ENGLISH – Auntie Jules and el Escribador

1) the Mario Vargas Llosa telling the story is obviously older than the “Marito” who is living it . . . how would you describe the tone? what is the attitude of the narrator to the young man he was? 

According to Google, Llosa was 41 when he wrote Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, which would help to define the sort of relationship between the 18-year-old and him. From a reader’s point of view, the tone for the Mario chapters seem quite descriptive and there isn’t really any underlying emotion behind it. However, when we were talking about it in class today, it would make sense that he might be a little sentimental over particular moments or emphasise certain parts of his story that was important to him – whether he’s intentional about it or not.

2) if every other chapter, basically, represents one of Pedro Camacho’s serials —if they didn’t happen, in other words, what is the point of spending so much time on these characters/events/conflicts?

Initially it might be to keep the readers updated on the serials and give them an opportunity to get to know the scriptwriter in ways that Mario’s encounters with him don’t show us. While the Mario-chapters are plenty descriptive and tell us about Camacho’s character and the issue he’s currently working through, the serial-chapters do add an extra intertextual layer of context behind the events that are happening. Personally, I find it quite amusing to be confused with what’s happening in his serials, just as everyone else is – including the characters of Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, because it provides such a refreshing and absurd point-of-view into Camacho’s issues that you would have to infer yourself as the reader. Like some sort of first-hand experience.

3) If a story is basically, “one time, in one place, something happened” then it’s not really literature —it’s journalism or history or maybe even just gossip. Literature is usually thought to express something timeless —something true in a bigger sense. What might this novel be saying about life?

[Rough thinking, not actual structured answers to an essay question] Something about the versatility of Mario’s situation? But then again incest isn’t that popular (to my knowledge at least). Maybe the pains of love? Wanting someone but things being in between of you acquiring that love? Maybe the incest is a time stamp.

ENGLISH – Mid Way ‘Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter’ Check-in

Explain an idea that Vargas Llosa seems to be exploring and show how the two quotes you’ve chosen relate to this. You can use OTHER examples or ideas, too, if you like (250 – 300 words).

  • reality and the imagination are in conflict / in a state of tension
  • art sanctifies life
  • life is better than art

In Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Mario Vargas Llosa maintains variation in his book by alternating between narration from the first person, coming from his character’s point of view, to serials created by Pedro Camacho. There seems to be an underlying, recurring idea of reality and imagination constantly being in a state of tension. For example, when Mario has the pleasure of attending a recording session of one of Camacho’s serials in person, he finds the process quite different from what he imagined. The Bolivian scriptwriter delivered a ‘moving’ monologue where “naturally it was the words ‘art’ and ‘artistic’ that was repeated the most frequently… like some sort of magic formula that revealed and explained everything”. This quote continues, mentioning Mario’s surprise at the effect Camacho’s words had on the actors. This shows the two sides that imagination and art hide behind, where we question its authenticity but also the beauty of reality ad whether the sacrifice of authenticity is worth it. This might also relate to the sound effects man who was creating a cacophony of sound, yet managed to produce something that would be overlooked in real life all the time, yet managed to gain an appreciation and a sense of realism despite all the labour that went into the production.

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Explain the stylistic features that indicate the author’s intentions (audience, purpose, context, etc).

These videos that were released by Nike which featured Kobe Bryant and other famous people such as Aziz Ansari and Kanye had a very interesting way of approaching the consumers when selling these shoes. Initially, the first time I watched these videos I thought they were just trying to sell the set of ‘shoes’ that Kobe was referring to, but when we were talking about it as a class, it transformed into an underlying allure for Nike in general. The ads feature famous people who play to their own strengths in characteristics, for example with Aziz Ansari, he was actually quite rude, which caused a bit of resentment towards him, despite the fact that they were all being bullied by Kobe. With each level, a new famous figure was featured and they generally became more likeable. As a class, we analysed why, all of sudden, did we (the audience) feel more sympathy towards these people that we’ve never met instead of resentment. Some of the ideas that bounced around were that the fact that Kobe was bullying them and they were generally more submissive, shown by the occasional dipping of the head when they were told that they weren’t “a system” or “hadn’t achieved success”. This aroused sympathy in the audience and from then, we related and were subconsciously involved with them as underdogs.

If we focus on the style of the advert and what kind of scene it’s taking place in, people may recognize that it looks vaguely like a Ted talk. When it comes to Ted talks, people generally would associate them with success, inspirational origin stories, basically a respectful environment for people to learn something new or enrichen their thinking. What’s interesting is that Nike chose to associate this type of feeling, while simultaneously involving elements of comedy portrayed by the famous figures and a pop culture sense of humour.

CAS – Two Seasons of Sustainabrew…

As season two draws to a close and the rest of the year approaches, as a service, we thought it would be a good idea to take some time to reflect on our first ever two seasons of Sustainabrew and mark the end of the grade 10’s partaking our service. As a group, we discussed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that existed and what we could be striving for in the coming seasons.

For strengths, we said that we were quite good at organising the necessary resources and materials that were required for events that we were asked to cater for, as well as communicating and collaborating within our group and with the service office in terms of logistics. When it comes to weaknesses, personally I would say that we weren’t actively making an effort to talk and liaise with other services within UWC and definitely not outside of our community. This leads to me to opportunities that are available to us that we should really be taking advantage of such as more events (now that we have access to the calendar), finding more ways to be efficient, and perhaps linking to that last point, connecting more with the gardens within school so that we could set up a mutually beneficial gardening system, making us more sustainable in general. Some threats that are enabling our efficiency as a service include the latest status of the Coronavirus in Singapore and how it prevents large gatherings, the length of time required to grow the ingredients that we want to include in our drinks – whether it would be smart to buy them rather than grow them, and probably the most important one of all, awareness of our service and how we’re advertising ourselves. We haven’t reallyyyyyy made a solid and informative poster, which is on us, but that pretty much limits who knows about us and whether they use us for their events or not.

For the rest of the year, I really hope that we can use this momentum and move forwards and more effectively with our planning and, despite the newfound difficulties with the Coronavirus, provide more drinks for events because that’s what we love to do!

ENGLISH – Practice IO Reflection

Recently in class, we completed our first practice IO where we had to compare two texts studied in class: a non-literary piece and a literary piece. I chose to compare “The Help” and a photograph taken by Gordon Parks to discuss the refined global issue stating that “Education is vital for the upbringing of children and plays a major role in shaping their beliefs and values – not just in schools but education from adult figures in their lives.”

Of course in the moment of doing the IO, there were a few things that I wish I said but didn’t. That brings me to this list of things that I wish I said and wish I’d done.

  • When I first introduced The Help, I jumped straight into how Miss Leefolt was setting a bad example for her daughter as she called Aibileen’s toilet “dirty” and “diseased”. However, if we take a step back, due to Mae Mobley’s age, she would now equate going to the toilet with getting scolded and spanked, which something you wouldn’t want for your child. Perhaps the point can be made about how prejudice held by most white women in this book (and time) affected how they “raised” their children by putting those harsh, preconceived beliefs stemming from society INFRONT of basic parenting.
  • I started rambling a bit about what the woman in the photograph could be looking at. I should’ve just started with “the woman is looking outside through the window, perhaps signifying several things such as…”
  • I should really work on being more concise because although I feel like I came prepared, it sounded like I was thinking of things on the spot and I was just having a conversation (with myself…) Maybe that’s a good thing, but it probably should’ve sounded like it had more structure and a more obvious line of thought instead of jumping from one thing to another.
  • stop saying like. seriously.
  • At the end when I was saying that The Help was more fictional and the photograph was more realistic, I could’ve elaborated and said that The Help was just “wishful thinking” while the photograph represented reality and, unfortunately, kind of present-day as not that much has changed. Only evolved.
  • Abhu was a little sneaky because he stole my question but I did believe that people would’ve found the photograph as powerful as I found it, due to the obvious pain etched in her face. Even with a basic understanding of human nature and body language, people would have been able to pick up on the sombre mood.

ENGLISH – Paper 1 Reflection

A couple of classes ago we did our first paper one assessment. Honestly, I left the class feeling like I had done well, but maybe that was to GCSE standards. I need to work on making more connections between elements in the text, the explicit and implicit qualities. I could’ve also stuck more with the SCRAP style of analysis. After talking to Mr Huntington, I now know to refer to the style and reception throughout the writing, but then I think I could’ve been more clear about the audience and the context towards the beginning. Relating to that, I should’ve read the information about the magazine more clearly, because I didn’t notice that they mentioned the time period of the magazine ad. The rest was just silly mistakes like instead of referring to the viewer’s perspective I talked about the angle of the camera. I might’ve also had the wrong ideas so that’s not great.

CAS – 100 Days of IB

Hi there! So today is apparently the first 100 days of IB which is crazy. It honestly feels a bit longer than that, we’ve settled in so quickly and gotten our routines, it’s incredible. In terms of CAS, I’m really enjoying my commitments. SustainBrew is a bit rocky so far but we’re trying to set up the foundations so that we can make the most of each session. Samba has been a fresh experience which is fun. Boxing is always the highlight of my week, but I’m especially excited that I might be able to start coaching as well. That’s 100 words.

Posted in CAS

ENGLISH – Jesus Hopped the A-train (Initial thinking)

In class, we’ve just finished scene four and so far I have a rough idea on who the characters are. Angel Cruz is a newly incarcerated Puerto-Rican inmate who’s in for shooting reverend Kim in the ass. He had an encounter with a lawyer, Mary Jane, who shortly became unobligated to help him as he had confessed. Mary Jane had an interesting monologue afterwards in scene 4 where she talked about how she ‘felt something’ when Angel said that he had “just shot him in the ass” and related it to her own experience with her father stabbing someone with a dessert fork for a racist comment.

Another story that’s being told is Lucius Jenkins who has been put in protective custody and seems to be taking it quite easily, however his assigned officer has just been led away and appears to be not returning. In his place, another officer, Valdez, immediately establishes his stance and where he is relative to Lucius.

I’m very curious to see how this play will pan out, and what role the profanity might serve.