Monday, November 25, 2013

Bringing awareness to Shame - and how it can drive us.

When I read this passage below in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, I immediately thought of Brene Brown's second TED Talk "Listening to Shame":
 Harding shook his head. “I don’t think I can give you an answer. Oh, I could give you Freudian reasons with fancy talk, and that would be right as far as it went. But what you want are the reasons for the reasons, and I’m not able to give you those. Not for the others, anyway. For myself? Guilt. Shame. Fear. Self-belittlement. I discovered at an early age that I was—shall we be kind and say different? It’s a better, more general word than the other one. I indulged in certain practices that our society regards as shameful. And I got sick. It wasn’t the practices, I don’t think, it was the feeling that the great, deadly, pointing forefinger of society was pointing at me—and the great voice of millions chanting, ‘Shame. Shame. Shame.’ It’s society’s way of dealing with someone different.” (307)
In this passage, Kesey writes about how shame can bully individuals that are different in society. We will discuss this passage in class next time we meet.

The first time I read this passage it did not click for me. The beauty of teaching, and rereading books, is that we are constantly learning, unlearning, and relearning. The theme of shame had not resonated in my first reading nor my first teaching of this novel ten years ago.

Yet after watching Brown's TED talks, I recognized my own fear of vulnerability (Watch "Power of Vulnerability") and the way in which shame has driven me in my own life. I admit that using the first person and sharing this post with you makes me uncomfortable since I feel vulnerable, so I will direct your attention back to the text and to Brown's point about gender:
The other thing you need to know about shame is it's absolutely organized by gender. If shame washes over me and washes over Chris, it's going to feel the same. Everyone sitting in here knows the warm wash of shame. We're pretty sure that the only people who don't experience shame are people who have no capacity for connection or empathy. Which means, yes, I have a little shame; no, I'm a sociopath. So I would opt for, yes, you have a little shame. Shame feels the same for men and women, but it's organized by gender.
Since reading "A&P,"we have discussed stereotypes, particularly in terms of gender as well as the power of empathy, one of the freshman themes for the school year - thank you, Dean Willis. Remember the first TED Talk I shared "Be a Man" by Joe Ehrmann.

In order to appreciate this novel fully, I want you to consider expanding your horizon and your understanding of mental illness through these nine TED talks in the playlist "All kind of minds"  - this is not required but merely a challenge to learn more. Perhaps, over break you will have time to watch them. I believe you will find them enlightening and even inspiring.

Lastly, I realize I have been reluctant to share and open up fully at a new school - like a new kid wading into the shallow end of the pool - afraid of the deep end. So heres' to going there - together as freshmen at EA.

As some of you know I lost my brother Conor to suicide in 2000. He had struggled with bipolar for eight years, beginning when he was hospitalized at the age of 15 for a manic episode.

Please consider watching my own talk on mental illness. In 2011, I was the keynote address at a walk for the Suicide Prevention's Education Alliance. No one wants to talk about suicide and mental illness, especially in front of a crowd of almost 2000 people, but I am glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone since sharing has helped others.

















Thursday, November 21, 2013

Laughter: Fake it until you make it!


How important is laughter? 


What role does laughter play in the novel?


What role does laughter play in your life? 



From Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest:
      While McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top, spreading his laugh out across the water—laughing at the girl, at the guys, at George, at me sucking my bleeding thumb, at the captain back at the pier and the bicycle rider and the service-station guys and the five thousand houses and the Big Nurse and all of it. Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. He knows there’s a painful side; he knows my thumb smarts and his girl friend has a bruised breast and the doctor is losing his glasses, but he won’t let the pain blot out the humor no more’n he’ll let the humor blot out the pain.
       I notice Harding is collapsed beside McMurphy and is laughing too. And Scanlon from the bottom of the boat. At their own selves as well as at the rest of us. And the girl, with her eyes still smarting as she looks from her white breast to her red one, she starts laughing. And Sefelt and the doctor, and all.
       It started slow and pumped itself full, swelling the men bigger and bigger. I watched, part of them, laughing with them—and somehow not with them. I was off the boat, blown up off the water and skating the wind with those black birds, high above myself, and I could look down and see myself and the rest of the guys, see the boat rocking there in the middle of those diving birds, see McMurphy surrounded by his dozen people, and watch them, us, swinging a laughter that rang out on the water in ever-widening circles, farther and farther, until it crashed up on beaches all over the coast, on beaches all over all coasts, in wave after wave after wave. (250)

Think about the other passages about laughter (239) and how it is important "to see some good" (256). 



Laughter Yoga Mantra:
Fake it until you make it!



Another good video with more info on laughter yoga.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Reading Schedule for F BLOCK...


Homework F Block:

Week of Nov. 11th

For Tuesday - Read through 175.

In Class Tuesday - "Pop quiz" on reading - Beginning reading for Wednesday...

For Wednesday - Read 176 through 201 - Finish Part II.

In Class Wednesday - Short quiz on end of Part II. Wordly Wise Chapter 5 Vocabulary with partners. All exercises.

For Class Thursday - Read 205 through 224 (and Chapter 5 of Wordly Wise if you don't finish all the exercises in class).

For Class Friday - Read 225 through 244 (1st half of the last chapter in Part III)

Week of Nov. 18th

For Class Tuesday (drop F Block) - Read 245 through 258 (2nd half of the last chapter in Part III).

In Class Tuesday - Short quiz on Part III. Worldly Wise Chapter 6 Vocabulary with partners.

For Wednesday - Read 261 through 275.

For Thursday - Read 276 through 288.

For Friday - Read 289 through 309.

Week of Nov. 25th

For Monday - Read 310 through 325 - FINISH THE BOOK!

In Class Monday - TEST on the ENTIRE BOOK

Tuesday - Review results of Test - then.... HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING BREAK! 

Reading Schedule for Z BLOCK

Homework Z Block:

Week of Nov. 11th

For Tuesday - Read through page 196 - last line "I don't seem able to get it straight in my mind..."

For Wednesday - Read through page 201 - Finish Part II.

In Class Wednesday - Short quiz on end of Part II. Wordly Wise Chapter 5 Vocabulary with partners. All exercises.

For Class Thursday - Read 205 through 224 (and Chapter 5 of Wordly Wise if you don't finish all the exercises in class).

For Class Friday - Read 225 through 244 (1st half of the last chapter in Part III)

Week of Nov. 18th

For Class Tuesday (drop Monday for Bio) - Read 245 through 258 (2nd half of the last chapter in Part III).

In Class Tuesday - Short quiz on Part III. Worldly Wise Chapter 6 Vocabulary with partners.

For Wednesday - Read 261 through 275.

For Thursday - Read 276 through 288.

For Friday - Read 289 through 309.

Week of Nov. 25th

For Monday - Read 310 through 325 - FINISH THE BOOK!

In Class Monday - TEST on the ENTIRE BOOK

Tuesday - NO CLASS - Drop for Bio - HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING BREAK! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Chapter 7 & 8 Review


Quote:1
"Singing everyones thunderstruck they haven heard such a thing in years not on this ward"....."how come the black boys haven't hushed him up out there they havent let anyone raise such a racket before" - page 91-92 

Question1:
why don't they stop McMurphy from singing?
Quote 2: "This time he doesn't untie the sheet but walks away from me to help two aids I never saw before and young doctor lift old Blastic on to the stretcher and carry him out covered in a sheet - handle him more careful then anybody ever handled him before in all his life" -page 90

Question 2: How did the vegetable Blastic die? 



Quote: "You havin' a bad dream, Mistuh Bromden." -Mr Turkle, pg. 90 paragraph 2 line 2
Question: Is Mr. Turkle really trying to be kind?

Quote: "There! Damn you right there! That's where I want you workin', not gawkin' around like some big useless cow! There! There!"
 -black boy to Chief, pg. 94 paragraph 2nd to last one
Question: Why is he yelling at chief? 


8. "I get a smell of something that's makes me realize [that] never before now, before he [McMurphy] came in, the smell of dust and earth from the open fields, and sweat, and work." (101)

What is the history of the patients prior to their admission?


7. "The worker takes the scalpel and slices up the front of old Blastic with a clean swing and the old man stops thrashing around. I expect to be sick, but there's no blood or innards falling out like I was looking to see -- just a shower of rust and ashes, and now and again a piece of wire or glass." (88)

What does Bromden's understanding of the Combine's affect on the patients symbolize?


uhuh, uhuh, I think I can see what your driving at... yeah, I can see your point 

bottom of page 93


what regulations are included in ward policy

top of page 92

How come they treat this new guy different...combine as anybody else, don't they?

how did the acute feel about the way Nurse Ratchetd
treats McMurphy



chapter 7: 

page 86

"And then probably help one of the workers lift me onto one of those hooks himself saying, How about lets see what the insides of an Indian look like?" 

do you think chief was imagining this or were these events actually occurring?

chapter 8:

page 101 

"but never before now, before he came in, the man smell of dust and dirt from the open fields, and sweat, and work."

why does McMurphy smell like this? do you think he brought in a new aroma, if so what?



1. "You havin' a bad dream, Mistuh Bromden." -Mr. Turkle
Do you think the dream is real?

2. "No. No, I'm afraid I wasn't. Not a thing this morning but the cap that's on my head and-" -McMurphy
What's he afraid of?


chapter 7 -page 90
"I know already what will happen: somebody will drag me out of the fog  and we'll be back on the ward and there won't be a sign of what went on tonight and if i was  fool enough to try and tell anybody about it they'd say, Idiot, you just had a nightmare; things as crazy as a big machine room down in the bowels in a dam where people get cut up by robot workers that dont exist. But if they don't exist, how can a man see them?"

question: Do you think that this really happened or was it just a dream? 

chapter 8- pg 93
" "It's ward policy Mr. McMurphy, that's the reason." And when he sees that this last reason don't affect McMurphy like it should, he frowns at that hand on his shoulder and adds, "What you s'pose it'd be like if evahbody was to brush their teeth whenever they took a notion to brush?"


Chapter 7 Quote-

"Oh, a beer, I think, for the long night ahead." (85)

What is the fog that Bromden keeps seeing and gets lost in? What is it really?


Chapter 8 Quote-

And when he sees that this last reason doesn't affect McMurphy like it should, he frowns at that hand on his shoulder and adds,"What you s'pose it'd be like if evahbody was to brush their teeth whenever they took a notion to brush.
(93)

Question- Who is stating those quote and what is happening in the conversation?


Chapter 7
"I hear the high, cold, whistling wet breath of the fog machine, see the first wisps of it come seeping out from under McMurphy's bed. I hope he knows enough to hide in the fog." (88-89)
Question:
Who does Chief Bromden refer to when he hopes that McMurphy knows to hide in the fog?

Chapter 8
"-but never before now, before he came in, the man smell of dust and dirt from the open field, and sweat, and work." (101)


Question:
What type of person do you think came into the ward before McMurphy?





Ch. 7 Quote: If I shook somebody awake he'd say, Why you crazy idiot, what the hell's eating you? And then probably help one of the workers lift me onto one of those hooks himself, saying How bout let's see what the inside of an Indian looks like? (88)

What does this show about Bromden and his awareness of his mental state?

Ch. 8 Quote: Her lips are parted, and her smiles going out before her like a radiator grill. I can smell the hot oil and magento spark when she goes by, and every step hits the floor she blows up a size bigger, blowing and puffing, roll down anything in her path!

What reoccurring theme of the book does this demonstrate? Explain.

Chapter 8 quotes: "her doll smile is gone, stretched tight and thin as a red hot wire. If some of the patients could be out to see her now, McMurphy could start collecting bets." Page 98 2nd "She can't have them see her face like this, white and warped with fury." (99)


Question: Does ratchet give in to mcmurphys torment?


Chapter 7 quotes: 1st "I expect to be sick, but there's no blood or innards falling out like I was looking to see—just a shower of rust and ashes, and now and again a piece of wire or glass. (88)


Question: what is significant about what bromden sees? Why are the doctors doing this to the patients?


Chapter 7

It-everything I see-looks like it sounded, like the inside of a tremendous dam. (87)


Why does Chief Broom think that everything is a machine?


Chapter 7

"It's Mr. Turkle that pulls me out of the fog by the arm shaking me and grinning."


Quote: "You havin' a bad dream, Mistuh Bromden." -Mr Turkle, pg. 90 paragraph 2 line 2
Question: Is Mr. Turkle really trying to be kind?

Quote: "There! Damn you right there! That's where I want you workin', not gawkin' around like some big useless cow! There! There!"
 -black boy to Chief, pg. 94 paragraph 2nd to last one
Question: Why is he yelling at chief? 


QUESTION-What does the fog represent in the story?


CHAPTER 8
"They never let anyone raise this much racket before, did they?"
 QUESTION-Why do they treat McMurphy differently 91-92





Chapter 8
> She starts moving, and i get back against the wall, and when she rumbles past she's already big as a truck, trailing that whicker bag behind in her exhaust like a semi behind a Jimmy Diesel. PG 96
> What does he mean when he says she is as big as a truck?

Chapter 7:
"When you take one of these red pills you don't just go to sleep; you are paralyzed with sleep, and all night long you can't wake, no matter why how's on around you. That's why the staff gives me the pills; at the old place I took to waking up at night and catching them performing all kinda of horrible crimes on the patients sleeping around me." (88)

Who is the man that dies and how does Chief Broom believe he died?



Chapter 8:
"Singing! Everybody's thunderstruck. They haven't heard such a thing in years, not on this ward." (p. 91)

What does McMurphy want that the staff won't let him have?




"He finally winks at the nurse and shrugs and unwraps the towel, drapes it over her shoulder like she was a wooden rack. I see he had his shorts on under the towel all along."(99)

What is significant about McMurphy's action? Why is it ironic?