Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Demosthenes is currently available in beta form.

This forum is also for questions about our Rhetoric Handbook, also in beta, which can be used along with or just before Demosthenes.

Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby JMOglesby » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:26 pm

I used the Demosthenes Beta Version books last year (only got through Ch. 1-3 of the Rhetoric Handbook) and am using it again this year (arranged things a bit differently so that over the course of 2 years my students will get through all of both the Rhetoric Handbook and the Thesis and Law Book).

I haven't heard anything about the advancing of this curriculum out of the Beta phase, so I wanted to give some feedback of a couple errors in the Rhetoric Handbook that would be good to fix. I do have other thoughts to contribute concerning the layout as well, but those thoughts are still a bit unformed and messy, and I'm unable to find the time at the moment to clarify them in order to share. So for now I will just stick with sharing a couple basic errors.

---- Lesson 1.11: Students are asked to read Aristotle's Rhetoric Book I Ch. 10, 11, and 14, presumably skipping Ch. 12-13. However all of the questions in the Exercise that fall under the Ch. 14 heading are actually answered in Ch. 12-13 of Aristotle's Rhetoric Book I. #7-8 are found in Ch.12 and #9-12 in Ch.13. Ch. 14 seems to be irrelevant to this lesson and to the questions. I have had my students read Ch. 10-13 for this Lesson.

---- Well, I was about to report that this (http://www.emersonkent.com/famous_speec ... y_date.htm) link from Lesson 3.3 was not working, but I just tried it again and it is working; their website must have been down the day we did that lesson. I tried just to get to http://www.emersonkent.com that day and I couldn't get through to their home page even.

---- The biggest thing I noticed is that there are various spelling errors, typos, formatting errors, etc. throughout. I have not marked them all up and therefore would be hard-pressed to list them all but I don't doubt a careful editor will catch most or all of them. One example I can point to is the title "Introduction" under Lesson 3.3 (pg. 153) is not bolded and italicized as the rest of the titles are.

Thank you all again for the care you have put into these curricula. I think they are wonderful and have thoroughly enjoyed guiding my students through them. Keep up the good work, and please keep me posted on the progress of the Demosthenes Curriculum.
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Re: Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby Carolyn » Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:24 am

Thanks for the feedback! Demosthenes is continuing in the beta phase for another year while we get feedback from our users ... and you just gave us Piece of Feedback #2!
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Re: Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby JMOglesby » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:13 pm

Great, thank you!

I mentioned in my previous post that I rearranged the curriculum a bit to fit our school schedule and the way we are using the curriculum - while this is in no way a suggestion to change what you are doing or an insinuation that you arranged it poorly, I thought it might be interesting to you to see how people are using your various curricula. The primary motivation for rearranging the order of things was this - last year I tried going chronologically through the 3 books across our 4 grade levels of high school, and decided to make the split (to get a 4th level out of 3 books) after Ch. 3 of Herodotus. This means I had Herodotus 1-3 in 9th grade, Herodotus 4-5 in 10th grade, Plutarch in 11th grade, and Demosthenes in 12th grade. The problem I ran into was perhaps unique to our school. We have our Seniors do a Senior Thesis defense project (20 pg. paper and 20 min. speech with panel questions and defense), and I had them devote all of 2nd semester's Rhetoric classes to that project. This means I had them doing all of the Demosthenes Rhetoric Handbook in 1 semester (which was a lot for them, on top of our already heavy humanities curriculum - Veritas Press' Omnibus) and we didn't even get to the Thesis and Law book. The 11th grade, however, had a very easily paced schedule getting through Plutarch in one year, and the split Herodotus was fairly easily paced as well. It was difficult to come up with a good way to split the material while still keeping it chronological, so instead, I got creative with it, and this is what I came up with:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CyooWdnhlTeG2q0E1OTx_aGC3U-9tIa8mhwViRYtSPk/edit?usp=sharing

This is what I am trying this year, in hopes it will allow me to spread the material out more evenly (in terms of # of exercises and essays) across the 4 grade levels, in addition to keeping the 2nd semester of Senior year devoted to the Thesis Project. I tried to make sure I kept a consistent theme at least on the semester level, as well as looping back to key themes at an interval of 2 years or so; and I felt that a focus on the Canon of Arrangement would be the best "final word" for the Seniors before they dive into the task of arranging a 20 page thesis paper.

Again, I want to emphasize that I am not indicating that this is a problem in your arrangement of the material, only showing you how we are trying to use your curriculum around our school's particular schedule.
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Re: Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby admin » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:00 am

Thank you so much for your feedback.

Yes, typos and spellos and stuff generally get finetuned in the last version. When we are still dinking with content at some level, we only do the micro editing when it glares at us.

I appreciate your sharing your lay out of how it works for you. I always keep these things in mind in the final tune up, as we prepare this book for its final version.

Lene Jaqua
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Re: Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby JMOglesby » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:52 am

I have not so much an error to report as a request to make regarding Lesson 4.7 in Demosthenes.

My students and I are, at this moment, trying to identify periodic sentences in the model chosen (Samuel Johnson, The Rambler), but finding it to be a bit of a headache. I think the primary frustration is with Johnson's use of comma's; they are quite gratuitous - 78 total in the selection. He often uses commas where they are not needed, in a way that confuses my students into thinking that, for example, a particular phrase is a modifier rather than a primary object, or another phrase is participial in nature, when it is actually the main verb of the sentence. I had some students highlighting nearly the entire passage as being chock-full of periodic sentences.

I know it's no small task to choose an excellent selection for a particular lesson, but I'd like to suggest a change for this lesson in the final version. This model is just too convoluted for high-school students to work through.

(Samuel Johnson's writing reminds me of when I was getting my degree in philosophy and having to read every work of David Hume; I developed a hatred for the way that man used commas!)


Thank you for considering.
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Re: Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby Carolyn » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:16 pm

Thank you for the feedback! We will definitely give consideration to finding a less tortuous model.
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Re: Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby JMOglesby » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:58 pm

Might I suggest more of Edmund Burke's writing (whom you use as an example of periodic style in the lesson) as the model in place of Samuel Johnson?

He also writes in the periodic style, but does not over-use commas to a confusing degree. :D
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Re: Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby JMOglesby » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:07 pm

The following paragraph from Reflections on the Revolution in France, for example, is a good mix of free-flow and periodic sentences, as well as short/long sentences. Perhaps a selection of several paragraphs surrounding this one could serve.

But I may say of our preacher, “Utinam nugis tota illa dedisset et tempora sævitiæ.” All things in this his fulminating bull are not of so innoxious a tendency. His doctrines affect our Constitution in its vital parts. He tells the Revolution Society, in this political sermon, that his Majesty “is almost the only lawful king in the world, because the only one who owes his crown to the choice of his people.” As to the kings of the world, all of whom (except one) this arch-pontiff of the rights of men, with all the plenitude and with more than the boldness of the Papal deposing power in its meridian fervor of the twelfth century, puts into one sweeping clause of ban and anathema, and proclaims usurpers by circles of longitude and latitude over the whole globe, it behooves them to consider how they admit into their territories these apostolic missionaries, who are to tell their subjects they are not lawful kings. That is their concern. It is ours, as a domestic interest of some moment, seriously to consider the solidity of the only principle upon which these gentlemen acknowledge a king of Great Britain to be entitled to their allegiance.

Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France. N. p. Print.
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Re: Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby Carolyn » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:19 pm

Thank you for the suggestion! We will definitely take a good look at it when we evaluate this lesson in Demosthenes.
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Re: Demosthenes Beta - Errors Report

Postby JMOglesby » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:19 pm

Typo in Demosthenes Lesson 4.8 Exercise:

Evaluate the word choices of the Hawthorne model in Lesson 4.4


The model is in Lesson 4.5
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