Welcome back, class of 2022! I hope you all had a restful and healthy summer!
Certainly, things have changed, as you are aware. But here we are together again. This year is partly devoted to writing scripts (both theatrical and for the screen). What you learn here can help you improve your fiction "dialogue" skills, allow you to examine the use of conflict in your plots, allow you to experiment with language and poetry, engage in philosophical debates, make you a more effective arguer, listener, and actor. This course will also make you a better psychologist (dealing with people in crisis)!
All the while we will be honing your writer's craft and developing your writer's voice. The other half of your year will focus on contemporary writers--which should give you some good themes and ideas for your play or film scripts. It's a small world, after all. Think of both of these classes as a way to blend your understanding of writing creatively to communicate more deeply with your audience.
Today, after touching base with one another, we will get started with a required writing activity.
For now, in small breakout groups together discuss each question. Select a "note-taker" who will report back to the group when we return from our breakout groups.
- Talk to each other about what was successful and NOT successful about our forced distance learning last year. If you had strategies that worked, let your peers know what you did that helped you be successful during these strange times. If you had trouble or problems, what were some of those problems? How might we together, as a class, help you succeed?
- After your discussion, consider how you want this class to be run. What might make the course more helpful or useful to you with your education goals? Together with your peers, create a "manifesto" of writing goals for the year.
- Ex. All voices and opinions should be heard without interruption during class.
- Ex. We should all participate in class-readings and activities.
- Ex. I will try to honor the writing time I am given.
- (Things like that...)
Check this blog and your Google Classroom site each class period for agendas, deadlines, educational information, advice, and a whole lot of links to enhance your education. You are responsible for reading and interacting with the material I post on the blog and Google Classroom. It is a useful resource for the course--so please use it.
Generally, we will use a Google Classroom to submit written assignments. There are also digital resources for you to use during class.
Make sure that when you are in class using a Chromebook that you do the following EACH DAY:
- Log in to Zoom. You'll be in a "waiting room" until I'm ready to let you in.
- Open a TAB and go to our classroom BLOG: scriptssota.blogspot.com
- Open a SECOND TAB and go to GOOGLE CLASSROOM: classroom.google, etc.
- Keep both TABS open during class or as instructed.
- It's also a good idea to open a THIRD TAB in Google to take class notes (or write class notes by hand if you prefer...); i.e., open a Google Doc file.
- Quick note: by hitting the CTRL-TAB key you can open and move from tab to tab.
- We'll be using a variety of different programs throughout the year. Some of these require you to accept invitations or to log on to a different site.
- When given time to write in class, please use this time to write. It's easy to get distracted or to convince yourself that you will write later, (but you know you won't). Honor our writing time by putting forth the effort needed to progress.
- After attendance, you can turn your camera off if you'd like (it's nerve-wracking looking at yourself all the time!) but you should be paying attention to what's going on in class. I'll try to make my instructional points clear and quick, but some of this is extremely complicated. Let's all promise to be present & focused during class.
- Your attendance to this class is mandatory. Please attend. There will also be safety measures in place for you if you need to catch up because you missed a session.
- If you have technical problems or domestic issues, we can discuss these to find alternative strategies during the social-emotional period of our class (8:30-8:50 every day (except Wednesdays). Please ask for help if you need it! It is your responsibility to talk to me about your needs.
- This is your education. Make it worthwhile.
Let's begin playwriting with a baseline writing exercise.
Log on to Google Classroom (you can use the PAGE link in the header above). The assignment is available there. Open it and begin writing. I'll give you about 30 minutes today to start. Complete the scene by our next class. This assignment will be due by the end of the day Wednesday! [Wednesday is an asynchronous day...use it to get your work done!]
- The task is simple. You have 30 minutes to write a complete scene (with a definite beginning, middle, and end) in script format as you remember it. Note that "scenes" are not full plays. You don't need to wrap up every detail and plot hole. But your scene should begin, sustain conflict a bit, and ultimately end.
- Limit your cast of characters to no more than four (4). Two or three (2-3) characters works best. You must have more than one. Setting, plot, writing style, and theme is completely up to you. Remember to give your "scene" a working title. Have at it.
- Be creative. Focus on the task of writing. Let your words flow from you without a lot of editing or over thinking this exercise. Trust your instincts as an artist and writer! Let's get back into practice.
Please complete your baseline scene and submit it on Wednesday by the end of the day (11:59 p.m.). We will use it in our next class.
- You will have about 30 minutes to write. I will call us all back together at the end of class today to answer any questions and check in with you. If you get stuck when writing, unstick. Are you ready? Get set? Go!
Have a nice day--I'll see you all tomorrow from 8:30-8:50 for Social/Emotional time (or Thursday)--and welcome back!