With the new semester, all of my classes change, and I have “retired” the first semester pages and loaded the new class pages for this semester. All of the syllabi are now available for download, along assignments and other course information.
An interesting aspect of the beginning of a new semester and a new year is the addition of three new students to the VBFS US community: The Class of 2017 welcomes a new student, Wilson, who is here from China. The Class of 2016 welcomes Daniel to their group. The Class of 2015 welcomes an exchange student from Denmark this week. Victor comes to us from Copenhagen for several months of enrichment, and he will be with us until June.
Advisory: I have handed out the information about the ski trip planned for February 14th, the free practice test for the SAT being given by Kaplan at Cape Henry next month, and we are making plans for our annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser—so get ready to order those pink carnations!
American Literature: We will begin this week with the remaining presentations of the Advanced Composition I-Search projects that we didn’t get to last week or the week before! Then we will get our new textbooks [the “cinderblock”] and go over the syllabus before turning to an introductory film for this course: The New World. We will also be discussing our first major assignment covering “The Beginnings to 1700” in our textbook [specifics are on the syllabus].
Art History II: We will explore Eastern Art for the first few weeks of the term, once we get our textbooks and review the syllabus. We will also spend some time discovering what it is that each of us is drawn to when we are offered an opportunity to select a work of art to share with the class. We will cover the art of India by reading the several chapters in our textbook--
- Indian Art 1;
- Indian Art 2: From Gupta to Pala;
- Indian Art 3: Hindu Art;
- The Kandarya Mahadeva Temple, Khajuraho; and,
- Indian Art 4: Mughal and Rajput.
Poetry and Nonfiction: We will pick up textbooks and review the syllabus before discussing the course expectations and literary terms we will be using in the next few months. The big component of this class is the poetry collection that students will compile as we read, write, and appreciate poetry in a rather unique way with our planned outings on B Fridays: Fridays Afield! Additionally we will review the first major assignment for the course, the Poets and Poetry Project [this handout is already uploaded and will be available in the next few days on Jupiter Grades as well]. The we will discuss the various types of nonfiction writing we will encounter over the next few months in class and watch an example of a travel narrative: A Year in Provençe.
Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Histories: We will begin our study of Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Histories with a reading of The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Students get to choose parts and then read them out [with as much or as little emoting as they like!] and discuss the elements of stage direction as we determine what is happening in the play and how Shakespeare shapes our understanding of the world he depicts while allowing us as “creators” to have a part in bringing to life a believable world of fiercely loyal families engaged in blood feuds in a fictional Verona.
The Word: The New Testament in Art, History, Literature, and Music: This term we turn to the New Testament and explore the beginnings of Christianity as it is birthed in Judaism and shaped by the Roman Empire before itself becoming an immense force in the world. Once we have our textbooks and have reviewed the syllabus, we will discuss our first major assignment, The Object Speaks—The New Testament in Art [this handout is already uploaded and will be available in the next few days on Jupiter Grades as well]. Then we will look at the transition from a Jewish point of view [the Old Testament] to a Christian point of view as we screen Ben Hur.
World Literature: We will start out by giving those in the Fundamentals of English Composition class who did NOT have a chance to present their literature projects some time to complete this before moving on to the syllabus and textbook [“the brick”] for this course. Our first unit will focus on “Travel and Self-Recognition in the Face of the Other,” and we will be reading two short selections from our textbook:
- “The Invention of Writing and the Earliest Literatures” and
- “Ancient Greece and the Formation of the Western Mind”
So, a busy week of getting started with a new semester and a new year may be impacted by yet another snow day; we shall have to wait and see! This is a B week--Stay warm!
Teacher Barb :)