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Monday, October 11, 2010

Podcast #1: MONSTERS (though not for their own sake)

So here it is: my very first podcast.  I'm sure it's clumsy.  I'm sure I'll get better with the next one.  And true to form, I'm probably way wordier than I need to be.  Pass on the feedback, the thoughts, the questions. 


(Man, it's weird to watch yourself like this!)

part 1


part 2

The Continuum of Monstrosity,
(Did I always look bug-eyed while teaching, or is it just the camera angle?)

In case you can't read it on the video (and I don't know how you could):


  1. Well, so the handwritten portion at the end of video 2 didn't work so well. I'll shoot for higher resolution and a darker writing implement next time.... Sorry.

  2. This was awesome. To answer the two issues: One, yes, very bug-eyed at the opening; I think the camera accentuates it by being that close. lol It did not seem that bad in the class. Second, the pencil worked ok because you were describing it, but would something a little thicker like a black marker work a bit better?

    I LOVED your assessment of Beowulf. LOL

    Anyway, I am going to read the chapter for today, and then I will post on more of the substantive stuff later, but this worked really well.

  3. Glad it worked out after all. I'm looking forward to doing more, especially since the first of anything always seems to address learning curve more than anything else. As far as the pencil is concerned, I wanted to use a marker, but couldn't find one!

    It will be another day or so before I get around to posting for the rest of chapter 8.

  4. About the paper, do you think it's possible that Cathy also fits into the physicality description? He spends so much time describing her deceptively charming beauty, and how she manipulates people with it? Is this not a monstrosity of a form? I am thinking almost like a siren here, if you follow.

    Also, I find one of the most interesting parts of Steinbeck's philosophy to be that he doesn't seem to assign a motive to people's malice. Some people are just born evil. It's a very old-fashioned viewpoint, but I think it's one that we are wrong to toss aside categorically today.

  5. I agree that we shouldn't "toss aside" the philosophy that some are simply born evil.

    As far as the "Continuum" is concerned, I thought about her physicality. I think Steinbeck's purpose and time in describing her physically is indeed to do what you say--to draw people in--but this doesn't change the fact that there is no "monstrum" tipping off potential victims of her danger. This physicality, or physical portency (I don't think that's a word--adjectival of portent??)--or in here case, lack thereof--is the very thing that puts her squarely, and as deeply as possible, into that particular corner. The fact that this very trait is strategically implemented doesn't play in this case. Her danger is psychological--"psychic," as Steinbeck labels it. This, while using her physique, is not reliant upon her physique; she would find a way to do what she does no matter what she looked like.

  6. East of Eden was one of if not my favorite book and I wish you would have taught it to us. But I am glad that I came upon Steinbeck and fell in love by myself.

  7. Tobin -- Thrilled to hear you got to read the book. You ought to try out some more of Steinbeck. I think you would actually really love Grapes of Wrath. Were you with one of my groups that did Tortilla Flat? As far as the 8th graders are concerned, I actually almost forewent the collective and just wrote "Tobin." :)


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