Sunday, March 31, 2013

Typographia Introduction Video

Here in the first video for Typographia. I will put in links to other videos when I upload them (still working on editing them).

Brave New Worlds (Almost) Finished Videos

So, our group met, had some fun, and became puppeteers (if only for about an hour).  The first is the Introduction video & when it's up online the viewer/student will have the option to choose which of the next three will be their destination.  Enjoy!

I've been trying to upload all of our videos since Friday, but Blogger is being a little goofy.  I was lucky enough to get the intro video up, but haven't been able to get the other three up yet.  Darn.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Group Youtube Channel

Jenna just brought up an excellent idea that I think we should consider: What if we made one youtube channel for our class? It would be easier to put everything in one place, create playlists, etc instead of having six different youtube accounts all uploading videos. What do you all think?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ad Fontes Adventure

Here is the intro video that I created for Ad Fontes. Thoughts??

Script for Cannibals

Scene: cannibal hut/desert island, complete with human body parts on a spit]
[enter Sailors]

Sailor 1: Arrrr, a real cannibal island! Now, I remember reading an essay by some French guy...
Sailor 2 Marner: Michel Montaigne. You didn't read it, you just used Spiff Notes.
Sailor 1 Jonas: Bark Notes, actually, and it's all the same anyway. OK, I'm trying to remember if he gave us any clues about how not to get eaten.
Sailor 2: Just stay cool, man. I read the whole essay, and we just have to remember that just because people are different doesn't make them wrong. Steady, [other sailor is deep breathing] steady as she---
[enter Cannibal]
Cannibal: Boooooo!
[Sailors screech like girls and start shaking]
Cannibal: Haaa, teeny sailor girls screech like stuck pig! Welcome to our island, sailor sandwiches!
Sailor 2 Marner: Look at me, I'm shaking like we're still in that tempest!
Sailor 1 Jonas pirate: Um... I don't think it's sea legs anymore.
Cannibal: No need be frightened!  [switch to normal side] See, we offer you welcome! Rest, help, food! Anyone care for some delicious... Lady Fingers?
Sailor 1 Marner: Sailor 2!!! I mean, Jonas!!!
Sailor 2, nervously, Jonas: Ha! ...I bet they're ...finger-lickin' good! Arg.
Cannibal: HA! No worries, sailor sandwich man, I no eat you, you a comedian!
Sailor 2 Jonas: Well, why not?
Cannibal: Comedian taste funny!
Sailor 2 Jonas: HAA! See, [Marner], they're not so bad! Oh, oh, I got another one: what do you and a HR rep have in common?
Cannibal: What HR rep mean?
Sailor 2: You're both... fed up with people! (snare drum snap)
[Both laugh until Cannibal abruptly stops.] [switch to scary side]
Cannibal: ...all this laughing make me hungry.
Sailor 1: DON'T EAT ME!
Cannibal: Well, we humanists so we like (to eat) humans. I give you TEST. You can answer few question right, we no eat you. You answer wrong... and we helps you find out where you funny bone be.
Sailor 1 and 2: HELP US!

Help the sailors and work toward your own Exploring Brave New Worlds Badge:

option 1: I've already read Michel Montaigne's Of Cannibals. I'm ready for the challenge!
option 2: I need a refresher first! Take me to some texts!

1. Michel Montaigne's writing looks like...
            a. a personal essay
            b. a chapter from a book
            c. a speech to Parliament
            d. both a and b
            e. all of the above

*** 2. Michel Montaigne likes to get his information from...
            a. a famous explorer of the period, Thomas Heriot
            b. the wisest, most experienced explorers on the ocean
            c. Long John Silver, the ship's cook.
            d. a simple, ignorant crew member

3. According to Montaigne, cannibals are savages in the same way...
           a. fire is hot: they will always be that way
           b. a mean dog is ornery: it's been taught to bite back
           c. fruit is wild: it's still in its natural state
           d. heaven is cloudy: it's actually better that way

***4. Montaigne believes cannibals are no more savage than...
           a. Wild apples (since they actually taste better out of the orchard)
           b. Europeans (since they torture their prisoners alive)
           c. Zombies (since they really don't have a choice in what they eat)
          d. Pocahontas (since she ...wasn't around yet)

***5. What are the two chief values of the cannibals?
           a. valor to their enemies and love to their wives
           b. peace and plenty
           c. careful seasoning and perfect barbeque techniques
           d. drinking and dancing

6. Why does M. use so many allusions to older myths and civiliations in history? Name one such nation and do some background research on what the inclusion would have meant to his day. (ad fontes)

7. Humanism

A Description of a New World, or, The Blazing Script

Video Intro to Margaret Cavendish's A Description of a New World, Called the Blazing-World 

[scene: otherworldly-looking beach, with several strange creatures in the background--Fish-men, Bear-men, Fox-men, Bird-men, maybe even Steve Tyler.  There are several stars visible in the sky even though the sun is up.  Our two heroes have washed ashore and are looking about.] 

Sailor 1:  Arrgh!  Where be we? 

Sailor 2:  So we're talking like pirates now?

Sailor 1:  What else be we talking like, matey?  We be sailors!

Sailor 2:  Uh huh.

[enter a Bird-man, which I'm sorry to say is the gender-neutral term]

Bird-man:  Well, hello, strangers!

Sailor 1:  What be ye, strange creature?  Arrgh!

Sailor 2:  And where are we?

Bird-man:  I am a Bird-man, and.... 

Sailor 1:  [interrupting] A bird!  By Poseidon's beard, I'll gut ya and fry yer innards!

Sailor 2:  He actually won't.  Not only are we unarmed, but he hates fried food.

Bird-man:  No, I understand.  Anyway, you are on the Blazing World!  A human woman from your world named Margaret Cavendish once wrote about it.

Sailor 1:  Women-folk writin' stuff!  Preposterous!

Sailor 2:  And how did we get here?

Bird-man:  Well, according to Margaret Cavendish, our Blazing-World rests atop your North Pole.  As she says, "[I]t is impossible to round this World's globe from Pole to Pole, so as we do from East to West, because the Poles of the other World...."

Sailor 2:  [interrupting] Whoa, whoa, whoa.  We've only got ninety seconds, buddy.  Save your quotations for the next section.

Bird-man:  Sorry.

[Text pops up asking the viewer how to proceed:  "How does the sailor respond?  Option 1:  "It's okay, I'd love to hear more about Margaret Cavendish and The Blazing World."  Option 2:  "I'm pretty sure our viewers are familiar with The Blazing World.  Let's just go to the quiz."]

Option 1: Tell Me About Margaret Cavendish's The Blazing World

This would be another short video, perhaps five minutes long, of narrated scrolling texts.  It would give a brief (20-second) overview of Cavendish, then outline The Blazing World and including some quotes and passages.  It will, of course, provide a link to the full text.  It would end with a link to the quiz.

Option 2: The Blazing World Quiz

1. The book A Description of the New World, called the Blazing-World is usually referred to by which nickname?

a. The Blazing World
b. The Description
c. The New World

2. Who wrote A Description of the New World, called The Blazing-World?

a. Margaret Thatcher
b. John Winthrop
c. Queen Elizabeth
d. Margaret Cavendish

3. Where is the Blazing World in relation to Earth?

a. underneath Earth
b. on top of Earth
c. at the center of the Earth

4. What does the Emperor do when he first sees the Lady?

a. worship her
b. ask her to marry him
c. order her execution

5. Which of the following creatures is NOT mentioned in the text?

a. Fish-men
b. Bear-men
c. Goat-men
d. Ape-men

5. Why does the Empress eventually return to our world?

a. She misses her family.
b. The Blazing World is drifting away from Earth and she does not wish to be trapped there.
c. Her homeland is under attack.

6. What was the occupation of the Bird-men?

a. They were Philosophers.
b. They were Mathematicians.
c. They were Astronomers.

7. The Blazing World is an early example of what genre of fiction?

a. science fiction
b. travel fiction
c. utopian fiction

(Trick question--all answers are acceptable, even if some are better than others.)

8. Write two paragraphs or record a short video describing why The Blazing World relates to the theme of the Brave New world.  Include an explanation of why we should study The Blazing World today.  Post your paragraphs or video HERE (imbed link to our website).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Model of Christian Charity Intro - Script

So, I'm going to attempt to make a creative script for the middle option to introduce Winthrop's "A Model of Christian Charity."

[Enters One of the Sailors]

Sailor: Where are we?  What strange land is this?  [Looking at the camera] Do you know?  [Camera nods]

[Enters John Winthrop]

Winthrop: Well hello there weary travelers!  Welcome to the Massachusetts Bay Colony! I'm John Winthrop, the governor here.  Where have you anchored your ship?

Sailor: Well, actually good sir, we've crash landed on this island and would be eternally grateful for your help in helping us return to sea.

Winthrop: Well, first of all, this is no island.  This is the American continent.  Could you not recognize our 'City upon that yonder hill'?

Sailor (looks at Winthrop, looks at the camera, looks back at Winthrop, looks back at the camera):  You mean that tiny village over there?

Winthrop: Now, now.  There's no point in being rude.  Are you sure you won't stay for a while?

Sailor: (directed at the camera) What do you think, shall we stay with this man who has founded the great "City upon a hill"?

[Camera shakes "no"]

Winthrop: So be it.  I think I will help you set sail again.  Besides, we like our community to be free from sin as well as negative minds.

Sailor: Pbbtt!

Winthrop: Well, I'm assuming that you have already heard of the speech I gave those on board the ship we sailed on to come to this land?

Sailor: Heard of it.

Winthrop: Since you are missing a member of your crew, I'll quiz you on my speech, commonly referred to as "A Model of Christian Charity".  If you succeed, I'll help you find your lost crewman and help you rebuild your ship.

Sailor: Fine. Deal.

Winthrop: Well then, let's begin.

QUIZ (I'm hoping for some help on this one.  What can we even quiz the viewers on)?)

Script for Petrarch letters mission

Mission: Alonzo must find motivation to learn Latin and Greek (A difficult task)

Setting: Ancient Greece/ Rome


(In a study room)
Alonzo: I give up! I’m never going to be able to learn these ancient languages, why even try?

(Voices from the past, transition setting to ancient Greece/ Rome)
Cicero – Do or do not, there is no try.
Alonzo – Who are you? And where am I?
Cicero – I am Cicero, the great Roman author and your Latin master.
Homer – And I am Homer, your Greek master. A master Homer is. You are in ancient Europe, at the height of the Greek and Roman empires.
Alonzo – Why am I here?
Homer – So you can gain an appreciation of Latin and Greek works. It is important that your generation still looks back to what we have done.
Alonzo – But I can’t learn Latin or Greek. I’ve tried, and it’s just too hard. I’m afraid if I keep trying, I’ll just fail.
Cicero – Fear is the path to the dark side. We must replace that fear. In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.
Alonzo – What knowledge?
Homer – The knowledge that comes with motivation. When you are motivated, you will find the strength to learn Latin and Greek.
Alonzo – But how will I become motivated?
Homer and Cicero – By learning about one who did what you’re trying to do.
Cicero – Read Petrarch, you shall. He had trouble learning the same languages you’re trying to learn, but he persevered.
Cicero and Homer – By learning why Petrarch loved our writings so much, you will find your motivation. (Go to the texts)
Cicero – Congratulations! You’ve learned why Petrarch enjoyed reading ancient texts, and you’ve gained motivation! You’re one step closer to earning your Ad Fontes badge. Let’s see what you’ve learned. (Quiz)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Work in Progress Timeline for Our Project's Completion

*things to decide and work on:
**this is entirely draft/work IN progress, just wanted to get some timeline ideas on ...a screen**
  1. Decide on avatars: narrative structure, backgrounds/settings, map of hotspots
    • Narrative Structure
      • INTRO to your narrative **make the viewer care**
      • three text/options/missions
      • quizzes
        • allowing instructors to do their own??
        • too complex to have a video quiz/click to respond?
        • important to reinforce learning by responding to wrong answers
        • Point:
          • are we seeing if they listened to the video, 
          • OR asking them to learn new things?
    • Learning Tree:
      • at the end of each "mission" text, have the option to go on to the other missions in the theme OR back to the island (6 themes).
  2. Write up scripts
  3. Film or create movies; introduce and flesh out themes
  4. Connect movies to each other with annotations/links
Repeat steps 2 through 4 for The Tempest

Friday, March 29- video prototypes for the first theme group (1, 2, 5)

  • FOR BNW:
    • puppets/backgrounds
    • scripts for each videos

Monday, April 1- script/storyline for second theme group (3, 4, 6)

Wednesday, April 3- video prototype for the second theme group (3, 4, 6)

Friday, April 5-

Monday, April 8-

Wednesday, April 10-

Friday, April 12-

Monday, April 15-

Ad Fontes Script for Ulysses and the Siren

Text: During Alonso’s quest to go back to the sources of his favorite Renaissance literature, he’s sailing out on the Aegean Sea while reading one of Samuel Daniel’s poems. He’s nearing the shore of an island when he hears a voice say:
Come, worthy man, Alonso, come,
Possess these shores with me;
The winds and seas are troublesome,
And here we may be free.

Looking around, Alonso sees no one.
Pop up: Click here to discover who is speaking to Alonso.
Alonso cries out “Who’s there?!” then he hears:
Oh cease thy course, and listen to our lay!
Blest is the man ordain'd our voice to hear,
The song instructs the soul, and charms the ear.
Approach! thy soul shall into raptures rise!
Approach! and learn new wisdom from the wise! 
"'Come here,' they sang, 'renowned Ulysses, honour to the Achaean name, and listen to our two voices. No one ever sailed past us without staying to hear the enchanting sweetness of our song- and he who listens will go on his way not only charmed, but wiser, for we know all the ills that the gods laid upon the Argives and Trojans before Troy, and can tell you everything that is going to happen over the whole world.' (

Alonso , still stumped at who might be speaking to him, again asks:
“Who is there?”
He sits silently, waiting for a reply. When at last he makes the connection. Just last week he had been reading Book XII of the Greek epic Odyssey written by Homer.
“Siren!” Alonso cries “I know it’s you!”
Again she entreats him to come to shore. But Alonso remembers the fate of those who listen to sirens and sea nymphs, and he turns to Samuel Daniel’s poem.
Text Search: Read here to choose how you think Alonso should reply.
The student picks an answer.  “No way, Nymph!”
But it’s fun! She replies
“But honor requires hard work and labor!”

Quiz: Q. what does the siren do?

  1. She gives up.

He had found it! He was back to the source Samuel Daniel had used when writing his poem! Thanks for helping Alonso solve the case and return to the sources. You’re on your way to earning an Ad Fontes badge!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Petrarch letters outline and questions

Our Ad Fontes group decided to have a mission impossible theme for our avatar. He goes on a series of missions involving our texts. Here’s my (short, bare bones) outline for Alonzo’s the Ad Fontes Master’s mission regarding the Petrarch letters, along with some thought provoking questions:

Alonzo has a conversation with Homer and Cicero. They are concerned that people don’t remember their works. Alonzo’s mission is to use Petrarch’s letters to convince people that ancient writers are worth reading.


In “Two Homer,” Petrarch discusses his yearning for “knowledge” about Homer. Petrarch learned that Homer “wrote about his instructors.” Petrarch was returning to a source in Homer, but Homer also was turning to the sources through his own ancient instructors. Do we follow the same pattern today? And if so, why do we do it?

Based on Petrarch’s letters, what was the importance of copyists? How does the relationship between copyists and printing relate to the Ad Fontes idea?

Typographia script + have heart!

First, I've written up a script to the first video for typographia that you can read here.

Also, I've mentioned this guy a couple times before because he's one of the grandparents of online video, but  yesterday Hank Green talked on his tumblr about YouTube putting millions of dollars into educational videos that aren't making enough money to cover the cost of their production.

This MIGHT seem a bit disheartening, but the important part is here:

There were a lot of recipients of this money, and many of them were major media companies trying their hand at online video that received some fat checks, up to $5M a piece, to launch TV-like channels. What we all found out is that, no matter how hard you push them and how much money you spend on them, YouTube doesn’t work like TV…and funding it that way is daft.Of the 114 channels that YouTube funded as part of this initiative, my educated guess is that exactly one earned back its advance…SourceFed, the four-times-daily news show from Phil DeFranco’s studio. Hardly traditional media…SourceFed is gritty, low-budget, written by its hosts, and edited by a tiny team.Most of the channels that did well had comparatively small budgets and were run by people who had made online video before. Some great content got made, some of my favorite channels wouldn’t exist without the initiative. SciShow and CrashCourse are not doing terribly, at this rate, we’ll earn out our advance in about three years...Spending more money to produce the same number of minutes of content does not increase viewership. Online video isn’t about how good it looks, it’s about how good it is.

 Anyway, this made me more optimistic about this project and I thought I'd share.

Brave New World ideas


for our project ideas, possible flow of video chain, characters, background, script... 

Monday, March 25, 2013


Plough Boys storyline

Here’s a rough storyline for our plough boys avatar:

Our hero, the plough boy, hears about a new Bible that he can actually buy! He saves for a few years, purchases the Bible, and is astounded at how much he learns from reading the Bible. Transition to: Bible translations.

The plough boy goes to town one day and discovers a gathering of people. Upon investigation, he hears arguments about teachings from the Bible, such as Charity, Idleness, even arguments about how to read scriptures. The plough boy realizes that with new accessibility to the Bible, each person is entitled to their own interpretation. He decides to read more about how different people view Bible teachings and churches in general and how they incorporate those teachings. Transition to: Northbrooke, Latimer, Winthrop, etc.

The plough boy decides that there isn’t really a right or wrong answer to the differing opinions, but that he should continue to learn. Transition to: Drayton, conclusion essay about the importance of personal interpretation of texts.

Alonso the Ad Fontes Master

Meet Alonso. He is a little rough when it comes to his speech, but I like him.

For typographia, I thought that a bookshop would be a good background. The conversation could center around the increased availability of books, the process of printing, as well as contemporary works. It would be able to blend the aspect of printing with people's access to books.

The avatar could be a bookseller, who has a printer friend come by as well, or a poet, or an avid reader. It would depend on what specifically we want to do with typographia.


I ran into the same problem as Amber on xtranormal--it subtracted points for various aspects of the video, and then it wouldn't let me link to it here.

I also did some searching through creative commons pictures to print out and form a backdrop or background that way, but the best stuff was copywritten. Like Amber was saying, a classroom or assembly hall would be best for humanism, I think. I like having it as an actual backdrop (as in for puppets) but that's mostly because I don't have the technological know-how to put several digital avatars onto a digital background (pdf?).

Plough Boys Backdrop - Draft Version

On Saturday I worked on creating a backdrop for our Plough Boys avatar.  We decide that we really liked the stick figures idea and wanted to run with that, so I did a computer-drawing farm as a backdrop to match the stick-figure farm boy.  The farm boy himself is yet to be born, but here is the draft of his farm:

It's rough, I know.  But I'm going to play around with it more when I can get on a computer with some better picture features.

Avatars by Amber

Well I just spent several hours of the night making avatars for the Ad Fontes and Humanism groups just to have them not upload properly or save. So. I will just explain what I had set up. I used the xtranormal site to make them, but found that a lot of the stuff to make videos with you had to pay for (like different characters or backgrounds) so hopefully you guys have more luck finding a material site for our avatars. I didn't find any other digital sources that seemed good enough for what we're trying to pull. Anyway. My characters:

Alfonso is an old man, Italian scholar (with an office/library looking background) who firmly believes in the idea of ad fontes: referring back to ancient sources to bring about inspiration for new work. He loves history, especially reading sermons and translations of texts because everyone can learn so much from them.

Walter is an English apprentice philosopher trying to discover who he is. He attends school (classroom was in the background) with the best teachers the world has to offer. He is one of a kind though, challenging his professors with deep and imaginative questions about the established order and doctrines. He is creative and fresh with a thirst for something more, for independence.

Both of these characters would have talked about the theme (including the one liner sentences we have for each of our themes) and given their strong opinion about how important ad fontes or the question of "What piece of work is man."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Playing with Video ideas

Renaissance Silliness

Lessons on educational videos from the Periodic Table of the Videos

As my students prepare a brief video-based curriculum on Renaissance literature, I've been looking around at other video-based educational videos that are introductory in nature.  One that I explored today and which provided some insights into uses of open educational videos was The Periodic Table of Videos.
The Periodic Table of Videos Project
University of Nottingham
This is a series of mini-video lectures, each focused on one of the elements from the periodic table. This has a clever logic to it. The videos have their own home website, but are also published on YouTube as a playlist and as part of a channel with some 229,000 subscribers and almost 40 millions views to date.

I've only sampled these a bit, but obviously they have an appeal from being experiment-oriented (spectacle!) and by playing up the eccentric scientist angle (check out the hair!):

Friday, March 22, 2013

Truth or Fail

Hank Green of the vlogbrothers began his Truth or Fail videos back in 2009. The structure is simple. He gives two statements. One is true, the other false. You pick which one you think is right, and either it's true, or you fail. He has a variety of themes, with five questions for each. Here's an example:

Humanism in Stick Figures and Renaissance in the Jurassic

I tried to configure a slap-together video montage playlist thing of what our project would end up looking like....

But then I got really excited about finishing this.

I also played around with Xtra normal and realized we can do recordings of our own voices, which is great. We can watch that one in class, too, if we want.

Exploring the Interactive Educational Video

As we contemplate creating a mini-curriculum about Renaissance literature, it would be well to see how YouTube is being used to create interactive educational videos.

My first big realization here is that we have to get past thinking of a video as a presentation of content. It can and should be at times. But to make interactive videos, you have to think of each video in terms of an invitation, a direction, or a call to action. In other words, the entire video is focused on the proposed interaction. This means that longer content can be broken down into segments that allow for some kind of response from the viewer.

Viewer interactions are made possible by clickable links to other videos, and these happen via the annotations feature on YouTube (see the image).

I've also learned that you have to plan out the connections for your video in terms of decisions:

One can create narrative, "choose your own adventure" style interactive video series. One can also create games, or conduct quizzes.

My main sources:

This Is Spinal Outline

I had a slightly more detailed and interesting course map for this theme, but my wife accidentally took my notebook to her class this morning, so I had to reconstruct everything from memory.

Oh, and I appear to have missed a couple of arrows.  How embarrassing.
Hey guys! Julie Anne and I put this outline together for Plough Boys. Hopefully it can generate some thought and conversation. It mostly follows Amber's outline with a few changes and tie ins.

Typographia's Videos

Because 3 is a magical number, I thought that it would be good to have three areas the typographia videos covered.

1. How printing changed writing and reading.
Text: In Defense of Poesy by Sir Phillip Sidney.
This would talk about the rise in the amount of writers, because there were now more readers who could afford to buy books and consequently read. Sidney wrote his defense because of the bad poetry going on by the sheer amount of those who could get published now.

2. How it changed text.
Text: George Herbert's poetry.
Printing meant that writers could experiment with the formatting of their poetry, allowing for new forms to emerge at this time.

3. Censorship.
Text: Areopagitica by Milton.
Printing made ideas spread wildly, with the means in which to produce it. Some institutions found this threatening and censored what material left the printing press.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Parable of Summer Camp

Bear with me as I spew my thoughts out onto this blog post. One thing about this project that has been in the back of my mind and I can't seem to get over is how the final project will actually look. How the final piece will actually be accessed and connected.

As I mentioned in the comments in Amber's post, seeing things helps me to better understand them. While I served my mission in the Philippines, one way we helped our investigators better understand what we were teaching was through parables. Although, I'm not teaching myself a moral lesson with the "Parable of Summer Camp," I found it helpful for me anyway. So I'm going to attempt to put into words what has been on my mind concerning our project; hopefully it will help someone else other than  myself.

I never attended any sort of summer camps in the mountains, where the participants lived in little cabins, and did all sorts of team building activities (although I was in Boy Scouts).  So, my image of summer camps comes from the 1995 family comedy, Heavy Weights.

It might work better if I first make a list for all to see:

lake = internet
swimmers = our 6 themes
swimsuits, floaties, etc. = I'll call these "theme extras" (i.e. videos, intros, etc.)
a rope that the swimmers can hold onto = some way to connect the 6 themes
floating platform on the lake = a platform (like a website) that we can use to connect all of the themes & theme extras

So, I imagine our project like 6 little swimmers out there with their swimsuits and floaties.  The swimmers are treading water, in order for the swimmers to stay together, they need either a rope or to stay on the platform together.  Honestly, I don't care either way how the swimmers stick together.  But they have to stick together (at least in my mind).  Is this making sense?

So do we use a rope or a platform?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Plough Boy Avatars Draft

Here are some rough ideas of avatars for Plough Boys and Bibles.  There is a preacher and a farm boy.  I do, however, agree with Amber's thought about what age group we are aiming for.  I guess that's more a discussion for class.  I couldn't find the page we were supposed to post to, so I'm posting this as a draft until I can find it.

Also, I had way too much fun on the avatar creator sight...
Farm Boy

Sprezzatura Avatar

She is a master of conversation and is wickedly witty. Always dressed in the latest fashions, she has droves of handsome courtier suitors. She's best friends with the queen, and she writes poetry for fun. She likes to stroll through gardens and has a secret passion for men who fence. She is well versed in the sonnets of the day, and she's a professional swooner. 

Meet Lady Annabelle, sprezzatura Avatar.

I was  going to paint some others, but it didn't happen. I wanted to paint a pirate (of sorts) for Brave New Worlds, and maybe an ancient school teacher, too. Thomas Wilson style!

The Triangular Conversation

So, in terms of story-telling, it's often best to have a three-prong angle of attack on an issue.  There's the villain trying to do something, the hero trying to stop the villain, and a third person--the hero's boss, the hero's love interest, the hero's servant, the villain's servant, the hero's friend, whatever--that has a different perspective on things.

I subsequently wanted to create a group of three interesting and amusing characters who would have different stances, opinions, and knowledge of my two themes:  Brave New World and Sprezzatura.

And here they are:
It took me maybe twenty minutes to draw these figures, and manipulating them to give different expressions or movement isn't tremendously difficult. 

What I was thinking was that we could write up some short scripts and record them, and then layer the audio over a series of images of these characters.  That's REALLY easy to do in programs such as iMovie. 

Princess Leia is an aristocrat, technically, but she is rather indifferent to her position and upbringing.  However, she very strongly believes in girl-power, and she's good at practically every skill she picks up--shooting, speeder driving, rhetoric, espionage, and so forth. 

Aang is a kid who is supposed to save the world.  Plus, avatar joke.  He doesn't know very much about very much, so he gets to ask a lot of questions for the audience's benefit. 

Smiley McGee is a hardcore nobleman who embodies sprezzatura, but has some retrogressive views that clash with Leia's feminist stance.