? Especially in areas where the credibility needs to be justified because it is not immediately apparent, or the credibility is strong and needs to be relayed narratively.

13. …have appropriate language use for an academic setting? Has he or she eliminated any abbreviations, slang or other informal language?

14. …have appropriate and consistent person? If he or she uses “you,” is he or she addressing the reader? Is he/she ADDICTED to “you?” Is only necessary 1st person used? No “I think,” “I believe,” and “I feel”?

15. …have obvious typos? Spelling errors, punctuation or other sloppy mechanics?

16. …have obvious grammatical or sentence construction errors like fragments, comma splices or run-ons?

17. …have a proper APA title, page, abstract, works cited & running header?

18. …have an effective conclusion in which the writer emphasizes the importance of the issue and by urging the reader to do something? Is the conclusion merely a summary of the writer’s main points? Is it adequate in length?

19. …evince the features of a true argumentative-persuasive essay, or has he or she merely written an informative work?

20. …have both sides of the issue represented in pursuit of the thesis?

Stockton Writing Class #12A: November 28, 2018

https://stockton.campuslabs.com/courseeval/ce/frst/1101/028

BEFORE YOU COME TO CLASS: 

Come to class with annotated copies of Heels and The Rhett Butlers (or notes you took as you read). 

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY: 

  1. Start a Google doc for your family. Name it FE #5 Notes Family Name. Share it with me. 
  2. On the document, collaborate to develop 3 themes that can be connected to BOTH stories.  Write these themes out in complete sentences. Do your best to write this as clearly and completely (REMEMBER that the more you write now, the better use you will be able to make of these notes when you write. 
  3. For each theme you identify, provide specific references from EACH story that ILLUSTRATE the theme through specific textual evidence. Under the quotation, write a few sentences explaining the connection. 
  4. Beneath that, collaborate to pose AT LEAST five viable research questions that will drive the further connection between the fiction text and real life issues pertaining to sexual assault. 

Formal Essay #5: Literary Analysis with Non-Fiction Reference

Though the circumstances are much different, both the narrator of Heels and the protagonist of The Rhett Butlers embody traits common to victims of sexual assault, exposing an all too prevalent reality for young women.  

In a well-developed, well-researched (at least three sources overall) paper, support the thesis worked out in class. Use textual references to both stories to draw your comparisons. Then take those comparisons, and use them to draw broader connections to real life circumstances of sexual assault.

Think outside the box. Draw comparisons and connections. Do research that enlightens this often shrouded topic.

Real-life examples of sexual assault and the changing social perceptions surrounding victims is — sadly — ALL AROUND US!

csa_shareable-01-600-600x320

AT LEAST TWO SOURCES MUST BE SCHOLARLY OR PEER REVIEWED! Think in terms of statistics or fact about sexual assault that shed light on the situation. 

Paper a minimum of three pages.

Stockton Writing Class #12: November 19, 2018

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ASSIGNMENTS:

 
Gearing up for Formal Writing #5:
 
READ & ANNOTATE the following resources for writing literary analysis papers. This is from Harvard. This is just a “self-help” website, but both are valid.
 
Also, check out these info-graphics for some perspective on the ubiquity of sexual assault.
 
Tell Them You Had a Mole Removed by Julie Hensley (poem: hard copy here, link to the audio).
 
Apprentice Writer at Susquehanna University story called Heels.  (we read this in class).  

The Atlantic: The Rhett Butlers by @Katherine_Heiny (story fiction story is linked here).

 
Formal Essay #5: Literary Analysis with Non-Fiction Reference
 
Though the circumstances are much different, both the narrator of Heels and the protagonist of The Rhett Butlers embody traits common to victims of sexual assault, exposing an all too prevalent reality for young women.  

In a well-developed, well-researched (at least three sources overall) paper, support the thesis worked out in class. Use textual references to both stories to draw your comparisons. Then take those comparisons, and use them to draw broader connections to real life circumstances of sexual assault.
 
Think outside the box. Draw comparisons and connections. Do research that enlightens this often shrouded topic.
 
Real-life examples of sexual assault and the changing social perceptions surrounding victims is — sadly — ALL AROUND US!
 
csa_shareable-01-600-600x320
 
 
AT LEAST TWO SOURCES MUST BE SCHOLARLY OR PEER REVIEWED! Think in terms of statistics or fact about sexual assault that shed light on the situation. 
 
Paper a minimum of three pages.

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