Posted by: Angela W. | December 3, 2009

Mr. Long vs. Cheshire Cat

Mr. Long vs. Cheshire Cat:  Let me describe both of them before I can tell you their similarities.

Mr. Long is my English teacher. He is like no other teacher or person I have ever met.

  • First, his lights are always off in his classroom. He has a few lamps on and the rest of the light comes from the sun depending on the day. He has many other previous students’ projects all over his room and things related to it. Like a miniature Frankenstein holding a candy bowl, which goes along with his Frankenstein project.
  • Mr. Long also has a unique way of saying things. The way he says things, it is mysterious in a way. He smiles and winks after a lot of things he does say.
  • He also is always very helpful, and is always willing to help a student. I can’t imagine how late he stays up every night working on all the work he gives us.
  • Mr. Long also has an interesting taste in music. He plays it when we are working on this project. Most of these songs, I have never heard before in my life, but it is interesting.
  • He also has an interesting sense of fashion. Everything always matches and is coordinated. Today, he happens to be wearing a light purple shirt and a dark purle tie(wink wink) It is fate.

Now the Cheshire cat is also purple.

  • He is purple striped with light and dark.
  • The Cheshire cat is also very helpful throughout the story.
  • He always guides Alice through Wonderland and seems happy to do it.
  • The Cheshire cat always has a smile on.
  • It is sort of creepy the way the cat always disappears and appears randomly.
  • This character is the most ‘mad’ out of all of them, I think. I find the cat to be very mysterious.

Now, for some reason the Cheshire cat and Mr. long are very alike to me. They both are mysterious and interesting people. They both have that smile on there faces, like they know something we don’t. The way they both talk is alike as well. Mr. Long and the cat both have very interesting ideas and ways of saying it.

Do you find them to be similar?

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Posted by: Brittany M | December 3, 2009

Dream of a Lifetime

Alice’s dream is definitely a rarity that comes along only once or twice in a lifetime ,but was it big enough for her to remember it for the rest of her life? It is such an extraordinary story that many of us remember our whole lives , but will Alice remember?

I personally know that I often forget my dreams as soon as I wake up no matter how amazing they may have been. I try and try to remember , but more than likely I come up short and remember nothing of what I dreamed except for the way it made me feel. You would think that with a dream like Alice’s it would be unforgettable ,but what if Alice did forget? How terrible of a thing to forget a dream such as hers and all the things which she got to experience. So with this and hopes that she would have never forgotten her dream because I can honestly say that this is the dream of a lifetime that no one  should forget and it would be a shame if they do.

Posted by: Kyle M. | December 3, 2009

This is the End, Beautiful Friend

This toilsome yet entertaining, tasking albeit rewarding emotional roller coaster ride appears to have at last arrived at an ending.

There were hurdles (attempting to find a WordPress theme that would work with the banner we wanted to upload) coupled with the highest of peaks (accomplishing the aforementioned task felt like a breath of fresh air). It was unlike any other project that I (and I suspect my classmates) have ever undertaken. Earlier in the year, we all contributed various replies to the blogs created by our teacher, but devising our own blog, largely free of outside intervention or guidance, was an utterly different beast.

At the beginning, I’d surmise that we were all confident that as long as we maintained our integrity and writing quality, this project would be ‘in the bag.’

However, with a due date that loomed so far in the distance that it almost became invisible, the blog soon became the ultimate exercise in responsibility. There was no immediate reprimand for not waiting until the last several hours to churn out one’s first blog post; such a long leash was quite intimidating, to put it mildly.

It definitely threw me for a loop; before I was aware of it, the last week was rapidly encroaching, and the majority of my work wound up being produced in that brief period. Being somewhat of a procrastinator, this project was a rude awakening; while I managed to finish in ample time, it certainly wasn’t awfully generous to my sleep habits to cram in such a fashion. If I’m to pursue my desired career in the writing field, that sort of behavior will not be acceptable; thanks to this project, I doubt I’ll put my responsibilities off so far into the future.

So, in a sense, this project really isn’t over.

Of course, it is in the literal sense; but if one is to view it as merely the introduction, the ‘first chapter’ to the world of adulthood, it’s only just begun. Valuable lessons in the following categories, applicable to ALL careers, have been garnered by myself, my team, and the entire tenth grade English class: teamwork, responsibility, and integrity. These virtues will be cherished for as long as we live, along with our memories of Alice and her ventures in Wonderland.

Because, in the final analysis, what makes a story? Is it the entertainment value, the sharpness of the prose…or is enhancing one’s real life the most important role a story can fulfill? Again, I’ll leave the objective answer to that query to the philosophers and literary critics; what’s for certain, though, is that this project and Lewis Carroll’s book have opened my mind. That, in my opinion, is the crowning achievement of any piece of literature, opportunity, or adventure.

I’d like to thank Carroll, my team, and my school for this incredible experience.

Image courtesy of: birdhouse.org

Posted by: Brittany M | December 3, 2009

The End or The Beginning?

My group has all come to different conclusions as to whether this is the end of Alice or if Alice is something that will never die.

I say it is both. Alice may die to some of us after all the analyzing of her dream and character ,but to others it is just the beginning of our relationship with Alice. The  actual story will never die of course but just like imaginary friends, all things eventually fade away and are forgotten.

Some of us will probably never read this book again or want to talk about Alice’s adventure down the rabbit hole again. After reading and talking about the story so much it is understandable to become burned out and tired of the story. We have all discussed the rabbit, the morals, and the Duchess more than we would have ever imagined when we were watching the Disney film as children. Some students would not have a care if they never spoke of this story again ,but others, such as myself, have combined it into our own world and reality.

So yes, while some may never wish to speak of this story again, others have embraced it and brought it into life. We have compared instances of the story to events in our own lives and have brought Alice to life. She will be discovered more by some and still brought up into daily conversations and Facebook status’. Just as we have brought Lord of the Flies to life, we have done the same to Alice.

So this is my addition to what appears to be a theme topic to my group of , is this the end? or are we just beginning something. I say we are just beginning but it is up to each of us to keep Alice going and alive in society.

Posted by: Angela W. | December 3, 2009

What Will All This Madness Become?

What will Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland be in 50 years? 80? 100?

These are questions I cannot answer, but I can give you my thought.

I know when I was a child, I loved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but didn’t everyone? I’m not sure why I liked it or what attracted me to it. Maybe it was the fact that everyone watched it and usually people seem to hang in crowds these days. Maybe it is one of those movies that our parents watched when they were young and just wanted their children to see it as well.

I wonder if the little children of today and the future will have the discoveries that I did. I wonder if Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will be so criticized and warn out 50 years from now that no one will watch it. I sure hope this story doesn’t disappear. It will probably not because of the great amount it has been talked about. If kids in the future do end up watching this movies, will what they like about it be different than from what we liked about it? Possibly, because I’m sure 50 years down the road from now, life will be a little bit different. We will have new inventions and more technology. My feeling is that kids of the future will be bored with Alice in Wonderland. I feel like they won’t watch movies anymore.

But honestly, I have no idea. I guess I have to wait until I have grandchildren to find out.

Posted by: Angela W. | December 3, 2009

It Is Not the End

As this project comes to an end, I realized that I will miss this project.

This project is so unique and I have never done anything like it. This will always be remembered by me. During this project, I was paired up with people I have never been partnered with before. This project taught me teamwork and communication. I really enjoyed the group I was in as I got to know them and their writing style. I also learned a lot about technology during this five week process.

It will be strange to me walking into the English room and not pulling out a laptop and work all class period. I sort of forgot how this class was without this project. Even though this project caused a lot of stress and many restless nights, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed learning all about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Without this project I would of probably never had the drive to go figure out all of the things I know now about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

As the Alice journey ends in Wonderland, mine does not.

After having this project, I will not be able to go back to my thought process before. I just have added to my thought process. I know read and actually analyze almost everything. I think more about life and pose questions about how and why. Even after this project ends, I don’t think it will end totally for me. I am still allowed to post blogs and comment…

…and I will.

Posted by: Kyle M. | December 3, 2009

CoverItLive Impressions

Considering the fact that we couldn’t feasibly organize ourselves to hold the chat after school, and that our time-frame was limited to the duration of second period, I’d label our CoverItLive chat as a relative success.

I’ll confess that the conversation was a little ‘safe’ and not as candid as I’d have prefered. Regardless, it certainly revealed aspects of my comrades’ tastes that I wasn’t yet aware of. It brings a smile to my face that my three favorite characters were the only ones present in the entirety of the answers. I strongly feel that the majority of people who actually read the story would choose either the Cheshire Cat, the Dodo, or the Duchess (Maybe the Queen too) as the best characters (despite the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit being more prevalent in popular culture, sans perhaps the aforementioned feline). Several of my favorite scenes were also shown to be the same as my teammates’; the Tea Party is fantastic, utterly bizarre material.

I am a tad surprised (not dissapointed, however) that no one else shared my ‘most memorable’ part of the project. Perhaps I’m being a bit delusional in thinking this site (Along with the other projects, of course) may become a renown database of information and analysis on the novel. It’s a remote possibility, sure, but the fact that the chance exists at all makes me giddy to an extent. Grades aside, if at least one person learns something about the book that they didn’t know, or gains a new perspective on a certain sequence…this will all have been worth it.

On a somewhat related note, CoverItLive‘s a great tool.

The fact that it’s a recorded, typing-based conversation brings in the best of both worlds of communication. If it was simply a typed “I.M.” chat, grammar would likely have been thrown out the window in favor of quick acronyms and emote-icons (I’m too out of the loop to know if that’s how it’s spelled). Conversely, if it was a recorded voice conversation, we’d likely have become a tad nervous, and wouldn’t have had enough time to truly think through our responses without plauging our speech with myriad “umms” and “uhhs”. I’m shocked that I’ve never heard of CoverItLive until partaking in this class; it’s incredibly useful.

All in all, a fruitful learning exercising; I look forward to utilizing CoverItLive in the future.

Posted by: Kyle M. | December 3, 2009

The Verdict Is…?

-When You Mix a Cup of Carroll…part 5-

At this point, I’d say it’s safe to state that I’ve gone over the major disparities and unique characteristics of both Disney and Carroll’s interpretations of Alice. It’s been a winding, often perplexing road, but I’ve managed to make several discoveries about both artists along the way.

Namely:

  • Walt valued strong, identifiable characters.
  • Walt wasn’t a fan of sequels if they put artistic integrity at risk.
  • Walt didn’t seek to make political statements with his story.
  • Walt wasn’t hesitant to cut scenes out of adaptations if they didn’t fit in with the story he was attempting to convey.
  • Carroll valued starting stories off with a “bang.”
  • Carroll might not have made political statements his prerogative, but he wasn’t afraid to inject them in his work.
  • Carroll had no problem with sequels, as he simply loved his characters.
  • Carroll held uncompromising views on the presentation of “mature” scenes (e.g. Hookah-smoking caterpillar).

So, in retrospect:

Which piece do I prefer?

Honestly (cue the fury of scorned Carroll fans)…Disney’s is the version I’m more or less leaning towards. It’s a very entertaining film; beautifully animated, competently voiced, wonderfully sung, and it does a decent job at blending dark concepts with child-like spectacle.

My miniscule (and personal!) qualm with Carroll’s book is such: ultimately, there’s two ways one can read the text. And that’s with or without annotations (In other words, analytically or just for the thrill of it). Reading the book without annotations is a bit too nonsensical for me; when absolutely nothing appears to be lucid for pages at a time…overkill can creep in. On the other hand, when I read it with annotations, it loses its remaining qualities and transforms into a history book. An undeniably interesting, intellectually stimulating history book? Sure; still, Disney’s version comes across as more well-rounded.

And let’s face it: Alice really isn’t that compelling of a main character. At least Disney attempted to rectify this issue.

Which artist do I find more interesting?

Now that’s a difficult question; Disney’s story is that of the budding artist becoming a world-renown phenomenon due to perseverance and creativity, where as Carroll’s views and personal life catch my interest more than Disney’s. In the end, I have to give the nod to Disney once again (Bear in mind that both decisions thus far have been close), as while Carroll the person is more fascinating, Disney’s philosophies on art tickle the intellect more so than Carroll’s. It takes a truly magnificent story-teller to display restraint; there’s very little of that in Carroll’s Alice (It almost has a “stream of consciousness” sort of feel, since by and large it was being made up on the spot).

And the most important question of all:

What has cross-examining both works taught me?

Besides informing me of tidbits about the men behind the pieces that are certainly worth musing, I’ve learned that two men can look at the same concept and arrive at two radically different conclusions…yet both can be just as wonderful. There’s no ‘one way’ to tell a story; for another example, if one is to listen to the audio commentary of Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier, the director (Francis Ford Coppola) reveals that George Lucas (Of Star Wars fame and infamy) was originally slated to direct the picture (Based on a script by John Millius, and partially inspired by Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness…though a lesser known picture called Aguirre: The Wrath of God shares more in common with that story, so I’m not sure why it isn’t considered the ‘definitive’ Heart of Darkness film in-…I’m rambling, aren’t I?). Lucas intended to shoot the film hand-held style with a single helicopter and no-name actors (The complete antithesis to Coppola’s over budget and humongous epic). Was this a better or worse manner to tell the story?

No!

Any story can work in any medium and style, provided the particular artist’s up to the task. Disney and Carroll certainly were, and they’ve offered us two fantastic, whimsical tales; and for that, I’ll be eternally grateful to them.

Posted by: Kyle M. | December 3, 2009

Alice in Review

It would seem as if this wonderful (pun alert) expedition through the twisted confines of Carroll’s mind is finally coming to a close.

I’ve finished the book, perused the annotations with a fastidiously meticulous mentality, and have analyzed it with my team backwards and forwards. Before the wistful nostalgia starts to kick in (“Ever read blog post ten? Boy, that was a keeper,” I’ll tell my children), I’d better offer the closest I can muster to an objective overview of this mammoth undertaking my team and I have accomplished. In this entry, I’ll look back on the book itself, and in the next I’ll reveal my opinion on the project in its entirety.

If you read the capstone to my “When You Mix a Cup of Carroll with a Dash of Disney” series, you’d already know that I preferred Disney’s version of the story to Carroll’s, as it felt like a more well-rounded, healthily restrained piece of work. In case I came across as overly critical: I still genuinely relish Lewis’s original. It’s the second best book I’ve read this year (and I’m not solely relegating that category to that which I’ve read for school), topped only by the phenomenal Lord of the Flies (that novel’s only real flaw is that William Golding wouldn’t know what subtle symbolism is if it slapped him in the face and called him Piggy).

It’s important to note that Carroll’s book came first, and the rough edges are forgivable when considering what a triumph of the imagination it was upon initial release (And to this day). The March Hare, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen, the Duchess…too many memorable and delightfully unstable characters to count. It’s also worth bringing up that Lewis was a logician first, fiction writer second; Disney, on the other hand, was well-versed in the art of spinning a concise, elegant, and worthwhile yarn. That he was still able to devise something so fantastic despite the fact that he wasn’t operating in his forte is perhaps more impressive than Disney’s ‘perfection’ of his material; just as it’s easy for a newspaper editor to fine tune articles and editorials, it probably wasn’t much of a challenge for Disney to simply refine Carroll’s already remarkable book (from a screenwriting standpoint, of course; I harbor no doubt that animating and producing the film was quite difficult indeed).

Will Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland go down as one of my most cherished books of all time? Absolutely not; Fahrenheit 451, Flowers for Algernon, and All Quiet on the Western Front have that position sufficiently occupied. But it truly is unlike anything else out there, despite its various nonsense-themed imitators; it’s a book that, if you let it, will transport you somewhere completely foreign and eerily familiar, incredibly illogical yet bizarrely relatable. It’s a bumpy journey at times, sporting a bit too much gobbledy gook and a rather one-dimensional heroine; but beauty is never without its flaws.

Carroll’s the George Lucas of his generation, crafting an entire universe for the masses to find fascination in…yet he managed to do it with a measly pen and paper. Therefore, Carroll’s work is not only a testament to literature, but to the awesome force that is the human mind.

Posted by: Derek_M | December 3, 2009

Captain Crunch Time. 2 Days to Go.

When I first encountered the Alice Project, I sought for it to be the best blog out there: to have all of the details perfect and to do it my way.

Fortunately, I had a reality check.

I realized that all of my goals were not attainable considering the work load that I have, as well as the sheer amount of time that has gone into this process. The Alice Project has opened my eyes to the logical and reasonable goals that one can have when presented a large project. My teammates have been part of that reality check because they make you realize that there is more than one way to do a project well. Some may be more artistic and others may be less opinionated, but in the end we all can come together to put out something that we are proud of.

The Alice Project has been an interesting and insightful experience that allows me to escape to another world not bound by the rules of the modern day world. The references to the modern day world, however, are endless. I really appreciate all the time and the work that everyone has put out there. At this point, there is no best blog. All of them have amazing content and I am enthralled at all we have been able to accomplish down the rabbit hole.

My favorite character in the book had to be the Duchess. Her constantly shifting mood leaves me wanting more. Her presence in Alice’s journey also gives a young girl some insight on the subject of morality. The Duchess can be crude, yet polite. Her grace allowed Alice to continue her journey throughout Wonderland when she disappeared in chapter nine. She was taken to be executed, instead of Alice, showing her true colors. Although, someone’s first impression may not be the best, you can never discount them. They may surprise you.

More information on the Duchess, my favorite character, can be found on my blogs:

What Ever Happened to the Duchess? & Peppered Bacon: The Reality of Chapter Six

Image Courtesy of: http://www.nallon.com/alice/duchess.jpg

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