Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Social Mass Hysteria--Kickoff discussion for "The Crucible"

Because our first major work The Crucible by Arthur Miller deals with the controlling idea that “mass hysteria” is a social construct, it is important to determine what factors go into said hysteria, what the causes are, and what, ultimately , is the end result of such claims. In a world where hysteria is so easily created with social avenues like cable TV, Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging, knowing the historical implications of hysteria can often lead to differing perspectives regarding its role in present-day society. From the following questions, choose one you are identifying with in some way and add a component of conversation about that topic. Remember, for this blog post, you are to respond in your own way on your own post, and respond to someone else’s answer. You will get credit for doing both. Failure to respond to mine and someone else’s will result in half the grade. Make sure you are diligent in this way. The questions to choose from are as follows: **Choose ONE for your own post**)
  1. How is social hysteria created? (How do cultural anxieties manifest themselves?)
  2. Who or what perpetuates cultural anxieties? To what effect? And, what causes them to dissipate?
  3. What can Fear create?
  4. Can a cultural anxiety influence us to act? If so, how?
  5. What tendencies and patterns does our society show when facing fear/anxiety?
  6. Give an example of hysteria/cultural anxiety: what happened, how did it continue, what was the end result?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gee...I wish I had said that!

This post is designed for those of you who love quotes as much as I do. I think we create much of our personas and much of our connection to others through quotes. Just check out any Hallmark card or inspirational poster, or personal mantras and you'll see  certain quotes that have been around for many years because they communicate something that is less than ephemeral, that is long-lasting and timeless. For this post, I'd really like you to post quotes that mean something to you. Whether you are an athlete, a struggling student, someone who is positive, someone who loves friends, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, popular, not popular, there is some quote out there that speaks to your current station in life. For the assignment, I'd like you to post the quote and then explain why it means something to you or why you chose that particular one. There is no need to post to others' quotes, just post your quote and explanation. Please, for the semester, post 5 quotes and explanations. There is not a due date (besides the end of the semester), and I will not be grading them until then. In fact, you'll have other posting assignments due while this one just kind of floats out there. Please see me for questions. In the meantime, find quotes that matter and record them and your thoughts here on The Hot Gossip AL5

American Literature Ideas to Ponder

Embarking on a new course can be daunting for some because often, we don't know what philosophical questions surround around our meanings. In other words, it's hard to decide what's central to our new contexts. Today (8/17), you were given an American Literature list of ideas to ponder, central questions about what matters in our makeup of American ideals. I want you on this post to please respond to some of those questions listed on the sheet. I want you to respond to 2 different ideas listed on that sheet and come up with some answers that might add nicely to the academic conversations around tenets of Americanism. So, your post will be comprised of the question and the answer. Please read other people's responses too as that is part of your responsibility. If you double up on a response, I'll know you didn't read the other person's post. I want you to really dig deep on some of these and impress me with your insights. You don't need to write pages and pages, but please be thorough yet concise. These ideas are due Friday August 19th at the beginning of the day!