Equilibrium: A Dystopia Sans Emotion

What if there were a world that was afraid of human emotion, blaming feelings for all of humanity’s ills, then attempting to anesthetize the population? You’ve seen this theme in dystopian novels such as Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, and to some extent in the Matrix films. Another film (2002), “Equilibrium”, shows what life would be like if we tried to keep feelings at bay with drugs and destroy all emotional provocations such as art and literature, censoring items for “Emotional Content” and branding those who do not comply “Sense Offenders”.

READ THE ENTIRE PLOT SUMMARY HERE: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0238380/synopsis

Here is one of the opening scenes (sorry about the Spanish subs):

In this poignant scene, Cleric (who has been laying off the Prozium) realizes he is experiencing emotion. It makes us question what it means to be human.

In this scene Cleric fools the power that be and runs home to check on his Prozium supply, only to discover that his own son has not been taking Prozium since his mother was convicted of being a Sense Offender and subsequently executed. He gets to see “Father” and has his emotions tested…only to be in for a surprise.

One of the final scenes- The “Father” taunts Cleric into questioning his morality now that he can feel. Is killing someone else who can feel really “worth the price”?





Welcome back, Seniors!

So glad to have you back!


Click here for the handy dandy list of URLS we will be using throughout the year

In the first few weeks, we’ll be getting our act together with the Summer Reading assignment (Smarter Than You Think) because author Clive Thompson is excited to speak with us.


We will pick up where we left off with EMOTION as a WAY OF KNOWING, and explore the relationship between the ARTS and Emotion in particular.

I am trying to get us access to the Lower and Middle School classrooms for a little ethnography project on how learning happens at different age levels and in varying disciplines.


I mentioned this at the end of last year, but we will be exploring the 8 Ways of Knowing in a hypothetical Dystopian society film project.

Finally, we will continue having #tokkailuaQ of the week and Photo Challenges every once in a while, and I’d also like to focus on developing visual thinking skills (such as sketchnoting) and offer the @serendipidoodle daily challenge for metaphorical thinking (@Serendipidoodle is my new crowdsourced creativity project on Twitter that merges vocabulary, critical thinking, and visualization skills).

serendipidoodleS thinkdrawsharecards1


Just to let you know I’ll be headed to a latest-in-TOK training in late September, which is about the time the TOK Prescribed Essay Titles (topics ) are released. Woo hoo! I hope to find out all the pertinent info regarding any recent changes to the presentation and essay criteria. Just know that you will be doing 1-2 presentations, (much like your language-based one) and of course the TOK essay (externally graded).

Getting Back Into the Groove

1. Mobile Walkabout


Let’s take a few minutes to share our best summer moments with photos. Find a photo on your phone (I’m assuming this is not problem for anyone) of a cool summer experience and walk around and share with others. Be sure to ask questions.

2. Scattegory of Summer

In the short time given, jot down on the group braindump poster relevant items for each category (categories include movies, books, weird things, adventures, places, etc.)- all relate to your summer experience. Afterwards, we’ll discuss and share.

3. Bucket List and Guess

I’m sure you have heard of  “bucket list”. There’s even a social media site that helps you track your bucket list goals. Since you are heading into your last year of high school, it might be a good time to really think about the things you are passionate about doing or accomplishing.

Try to jot down 5-10 things you’d really like to do before you leave this planet. We’ll then cut them up (or use post-its) and place them in an actual bucket , read them, and try to guess what item belongs to which person.

Afterwards, think about posting your bucket list to your blog and the link on G+…by the way, we’ll check out #tokkailua because I’ve asked others..

4. Playlist of my Life

This is a combination of exploring how music relates to the Ways of Knowing Memory and Emotion. Now that you are in a pivotal time of your life, look back and pinpoint the major events and turning points, making a list of at least 7 or 8. For example, a memorable trip, a first, a loss, or a milestone achievement.

Develop a “soundtrack of your life” by creating a playlist of specific songs for these periods of time or events. You will need to contextualize by writing a brief blurb/ explanation as to why you connected these particular songs.

***Since this for school, please try to keep the songs (lyrics) primarily appropriate.

You will have until next class to complete this and be ready to share. You may present in a variety of ways, but keep in mind your annotations/ reasoning should be evident (i.e. not a mere list of events and songs titles. Suggested methods: Slideshow, Thinglink, Prezi, iMovie, Projeqt, Timeglider, Dipity, Capzles (see LINKS HERE), some of the new multi-media storytelling apps/tools LISTED HERE, or even on paper (though it would be cool if we could play snippets of the song).

Resource: How Music Affects Us (please skim this article)