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A Note on Grading Your Blog Posts

Some people have not been very thorough, and have written extremely short blurbs with each speech they chose.

Some have not done all their posts.

Some have done no posts at all.

However, I will still give you FULL CREDIT if you just GO BACK and DO THE ASSIGNMENT IN FULL.

That is all.


Adaptation: Using Shakespeare to Sell BBC Dramas

Late last year, the BBC put together this advertisement for the drama series on their channel. It features Benedict Cumberbatch reciting Shakespeare’s “All the World’s a Stage” soliloquy from As You Like It, while images from the various BBC series play on the screen. A shifting, changing classical score plays behind, pulling it together and capturing all the various stages of life addressed in the soliloquy, and represented by the images. Take a look.

What can we learn from this, for our own adaptations?

Adapting Speeches: Step One

Your job in the next couple of weeks will be to find several speeches. These could be from graduation ceremonies or inaugurations. They could be speeches from films. If you want to include poetry, you can do that too.

You need to find three speeches this week and do the following on your blog for each:

  1. What is it? Who is speaking? When was the speech given? Or, if it’s a film, when did that film come out, and who directed it? Link to the video or transcript.
  2. Summary: What are the main stories or quotes that strike you as important? In other words, if this were adapted, what would have to be included from it?
  3. Purpose: What are the big ideas that the speaker is trying to convey? What emotions does the speaker get her/his audience to feel?
  4. Adaptation Ideas: What sort of images/music/etc. could you imagine combining with this speech to make for an effective adaptation?

Please embed the video so that I can watch it while reading what you have to say about it.

“This Is Water” x 2

The original speech:

While watching, take notes on the following five stories/moments in the speech:

  1. There are these two fish swimming along…
  2. These two guys are talking religion…
  3. Let’s say it’s an average adult day, and you get up in the morning…
  4. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.
  5. The most precious kind of freedom…

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Bukowski Comic Adaptation

By the way, if you’re looking for the adaptation I showed you in class of Charles Bukowski’s poem, “Air and Light and Time and Space,” here it is on


Adaptation: Carl Sagan

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this one until now, because I’ve loved this next video for a couple of years. This was an advertisement for NASA, but it wasn’t produced by NASA; it was produced by Reid Gower, a Canadian who just happens to feel passionate about science education and NASA’s mission. There’s a great story about him here. I’ve linked one of his videos below.

A Couple More Commencement Addresses

Here’s one by Bill Cosby. And another. And one by Joss Whedon. And Anna Quindlen. And Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton, and Kennedy. And Stephen King. And Billie Jean King. And Michael Jackson, who recorded “Billie Jean.”*  And George Saunders. And Jon Stewart.

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