Ah, sandwiches. In case you’ve forgotten, the goal of this weekend’s posts is to give you a little of bit of sanity during this difficult stretch until winter break. Today’s sandwiches move from the art of Scanwiches to sandwiches as both dare and humor.
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Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, NPR’s news quiz also hosts a blog. “What,” you say, “might this blog be named?” Wait, Wait Don’t Blog Me of course. Sandwich Mondays are part of an ongoing series from the program’s staff. A hysterical mix of humor and bizarre sandwiches, these posts are perfect for teaching voice, style, humor, and argument. Below are some good places to start. It’s just the beginning, however, of what you can use.
A good blog post to give students an idea of the “definition” of sandwich according to Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. Have students read and annotate. Consider using as an intro to teaching a definition essay assignment or as an intro to a larger assignment with these blog posts.
It seems like the more disgusting the sandwiches, the more delightful the posts. What’s perfect about this sandwich is that they give you two posts with which to work. Have students read both posts and annotate for voice/style. Consider using the follow up post “In Defense of Marmite” as a way to talk about writing that uses this type of title (i.e. Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food).
Also consider using these posts together as a supplement when teaching Mark Twain’s “How to Tell a Story.” If Twain’s argument is that good, humorous storytelling is an American’s way of wandering around until they have their audience right where they want them, these two posts speak specifically to that understanding.
Twitter is funny. Actually, The Onion’s tweets are funny. And idislikestephen, and monkeysee, and David Pell, and…you get the point. I troll Twitter looking for my humorous “tweet” fix on a semi-regular basis. I’m not sure it’s as bad as my coffee problem, but it’s a habit.
The New York Times ran a story this past Sunday entitled Writer’s New Form: Tweet-Up Comedy. It’s a great read about how writers for late night talk shows use Twitter as their testing ground for zingers. It is entirely possible, after reading it, that I spent several hours on Twitter scouring these types of tweets while snorting in an incredibly unattractive way. Read more
Yesterday we offered Transcendentalism and image analysis in conjunction with with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Today we examine All the King’s Men and satire. See our ideas below!
Teaching All the King’s Men & Huey Long with Occupy Wall Street
Willie Stark makes multiple speeches throughout All the King’s Men, but most of them deal with being a regular, small town, average joe. Examining Huey Long, Willie Stark’s flesh and blood counterpart, is where Occupy Wall Street comparisons become more direct.
These two clips have shades of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Both suggest a certain level of dissatisfaction with current government. It would be easy to use Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog Primer about Occupy Wall Street, as well as his Q & A witth anthropologist David Graeber from 10/3/11, to give students a basis for linking Huey Long to today. Even just using the Q&A on its own is a great way to incorporate media literacy into the classroom. See our other post on the NBA lockout and Q&As.
Teaching Satire with Occupy Wall Street
As I said on Saturday, The Onion has been on fire this week with humorous tweets about Occupy Wall Street. All of them can easily be used to discuss satire, voice, diction, syntax and argument. We like tweets and using them in the classroom as “hooks” or quick diction/syntax analysis. See our post about tweets remembering Steve Jobs from several weeks ago.
The cover of The New Yorker is also a great resource for both teaching satire and image analysis. See their recent cover on the “occupation.”
And while it isn’t satire, I would be remiss not to mention this list from what else but The New Yorker. John Cassidy hosts the blog Rational Irrationality and his list of “Top-Ten Unlikely Occupy Wall Street Supporters” links to great arguments from big names about the movements. It’s useful once again for point of view, voice and argument analysis.
If all of this isn’t enough for you, checkout The New York Times Learning Network’s extensive Occupy Wall Street post with classroom resources. You can’t go wrong!