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CURRENT EVENTS & MASS MEDIA

In this course we will take a historical and contemporary look at issues in international politics, the global economy, and popular culture.This course provides students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the issues that frequent newspapers, television news, and other popular media and fuel the controversies that both divide our population here in the United States and around the globe. 

Course Objectives:

  • become more aware of the major issues of the day and become more informed citizens
  • be able to conduct research on current event topics using reliable websites and other sources 
  • form, support and express views and opinions on the major issues
  • learn to tolerate and coexist with people possessing viewpoints and beliefs that differ from their own
  • become more aware of media bias and become more media-literate
The abundance of information in our world today can be overwhelming, especially when we do not realize that some sources are more dependable than others. It is easy to be misled when we do not take time to explore issues with care.

Key Questions:
What information can we trust?

How do we know what is right or wrong?
Are we able to see truth in many viewpoints, while realizing that not all opinions are equal?


DATECLASS CALENDAR / INFORMATION
Monday
February 4
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS - WHERE ARE WE WITH EVERYTHING GOING ON?!?
Tuesday
February 5
NO CLASS
Wednesday February 6TOPIC: Response / Reaction to the STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

CLASS PRESENTATION:
1. Key Moments from President Trump's 2019 State of the Union
2. Democratic Response to Trump's State of the Union - Stacey Abrams

Perspective:
1. Donald Trump Is a Vengeful Man (Charles Pierce)
2. After heaping insults upon Democrats, Trump calls for unity in State of the Union (Daniel Dale)
3. TORONTO STAR Project - Donald Trump Fact Check 
Thursday February 7 **TOPIC: President Trump says if he were not President, the U.S. would be in a MAJOR WAR with NORTH KOREA ... so, let's learn a little about the DPRK

CLASS PRESENTATION: Michael Palin in North Korea
Friday February 8TOPIC: ... so, let's learn a little about the DPRK

CLASS PRESENTATION: Michael Palin in North Korea

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: Perspective of their neighbors - CHINA? JAPAN? SOUTH KOREA? [for discussion on MONDAY]
Monday
February 11
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS + Results of our DPRK research

CHINESE Perspective on North Korea
Articles:
What's China's relationship with North Korea really like?
Understanding the China-North Korea Relationship
What Does China Really Think of North Korea
YouTube:
What Chinese Think of North Korea

JAPANESE Perspective on North Korea
Articles:
Japan-South Korea ties 'worst in 5 decades' as U.S. leaves alliance untended
Bad blood between North Korea and Japan keeps Abe on the outs
Kim Jong-Il and the Normalization of Japan-North Korea Relations
YouTube:
The painful history of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea

SOUTH KOREAN Perspective on North Korea
Articles:
What do South Koreans think about North Koreans?
YouTube:
What Do South Koreans Think Of North Korean Defectors
What Do Young South Koreans Think Of North Korea

Tuesday February 12NO CLASS
Wednesday February 13TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS + Introduction to Thursday's Topic

Background to documentary, The Devil We Know:
1. Poisoning America: The Devil We Know
2. The Devil We Know: The Toxic Doc You've Got To See
3. THE DEVIL WE KNOW (website for the film)

Thursday February 14**TOPIC: The Chemistry of a Cover-Up

CLASS PRESENTATION: The Devil We Know

[This documentary will be shown at the Sedona Film Festival in 2 weeks]
Friday February 15TOPIC: The Chemistry of a Cover-Up

CLASS ACTIVITY: Follow-up discussion of The Devil We Know

Monday
February 18
Presidents’ Day – NO CLASSES 
Tuesday February 19NO CLASS
Wednesday February 20TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS - THE ARTS

CLASS PRESENTATION - Historical Background, The Academy Awards:
1. The Academy Awards through the years
2. 13 remarkable moments in the history of the Oscars
3. Filmsite: Academy Awards
4. Top 100 Greatest Movies of All Time (from IMDb)
5. The 100 best movies of all time as chosen by actors
 
Thursday February 21**TOPIC: Celebration of the Cinema - a potpourri

1. Just WOW - A Coast Guard Officer Was Just Found Plotting to Murder Democrats and Media Personalities 'On a Scale Rarely Seen' (Gee, I wonder where he got these ideas???)
2. STEPHANIE 
Story Time
Friday
February 22
LOTS OF SNOW, NOT ENOUGH ELECTRICITY
Monday
February 25
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: Independent Research on VIRTUAL RELATIONSHIPS
Tuesday February 26NO CLASS
Wednesday February 27TOPIC: Media, Technology, Relationships

CLASS ACTIVITY: Share our research on VIRTUAL RELATIONSHIPS

1. Psychology Today - Virtual vs Real-World Relationships
2.
Psychology Today - Is Virtual Love Sexier Than Real Love?
3. The Atlantic - Online Relationships Are Real
4. YouTube - Is social media destroying real-world relationships?
5. Youth Incorporated - Relationships Over The Net
6. Pink Pinjra - The Thin Line Between Virtual and Real Relationships

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: Film Review - In the bleak, fascinating People's Republic of Desire, the techno-dystopian future is now
Thursday
February 28
**TOPIC: Media, Technology, Relationships

CLASS PRESENTATION: People's Republic of Desire (class meets in my cottage)
Friday
March 1
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

1. Vietnam Summit? India-Pakistan? U.S. Politics?
2. The Most Out-of-the-Box 2020 Presidential Candidate

Monday
March 4
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: What's Left Behind After 'Leaving Neverland'
1. READ
2. CONFER WITH YOUR DISTINGUISHED COLLEAGUE
3. Decision in class on Wednesday
Tuesday
March 5
NO CLASS
Wednesday March 6 TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

CLASS PRESENTATION: Catching up with John Oliver, Last Week Tonight
1. Brexit III
2.
Automation

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: How The Media Overlooked Michael Jackson's Alleged Sexual Abuse
Thursday March 7**TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

CLASS ACTIVITY: EPIPHANY? PHILOSOPHY - VALUES - ACTION (or not) - THE FUTURE 
Friday
March 8
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

CLASS PRESENTATION: Leaving Neverland, Part 1 (class meets in my cottage)
Monday
March 11

TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

CLASS PRESENTATION: Leaving Neverland, Part 1 (class meets in my cottage)  
Tuesday
March 12
NO CLASS
Wednesday March 13
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

CLASS PRESENTATION: Leaving Neverland (class meets in my cottage)   
Thursday March 14**TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

CLASS PRESENTATION: Leaving Neverland (class meets in my cottage)    
Friday
March 15
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

CLASS PRESENTATION: Oprah Winfrey - After Neverland (class meets in my cottage)    
Monday
March 18
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: Introduction/Background for next topic: America's GUN CULTURE
1. The Causes of Gun Violence Identified (YouTube)
2. America's gun culture in 10 charts
Tuesday
March 19
NO CLASS
Wednesday March 20 TOPIC: America's GUN CULTURE

CLASS PRESENTATION: Bowling for Columbine  
Thursday March 21**TOPIC: America's GUN CULTURE

CLASS PRESENTATION: Finish Bowling for Columbine 
Friday
March 22
TOPIC: America's GUN CULTURE

CLASS PRESENTATION: Teachers: Training to Kill
Monday
March 25
NO CLASSES - Trip to MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM & HEARD MUSEUM
Tuesday
March 26
NO CLASS
Wednesday
March 27
TOPIC: Current Events ANALYSIS - How can SO MANY people draw SO MANY different conclusions about the Mueller Report?

The Mueller Report Summary's Biggest Unanswered Questions (Huffpost)
Reaction to the Mueller Report News Has Been a Goddamn Embarrassment (Drew Magary)
There Is an Entire New Reality Under Construction in Trump's Ideological Precincts (Charlie Pierce)
Thursday
March 28
**TOPIC:
Friday
March 29
TOPIC:
Monday
April 1
TOPIC:
Tuesday
April 2
NO CLASS
Wednesday
April 3
TOPIC:
Thursday
April 4
**TOPIC: 
Friday
April 5
TOPIC: 

SPRING VACATION
Tuesday
April 16
NO CLASS
Wednesday April 17 TOPIC: 
Thursday  April 18**TOPIC:  
Friday 
April 19
TOPIC: 
Monday
April 22
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
April 23
NO CLASS
Wednesday April 24 TOPIC: 
Thursday April 25**TOPIC: 
Friday
April 26
 
TOPIC: 
Monday
April 29
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
April 30
NO CLASS
Wednesday
May 1
TOPIC: 
Thursday
May 2
**TOPIC:  
Friday
May 3
TOPIC: 
Monday
May 6
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
May 7
NO CLASS
Wednesday
May 8
TOPIC: 
Thursday
May 9
**TOPIC: 
Friday
May 10
TOPIC: 
Monday
May 13
TOPIC:   
Tuesday
May 14
NO CLASS
Wednesday
May 15
TOPIC: 
Thursday
May 16
**TOPIC: 
Friday
May 17
TOPIC: 
Monday
May 20
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
May 21
NO CLASS
Wednesday
May 22
TOPIC:
Thursday
May 23
**TOPIC: 
Friday
May 24
TOPIC:
Monday
May 27
MEMORIAL DAY – NO CLASSES
Tuesday
May 28
NO CLASS
Wednesday
May 29
TOPIC: 
Thursday
May 30
**TOPIC:
Friday
May 31
SEMESTER EXAMINATIONS
8:30 - Period 1 Exams
1:00 - Period 2 Exams - ECONOMICS
Monday
June 3
SEMESTER EXAMINATIONS
8:30 - Period 3 Exams
1:00 - Period 4 Exams - CURRENT EVENTS
Tuesday
June 4
SEMESTER EXAMINATIONS
8:30 - Period 5 Exams -
U.S. HISTORY
1:00 - Period 6 Exams - WORLD CULTURES
Thursday
June 6
GRADUATION DAY