The "Alice Project"

A 10th Grade Honors English Tour of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

Student Reflections January 18, 2010

In addition to what the students wrote in their final surveys, the following reflections are statements offered within various blog posts towards the end of the project.

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Multiple Students, “Summary of Our Discoveries”:

Note: the link goes to a Prezi that details what several students learned during the project.

Multiple Students, “The Alice Project Experience”:

Note: the link goes to a CoverItLive chat session called “The Aftermath” where multiple students analyze what they experienced.

Hagen F., “How Alice Transforms Us”:

“What Alice has done through her simple journey has hopefully changed us all to become better readers and analysts. Alice bumps in to all sorts of little creatures, but they have more meaning to adults than they do to kids. We see them as larger concepts than just a loud, outspoken man with a huge hat on, or a caterpillar that makes funny shapes with his smoke. This is why Alice is such a valuable resource, it opens our eyes for the literature ahead.”

Hagen F., “The Process”:

“Since this blog is public, I may be helping another student in another school with their assignment on this story. I think that that is what is so meaningful about this project. Our blog has so much information withheld in it, that anyone can better understand the book because of us. I know this. Our diligence and hard work helps not only the people we see almost every day, but other students across the globe. The whole entire world; that is a huge deal.”

Erin M., “Thoughts After Reading Alice”:

“The meanings behind Carroll’s work are for each individual to discover on his/her own. What I have learned from this story is that we must make of life what we can, because at times life can seem overwhelming.”

Erin M., “Our Fairwell to Alice is Only the Beginning”:

“This project was definitely a foundation for the rest of my life. As we come to a close on this project I do not see it as the end, but as the starting point for much more to come. Alice has prepared  me for my adventures I will take down the rabbit hole.”

Rachel L., “Defying Gravity”:

“I feel empowered by the fact that others from around the world actually care what I have to say. This has changed me. I have written work that I am proud to call my own and I can never go back to slopping through a project just to get it done. Also, my entire view of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has changed. I can no longer just see it as a children’s story whether I like it or not. I can never un-think the conclusions I have come to. I can never return to the childlike view I had of the story before this project…”

“We were given no rules about what to write about. Our minds were set free to see what we could come up with on our own. I have confidence that my work is good and I can trust my instincts to guide me in the right direction. I also was able to take more chances with this assignment. I hate being put inside a box and told what I can and can’t do, so this project was great on that aspect. This experience has made me grow up on some level as well.”

Carl K., “In Conclusion”:

“In all, this was a fabulous project and it really tested our knowledge, critical thinking, and creativity. For my closing thought, I would like to how next year’s students will react to this and see what new knowledge they bring to the table”

Miles W., “My Two Mile Journey”:

“It’s the last day of the Alice Project and it’s be a very stressing, long ride. I’ve developed greatly over the course of the project and brought my thought to a new level. I started the project at 5′ 9″, and now I’m pretty sure I’m “nearly two miles high”.

When this project started, I was very calm about the process and just kind of relaxed. During the first week I had only one post while others had many. I just thought to myself, “these over-achievers are just going crazy and I’ll get there”, I didn’t think I needed to worry. 3 weeks in and I only had 2 posts. For some reason I still thought this was ok, but no it wasn’t. I was sipping the “DRINK ME” potion and It tasted so good. Not having to blog work, focusing on less important things, and really not doing anything at all. I got to chill out and relax even though I knew something had to have been wrong.”

Samuel M., “My Journey Through Wonderland”:

“My journey through Wonderland was one of great success, failure, perseverance, confusion, learning, and  fun.”

Meighan A., “Stages of Mind”:

“As I continued to read, the story became more and more complex, and my ability to recognize places throughout the chapters that I could analyze for blog entries seemed to take over where my childlike curiosity had resided before. As much as I wanted to read simply for the joy of it, the pressure of analyzing and remembering key notes for possible quizzes over shadowed my desire to simply enjoy the story. Finally I found a healthy medium; reading the story through and through  for fun, but quickly not to waste precious time, and then reread to analyze. Of course it was grudgingly that I had to force myself to read the notes that, although sometimes interesting, were usually the kinds of things I didn’t really care about while reading.

“Now I have warmed up to them, and them to me. (I should like to think) I have gone back various times to reread the side notes now that I can appreciate them on an ‘analytical’ level and simply ‘more information’ level. Along with this new attempt to befriend my copy of  The Annotated Alice I have become increasingly attached to my team’s blog. There is hardly ever an afternoon where I am not either on the blog or just scribbling notes in my book with ideas for more entries. All in all I would like to say that one cannot regret reading Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland or The Annotated Alice. Besides just having a good time, there are so may thing one can learn from the story and the annotated notes it seems a shame for anyone not to read it.”

Ryan S., “What Now?”:

“As the Alice project draws to a close, we all lift our heads from the computer screen look around and ask, “What Now?” We all sit, going about our school day and wondering what exactly will happen when the clock strikes five. Will the judges scoff? Will they praise our ability to reason? What will become of us? Many of my friends, as I look around the room, are rapidly typing; their eyes transfixed to the screen in front of them, as we all desperately try to accomplish one more blog. We are spent we are tired and we are waiting. In less than seven hours we will be turning in a month and a half of our work to complete strangers for their critique and comments. The White Rabbit has called us to the stand. May the “King of Hearts” judge us lightly…”

Colton C., “Summary”:

“This project has really helped me understand Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Before reading this book, I had never read or seen the movie. I heard that it was really good, but the people who said that only remember that when they were little. I think that that age is the best time to see the movie or read the book. The book is meant for children so I think that you need to read it when you are a child. Reading the book as someone who is going to analyze it and someone who is trying enjoying it are two completely different things. If you are trying to analyze the story, you can’t really enjoy the fact that it is a children’s story.”

Alex F., “Whining, Complaining, and Dragging Our Feet”:

“It’s madness (pardon the pun) to even think about doing a high-school level project on it!

Isn’t it?

We’ve all spent out fair share of time whining about this project, and wallowing in a pit of despair every time we think about how many blogs we have left to do or how on earth we’re going to get enough comments in. But maybe the only reason this project seems so hard is because we made it that way.

Think about it: with almost every other project we get, it’s possible to put it off until the very last minute and still get a good grade, because we just have to regurgitate information and slap it on a power point and we’re good to go. But with the Alice Project, we actually have to use our brains, and think about what we’re going to say. We just can’t slop through it and fake ideas, because there’s people other than our classmates seeing our work, and commenting on it. It’s not like this is a presentation that you can awkwardly give, and sit back down hoping that people will forget about it before lunch. It’s on the internet, and is up for the public to see. I also think that we care just a little bit more about it than other projects, because we’re being asked to put our opinions out there, create our own ideas and defend them. It’s a bit more personal than the stupid little poster-board projects.

This is the first project that’s actually made me use my brain, instead of just a little creativity and time. So while we’re still complaining, griping, and freaking out about the Alice Project, maybe we can see exactly why this seems so impossible and stressful.”

Kyle M., “This is the End, Beautiful Friend”:

“There were hurdles (attempting to find a WordPress theme that would work with the banner we wanted to upload) coupled with the highest of peaks (accomplishing the aforementioned task felt like a breath of fresh air). It was unlike any other project that I (and I suspect my classmates) have ever undertaken. Earlier in the year, we all contributed various replies to the blogs created by our teacher, but devising our own blog, largely free of outside intervention or guidance, was an utterly different beast.”

Brittany M., “The End or the Beginning?”:

“Alice may die to some of us after all the analyzing of her dream and character ,but to others it is just the beginning of our relationship with Alice. The  actual story will never die of course but just like imaginary friends, all things eventually fade away and are forgotten.

Some of us will probably never read this book again or want to talk about Alice’s adventure down the rabbit hole again. After reading and talking about the story so much it is understandable to become burned out and tired of the story. We have all discussed the rabbit, the morals, and the Duchess more than we would have ever imagined when we were watching the Disney film as children. Some students would not have a care if they never spoke of this story again ,but others, such as myself, have combined it into our own world and reality.

So yes, while some may never wish to speak of this story again, others have embraced it and brought it into life. We have compared instances of the story to events in our own lives and have brought Alice to life. She will be discovered more by some and still brought up into daily conversations and Facebook status’. Just as we have brought Lord of the Flies to life, we have done the same to Alice.

So this is my addition to what appears to be a theme topic to my group of , is this the end? or are we just beginning something. I say we are just beginning but it is up to each of us to keep Alice going and alive in society.”

Angela W., “It Is Not the End”:

“As this project comes to an end, I realized that I will miss this project.

This project is so unique and I have never done anything like it. This will always be remembered by me. During this project, I was paired up with people I have never been partnered with before. This project taught me teamwork and communication. I really enjoyed the group I was in as I got to know them and their writing style. I also learned a lot about technology during this five week process.

It will be strange to me walking into the English room and not pulling out a laptop and work all class period. I sort of forgot how this class was without this project. Even though this project caused a lot of stress and many restless nights, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed learning all about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Without this project I would of probably never had the drive to go figure out all of the things I know now about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

As the Alice journey ends in Wonderland, mine does not.

After having this project, I will not be able to go back to my thought process before. I just have added to my thought process. I know read and actually analyze almost everything. I think more about life and pose questions about how and why. Even after this project ends, I don’t think it will end totally for me. I am still allowed to post blogs and comment…

…and I will.”

Derek M., “Captain Crunch Time.  2 Days to Go.”:

“The Alice Project has opened my eyes to the logical and reasonable goals that one can have when presented a large project. My teammates have been part of that reality check because they make you realize that there is more than one way to do a project well. Some may be more artistic and others may be less opinionated, but in the end we all can come together to put out something that we are proud of. The Alice Project has been an interesting and insightful experience that allows me to escape to another world not bound by the rules of the modern day world. The references to the modern day world, however, are endless. I really appreciate all the time and the work that everyone has put out there. At this point, there is no best blog. All of them have amazing content and I am enthralled at all we have been able to accomplish down the rabbit hole.”

Melissa H., “Time to Wake Up!”:

“What’s going to happen days from now when we don’t spend all our time thinking of new ideas for blogs, or disagreeing/agreeing with people on their blogs?

It’s time to get back to the same 10th grade English class like the beginning of the year. Hey I didn’t say anything was wrong with it, it’s just going to take awhile to get back in the way of things. This project has really taught me a lot. When we were first assigned this project I didn’t realize what an obsession I would have with it. My first thought was “Oh, here goes another English project…” Now looking back on everything I wouldn’t have changed one thing.

Blogging has now become one of my favorite things to do. I love that I can express my feelings on the internet rather than in person because I feel a lot more comfortable and confident. I usually don’t like speaking out in class just in a case I say something wrong and look not so smart. Other classmates and people all over the world can read my blog entries and have their opinions over my thoughts and then I can read how they feel about what I’ve written and if I didn’t see it from their point of view. It’s an awesome way to expand out minds. It’s not just like any other class project. This one allowed my classmates and me to have open opinions without being judged about how we interpret different things. When we open this to the real world they can see how there are very many ways to analyze this book by 10th grade students. I bet there’s a million other ways with different age groups also.

When Mr. Long first assigned us this I think it was a challenge to see if we could actually successfully fulfill what he wanted. From what I know, I think that we did an awesome job! I love how he assigned our partners by each of our unique attributes that we can help contribute to our groups. My group personally did an amazing job. We worked so well together and communicated all the time making sure everyone was staying on task. We all accomplished everything we hoped for. I know we are going to do well because of the team work and all the hard work we put into this project.

I loved having a project that was basically a “do what you want” but while we knew what we had to get done. Mr. Long kept us up to date and let us lead ourselves down the rabbit hole. I felt a lot better doing this without being under pressure. I’m so excited to get graded from people we don’t know. I feel like it will be a better way and it’s not just one person being the judge of us. We can have people that have just come and followed our blogs but don’t know us as a person, but as a writer.

I’m very sad that this project has come to an end, because I truly loved expressing myself and thoughts through these blogs. Like my group discussed on a CoveritLive, this was like our own “wonderland” and this was our adventure to take us through new paths and for us to discover the bigger picture. I really feel like I learned a lot more because we learned the symbolism through the story. I know I’ll be looking for symbolism in all new books I read from now on. Unfortunately, it’s time for all of us to wake up from this “dream” of ours and get back to the normal routine. I will miss coming in class everyday not being able to do things that go along with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But I would like to thank my group for doing such a great job and Mr. Long for assigning this amazing project!”

Sylvia A., “Woah!  WE Have Become the Guinea Pigs Now!”:

“Whoa. I know this is mind boggling. One minute I’m trying to think of a final blog to post before I have to depart from my beloved Alice project *sniff sniff* and then it comes to me like BAM.

During English class today, the final day of Alice, Dr. Davis and Mr. Kellam came into our class to observe us working for the first time. It was just like any normal day in class, but I was definitely having some writer’s block. Thinking, thinking, thinking…I have analyzed everything to the best of my ability and to be honest I’m getting a bit sick of that a word.

Once I stop focusing on Alice to clear my head, I notice Dr. Davis [Dir. of Admissions] and Mr. Kellam [Headmaster].

Surprisingly they were analyzing us! I never noticed how truly unique this project is because I’ve been apart of it since day one. To outsiders, this must be a really remarkable thing to see, teenage students working on laptops in a classroom that is more like the editing floor of a newspaper, than anything else. We are diligent and determined. The outside world has become so fascinated with us, what we are accomplishing, and this new direction education is taking. It really didn’t hit me until now.

While we have been putting Alice under a magnifying glass, the outside world has been putting us under a high-power microscope! It’s a bit nerve-wracking to know that the world is watching you, and maybe you think I’m exaggerating when I say world (Hey we’re top 3 on the second page of Google! I would say that’s pretty huge.). By world I mean just other people, the public. It’s a big deal when your work goes form just being graded by a single teacher that you may or may not care about, to creating something that will last forever that anyone in the world can find and judge for themselves. It makes this project much more powerful.

What really takes the pressure off is focusing on Alice. It’s like we are peeking in on her life, while others are peeking in on us.  “I always feel like somebody’s watching me ”, that is the song that just came to mind as I’m thinking about this overlap of observation and analyzing. It’s something we as a class have never really talked much about before because Alice was our many priority, but now that we can step back from it, we can see what we’ve accomplished and how other people perceive us.

This is like freaky experimental-type teacher stuff if you ask me. We are in our own bubble, our own Wonderland, because we are Alice and we have always been, we just hadn’t  noticed. Once we wake up from this dream, the on-lookers will discover the legacy we have left, and finally analyze US.”

Caroline M., “What I Learned From Alice”:

“If I’ve learned anything from Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland as far as writing it would be to take an idea and just go with it. The paths taken in the adventure of Alice are curious and odd, but rather interesting. Carroll’s use of imagination is what makes this story. If it wasn’t as strange and peculiar as it is, then it would be awfully boring. If the story was a more normal dream that wasn’t so complex then we would become tired and pick up another book. Because Carroll used such imagery and ingenuity this book aroused imagination in the reader. It also gave me a thought that anything’s possible. Alice’s journey was just one random act after another, there were no limitations or rules in Wonderland. It felt like anything could happen, and it did. Alice has made a fever of adventure and imagination rise within the people reading her journey. Carroll wrote a different book and although some people dislike it entirely, I think it is one of the great children stories strung with lessons and guides to life.”

Haley M., “Over Analyzing Alice”:

“Let me say this: once you start analyzing there is no turning back. You start to see how things connect and then every sentence you keep reading you think, “what does that mean?” or “who does he represent?”. I have learned so much about this story through analyzing it. Although it is cool to learn all this, can it be bad? What I am trying to say is, once you have seen something, it is pretty hard to unsee it. So, is this taking away from the story Alice in Wonderland? When we go back to watch the movie will it come over different? Yes, I know it will. From the beginning we will be thinking about what all we have analyzed.”

Mike N., “Well It’s Been Fun…”:

“As The Alice Project comes to a close, I would like to thank everyone for reading and your continued support. I say this on behalf of my fellow group members from “Our Own Wonderland” (Team 6) as well as all of my other classmates. I personally have learned so much from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and from The Alice Project. I really feel that I have improved as a person as well as as a student. I discovered that we can learn from anything, and that we should analyze everything deeply. As they say, you cannot judge a book by its cover. I also learned that I should question everything, and not simply believe everything that parents, teachers, and other adults say it true. I wish other teachers would adopt technology as well as Mr. Long has. While it was a difficult journey, I find myself feeling upset that the 6 week long project is actually ending. How can we go back to normal English class after all of this?”

Caroline M., “Now That It’s Over…”:

“As I was writing comments on other students blogs I saw that a lot of them had made a blog giving their opinions on the project, so I’m going to do the same.

I really enjoyed this project. It’s going to be really difficult to go back to a normal day in English class without The Alice Project on the mind. I liked how everyone got to throw their ideas out there and then receive feedback. It helped me understand the morals and lessons behind Alice. It changed my opinion on what it all was about multiple times, and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it all.

I took the time today to look at the judges for our blogs. I skimmed over where they were from, what their current occupation was and where they lived. I suddenly realized that all of our work is more than just a classroom assignment. The sole purpose of this project at first seemed like a technological way to discuss a book, but now it feels so much more important than that. With these teachers, and adults taking time to really look at our work, it makes it seem like such a big deal. To be honest, it is. People other than those in our classroom and school are hearing our thoughts and possibly taking them along with them.

I’ve had this revelation a little late in the game, but I’m confident in our team’s work and I am excited for the feedback which I think will be positive stuff.

I also liked this project because I got to know some of my peers a little better. With their opinions and ideas out on the internet I could get to know people in a slightly personal and mostly academic level. I realized how intelligent our grade really is. I was shocked by the conclusions kids were coming up with, and as one of those kids I shouldn’t have been so surprised. It’s taken a lot of time, and thought to do this project, but in the end I think all of it was worth the final product.”

Connor M., “Revelations”:

“As this Alice Project comes to a close, I look back to see the distance we’ve covered.

Some serious An-Alice-Is has been conducted and conclusions we’ve met. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been ripped open to look inside, regardless if it should be done or not, and we have found some startling discoveries. In my beginning statement, found in the Team page of this blog, I mentioned that I barely knew the plot of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and did not know there was any meaning behind it…

Boy, was I wrong.”

Lindsay R., “Final Thoughts”:

“This project was very fun and I would have no problem doing some other type of project like this again. This project has helped me with my writing and my analyzing skills. Also I loved reading the book even though there were some confusing parts of it. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland have opened my eyes on all of the children books I have ever read. I have never noticed how much death and destruction goes on in these books. I was always to into the stories and the pretty colors. The books always try to pull away from the story with all of the illustrations and colors. This book was refreshing and there wasn’t many pictures in the way so I couldn’t focus on the story.

The Alice Project should be an experiment for other schools to see if their writing is better afterward. Also it would help everyone see that the Disney movie is actually based on a book that is written for a little girl. I would also be very curious on what they thought of the project.

I hope someday that this project could go national and maybe international. Also I could say that I was one of the first people to do this project and I was a student of the teacher who invented this project. This would be amazing to me and this project will be the highlight of my life as a student. One day after I have graduated college I hope to find this website and read all of the posts that come after we finish the project. This was my favorite project yet and I hope this project continues in the next generations of tenth grade students at my school.”

Daniel L., “The Conclusion”:

“Before I do that though, I would like to say that this project has really helped me better myself in writing, analyzing, and has really helped me understand symbolism in a story. I have never done anything like this before and it was a great experience. I really enjoyed doing this and I have found that I actually like to write. This project has really made me think and be creative, and has really made me get into the depths of things and analyze what the author is really trying to portray.”

Beth A.,“Wouldn’t It Be Nice?”:

“Wouldn’t it be nice if the answers for everything were right out in the open?

In some ways, yes and no. Yes, because then most of us wouldn’t have been holding our breaths for the past 5 weeks, especially now as the project comes to a close. This project would have been less stressful as well. However, I’m glad to say that there isn’t an answer book out there. I’m glad that there isn’t one written. Having something like that out in the real world would kill everything this project has allowed us to do-really think, and the creativity to do so.

I never thought of Alice in Wonderland and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland would ever have so much hidden meaning behind it. I never thought that the author would have been in love with the person to whom he has written. In my opinion, it came as a shock to me, I mean, who would have thought of drugs, hookah, and death be in a children’s story. Besides, they made a Disney movie as this! I was completely flabbergasted.

However, further investigation with help from my group and my fellow peers on other blogs have helped with my understanding. So, to those who have helped with this project, thank you.

To Mr. Long, thank you for this wonderful experience that I never want to end.”

Gabriella B., “Mocking Morals”:

“Now that we are nearing the end of the Alice Project, I feel like we have come full circle: from remembering Alice as an innocently inane movie form our youth to becoming immersed in Wonderland.

As we emerge from the sticky quagmire that is Wonderland we have to readjust our mindsets. After digging through the hopelessly whimsical insanity for meaning I have come to the conclusion that there comes a point when you have stretched your brain to the limit and can find no more.”

Deron M., “Going Out With A BANG”:

“Well, I’m sorry to say that this project is almost over.

In less than twenty four hours, these sites will be finished for the time being. I have to say it has been an incredible ride.

Really, if we look at the project and ourselves hard enough, we can see how close our journey has been to that of Alice’s. We were thrust into a whole new world in a matter of days and were expected to be able to find our way around. For me personally, I felt almost as lost as Alice did the first few days with all of the new technology I was expected to use. But slowly and surely all of us began to find our way around our new “Wonderland”.

Mr. Long, like the characters in Wonderland, helped indirectly guide us throughout our journey. He played the rabbit and got us down the hole to start us on our journey. He was the caterpillar and gave us indirect intellectual advice. He was the Duchess and gave us many morals and life lessons to ponder. He even played the part of the Queen and occasionally nudged us to give us a little more momentum coming into this finally week.

All of us students were Alice in more ways than one.

We were dropped into a new world of technology and blogging within a days notice. We stumbled our way through the first few weeks looking ahead to the “beautiful garden” that would await us as we finished. We accepted (although not always understanding 100% of) the advice of Mr. Long and our other teachers along the way of this project. We had to sit through some mad tea party discussion with our groups, occasionally endure the Queen’s (or in our case the King’s) wrath over not procrastinating, and await the verdict from the court’s jury. Just like Alice was thrown back into the real world, we will be thrown out back into book discussions and frequent in-class essays just as quickly as we were thrown into this new world of English class.

With the deadline for this project at 5:00 pm tomorrow (Thursday Dec. 3rd, 2009) quickly approaching, I can’t help but think how much this project has changed me intellectually.

Being one of “the quiet ones” in class, I rarely share my ideas and opinions. It’s not that I’m not thinking or that I didn’t read, it’s that I always have to think through my ideas again and again. I double, triple, and sometimes even quadruple check my arguments to make sure that they don’t have any major holes in them. This blog really has helped me express my ideas in a creative way and allowed me to have time to think everything through. This project has also helped me be able to make connections and understanding hidden messages in stories a lot better. Before, I just looked at the story as is and didn’t even spend too much time hunting for a moral or message. This project has helped me search the text and annotations for clues as to what Carroll might be hinting at in certain situations.

Like Alice, I’ve changed a great deal through my experiences in this virtual Wonderland we have here on the Alice Project.”

Gage L., “My Thoughts On the Project”:

“In the beginning, the Alice Project seemed to make no sense at all. I was stumped. I couldn’t think of any ideas and all that I wanted to do was put it off until another day.

The worst part of the project was trying to come up with the blog posts that seemed to be very intellectual. I had trouble because I was nervous about submitting something that no one would want to comment on, or someone would disagree with me and make a better point. Once I got past all of that I started doing a decent job of coming up with ideas. That’s when I actually started enjoying the project.

I discovered that this wasn’t school work anymore, but something I wanted to do. Everyday, I would go home and check WordPress just to see if people commented on my thoughts. After reading peoples comments, I could reply or return the favor by commenting on one of their posts.

Commenting was my strong point. It just came easy to me because I love having a say in other people’s thoughts. I was so intrigued by some of the amazing ideas my fellow students had developed.

This project was a GREAT experience, and over all was very fun to be a part of. Even though I didn’t get to spend as much time on the project as everyone else, I loved that I got to be a very small part of this radical idea.”

Brendon O-L., “This is Only the Beginning”:

“Today is the ‘official’ end to the Alice Project, but let’s face it this is not the end. This blog will continue on. All our thoughts and analysis about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are here for everyone to see. No one knows who will stumble upon this site in the future.

This was a very enjoyable experience that I will remember for years to come. We did more than anyone could imagine. We learned with little guidance from our teacher, Mr. Long. We posed our own questions and thought about them ourselves.

We fell down the rabbit hole and chased whatever rabbits we found. We were left to fend for ourselves over the course of this project. We learned how technology can be used to assist us in more ways than one. We learned to write alone and learned the value of feedback.

We found out what happens on the ‘twelfth day’ of school. We start teaching the teacher. We became independent minds with our own voice. Our minds were unleashed upon the wacky world called Wonderland. We were just as helpless as Alice when she first fell down the rabbit hole.

Eventually, we gained confidence and worked til we were at the point that we are at today. We met some wacky characters (aka our classmates) and even got into some intellectual arguments just as Alice did with Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar, and the Queen.

This is more heartbreaking than you will ever know, but this is only the beginning.

Who knows what else we can do?”

Rachel L., “We Are All Alice”:

“I find that the text hasn’t really endeared me to Alice. She doesn’t seem all that charming or lovable. It seems odd, (and I’ve said this before) if Alice we’re to fall off a cliff into a pot of molten marshmallows at the end of the story, I would suffer no emotional strife. Not very good on your part, Carroll. Maybe I wasn’t his audience. I mean, if his audience was Alice, he didn’t really need to endear Alice to herself. So that seems possible.

But, I do identify with Alice as a little girl.

As a younger kid, I feel like a was one of the last crusaders. Maybe one of the last kids on the planet to get home from school, throw my backpack on the floor, and run screaming into unknown reaches of my forest-esque backyard. I’d fight the wind until it was late-thirty or until I had too many scrapes.  I remember when I was little (and my mind hadn’t been spoiled by the knowledge that’s forcing me to analyze this), I felt things with more intensity, even things that didn’t exist. I remember when I was little, magic was real and I experienced it everyday when I was running from tigers and battling Egyptians. I guess childhood really links me to Alice and her predicament.

Maybe wonderland is the remains of untarnished childhood in our minds and we are all Alice lost in those old, sublime dreams.”

Rachel L., “Final Thoughts”:

“It’s the end, and as I begin this blog, I am frustrated.

I continue to analyze thought after thought, but I never feel anything from the literature. It is all meaningless to me and analyzing it feels wrong because I don’ believe in what I’m doing. I’m not getting anywhere. This is partly due to the fact that all the conclusions come from my own understanding. Personally, when I read, I look for conclusions the author has suggested and helped me to find in a way I could not have on my own. I want to be lead to a profound epiphany. But, in Alice, I’ve got nothing but my own ideas to draw upon. Carroll leads me nowhere. It seems to me that the only thing I could really draw out from this children’s tale is that everything is not always what it seems. We were presented the story of Alice as something containing much mystery and meaning, but perhaps it is much simpler than we are lead to believe.

But then again, if I have concluded that nothing is as it seems, perhaps everything in the book wasn’t nonsense, but instead just not what it had seemed to be.

I guess that changes everything. And now my head starts spinning.

Maybe that was the point: to analyze our own understanding of things and begin to realize that the human mind is a tool not to be underestimated, being that we can find meaning where there is none. It proves to be what makes humanity. Our symbolic mind sets us apart from other creatures. It proves our ingenuity by the way we strive to make connections that aren’t readily apparent in hopes to discover a link into the undefinable. To offer a fleeting glimpse of these unanswered and uncharted mysteries. For example, existence of awesome minds like ours.”

Adam K., “In Conclusion”:

“The Alice project is nearing its end and the late nights of blogging and commenting are over.

It’s been an interesting and fun journey through Wonderland. Everyone (including my group and I)  in the Alice Project have all discovered something unique about Wonderland. Whether it be finding meaning in the text, looking at music with Wonderland, or anything else. We have all analyzed, read, and re-read and finally the long journey is over. We have come out more knowledgeable then when we came in.

My only regrets are that I can’t do it again (and that the ending of Alice was lackluster). Alice is over for now.

You never know: we may do another Alice Project over another book. I wish I started the project like how I am ending it, by working hard and writing like crazy. I myself believe I became a better writer and a better analyst due to the amount of work and thought required to do the project. I don’t think this has just happened to me, everybody seems to have become a better writer and a better analyst due to the project.

The ending of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was not as sweet as the end of the Alice Project is going to be. The Alice Project may influence some little kid whose roaming the interned someday. I don’t know. Perhaps the Alice project will be on the internet for a while. As Alice has grown we have also grown mentally and a little bit physically. As Alice has been curious, she has made us curious, not just about her and her journeys, but about her and the rest of the world.”

Edward C.,“The Whole Package”:

“Like I said earlier this project is not like any other project I have ever done. One thing that really stands out about this project is that we the students have to think for ourselves. This project gave me a taste of the real world in the sense of deadlines, quality, and what one’s customers look for.”

Kathy B., “Analyzing the ‘Alice Project'”:

“After six weeks of reading and analyzing (or analyzing why we shouldn’t analyze) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the “Alice Project” is finally coming to a close. In approximately 15 hours, we will leave Alice to cope with her dream for herself, without the aid of our blogs. So, I’d like to take some time to reflect on the entirety of the project we have devoted ourselves to for the past six weeks.

I came into this project without any knowledge of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I’ve never seen the Disney movie in its entirety, and the parts that I have seen I remember only vaguely, and so I really did not have much of a clue what to expect when reading the book. Even before we began the project, Mr. Long would make some references to Alice, most often about the Cheshire Cat or the White Rabbit, but I always felt somewhat out of the loop. I actually looked forward to the project if only so that I would be able to understand the various references to the story that are now ever so apparent all over the place!

At the beginning of the story, I remember wondering what the “porpoise” of the countless annotations in the margins of our annotated version of the story was. I kept wondering:

  • Why is all of this background information on the author necessary?
  • Why do I need to know of all of these other analyses and references to the story?
  • Who cares about a dodo?

However, as the project progressed and we delved deeper and deeper into the quirks of Wonderland, I started realizing that that information could actually be very beneficial when writing blogs. Whether it served as an inspiration for a blog, or merely helped support a point I was trying to make, some of the annotations were actually very useful (although I will admit that I still fail to see the purpose of some of them).

One thing I liked about the story was that it was possible to make something out of just about anything, but it was also possible to dispute the actual, if any, meaning of pretty much everything. It was interesting searching the story for possible symbolism or deep meanings, while having the power to argue that there is none should I come up empty-handed. That helped not only with blogging, but with comments as well.

I enjoyed commenting on my classmates’ blogs. Everyone created very high quality material, and it was cool to be able to see the story from everyone else’s perspective. I found great inspiration for blogs of my own in the ideas of those of my peers. I also enjoyed receiving comments, because it is always rewarding to get feedback on my writing and see new perspectives on the rabbits I chased and ideas I touched upon.

As for coming up with ideas for my own blogs, it was probably as painless as it could have possibly been. If I absolutely could not come up with anything to write, I always had the option of reading my classmates’ blogs and trying to find inspiration there. If that didn’t work, there was the option of searching the internet for interesting images, videos, or anything else Alice related that I could respond to.

All in all, I think the “Alice Project” was an imaginative project that challenged everyone in some way and forced us all to be team players. The most challenging aspect of the project was most likely different for everyone, but for me it was probably the extensive amount of time it demanded. We have never done anything like this, so getting accustomed to it took about as much time as actually working on it in the beginning. I was also worried that the project would interfere with my other project or other classes, which it may have to some extent.

That said, I thought the project was a very cool idea with very large possibilities, and I look forward to seeing how far it goes in the future.”

 

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