I had all last week to update this blog with Friday’s activities. I had no other school-related work on my agenda other than to create one piddly little post so my poor widdle students who had a little sniffle and couldn’t make it here on Friday could have a little dose of English class to help them recover over the long, English-class-free Spring Break.

And I didn’t do it.

One word, people: Dedication. Your nation’s public educators at work! On it!

Anyway. I had a lovely week. I’ll discuss some of my activities on Monday’s post.

On Friday we discussed the most profound and important topic in the whole curriculum. Much more than a mere literary device (although it is also that–merely one of the most important of such devices), it is also the territory of life’s most profound existential questions, including such popular queries as “What for?” and “Why me?”

I am speaking, of course, of the great unknowable, Irony.

As you’ll see on the worksheet posted below, there are a few different major types of irony. I’m not going to explain it all here, so check out the worksheet. There is one very simple definition of irony, however, that ties all the types of irony together, and it is this: Irony is an unexpected twist. The different types of irony have to do with who is “unexpecting.” In fact, philosophy-lovers in the audience, if you remember back to the days we were discussing Subjectivity and Objectivity you’ll see that those concepts play a crucial role in differentiating dramatic irony from situational irony.

Anyway, after defining and discussing these things at considerable length, we celebrated the impending vacation by enjoying a slightly frivolous entertainment, which simultaneously reinforced the ideas we discussed about irony. The show we watched was the episode from season 4 of Seinfeld known as “The Face Painter.” While we watched, we stopped for the commercial breaks to discuss and fill in the different types of irony listed on the worksheet.

If you’ve never seen this episode, you missed a real treat. It features some especially stupid conversations between Elaine and her boyfriend, Putty. It also describes an interesting conflict between Kramer and a monkey named Barry. At one point in the show, zookeepers explain that the fight is making Barry depressed, that he is even curbing his “auto erotic” activities. Of course, it was precisely at this moment that our venerable principal (and I mean that word with all its implications and honorific power) stopped by to look in on my class. Another lasting impression created! Of course, I stopped the DVD immediately and, while not acknowledging any problematic content issues, in fact betraying no knowledge whatsoever of our fearless leader’s presence, began to quiz the students in a rapid-fire drill about irony types and definitions to prove that we were learning something big and important–something that could justify the inclusion of such controversial subject matter as simian onanism.

That is all. If you missed today, download the worksheet, watch something funny, and fill it in.


Downloads: Irony types and definitions


One response to “3/30/2007

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