February 15 2017

Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking. — Malcolm Gladwell

Tonight, please discuss the quotation above with regard to Night, Of Mice and Men, and Ethan Frome.  Use lots of text-based details to support your analysis.

As always, follow the rules of standard written American English and be sure to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

January 10 2017

Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment. –Elie Wiesel (1928 – 2016), The Perils of Indifference

Please read and listen to Elie Wiesel’s speech, “The Perils of Indifference.”   This speech was given in 1999, when the world faced perhaps different problems than we face today, but overall, I believe Wiesel’s thesis is still relevant today.

After listening and reading, consider how Wiesel’s ideas its relevance to your life, present day society, and specific events, themes and motifs in Night, and write your response below.  

As always, be sure to follow the rules of standard American English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Link to Wiesel’s speech:  http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/ewieselperilsofindifference.html

Night blog #6
January 9 2017

From the depths of the mirror a corpse gazed back at me.

Please read pages 85-115 of  Night.  Then discuss here the passages or images that most strike you as significant in the reading.  Also, consider questions you may want to discuss tomorrow.

Please remember to use post-it notes to mark important passages and to write two or three discussion questions to direct our discussion.

Night blog #5
January 6 2017

It snowed on and on.

Please read pages 66-84.  Then discuss here the passages or images that most strike you as significant in the reading.  Also, consider questions you may want to discuss tomorrow.

Please remember to use post-it notes to mark important passages and to write two or three discussion questions to direct our discussion tomorrow.  Remember!  Everyone must participate!

Night blog #4
January 5 2017

That night the soup tasted of corpses.

Please read pages 47-65.  Then discuss here the passages or images that most strike you as significant in the reading.  Also, consider questions you may want to discuss tomorrow.  I was struck by the image of the pipel hanging on the gallows.   It is an image I have worked hard to get out of my mind, but I can’t.    Why do you think it is important to be reminded of such horror?

Please remember to use post-it notes to mark important passages and to write two or three discussion questions to direct our discussion tomorrow.

Night blog #3
January 4 2017

Arbeit Macht Frei.

Tonight please read pages 23-46 of Night.  Then discuss here the passages or images that most strike you as significant in the reading.   I was struck by the way Eliezer’s father lied and said “Me, I’m not hungry,” (p. 46)  when he must have been starving.  This demonstrates how much he loved his son.  He wants his son to have his portion so he will gain strength and survive.  It tells me that even though Wiesel thought originally that his father cared about the Jewish community in Sighet more than he cared about his own family, this was not really true.  His father loved him very, very much.

Please remember to use post-it notes to mark important passages and to write two or three discussion questions to add to our discussion tomorrow.

Night blog #2
January 3 2017

Night. No one prayed so that the night would pass quickly.

Tonight,   please finish reading de Mauriac’s foreword to Night and read pages 3-22.   As you read, be sure to annotate!  We will conduct a round table discussion tomorrow and your annotations will be helpful in guiding class discussion.    Please be sure to make note of any questions or observations you would like to discuss with the class.

Here, please respond to this first section of Night.  I have provided some ideas below, which you might want to think about, but I do not want to limit you to these topics.  This is, as The New York Times called it, “a slim volume of terrifying power,” and I want you to feel free to expand on your own responses as you see fit.  Just remember to include specific details from the text to support your observations.  Wiesel is an enormously emotional writer and he naturally incurs and emotional response.  Remember, though, if you do choose to discuss your emotional response, use specific details to support that response, whatever it may be.

  • How do you think Eliezer identifies himself?  How would you identify him?  How is this similar to, or different from your own identity?
  • Describe Wiesel’s community at the beginning of the story. How does young Eliezer view the world and his place in it?
  • What could Moishe the Beadle possibly mean by “every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer?”
  • What are some incidents that suggest or foreshadow the coming danger to the Sighet Jews?  Why doesn’t the community believe it is in danger?
  • Even though it was 1944, and Nazi extermination of Jews had begun years earlier, the Sighet Jews had very few facts about it. Do you think it is possible in today’s world for a community to know so little, to be so unprepared?  Why or why not?

Remember, these questions are only meant to spur your thinking.  You are free to respond in any way you choose.

As always, please follow the rules of standard American English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Night blog #1