Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Our Myriad Works Today

We had our first full-day class of the season. As expected everyone was more-or-less unprepared for the Mock. Apart from Mock, following things were done in the class today. Islam came to class with a bagful of books - Great Gatsby, Sons & Lovers, A Passage to India, Takes from Shakespeare etc.
  1. SAT Essay: Analytical Criticism (Syntax, Structural Unity, Periodic Sentence, Personal Reference, Generalization V. Specific Example, Self-reference, Direct Quotation, Diction, Metaphor & Alliteration, Creation of Emphasis, Rhetorical Question)
  2. D H Lawrence's "Sons and Lovers" introduced
  3. "Great Gatsby" and the History of Roaring 20s and its moral universe.Roaring Era – Cyclic unemployment, Veblen’s book “Theory of Leisure Class”, the Stock Market Crush of 1929, Eric Hobsbaum.
  4. Reporting the experience of giving the Mock
  5. We had some strongly-worded advice on Why Major.




Monday, August 28, 2017

Why Reading!

Because reading secures your future - in both Social, Spiritual, and Financial terms. We have to reach the unreachable through our formidable pace in reading. But Reading MUST have a purpose - because we have limited time. And your reading MUST be documented in some form - otherwise you will not be able to make use of it when needed. In other words, you are encouraged to be able to Rcall+Remember+Revive each and every piece of writing that you will read.

Therefore, you need three things:
  1. Good Health
  2. Extraordinary Level of Concentration
  3. Method (Remember the Shakespearean Quote in Hamlet "Here's a Method in Madness")

Our Reading Assignments - a Few Observations

Current Logophiles students have just SOFTLY started to wake up to the reality of Application Works. Like every previous year, there is a general lack of Cultural Exposure and hardly any reading at all beyond Textbook acquaintance. Naveen, Rafi, Rufiyat, Adiba, Ramishat, Sanjeeda, and Tahsin - all of you are required to look through this blog-post very carefully and send me your reading updates. Samira, Samrin, and Ashfi are also requested to follow this plan.
Since, I am always prepared for this, there is a whole page dedicated to what the students shall do part of 'initiation process' - the page can be found on the BANNER - Books Film Theatre. In the past THREE weeks I had been trying to put this thing straight - that NOTHING can replace ones's preparedness for application to US colleges. In the same time we have started a "Poetry Week" and already made a few names a part of our class discussion. One can see a list of poets' names hanging from the inside part of the door - Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Keats, Elizabeth Bishop and the inevitable Eliot-Baudelaire-Poe trinity. 

Interestingly, we have done a little in depth about Milton and the Political world of 17th Century England and tried to connect Milton's Protestant work-philosophy with the advent of Industrial Age. We have also tried to link this new approach to 'world at large' with Max Webber's concept of how progress can be achieved by a concerted investment in "Culture". 

Marx is currently a very rudimentary part of our discussion. In fact, I have NOT contributed anything beyond pointing to Marx's photograph in the Northern-wall of our classroom. I am yet to bring in the issues of Marx's discussion of political ideology through a rough ride with Manifesto of Communist Party and a very superficial discussion of Thomas Picketty's "Capital in 20th Century".

I have also made them read through a few philosophical figures and a couple of schools - Bertrand Russell, Stoicism, Atheodore Adorno, and a very flimsy mention of Foucault. Of the fictions, I have mentioned Moby Dick, Hotel Du Lac, Metamorphosis, The Stranger, and My Antonia. I have also introduced Carl Popper and Leo Strauss to Naveen and to Sanjeeda. Both sent me their own thoughts on these seminal writers. I hope to discuss both these authors in a greater length in our next class. 

I have also been giving HIGHEST emphasis on writing 2 (two) research papers - one General and one Technical research paper

Friday, August 11, 2017

Logophiles Seminar on USA College Application Briefing Session


This is actually our FIRST post for 2017. A lot of things happened in the meantime. We have some very good news in terms of admission and a few stories that could really inspire future Logophilites. Today we have Mayisha Rahman (she is originally from Sunbeams) who is going to Bryn Mawr. She had a very exiting talk with the students present here today. She principally talked about applying abroad, learning about application process, choosing the right kind of college, even a few words about location of a particular college. Mayisha particularly talked about the importance of amassing an extraordinary amount of information, writing about strange materials that need to be mastered for preparing a very informed and intelligent pack of essays.


I insisted on talking about writing a very solid "Why Major". Mayisha talked about how to handle the pressures of so many dimensions - pressures from school, from tutors, from overenthusiastic parents, from relatives who have successful students studying abroad, from relatives who lie about their successes of their children etc. 

We definitely talked about SAT and SAT Subject Tests. Interestingly, Mayisha also talked about the overall cost of application. She shed some lights on CSS Profile and ISFAA fill-up.