Tag Archives: Women’s History

Blade Runner

[I transcribe these posts directly from the reference books in which I find the, errors and all. This entry contains two: Hampton Fancher (not Fincher) wrote the screenplay for Blade Runner; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a novel, not a short story, by Philip K. Dick.)

“A bleak science fiction film (1982) directed by Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, and set in Los Angeles in the year 2019. Ford plays a detective who is hunting down rogue androids or ‘replicants.’ The special police squads to which Ford belongs are called Blade Runner Units, whose job it is to ‘retire’ (i.e. execute) replicants. This is explained in the opening scrolling text, but no further explanation of the title is proffered.

‘The Blade Runner’ was originally the title of a very different science fiction story by Alan E. Nourse, where smugglers called ‘blade runners’ supply an impoverished society with medical supplies. William S. Burroughs wrote ‘Bladerunner (A Movie)’ (19790 after reading Nourse’s book, though the name is the principal similarity between the stories. Hampton Fincher, the screenwriter for Ridley Scott’s movie, found Burroughs’ book and Scott liked it enough to adopt the title for the screenplay, buying the rights for the use of the name.

The story of the film is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick (1928-82) entitle Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968), which won that year’s nebula award.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

Bella Abzug on Tenured Professors

“We don’t want so much to see a female Einstein become an assistant professor. We want a woman schlemiel to get promoted as quickly as a male schlemiel.”

Bella Abzug

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Tamamo no Mae

As a general rule and a general work ethic, I seek to differentiate instruction in a way that at times amounts to individualizing it, especially where student interest is present, and especially at this time of year, when students are running out of steam and focus. Over the past couple of weeks, therefore, I have researched and composed some material for a pair of students (to wit, these two worksheets on the Video game Overwatch) and for a single students who has conceived an interest in Japanese mythology.

For that teenager, I wrote this reading comprehension worksheet on Tamamo no Mae, who is a goddess in the Japanese pantheon. If you want to use this worksheet with your students, you’ll need to direct them to this reading on Tamamo no Mae, which is a page on the yokai.com website.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Maxine Hong Kingston (1940-)

American writer. Kingston, a first generation Chinese-American, was born in Stockton, California. Her first book, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts (1976), won the National Book Critics Award for General Nonfiction and established her reputation. A mixture of personal history and cultural criticism, it was regarded as innovative because of its mixing of genres. Kingston’s iconoclastic approach to nonfiction bears a resemblance to new journalism, noted for its combination of autobiographical strands and fictional techniques in nonfiction. China Men (1980) explores the impact of Chinese and American cultural inheritances on contemporary men and women. Kingston’s first novel, Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book (1989), received generally favorable reviews for its exuberant prose, a blend of comedy and magical realism. The main character, Wittman Ah Sing, is a vehicle through which Kingston explores issues of assimilation and societal and individual change. Clearly an allusion to Walt Whitman, Wittman Ah Sing symbolizes a positive vision of modern acculturation and globalization.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

The Weekly Text, May 11, 2018

It’s Friday again, as the weeks and years spin by. Mark’s Text Terminal continues to observe Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by offering, as This week’s Text, a reading on novelist Amy Tan with this comprehension worksheet to accompany it. Also, her is an Everyday Edit exercise on Hiroshima (and if you like it, you can get a yearlong supply of them from the extremely generous proprietors of the Education World website.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Banality of Evil in Context

“It was as though in those last months he [Adolf Eichmann] was summing up the lessons that this long course in human wickedness had taught us—the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.”

Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil ch. 15 (1963)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

The Weekly Text, March 30, 2018

Today is the final Friday of Women’s History Month 2018. I’m actually posting this week’s Text from my phone, as spring break has begun, and I left my computer at work; I’m on a train headed for lovely Cold Spring, New York for the day.

Depending on what and how you teach, you may find useful this reading on Jackie Joyner-Kersee. If you do, then here is a comprehension worksheet to accompany it. Finally, here is an Everyday Edit worksheet on Bessie Coleman, the aviatrix. (And, incidentally, if you like the Everyday Edit worksheet, the magnanimous people at Education World have a year’s worth of them on offer–for free!).

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.