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Exhibit Compares Stephen Colbert And James Joyce

Exhibit Compares Stephen Colbert And James Joyce | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The press department for the Rosenbach Museum refers to Stephen Colbert's book "I Am A Pole (And So Can You!)" as a "children's book," quotations included.

 

__________

Seems like it might be a day for slightly off the wall entries!

 

I've always liked Steven Colbert's intellect. He's obviously well-read and not at all reluctant to bring that intellect into his popular humor program.

 

This article discusses Philadelphia's Rosenbach Museum exhibit comparing Colbert's literary prowess with that of James Joyce. Of course, it caught my eye having recently spent five days meandering around the literary scenes of Joyce and other Dublin writers.

 

If you haven't seen Colbert's Northwestern University commencement speech or his incredible interview with Maurice Sendak done just prior to Sendak's death, you might be in for a surprise. Both are linked to in this article.

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues. Visit us at http://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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Refreshed Lit Trips Reaches 50!

Refreshed Lit Trips Reaches 50! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

25 August 2015

 

With the refresh of the Lit Trips for Blood on the River, Chasing Lincoln's Killer, Bonyo Bonyo, and the refresh of the Literary Location Tour of Jack London State Historic Park we've now reached a total of 50 refreshed Lit Trips since May of 2015.

 

Click image above to see most current list of updated Google Lit Trips.

 

Reminder: ALL Lit Trips are scheduled for updating. Older versions will not work properly once we launch the newly redesigned Google Lit Trips website.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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Did Shakespeare Smoke Weed? The Evidence Is Doobie-ous

Did Shakespeare Smoke Weed? The Evidence Is Doobie-ous | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
A slew of recent headlines suggest that William Shakespeare smoked marijuana, but an acclaimed Shakespeare scholar finds some of the evidence a little half-baked. “Was William Shakespeare high when he
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

13 August 2015

 

For what it's worth. Does this have any role in a classroom?

 

Just for the heck of it, can you come up with <aribtrary number> advantages and the same number of disadvantages for considering its role in a classroom?

 

Or, using Go Set a Watchman in a classroom for that matter.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Martin Luther King Jr. and the Common Core: A critical reading of “close reading”

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Common Core: A critical reading of “close reading” | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

7 August 2015

 

A must read, as is viewing the video upon which  author Daniel E. Ferguson bases his concerns. 

 

The video is available here: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/engny.pd.ccvs.ela10/close-reading-of-text-mlk-letter-from-birmingham-jail/&nbsp;

 

I'm going to forgo my usual verbosity and say, read the article. Watch the video.

 

Read Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. 

 

And, then, read Sir Ken Robinson's "The Global Search for Education: More Arts Please " here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/c-m-rubin/the-global-search-for-edu_9_b_932670.html ;

 

Read them closely and then read them critically. 

 

Which way does your scale tip?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Here's Why Walter Palmer Keeps Saying He 'Took' Cecil The Lion

Here's Why Walter Palmer Keeps Saying He 'Took' Cecil The Lion | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Used commonly among hunters, the euphemism reveals a culture of Orwellian doublespeak prevalent throughout the hunting world.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

4 August 2015

 

A most important informational reading skill is BiaS detecting.

 

An exquisite piece of Informational Reading focused upon the subtle, ways in which euphemism is used to disguise disinformation as unbiased information. 

  

   Cherry-Picked argument

+ euphemism

_____________________________

= powerful tool for fooling "way too many of the people way too much of the time.

 

If students "get it" here, it should be an easy bridge towards finding how euphemism is used by politicians, advertisers and others to paint a rosier than real picture of their position and a darker than real picture of opposing positions.

 

But don't let your students off the hook too easily. Challenge them to find examples where those representing positions they happen to agree with, who also have stooped to use euphemism for deception.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature

51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"At the still point, there the dance is." —T. S. Eliot
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

1 August 2015

 

PREFACE: This commentary rests upon a confession of sorts that I was a bit of a fool in my own school days. I prefer the term "late bloomer." A goofball nevertheless. However, I will remind the reader that I did later wind up becoming an actual high school English teacher and dedicating my teaching career to a high school English teacher who made all the difference in the world to me.

___________

There were times in my me-centric youth when almost nothing in school annoyed me more than being told by my English teachers that it is important to read between the lines in literature.

 

For example, as a freshman in high school, I was not even slightly interested in love. Cars, baseball, and horsing around with my buddies pretty much crowded wanting a girlfriend on my list of stuff I cared about off my list of stuff I cared about. In fact, among my buddies,  having a girl friend was setting oneself up for ruthless teasing. 

 

This did not mean that we had no interest in girls. But, that interest, although normal, was not focused upon love. Though we all enjoyed a wide variety of jokes based in the realm of lust. Nothing to be particularly proud of.

 

BUT, Romeo and Juliet was required reading nevertheless. Ironically, in general I was a pretty enthusiastic reader when it came to books I could choose myself. But the combination of Shakespeare's "torturous" language and the focus upon teens in love, pre-empted any chance that I would believe the play could possibly have any interest for me. 

 

I remember "cracking a joke" during one of our final class lectures about the play that played exceptionally well with most of my male buddies in the class and earned me mostly scornful eye-rolling from most of the females in the class and a few unwelcome words from the teacher both in front of my classmates as well as in private when the teacher asked me to remain after class that day.

 

The joke? The teacher, hoping to harvest expressions of gratitude for assigning the play, asked for our opinion about the play's "sad" ending. He got a few such comments from the students that I perceived as being the "goody-goody" students. When the teacher had harvested enough positive comments he made the mistake of "randomly" calling upon me for my thoughts on the ending. In the carelessly too-common way I had about such things, I responded, "Actually, I couldn't wait for them to kill themselves."

 

What I meant was that I couldn't wait for us to be finished reading the play because it was really hard to read and I perceived it to be a teen love story for which I had virtually no interest. 

 

This confession leads me to the reason I chose to scoop this particular article. 

 

The short reason being well-stated in the old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." 

 

The longer reason being that the beholder may or may not yet be ready to see or appreciate the beauty of a well-turned phrase, an exquisitely written poem, or a masterpiece of literary significance. This does not mean that the beholder and the "beholdee" might not come together at a later date when the beholder might have matured sufficiently to appreciate what he or she had not given a chance earlier.

 

_____

An interesting aside

My wife and I found our very first teaching jobs in the same district where I had gone to school. Mine was a long-term sub job at the very high school I had attended. My wife's was at the middle school I had attended.

 

Needless to say, I had had several teachers with whom I had suddenly become a colleague. And, my wife had to learn how to react  to her new colleagues, many of whom I had had for teachers, when they swallowed awkwardly, struggling for something positive to say, not comprehending how she could have married someone for whom their recollections were of a goofball class clown.

_____

 

Today, though remnants of the fun-loving goofball still exist, I do see much beauty between the lines of the 51 sentences noted in this scooped article. I realize that the beauty IS in what is actually between the lines. 

 

Though not every kid will be able to "see" the beauty between the lines, most will see that there is an intended message between the lines that is greater than the sum of the sentence's parts. They will be able to see that an intended bit of useful wisdom is there to see. 

 

So... How might I use this webpage in class?

1st: I'd share the webpage rather than copy sentences to paper. Paper triggers more "auto-reject" responses than a webpage. (sort of like reading Shakespeare triggers more "auto-reject" responses than experiencing Shakespeare as a play or movie. Keep in mind the "original sources" for interacting with Shakespeare was witnessing a performance)

 

2nd: I'd ask students to take some time to read all 51 sentences taking note of those that "appealed to them" because they could see and appreciate the "wisdom between the lines." I'd let them know that I was convinced every one of them COULD easily see the messages between the lines AND that I also realized that they would like some of them more than others and that this was OKAY.

 

3rd: I'd challenge them to focus upon five or so (arbitrary number) sentences that they found least interesting/beautiful and to see if they could articulate what those who liked those particular sentences might have liked about them. I'd clarify that understanding what others liked about sentences they themselves did not find that interesting does not mean that they had to agree with those who liked the sentences. It just means that they are able to understand what others might have liked about them. (This is basically a trick to get them to accept that people can have perfectly reasonable differences of opinion.)

 

4th: I'd offer an opportunity for students to give some thought overnight about other sentences or phrases they are aware of that speak to them between the lines. I'd encourage them to think of anything from bumper stickers, to slogans, to lines from a favorite song or movie or poem, to famous quotes, to advise they've been given by parents, teachers, spiritual advisors,  to __________ (any short string of words that spoke to them in important ways)

 

5th: I'd end with an open discussion on the meaning of INFORMATION and the meaning of WISDOM.

 

Perhaps a Venn Diagram might be in order.

 

Just sayin'

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trip an educational nonprofit

 

 

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Christopher D. Sims's curator insight, August 2, 11:04 AM

1 August 2015

 

PREFACE: This commentary rests upon a confession of sorts that I was a bit of a fool in my own school days. I prefer the term "late bloomer." A goofball nevertheless. However, I will remind the reader that I did later wind up becoming an actual high school English teacher and dedicating my teaching career to a high school English teacher who made all the difference in the world to me.

___________

There were times in my me-centric youth when almost nothing in school annoyed me more than being told by my English teachers that it is important to read between the lines in literature.

 

For example, as a freshman in high school, I was not even slightly interested in love. Cars, baseball, and horsing around with my buddies pretty much crowded wanting a girlfriend on my list of stuff I cared about off my list of stuff I cared about. In fact, among my buddies,  having a girl friend was setting oneself up for ruthless teasing. 

 

This did not mean that we had no interest in girls. But, that interest, although normal, was not focused upon love. Though we all enjoyed a wide variety of jokes based in the realm of lust. Nothing to be particularly proud of.

 

BUT, Romeo and Juliet was required reading nevertheless. Ironically, in general I was a pretty enthusiastic reader when it came to books I could choose myself. But the combination of Shakespeare's "torturous" language and the focus upon teens in love, pre-empted any chance that I would believe the play could possibly have any interest for me. 

 

I remember "cracking a joke" during one of our final class lectures about the play that played exceptionally well with most of my male buddies in the class and earned me mostly scornful eye-rolling from most of the females in the class and a few unwelcome words from the teacher both in front of my classmates as well as in private when the teacher asked me to remain after class that day.

 

The joke? The teacher, hoping to harvest expressions of gratitude for assigning the play, asked for our opinion about the play's "sad" ending. He got a few such comments from the students that I perceived as being the "goody-goody" students. When the teacher had harvested enough positive comments he made the mistake of "randomly" calling upon me for my thoughts on the ending. In the carelessly too-common way I had about such things, I responded, "Actually, I couldn't wait for them to kill themselves."

 

What I meant was that I couldn't wait for us to be finished reading the play because it was really hard to read and I perceived it to be a teen love story for which I had virtually no interest. 

 

This confession leads me to the reason I chose to scoop this particular article. 

 

The short reason being well-stated in the old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." 

 

The longer reason being that the beholder may or may not yet be ready to see or appreciate the beauty of a well-turned phrase, an exquisitely written poem, or a masterpiece of literary significance. This does not mean that the beholder and the "beholdee" might not come together at a later date when the beholder might have matured sufficiently to appreciate what he or she had not given a chance earlier.

 

_____

An interesting aside

My wife and I found our very first teaching jobs in the same district where I had gone to school. Mine was a long-term sub job at the very high school I had attended. My wife's was at the middle school I had attended.

 

Needless to say, I had had several teachers with whom I had suddenly become a colleague. And, my wife had to learn how to react  to her new colleagues, many of whom I had had for teachers, when they swallowed awkwardly, struggling for something positive to say, not comprehending how she could have married someone for whom their recollections were of a goofball class clown.

_____

 

Today, though remnants of the fun-loving goofball still exist, I do see much beauty between the lines of the 51 sentences noted in this scooped article. I realize that the beauty IS in what is actually between the lines. 

 

Though not every kid will be able to "see" the beauty between the lines, most will see that there is an intended message between the lines that is greater than the sum of the sentence's parts. They will be able to see that an intended bit of useful wisdom is there to see. 

 

So... How might I use this webpage in class?

1st: I'd share the webpage rather than copy sentences to paper. Paper triggers more "auto-reject" responses than a webpage. (sort of like reading Shakespeare triggers more "auto-reject" responses than experiencing Shakespeare as a play or movie. Keep in mind the "original sources" for interacting with Shakespeare was witnessing a performance)

 

2nd: I'd ask students to take some time to read all 51 sentences taking note of those that "appealed to them" because they could see and appreciate the "wisdom between the lines." I'd let them know that I was convinced every one of them COULD easily see the messages between the lines AND that I also realized that they would like some of them more than others and that this was OKAY.

 

3rd: I'd challenge them to focus upon five or so (arbitrary number) sentences that they found least interesting/beautiful and to see if they could articulate what those who liked those particular sentences might have liked about them. I'd clarify that understanding what others liked about sentences they themselves did not find that interesting does not mean that they had to agree with those who liked the sentences. It just means that they are able to understand what others might have liked about them. (This is basically a trick to get them to accept that people can have perfectly reasonable differences of opinion.)

 

4th: I'd offer an opportunity for students to give some thought overnight about other sentences or phrases they are aware of that speak to them between the lines. I'd encourage them to think of anything from bumper stickers, to slogans, to lines from a favorite song or movie or poem, to famous quotes, to advise they've been given by parents, teachers, spiritual advisors,  to __________ (any short string of words that spoke to them in important ways)

 

5th: I'd end with an open discussion on the meaning of INFORMATION and the meaning of WISDOM.

 

Perhaps a Venn Diagram might be in order.

 

Just sayin'

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trip an educational nonprofit

 

 

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The nerd's guide to learning everything online

The nerd's guide to learning everything online | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Some of us learn best in the classroom, and some of us ... well, we don't. But we still love to learn -- we just need to find the way that works for us. In this charming, personal talk, author John Green shares the community of learning that he found in online video.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

25 July 2015

 

Wow! Wow! Wow! 

 

I might retitle this intriguing TED talk, "What we can all learn from those who weren't all that successful at school learning."

 

I actually wasn't attracted to its actual title. But, since I do live a bit within the world of nerdy learning, I watched it and within seconds began liking what I was hearing for a wide variety of seemingly disconnected reasons.

 

First as the founder of Google Lit Trips, I was immediately attracted to John Green's use of cartography at the intersection of geography documentation and metaphor for "something" beyond the literal sense of mapping.

 

Second, I found myself relating to his sense of his high school experience being tainted by the foggy at best connection between some of his high school experiences and anything that he could actually find reasons to care about. 

 

Third, his having been dismissed for his lack of engagement in school work as an indication that he wasn't the kind of kid worth investing much interest in by some of his teachers. This rang true for me. I got decent grades in some classes and not in others. It was NOT curriculum-specific. I found most math classes boring and dreary. Yet, for some reason I really got excited by geometry. But that's not the truth. I got excited by Mr. Tinling's way of teaching. He was funny. He had a library of geometry jokes that he'd sprinkle throughout the semester. Dumb jokes often, like "What did the baby acorn say when he grew up?" Gee I'm a Tree! He knew they were dumb jokes. That's what he and many of my classmates liked about them. He was having fun teaching and made coming to his class a fun place to learn. 

 

Mr. Rowland, my typing teacher demonstrated how to load paper into an actual typewriter (yes, I'm that old) by placing his Royal teaching typewriter on his flat lectern with the keys facing us so we could get the user's view of the process and bent over the typewriter as he looked at us explaining that he was going to place the paper "here" and then turn "this" knob in "this direction which we would see would cause the paper to be pulled into position to be typed upon.

 

It was all done with a straight face never looking down at the typewriter, ostensibly not realizing that he was actually "accidentally" loading his necktie into the typewriter. It was hilarious. He knew it was hilarious. And, he knew that his students loved him for having fun teaching us. He knew that because his students knew he wanted us to enjoy learning that we would both enjoy AND learn.I remember an "ah ha" moment one day realizing that he never he never had a single discipline problem was because every one of us wanted him to like us as much as he appeared to like teaching us. We were engaged with his teaching because he was clearly engaged in making learning engaging to "all his kids;"  not just the kids who were "good at math," but those like myself who were quick to prematurely (and immaturely) dismiss math as being boring and of absolutely no potential interest. 

 

Just in case you're still reading.... my takeaway from this video is that the focus of the video is its "what's wrong with classroom instruction" oversimplification, as it is an intriguing tease into considering the reality that some young people find their curiosity re-ignited outside the classroom for reasons that might be worth considering by educators inside the classroom. 

 

Final thoughts, I can't help but recall two favorite sayings...

 

"They won't care how much you know until they know how much you care." (Want to take an uplifting side trip? Google this quote and explore how many takes different people have on the value of remembering this concept.)

 

"The truth is more important than facts." ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

(Your immediate response to this quote?)

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit



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# of Refreshed Google Lit Trips reaches 39!

# of Refreshed Google Lit Trips reaches 39! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

If you use any of the 39 freshly updated Google Lit Trips. Please update ASAP. All previous versions are being obsoleted to assure greater quality control.

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

2 June 2015

 

They keep on coming. Total number of Google Lit Trips completely refreshed now at 39! See complete list of updated Lit Trips at: http://www.GoogleLitTrips.org.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Google Lit Trips are brought to you by GLT Global ED a 501c3 educational nonprofit

 

 

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Here's Why Famous Authors Chose Their Fake Names

Here's Why Famous Authors Chose Their Fake Names | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Writers have chosen pen names over the centuries for reasons almost as varied as the names themselves. (We're looking at you, "Dr. Seuss.")

While some changed their names simply for easie
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

19 May 2015

 

Great infographic. No surprise that reasons for using pseudonyms drift heavily towards prejudices against women and the dangers of unprotected freedom of speech.

 

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brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, a 501c3 educational nonprofit

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Five more Google Lit Trips UPDATES!

Five more Google Lit Trips UPDATES! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

15 May 2015

 

Today we posted five updated Google Lit Trips including Journey to Topaz, The Kite Runner, Lost! Marching for Freedom and Night

 

This brings the total number of updated Lit Trips to 29 so far this month. 

 

See the complete list of updated Lit Trips at www.GoogleLitTrips.org 

 

IMPORTANT: ALL Google Lit Trips are being updated in anticipation of our imminent transition to our new website.  Older versions may soon not work properly.

 

 ~ GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Google Lit Trips is the flagship project of GLT Global ED, a 501c3 educational nonprofit

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Arts Group Boldly Confronts Segregation In Selma

Arts Group Boldly Confronts Segregation In Selma | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Earlier this year, a spotlight shined on Selma, Alabama, in remembrance of the civil rights march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge that was brutally interrupted by police in 1965. Though the violence of Bloody Sunday catalyzed the successful battle agains...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

29 April 2015

Can we read the headlines that prove there is still more work to be done and do nothing and feel no shame?

 

_____

"Partaking in the metaphorical march is an organization called  Random Acts of Theatre Company (RATCo) which aims to allow youth from all races and economic backgrounds to express themselves through art. Founded in 2007, it has locations nationwide, with headquarters in Selma. Director Joseph East took an interest in the group after visiting Selma on a history tour, and noticing the impact it had on its members."

_____

Remembering Selma, both for the momentum for change that it caused and for the unfinished business we have not yet created sufficient momentum to successfully address. Young artists create poetry.

 

Do you teach To Kill A Mockingbird"?

Watch this video and walk in this young man's shoes per Atticus Finch's advise. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Things That Must Not Be Forgotten by Michael David Kwan

Things That Must Not Be Forgotten by Michael David Kwan | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

3 April 2015

 

We're proud to announce the publication of our newest Google Lit Trip.This unique Lit Trip for Michael David Kwan’s memoir, Things That Must Not Be Forgotten was developed by the author’s son Nick Kwan.


Nick Kwan blends elements of his father’s book with his own discoveries about his family as he searched for the world his father grew up in as a child in China.

 

“An award-winning memoir that describes the childhood of Kwan, a young boy living in Beijing in the 1930s. Abandoned by his Swiss mother and overwhelmed by his father, Kwan's life is thrown into turmoil when the Japanese invade.”

~ Google Books

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

 

 

 

 

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Calendar of Events :: National Steinbeck Center

Calendar of Events :: National Steinbeck Center | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
National Steinbeck Center, Salinas, California - Our mission is to tell the
story of John Steinbeck’s rich legacy and to present, create and explore stories of the human
condition.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

10 February 2015

 

This FREE EVENT might be well worth a visit to the National Steinbeck Center if you're anywhere near Salinas, California.

 

I love the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas California.! Just 90 miles away, I make the trip a couple of times a year. And, like to make a mini-getaway out of it. Steinbeck's childhood home is just a couple of blocks away. And, then a nice drive over to Monterey for a trip down Cannery Row. In fact if planned correctly you can have lunch in the Steinbeck home (except Mondays) and visit the Pacific Biological Laboratary where Steinbeck's buddy Ed Ricketts worked while becoming the model for Doc in Cannery Row and Steinbeck's co-author of the Sea of Cortez.

 

~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

 

 

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Texas Sending Man to Death Chamber on Thursday Based on 'Of Mice and Men'

Texas Sending Man to Death Chamber on Thursday Based on 'Of Mice and Men' | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Invoking Lennie as its benchmark, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals announced rules that fail to protect persons with intellectual disability from execution. Because of these unscientific and fictional standards, Robert Ladd, a man who has an IQ of...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

29 January 2015

Those who teach Of Mice and Men ought to pause right now and bookmark this article.

 

One of the most effective ways to incorporate informational reading and literary reading includes the classroom conversations where the fiction so closely sends messages that reverberate in the real world as is the case in the parallels between John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and the real world parallel expressed in this article . 


 Although the article's author centers his attention upon what he points to as an insult to Steinbeck's intentions and I would not avoid considering that point, I would not let that be the "thesis" focus of the class discussion, but rather have that conversation be one of the "topic sentence" foci of a broader discussion.

 

Did you notice that the author gave no details about either Robert Ladd's crime nor details of the "so-called 'Briseno factors'" upon which the appeals court made their ruling?

 

The broader discussion I might aim for would be the concept of social responsibility and whether or not the mentally disabled, at some definable level, can rightfully be held responsible for their actions.

 

If students are willing or capable of really digging into their initial positions on the fates of Lennie Small and Robert Ladd, I might consider "raising the ante" by having them read this article (http://www.ibtimes.com/who-robert-ladd-mentally-disabled-man-faces-death-penalty-after-texas-court-denies-1798554) that gives details about the gruesomeness of the crime(s) committed by Robert Ladd.

 

This article (http://gawker.com/letters-from-death-row-robert-ladd-texas-inmate-99923-1657957647 ;) includes a letter Ladd wrote from prison regarding the case. I can imagine that students might find reasons supporting both sides of the question in the letter.

Finally, if engagement merits, I'd end the discussion with this article (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/texas-inmate-tied-slayings-set-execution-wednesday-28519993) about another Texas inmate scheduled for execution the day before Ladd, who was given a stay of execution.

.

I suspect there are few readers of Of Mice and Men who do not develop some level of compassion for Lenny even though he is the cause of Curley's wife's death. 

 

I suspect there are few readers of Of Mice and Men who do not develop some level of compassion for Lenny even though he is the cause of Curley's wife's death. I would be intrigued to see if the students justified their positions upon the "deed done," or by their opinions of Curley and/or Curly's wife; or upon any argument that strayed from the central issue of whether or not mentally disabled people can be expected to comprehend their civic responsibilities and act accordingly.

 

Personally, I would try to engage the students in managing their own discussion regarding the fate of Robert Ladd. I'd probably even consider letting them know that I would be refusing to give or even suggest my own thoughts on the matter. And, that I would only ask that they include in their consideration how they might manage to keep the discussion on a civil level; which might be the greatest challenge the students might face.

 

But, being able to be civil while "working on our own development" as responsible citizens is a skill-set that is worth "something" in a society and at a time when the headlines around the globe are overflowing with the dilemmas caused by actions dominated emotional outrage at the actions of those who have the audacity to have differing beliefs, values, and interests.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

 

 

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More refreshed Google Lit Trips!

More refreshed Google Lit Trips! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

21 August 2015

 

Three more completely refreshed Lit Trips uploaded today bringing the total of refreshed Lit Trips to 46! Click image above to see most current list of updated Google Lit Trips.

 

Reminder: ALL Lit Trips are scheduled for updating. Older versions will not work properly once we launch the newly redesigned Google Lit Trips website.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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Tim Parks says importance of literature overrated

Tim Parks says importance of literature overrated | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
English novelist, literary critic and translator Tim Parks offers a new perspective »»
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

9 August 2015

 

I have to admit this article's title caught my eye. 

 

In a "mindful moment," I recognized that I'd gone into an instant auto-reject mode based upon a flood of negative expectations resulting from the title.Yet, I read it though with significant skeptical anticipation. 

 

Though I'd prefer to let you decide whether or not you find value in the article, I did find the following Question and Response a valuable confirmation of one of my own core beliefs regarding the way reading literature sometimes works and sometimes does not work. That belief being that reader readiness is the real key to whether a particular piece of literature works.

 

[The CAPS are mine]

__________

"There is a crucial question at the beginning of your book: “Do books, after all, change anything?” Have you been able to reach a concise answer for that?

Well, W.H. Auden famously thought they didn't. My own feeling is that in our personal lives, books, like all kinds of other encounters, can change things, for better or worse. I think of books like meetings. Anything can happen. Usually a new acquaintance is quickly forgotten, but SOMETIMES A PARTICULAR MIND AND AND ATTITUDE INTERSECT AT A PARTICULAR MOMENT WITH YOUR DISPOSITION.  And in this case, a book can shift your vision of the world and change the way you think. Beckett did this to me, as did Bernhard and a lesser-known British writer named Henry Green. BUT THESE ARE VERY PERSONAL THINGS. IT DOES NOT ALWAYS DEPEND ON THE QUALITY OF THE BOOK, BUT THE NATURE OF THE TWO MINDS MEETING.

__________

 

 The way I have phrased the concept has been,

 

__________

No two people ever read the same book and no person ever reads the same book twice.

__________ 

 

Ironically, I remember precisely when I first came to this understanding. Not surprisingly, it was a result of a literary reading experience. And even more ironically it was a book I only found slightly intriguing at the time. In fact, it was a book I've never bothered to be interested enough in to re-read. But it is a book that included two sentences that somehow struck an incredibly receptive moment at that intersection with my life at that time. The book was Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I was a college freshman at the time; was just beginning to suspect that I might be emerging from "some sort of' youthful cocoon of blissful ignorance when I came upon this passage,.. 

 

__________

“But out of all secrets of the river, he today only saw one, this one touched his soul. He saw: this water ran and ran, incessantly it ran, and was nevertheless always there, was always at all times the same and yet new in every moment!"

__________


Worth remembering when 30 students are sitting on the bank of the river of literary wisdom.
 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Jen O'Connor's curator insight, August 14, 8:24 PM

The title caught my eye... and piqued my interest.  

 

I agree - no two people read the same book and have the same experience.

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Amy Winehouse, Allen Iverson, and the Importance of Seeing Our Students

Amy Winehouse, Allen Iverson, and the Importance of Seeing Our Students | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Two documentaries I saw recently got me thinking a lot about teaching, even though neither focuses on education: "Amy," about acclaimed British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011, and "Iverson," about 11-time NBA all-star and 2000-2001 Most Valuable Player, Allen Iverson.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

5 August 2015

 

I seem to have found myself noticing a ton of articles that would go right to the top of my list of great Informational Reading experiences in a classroom. 

 

This one would go to the top of two lists; those that would be great in the classroom and those that would be great in the faculty room.

 

I can't help but wonder what might happen if a teacher shared this article with his/her students sometime in the first week of the school year.

 

I might start off by saying something like...

 

"I'd like to try an experiment."

 

"I'm going to ask each of you to read an article I found online. After everyone has had a chance to finish the article, I'm going to sit down and simply listen to any stories you'd like to share with each other about favorite teachers who've made a difference in your life BECAUSE THEY CARED ABOUT YOU. 

 

"The only rule I'd like to impose is that today I want to be inspired by stories of teachers you appreciated because you knew they cared about you as a person. So today I'd rather not hear about teachers who didn't seem to care about you as a person as much as they could have." 

 

It would probably feel a bit risky, but hey, don't we frequently expect my students to be willing to take a risk and try something new?

 

I'm reminded of another of my favorite quotes ...

 

"The only thing that costs more than caring is not caring."

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Dan Corkery: Reading the first draft of literary history

For many high school students, Harper Lee's
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

2 August 2015

 

Like many I suppose, I've struggled with formulating my thoughts about the publication of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman. When I came across this article, I was immediately struck by the title emphasizing two of my main concerns; it is a FIRST DRAFT and it is referenced as LITERARY HISTORY.

 

My hope was that the potentially irreparable damage caused to the reputation of Harper Lee and to the reputation of To Kill a Mockingbird, could be pre-empted.

 

It became clear in the anticipatory frenzy for the publication of Go Set a Watchman, that much misdirected and negative commentary would dominate the headlines.

 

It was never a secret that Go Set a Watchman was a problematic rough draft. Yet it was also quite clear that the focus of critical review would treat it as a scandalous revelation about Atticus Finch as though Go Set a Watchman was an intended sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. It isn't, wasn't and was never intended to be a sequel. The character called Atticus Finch in Go Set a Watchman is NOT the same character as the character named Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. To assume that they are the same character, to intentionally or unintentionally lead students to the assumption that Go Set a Watchman is a sequel or that the two very different Atticus's were intended by Harper Lee to be the same person is irresponsible to use a more sedate adjective than I might have used.

 

To even assume that Harper Lee actually and knowingly approved of publishing Go Set a Watchman is an ill-informed assumption leading many to assume that she has given tacit approval to a belief that the two Atticus's are one and the same.

 

To even reference Go Set a Watchman as "this new book" is misleading. First it is older not newer. This is not nitpicking. It is addressing the issue of literary history for what it is a document of historical value when studying the writing process. Calling Go Set a Watchman a "new book" will lead too many to neglect to remember that it is a rough draft that Harper Lee recognized with the help of an editor as not being the book she really should have written. 

 

When I read Go Set a Watchman (by the way, those of us who pre-ordered the iBook version were able to read the book the day before the actual paper-based publication), it became clear fairly quickly that Go Set a Watchman would run into problems even making its way into a classroom. After all, how many works of literature have met with serious objection to a book's content that would be found far less objectionable than 28 year old Scout's telling a childhood flame that she would consider having an affair with him but that she would not consider marrying him?

 

Personally, I think Go Set a Watchman's value is limited to literary scholarship interested in its revelations about Harper Lee's writing practice. I fear that its use as if it were actual literature intended to be shared by its author, would seriously misdirect attention away from an exquisite work of literary achievement by an author who chose herself not to publish her early draftings.

 

I don't know if this metaphor works, but to me it would be like judging a meal created by a chef by the mess that was made in the kitchen and not sufficiently cleaned up.

 

My challenge...

If you choose to incorporate Go Set a Watchman into your study of To Kill A Mockingbird, be prepared to craft its inclusion in such a way that students, many of whom may not be astute enough to avoid leaving the experience believing that Atticus turned into a racist after To Kill A Mockingbird ended. He didn't. And, Harper Lee deserves better.

 

btw.. My guess is that Harper Lee wanted to include a character unlike the easy to distinguish the easy to dislike racist characters such as the Ewells as racist. The more subtle issues arise when the racist is family. My guess? Making Atticus this character simply did not work. The solution? Shift the family racist character to Aunt Alexandra. 

 

For what it's worth:

When you read Go Set a Watchman, Aunt Alexandra doesn't really play a well-conceived role. Giving her the role of the family racist in To Kill A Mockingbird makes her an important dilemma for Scout, Jem, and Atticus while leaving Atticus and Miss Maudie, who has no role in Go Set a Watchman, to represent the more admirable traits of good people in a "not-so-good" society in To Kill A Mockingbird. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

 

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No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong

No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

27 I have had so many conversations or email exchanges with students in the last few years wherein I anger them by indicating that simply saying, "This is my opinion" does not preclude a connected statement from being dead wrong. It still baffles me that some feel those four words somehow...

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

27 JULY 2015

 

Looking for a great piece of informational reading to start with this school year?  This is a great article that gets to an essential informational reading skill; the difference between opinion and fact.

 

As author Jef Rouner points out, too many people believe that if they have an opinion it can't be called wrong. As if having a different opinion is somehow an adequate defense for a "Let's agree to disagree" conclusion. 

 

I seriously encourage any teacher responsible for including Informational Reading in his or her lesson planning to read this article and to share it or at least its essential concepts as early in the school year as possible.

 

One of my favorite classroom conversations revolved around the distinction between being ill-informed, being misinformed and being disinformed


This was frequently followed up by a conversation about the difference between being wrong due to an unrecognized misunderstanding and being wrong due to being adamantly ignorant.

 

Follow up activity? What could be better than asking students to be attentive to the "information" being put out as valid opinion during an election season?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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Create, share, and manage custom maps from Drive

Create, share, and manage custom maps from Drive | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

2 July 2015

 

If you use Google Drive, Google has just added access to creating My Maps.

 

This could be HUGE across the curriculum. across campus, and across the world!  

 

Interested in developing Literary Location Maps to feature on the Google Lit Trips site? Imagine collaborating on on single map with individual layers for interesting literary places to visit such as author homes, literary sculptures, beautiful libraries, iconic bookstores?


Let's talk...JeromeBurg@GoogleLitTrips.org


 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips a 501c3 educational nonprofit

 

 

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Important Google Lit Trip UPDATE

Important Google Lit Trip UPDATE | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

35 Google Lit Trips updated in May of 2015. If you use older versions of these Lit Trips please update now.

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

26 May 2015

 

35 Google Lit Trips updated in May of 2015. If you use older versions of these Lit Trips please update now.

 

Yesterday we uploaded newly refreshed and updated Google Lit Trips for Candide | Frankenstein | Are We There Yet? | Hana's Suitcase | The Odyssey (a Greece-Centric Interpretation | The Odyssey (a Mediterranean-Wide Interpretation

 

If you use any versions of the following titles please update them now  at http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com :

 

A Family Apart 

A Small Dog’s Life 

A Walk in London 

Abuela 

Amy’s Travels 

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl 

Big Anthony: His Story 

Brothers in Hope

By the Great Hornspoon

Esperanza Rising 

Fever 1793 

Flotsam

Going Home

Journey to Topaz 

Make Way for Ducklings 

Marching for Freedom

Night

Number the Stars 

Pedro’s Journal 

Riding Freedom 

Sam Patch: Daredevil Jumper 

The Slave Dancer 

The Armadillo From Amarillo 

The Grapes of Wrath 

The Kite Runner

Lost! 

The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 

Walk Two Moons 

We All Went on Safari

 

 ~ GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Google Lit Trips is brought to you by GLT Global ED, a 501c3 educational nonprofit

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Cindy Riley Klages's curator insight, May 26, 9:36 PM
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

26 May 2015

 

35 Google Lit Trips updated in May of 2015. If you use older versions of these Lit Trips please update now.

 

Yesterday we uploaded newly refreshed and updated Google Lit Trips for Candide | Frankenstein | Are We There Yet? | Hana's Suitcase | The Odyssey (a Greece-Centric Interpretation | The Odyssey (a Mediterranean-Wide Interpretation

 

If you use any versions of the following titles please update them now  at http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com :

 

A Family Apart 

A Small Dog’s Life 

A Walk in London 

Abuela 

Amy’s Travels 

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl 

Big Anthony: His Story 

Brothers in Hope

By the Great Hornspoon

Esperanza Rising 

Fever 1793 

Flotsam

Going Home

Journey to Topaz 

Make Way for Ducklings 

Marching for Freedom

Night

Number the Stars 

Pedro’s Journal 

Riding Freedom 

Sam Patch: Daredevil Jumper 

The Slave Dancer 

The Armadillo From Amarillo 

The Grapes of Wrath 

The Kite Runner

Lost! 

The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 

Walk Two Moons 

We All Went on Safari

 

 ~ GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Google Lit Trips is brought to you by GLT Global ED, a 501c3 educational nonprofit

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'The pursuit of happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be' (Wired UK)

'The pursuit of happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be' (Wired UK) | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Aristotle claimed that "happiness is the meaining and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence." And for good reason.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

May 17, 2015

Teach irony? 

Here's one for you.While looking for an informational reading article to connect to the chapters in Voltaire's Candide that question our conceptions of what it take to make one happy, you know money, power, toys,etc, for the Candide Google Lit Trip refresh, I came across this site. It's a pretty good articulation of a broader spectrum of considerations regarding how we believe we can be happy.

And then I noticed the ad in the upper left corner for the Robb Report. It wasn't coincidence. While searching for an informational reading article just two days ago while working on the refresh for the Lit Trip for Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, I had gone to the Robb Report looking for articles challenging students to think about the 1% vs the 99% question and the public discourse on the fairness or unfairness of unequal distribution of wealth. The Robb Report is always good for "defending" conspicuous consumption.

Well, you know how the internet tracks our "interests" by tracking ads we click. Having visited the Robb Report, ads for the Robb Report seem to be showing up on nearly every website I visit. 

The irony of a Robb Report ad appearing on this page questioning the common notions that more toys, and the more expensive those toys are, equals more happiness is just too ironic not to share.

You won't see this ad on this page yourself because your use of the internet will lead those who figured out how to place ads they think will entice you will place different ads on the page.

So... You just might want to download the image above (https://www.flickr.com/photos/30776705@N04/17755552036/in/dateposted-public/) and file it for your next lesson on irony or juxtaposition, or stealth marketing, or dare I say, data-based decision making?

Here's the URL for the Robb Report (www.Robbreport.com) just in case it occurs to you that a great jigsaw lesson can be built from these two informational reading resources.

BTW...I can't help but wonder if the Robb Report is short for the Robber Baron Report.
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Google Lit Trips is the flagship project of GLT Global ED a 501c3 educational nonprofit.

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23 Lit Trips Updates in Last 4 Days!

23 Lit Trips Updates in Last 4 Days! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

7 MAY 2015: If you use any of the Google Lit Trips above, you'll definitely want to download these very recent updates.

 

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, May 7, 3:41 PM

7 May 2015: If you use any of these Google Lit Trips, you'll definitely want to download these recent updates. More on the way!

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The Armadillo From Amarillo by Lynne Cherry

The Armadillo From Amarillo by Lynne Cherry | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

14 April 2015

Texas Proud to announce the publication of a new Google Lit Trip for The Armadillo From Amarillo by Lynne Cherry today at the Texas Library Association Conference in Austin, Texas..

 

I had the pleasure of co-developing this Lit Trip with Karen Arrington who is also the developer of the Lit Trip for A Walk In London by Salvatore Rubino.

 

It's an adorable story of Sasparillo the Armadillo who wants to know where on earth he is. He travels to several locations in Texas. But, truthfully, this story is out of this world! 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Steinbeck Young Authors :: National Steinbeck Center

Steinbeck Young Authors :: National Steinbeck Center | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
National Steinbeck Center, Salinas, California - Our mission is to tell the
story of John Steinbeck’s rich legacy and to present, create and explore stories of the human
condition.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

10 February 2015

 

It's a two National Steinbeck Center Scoop-it Day!

 

In my previous blog I mentioned that I try to get down to the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California a couple of times a year. One of the events I've become a bit of a regular volunteer as a writing coach for is the annual Steinbeck Young Authors Day of Writing. 

 

They are always looking for writing coaches for this event. Thought I'd pass along this information for anyone who might be interested in working with young writers from schools in the area. It's only a couple of hours, and a wonderful opportunity to work with kids, meet the wonderful staff at the Steinbeck Center, and chat with other volunteer coaches all of whom have their own intriguing stories to share.

 

I'll be there. Hope to see some of you as well.

 

And, by the way... If you read my previous blog entry, you'll notice that the Day of Writing is on the Monday following the FREE event celebrating Steinbeck's 130th birthday on Saturday.

 

Now that's a great excuse for a mini-getaway for any Steinbeck fan. 

 

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Featured Google Lit Trips for Black History Month

Featured Google Lit Trips for Black History Month | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

5 February 2014

Five Google Lit Trips of particular interest as we celebrate Black History month.

 

- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

- The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox

- Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

- Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge

- The Watsons Go To Birmingham -1963 by Christoperh Paul Curtis

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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