Monday, January 31, 2005


revised class schedule

here is a link to the updated class schedule. i think it will be a good one for us the rest of the quarter...note that i added something about teaching you MLA format, and asking you to bring the grammar/punctuation/style handbook during week 8 or 9 i think it was.........blob

ps. i am really looking forward to the group presentations. please let me know if your group has any questions, etc. also, if you need it, we can obviously get a projector and a laptop for a powerpoint presentation when you are explaining the lyrics [you can always find them at and many other places i'm sure]...or if you want to use handouts with lyrics that would also be helpful.

Saturday, January 29, 2005


what constitutes a family

hi class.......i guess if we had more time on wednesday, maybe we could have talked about the definition of a family ["a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head," according to merriam-webster's website]. if you choose to analyze and advertisement about a family, therefore, do not limit yourself to a photo with a husband/wife/child(ren). especially now in the 21st century, families are increasingly varied: single-parent households, same-sex households, "child-free" households, all exist and function as families.

hope you are having a good weekend, blob

Monday, January 24, 2005


after class monday

hey class.....if you have any questions about your papers, please email me. who knows, maybe you can't even read my handwriting...but you probably also don't understand the cryptic notations i made on your drafts either. my apologies--i was hoping to spend a few minutes with each of you today during the movie but the logistics of taking you out in the hall one at a time seemed too distracting.

and speaking of the movie, i'd love to know what you guys thought about it. without sounding too teacherly here, did you notice some repetitions, strands, binaries, and anomalies? i sure did. they were EVERYWHERE...ha! so, if you get the chance, please post a comment to this message and we can have a little discussion inbetween now and class on wednesday. [because to be honest, i'm not sure how much time we'll spend talking about it in class. hmmmm.]

have a good evening, blob


article about Pleasantville....

hey is an interesting article [from almost 5 years ago, when the movie came out] that sets some of the framework for the movie we'll watch this afternoon. hopefully you'll have a chance to read it before class...ha!! [i apologize that it seems to have been written by a Democrat and in the first couple paragraphs offers political commentary--that commentary is not why i shared this article nor is it particularly relevant to why i am showing the movie: i think it illustrates a conversation about the presumed "dangers" of free and independent critical thinking].

As another election cycle winds down, the only thing that is clear is that the "culture wars" which have plagued us of late continue. The Republican National Committee has launched a $10 million blitz aimed at convincing the American people that one person’s stupid private sex tricks are not only our business but are a good litmus test for official competence (something that must come as a surprise to those who thought that John F. Kennedy was a pretty good President while Richard Nixon was not).

Inevitably, the rabid right’s message becomes one of "return." That America should return to a nicer, safer, crime-free, "family values" past that never was, but which anyone from my generation can immediately recognize as idealized pre-feminist family life from television situation comedies set in the 1950's.

Now, just when we need it, writer-director Gary Ross reminds us that the 50's fantasy has a dark side. The peaceful, tranquil, orderly facade is maintained by rigidly suppressing dissent and difference in a stifling society where violence is never far from the surface.

The film Pleasantville is a fable and the basics of the plot are well enough known that it gives nothing away to say that two 90's teens, one a cynical overly sexual but ultimately vulnerable young woman and the other a sensitive but nerdy young man, are magically transported into the black and white world of a television situation comedy and that, as they begin to bring emotional depth to the one-dimensional townspeople, the affected ones start to burst forth in, as it would have been said in the early days of the medium, "living color."

The first half of the film is played lightly and with good humor. A scene where the repressed mother discovers masturbation, causing the tree outside her window to burst into spontaneous flames, is particularly effective.

But the movie soon takes a more serious turn. The old guard, who are, of course, still black and white, correctly perceive that a revolution is taking place as more of the townspeople explore new ideas and new ways of life.

"No coloreds" read the signs in the establishment’s businesses and the use of that term is an intentional reminder of the rigid racial segregation and oppression of the often idealized 1950's. Soon, the town fathers are demanding that "their" women get back to the kitchen while more hot-headed elements begin burning books.

The film even culminates in a trial set in a courtroom deeply reminiscent of that in the film To Kill a Mockingbird. Here too, the "coloreds" are relegated to the balcony and to the defendant’s table.

Pleasantville can be criticized for becoming too heavy-handed in its moralizing. Yet, for an electorate which never knew the 50's except through endless re-runs of Leave it to Beaver, Pleasantville is a necessary reminder that freedom, while unsettling, disconcerting, sometimes dangerous, and discomforting, is still better than the alternative.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


super bowl advertisements

alright, does anybody remember some deal i offered about watching all the super bowl commercials and talking about them? i forget what you guys were supposed to do to "earn" this though. hmmmm. anyway, if we can figure out a way to play them in class--anyone have a VCR?--then we can certainly talk about them on monday feb. 7. oh wait, is that the first day of group presentations? well, we can work something out i'm sure--maybe do group presentations on wednesday of week 6 and monday of week 7. hmmm.

anyway, here is an article that is already starting the speculation about the types of advertisements we are likely to see this year:

Ads likely to be toned down from last year

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- As in years past, many Super Bowl advertisers are guarding the secrecy of their 30-second spots with the zeal of a Kremlin intelligence operative. Even so, one thing seems certain -- gas-passing horses, crotch-biting animals and accidental bikini wax treatments will be nowhere in sight.

Just ask advertising executive Jeff Goodby, whose firm created the Budweiser spot last year in which a draft horse spoiled a romantic evening for a young couple riding in a hansom cab.

"This year, I think most advertisers are going to be incredibly well-behaved," he said.

That ad and others aired during last year's game caused concern in some quarters that advertisers had gone too far in using ribald humor to grab the attention of the young male audiences that marketers try so desperately hard to reach.

Goodby said advertisers are much more cautious this year.

"Everybody knows where the line is, and I don't think it will be crossed," he said. "It's implicit in the process that you're not going to get your client in trouble this year."

Goodby's San Francisco-based firm -- Goodby, Silverstein & Partners -- is producing a spot for Emerald snack nuts that will be a far cry from the horse ad.

In it, a father tries to deflect a request from his daughter to share his Emerald nuts by saying that if he does, unicorns will disappear forever. A moment later, a unicorn strides into the living room and chides the nut-hoarding parent: "Ah, that's not true, Jack." Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny also chime in before Dad hands over the nuts.

Fox, which is broadcasting the Feb. 6 game, is asking $2.4 million for each half-minute ad this year, up slightly from last year's $2.3 million rate. Fox said it has sold about 95 percent of the ad space this year.

Most advertisers are keeping their spots under lock and key, hoping to create a sense of anticipation and mystery. That tactic worked wonders a generation ago for Apple Computer Inc., when it introduced the Macintosh computer during the 1984 Super Bowl with an iconic ad featuring a runner hurling a sledge hammer against a giant image of Big Brother.

Anheuser-Busch, which will again be a top Super Bowl advertiser, purchased 10 of the 30-second commercial spots but isn't saying what it plans to do. It also will have what's known as "category exclusivity," meaning that competing ads from Coors, Miller and other beer makers will be shut out.

Volvo, a first-time Super Bowl advertiser, will only say it put together a spot for its new V-8 sports utility vehicle.

"Right now, the (ad) is secret, so stay tuned," said John Maloney, who handles advertising and marketing for Volvo Cars of North America. "First, part of being on the Super Bowl is the anticipation of what you're going to see. Two, we have a particularly unique execution that, quite frankly, we don't want anyone else to know what it is."

Visa spokesman Michael Rolnick was equally tightlipped about his company's spot, which will extoll the security features of Visa's check card. Is the ad funny?

"It is, and that's all I can tell you right now," Rolnick said.

It's also unclear whether there will be many ads from Internet companies, as in 1999 when a slew of upstart dot-coms merrily spent their IPO money on Super Bowl ads, only to go down the drain later.

Go Daddy Group Inc., a leading vendor of Internet names, will be making its Super Bowl debut. Founder Bob Parsons said his company expects to rake in $200 million this year, ensuring that if the ad for is "a complete whiff, we're still fine."

That still doesn't mean he would let the cat out of the bag.

"The ad will be different, something beyond what anyone has seen before, and beyond that I'm sworn to secrecy," Parsons said.


comments on first drafts...

here are some notes i made after reading and responding to your first drafts of Assignment #1. sorry if they are a little cryptic. i am sure you can understand them. [sorry also if you struggle with my handwriting when you receive your papers on monday].

1) don’t be offended when I simply write “re-word” above a sentence/phrase

2) include a word-count at the end

3) use details/examples from the story

4) follow advice in WA (pp.182-4) when quoting

5) clearly distinguish the two sections and avoid summarizing in Response section and responding in Summary section

6) apply The Method in your summary...i want to see the words “repetitions,” “strands,” “binaries,” and “anomalies” in your final draft

7) summarize as if your roommate would be taking a quiz on this story and didn’t have time to read it, but could only read your summary of it—your roommate doesn’t need every detail so s/he could answer every question correctly, but certainly needs the most important details

8) use the criteria for evaluation that follow the prompt to judge whether you are executing the assignment in the desired manner

9) only use quotation marks for direct quotations from the text…do not use them simply to add emphasis to idioms or clichés or words you want to stress—use italics for those purposes if you must.

10) don’t use the second person [“you”] when referring to the reader/audience


Saturday, January 22, 2005


study abroad in Italy

hi folks........i just happened to come across this resource today and thought i would pass it along. it is a list of numerous programs for american college students to study in italy. it is organized by american institution along the left-hand side of the page, and by italian city on the right-hand side. all you need to do is pick a program or a city and there are links to more information about it. i am sure there are a lot more websites out there like this one, but this is a good example of how many programs there are....just in italy!!

hope you are having a good weekend, blob

ps. here is the link to OSU's Office of Int'l Education [OIE] website, which has a lot of information itself:

pps. here is a link to newsletter from the College of Humanities. if you look at the story about study abroad programs--pp.6-8, .pdf--you will learn about OSU's new programs, as well as find info about 25 $2000 scholarships that are available every year!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2005


MLK Jr. Assignment

hello.....i had a brainstorm this morning. i know that i only politely asked you to individually perform The Method on the photo of martin luther king jr., but now i'd like to politely ask you to post what you have come up with as a comment to this message. it isn't required and i won't hold it against you if you don't do it, but i hope many of you is a good opportunity to attempt this analysis on your own. we have been studying The Method and practicing it as a class for the first two weeks, now you can try it on your own [or with a classmate, that would obviously be fine]. simply list 2 or 3 repetitions, strands, binaries, and anomalies in the order of their importance, and then choose the single most important one and write a small paragraph answering first the "So What?" question, then addressing why you think it was the most important.

i know you all are busy people and don't need additional schoolwork, but spending a half-hour thinking about MLK Jr. is the least we can do to honor the legacy of this great man.

take care, bob


revised powerpoint

hi folks....i have just uploaded the newer version of the powerpoint that i went over yesterday [wednesday] in class. you can access it by clicking "Powerpoint #1" on the left-hand side of this page. if you have already printed the original version, you can compare it to the new one and i think you will only need to print the last 10 slides [approx.].


Monday, January 10, 2005


how to find the amy tan article are some instructions for finding the article.

1) click here
[or cut/paste...]

2) enter: English 781

3) click English 781 E Reserves

4) click Electronic Reserves for English 781

3) use your own name/SSN

4) click on "Tan's My Mother's Secret"

good luck and enjoy!!
see you wednesday, at 3:45...blob

ps. whoever the first few students to arrive are: if you can please begin to arrange the room and project the way it needs to be, i would appreciate it :]

Sunday, January 09, 2005


powerpoint presentation for monday january 10

hey folks........just in case you want to print out the slides, here is a link to a powerpoint that i made for class monday. if you print it out, you can simply make notes on it, instead of trying to take notes during class. of course since the ppt so closely follows the chapters in Writing Analytically, you might just follow along in your book as well.

hope you are having a good weekend, blob

Monday, January 03, 2005


monday night

hi folks.....hope you had a good time at class today. i am about to start reading your first-day essays. i hope you had a good time thinking about your clothing. surprisingly, i bet most of you have never thought about the "message" you send with what you wear. now that i mention it, i didn't use to consider this message either--even after i graduated from college, my father would still tell me, though, "tuck in your shirt" or "you shouldn't wear clothes with holes" in them...ha ha! he certainly thinks about the message of personal appearance--mabye it is a gnerational thing that he can't let go of. actually, just a few daze ago--at my parents' place for dinner--my dad made me take off my hat when i came to the table :]

anyway, my point is that every aspect of our being has a message, and i don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to start with ourselves when we want to be critical thinkers and practice our analytical skills!!

have a good night, blob

Sunday, January 02, 2005


welcome to class

hello everyone.....welcome to english 110. i think we will have a fun quarter and, most importantly, you will learn a lot. bob

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?