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Using Reading and Writing with Film July 6, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mays2007 @ 5:26 pm


By Joseph Mays

             Target Audience: All grade levels and content areas with proper modifications. 

 Introduction: I teach Developmental Writing in the community college and many of my students come to my class with sort of a “chip on their shoulder” attitude when it comes to writing. Why? Well if they are in my class then it is because they did not do well on their ACT and/or SAT tests or they have been out of public school for more than five years. So they come to class with a negative attitude towards writing. So I try to find anything and everything that can get my students to write. I am faced with the dilemmas that most (if not all) writing teachers face: the blank looks, the lack of confidence, and the traditional “I don’t know about anything to write.”  Rationale/Justification:In my years as a student, I know when the teacher said we were going to watch a film/video then most students automatically considered this time as nap time, play time, or get out of class free time. After all, we are just watching a movie. Some teachers even refuse to show videos/films of any kind for this simple fact.  Students today are very visual oriented with the Internet, movies, and video games. This activity could allow students to apply their visual oriented skills and use them to develop their writing skills. I used the movie, Paper Clips, in my college level English class last semester and my students responded very well to the film. This film could be used in different types of classes: English, History, Film, and Journalism.    I personally like to watch all kinds of films. I like comedies, dramas, musicals, foreign, and independent films. If I had to pick a favorite type of film, I would pick true stories especially if it has an international, military, or true crime theme. The reason for the latter is because I have dealt with each one of these types of themes one way or another. I have seen film used many times in class and I do believe it is effective as long as students are given something to do besides “just sit there and watch”. I believe that teachers can do this and still make it an enjoyable experience.        A Narrative of the Demonstration: The instructor will begin with an icebreaker question asking students about their favorite movies, books, and food. Then, students are given a list of film terms. The instructor will go over the terms to make sure the students have a clear understanding.  Then they will watch a film clip  from the documentary, Paper Clips and will be asked to keep an eye out for the terms as well as use the methods to keep their attention on the film. Prior to the film clip, students will be given a handout about the Point of View film term and asked to keep a tally of each time they believe the film could be told from this point of view.       Description of the Writing Process: After watching the clip, students will get in groups and discuss the terms given to their group and write about the terms. Students will then be asked to share with the whole class. The students will be given a handout about Questioning the Text. In their groups, they will be asked to think of three questions that could fall into the three levels of questioning. Students will then be asked to share this with the class. Students will be required to use ONE film term in their questioning.                                                            Conclusions/Next Steps:  Ask students to expand on the level 3 question. The next step would be to  show students how the Questioning the Text activity and Point of View activity could be applied to other academic areas such as reading and other content areas.                                   Film Terms  Framing    

Long Shot: The viewer is able to see everything in the scene.


Close-Up: The viewer can only see one person or object.


Medium: The viewer is able to see only half in the scene, commonly the waist-up of people.


Soft: The object or character fades for a moment in order to show importance on another object or character.


Rack: Focus is shifted from one character/object to another in the same scene.


Deep: When a background or foreground are in the same focus showing importance to both.


Low: Object or Character is shot below in an attempt to make them look larger.


High: Object or character is shot from above in an attempt to make them look smaller or weaker.


Eye Level: The shot is even with what the character or object sees. This is the most common shot used in movies because it is the most natural.


Dutch: A tilted shot which is used to make a character or object look more evil or bad or demented.

           Camera Movement 

Pan: Stationary camera moving from left to right.


Tilt: Stationary camera moves up and down.


Zoom: The camera remains stationary but the lens focuses in on a character or object in order to make the character or object look smaller or larger or more important.


Dolly: Camera moves along with the character or object.


Low-Key: The scene is dark or shadowy.


Bottom/Side: Light is from below or to a certain side in an attempt to make an object or character look evil or bad.


High-Key: Light is bright and open looking.


Front/Rear: Soft direct lighting that appears to give a halo effect or a good effect of an object or character.


Neutral: Neither bright nor dark, even light throughout the scene.

           Sound Diegetic: The characters are able to hear the sound or music. This sound can also be internal such as a character talking to himself or remembering a flashback.               Non-Diegetic: The characters are unable to hear the sound or music and it may play an important part in the movie.                         Questioning the Text  Level One: Questions of fact.

  • What city did this movie take place in?

      Level Two: Questions of interpretation. 

* Should the filmmakers have used so many Close-up Framing   in the beginning?

           Level Three: Questions Beyond the Text  

What could your school do in order to explain the Holocaust better?

                Point of View Subjective: First Person Narrator/One Characters point of view. 

Directions: Put an X every time you the think the scene is told from this character’s point of view. Feel free to add more characters if you feel necessary.

  • Principal
  • Vice Principal


  • Teachers
  • Students


  • Journalists

   Authorial: Director’s point of view/third person omnipresent/third person limited. 

Directions: Write in the scene or action that you feel is being told from this point of view.

The scene showing Tom Bosley.

         Neutral: Third person narrator/shows events or information that is important to the viewer, but may be unknown to (but still important to) the characters. 

Directions: Write in the scene or action that you feel is being told from this point of view.

  • The scene explaining about the Monkey Trial and the KKK.

     Icebreaker questions   1)   What are your favorite movies?     2)   What are your favorite books?        3)   What are your favorite foods?                Bibliography:  

Coencas, Joseph. “How Movies Work for Secondary School Students with Special Needs.” English Journal 96 (2007): 67-72.


Davis, James E. and Ronald Salmone. Teaching Shakespeare Into the Twenty-First Century. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1997.

Franek, Mark. “Producing Student Films:Shakespeare on Screen.” English Journal. (1996): 50-54.

Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Boston: Shambhala, 1986.


Golden, John. Reading in the Dark: Using Film as a Tool in the English Classroom. Urbana, Illinois: NCTE, 2001.

Lipstein, R.L. and K. Ann Renniger. “Interest for Writing: How Teachers Can Make a Difference.” English Journal 96. (2007): 79-85.

Muller, Valerie. “Film as Film: Using Movies to Help Students Visualize Literary Theory.” English Journal 95 (2006): 32-38.

Rylant, Cynthia. Missing May. New York: Doubelday. 1992.

Schroeder, Peter W. and Dagmar Schroeder-Hildeband. Six Million Paper Clips. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben Publishing, 2004.

                 Annotated Film List   Classics and Literature  

A Streetcar Named Desire. Dir. Elia Kazan. Per. Vivian Leigh and Marlon Brando. Warner Home Video, 1951.

Mildred Pierce. Dir. Michael Curtiz. Per. Joan Crawford and Jack Carson. Warner Home Video, 1945.

Of Mice and Men. Per. Alexis Arquette and Mark Boone Junior. MGM, 1992.

The Wizard of Oz. Dir. Victor Fleming. Per. Judy Garland and Frank Morgan. Warner Home Video, 1939.


      An Inconvenient Truth. Dir. Davis Guggenheim. Per. Al Gore. Paramount, 2006.

Mad Hot Ballroom. Dir. Marilyn Agrelo. Per. Daniel Ponickly. Paramount, 2005.

Paper Clips. Dirs: Elliot Berlin and Joe Fab, Hart Sharp Video, 2003.

 True Crime  

Hunt for the Night Stalker. Dir. Bruce Seth Green. Per. A. Martinez, Academy Home Entertainment, 1989.

Shattered Glass. Dir. Billy Ray. Per. Hayden Christensen. MGM, 2003.


Down in the Delta. Dir. Maya Angelou. Per. Alfre Woodard and Wesley Snipes. Miramax, 1998.

Driving Miss Daisy. Dir. Bruce Beresford. Per. Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy. Warner Home Video, 1990.

Stanley and Iris. Dir. Martin Ritt. Per. Jane Fonda and Robert DeNiro. MGM, 1990


Zero Drafts July 3, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mays2007 @ 7:11 pm

Joseph Mays Why should we? Zero Draft # 1 

 That is a common question that I see appearing again and again on PHD admissions applications as well as English teachers (not just professors) applications too and even for freelance writers. Freelance writers! I thought they came to me. Actually I thought they all would be coming to me. After all, I have two (almost three) college degrees, I am in the military, I am a disabled veteran doggone it! You are supposed to come to me with offers on a silver platter and I am supposed to turn up my nose and say, “next!” I wish I could just reach into my chest and tear out my heart and put it on a platter and say, “here is the reason why because my heart is really into this” Since that is likely impossible to do then I feel like well just give me a chance and you will see why. You will see how much my heart is into this. But at times I think it would be easier to just rip my heart out. So hopefully I can prepare something in this class that will convince anyone, I do mean anyone, to hire me as a teacher or allow me in their PHD program. I do consider this a personal paper. This is my statement of purpose as it is sometimes called on applications. Or a summary as to what you plan to do with this degree or how can you benefit this corporation, school, business, etc. In other words, why should we hire you? Why should we allow you into our program?  Joseph 2The only way to do this is by starting below:My name is Joseph Mays. I am a graduate student at Marshall University. I am working on my third degree at Marshall University. My first degree was a Regents Degree. I was able to qualify for it because I was in the military. I started out English and Spanish education. After six years trying to get a four year degree, I switched to Regents and graduated and went straight to graduate school. I got my Masters in Adult and Technical Education. Finally, after getting my Masters they offered what I wanted to do all along. A degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. (TEFL).This is what I wanted to do ever since I started working on my bachelor’s degree in 1992. My desire came when I went to Korea with the Army in 1986. I was stationed there for three years and I had a chance to do volunteer work in the evening to have English conversations with Korean university students. And I loved it! I said this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I then was stationed in Egypt with a Multinational Force and worked with soldiers from 10 different countries: England, France, Colombia, New Zea-land, Uruguay, Holland, Canada, Italy, Norway, Fiji Islands, and of course, the United States. After this experience I really decided that teaching TEFL is what I wanted to do. A common question that I am asked is: How can I teach English to foreigners if I do not speak their language? The answer is simple: Many countries study the basics of English all their lives but have had little if no experience speaking it with a native speaker. That is where I come in. I fill in the gaps where their teachers could not fill up. However, on that same note, it probably would not hurt to do an introductory course in

their language if I knew I was going to their country. For example, if I knew I was going to Japan to teach then it would not hurt to take a course in Japanese. Well I am working on the degree in TEFL now. My absolute dream job is teaching at the DLI in San Antonio, TX. It has everything that I need. They teach soldiers from 70 different countries to learn English. I would love to sponsor a field trip there someday. Preferably over the summer because that is the best time of year to travel weather wise and that is when many teachers and students are on vacation. Since the DLI is military, it goes year round but since it is government then it is five days a week with holidays off. They also offer opportunities to go overseas and teach. As a matter of fact, if you teach there you have to sign an agreement that you will go overseas at least once. They have overseas branches in Japan, UAE, and Macedonia.

Joseph Mays

Why Should We? Zero Part 2

My desire to teach ESL began when I was stationed in Korea. I was there from 1986 to 1989. I volunteered to go there through the Army. While there I had the pleasure of volunteering to teach ESL in the evenings to university students and business men. I really enjoyed doing this because I enjoyed learning about the Korean culture. After Korea, my next overseas assignment was Egypt. I was there for 12 months. While in Egypt, I worked alongside soldiers from 10 different countries: Colombia, Uruguay, England, France, Italy, Canada, Norway, Fiji Islands, New Zealand, Holland, and of course, the United States. While working with the Colombian and Uruguayan soldiers, it rekindled my desire to study Spanish. Also, while working alongside the other soldiers as well as visits to Cairo, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Jerusalem, it increased my desire to learn about different countries and cultures.

I knew that if I wanted to teach in other countries and pursue my career goal to teach English as a Second Language, I had to get an education. I started out in English and Spanish education and worked six years towards my bachelor’s degree. I finally switched to Regents because I wanted to pursue my master’s degree. I first went to San Antonio, TX to work on my master’s degree but eventually switched to Marshall University’s ATE program and pursued that via statewide courses (distance learning) for two years before returning to Huntington, WV to wrap up my masters and begin working on my EDS in ATE in TEFL.

While living in San Antonio, I had the pleasure to do volunteer work with the Defense Language Institute (DLI). This is a military school where soldiers from 70 different countries come to learn English. They had a volunteer program entitled the AMIGO program which stood for American Members of International Goodwill towards

Others. It was strictly volunteer in which you met with the International students and did different activities with them. The DLI paid for most everything this included: tours, picnics, parties, dances, and karaoke. Sometimes I would sponsor my AMIGOs to come and have holiday dinners with the church that I was attending.

By pursuing an ESL degree, I feel that it is giving back to all the international friends that I had that have made a positive impact in my life. I hope someday to give back to them and to many others through the gift of language.

Why should we? Zero # 3

            My desire to teach ESL began when I was stationed in Korea. I was stationed there three years with the U.S. Army.  I was in Seoul, Korea when I was given the chance to volunteer to teach English conversation to university students and business men. It was a great opportunity to learn more about their culture and expand my horizons. I enjoyed it a lot as soon as I stepped in the classroom.

            My next overseas assignment with the Army was in Egypt. While there I had the opportunity to work alongside soldiers from ten different countries: England, France, Italy, Canada, Colombia, Uruguay, Fiji Islands, Holland, New Zealand, Norway, and of course, the United States. While working the soldiers from Colombia and Uruguay, this rekindled my desire to learn Spanish. By working alongside these different nationalities as well as traveling to this far off land, it greatly increased my desire to teach ESL.

            I knew if I was truly passionate about doing this that I had to pursue my education. After getting off active duty in 1992, I began working on my bachelor’s degree at Marshall University. I started off with English and Spanish education. I eventually switched to the Regents Bachelors of Arts and then went straight into graduate school. I began in San Antonio, TX but later returned to Marshall University to finish. While in San Antonio, I had the privilege and honor to do volunteer work with the Defense Language Institute (DLI). This is a military school where soldiers come from 70 different countries to learn English. I did volunteer work through the American Members of International Goodwill towards Others (AMIGO) PROGRAM and the students we sponsored were affectionately called Amigos.  This included being a tour guide on trips that were educational based such as an opera or a trip to a museum and gave them an opportunity to practice their English. This program was strictly volunteer based and the main goal was to get the students to practice their English.

            After completing my master’s degree, I began working on my Education Specialist Degree (EDS) with a concentration in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). I hope to continue my education and give back to the many international friends that I have made over the years.

      What are you in love with and why?         

If I had to pick one true love it would be anything with an International theme. Of course, I am a bit biased towards Asian culture and Arabic culture and a bit of Spanish culture, since I spent 3 years in Korea, one year in Egypt and studied Spanish for six years. I guess the reason why is for starters, growing up my family seldom traveled and it seemed like everyone went on vacation except us. Oh yeah! We did the Camden Park thing, the Kings Island thing, but one great thing is when we went to Disney World in Florida. We went 2 years in a row. And this was before the Epcot Center and Universal studios. I ended up in Korea courtesy of Uncle Sam and the U.S. Army, but what few people know is I volunteered to go. I always wanted to go because my father served there during the Korean War. I can not describe it any other way except that as soon as I stepped off the plane in Seoul I felt like I came home after 20 years. (I was 20 at the time). I never met a Korean that I did not like and Korean dish that I wouldn’t try at least once. I also ended up in Egypt w/ Uncle Sam & the U.S. Army. While there I rode a camel, saw the pyramids, visited the Holy Land, and was in Bethlehem on Christmas Day. All the places I learned about all my life in Sunday school were now mere footsteps away. While in Egypt& Korea, I never met a stranger and I was always offered a glass of tea. I hope to finish my degree so I can begin my journey in teaching English either overseas or here in America to International students or both.



            I felt like I came home to Korea, I don’t believe in reincarnation at least not at the physical sense but the spiritual sense, but I can’t explain it any other way. Some people say it was your first time away from home so you were trying to find some kind of connection. Some say I was trying to find a connection w /my father since he was now dead. He was in Korea during the war & I was there during the 1988 Olympics. Yes I went to see them. I went to the Tae Kwon Do exhibition and the baseball. And yes I heard about the American diver who hit his head on the diving board, but believe me the diving tickets were long sold out.

            I felt a connection somehow/ something or someone and can not wait to feel the connection again. It would be wonderful if we could all feel the connection.  



In the Country

Filed under: Uncategorized — mays2007 @ 7:09 pm


When I was young,

We went to the country to go a fishin


When I was young,

We went to church in a small building

Next to a one room school house

When I was young,

We went to the country for our family reunions

Aunts, uncles, cousins,

Came from all over in campers, trucks, and station wagons

They shared stories from  faraway lands like California and Florida.

When I was young,

We went to Granny’s house

Granny’s house was always clean

You could have ate off her floor

And not blinked an eye

Everything tasted better at Granny’s house


When I was young,

We went to the country at Christmas time

and New Year’s

Everything looked cleaner then

And everyone seemed happier then

When I was young,

We took all our leftovers

To feed my papaw’s dogs, cats, and chickens.

Papaw didn’t have a farm

But he had an outhouse,

A well to draw water

A pond full of ducks

a pony in  a barn,

But still not a farm

Papaw had a tin roof and stove

That made real fire

He said once he saw a black bear in his back yard.


When I was young,

We buried my uncle on the hill,

Everyone was crying but I was confused,

IF Heaven is so great,

 then why do people cry

When you go there?

When I was young,

We went to the country

To get away from everything

That we saw everyday

When I was young,

We drove by a brick school

Oh! How I ached to go there.

Because it was in the country

Everyone who went there seemed happier.

When I was young,

I wanted to stay in the country forever.


Ethnography Report: A Play with Words

Filed under: Uncategorized — mays2007 @ 7:03 pm


Joseph Mays

                                                                 Ethnography Report


                        On June 29, 2007, I had the pleasure of attending the play, Marshall University Writing Project SI made possible by a grant from National Writing Project.

The play is currently being performed at Corbly Hall Theatre on the Marshall University campus. The unique idea about this play is that despite the fact it is running for four consecutive weeks that each play is a different show every day. Also the actors (who will be referred to from now on as characters) play themselves. That’s right!  they play themselves and use their real names and life events as the dialogue for the play.

                        Prior to the curtain rising, I had the privilege to go backstage and mingle with some of the cast and crew of the play. I found Melanie rushing around collecting notes and cards for Dr. Eddy Pendarvis. I found out she has been making cameo appearances, but do to an unexpected illness was unable to keep some of her engagements. Fortunately today she is backstage but will not be doing any stage work today but will remain for any behind the scenes consulting.

                        Bonnie is munching on saltines as a result of a bad cheese steak sandwich. Ironically she seems more sick about the waitress’s attitude than about the sandwich.

                        Diana shows up in a panic after having what appears to be a negative experience at the DMV. She was afraid she would miss curtain call but has arrived in time to do her part. That is a sigh of relief to her fellow cast members because there was no understudy for her.

I must now take my seat in the audience because the curtain is ready to rise.


The curtain rises at 9:00 a.m.

 Act One 

 Scene One

 Place: English classroom 

Theme: Sacred Writing 

All characters are sitting in a circle.

Peggy takes center stage and after getting their attention among a sea of ad libs, she prompts the other characters with the following prompt:

 Write a letter to someone you felt who treated you unfairly.  

The characters begin writing away with little hesitation. Some characters adlib a few lines about her choice but then get to work.


After Peggy calls time she asks for volunteers. She is surprised about how many want to share. She agrees to allow Melanie go first.

Melanie wrote a letter to an ex-fiancé that she dumped because he preferred gold over silver. She wanted to let him know she was happy with her life now as she heads to Columbus, Ohio to pick out a chemistry set, music, and a book because she is now not only a mommy but Santa Claus too.

Sarah wrote a letter of apology to a social butterfly in her classroom. She apologized for failing to see her growth and not understanding that not everyone is a super geek like herself.

Heather wrote a letter to her ex-husband telling him that she forgave him of all his alcoholic abusive ways and thanked him for giving plasma so they could eat at times and most of all thanking him for two beautiful children.


Bonnie wrote a letter to a waitress at a restaurant that boasted of the “best cheese steak sandwich on earth”. But all Bonnie and her boyfriend got was the most visits to the toilet in a single night. But that did not seem to make her half as sick as the waitress’s attitude towards them.  Despite this she tried to understand the waitress’s point of view because Bonnie herself was a waitress for 3 years in a gourmet restaurant and puts up with whiny teenagers all day in a Biology class. I can only hope that Bonnie dissected her tip.


Amy wrote a letter to her 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Workman. She said that despite being pretty, young, and a big smile she did not seem to like children.  It was a trying time for Amy because she got glasses that year and failed TAG three times. But despite this she learned the state capitals, read Treasure Island, and was introduced to venison and caviar in the same year. The biggest surprise that year was not when Amy got called out in the hall way three times a week but when she found out that Mrs. Workman actually had children of her own.

Diana wrote a letter to her family thanking them for always accusing her of losing the scissors. Diana was frustrated by this because she always felt she was the most organized one in the family. Is Donna organized? She would ask. Who has to find Daddy’s cigarettes for him every time? But Thanks to them she has 35 pairs of scissors today and she knows exactly where each one of them is located.

Greg wrote a letter to a Winston-smoking, no slack, salty, old crow of a boss.

The boss believed in short breaks, chores plus ten, and no employee feedback. He told his boss to take a lesson from his son who always at least said, “Good morning.”

 Greg thanked him for the good lesson on forgiveness and for allowing him the chance to walk off of a job after one month and still feel great.

Mike wrote a letter to his old French teacher. He said he could run her over and back up and do it again. I am not sure if that meant he disliked her or if he disliked French.

He said athletes in her class could do nothing and still get A’s. Fortunately Mike’s parents only cared about reading, writing, and science grades. Despite all this, Mike still got most outstanding citizen in the whole school. But he can’t help wonder if she voted for him or against him. In which he would have to say, “Merci” either way.

Kathy wrote a letter to an adult that was supposed to protect her as a child and allowed her to be attacked by wolves.

Angela wrote a letter to God thanking Him for allowing her to not remember all the ones who did her wrong. She thanked Him for keeping her on the straight and narrow and putting away her past hurts and regrets from people who treated her unjustly. However, she has to be reminded of the straight and narrow at times when dealing with rude and obnoxious people that seem to be invading the earth.


Peggy wrote slightly off topic about high priests hanging upside down in Hell. She also said it is not cheating if Bart helps you do it. She ended with a thank you to all her fellow characters for crying in sacred writing and for having a positive attitude and a love for teaching.

Ian wrote a letter to a 70 year old lady who tried to rip him off when he tried to buy a wheel chair at a yard sale at the Big Red Flea Market.  He reminded her that it was a wheel chair and not a 67 Camaro.

Kim wrote a letter to a woman who was supposed to buy her boat 18 years ago.

Out of trust and need for money, Kim let her have it without paying for it. And boy did she pay for it! The woman never paid and as a result Kim had to sell her horse in order to make the down payment for her house. The woman tried to escape with her inbred kids via voice mail. Kim eventually did get the boat back and agrees the best payment would be to tie her to it and let it sink.


Dolores had stage fright so she had to pass.

Marsha began with an apology to her group, because she was reciting an old piece.

She wrote a letter to those who treated her in an unprofessional way while she was “just a sub”. She said she was mad but not disappointed because they did not break her and that they now are a step on her ladder of success.

Joseph wrote a letter to all the people in his life who he felt treated him unfairly. He said if he had to list them it would be more into categories because the list would be endless.

 Despite their treatment, he had a list of successes that included the military, traveling overseas, visiting the Holy Land, getting two degrees at Marshall, and being a part of the National Writing Project. But most of all, he wants to use his gift of the love of writing to make the world a better place.

Jennifer wrote a letter of apology to a fellow character that remains anonymous. Jennifer felt she treated her unfairly when she would not listen to her about her divorce. And not only was the fellow character betrayed by her husband but her best friend too. Not only did she lose a spouse but had no best friend to turn to during this time. (Her husband left her for her best friend). Jennifer ended that if she ever needed any tires slashed that she had connections at a previous place of employment which will also remain anonymous.

Robin had to share her second letter that she wrote to her 8th grade Algebra teacher. She said she tried and tutored and drilled but still could not get it. The teacher told her that some people “just don’t get it”. Because of the power in words Robin believed this, but eventually proved him wrong after several remedial courses in math some of them even twice. She learned that tattooing a label like this early in life can cause drama but that you can overcome it and that all children have worth.

   Act One  Scene Two  

Same time Same Place 

Theme: Where is Bart?  

Bonnie took center stage and stated that her ethnography report was really an undercover detective assignment to find out who caused Bart’s disappearance. She announced that everyone is a suspect. However, she reads down her list of main suspects who have  some suspicious activity:

Diana with her with her secret desire to marry Alf.

Her children put her up to a blind date.Yeah, right.

Robin pleading the fifth.

Jennifer not interesting but used to work in a prison.

Joseph and his secret desire to work 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton or Dolly 101 as Bonnie calls it.

Marsha who secretly beats her uncles granny style.

Dolores with her dad who is so special.

Angela  who is sticking by her cheese ball story.

Kathy who suddenly draws a blank when it comes to names.

Ian who used to work at the movies despite having pizza at home.

But at last, the mystery is solved when Bart mysteriously reappears among the cheese balls and fudge.

  Act Two Scene One

 Place: Computer Class room 

Theme: Yes you can!  

Sarah takes center stage. She introduces herself as a Technology Integration Specialist.

She first gives the characters a survey to make sure that they are not hiding any information and if they can be trusted.

 Once she sees the coast is clear, she gives the characters her secret rollercoaster cheer:

“Click, click, click, whooo!”

Sarah then asked some painful questions:

What is Elmo?

Robin answers that question.

Mike confirms that there are 10 of them floating around but no one knows how to use them.

What is smartboard?

Bonnie answers and Kathy confirms she loves it because she can change the background.

Then Sarah gives the characters some more painful questions:

Why should I use technology in the classroom?

Where is technology available to my students at school?

How do I use technology in my classroom?

Who will benefit from the use of technology in my classroom?

What tools do I need to implement technology in the classroom?

The characters adlib for a few minutes and then Sarah takes them on a journey to Japan without ever leaving their seats.


The journey is complete with samurai spiders, putting wishes on bamboo trees, festivals, and Princess Star and Herb Star.

She then took the characters for a ride on the back of a Leather back turtle.

She then introduced them to Alexander the Great and Anne Sullivan, the Miracle Worker.

HMMM! Neither one looked liked Colin Farrell nor Anne Bancroft.

 Act Two

  Scene Two

 Place: Snack Room 

Theme: Shop Talk  

This scene focused on writing group # 1 and their evaluation of Sarah’s demo. Although, I am not at liberty to discuss all things due to copyright issues. I did receive permission from Joseph to share his suggestion and that is that the next time Sarah gives the Japanese demo that she should wear a kimono, puts chopsticks in her hair, and serve sushi and green tea to all.

 But of course, that has to be cleared with their costumes department.

After this scene, there was a 60 minute intermission.

The reason for such a long intermission is because the stage was being reset for the Java Joint scenes.

                   Act Three

 Scene One 

Time: After Lunch 

Place: Java Joint 

The curtain rises and there are several extras in the background. This reviewer found out that these extras were not actors but actual waiters and customers at the JAVA JOINT.

This scene puts the characters into their reading groups and we focus on the Bones reading group. They decided to do the last word activity.

Melanie’s last word is to be a Samurai and chop out the bad stuff but put it in a zip lock freezer bag for later.

Kim’s last word is to quit beating a dead horse.

Dolores wants to be a goody two shoes and get high on her students’ free writes.

Ian wants to chill the monkey mind.

Greg says that while walking stop, look, and see the ancient fire hydrant.

Joseph’s last word was to stop writing and start listening but not if you are the ethnographer.

   Act Three

 Scene Two

 Same time  

Same Place 

Theme: Writing in Bars 

This scene is rather sad because in this scene we find out the fate of each of the characters.

Kim explodes in a chemistry class.

Melanie wants to become the next Marilyn Monroe but eventually turns into Heather Locklear.

Jennifer invested in a gumball factory and wrote her biography with Stephen King.

Sarah opens a nude beach for Buddhists entitled “Nudist Buddhists”. The only food allowed on the beach is from Arby’s.

Ian is caught sleeping in his car with teenage maniacs who were smoking his mom’s pot.

Joseph marries a Tae Kwon Do Master and spends the rest of his life making lemonade.

Marsha joined the Navy and blew the whistle on her fellow shipmates who were insane, but ended up running away with a muscle bound sailor.

Kathy lost her pet crab and sent a balloon to God.

Robin fell in love with two brothers, Kip and Skip, who left her for Joan Crawford. She eventually made a movie with Joan Crawford’s daughter, Christina about this and lived happily ever after.

Diana gave up astrology when she joined the church and began journaling instead, but became addicted to coffee and tea. The stories from her journals and addiction made her famous and she became known as the new Anne Rice.

Bonnie was killed by a cat with a Persian rug because she always listened to The Sopranos theme music.


Greg lost his will power to stop working at the steel mill and joined PA (Prayers Anonymous).

Heather became addicted to Diet Coke and then chocolate milk. Her mother risked her life to save her from the addiction. However, every year on her birthday she has this hallucination that she sees her best friend beating up someone in front of the JAVA JOINT windows.

Angela started squeaking everywhere she went.

Mike became a math wizard and fell in love with squares.

Peggy cut off all of her brother’s hair with his mom’s scissors.

And finally Dolores became the next model for the Barbie Doll and went on to star on her own show with Paris Hilton that was a rip off of the Jerry Springer Show.

The End


Overall I would give this show four stars with one bit of professional criticism and that is the entire cast and crew write a letter thanking the JAVA JOINT for allowing them to use their space for a play.



Technology question June 18, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mays2007 @ 7:19 pm

1) The technology can expand the research and offer more options for research.

Technology can expand ways that my students and I do research, but we need to make sure that it is valid information before applying to a research paper.

2) I can introduce all the databases to my students to show them all the resources available. However like I mentioned in #1, I would want my students to use several types of sources and not rely solely on the Internet. Yeah, I know that sounds a little old school, but I want students to not rely solely on punching a button and finding all of their answers. I believe library books, magazines, newspapers, and microfilm are still useful in the research process.


Negative Agreement June 16, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — mays2007 @ 3:10 pm

I think it is absolutely necessary for teachers to integrate technology of some kind into their classroom. Students need to be able to face the challenges in the workforce and life in general. A common challenge is technology. Everything is getting computerized and the classroom is where it needs to begin.


Positive Agreement

Filed under: Uncategorized — mays2007 @ 3:07 pm

I believe that it is OK to allow teachers to choose whether they want technology in their classroom or not. Many teachers are still considered “old school” and this method works best for them. Many teachers prefer to see their students face to face and to see the students’ work on paper instead of on a screen. Some teachers are “hands on” and are people persons and therefore prefer it that way. I would like to give an example: When I was living in San Antonio, TX. I had the honor of going to a TESOL conference. At this conference, I attended a workshop where a teacher integrated art into her 4th grade classroom. I had to observe a class for my class so I picked hers.

Believe me I am the last who wants to work with children but I have to admit I was greatly impressed with her class.

I am also the last person in the world that is “artsy” but again I was greatly impressed with her class.

I will try to explain. She integrated art into all of their lessons for the day. For example, during reading time, after reading the story the students drew pictures of the story and/or characters they read about. After math, they drew numbers and symbols they learned. After social studies, they drew pictures/maps of the different places they studied.

Believe me she had no discipline problems with her students. Now on that same day, these students had music. Like most schools, the music teacher is a separate teacher and in a separate classroom. Since I had nothing else to do, I went along with the students while their regular teacher went to a meeting. In music class it was different. I mean they were the same students but they were crawling all over the place. All the teacher did to calm them down was threaten to send them to the office which did not phase them at all. But once back to their regular teacher they were calm and ready to draw again. I was wondering if they were the same students. But I guess my final point is: teachers should do whatever it takes and whatever works for them then let them do it that way.

Sidenote: I observed her class all day and even went to lunch with her and her students in the cafeteria.