Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Playwrighting exercise due August 5th

Exercise: Write a dialogue in which the characters express love (or hate) for each other, but don’t say the word “I love you,” don’t ever talk about their feelings for each other.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Play Assignment

One Act

The drama should be complete, not a fragment of a longer piece. It should run about 4 pages or 15 minutes.

Because you are writing only a short work, you must limit yourself.

  • All the action should take place entirely in one scene.
  • There should be no more than four characters (excluding very minor characters with dialogue under three lines).
  • Everything must be able to be performed onstage within a reasonable budget. Bill Gates is not your patron.

Remember that all past must somehow be brought into the present—mostly through dialogue, but other means are possible.

Be aware of stage directions. Give us what we need to know to produce the drama, but not more than necessary. Don’t go overboard and try to direct the play from the writer’s chair.

Consider the freedom of drama to comment on its theatricality. Feel free to break the fourth wall if you want.

Don’t neglect sound, special effects (if needed) and silence.

Lastly, remember that you are writing for the stage, NOT film or tv. It has to take place on a stage.

Your drama is due Tuesday, August 12th.

Rodney the Robot By Sammi Goldfeld (when I was ten)

Once upon a time there was a robot named Rodney Copperbottom. Rodney was seven feet and six inches tall with a square head and rectangular body and limbs. He was shiny and silver except for his blue eyes and blue hair. His blue hair, which was made of iron, stood straight in the air in a crew cut style. He liked to drink motor oil and eat screws. When Rodney was a teenager, he stopped a world time diamond thief, and became a hero. He became so popular that he ran for President against George Bush and won. So Rodney is now President of the United States in the human world. He misses the robot world where his mom and dad live. The robot world is where all the robots live.
Sometimes he dreams that his mom and dad are in danger. In a recurring dream he sees a headline in the newspaper: “MR. AND MRS. COPPERBOTTOM GET KIDNAPPED AND DIE.” The story continues on to say that they died because their son Rodney was not there to help them. He was too busy with his own work to even go to the funeral. After he finishes reading the article, he wakes up scared stiff. He worries continuously that the nightmare will come true and something terrible will happen to his parents.
One day, Rodney was listening to the news and heard something about a robot, so he turned up the volume. It was about his mom. “Mrs. Anne Copperbottom was kidnapped at twelve o’clock midnight,” said news reporter Johnny Apple. “When husband, Mr. Philip Copperbottom, found out at three o’clock in the morning that his wife was gone, he got dressed, then without a second to lose, ran after her to try to save her. The kidnappers took Mrs. Copperbottom to Detroit. Police are on their way there now to investigate.” Then Rodney turned off the TV and went to his house, which was the scene of the kidnapping.
At his house, it was dark and gloomy. Rodney stood there thinking. Then he made up his mind. He was going to fly to Detroit the next morning. When he got to Detroit, he immediately saw a huge building right in front of him. He saw some people pushing two robots inside the building. They were Rodney’s parents. He waited until they were inside the building, then climbed to the roof, opened a glass panel, and slipped inside the building down a rope with a hook at the end.
After he was in, Rodney looked for his mom and dad. He found them asleep in a cage. Rodney yelled, “Mom! Dad! Wake up!” His mom and dad woke up and said “Rodney!” at the same time. “Are you all right?” his mom asked. “I’m fine, I’m fine,” he said. “You have to get out of here!” whispered his dad. “No,” declared Rodney firmly, “I’m not leaving without you.” “Then what are you doing here?” asked his dad. “I’m going to free you,” said Rodney decidedly. “Look out, “exclaimed his mom, “they are coming!” “Who is coming?” asked Rodney. “The bad guys! Hide quickly!” “But…” stammered Rodney. “Go! GO GO!” ordered his mom.
The bad guys took Rodney’s mom and dad to a big piece of dynamite and tied them to it. “That should do it,” said one of the bad guys. The bad guy was fat and looked liked he hadn’t shaved or showered in years. He was lighting the fuse. “Two minutes until destruction,” said a computerized voice. “Let’s go to a restaurant,” said the other bad guy, who was skinny, bald, wore ripped jail clothes, and stunk like a dung beetle. With that, they promptly left.
After they left, Rodney came out of his hiding place quietly and went straight to his parents. He started to untie them from the dynamite. “One minute until destruction.” After his mom and dad were untied, Rodney started running outside with them but got his leg stuck in the rope and couldn’t get free. “One second until destruction.” Then the dynamite blew up with Rodney attached to it. BOOM! Then the smoke cleared. There was Rodney, in a million pieces on the ground.
“He risked his life for ours,” whimpered Rodney’s mom, her lip quivering. Then she burst into tears of oil. “I know, honey, I know,” comforted Rodney’s dad. “He didn’t even know that the bad guys took us because they wanted all Rodney’s money,” wept his mom. “Those dirty, greedy rats!” she yelled forcefully. “He didn’t even know!” With that, the grief stricken parents walked out of the building and away to hide in their house away from everybody forever.
Then Rodney woke up and exclaimed, “That’s it! No more pizza before bedtime!” At breakfast, Rodney thought, “I guess I won’t be having any more nightmares. I am glad to know that I would risk my life for my parents if they were really in danger.”

The Story of Esau and Jacob By Sammi (when I was six)

Rebecca who married Isaac had two twins. The first one who came out was red and had lots of hair. They called the first boy Esau, which means “lots of hair.” The second boy came out holding on to Esau’s heel. They called him Jacob, which means “heel.” The first boy that came out would be the new leader of the Jewish people. Jacob was jealous of Esau coming out first.
They grew up. Jacob liked to help his mother in the kitchen. His mother was proud of him. She said he was her favorite son. Esau liked to be outside and hunt.
One day after hunting, Esau came home and said, “Jacob, please give me some of that delicious soup.” Jacob said, “Okay, but first you will have to pay me. I will give you some soup, but only if you give me your birthright.” Esau gave him his birthright and ate the lentil soup.
Isaac said that Esau was his favorite son. One day his father could not see. He was afraid that he was going to die, so he told Esau, “Go get me some meat and tell your mother to cook it the way I like and I will give you a special blessing.”
Jacob’s mother said, “Dress like Esau and put Esau’s furs around your arms. Go get me a lamb, and I will cook it for your father how he likes it.” Then Jacob brought his father the meat. Jacob said, “Eat the meat and give me my blessing.” Isaac said to Jacob, “Let me smell you. You smell like Esau, but you don’t sound like him. Give me the meat, Esau.” Isaac ate the meat and gave Esau’s blessing to Jacob.
A few minutes later the real Esau came with the meat. Esau said, “Eat this meat and give me my blessing.” Isaac said, “Who is this?” “It is I, your son, Esau,” Esau said. Isaac said, “Then who just came to me and gave me meat?” “Jacob tricked you,” Esau said. Isaac ate the meat, and Esau said, “After my father dies, I will kill Jacob.” Isaac gave Esau another blessing. “This is a good blessing, my son,” Isaac said. “Jacob was stealing from me,” Esau said. “First he stole my birthright. Then he stole my blessing.”
Jacob became the leader of the Jewish tribe. But it turned out that after his father died, he did not kill Jacob. He thought that was not right to do.

It feels sad to be chosen by only one parent. Both children should be favorites. Parents should treat them both like they are favorites. The child not chosen would feel mad at the parent and jealous of the sibling.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

No show

Hi guys

I can't make it this week. I've got a presentation to do and a TAB meeting (Teen Advisory Bord) see you next week.
P.S. I might bring cupcakes!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For July 22nd

Put two characters of your story in a situation in which they must say less or other than they mean. Reveal the protagonist's true feelings through thoughts, and the other character's true feelings through gesture, expression or other external signs.

Remember that point of view in such a scenario must either be 1st person or third person limited. You are not allowed to go into the head of the second person. The added challenge here is that dialogue of both characters will mean something more, less or other than what they say. This exercise will get you to focus on elements of character and plot that are not direct recountings of what is happening.

From the Wood to the Desert and Back Again, Comically

A wandering bear in the 100 acre wood
wanted to find a job if he could.

So buy a ticket to a plane
did the bear who’s been through
sleet, snow and rain.

Oh me oh my this ticket he buys is going to AZ.
A place with weather the bear had never
experienced you see.

The weather was hot, so very hot, it was summer in AZ.
So hot was the bear
that he shaved off his hair
and went looking for jobs in the mall.

Alas the bear could not find a job
until he saw a store with a mob.
Hot Topic it was called.

So into Hot Topic the bear went
and was very surprised to find that his good friend
Piglet had already gotten the job.

So sad the bear who had no hair
had to go home without a job.
But he didn’t have to buy ticket you see.

Because the girl in the store
did not like his galore
of casual clothes you see.

So up went her leg and her combat boot
kicked him right in the putoot
all the way back to the 100 acre wood.

Now in the skies above the 100 acre wood,
then plummeting down into the wood.
Glad he was that he landed in grass
and not landing in AZ
or a cactus would be up his a**.

So sad Pooh Bear was.

Angels and Wizards (for 7/15 class)

A forgotten wizard in the forest. Why is he forgotten, you ask?
Well….. The wizard put the angels in denial because the angels asked him To make peace among magical creatures and human beings
But the lazy wizard did not. He forgot.
Then out of the wood came the muscular Cyclops
And ate all of the government in one bite.
Oh it was a sight!
But it was not all sad
Because some of the government was bad.
Adios, Dick Chaney! Au revoir, George Bush!
And that was the end of them in a whoosh.
That was how the wizard came to rest in the forest alone and insane.
Oh and those angels never trusted a wizard again.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Nice to see some postings up there. Also, don't forget that you can comment on postings as well. Just click the "comment" link at the bottom of any entry. I'll generally try to comment on any posting that goes up, unless I want to discuss it when we meet.

A Gardeners Day

A Gardeners Day

Early summers day, bright sun, coffee and off to work.

Through winding roads between mansions. Finally there.

Straight to gnarled hedges, clipping away.
Then to murderous roses, trim-
ming them tall. Over to ripening strawberries clearing the weeds.
to the Assyrian fig.
Passing the fruit trees, noting dead flowers

g r o u n d,

fruit will be here soon.

Straight through the garden savoring his work, stepping lightly through the grass towards a bench under an oak.

Sitting feels like heaven. Thinking, feeling the wind and sun.

Slowly f a l l i n g

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Superman Becomes a Defense Attorney

Superman Becomes a Defense Attorney

I don’t like my new job
Neither do my clients.
I plead one to life
What he did:
He stole an old ladies purse.
I look bad carrying a briefcase
I’d prefer a bad guy
Carrying him by his collar.
I also can’t stand helping bad people
Especially if I know they’re guilty.
Some prosecutor slipped me some kryptonite
So he won and my client
Only got 22 years.
He stole a car and
Took it to Mexico.
He deserved kryptonite himself
In my opinion.

By Carter Kunke

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I didn't realize my computer was still logged in as Sammi. Sorry about that, but the assignments still work.

I forgot to hand back the memoirs yesterday, so I'll get those to you next week. Good luck with the poems, and for those of you who missed this week, grab a parent of friend and have them help you pick out words for you poem.

Assignment for July 15th

Poetry, like all literature, makes the reader see something new. But as poets, we sometimes need help in seeing things new ourselves. This exercise forces you to find new ways of thinking.

Have someone other than you leaf through books of poetry and write down ten words that are powerful, evocative. Put the words into a hat and draw out six of them. Write a poem with those six words.

Poetry 2

In class assignment

This exercise is designed to help you think about condensing meaning. Poems mean more than they say. Ambiguity and paradox are engines of meaning. Compression allows a poem to speak far more than spelling everything out. Remember, there's an infinite number of points, even between 1 and 2.

Start with a common story, one that you’ve seen, the plot of a movie, a Harry Potter book, any comic book or cartoon.

Write a short paragraph.

Now condense that short paragraph into a haiku, a short poem of three lines—5 syllables, 7 syllables, and then 5 syllables.

Next, re-write that as a cinquain: a five line poem with lines of 2 syllables, 4 syllables, 6 syllables, 8 syllables and then a last line of 2 syllables.

Haiku 5,7, 5
Cinquains 2,4,6,8,2

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This is the assignment for last week

Ethan Hunt in an orphanage

I received a message in the usual form, sunglasses that told me they'd blow themselves up. Then I received the message, “Ethan your mission is to replace an injured caretaker in an orphanage in London.”. I couldn't help but notice they didn't add “should you choose to accept it”.

When I got there a caretaker said to go take care of the toddlers

and boy was I in for it, the little brats tugged on my nose and ears till I finally pulled a gun and it turns out they don't appreciate that kind of behavior. So I got put in timeout. Me of all people, and I wasn't allowed to come out till I was sorry. They were pulling on my ears for god's sake, what was I supposed to do. That got me a longer time out.

So I got out of time out and Luther warns me over my comlink,“You'd better be careful Ethan, they're about to put you on diaper duty.” Seconds later a caretaker approached me and told me of my fate. When I got into the room it smelled like the worst things you can imagine all mixed together, in fact I nearly reeled from the smell, but Then I actually had to change a diaper and I passed out to the noise of Luther yelling, “Ethan's down!”, into my comlink.

When I woke up I was in our truck away from the orphanage and I saw on the little TV, “Agent Disavowed,”. I had lost my job with the IMF and here I am without a job, trained to do nothing but infiltrate buildings, steal software, get information and kill.

This is my poem

He is the butcher, and his soul is his knife, he fights on with endurance, despite his great strife.

The enemies come, creeping in through the night, only to meet uncommon resistance, the butcher and his knife.

He is a warrior, pressing on through the night, He is the butcher, his soul is his knife.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dumbledore's Dilemma

If it weren't for the loss of my wand--- I would be at Hogwarts right now.

If it weren't for the loss of my wand--- I wouldn't be serving this cow.

If it weren't for the loss of my wand--- I wouldn't be working at Dairy Queen.

If it weren't for the loss of my wand--- I'd be looking for someone mean.

If it weren't for the the loss of my wand--- I wouldn't be serving this massive man his third sundae today.

If it weren't for the loss of my wand--- I wouldn't be wiping down my tenth table this hour.

If I hadn't lost my wand I wouldn't be moody, actually I wouldn't be here at all.

Tim Russert, Unemployed in the Afterlife, Finds Heaven

It's nothing like the representations earthside.
No clouds, no glittering showers of gold sunbeams.
Rather, it's very functional, as one might expect
processing so many souls.
We queue up on smooth concrete, stained a pleasing green.
The walls, also concrete, are smooth and cool.
They tower a bit much, but alternately suggest
confident authority. A well-run bureaucracy.
It reminds me of Switzerland.
At my window--a nice granite counter--
the woman regrets that there's little call for
relentless interrogation.
"Deception, equivocation, prevarication...
these rhetorics are without force, I'm afraid.
Truth is the norm."
She suggests oral histories, many stories to be documented.
I leave with a Marantz PDM 670 recorder.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Kong Looks Back on His Tryout with the Bears
William Trowbridge

If it had worked out, I’d be on a train to Green Bay,
not crawling up this building with the Air Corps
on my ass. And if it weren’t for love, I’d drop
this shrieking little bimbo sixty stories
and let them teach me to mambo and do imitations.
They tried me on the offensive line, told me
to take out the right cornerback for Nagurski.
Eager to please, I wadded up the whole secondary,
then stomped the line, then the bench and locker room,
then the east end of town, to the river.
But they were not pleased: they said I had to
learn my position, become a team player.
The great father Bear himself said that,
so I tried hard to know the right numbers
and how the arrows slanted toward the little o’s.
But the o’s and the wet grass and grunts
drowned out the count, and the tight little cheers
drew my arrow straight into the stands,
and the wives tasted like flowers and raw fish.
So I was put on waivers right after camp
and here I am, panty-sniffer, about to die a clown,
who once opened a hole you could drive Nebraska through.

After reading Trowbridge’s “Kong” write a poem in the voice of a fictional character. Place the character in an unexpected line of work and have him or her (or it) discuss the job.