(By Martha S.)
Episode 19 of Did You Do Your Homework? was fascinating for me to prep for. Music and sound are definitely an integral part of the cinematic experience for me, but I consider them as part of the whole – I don’t listen to orchestral soundtracks very often because they feel wrong to me when they’re not woven in with the visuals they accompany on screen. I tend to think that a soundtrack that’s too noticeable is a bit of a failure (not that it can’t be good music, just that the intention should be for it to be one part of the whole).
We looked at three pretty different pieces of film for this episode, including a David Lynch film, a 1980’s cyberpunk romance, and another Ryan Murphy TV episode. All three utilize sound, music and silence in fascinating ways, and I hope you’ll join us tomorrow for our discussion (joined by friend of the show, Dan Karlin!).
Your homework for tomorrow:
Pete: Blade Runner, original flavor
Dan: Mulholland Dr.
Martha: American Horror Story: Asylum, episode 10: “The Name Game”
We’re doing things a little differently this week: instead of assigning homework and talking about three distinct pieces of media, we have more of a round-robin discussion about tabletop RPGs. For anyone not familiar with the jargon, a tabletop roleplaying game is a game you play collaboratively in a group of people, probably all working to the same goal or telling the same story. You create a character to inhabit, and that character progresses through the course of the story, or campaign. Some examples include Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, White Wolf’s Vampire or Werewolf, Shadowrun, or Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, to cherrypick a mere handful out of HUNDREDS of possibilities.
We are joined by special guest and friend of the show Rachel Hilbert, who has been playing games for several years (sometimes with co-host Martha). Some of the things to think about before listening to the episode:
- What value do RPGs potentially have in an educational environment, such as a library or classroom?
- How can we use them in an academic/educational way?
- How have our (your) experiences with RPGs informed how you approach storytelling?
I hope you guys dig the episode – it was fun to mix it up a little bit! In the meantime, here’s some background reading that helps inform our take on RPGs and academia.
Tabletop in the Classroom: How I use RPGs to teach by Udolf Alfisol
Creating An Educational RPG Adventure for Your Classroom by Adam Watson
Creative Tabletop Gaming: ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ and Libraries (Oh My!) by Thomas Vose
Episode 17 is a banger, y’all – our guest host Elizabeth Buehler joins us for a discussion on Ambition and how it drives a narrative, what it costs our main characters, and a whole bunch of other stuff (specific, I know – you’ll just have to listen to the episode!).
Some of the questions we seek to address are:
- When we talk about characters having “ambition,” how do we differentiate that from goals or drive? Or do we?
- Is ambition a positive or negative force in the homework?
- How does ambition get gendered in these narratives?
- What is the cost of ambition? Does ambition inherently require sacrifice or loss?
As a refresher, the homework for the episode is:
Pete: The soundtrack to a little 2016 musical Hamilton
Martha: Glee episodes 1.01 (Pilot) and 3.22 (Goodbye)
Lizzie: 2007 Paul Thomas Anderson film, There Will Be Blood
As always, you can reach out to us at any time with questions, comments, or ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org; find us on Twitter @DYDYHpodcast; or chat us up on Facebook.
New media! Heavy nostalgia! The first time for many of us consuming the homework! Episode 16 is gonna be BIG, folks!
Our guest host for episode 16: Cory Ruegg
For episode 16, we’re talking about the notion that You Can’t Go Home Again. What does that mean, exactly? We’ll get into it, along with how our various main characters are defining home and what it means to them, how they react to coming home, and how does that impact the story (hint: usually that IS the story). It’s the first time experiencing the homework for many of our hosts, and we get to incorporate a new form of media, which is very exciting!
The homework for the episode:
Cory: Gone Home, 2013 video game by Steve Gaynor and Majesco Entertainment
Pete: The Fifth Elephant, 1999 novel by Terry Prachett
Martha: 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, directed by the Russo brothers and starring Chris Evans
Our third chair for this episode: Maren Hagman
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been two weeks since our last episode.
That’s right, we’re talking forgiveness in the episode that drops tomorrow.
We’ll be exploring the idea of forgiveness from a few directions. What’s the difference between forgiveness and absolution? Who needs forgiveness in each narrative? Do they earn it within the story, and does the audience agree that they earned it? (We might also realize that rooting for characters or having previous connections with them makes us more willing to forgive them, even when they commit some serious mistakes.)
Meanwhile, Martha forgives Maren for making her re-watch Atonement, and Pete talks about wanting to re-watch Black Swan following all the ballet talk in The Walls Around Us. And we’ll all be sniffling because some serious allergens have hit both Chicago and Milwaukee.
Tune in tomorrow to hear the whole conversation. It’s a good one! We have a lot of opinions about all three homework assignments, and really get into the meat of the matter.
Homework for this episode:
- Maren: Atonement (2007 film; directed by Joe Wright; starring Keira Knightly, James McAvoy and Saoirse Ronan)
- Pete: Doctor Who s9 e5 “The Girl Who Died” and s9 e6 “The Woman Who Lived”
- Martha: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
This will be our first full episode with a guest in our third chair. This will be the new format going forward, so get ready to hear many new voices in future episodes. Big thanks to Maren for being our first guest (and for doing it twice in a row, since she was also our guest for the extra credit Summer Vacation episode)