Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Namesake - Chapter 7 - The Plot Thickens!

In chapter 7 we learn that Gogol loses his father.

1. Reflect on the following questions in your blog using quotes to support your answers.

As Gogol mourns his father’s death, what great qualities of his father’s character come to mind? What connection was there between him and his father that he now appreciates more than ever before? How might his father’s memory give him a firmer grasp on his own identity in the years to come?

2. When you are done read two of your classmates blogs and comment on their reflections. Challenge someone's response, agree and comment on the similarities of your blog posts or ask a question that was provoked by their reflection.

3. Be prepared to discuss your ideas regarding the blog questions and chapter 7.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Namesake Chapter 4 Quote Reflection

 For homework you were asked to read the following two quotes and answer the corresponding questions. Now -
1. Please respond to these questions as a new post on your blog. Please post the questions first and then type your answers underneath.

2. When you are done, see what your classmates are saying. Go to two of your classmate's blogs and respond to their ideas. Perhaps you agree or have a question about his or her post, take the opportunity to add your comments.

3. Then go to the Resource Tab and click on the invite link to go to my second VoiceThread. This will ask you to think about the book and your thoughts about immigrants. You will read the two questions, prepare your answers on the handout provided and add a video comment to one of the questions and a voice comment or written comment to the other.

“On the final leg of the trip there are only a few non-Indians left on the plane.
Bengali conversation fills the cabin; his mother has already exchanged addresses with the family across the aisle. Before landing she slips into the bathroom and changes, miraculously in that minuscule space, into a fresh sari. A final meal is served, an herbed omelette topped with a slice of grilled tomato. Gogol savors each mouthful, aware that for the next eight months nothing will taste quite the same. …And then the frosted doors slide open and once again they are officially there, no longer in transit, swallowed by hugs and kisses and pinched cheeks and smiles. There are endless names Gogol and Sonia must remember to say, not aunt this and uncle that but terms far more specific: mashi and pishi, mama and maima, kaku and jethu, to signify whether they are related on their mother’s or their father’s side, by marriage or by blood. Ashima, now Monu, weeps with relief, and Ashoke, now Mithu, kisses his brothers on both cheeks, holds their heads in his hands. Gogol and Sonia know these people, but they do not feel close to them as their parents do. Within minutes, before their eyes Ashoke and Ashima slip into bolder, less complicated versions of themselves, their voices louder, their smiles wider, revealing a confidence Gogol and Sonia never see on Pemberton Road” (81-82).
How does the visit to India involve a great sacrifice for Gogol and Sonia and give them at the same time the opportunity to see their parents for who they really are?

“Of all the people who surround them at practically all times, Sonia is his only ally, the only person to speak and sit and see as he does. While the rest of the household sleeps, he and Sonia fight over the Walkman, over the melting collection of tapes Gogol recorded back in his room at home. From time to time, they privately admit to excruciating cravings, for hamburgers or a slice of pepperoni pizza or a cold glass of milk” (84).
How can your sibling, the one you fight and quarrel with throughout childhood, be your closest friend in the world? How do Sonia and Gogol realize the allegiance they have to each other when they spend eight months in India? 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

NY Times Lahiri Article on Culture and The Namesake

Check out the link below for an interesting perspective from journalist Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times on Lahiri, culture and the assimilation into America.

Wonder Bread and Curry: Mingling Cultures, Conflicted Hearts by Michiko Kakutani

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Assignment for Thursday, Jan 10th The Namesake

Congratulations you made your blog yesterday - we are now up and running.

Please use the following questions to reflect on your reading thus far.
(Note: copy the question to your blog)

Write about an event in the story as a blog post on your blog in relation to the following questions.

1. How does the event remind you of a similar situation in your own life? 
2. How do you relate to the character in the novel? 
3. What advice do you have for the character? 
4. How might the character be helping you to understand a similar conflict in your own life?
5. You will then comment on two other blogs as assigned.

Then - respond to the following quote,

 "For being a foreigner, Ashima is beginning to realize, is a sort of lifelong pregnancy - a perpetual wait, a constant burden, a continuous feeling out of sorts...Like pregnancy, being a foreigner, Ahsima believes, is something that elicits the same curiosity from strangers, the same combination of pity and respect (49-50).

What is Lahiri saying in this quote?

Wed, Jan 9th The Namesake

Today Mrs. Marotta and I are introducing Blogs to the class.

Creating your blog - Blogger Getting Started Guide

Assignment - You will want to create your blog and answer the question
- "what was your favorite part of the book so far"?

Tomorrow you will have a writing prompt, which you will reflect on in your own blog.