Category Archives: Assignments

Analyzing Adaptations

Today you’re going to watch five examples of adaptations from last year. I want you to watch each one TWICE. On the second time through, you need to write down answers to the following questions. Do it on a paper you can hand in. (Give me a couple of sentences for each; you need to explain why something was either a strength or a weakness.)

1. What were the strengths of this adaptation?

2. What were the weaknesses of this adaptation?

Answer those questions for each of the five. At the end of the hour, put your name on it and turn it in. We’ll talk about them late this week.

Denzel Washington

Randy Pausch

The Dalai Lama

J. K. Rowling

Ellen Degeneres


Advertising as Adaptation

In the middle of our presentations fifth hour today, I suddenly remembered this ad I saw last weekend. It takes a speech from Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society and turns it int0–well, if you weren’t in class today, watch:

Then during sixth hour, I remembered that the same thing happened during last year’s Super Bowl. That time the voiceover was from Paul Harvey, a famous radio host.

UPDATE: Here’s more info on the Paul Harvey speech, which was from 1978, as explained in this article from the Atlantic.


David Foster Wallace, “This Is Water”

Res Blues, Chapter Five

We’re starting this week by reviewing chapter five of Reservation Blues. Answer these questions on your own–bullet points are fine–to prepare for the next Forum Assignment, which will be given out tomorrow.

1. What conflicts between Coyote Springs and religion arise in chapter five? List as many as possible.

2. What history between Native Americans and pop culture might be relevant?

3. What history between Native Americans and Christianity might be relevant?

4. What history between Native Americans and the American Government might be relevant?

5. What do “The Reservation’s Ten Commandments” have to do with anything (pp. 154-5)?

Reading for 9/4

For Friday, please read up to the 106 in This Boy’s Life.