Laney College

Week 2 Notes — 1/27/15

Week 2 Notes — 1/27/15

Noemi reminded everyone to turn in homework at the beginning of class to receive full credit.

The class heard and discussed several students’ write-ups of the “Red Balloon.”

Noemi provided an overview of many elements of a story:

  • Character Flaw – something seen in the beginning of the story that the main character needs to overcome.
  • Character Arc – the development of the character over the course of the story; how the experiences and challenges related to the “opposition” develop the character.
  • Plot – series of events
  • Theme – what the story is about (redemption, overcoming adversity, etc.)
  • (Cliché -universal but not specific. Something to avoid.)
  • Emotional Through-line – emotional undercurrent/thread that runs through the whole story.
  • Theme Stated/Realization – what character learns on their journey. Can be revealed/spoken out loud in the early part of the story.

The class watched the opening 15 minutes or so of Spike Lee’s “School Daze.”


Watch the opening 9 minutes of Spike Lee’s 1988 film School Daze several times:

(Click on this link and enter the password: media125 to view the video.)

Please type answers to these questions:

  1. List 8 of the images (and the song if possible) in the opening montage. Why do you think Spike Lee opens the film with this montage?
  2. In the scene between Dap and the Gamma Phi Gamma’s, what does Dap want to accomplish? What or who stands in his way?
  3. Based on the opening 9 minutes of the film, what themes do you think will be explored in this film?
  4. Why do you think this film is called “School Daze?”

Theme – Noemi provided a brief overview of the concept of theme.  Here is a good explanation of theme: