Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Period 4 - Catalyst Group C


Feb. 1 - 1-80
Feb. 7 - 81-157
Feb. 14 - To the end

Please Post by 8 p.m. before the discussion date.

Period 4 - Catalyst Group B


Feb. 1 - Chapters 1 -5
Feb. 7 - Chapters 6 - 9
Feb. 14 - To the end

Please Post by 8 p.m. before the discussion date.

Period Four - Catalyst Group A


Feb. 1 - 1-78
Feb. 7 - 79-149
Feb. 14 - To the end

Please Post by 8 p.m. before the discussion date.

Period 4 - The curious incident of the dog in the night-time


Feb. 1 - 1-74
Feb. 7 - 75-155
Feb. 14 - To the end

Please post by 8 p.m. prior to the discussion date.

Period 4 - It's Kind of a Funny Story


Feb. 1 - 1-110
Feb. 7 - 111-220
Feb. 14 - To the end

Please post by 8 p.m. prior to discussion date.

Period 2 - The Complete Persepolis


Feb. 1 - 1-100
Feb. 7 - 101-200
Feb. 14 - To the end

Please post by 8 p.m. prior to the discussion date.

Period 2 - It's Kind of a Funny Story


Feb. 1 - 1-181
Feb. 7 - 182-349
Feb. 14 - To the end

Please post by 8 p.m. prior to the discussion date.

Period 2 - About a Boy Group B

Barbara J.

Please post by 8 p.m. before the discussion date.

Period 2 - About a Boy Group A

Barbara B.

Feb. 1st - 1-102
Feb. 7th - 103-206
Feb. 14th - Finish

Please post by 8 p.m. prior to discussion date.

Period 2 - Perks of Being a Wallflower Group B

Kim C.

Feb. 1 - 2-65
Feb. 7 - 65-121
Feb. 14 - To the end

Please post below by 8 p.m. prior to the discussion date.

Period 2 - Perks of Being a Wallflower Group A

Jessica F.
Jessica L.

Feb. 1 - 1-73
Feb. 7 - 74-139
Feb. 14 - To the end

Post comments below by 8 p.m. before the discussion date.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thank you...

Hey guys, my residency is done and now the work begins. My reading list for the next four months:

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger, Short Stories of Mark Twain, White Church by Chris Lynch, Slot Machine by Chris Lynch, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, About a Boy by Nick Hornby, I am the cheese by Robert Cormier, After the First Death by Robert Cormier, Little Children by Tom Perrota, Weetzie Bat and Wasteland by Francesca Lia Block, Buffalo Tree by Adam Rapp, and Chris Lycnh's collection of short stories.

Ugh - plus I need to read Tale of Two Cities like the rest of you.

-Mr. Walsh

A Whirlwind Ending...

I have my final meeting with my advisor to solidify my reading list. Right now, it includes some Robert Cormier, Mark Twain, Nick Hornby, and, by my request, J.D. Salinger.

Yesterday, I attended a workshop on how movement helps character development. I never connected my theatrical world and my writing world. It was interesting how, even in writing, one needs to embody the physical character. I thought of Julie Taymore, my hero, and how I can apply her techniques of dance and acting to my writing.

Lunch with Chris Lynch and we discussed where I am going from here. I was excited and have most of my study plan worked out.

I was workshopped. Really positive stuff. I feel comfortable that I can go forward. People were laughing aloud at many of my passages. Very affirming.

Dinner was good - Quesadillas!!!

I am ready to teach! I can't wait to get back. It has been so long and Separate Peace needs some discussing!

-Mr. Walsh

Friday, January 11, 2008

Two Things

Take this survey about elections from my previous advisor Susan Goodman. The survey is at the top of the page.

Here is information on Chris Lynch, my current advisor.

I will offer Inexcusable by Chris Lynch in our next round of Independent Reading. I will not offer The Truth about Poop by Susan Goodman. Though, I own it and I know you would love it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Separate Peace Reminder

Hey - I know you are all enthralled in the story of Gene and Phineas. Remember, trace those items we discussed. Pick a favorite character and roll with it.

The day of the midterms your journal is due!!! YIKES!
Reminder, you need to have completed all 13 chapters and...

Have 2 entries per chapter that employs different strategies and traces an idea
Two vocab words with definitions and parts of speech per chapter
A "Somebody wanted...but...so..." for each chapter
A new title for each chapter with explanation

We will move on to independent reading, creative writing, and some memorized poetry when I triumphantly and exhaustedly return!

-Mr. Walsh

More workshops and seminars

Today began with a seminar on beginnings. Apparently, I have no idea how to begin a book. We discussed the importance of not misleading the reader in the beginning. You can't open with a story about a girl and a dog and then have the book be about aliens and tree frogs. The beginning needs to hook and create the appropriate atmosphere as well. I felt I did that, but I'm not sure if I truly honored my reader.

I had lunch: grilled chicken and some beef barley soup. It was lovely.

Then our small group workshop met again. I get workshopped tomorrow. It is a lot of fun, but I can tell we have all hit a wall. I don't know how you do it. Go to school everyday. Man, I'm running on caffeine. Per usual.

There is a reading tonight, which I plan on attending. I hope my car is not towed.

-Mr. Walsh

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Gang signs

WE spent much of my small group workshop creating gang signs for all of the writing for young people students. Imagine of a bunch children's literature authors flashing symbols. We also have a motto:
Adverbs are ForNEVER.
You won't find adverbs in picture books. I learned this. Interesting.

Chris Lynch read tonight. It was hysterical. The poet Spencer Reece followed. I cried. It was wonderful and beautiful. There is a poem I'm planning on sharing.

Keep reading!

-Mr. Walsh

A case of the Wednesdays...

To begin, yesterday afternoon we discussed the difference between YA novels and Adult novels. We talked about Catcher in the Rye, Separate Peace, To Kill a Mockingbird, and others. My job was to talk about Running with Scissors. I argued that it was an "adult" novel, because though it was told from the perspective of a young person, it had the distinct advantage of being filtered through an adult Augusten looking back. 33 Snowfish, which included more "graphic" content, was told from a different point of view and with a different sensibility - therefore, it was a YA. I put it much more eloquently to my peers.

This morning, I had a seminar on observation as a writer. We talked about Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time among others. There was a great line from the seminar - "People who live by the ocean, don't hear the sea...". Another great line from the seminar about relationships - "you enter for the cheese, but stay for very different reasons." OUCH!

After that workshop, I went to a panel discussion on having the "killer instinct" as a writer - which I lack. It was informative, but a tad long. I was getting mentally restless - as you must feel when I blabber on and on.

I just ate a turkey sandwich. After this, my workshop group reconvenes to discuss another picture book.

Tonight, Chris Lynch is reading. So I'm excited.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My meeting with Chris Lynch...

I met with Chris Lynch today to organize my study plan. It was great! He said he loved my work and was reading it aloud to people. He kept smiling and laughing. I couldn't help but have a dumb grin on my face.

Then, he said I needed to start over from the beginning.

I stopped grinning.

Such is the life of a writer.

I hope Separate Peace is going well. I can't wait to talk about it. I'm chomping at the bit to discuss Gene and Phineas. I have a workshop this afternoon and we'll discuss Running with Scissors and I heard Catcher in the Rye as well. I'll dominate the second I fear.

All the best, Mr. Walsh.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Metaphor, Picture Books, and Chicken Parm...

This morning I learned about metaphor - and it is not simply a comparison without like or as. It is so much more than that. We talked about how all language is metaphor and how metaphor is about transfer. I have some great poems to share with you. We focused on several poems, one called The Cement Truck, about using a cement truck as a metaphor for the creation process. We also read some sudden fiction, which is prose under 2000 words that play with elements of plot, characterization, poetics, etc.

Lunch - Caesar Salad bar - AGAIN

In the afternoon, the workshop group met again. I looked at three pieces from fellow students. We spent some time working on picture books. This was totally fascinating. So so so much goes into picture books. It is really like analyzing poetry. We looked first at the text, then the pictures. It is interesting how the pictures aren't necessarily of the text, but complement the text.

Dinner - I ate with Brian Bouldrey, a non-fiction writer. He decided to give everyone American Gladiator names. Our program director was Pentameter. I was named Working Class - because I'm from Levittown. I had Chicken Parm. It was gross.

Tonight, I have to read and get ready for my meeting with Chris Lynch to design my study plan.

How is Separate Peace going?

Hey everyone, Comment back - how's separate peace going? Any questions? Any favorite characters yet - Gene, Finny, tree, Leper, etc.?

I'm off to learn about metaphors - I found a great poem for us.

-Mr. Walsh

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A long day...

In the morning, I attended a workshop about writing that takes on the world. We explored several poems, novels, etc. that dealt with social justice issues without being preachy. I found this appropriate considering what I am exploring in my text. She basically trashed Animal Farm - I was not happy about that.

For lunch, I had a really gross pumpkin soup and some cous-cous.

After lunch, I was workshopped. This consisted of being quiet (not a problem in this setting) and having Chris Lynch and others examine the 1st forty pages of my book. People loved my humor and my characters, but want me to make some major structural changes - GRR - I knew it was coming. It was great. I love the feedback.

The best part of the workshops and everything is the people. It is totally like summer camp. We pal around and gossip and encourage each other and are already getting nostalgic. My group consists of an middle-aged woman from Connecticut, a Columbian picture-book writer, an English teacher from Dallas, and an outdoor Science teacher from San Francisco.

As for meals...dinner was better - caesar salad and stir fly. Nice.

After dinner, I saw a film version of a play by Kate Snodgrass. I will be taking a playwriting course with her this semester. She teaches at BU and is artistic director of the Boston Playwright's Theater. I'm so stoked to be working with her. The play was an interesting look at family relationships when one child is autistic. Very compelling.

I have reading to do.
-Mr. Walsh

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Poets and Football....

Currently, a bunch of poets are watching football and yelling at the television. They are not using metaphors.

Second Person - You, you, you...

I just finished a workshop regarding second person. We talked about its role and function in poems, particularly female narratives. We discussed how "you" can be used to bring us in or to push us away, the specific vs. the universal you, and the "you" can be used to persuade or seduce the reader. Pretty interesting stuff. I was reminded of reading "Girl" in the beginning of the year and how we looked at the same thing.

I will spend my afternoon reading for tomorrow and Monday and will avoid the open mike.

One thing Chris Lynch said this morning, which was great, was not to let your ideas sit and just go with it. I think this is so good advice for writing.

Write even though it is terrible...

Chris Lynch said this in our morning workshop. I think it is great advice. He also has tons of post-it notes. He has post-it notes with post-it notes on them.

I met with my playwriting advisor over lunch and I have to read the Handler from Talking With, which I'm directing now. Sweet.

Lunch consisted of steamed veggies and a turkey sandwich. Delicious.

I am about to embark on a two-hour workshop on Second Person. I'll write more later, when time permits.

-Mr. Walsh

Friday, January 4, 2008

It begins...

Oh man oh man,

The evening started out with a reception and a wonderful cheese spread - a variety of yellows and oranges. I bumped into people from the summer. It was nice, like the first day of school. Lot of pleasantries and talk about travel and the weather.

I saw my advisor from the last semester, Susan Goodman - who wrote the wonderful book - The Truth about Poop. I love all things scatological. I met Chris Lynch. He seemed reserved, but pleasant. We (the Writing for Young People folk) have our workshop with him tomorrow. I need to think of questions to ask him - got any?

Tonight's readings were excellent.

Alexandra Johnson, a nonfiction writer, read from her book The Hidden Writer. She read about Tolstoy, the author of War and Peace, and his relationship with Sonia, his wife. The focus of the piece was does writing come out from the choices we make in life. She mentioned a wonderful Flaubert quote about writers, which I'm paraphrasing - that writers must think like a radical and have the mind of a bourgeios. Well, if that's the case, I need to think more liberally and get more money.

Anita Riggio, a YA writer, read a short story called Bingo - which I'm going to try to procure a copy, because I think you guys would love it. Very moving.

I need to read a ton tonight and avoid the temptation of Office DVDS and relaxing.

I'll blog in the morning.

Mr. Walsh

Thursday, January 3, 2008

MFA residency Liveblog

Hey guys,

Starting this Friday evening, I will be attending my second residency at Lesley University for my Masters in Fine Arts. I am getting my degree in Creative Writing with a focus on Writing for Young People (Young Adult Fiction). Basically, I never got over my Holden Caulfield obsession.

This week - I will be liveblogging my residency, which means posting a couple of times a day about courses I am taking, workshops, readings, etc.

During the week, I will attend many, many workshops including "Second Person in Female Narrative Poetry" - Talk about specific! I also will have my writing (the first 90 pages of a novel) critiqued by classmates. I will meet with my advisor Chris Lynch, who wrote Inexcusable. Furthermore, I have to prepare a discussion on Running with Scissors on whether or not it is meant for Young Adults - I just found this out - IRONY.

Part of my desire to get my MFA is to help be a better teacher of reading and writing. I couldn't think of a better way to share this experience of studying English at a graduate level than using the blog format.

Feel free to comment and ask questions. I will be busy. Keep reading A Separate Peace and behave yourselves.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Separate Peace: Webquest

Overview: For this webquest, you will do some research on the historical setting of the novel and determine its role in the story. Using the links to the websites provided, you will answer questions IN YOUR OWN WORDS that relate to where the story takes place (a New England prep school) and when the story takes place (1942, at the onset of WWII). All of your answers to these questions must be typed and handed in before the end of the period today.

Procedure: Use the links below and/or any outside knowledge you possess to answer the following questions about the historical time and place in the novel.

1. Describe the causes and outcomes of World War II. (in your own words). Infoplease

2. Describe three ways WWII affected American high school students. (in your own words)
Exeter Bulletin Articles - Click on the link and Victory Corps

3. How did attending a private school impact the life of the author of A Separate Peace, John Knowles? (be specific, referring to at least 3 examples) (in your own words) - John Knowles

4. To help under private school life, answer these questions about Philips Exeter Academy -the school upon which Devon is based. Phillips Exeter
What is non-sibi?
What is on the dining menu?
What is the Harkness method?
What are some of the the graduation requirements?
What are the admissions requirement?
How much does it cost?
Find three classes that Exeter offers that Malden does not.

I developed this and borrowed items from Lakeland Schools