The story is about the life of an African-American Male named Emmanuel and the story interweaves with the event of The Finkelstein Five who were 5 children that were brutally murdered. The main characters experience of identity is having to adjust his identity which he refers to as his “Blackness scale” depending on the people he is surrounded by. For example, when he is on the phone for a job interview he turns his Blackness down to a 1.5, the reader can see he is using formal English and not his usual accent as he mentions the change in the voice he makes. Emmanuel is also taught from a young age to always be conscious about the way he acts and it is one of the most important things he has to think about in his daily life because it affects so much of what he does. It can be seen as a way of survival as his father tells Emmanuel this is for his safety. The social and cultural values and attitudes challenged in this story are the social injustices shown towards the Black community, specifically in America. When the man who murdered The Finkelstein Five was not sentenced to any sort of punishment this is seen as ludicrous. Although this was written in 2018, this is a very relevant topic to what is happening with the BLM movement.
Ever since I moved to Singapore I have had to speak “Singlish” when I encounter the locals because when I speak English with my normal accent they don’t seem to understand what I say, but when I speak in Singlish they seem to understand perfectly. I am still speaking English but I think because Singlish is such a well know dialect in Singapore it is easier for the local people to understand. An example is when I am ordering food from a hawker I speak to the auntie in my Singlish accent so she can understand what I am saying better. When I speak Singlish I also have to shorten my sentences which by default makes then grammatically incorrect, but is easier for the locals to understand. Singlish has now become part of my Singaporean identity because I use it almost on a daily basis to communicate with the locals.
I think I am a very good listener when it comes to the people I care about for example my very close friends and family, whereas with people I consider acquaintances I don’t usually tend to listen as intensely. The reason being is I simple am more interested and invested in the lives of the people I care about compared to people I hardly know. Maybe a goal I could make for myself is to be more open to other peoples problems/concerns so I can seem more approachable and friendly as a person. I think another reason why I care so much about the lives of the people I am close to is due to the fact I have been in relationships with others in the past where I felt like they were not listening to my own problems/concerns. When this was happening I didn’t feel valid and it felt like they didn’t care about me. I wouldn’t want anyone who knows I care about them to feel like that so that’s why I like to give them my full attention.
Strength can be defined spiritually, mentally and physically. Spiritual strength can be defined as someone who has a strong sense of self which could mean they are confident and comfortable in their own skin. How can this come to be? One has to find self-worth within themselves and fully accept who they are in order to love themselves. This can take time and is a lot easier said than done. Physical strength can come from playing sports, working out and manual labour. This type of strength also takes a lot of time, effort and dedication. Spiritual strength can be defined as someone who is strong within their beliefs and values as a person. Spiritual strength keeps growing and developing over time because as humans we are continuously evolving as individuals. Many people find that mental and physical strength go hand in hand. From personal experience, whenever my mental health is in a strong place I feel motivated to do work whether it’s for school, chores or physical activity. It comes down to my mindset and how I am mentally feeling for the day. If I am not motivated to do anything I will most likely end up doing nothing whereas when I am mentally motivated to get things done I am very productive in all aspects of work and life.
What does the author reveal about Mia Warren in Chapter 7?
In Chapter 7, the author revealed that Mia understands Izzy on a very different level from her own mother or anyone else in her life. Mia understands that Izzy’s nonconformity stems from her empathy for others and her desire to stand up for what she believes, and this is often what Mrs. Richardson suppresses. This draws the two together and leads Izzy to admire Mia for her willingness to encourage her to take a stand against injustice. Izzy has previously not been encouraged to behave subversively, and Mia’s take on her suspension underscores how much the two women have in common. With Mia being an artist, she values and can understand everyone’s individuality and flair, and strongly believes that matters concerning someone should be dealt with by the same person, as they will know the situation in a detailed way. In addition, Mia gave the opportunity for Izzy to justify her actions, listening to her without interrupting after every second word. This is apparently different compared to Elena. Elena has falsely idealised a ‘perfect’ mould for all women in the Richardson family to follow. This heavily constricts the development of her children, as they are unable to find their true selves. In comparison, Mia allows Pearl to find and better understand herself, which is important.
Lockdown I have learnt who my real friends are which is a very valuable life lesson because the people that you surround yourself within your life is important. They can change your mindset and your attitude. I would consider someone my real friend if they’ve made the effort to contact me during lockdown or if we FaceTime a lot because it shows me that they care about me. Ever since middle school, I’ve always realized that having the right friends is important but during lockdown, it’s definitely become a lot more prominent to me because the people you surround yourself with can have a huge impact on you.
Lockdown has taught me multiple things about myself but, the most valuable thing I’ve learnt about myself is I like having my alone time. Don’t get me wrong I do miss my friends and seeing them every day at school but being alone at home and spending time away from everyone has made me realize I should value the time that I have with myself. When spending time with myself I feel like I’m able to focus more on my physical well being. I’ve been able to exercise every day, eat very clean and healthy and reflect on a lot of things that have been taking up space in my mind.
This year has definitely been the most strange of my schooling years because of the obvious coronavirus but I think that my school year hadn’t changed too much because of it. The coronavirus has affected the end of my year I have still been heavily involved in various activities throughout the year. I have participated in many different School shows this year including Unplugged, Culturama and Dance showcase. For Unplugged I sang a song and my friend Grace played the piano, we performed Defying Gravity. In Culturama I was a part of the South Korea dance group which I have enjoyed because Culturama is a yearly event that I participated in Grade 9 so it was nice to participate and join it again in grade 10. In the Dance showcase, I was involved in 2 dances I’ve always enjoyed dance showcase because I’ve participated in it since grade 6 so it has a special place in my heart. In grade 10 I took part in a new service with little kids where we made arts and crafts, I also signed up for a GC this year called Gilie Ecotrust which I thoroughly enjoyed because I have a deep passion for the ocean. Overall this year has definitely been a successful year in terms of activities and academic subjects.
This process has been a smooth and easy journey. From a young age, I have always had a strong idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up which was a performer so deciding to take an arts subject was mandatory and already in my mind. I chose to take HL Drama as I have always enjoyed the subject and would like to pursue it in IB. Throughout my last year of IGCSE, my interest in the subject Enterprise has grown tremendously. I also am thinking of a possible courier in this field of work and because of this passion for the subject, I chose to take HL Business Management. My last choice for my HL subject was English Lang/Lit because I’ve enjoyed English all throughout High School. My reason for choosing Lang/Lit is because my interest in English goes beyond reading books. The hardest choice I had to make was to pick a Science. I ended up choosing ESS because it was described as science and humanities combined which sparked my interest because it isn’t fully science because science isn’t my favourite subject. Overall, I can’t wait to take these subjects next year!