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Speech Class Exercise

In the speech class I teach, the first presentation the students do is an "X>Y presentation," in which they compare one person, place, or thing to another and take a qualitative stand favoring one over the other. Since this is a very short speech (3-4 minutes), the content needs to be light and fluffy--something that everyone in the audience can recognize. Therefore, we turn to mainstream popular culture. I've assigned some reading in the textbook on planning speeches and transforming ideas into speech points, which entails some brainstorming, idea mapping, and outlining. Tomorrow in class I'm going to try out this exercise, which I thought of sometime during The Apprentice. I'm going to put the students into their peer groups and give them a selection of five topics. They will have to use the planning techniques in the reading to compose an X>Y speech on the topic, present the speech, and describe their planning process.

Same Time, Next Year

Anyone seen this movie? My mom recommended it to me, and I watched it the other night. I really loved it. In the film, Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn play two people who meet in 1951 at a bed'n'breakfast lodge-type area. They have an affair and agree to meet at the same place every year (they do this for 26 years). Each character goes through all kinds of personal changes, some facilitated by the social change in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, some not. I don't want to give away too much; just rent it. I should tell you, though, I went to several places trying to rent it but bought it on Amazon.

Highlights from My News Feeds

I love RSS, and I love Drupal for building a news aggregator into its blogging tool. Because of it, I'm able to find stuff like this: Napsterization via Siva, which I'll keep an eye on just because Mary Hodder's posting to it (IP types such as Logie might be interested in it too).

Anne says we should watch Mildred Pierce. I read an article about single mothers in cinema in Bitch once, and this movie was included. I wanted to watch it then, but now I definitely will after that persuasive review. I like reading movie reviews on blogs--Chuck writes them all the time, and Cindy has been known to do one or two.


Just watched Brain Candy again this weekend. A good friend of mine and I used to watch it pretty regularly in undergrad. It's still so relevant today.

The Matrix: Revolutions--WARNING! SPOILERS!

I am so freaking excited about The Matrix: Revolutions. Unfortunately, I won't get to see it until probably this weekend. I also really want to see Gothika.

Does anyone else think Neo might be a program? Or a human/program amalgam? The Architect told Neo he is "irrevocably human" when he's at the doorway to the source, but there seem to be other indicators that he's a program. I wrote them down the other night, but lost them.

How Can We Know the Dancer from the Dance?

I just finished watching Strictly Ballroom. I had never seen it before, but I had heard for years how great it is. And it is great, absolutely wonderful. After seeing it, though, and being so moved by it, I thought about how much I also loved Dirty Dancing and even Dancer in the Dark. And, I recently had a conversation with a colleague in which she told me she regularly takes classes in the dance department, just because she loves dancing. I've been doing a little reading about Martha Graham, too. There are probably some new-agey self-help books that say I'm experiencing synchronicity. Maybe. I do think the art of dance is a latent interest I haven't explored yet, which could probably enhance my life in any number of ways. Anyone have any suggestions of dances I should learn, or other good dance movies?

I feel like Amélie.

Recently, I Googled a friend of mine from undergrad and found her blog. I emailed her, we briefed each other on the past 7-8 years, and I told her I had some photos of a band she was in a long time ago called The Chicklettes, and that if she wanted them, I'd send them to her. I had meant to send them to her for years now, but never had her mailing address. She was delighted, and said that the other members of the band would be thrilled to see them too, that they're 30-year-old wives, architects, etc. now. They've never seen these pictures. So today I very excitedly rummaged through my archives, found them, and they are now en route to North Carolina. The whole thing makes me feel really happy; these women are going to see heretofore lost photos from their rock'n'roll grrrrrrrl days. I'm having this warm fuzzy Amélie kind of day as a result of having sent this stuff--I hope it gets there soon!


Go rent Identity. It's awesome, but I am puzzled by this review by Ted that I read on IMDB. Here's an excerpt, my emphasis (warning! Spoilers!):

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