Monday, March 28, 2022

Add Some Old Scottish Words to Your Vocabulary!

 This is one of those images I found on the phone and sent to my email so I wouldn't forget it and have, of course, forgotten the source!  But it is too good to go to waste, so here are some Scottish words to add in your class for all of you who are British literature teachers!

Now, I've heard and used eejit before (not in my class, of course - well, not out loud, at least) and I am certainly going to have to add Wheesht! into my repertoire.  

It's Spring Break for me, so see you next week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Plato: The Republic

One of the text books approved by the College Board for AP Language and Composition is Jay Henrichs's Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about the Art of Persuasion.  You can get your own copy here.

In the second chapter ("2. Set Your Goals: Cicero's Lightbulb"), he mentions a 1974 National Lampoon issue that has a parody of Plato's Republic. That set me down a rabbit hole to find it.  Surely it had to be somewhere on the World Wide Web, right?

After some digging, I finally found The Internet Archive's download of the ENTIRE run of National Lampoon.  I didn't particularly want the entire run, but it was an all of nothing thing.  So I spent the 6 hours downloading this file so that I could get a total of 6 pages of comic.  The issue it appears in is their Stupid Issue.

Once I read the parody mentioned, I was rather disappointed.  I figured I might find some use for in my class, but I just might not be high-brow enough for the humor.  Maybe if I liked Plato more.  

So I figured that somewhere out there, there was someone who was using this book for their AP Lang class and they were curious about the comic.  So, to that end, here is only the comic:

And here is where you can download the entire run if you are so inclined:

Whichever you decide to do, have fun with it!  And if you find a way to make use of that in your class, I would certainly like to hear it!  That was a lot of work for nothing!  :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Medusa Exam

Here's something for a little fun for you and your students in mythology.

Read my thrilling background prose here, or scroll down to take a quiz yourself and/or have a quick assignment for your students.

Several years ago, I stumbled upon the Medusa exam, a national exam for students of Greek and Roman mythology.  I was sad to see that the date of the exam was in February or March, which didn't fit the time frame for my block schedule.  So I noticed that they had several previous exams for free downloads on their web page and I used those in my class.  We said that every question answered correctly meant a gorgon was slain and they competed on the various exams to see who could kill the most gorgons, with the winners getting their name on my wall for all posterity and the not-so-winners getting inducted into the Gorgon Preservation Society.

It appears that the National Mythology Exams has swallowed the Medusa Exam like Cronus taking care of his children (too soon?), so you can go there to sign up your class.  It looks like they now make it so the test can be taken at any time during the year, so that is something I'll be looking into for my class.  And while they do have recent years as review material, they do not go back as far as they use when I discovered them in the mid-2000s.

So, since I have a student TA this year and not enough to keep him busy, I decided now was the time to start putting those old quizzes in a digital format.  So I pulled out the 4th annual test (2000) put him to work on Quizizz.  They are all multiple choice questions (50 in total), so it was an easy (yet time consuming) task.

Want to take the quiz yourself and see how you would do?  I have one open just for you that will stay open until March 21st.

Feel free to talk trash to the other teachers in the comments section!

Want to use it as a fun mythology activity in your class? (useful if you are teaching The Odyssey, a mythology class, or just have students who are Percy Jackson buff)?  Here it is: