Monthly Archives: April 2019

Shakespeare Blog Post 4: The Tempest

Shakespeare – The Tempest (1611)

Blog post due – Presentation day: Thursday, May 23

  • Group 5: ?
  • Group 6: Is Caliban actually the worst character in the play? Isn’t he just following his animal instincts?

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the play. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post. For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. E-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. In some ways Prospero acts like a tyrant, ordering Ariel and Caliban and tormenting everyone for his own revenge. Even if no one is hurt, is he a good man?
  2. Does Miranda stay the same throughout the play, or does she change? How? Are there places where she stands up to her father?
  3. The play seems different, somehow, from Shakespeare’s earlier plays– or at least the ones we have studied. Do you agree? How is it different?
  4. Gonzalo makes an interesting point in saying that if he were king of the island, he would make a perfect society with no money or social rank. Why do you think he says this? Is this a good idea?
  5. Is Caliban pure evil, or are others, such as Prospero, partly to blame for his nature? Is it fair that Stefano and Trinculo get him drunk when he has never seen alcohol before?
  6. One criticism of the play is that Ferdinand’s courtship of Miranda is “too easy” and lacks tension or drama. Is this true?
  7. Why aren’t Antonio and Sebastian ever punished, whereas Stefano and Trinculo are humiliated? Is this fair? What does it say about Prospero?
  8. There has never been a well-known movie version of The Tempest, unlike Shakespeare’s other plays. Do you think there is a reason why?
  9. Why does Prospero announce that he will give up his magic powers at the end? Is this a good idea when Antonio and Sebastian are still bad people?
  10. Are there other themes or ideas in the play you think are interesting?

PBL Vision – MUL Episode 4 Blog Post

Choose one of the following questions and write a post of about 100-200 words answering it. There are no right or wrong answers; give your opinion, or respond to someone else’s post.

  1. When you are planning a paper assignment or a presentation and need to do research, what are some methods, websites, or practices you feel are helpful for finding good sources? How can you judge your sources?
  2. Discuss a situation where you thought about a problem and employed synthesis-level thinking– that is, you combined knowledge from several subjects or examples to produce new knowledge to solve the problem.

British Soc & Lit 1 Blog Post 4: Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)

(You can skip chapter 11 if you are short on time)

Presentations & Blog posts due: Tuesday, May 21

  • Group 6 (Gyeongyeon): Is Basil a good or bad man, and what is his effect on Dorian?
  • Group 7: Why Dorian falls into evil (podcast).

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the novel. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. E-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Can we define Dorian’s nature as either good or evil? Whose fault is it that he becomes corrupt?
  2. “All art is quite useless.” Do you think this is true? Why does Wilde write this? Does the novel prove or disprove this in any way?
  3. What impact does Sibyl’s death have on Dorian? Are there places in the novel where Dorian could easily turn away from evil and change?
  4. The characters in the novel seem selfish. Is it possible that the only person who loves anybody in the novel is James Vane, for his sister Sibyl? Do other people have real love or friendship for others?
  5. Does Dorian continue to derive actual pleasure from his actions as time goes on? If not, what motivates him?
  6. Does Dorian actually cause his own downfall, or is it Lord Henry’s fault? Who is the most to blame?
  7. Does Lord Henry suffer for his actions, or does he get away with what he’s done? Or has he actually done anything wrong?
  8. Is Dorian Gray an immoral book, or does it have a lesson? Do you agree with early critics who said the book was a bad influence on people?
  9. Is Dorian sorry for what he’s done at the end?
  10. Are there other themes or ideas in the novel you think are interesting?

British Soc Cont Novels: Blog Post 4 (Remains of the Day)

Kazuo Ishiguro – The Remains of the Day (1989)

Blog posts due / Presentations: Thursday, May 23

  • Group 6: [Podcast] Can Stevens’ life be considered a success?
  • Group 7: Could Stevens and Miss Kenton be happy if they’d married?

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the text. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post. For presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it can’t just summarize the story. E-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. What does Stevens care most deeply about? Does he believe that he has lived up to his own standards?
  2. Miss Kenton threatens to leave when Lord Darlington fires the Jewish maids, and doesn’t. Is she less wrong, or more wrong, than Stevens, who does nothing?
  3. What kind of relationship does Stevens have with his father? How did it change or make Stevens what he is?
  4. Realistically, do you think Miss Kenton could have been happy married to Stevens? Would he have ever changed?
  5. Some critics feel the book is funny. Do you agree? Where is there humor in the story?
  6. Ishiguro is famous for having “unreliable narrators.” Give some examples of Stevens’s inability to see things as readers see them. What blinds him, or gets in his way of understanding, especially when it comes to Lord Darlington?
  7. What is the meaning of the humorous “banter” which Stevens feels he should learn to do? Why does he return to that idea at the very end of the novel?
  8. One of the most beautiful scenes in the novel, and one of Stevens’s strongest memories, is him and Miss Kenton watching his father from a window. Why is this such a vivid memory?
  9. What do the characters Stevens meets and stays with during his vacation teach him about himself? Give some examples.
  10. Are there other themes or ideas in the novel you think are interesting?

British Soc Cont Novels: Blog Post 3 (Guards! Guards!)

Terry Pratchett – Guards! Guards! (1989)

Blog Posts & Presentations Due: Thursday, May 2

  • Group 4: Is Vetinari bad, or a practical ruler of a violent city?
  • Group 5: How does the Jeon Woo-Chi story (전우치) help explain GG?

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the text. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post. For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it can’t just summarize the story. E-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. The protagonists of the book are losers, drunks, and cowards (Vimes, Colon, Nobby). Why? Is Pratchett making a statement about heroism?
  2. How does Vimes change throughout the story? Why?
  3. Why does the book seem so interested in books and libraries?
  4. How do the dwarves compare to humans? Are they better or worse?
  5. At one point the dragon is disgusted to realize that humans can be more cruel than dragons. What do you think Pratchett is saying as a message?
  6. Vimes doesn’t seem to agree with Vetinari that all people are evil, and the best a ruler can do is balance out opposing people. Is Vetinari bad, or a practical ruler of a violent city?
  7. Does the book prove Vetinari right by having two dragons cancel each other out?
  8. How does the novel use pop culture references that don’t fit its time period (e.g. Dirty Harry, Casablanca)? Why?
  9. Does the novel have a message or moral it wants the reader to learn?
  10. Is there something else in the novel you think is interesting or meaningful?

PBL Vision: Managing University Life Episode 3

PBL & Visioning – MUL Episode 3 Blog Post

Choose one of the following questions and write a post of about 100-200 words answering it. Give your opinion, or respond to someone else’s post.

  1. Describe your own study space– are there ways you might improve it?
  2. Think about your own personality and body, and discuss how you might best prepare for an exam. Are there things in the episode which you especially feel might work, or have worked?
  3. What are some things you personally do, or might try to do, during an exam to help you write it?