• English / English Electives

    University of Maryland
    B.A. in English
     
    George Mason University
    Masters in English 
       
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    George Kitchen

    Professional Biography

    Mr. Kitchen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970 majoring in English with a minor in Drama at UMBC (University Of Maryland - Baltimore County). For five years, he specialized his dramatic training in pantomime and dance; over three decades, he performed major roles with several ballet companies. While performing, Mr. Kitchen held a variety of managerial jobs in several professions and earned a CPA in Virginia in 1988. He joined the Douglass School Alternative Education Program as English and English electives teacher in 1992.  In 1996, he earned his Masters of Fine Arts at George Mason University in English (Creative Writing: Poetry). In recent years, Mr. Kitchen has performed acting roles for several productions in the D.C. metropolitan area and has begun doing poetry readings of his own work in the area as well. 

     

    Curriculum

    Being an Alternative program, Mr. Kitchen uses a thematic approach to the curriculum that allows each course to be taken for all high school grade levels and electives in English. The curriculum rotates through a 4-year cycle of literature taught in 9-week semesters; students can therefore take an English course with Mr. Kitchen in any 9-week session and get a different course each time. The themes are structured to be compatible in any combination. The courses are:

     

    1 Way - 1st 9-weeks [Also reviewed in subsequent 9-week courses]

    Plot Driven Literature: Journey Theme

    This course focuses on the element of Plot using works that involve a journey. This journey can be literal, cultural or biographical. The course includes novels, plays and explorations into writings from non-English cultures. Short stories, poetry, films, graphic novels, art, music and other disciplines may be included for comparison and contrast. A correlative activity approaches Chess as a plot structure and journey. Literacy and a thorough review of reading strategies are emphasized to improve each student’s reading comprehension. Writing skills are assessed with each student’s writing portfolio and preparation for the SOL test in English Writing is given.  An extended unit on Public Speaking/Drama techniques and performance is also included. Research and closing week activities culminate the course to develop a final overview for all the material covered.

     

    2 Extreme - 2nd 9-weeks [Also reviewed in subsequent 9-week courses]

    Character Driven Literature: Beauty & Beast Theme

    This course focuses on the element of Characterization using works that involve two characters that are opposites and extremely unique. All of these pairings are literally and physically  Beauty and the Beast characterizations. The course includes novels, plays and explorations into writings from non-English cultures.  Short stories, poetry, films, graphic novels, art, music and other disciplines may be included for comparison and contrast. A correlative activity approaches Cooking as combinations of ingredients.  Literacy and a thorough review of reading strategies are emphasized to improve each student’s reading comprehension and preparation for the SOL test in English Reading is given. Writing skills are assessed with each student’s writing portfolio. An extended unit on Public Speaking/Drama techniques and performance is again included.  Research and closing week activities culminate the course to develop a final overview for all the material covered. 

     

    3 TLC - 3rd 9-weeks [Also reviewed in subsequent 9-week courses]

    Theme Driven Literature: Tragedy, Love & Comedy

    The course focuses on the element of Theme using a survey of works that include representative classic tragedies, love stories and comedies. These surveys will develop an overview of the three primary and thematic World Views: 

     

    Tragedy:  Life is a Tragic Kingdom or a character has a Tragic Flaw which makes the world tragic.

    Love:  Love is more important (either as Romantic or Heroic Love) than life itself.

    Comedy:  Life is either a Farcical Comedy or a character approaches life as a Satirical Comedy.

     

    The course includes plays and explorations into writings from non-English cultures. Excerpts from novels, short stories, poetry, films, graphic novels, art, music and other disciplines are included for comparison and contrast. A correlative activity approaches Juggling as an analogous exercise for combining these 3 thematic world views. Literacy and a thorough review of reading strategies are emphasized to improve each student’s reading comprehension. Writing skills are assessed with each student’s writing portfolio and preparation for the SOL test in English Writing is given again. An extended unit on Public Speaking/Drama techniques and performance is again included. Research and closing week activities culminate the course to develop a final overview for all the material covered.

     

    4 Dimensional - 4th 9-weeks

    Atmosphere Driven Literature: Dream Theme

    This course focuses on the element of Atmosphere using a survey of works and genres that create both strong mood and tone and are often referred to as Dream Literature. These works and genres create a dreamlike quality and include Children's Literature, the gothic genres, and absurdist literature. The course explores literature dealing with Death's relevancy to Life, much as the TLC course explores the issues of Love's relevancy to Life. The course includes novels, plays and explorations into writings from non-English cultures. Short stories, poetry, films, graphic novels, art, music and other disciplines are included for comparison and contrast. A correlative activity approaches Tarot and other card readings as dream interpretations. Literacy and a thorough review of reading strategies are emphasized to improve each student’s reading comprehension and preparation for the SOL test in English Reading is given again.  Writing skills are assessed with each student’s writing portfolio. An extended unit on Public Speaking/Drama techniques and performance is again included. Research and closing week activities culminate the course to develop a final overview for all the material covered.

     

    Douglass School Chess Club - Ramcastle

    Mr. Kitchen and Mr. Fournier cosponsor the chess club, Ramcastle. The group meets daily at lunchtime with students receiving instruction and playing time against both students and teachers.  The group holds an open tournament every year for all Douglass students.

     

    Douglass School Literary Magazine - The Alternative

    Mr. Kitchen and Mrs. Cacciola coedit the school literary magazine, The Alternative, now in its fourteenth year of publication. The magazine comes out in June and includes the winners of the annual short story competition sponsored by the Shelley A. Marshall Foundation as well as the winners of the annual poetry competition, The Douglass Poetry Award. Student art and other student writings are also selected for the magazine.   

     

    Douglass School Drama Productions - Glass House

    Mr. Kitchen directed the annual production at Douglass School for its drama group, Glass House, from 2001 thru 2011. The casts included members of the Drama class and alumni (as needed). Since 2011, a Drama class has not been offered at Douglass, but all current English classes include an extended unit on dramatic presentation of the students’ own poetry.  Performances from 2001 thru 2011 included: 

     

    Toadstop in 2001: A one-act play of children's and reader's theatre.

     

    Beauty to Extremes in 2002: A full evening of reader's theatre.

     

    Shake Tenn in 2003: Overlapping scenes from 10 works by William Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams.

     

    Sammy Hamlet in Wonderland in 2004: 32 variations on the theme of Shakepeare's Hamlet.

     

    The Frogs in 2005: A Greek play with Chorus by Aristophanes with songs and poetry from modern times.

     

    Animals Crackers in 2006: The Marx Brothers comedy by George S. Kaufman.

     

    The Merchant of Venice in 2007: William Shakespeare's full length play.

     

    The Willies in 2008: Overlapping scenes and speeches from Willie Nelson, August Wilson, William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and William Carlos Williams.

     

    The Ice Moon in 2009: Highlights from The Iceman Cometh and A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill.

     

    Henry @ Hot Velocity in 2010: Highlights from William Shakepeare's cycle of history plays about King Henry V.

     

    April Fools:  A Bat, an Ass & a Rabbit Walked Onto a Stage! in 2011: Overlapping scenes from Fences by August Wilson, A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare and Harvey by Mary Chase).

     
     Course Information
    Courses
    1. Plot Driven Literature: Journey Theme
    2. Character Driven Literature: Beauty & Beast Theme
    3. Theme Driven Literature: Tragedy, Love & Comedy
    4. Atmosphere Driven Literature: Dream Theme 
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     ExtraCurricular Positions
    Chess ClubDouglass Drama Productions
    Douglass Literary Magazine
     
     Contact Information
    Address:
    407 East Market Street, Leesburg, VA  20176
    Phone:
    571-252-2060