While I really do enjoy watching movies and plays, I enjoy it much more when I know what is going on. I was so lost for so long while watching “Macbeth.” I could not get past the Shakespearean english paired with the visuals from what appeared to be a World War II time frame. I have a hard time understanding Shakespeare’s english to begin with. I think I got the gist of the story, although I’m not sure I caught all important details and whatnot. After talking with my group, I definitely understand more. We all caught different parts of the story, so I think we have enough to successfully complete our theory.
Lady Macbeth and the witches were just about the only female characters in the whole play. They were certainly the only females with any real relevance. Lady Macbeth was especially essential to the whole plot. If she had not encouraged Macbeth, I don’t think the story would not have developed at all. I had no idea how to really go deeper with my group’s theory. What else is there to do at that point other than google it? So that is what I did. I came up with this website, and I actually found it very cool. It talks a lot about Lady Macbeth and how much she influenced the whole story while never really being given a name. I am excited to dive even deeper into our questions and look at the story from a feminist perspective. I hope that I find more interesting things than just the extent at which Lady Macbeth was an influence.
This was a good week for poetry. I especially enjoyed “Ozymandias.” The alliteration of the “s” sound was something that I didn’t notice until it was pointed out, but after it was, I found it interesting and fascinating. My theory about the alliteration prior to hearing that it was the sound of sand blowing in the desert was what I thought to be a little odd. I wasn’t going to say it when we went around to tables, but I decided last minute that I would, and I’m glad I did. I said the “s” sound was like a snake, and people find snakes scary. People found Ozymandias scary when he was relevant. Snakes shed their skin, but that skin still looks quite terrifying; it has no power though because it is dead, hollow nothing. This is kind of like the statue of Ozymandias the poem talks about. The statue is in the middle of nowhere, and it has no substance whatsoever. It was at one time a symbol of power, and people were afraid, but that no longer prevails.
I did not so much understand the other poem we read. “Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth” did not intrigue me like “Ozymandias” did. These poems were both sonnets. I now can confidently say that I know what a sonnet is and I think that is pretty cool. I like learning new things.
We also continued looking at critical theory with our Shakespeare plays. My group changed our theory to the feminism one, which should work well with Lady MacBeth. I’m excited to explore the world of Shakespeare once again through the eyes of MacBeth. The Goodreads website has a pretty good review of the play, and I can’t wait to hear the full story.
The first thing we did this week was read the 10 Rules for Being Human. I found this super interesting. I currently only remember one rule, the tenth rule, which stated that I would forget all of the rules. Crazy. I remember there being some importance of rule eight, but I don’t remember the actual rule. You can find all of the rules here.
Before this week I had never even heard of a Pecha Kucha presentation. Now I’m kind of excited to do one. I am very happy with the books I have chosen to read for my independent reading project. My topic, the influences of socioeconomic statuses on quality of life, has always been of interest to me. I think that it explains a lot about why society functions as it does, and gives us insight into how we can fix the less desirable parts of it.
Another thing we did towards the end of the week was the introduction to critical theory. We chose our Shakespearean plays and picked our theories that we will work with. My play is Macbeth and our theory has to do with philosophy and something else I can’t remember at the moment. I know that I found it intriguing, and I hope Macbeth is as good as I think it will be. I am part of a good group, and I predict that we will do well with this project. I have found the first week of the new trimester to be exciting, and I can’t wait for more.
Oh! We also did an AP practice test this week. I did not do horribly, but I feel like I could have done better. I hope I continue to improve.
The past two weeks of my life have been insane. I have been to class a grand total of four times. Last week I missed three days of class because I was sick, and this week I missed a day for the Junie B. Jones elementary school tour, a day for the Veteran’s Day assembly, and we already had Tuesday off. I am very behind, but I’m not freaking out as much as I would have expected myself to. I feel pretty okay about the whole thing actually. I can definitely take Tuesday this week as a catch up day because I am not a hunter.
So, once again, I do not have a whole lot to reflect on. On Wednesday we started reading Oedipus. I enjoy Greek tragedies, and I like what I have gotten to read of the story so far, although I am not finished with it yet. That is really the only thing I have done this week. On Monday we worked on missing work (which I have a lot of at the moment), and then we watched a TED Talk on success. It was really very interesting. This article does a fabulous job of summarizing Alain de Botton’s views on success. I found that I one hundred percent agree with most of the things he says in his presentation.
I am looking forward to catching myself up on missing work, and I am trying my hardest to do little bits here and there to try to finish it. I get majorly stressed when I have less than exemplary grades, and I can’t wait to fix them. Late nights and hard work will be the story of my life this upcoming week.
Wow, do I hate missing school. I haven’t actually been in class since Tuesday. I never get sick, but I guess I can’t say that anymore. The combination of a sinus infection, double ear infections, and strep throat can really do someone in, as I have very recently learned. To add to that, I am totally lost. I have looked at the lesson plans and finished my partner notes, but beyond that, I have no clue what I am supposed to do. I see that there are blog posts that I am supposed to have written, but I am quite confused about what I am supposed to write them about.
I have a plan of action though. I plan to go to school tomorrow, and ask all of my unanswered questions. Then, since we don’t have school on Tuesday, I’m going to try to complete all of my missing work. This is really the only class that I will have make up work in, so it shouldn’t be too stressful.
For the days I was actually at school this week, we began discussing tragedy. I personally love tragedies- they’re just so tragic. I love stories where bad things happen because they hold my attention. Don’t get me wrong, I like happy stories too, but I would take a story about a tragic event over something happy any day. Tragedies reveal truths about humanity that one would have trouble finding anywhere else. I really enjoyed the Wikipedia articles we read for our partner notes, and I look forward to learning more about tragedies.
This week was nerve wracking to say the least. There were at least 2 nights this week that Erica and I were up late trying to figure out our presentation. I am not a very confident public speaker. I can go on stage and perform lines in front of hundreds of people, but I have issues presenting in front of a class of 25 people. It’s all a mental thing, but I still find it ridiculous. Anyway, Erica and I were pretty stressed about the whole thing, but it worked out. As it turned out, we did better than we originally expected.
I also learned the dos and don’ts of presenting this week, which this website summarizes quite well. I learned that pictures help. A lot. I learned that not everyone is good at public speaking, but everyone is capable of it. I learned that I am good at making the presentation look appealing, and I have the creativity it takes to make the presentation mostly hold the audience’s attention, but I am not so good at filtering the information and deciding which parts are more important than the others. Erica was good at that, so we made a great team.
The last thing for this week is that I was super in love with the poem on Monday. It was “OCD” by Neil Hilborn. I am emotionally attached to that poem; I actually recite it when I get nervous or anxious. Last year for my Drama 2 class, we did a show where we picked poems and picked people to perform them how we wanted. Autumn Williams chose that poem, and chose me to perform it. It has been my favorite poem since, and I can recognize it almost instantly.
I have felt a range of emotions about this class this week. On Monday I was excited to choose a new book. Creative writing went very well. I’m happy with what I wrote, and that doesn’t happen very often. The more negative feelings pertained mostly to the Elements of Fiction project. It’s not that I didn’t like it, because I actually find it kind of interesting, I just wasn’t exactly sure what we were supposed to be doing. After we talked in class, I felt I had a lot more direction and was able to effectively begin our presentation. So far it’s coming along pretty well. It really helped once we discussed answering the “So what?” question.
The concept of using the question “So what?” in writing and other English related things is something I hadn’t heard of until this year. It’s really very helpful. It guarantees that your audience will at least be able to better understand what they are reading, regardless of whether or not they find it interesting or important. This blog post that I found does an exceptional job of explaining it. Better than I am currently able to at least. The author gives three alternate ways of asking the question, which allows for deeper insight into the meaning. It’s beneficial because not everyone interprets things in the same way.
Overall I felt like the end of this week was much more productive for me than the beginning. Erica and I didn’t get a whole lot done until Thursday and Friday actually. It wasn’t that we had no idea what was going on, we just didn’t want to start something and have it be wrong. We’re working at a good pace now, and it shouldn’t take us too much longer to finish it.
This six weeks went by ridiculously fast. I feel like the first day of school was like a week ago. It’s absolutely insane that we’re already 6 weeks into the school year. But, very well, I suppose that is not the true purpose of this post. The point is to reflect on what I learned this week.
This week was mainly focused on the unit one project. We read the rest of “Sonny’s Blues,” and we both enjoyed it very much. We started to read the point of view paper as well. I enjoy this project I find it interesting to read something and then pull it apart and dissect every little aspect of it. I feel like sometimes I look TOO closely and I miss the point of it because there is no hidden meaning, but for the most part I am able to identify important literary devices.
Point of view is typically an easy thing to identify, but a not so easy thing to understand all of the time. The reason the author has for choosing the type of POV they do is not always apparent to the reader. This is a link to an article that does a good job of summarizing the different kinds of POV authors use most frequently.
We also wrote our free response essays about our book of literary merit we chose to read this six weeks. My book was amazing, and I didn’t struggle too much with the essay, although I don’t think I’ve quite finished it yet. I’m still working because I have so many thoughts and I feel like I can’t present them all in a way that makes sense. I’m still working on it, so hopefully that’s not an issue, but I suspect it will be an honorable attempt at an essay.
This week was not amazing. I feel like we didn’t accomplish a whole lot because of the fog delay on Tuesday and the fog day on Thursday. On top of that, I did not understand this week’s poem. Like at all. I was, and still am, completely and totally lost. I did not connect with it like have with the other two poems, and that bothers me. None of the ways that it was presented to me actually made sense. I think part of the reason was that I don’t really have any experience to pull from that relates to the poem, so I did not get that same “click.” The poem “Bright Star” was not a shining star for me this week.
The other big thing we did was start our unit one project. I am in a group with Erica, and I think it should go well because we are pretty similar in our literary endeavors. We have characterization and point of view as our Elements of Fiction. I have read all of the characterization paper and part of “Sonny’s Blues” for the short story. I enjoyed it quite a bit actually. “Sonny’s Blues” is very interesting, but I’m still not that far in, so there isn’t a whole lot of character development going on yet. Here is a link that talks about the importance of characterization in literature. It gives good examples and defines it very well. I look forward to finishing this project.
This week I felt a Funeral, in my Brain. I was so tired all week, that by Thursday I was having trouble staying awake in class. In all seriousness though, I did enjoy this week of class. I was very proud of myself because when we were talking about imagery in the poem “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” I noticed the lack of visual imagery, and no one else had said it. I was totally not confident in that answer, but it was my answer. I realized that there were other types missing as well, but in the whole scheme of things, how important is it to have taste or smell be a part of every poem? Not super important. There is probably more poetry missing those senses than poetry that has them. Visual is such a large part of writing that it was the only solution I had. The 7 types of imagery we discussed in class can be found here, with simple definitions.
Another thing we did this week was watch a TED talk. The woman giving the talk focused on connecting art and Literature. Well, that’s what we pulled from it as a class. Her actual talk was on how humans are a selective bunch, and how in order to personally connect with pieces of art, she creates a back story for it. I found it really very interesting how she explained the whole process. I am excited to go to an art museum and try the technique out on my own.