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Friday, April 9, 2010

Nobel Prize in Literature

During my recent visit to Stockholm, I spent an afternoon in the Nobel Museum. This was a delightful day and I learned so much and saw so much. During one of my breaks, I sat at a computer that introduced be to the Nobel website. The five prizes are in areas of interest to Alfred Nobel. In Chemistry & Physics because this was how he made his massive fortune that became the foundation for his awards. In Medicine because he was a sickly man and required constant medical attention. In Literature because he fancied himself a poet. In his will he stipulated that these four awards would be given in Stockholm. The fifth prize was awarded in Oslo, because in his time, Oslo hosted many of the world's peace conferences. He chose one in peace ironically because his use of dynamite and was convinced a strong army and weapons promoted peace and guaranteed that peace could be achieved. His will went through a couple of drafts before he finally came to the final one. One other very unique stipulation was that all of these awards would be awarded to a pool of international choices. This was unique because this was the first time awards of this nature and stature were international rather than national or local.

As I was roaming the website, especially the awards in literature, I realized how great a website this was to serve as a foundation for an online project for my scholars. They would spend time roaming the literature prizes and select one of the authors and select a couple of pieces of literature of the author and do a research paper on the author while reviewing some of hir work. Included is the Nobel lecture as well as the acceptance speech. The entries for each author is extensive with biographical information as well as a comprehensive bibliography. When available pictures and even audio or video is available. In the games section there is a neat Lord of the Flies game. This website provides hours of delight for everyone and great ideas for projects in our English classes.

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