For Thursday (12/13)

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On Thursday, we’ll work on finalizing your Parks and Rec project.  See the guidelines for the final shape of your wiki pages here. In addition, we’ll tidy up any issues with Wikipedia and transferring your work from your sandbox to a “live” Wikipedia page.  Once you’ve completed this last stage of the Wikipedia project, your work will be read by thousands of readers!  Congratulations! Publishing Wikipedia Drafts Let’s make sure you’ve finished both of these projects by Tuesday, December 18, 2018.

For Tuesday (12/11)

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After completing your analysis of narrative sequences, you’ve started thinking about oppositions and conflicts.  Remember, in our discussion of the first season of Parks and Rec, we pointed to some possible oppositions/conflicts: insider vs. outsider; ethical vs. unethical; professional vs. personal, etc.  Go through your episode analyses and think about what oppositions/conflicts you see in each episode.  Hint: one place to start is by comparing the Hero and Villain for each episode.  How does each represent a different value?  What are they in conflict about?  

On our class wiki, for each episode analysis, add a new section: Oppositions.  Place this new section between your plot summary and your list of “actors.”  Remember, you want to phrase this as an opposition between values or categories: i.e. professional vs. personal, ambition vs. duty, etc.  After noting the opposition/s, provide a brief explanation – – in parentheses – – of how the opposition works in your episode.

Wikipedia: by now, you should have peer feedback on your Wikipedia articles.  Respond to that feedback by revising your article – – if required.  Once you’ve revised your draft article in response to the feedback, you can start to transfer your article to a “live” Wikipedia page.  See Week 10 on our Dashboard to a “how-to” module on transferring from your sandbox to Wikipedia.

For Thursday (12/6)

You should have your analyses of your season episodes posted to the class wiki!  Now’s the time to start looking at your narrative sequences – – what patterns do you see? what differences among the episodes do you see?  what is the “core” narrative sequence for your episode?

After completing our analysis of the narrative sequences, we’ll want to start thinking about oppositions and conflicts.  Remember, in our discussion of the first season of Parks and Rec, we pointed to some possible oppositions/conflicts: insider vs. outsider; ethical vs. unethical; professional vs. personal, etc.  Go through your episode analyses and think about what oppositions/conflicts you see in each episode.  Hint: one place to start is by comparing the Hero and Villain for each episode.  How does each represent a different value?  What are they in conflict about?

And, don’t forget, you want to finish up your peer reviews of Wikipedia articles so that we can start to publish your articles to the “live” version of Wikipedia.

Here’s the nuts and bolts of peer reviewing:  Head to our dashboard.  If your article is close to final draft, I’ve signed you up to do two peer reviews of your comrades’ drafts.  Click on the “Students” tab to see which articles you need to review.  Use this rubric to provide feedback.  Remember: the better your feedback, the more you’ll help your colleague! 

For Tuesday (12/2)

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We want to have all of our Parks and Rec episodes analyzed by Thursday, December 4.  You should be doing this work on our class wiki.  (Log in to your google account, go to our wiki, click on your episode page, and start analyzing.)

Remember: make a section in your wiki page for each episode of your assigned season; for each episode, supply a plot summary, assign characters to their narrative function (Hero, Villain, Helper), and boil the episode down to a numbered sequence of narrative actions.

Time to peer review Wikipedia articles!  Head to our dashboard.  If your article is close to final draft, I’ve signed you up to do two peer reviews of your comrades’ drafts.  Click on the “Students” tab to see which articles you need to review.  Use this rubric to provide feedback.  Remember: the better your feedback, the more you’ll help your colleague!  Complete your peer reviews by Thursday, December 4.

Let’s get hopping as time is running out . . . 

For Thursday (11/29)

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For Thursday, take a look at this intro to Vladimir Propp’s “Fairy Tale Narrative Sequence.”  We’ll talk about it in class.

And, head over to our class wiki, where I’ve set up pages for each of your assigned seasons and episodes.  Your first assignment is to: 1) identify the narrative actors for that each episode (Hero, Villain, Helper, and any others from Propp that you find suitable); 2) list the sequence of narrative actions for each episode – – similarly to what we did for Season 1, Episode 3, “The Reporter,” in class on Tuesday.  The best way to do this is to: first, summarize the plot of the episode, making sure to include only the events that start the plot and move it forward;  second, label each action, i.e. “1. The hero accepts a challenge,” and then briefly explain this action for the episode, i.e. “Leslie arranges press coverage,” etc.  You can use our sequence for S1E3 as a model, but you may notice new actions as the show seasons progress.  You should number this list.

Bringing a laptop to class will make this work a lot easier.

For Tuesday (11/27)

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Well, no need for a personal holiday – – the SFSU campus is closed this Thursday and Friday due to bad air quality. Enjoy your break and stay safe!

Nota Bene: You should be finished drafting your  Wikipedia article. Everybody should be ready for peer review at this point, and we must complete the peer review process pronto.  If you don’t have a good, reviewable draft up on your sandbox by Sunday, November 18, you will not be able to complete this assignment.

While you’re away, make sure you take a look at the first season of Parks and Recreation (6 episodes).  As you watch the show, think about common narrative patterns and character types that you see.  Can you sketch out a basic narrative sequence for each show?

Here’s how we divided up our Parks and Rec work  (If you get a chance, you might want to get a head start on viewing your season.): 

Season 2

  • Eps. 1 -12: Lisa and Katrina
  • Eps. 13 – 24: Gabriela and John

Season 4

  • Eps. 1 -11: Valerie and Priscila
  • Eps. 11 -22: C’erah and Geoff

Season 5

  • Eps. 1- 11: Dom and (Theo?)

Season 6

  • Eps. 1 -11 Catie and Tristan

For Tuesday (11/13)

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For Tuesday, let’s devote some time in class to finishing up drafts of our Wikipedia articles.  (Everybody should be ready for peer review at this point.) Bring a laptop to class.  If you’ve fallen behind on the Wikipedia project, this is your last chance to catch up.

We’ve chosen Parks and Recreation as our common text for structuralist analysis.   (The show is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.)  The season lengths are a little variable, so let’s assign two teams to each of these seasons: Season 2, 4, 5, 6.  Each team will focus on one half of the season.  We’ll split things up in class.  In the meantime, let’s look at this nice summary of Will Wright’s structuralist reading of the cowboy movie.

Finally, if you need to revise your characterization assignment – – let’s use Thursday to hold in-class consulting, where we can look at your essay and talk about revising it.

For Thursday (11/8)

Let’s read Hemingway’s “A Very Short Story.”  As you read the narrative, think about this question: what is the sequence of actions essential to the story?

And, don’t forget: finish a draft of your Wikipedia article in your sandbox so that we can peer review.

Finally, as I mentioned in class: for our final project, we’re all going to look at the narrative DNA of a popular film or TV serial.  Bring a suitable candidate to class on Thursday.  Your candidate should: be available via Netflix or Amazon Prime or some other popular streaming site; be a serial that you enjoy; be a series that you think might be interesting to analyze. (As I explained in class, previous versions of English 480 have done great work with Law and Order and Stranger Things.)